This interview is with Nick Tape, the singer of Coke Bust, and was conducted in the Summer of 2013 outside of Transitions Art Gallery shortly after the release of the Confined LP. It was originally intended to appear in Listen Magazine #3 which was never published. Big thanks to Nick for his patience, Nicole Kilbert for the photo, and Christian Costello for recording the interview. Also, R.I.P. to John Stabb who was alive at the time of the interview.
Exact Change: First question is, you guys are about to tour pretty extensively with the Confined LP in the US and Europe with a pretty tight schedule at that. For instance you have Iceland one night and Germany the next.
Nick: Yeah, it’s stupid!
Exact Change: What kind of preparation went into planning the tour?
Nick: The tour itself is two months long, but we’ve been planning this tour for about eight months or so. It’s been a lot of work that’s gone into it. We booked all the US shows ourselves. We had some help with the European ones. It’s been a ton of work getting the LP's done in time and all the recordings polished up – well, as polished up as we make them – all the artwork insert layout bullshit... it’s kind of insane actually, the amount of time you spend preparing for the tour exceeds the tour itself.
Exact Change: Speaking of the record, you guys mentioned it’s recorded on 2 inch tape, analog style. What about that kind of recording process do you find more suitable than digital recording?
Nick: Well when you record on 2 inch tape, the whole sound come out a whole lot warmer. If you listen to like, a Black Sabbath record, the drums just sound so deep, the low end comes out more full bodied, it has a lot more personality I think. It’s truer to the sound of how we are live than, say, a really clean cut, very polished off Pro Tools recording. The first 7 inch we recorded was recorded digitally, dumped onto cassette tape, then dumped back over to digital. That’s like a fluke, I don’t even know why we did it like that! We were like, “that sounded kind of cool.” We were like “fuck it, man, the next record we do, let’s just do it analog” so that was the Degradation 7”. We did the same thing again for the Vaccine split and the Confined LP as well.
Exact Change: Last year you guys recorded a live set on WMUC. Can you talk about that and how it differed from recording in a studio or playing a live show?
Nick: Yeah, WMUC is the University of Maryland’s radio station. That’s the school that I went to and my older sister went to. My older sister is 4 years older than me and got me into hardcore and punk in the first place. She used to have a radio show at like 3 AM on Sunday mornings. I would be 13 or 14 and call into her radio show and be like *whispers* “Yo Emily, play some Suicidal Tendencies!” I had to whisper ‘cause I was at my parents house and couldn’t wake them up, you know? I always looked up to her a lot, and then when I went to the University of Maryland, I got my own radio show as well. I was always really involved in the station. We actually booked a few shows inside the station itself. It’s like an old famous DCHC venue almost? It's this really tiny radio room that would always do live recordings. Old bands like Minor Threat and The Faith played there, Government Issue as well. We knew they had the capabilities to record live sets. Some of our friends in England were like “If you guys want to do a live 7” we’ll put it out” and we were like “Really?” so everything kind of fell into place. We booked a show around that. We hit up John Stabb and asked if he’d sing a Government Issue song with us if we covered it. He’s a really cool dude, he comes out to all these shows, he’s a supporter of Coke Bust, he was like “Yeah, fuck yeah.” He came out, we did it, he gave a really funny speech before he sang the song, and that was it. We made a special set list for how we wanted the record to sound on side A and side B.
Exact Change: What are some of your favorite straight edge bands past and present?
Nick: Well… technically Minor Threat wasn’t a straight edge band, but obviously Minor Threat’s what got me into straight edge. Youth Of Today, Judge… More recently, Blank Stare, Black SS, Positive Reinforcement, Sick Fix, Poison Planet, No Time Left… Lot of cool stuff in Europe, too. Correction, obviously! *shows off Correction shirt* Swedish straight edge band, they’re great. Inherit from England. Seems like there aren’t a whole lot of straight edge bands right now. I’m into all the Revelation Records stuff too.
Exact Change: You guys have covered Youth Of Today, The Faith, Government Issue… any other covers lined up?
Nick: We have a million man. Today we did Cock Sparrer, we also know Ramones song. We do Attitude Adjustment sometimes, we did it a couple of nights ago in Gainesville. We’ve done S.O.A., Minor Threat “Bottled Violence”, we did a Pentagram cover, a NOFX cover. We don’t play them all the time but we’ve done a stupid amount of covers. Last Halloween we covered Infest and Chris sang. This year we’re going to do a Ramones cover band.
Exact Change: In DC, the harDCore scene is thriving. Have you noticed anywhere else that has a hardcore scene that stands out while touring?
Nick: Every place is different. It’s got it’s own vibe, I respect that. For me personally, all of California has always been really good, especially Southern California, people just go fucking insane. Also San Jose has been really good to us. Boston has always had a really good representation. Florida, not just to jiggle your balls, but Florida has been sick every time. We started playing This Is For You Fest, that was our introduction to Florida. On a more global level, Berlin... Poland; Warsaw, Vratislav. Paris, London. We're excited to go different places and experience everything. We don't book our tours around "oh, this scene is sick", we just want to cover as much ground as possible. Trying to book a South American tour, we want to go down to Brazil...
Random Guy: Do ya'll got a lighter?
Exact Change: One more question. A lot of people that don’t drink are soda drinkers. Are you a glass bottle soda drinker, if so, do you have a favorite?
Nick: You know, I try not to drink soda in general. I’m more of a food guy than a beverage guy. I’ve always tried to be pretty health conscious, without sounding like a douche. Whenever I go off, I wanna eat like nasty food. I don’t really care about soda, but I am a coffee drinker. We all are, except for Jubert. We’re all different though. James started drinking it in Europe last summer ‘cause he couldn’t poop, he hadn’t pooped in like three days. We were like “Dude, you gotta drink a coffee, it’ll sort you right out.” Ever since he’s been a coffee drinker. Chris has been drinking coffee the longest, he’ll want to stop off in the middle of like, Boca Raton for some bean roasting place and drop $20 on a bag of beans. I’m more of a dude who goes to the grocery store and buy generic pre-ground coffee ‘cause it’s like $3. Tastes like motor oil, that’s what I want. It’s bad that I’m already into that, I feel like when I’m old I’ll just drink straight up melted asphalt.
Exact Change: Last words?
Nick: Thanks for caring and showing interest, having good questions – these were sick questions, for real – most interviews are like “How did you guys start? What do you think about straight edge? What’s it like being from D.C.? Minor Threat was from D.C., how about that?” Yeah, how about it. Thanks man!