Annihilation Time is nigh.
With a spot on the colossal Sound and Fury Festival, these Oakland-based punk rockers will be streaming their wild consciousness at the Earl Warren Showgrounds this Sunday, July 27. Chuck Franco of Desperate Hours (formerly Protess 47) and I recently talked with Annihilation Time guitarist Graham Clise, an 805 local turned nickel-and-dime transplant, to talk about touring, unemployment, and the joys of drinking other people’s beer.
Chuck Franco: What are you doing right now?
I’m just hanging in Oakland, man. We just got an electronic drum set in our house, so now we can jam at any hour of the night.
CF: I can only imagine [drummer] Noel [Sullivan] rocking on that. How’s Noel doing?
He’s good. He’s taking it mellow for now. We’re all unemployed shit bags right now; we all got fired.
CF: Oh yeah, because you were touring so much?
Yes. So now we’re just sitting around, waiting to run out of money.
CF: So how was the European tour?
Oh man, it was awesome. It was real brutal. We went all over the place-we even went to Serbia.
CF: What’s the punk rock scene like in Serbia?
It’s so nuts since no one ever really goes there.
CF: Is the turn out pretty good at the shows over there?
Yeah, it was really good this time, and we got unlimited beer. It was one of the best parts.
CF: Do you want to talk about your random show with Napalm Death?
That was cool. It was Napalm Death and Suffocation. We had play before those two and were waiting for Napalm to go on, and Suffocation goes on and they’re pretty cool. But then Napalm would go on and we’d go crazy and start raging super-hard. Then, after the set, we went into Napalm’s backstage room and we were like drinking their beer and just infesting their spot and they kicked us out of their backstage. We just wanted to hang out with them because they rule, but they weren’t having it.
CF: You guys have a pretty rigorous tour schedule with dates all over the place.
Yeah, I think we’re going to slow down a little bit. We’re getting burnt out a little bit. I’m not, but certain people are.
CF: How’s the new album taking off?
I think it’s doing really well; I haven’t actually asked. I think it’s getting re-pressed right now, [so] it must be doing okay.
Adrian Caste±eda: So how’d you guys get involved with the Sound and Fury festival?
Yeah. I’ve known the guy who’s putting it on for a long time, Todd [Jones], and he called me and asked me to play this festival. It is not what we usually play, so what we decided to do was play the festival and also play a normal show. So we wouldn’t be coming through town and the only show we played was one where not everyone can get to.
AC: Where is that other show going to be?
The other show is going to be in Ventura at Mai’s Cafe.
AC: You guys have been playing around the Central Coast for a long time. How has the scene changed?
For the most part, it’s all new people. I guess it’s like that everywhere. We started seven years ago, and I notice when I go back to Ventura or Santa Barbara few people are still into it. Either that or they moved away. I’ve been gone for two to three years and I don’t even recognize half the people.
AC: Is that part of the reason you guys moved away?
No, I just wanted to get something different. I’d spent my whole life in the same spot and I just wanted to go somewhere new. And now I’m already sick of that, so I’m going to go somewhere newer. It’s cool when you first show up, but you have to keep moving before people realize you’re an asshole.
AC: How has Oakland worked out for you guys? Is it a pretty receptive scene up there?
Oh, it’s awesome. You can find something cool going on every night if you wanted to. Half the time you find out about stuff and you’re so overwhelmed by how much is going on that you skip out on half of it. Unlike when I lived in Ojai; I’d hear about something cool in Ventura and I’d be guaranteed to be there. But now, there’s so much stuff to choose from, you can’t even see it all if you tried. It’s good that way.
CF: You guys are fusing an old rock sound with a punk sound, and it’s kind of taboo to mix fancy guitar work with punk music. Do you think people are starting to get more into that sound?
Yeah, I think they are, which makes it less fun. I liked it when people were pissed off and hated it, which is actually cool. But you know, nowadays, people who listen to punk listen to all kinds of crazy stuff, which is awesome because everyone should just look at it as music instead of a subgenre of rock. Everyone should just be into music.
Annihilation Time will play at the Earl Warren Showgrounds (3400 Calle Real) this Sunday, July 27, as part of the third annual Sound and Fury Festival. Visit soundandfuryfestival.com for details, tickets, and a complete lineup.