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Samiam, Off With Their Heads

Samiam

Off With Their Heads

Kali Masi

Wed · May 15, 2019

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

$20.00 - $23.00

This event is all ages

Samiam
Samiam
Samiam is a band from Berkeley, California formed in late 1988 after the breakup of the Gilman Street club mainstay Isocracy. Their first show was an unlikely pairing in January 1989 with peace punks Christ on Parade that illustrated. The band has released over a half dozen independent records through New Red Archives, No Idea and Hopeless Records in the US and Burning Heart/ Epitaph in Europe. In the mid-90s, the band had two releases on a major labels, Atlantic Records in 1994 and Ignition/Tommy Boy in 1997. This path achieved modest mainstream success; a video for Capsized gained a lot of airplay on MTV, they performed on the Jon Stewart Show in 1994 and the single, "She Found You" garnered considerable radio play in 1998. The band toured extensively throughout Europe, North & South America, Australia and Japan with the likes of Bad Religion, Green Day, The Toadies, Sense Field, Blink 182 and Millencolin.

After 11 years of relentless recording and touring, the band quietly went on hiatus after supporting the "Astray' album in late 2000. Despite what was initially to be a break up, they continued to tour abroad yearly (Europe, South America) with occasional shows in america. This lead to the recording of the bands 7th album, "Whatever's Got You Down" in 2006. Must more touring, mostly abroad, followed.

The band next released a rarities collection called "Orphan Works" in September 2010 on No Idea Records that contains 18 tracks from the major label 'Clumsy' and 'You Are Freaking Me Out' era performances.

In the end of 2011, they released a new album, their 8th, entitled, "Trips". Of course, they supported this endeavor with several more european tours and surprisingly the band finally got in the van domestically for a couple 2-3 week jaunts with Walter Schriefels of Quicksand and Less Than Jake respectively. Side One Dummy released an live ep as part of their 'Complete Control' series in 2012.

2013 was a relatively quiet year for the band, aside from an appearance at the famed european festival Groezrock (during their 20th european tour!). This fall they will debut a new rhythm section featuring Chad Darby from the Ship Theives and Sean Powell from Fuckemos, who will bring the thunder this halloween for the band's 3rd appearance at the preeminent punk festival, aptly named 'The Fest' in florida. Woot!
Off With Their Heads
Off With Their Heads
The phrase "punk" gets thrown around a lot these days but for over a decade Off With Their Heads has eschewed trends and embodied that ethic with every ounce of their being. Having put out numerous releases and toured the country dozens of times the band are about to release Home, their best-sounding album to date which takes the group's sound to the next level without sacrificing the palpable passion that's made them underground favorites.

Off With Their Heads is the project of Minneapolis native Ryan Young and on Home he's joined by drummer Justin Francis and bassist Robbie Swartwood, the latter of whom has been playing with the group for nearly five years. "It's hard to bring people into a full-time touring punk band because you have to be a musician not someone who is doing this for a hobby," Young admits. "An actual musician is the type of person who does this because it's what they do. Money is always nice but you have to expect nothing and still play like you care."

For their second release on Epitaph the band teamed up with one of Young's heroes, Descendents' drummer Bill Stevenson who produced the album at the Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado—and the result is an album that captures the raw passion of Off With Their Heads' live shows without obscuring any of the instrumentation with a slick, studio sheen. "It was really important that this record didn't sound too polished so once we agreed on a general sound of the record it was great," Young explains. "It's definitely the best-sounding record that we've done."

Home is also the strongest collection of Off With Their Heads' songs to date and certainly the most diverse. From the instantly catchy sing-alongs of "Shirts" to straight-ahead, Ramones-influenced ragers like "Seek Advise Elsewhere" and stripped-down ballads like "Don't' Make Me Go," Home shows how much the band have grown sonically since their last release, a development that is no doubt due to the fact that the band have spent so much time on the road touring with everyone from Municipal Waste to Kind Of Like Spitting in everything from massive theaters to basements.

If there's a lyrical theme on Home, it's personal experiences whether that ranges from struggles with identity ("I don't feel like me, whatever that's supposed to be" from "Shirts") to tales from the road. However as you might expect it all comes back to the fact that for a full-time touring punk rocker the word "home" has a very unique connotation. "I think I used to take for granted the simple notion of having an apartment in Minneapolis," Young explains. "The album is about the bad feelings associated with being at home, why people leave home, and how important it is to have a good one."

Over the course of these twelve songs Young expresses that sentiment in different ways and the content on the disc explores everything from being oppressed because of one's sexuality ("Focus on Your Own Family") in addition to more personal writing that exposes Young's own misgivings about the Catholic church and the impact it's had on his family life ("Altar Boy"). Then there's a song like "Don't Make Me Go" which guest vocalist Tony Kovacs from Shot Baker summarized telling the band, "OWTH has a story and this explains a lot." Listening to the impassioned track, it's evident why this is true.

Having toured with everyone from Bad Religion to the Dropkick Murphys, Young has learned that in order for him to maintain his ethics he tells his bandmates that "playing a show in front of 6,000 people is no different than playing a house show" and you can tell by the group's countless live performances that this isn't just lip service. "I'm proud that I have pretty much maintained my core beliefs over the years," he explains. "Opening for my heroes is cool but that's their crowd and I have always been about carving my own part through all of this."

Despite the fact that Off With Their Heads have performed everywhere from Jacksonville to Japan over the past decade, it's clear that even if OWTH never left Minneapolis they would be doing the exact same thing just as passionately. "Everything involved with this band has become larger and more successful than I could have hoped for," Young admits, citing signing to Epitaph as one of these milestones. "The only goals I have for myself and OWTH is to continue to make music that I care about, try to push myself physically and musically and continue to be able to do what I love for a living."
Kali Masi
Kali Masi is a punk rock band from the Midwest. They've been heavily touring and self-promoting for the last 6 years; steadily evolving the angular, emotive, and urgent sound found on their 2017 LP 'WIND INSTRUMENT' (Take This To Heart Records).
Venue Information:
Chop Shop.
2033 W. North Ave
Chicago, IL, 60647
http://www.1stwardevents.com