When Emily Whitehurst, Matt McKenzie, Jake Krohn and Jaycen Mckissick left the ruins of their old bands, Tsunami Bomb, The Rum Diary and Pipedown, respectively, they created something unlike any of their previous endeavors. While their previous creative outlets would have been happy catering to the leather jacket and mohawk-clad masses by picking some palm-muted power chords in front of a straightforward 4/4 drum beat, The Action Design would prefer to take the whole punk rock formula out for a few drinks and a night on the town just to loosen things up a bit.
Whitehurst’s vocals carry soaring chorus where there might’ve previously been chants. Electronic beats and synthesizers stand in place of the formulaic drumming common to many punk bands. McKissick’s effects board would make The Edge proud and more than a little envious. The band has still kept some of the ethos from the punk scene that was so good to them, including a DIY release of their latest 7″ and a fist in the face of common hygiene. Indeed, the band members might be sweaty and sticky from sleeping in the bunks of their beloved van, but they’re not complaining. They’re just happy to be here.
How has the tour been going?
Emily: It’s been awesome. The 7″ just came out and so a lot of our fans have been coming to the show to get the 7″ and yeah it’s been super awesome. Really hot though. Our van has bunks in it so we sleep in the van at night and it’s been so hot. We don’t leave it running or anything with AC so it’s just been.
Do you crack the windows at least?
Emily: Yeah, we crack the windows and there are a few little fans in there but you’re in a bunk so you’re just like so hot and gross.
|The Action Design at Mohawk|
How was the San Antonio morning show you guys did?
Emily: Well, I woke up at about a quarter to 5.
Sheesh! The show in Austin the night before lasted until about 1.
Emily: I know. We didn’t get to San Antonio until about 3. And then we got up at 4:45 because we had to be ready when we got there. We had to be ready even though we didn’t perform until 8:40 so we got there at about 6 and just hung out in the newsroom and sound checked like 15 times. Because the way that it worked, was that we could only sound check when the news was on commercial. I guess there were only like one-minute commercials so we would sound check part of a song and then they would be like “Stop! Stop!” It was really weird.
I’m from San Antonio and it seems like it’s mostly a metal and punk city. Did Action Design get a pretty good turn out?
Emily: It wasn’t massive for sure. We have a few friends there, so they were at the show.
You guys went really DIY with the Desperation 7″. You guys hand-screened them and you personally wrote on the back of each one. What was the thought behind that?
|Photos taken July 20, 2010|
Emily: I think there are a lot of good reasons to do something like that. First of all, we knew it was going to be a limited run of 500 copies. We figured, why not make it that much cooler? It’s so much cooler to have a limited edition 7″ that’s been hand-done by the band rather than something that’s just been printed out at a printer. So there’s that. There’s definitely the direct connection with the fans. We try to think of ways to connect with fans as often as possible.
You kind of mentioned this a minute ago but you guys seem to be all about that direct interaction with fans and one way you’re doing it is with your Internet webisode series. How did that all come about?
Emily: Yeah, it’s called Ten Feet of Show. We knew at a certain point after our last full U.S. tour that we would be off for a while and we knew that we had to keep some sort of connection with people even though we’re not on the road and so we figured that would be a good way to do that. And also it’s a cool way to get our overseas fans involved. We do have some fans who are from other countries that we have never toured and they want to interact as well but haven’t been able to in person.
Are you guys working on any new material?
Emily: Yeah we’re just kind of seeing what’s going to happen and planning on kind of gradually releasing some more songs.
How is the new stuff shaping up compared to Into A Sound?
Emily: I don’t know. Our M.O. is just to write what we like so if we’re all liking the same kind of stuff that we were when we were writing previously, it will have the same sort of feel.