We started in 2008, released a 10” EP on Chunksaah Records in 2010, and just recently released a self-titled full length album on Panic State Records this October. We’ve had a few lineup changes over the years, but we’re still at it!
2.Recently you have released an album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
This record has a much more solid sound than our previous recordings, as some our older stuff was a sort of going in a couple different directions musically. I’d hate to use the term “straight-forward” because it definitely is not that, but this record is really solid as a whole. It is much darker and much heavier I’d say, and I really see it as a much better representation of The Great Explainer.
3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects the band explores with the music?
This is one area we try to remain cryptic, but the subjects/topics of our songs are largely about battles between personal experiences vs interpersonal thoughts. Basically contemplating existence, the true meaning of things, and the ways we view life/existence/whatever. It comes through more obviously in some songs, and less so in others, and we try to not elaborate too much to allow people to sort of get whatever they want out of the lyrics. (Basically things you think about when you’re on LSD…)
4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'The Great Explainer'?
Pretty simple, it comes from a Thoreau quote, “Being is the great explainer”. Our former guitarist, Matt, came up with the name.
5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played so far and also how would you describe your stage performance?
We have played some really awesome shows, but I think the best were with the Bouncing Souls. We played a few with them and Defiance, Ohio that were awesome, and we played Home for the Holidays with them and Anti-Flag. Those were by far the best shows we’ve played, all of those guys are beyond awesome and fun to hang out with.
As far as stage performance, we really try to play as tight and loud as we can, and we usually do. Stage presence is another story… we’re some anti-social weirdos and that probably is apparent when watching us.
6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the future?
We have a bunch of shows this week (end of November) with Astpai from Austria, after that nothing official, though now that our lineup is once again solidified, we’re going to start booking some short weekend/week tours to get back out there, and we’ll see where it goes from there! Keep your eyes peeled.
7.The new album was released on Panic State Records, can you tell us a little bit more about the label?
Sure! It’s mainly run by our now good friend Bean. He’s put out a lot of cool records- Astpai/Flatliner split andThe Moms EP being our favorites-, and he gives a lot of the money the label makes back to charities, which is really cool. They provided us a lot of support and guidance, and we couldn’t be more thankful to the whole Panic State crew!!
8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of punk/
Seems pretty well received, though we get a lot of the same comparisons (Hot Water Music, Small Brown Bike), which is nice but I think we differ from those bands in many ways, so it would be cool to see some other stuff come up in reviews. We have gotten some reviews in site/magazines in South America and Europe, which is exciting.
9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
Following our current musical “trajectory” I see us basically getting heavier, darker, and louder possibly to the point where we are less of a punk band.. if I dare to say that.
10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
I can say for sure that Sean (our lead singer and main songwriter) and myself listen to a lot of Floor and Fugazi. Personally I also really love Envy and Pelican, and recently I’ve been listening to a lot of Marked Men, old 90’s/00’s screamo, and jazz. Sean has been listening to Adele recently, no lie. So our musical tastes are all over the place, and I’m sure I skipped a lot, too.
11.What are some of your non musical interests?
For me- I play ice hockey and work at a food co-op in Philadelphia. I also collect records, listen to a lot of music, and play in some other bands. That probably sums up my lame life… as for the rest of the band- they’re all over the place.
12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
Nope! Thanks for asking some interesting questions, we get some really lame interview topics sometimes.