While we'd like to believe that some good things don't have to come to an end, Batter the Drag, one of the most innovative (and snarkiest) Tempe bands in recent years, is calling it quits after releasing its first LP, The Big Sleep, early this year. New Times shared a pitcher of Oatmeal Stout with Chad Martin (drums), Jeff Ruoss (guitar) and Michael Dunford (bass), three-quarters of Batter the Drag, and talked about what happened and what's next.
New Times: Batter the Drag was the first band that Will Anderson decided to sign to his new label Satiated Records, and you guys tell him you're breaking up three days after the CD release party. What happened?
Chad Martin: Basically, Ryan, our singer, quit. He broke up with his girlfriend, he had a shitty job, and wanted a change, so he moved to the East Coast, which sucked. He's bad news, man. (Martin gives a funny look. ) I mean, look, he's not even here for this interview, see what I mean? (Grins. ) No. No, seriously, he just needed a change, and he moved, and that was the end.
Batter the Drag
Clubhouse Music Venue in Tempe.
Scheduled to play its last show on Friday, June 30
Michael Dunford: We're really proud of the CD, and it's a bummer that he had to quit when he did.
Jeff Ruoss: Yeah, he could've told us before we recorded and he would've saved us time and Will's money.
MD: But then we wouldn't have had the album.
CM: Yeah, and that would suck you're so lame, Jeff.
JR: I know, I know.
NT: So how much money did Will lose?
CM: Oh, not much, like $1,500 or something, but that's one reason why we're playing this last show at the Clubhouse [Music Venue], to pay him back. I mean, we're playing the show for the fans. It's for the fans.
NT: So what's next? What are your plans?
JR: I'm basically reinventing myself into an entirely new person.
CM: (Laughs. ) What?
JR: Yeah, my attitude, the way I approach bands and my music. I'm really going to focus on becoming . . . awesome! I'm tired of spending all of my time promoting a band. My goal is to become awesome and have my pure awesomeness lure fans in.
MD: I've been working on my own project called Princess Ladyfriend. I never get a chance to be the front man, so it's fun.
JR: That's because no one gives a shit about bass players.
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MD: Uh, yeah, so I have all of this material I've been basically sitting on. It's like I've had musical blue balls for years.
CM: And now you're busting musical nuts everywhere finally we totally get it.
JR: Personally, I'm excited about doing something new. Maybe I'll move to Kansas City or something, I don't know.
CM: ACME Prints keeps me busy as always. I've been sitting in with this band The Revenge they play real fast, straight-ahead punk, so that's fun. Who knows what the future will bring, but as long as Jeff is a completely different person, I'm sure it will be great.