1, 2, Get Lewd

I’ve come to help introduce to you a band I’ve had the pleasure of seeing play live twice, and each time being in a different city than the next. The band I’ve come to introduce you to is Lewd Acts.

The first time I caught Lewd Acts live was in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and it was their first time into Canada. They planned the whole tour around coming up to play Winnipeg, which was impressive seeing as they are situated in San Diego, California. The second time I caught them was just north of San Diego, in a city I can’t recall the name of. What I felt was the feeling that tied both experiences together was “fear.” I wouldn’t say I felt the kind of fear you’d have from say catching a Cold As Life show in Detroit few years back, but a more subtle fear. When Lewd Acts takes to the stage, they bring this unpredictability which evokes a certain fear. Standing in the crowd you don’t know if you might get hurt, and not by a kid dancing, but by the band, Tyler their singer specifically. It’s that fear of the unknown, and not knowing what just might happen that drew me into them. It’s not often you can say you saw a band recently that while watching them, you were unsure if you might get hit in the face by the singer’s unstable stage presence.

Once I heard SITC would be hosting a Lewd Acts show here in Toronto, and knowing it being their first time out this way, I figured that they needed a little bit of an introduction. Something to help potential unknowing victims understand what to expect, and to be excited for it. This band is something special and their live show will only help provide that statement with hard proof.

I am pleased to present to you the first in what I hope becomes a regular installment of “10 Questions”, this time with San Diego’s own Lewd Acts.

1. Who are you, and what do you do in Lewd Acts?

Name’s Tyler. I sing. If you want to call it that.

2. What is you favorite “Lewd Act”?

While trying to come up with a clever answer, I asked our drummer this question. He responded, “I don’t really like our band name.”

3. For someone who’s never been to a Lewd Acts show, what should they expect?

Blown ear drums and blood. We try to be as energetic, intense and interesting as we can. I push my body to the limit every show which usually ends up in physical damage done to myself, my band-mates, our gear, or (only in some cases and never intentionally) the crowd.

4. What influences not only you personally, but your music/lyrics?

It’s all autobiographical. Our music and the accompanying lyrics I write are reflections on who we are. Most recently, things have been getting more dynamic. We put out a cassette this March with two new songs, one about listening to records, the other about sharing a drink with a bitter old man at a bar. The songs on our EP with Hour of the Wolf are about; 1) Having a shitty childhood and the expectations of others to lead a “normal” life when you’ve never witnessed what that is. 2) The anomaly that is jealousy. 3) Menstrual oral sex. 4) Living in a city of indifference while being plagued by desire to change.
You can look into it as much or as little as you choose. It’s not all spelled out and I like it that way.

5. What do you feel is more important, “the music” or “the message”?

I’ll give you a little back story:
I got into hardcore through my oldest brother who is 13 years my elder. I always looked up to him and my oldest memories (around the age of 5 or so) include me sitting outside his bedroom, listening to his music. He and my other siblings starting taking me to shows. Finally, in third grade, I purchased my first piece of music: Integrity’s “Those Who Fear Tomorrow” on tape. I listed to it on repeat. All day. Every day. Born and raised Mormon, I had to memorize every time there was an audible curse word, so I could turn down the volume and my parents wouldn’t hear. Memorizing lyrics went had in had with the music then. Considering you could only get records by getting them from the band, or a distro, the amount of music you had was pretty small. At least that was my case.
I think the music acts as a carrier for the message. Me being a writer and not musician, I focus on delivering what I have/want to say. Like I mentioned before, it’s not going to be spelled out and some folks might interpret it different, but that’s just how it goes.

6. If you could create a perfect show, bands past or present, with who would it be?

Ooooooh. Good question. Well…
I tried to write down all these bands and the reasons why I’d like to see them, but it was taking way too long. Plus it was boring, so I’ll just list this giant clusterfuck of a show that would/could/will never happen:

Sheer Terror
The Advantage
Agent Orange
Tom Waits
Pg. 99
Hot Snakes

7. Does touring in a hardcore band keep you positive or negative on hardcore overall?

I tattoo and own a tattoo shop in California that I’ve put my heart and soul into. I sacrifice everything I have every time I hit the road. I’m not bummed that I lose a shitload of money. I’m not bummed that I lose impatient clients. I’m not bummed that my work doesn’t progress as fast as I want it to because I’m driving across county lines instead of drawing. I understand that all of these are inevitable factors in my desire to have this band. I’m bummed on the fact that so few people will ever understand and/or appreciate what we do.
It’s incredibly disheartening when some terrible local band has an infinitely better reaction to their performance.
If I had a nickel for every shitty band that I had to watch… I know that makes me sound like a jaded old man, but it’s true. More often that not, there are some kids who are into hardcore for the year/month/week/day/hour/minute and their untalented hands, feet and mouths play awful and uncreative “music”. While you’re left attempting to do something a little more progressive, it’s painfully obvious that dumbing down and sticking to a formula will always be more accepted.
As much as you don’t want to care about the opinions of others, after driving 14 hours to play a show where no one has any desire to pay attention to anything you do, it gets to you.
Yet, we still do it. As much as we possibly can. I suppose in all of us there’s some positive hope. Plus we love to get drunk and play some jams.

8. What are your expectations/assumptions of Canada for both hardcore and life in general?

I love Canada. My first show in Canada was Scott’s last Comeback kid show. We played along with them and Regret, Cancer Bats and Outbreak. The show was great. (Except for the kid who’s head I split open… sorry!) The kids were so nice and supportive. Since then we’ve played the West coast of Canada and had great times. This is our first time on the East coast and I couldn’t be more excited. We’ll get some ketchup chips, drink some Lebatt Blue and party hard!

9. What can we expect from Lewd Acts in future?

A continuous progression of music, words and art accompanied by a lot of partying.

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

“Don’t worry. We have MD 20/20 here.”

Bonus Question: If you could tattoo anything on anyone, who would it be and what would it be of?

You remember that crazy looking man/woman who plays Mama Fratelli in “The Goonies” and Mama Lift in “Throw Mama from the Train”? I’d tattoo a portrait of her on her. She’s the most unfortunate looking person I’ve ever seen and I’d like to attempt to recreate such ugliness.
But she’s dead. Thank god.


Be sure to check out Lewd Acts July 1st in Toronto at Siesta Nouveaux with Offsides, No Harm Done, U.T.I. & World War I.

Posted by Scott Wade.


2 Responses to “1, 2, Get Lewd”

  1. 1 BenN. June 23, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    Awesome interview. Tyler hit it right on the money by saying kids are unappreciative of bands who drive long hours to play in front of them. Seeing Lewd Acts is an experience, and watching Tyler and the rest of the band exorcise themselves onstage is something not for the faint-hearted. Bring the fear and unpredictability back to hardcore.

  2. 2 Doug June 23, 2008 at 3:25 pm

    Hung out with Lewd Acts for two days here in Austin. I had never met them before, and had only heard a couple of songs, but they are the best group of dudes to eat/steal/swim/drink with.

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