Wednesday, February 24, 2016

10 Questions with Textbook

Hailing from Chicago, IL and boasting current/former members of Not Rebecca, Noise By Numbers, The Cells, The Bomb, and Dan Vapid and The Cheats (among others), Textbook is releasing a  best-of retrospective covering the band's 15 years of existence titled On The B-Side (Best of 2000 - 2015) March 4th on Paper + Plastick Records.  The band's last full-length All Messed Up was one of the best records of 2014.

This interview was conducted via email with bassist Rick Uncapher February 13 - 20, 2016.

For more information on Textbook check out their official website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TumblrYouTubeBandCamp, SoundCloud, ReverbNation, and PureVolume pages.

Dave:  How did the band get together?

Rick Uncapher:  Dave formed Textbook after his old band Not Rebecca broke up around 1998. The first record “Smoke Em If You Got Em” came out around 2000 so that’s really when the band got going. Since then, there’s been a rotating cast of characters in the band (members of Monster Trux, Oblivion, The Bomb, Venom Lords, etc). This current line-up has had the longest tenure though which is Dave (Not Rebecca) on vox/guitars/songs, Dan Knapik (Venom Lords, Not Rebecca) on guitar/vox/songs, Mark Doyle (Loud Lucy, Woolworthy, The Cells) on drums/vox, and myself (Dan Vapid and The Cheats, Noise By Numbers) on bass.

Dave:  What’s the story behind the name Textbook?

Rick:  I think Dave originally planned on calling the band Textbook Cool but the original members thought it sucked so they ditched the “Cool” part.

Dave:  For those who have never heard the band, how do you describe your music?

Rick:  I usually describe the band as Midwestern pop-punk. It’s short, catchy, 3 chord punk tunes but it’s coming from more of a Replacements/Hüsker Dü/90’s College Rock sensibility than your typical West Coast or Ramones sounding pop-punk.

Dave:  You are releasing a best of collection, On The B-Side (Best of 2000 - 2015), in March on Paper + Plastick Records.  What’s the story behind the release?  How did you get hooked up with Paper + Plastick?

Rick:  I like that Paper and Plastick releases anything from punk to hardcore to more alt-country type stuff, so I sent Vinnie our last record to see what he thought of it. He liked it but it wasn’t good timing for that one. So when we started putting together the songs for “On The B-Side”, I sent it over to him. He liked the songs and offered to put it out as part of his “Sound of the Skull Series” which is a digital release on a USB drive and a limited resin skull. I like idea of digital music sold with a physical art piece so I was excited about the idea, and it's is a great way to celebrate 15 years as a band.

Dave:  Do you have plans to tour in support of the new record? What are some of your favorite places to play?

Rick:  Our favorite place to play is definitely the UK. We’ve been over 3 times and we’ve made a ton of friends over there. Hopefully we can back over at some point.

Dave:  Do you have any specific type of songwriting process?

Rick:  Dave is the main songwriter (although Dan contributes songs too and has a few songs on our upcoming EP) so he usually brings in a song idea and then we hash them out on the practice space. Sometimes they change a lot from the original form and sometimes they don’t need much at all.

Dave:  What are your thoughts on the music scene in Chicago?

Rick:  As far as younger bands go, I’m probably a bit out of the loop, but I like the resurgence of the older classic Chicago punk bands like Naked Raygun, The Bollweevils and 88 Fingers Louie over the last few years.

Dave:  This is a High Fidelity inspired question. What are your top five favorite bands, albums, movies, television programs, books/authors?

1.    Descendents/ALL
2.    Lucero
3.    Get Up Kids
4.    Spinal Tap
5.    Seinfeld

Dave:  What’s next for the band?

Rick:  We’re finishing up a 4 song EP with Matt Allison at Altas that we’re pretty excited about. There are some different sounding songs in this batch. Hopefully we’ll have it out sometime this summer/fall. Otherwise, just the normal stuff – writing, recording, and shows.

Dave:  Any final thoughts?

Rick:  Thank you!

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