Strung Out

Strung Out – At The Jack!

When I was a kid, we’d hang out at skate shops and watch the newest skate videos and pine over things we couldn’t afford. They were a great a source of new music as well, pairing up the latest punk/alternative releases with nut shots is a sure fire way to get young men into your store and out with your product.

One of the bands I remember hearing in that shop was Strung Out.

My immediate reaction was one of confusion, here was a band who still had that fast skate punk sound but had also managed to include elements of progressive rock and metal into their sound. For a kid suckling more on the bubblegum side of things, they were definitely a challenging band – but one that kept finding their way into the walkman as I got older. Unlike so many of their 90’s contemporaries though, they kept challenging people and carved their own unique niche in the Punk Rock canon. 12 releases, 26 years and the band is still going strong, I caught up with bassist Chris Aiken ahead of their Australian/NZ tour in support of their latest work – Transmission.Alpha.Delta.

Hi Chris, what time is it there mate?

“Hi, I’m at home here in California and it is about 3PM.”

Well it’s 9AM Thursday morning here, so i guess you could say I’m in the future!

Don’t worry, nothing happens mate!

“(laughs) Doc Brown would be proud my friend, just let me know if anything changes!”

Can you describe your introduction into the Punk genre?

“Ahhh for me it was kinda skateboarding.. so anything fast, be it Punk or Metal. It was just whatever you wanted it to be, one week you’re this little thrash metal kid and then you discover Bad Religion, Descendents/ALL… I just discovered that this music made me move and that is really important.”

Is it funny to think then, that little punk kids in Australia were hanging out in skate shops listening to your records considering it was skating that began your interest in punk?

“Oh yeah of course, I mean so many of our fans have told me the same thing. We’ve been on skate and surf videos, Crusty Demons, video games, all sorts of stuff.. it’s so nice to have that relationship with extreme sports because that’s the kind of stuff we’re all into as well.”

Before you head out to Australia, you have some Californian shows to wrap up. One in Santa Barbara and one in Pomona, which one are you looking forward to the most?

“Oh man well if you’ve never been, I’d go to the Santa Barbara one.. it’s right on the beach and there’s good shopping around there too, it’s just a beautiful part of the country.. both places have their pro’s and con’s though.”

Are you excited about your upcoming tour with Pears and getting out and seeing some places you haven’t been to for awhile?

“Of course man, it’s always nice coming down to Australia… our fans are amazing to us down there, you guys have always been so supportive of the band. Also we’re very excited to bring along another Fat Wreck Chords band Pears with us, who are absolutely amazing. We’ve done a bunch of shows with them over the summer and we can’t wait for you guys to see them.”

It’s not the bands first visit to Cairns, do you feel lucky that as a band you guys have been able to get off the beaten track a bit – or is it a burden at times?

“No not a burden at all! we’ve been extremely lucky to come down there to Australia like 14 times, so we have a lot of friends there… Sure you know some bands go and do just the bigger cities – which are all lovely too – but to get out.. like your whole country is so beautiful, everywhere we went. Frenzal Rhomb took us out one year and we went to a million places like Mount Isa, Cairns, Albany, Darwin all these places that most bands don’t tour and it fucking wild. It’s gonna be great to touch some of these smaller places again, I’m really looking forward to it.”

There exists a clip online of Strung Out wrestling alligators, have you tussled with any native Australian wildlife on your visits down here?

“Luckily no, the only wildlife we’ve had confrontations we’ve had down there has been with our fans getting a bit out of control, going crazy.. things like that (laughs) but no we’ve been really fortunate and escaped the worst of it.”

Strung Out’s latest album Transmission.Alpha.Delta. was released last year, are the songs playing well live with your fans?

“Well yeah last year when the record came out we kind of took a different approach to previous records and when we went out and started touring we played a lot of songs off this one at our shows instead of you know say 3-4 new ones to get people pumped. We are obviously lucky to have such a deep back catalogue, so we still played all our hits and stuff.. but we really made an effort to play as lot of the new ones and a lot of other songs we hadn’t played in awhile, it was really refreshing. At the same time, like I said we played a lot of random old songs too, so they were just as challenging to play live because some of them we hadn’t played in like 20 years. We definitely had our work cut out for us but we pulled it out and it turned out great – we’ll have some surprises for you when we get down there!”

The one thing that you will miss about America while you are on tour?

“GOOD MEXICAN FOOD!… I’ll miss burritos, nachos and tacos more than anything!”

I see that you have your own Fender Squier signature bass, are you enjoying it?

“Oh man those folks have been so great to me and it’s been an amazing thing to have. Not just for me but to have kids out there playing it and fans and family members out there collecting them, Scott Shiflett from Face to Face is playing one and I gave one to Vince from Bodycount. It’s just a treat seeing people create with it and it’s inspiring to think that… like parents will buy that for kids and it will get them involved in music, that’s what it’s all about… I just want people to be able to play.”

Is there anything you’d like to say to all the Strung Out fans in Cairns and the Far North?

“Firstly I’d like to say thank you to all of our fans, you guys have been so loyal and really treat us like we are at home when we are there.. but yeah seriously if you don’t come to this show with our friends Pears, YOU ARE FUCKING MISSING OUT!”

Strung Out – Live at The Jack!
W/ PEARS + local supports.
Wednesday March 2nd, 7PM.

Tickets available from

© Copyright 2024 | NQ Music Press