The World/Inferno Friendship Society Interview
The World/Inferno Friendship Society are a gang of dangerous loonies who like to break things, and who have been making beautiful, orchestral punk rock records since 1997! They originally signed with the eerily prescient NJ Hardcore label Gern Blandsten with whom they released 2 albums: The True Story of The Bridgewater Astral League (1997), Just The Best Party (2002) and a gang of singles which were compiled on East Coast Super Sound Punk of Today! (2000). They have toured incessantly for the last 15 years, prompting one NPR spokesman to comment that the amount of jobs they have been fired from to go on the road would be “enough to save the present economy.”
The World/Inferno Friendship Society consist of 7 to 13 life-long members who enthusiastically delight in encouraging all who identify as youth, both young and old, to change the system. They come armed with cascading piano, ace saxophones, several drummers, snarling guitars, low B bass, and whomever else gets in the bus. The World/Inferno Friendship Society is fronted by an undead Sherlock Holmes, who had his exploits profiled in the NY Times Arts Section for the multi-media stage version of the group’s last record “Addicted to Bad Ideas.”
The industrious and attractive World/Inferno joined Chunksaah Records‘ (Bouncing Souls, The Loved Ones, The Measure S.A., AOD) roster with their 2005 watershed “Red Eyed Soul” which was produced by NYC legend Don Fury at his Cyclone Studios in Coney Island, as was the aforementioned Addicted to Bad Ideas.
On their new release The Anarchy and The Ecstasy Inferno hope to make you dance, laugh and cry – often in the same song with an amalgamation of dozens of traditional and non-traditional musical elements. We recently caught up the crew and front-man Jack Terricloth for an exclusive interview as the band was passing through Nashville and having a gulp at the bar.
Joshua BTS: Ahoy! Thank you for stopping by Blow The Scene today and answering a few questions for our readers throughout the World. Let’s begin by having you introduce yourself and declare your onstage weapon of choice with your gang of dangerous loonies who like to break things and create beautiful, orchestral punk rock, known as The World/Inferno Friendship Society.
Jack Terricloth: Thanks man, always nice to make a new friend. My name is Jack Terricloth and i stand around and point, occasionally hold an instrument under duress but mostly pontificate. Other World/Inferno members who are currently sitting in a Nashville bar with me include: Bassist/vocalist Sandra Malak, Pianist Matt Landis, drummertrix Mora Precarious, saxophonist Lelslie Whacker, Violinist Rebbecca Schlappich and guitarist Francis Morin.
Joshua BTS: The World/Inferno Friendship Society has been touring heavily for 15+ years and your onstage antics are as well-recognized as your music. What approach do you take with your live shows that have caused such a stir with your plethora of underground followers?
Jack Terricloth: Completely unchecked by personal health, financial well being, or thought to the future, Wild Abandon.
Joshua BTS: Haha nice. On your new release The Anarchy and The Ecstasy, you throw everything but the kitchen sink at the listener, combining elements of a full horn section, baby grand piano, punk guitar, 5 string bass and dueling male and female vocals, to name a few angles. What does the writing and arranging process look like? Is there a captain of the ship directing the action or does everyone have a say?
Jack Terricloth: The ship has a rudder, but no captain- we are a pirate collective.
Joshua BTS: Good form. What are some of the lyrical themes fans will find within new record?
Jack Terricloth: The theme to this record is the moment when you released that Emilio Estevez was not the hero of Repo Man, that Harry Dean Stanton is.
Joshua BTS: Can you give us the skinny on the new record? Where, when, and whom did your record with?
Jack Terricloth: We recorded at home in Brooklyn at the popular Vibromonk Studios with Dan Shatzky at the helm. It is also where we recorded Just The Best Party all those years ago.
Joshua BTS: The key players in The World/Inferno Friendship Society are loosely based out of Brooklyn NY if I am not mistaken. Seems fitting for such an amalgamation of unique talents. When you are not rockin’ out with band, what can we find you doing in Brooklyn? What do your day-to-day lives look like when you are not busy creating or performing?
Jack Terricloth: Bar tenders, vegan chefs, homeless waifs, living in our cars or squatting a boat.
Joshua BTS: Any activists or grassroots organizations that have your support in NYC or on a national or global level?
Jack Terricloth: We’ve all done time at independent venue ABCNORIO at one point or another, Sandra is a big PETA fan though I think they pronounce their name wrong, Francis is a bartender which means he is a full time friend to the friendless and we all actively support The Hobo Cemetery Sleeping Club.
Jack Terricloth: Free Food. We also enjoy cafe blossom, it’s in Manhattan though 466 Columbus ave up by The Natural.
Joshua BTS: Any up-and-coming artists in Brooklyn you are stoked on at the moment?
Jack Terricloth: I don’t really listen to contemporary music but i was sad to hear that The Measure S.A. broke up.
Joshua BTS: We love to hear about odd-touring habits and crazy tour stories! Who amongst you has the oddest road habits? Whether skitchin’ on the back bumper or shattin’ out of vans, we love the nitty gritty!
Jack Terricloth: Well, Francis continues to insist on being Canadian, Leslie can’t resist men who blow fire, Sandra likes to get in fist fights, Rebbecca never blinks (i mean really, her eyes), Landis is obessed with home surgery, Mora is into moving people cars around the parking lot during the opening acts, I can’t say “No” to anything-never; it’s getting to be a problem.
Joshua BTS: Most memorable live experience as of late?
Jack Terricloth: Well you know i love to on the road. We had a day off in New Orleans where our original saxophonist owns a restaurant Sugar Park 3054 st. Claude ave, enjoyed skinny dipping in the bayou and the company of Circus folk.
Joshua BTS: Where is the best place online for your fans to keep up with your current and future endeavors?
Jack Terricloth: Just google our name incessantly.
Joshua BTS: Any final thoughts or shout-outs?
Jack Terricloth: Sure- The future is unwritten and good, the kids are alright, adventure is proven to release anti-oxidants into your blood which halts aging and promotes clear skin, there are friends of yours thinking about you in far away places, love is real and never forget the struggle, never forget the streets.
More info at Worldinferno.com
Top Photo by Konstantin Sergeyev
Group Photo by Rose Callahan.
The World Inferno Friendship Society / Ottobar 3-26-11
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