Forming in the late 80’s in Santa Cruz, Califronia, $wingin’ Utter$ have been stalwarts of the NorCal punk scene and sound for many years. Signing to Fat Wreck Chords in their early years (1996), the band has been somewhat dormant for the last 6 years or so. Every member has a side-project that, for some time, became their main projects. Johnny “Peebucks” Bonnel, the frontman of the group, also fronts Druglords Of The Avenues. Bonnel, along with guitarist Darius Koski and bassist Spike Slawson have another project called Filthy Thievin’ Bastards, while Slawson is also known as the frontman for Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Drummer Greg McEntee holds down the skins in L.A.-based psychobilly outfit Viva Hate, and Slawson, Koski, and Jack Dalrymple (guitarist) are in the Re-Volts. After these countless side-projects, the band decided it was time to come home again, and recommit themselves to the Utters. I had a chance to speak with Darius Koski, who holds down guitar, vocal, and accordion duties in the band about their new album and tour. Here’s what he had to say…
THRILLCALL: What inspired you guys to get back together and write new material after nearly a decade of no new studio records?
$wingin’ Utter$: Everything just kind of fell into place, and we were all ready to hit the road again, but we did have to actually have discussions about it. We had to make the decision of whether we wanted to be the band that we’d been for the last 6 years or so, which is to say we rarely strayed out of California, didn’t release anything, and rarely toured more than a long weekend. We all decided it was time to be a real band again, I guess.
THRILLCALL: How do you find the time to work with all of your varying side projects and still find the time for the Utters?
$wingin’ Utter$: We’re making time right now. Filthy Thieving Bastards are only playing sporadically right now, but we hope to be in the studio again sometime soon, maybe in the winter. The Gimmes are still as busy as they ever have been, really… and The Re-Volts and Druglords are still going as well. We’re the priority, for the most part.
THRILLCALL: What was the recording process for “Here, Under Protest” like?
$wingin’ Utter$: It was a nightmare. Lots of technical difficulties within the studio, lots of re-takes, etc. etc. etc. I don’t know where to begin, really… and we were in and out of that studio sporadically for over a year. I’m glad it’s over. I’m happy with the finished product, but it really was a fucking nightmare.
THRILLCALL: What can we expect on tour from you guys this time around?
$wingin’ Utter$: Plenty of new stuff, plenty of old stuff…. uh…it’ll be great I promise.
THRILLCALL: How does it feel to be back in the (saddle) utter?
$wingin’ Utter$: I’m really really excited about it, actually, thanks for asking!