Interview: Culture Abuse
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San Franciscans, Culture Abuse, are a hard band to label and put in a box. Their fusion of hardcore punk, grunge and slacker indie with a sprinkling of pop sensibility is earning extensive attention and their latest music is already being hyped as incredible. The band has overcome challenging odds to make it this far. Last album Peach an inspiring underground hit, which has seen them sign to legendary punk label Epitaph records for their sophomore record which has so far produced the brilliant single ‘So Busted’. Fronted by David Kelling, who suffers from Celebral Palsy, they are band with a unique story to tell and different outlook on life. Kelling spoke to us to give us a little insight into the enigmatic attributes of the band and the positive effect working in music has had on his life. The band’s genesis was a very organic one. The line-up is completed by guitarists Nick Bruder and John McCarthy (June Bug), bassist Shane Plitt, and drummer Evan Pierce. According to Kelling the creation of the band was a tale of ‘who can play what’. Following a tour with band Dead To Me, their drummer Pierce, who was aware of Kelling’s skilled composing asked if he would like to form a band. Their collaboration was soon joined by other friends who ‘sort-of fit’ and there you go – Culture Abuse came to life. Their solid foundations mean they now work like a musical family - caring and motivated about their productions. Without Evan Pierce’s first move, we may not have heard from Kelling for a while or at all. Kelling’s condition affects the right side of his body which has inhibited his musical ability. However, the belief of his band has encouraged and aided his growth into a fully confident player with much-increased skill. Maybe his teenage dreams are coming true? “I just wanted to be in The Beatles” he explained. This increased confidence is evident in their more recent music, with more intricate guitar lines and soaring pop melodies making their way into the unrelenting punk fervour with exceptional results. Not that his condition doesn’t still present challenges in a world where audiences expect certain things from lead singers. “For the most part lead singers are attractive and command attention. There was never one who I was like oh that guy also has cerebral palsy. I always watched the bands where the lead singer was jumping off the speakers into the crowd and I can’t do that. Growing up with it is weird because there is no example of how I am supposed to do anything.” “I grew up watching Iggy Pop strutting around, walking all cool, and I struggle to walk. It’s crazy because there are videos up now and I’ve watched them and gone fuck I don’t look like Iggy Pop. There have been a couple of times that people have made me feel bad for it but most people are chill.”
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