Few bands would seem better suited to headline Kung Fu Necktie – Philly’s Mecca of proto-punk – than San Diego garage-soul trio The Schizophonics, whose primary influences would seem to be MC5, The Stooges, and The Cramps. The band – who have been kicking out their jams since 2009 and whose live shows have earned them the title of “The wildest band in America” by Spotify For Artists – released their fourth LP, Hoof It, this September, and this Thursday they will be taking headlining duties at KFN, alongside local support from The Blessed Muthas and Civil Rats. I recently got a chance to chat with singer/guitarist Pat Beers and drummer Lety Beers about their latest album, what they’ve been listening to in 2022, and what you can expect of them Thursday evening.
Izzy Cihak: You recently released Hoof It. How do you feel like the album compares to previous releases, both in terms of sound and just the process of writing and recording it?
Pat Beers: It’s not a huge departure in terms of sound, though I’m glad my lyrics aren’t as preachy on this record. We wrote and recorded the whole thing in a very short period of time during COVID times, so we never played any of it live beforehand. Now that we are playing the songs on tour they’re changing quite a bit live, so it’s interesting having an album where all the songs are really fresh.
Izzy: Have you had any favorite reactions to it so far?
Lety Beers: Our favorite reactions have been from our friends that have been with us through all of our releases. We always strive to capture the energy of the live show and some of our close friends have given Hoof It the approval.
Izzy: You recently released “Creature” as a single. How did that particular track come about?
Pat: I wanted to write a Halloween themed record and wrote a few songs and never finished it, but this was one of them. Lety has always called me creature because I’m a such a weird, Gollum-like guy.
Izzy: You’ve already done a lot of touring this year. What have been some of the highlights of that?
Lety: We had a great time touring with Cardiel in August. Killer skater-punk band from Mexico City. They were so rad so play with every night! Also, we got to make our return to Europe last summer. It’s crazy to think that we just got to tour our album from 2019 this past summer.
Izzy: You’ve actually done a lot of touring in general over the years. Do you have any significant touring rituals or things that you especially like to try to do when you’re on the road?
Lety: We like to take advantage of traveling to so many spots and try to see the sights whenever possible. We got to see Niagara Falls for the first time earlier this year as well as hit up some museums while we were in Europe. Our favorite thing is meeting new bands and expanding the music family. Makes it extra special next time we come through somewhere when we are extra stoked to see our pals.
Izzy: What can be expected of the live show when you play Kung Fu Necktie in the very near future? It has earned quite an impressive reputation.
Lety: We go into every show with the same goal. We want to turn up the energy and hope it’s contagious to the people who come see us.
Izzy: You also seem to play a lot of different types of spaces. Do you have a particular favorite type of venue, or one that you think is most conducive to your sound and performance style?
Pat: The template of the perfect venue for me is The Casbah in San Diego. It fits about 300 people, and people like going there. The sound is great and the staff are wonderful. There’s also a certain magic to that place that you can’t really explain. Every so often we’ll play somewhere and I’ll think, “Oh, this is one of those magic venues,” like years of good shows have imprinted into the walls.
Izzy: Since the year is coming to an end, I’m curious if you’ve had any favorite music of 2022? Anything that especially impressed you or that you’ve had in heavy rotation?
Lety: As mentioned earlier, Cardiel is a new favorite. We recently played with The Courettes in Europe. They’re like if Phil Spector produced a garage band. Their songs are so catchy and their live show is great. Don’t skip the chance to them! Oh, and my new favorite band from Australia, The Chats. I can’t get enough of them. They’re so funny, they don’t take themselves too seriously, they just wanna rip it up and have fun. I love that attitude!
Izzy: Finally, what are you hoping and planning for 2023 so far? Anything you’re especially excited about?
Pat and Letty: We’re in the works of getting back to New Zealand and Australia early 2023. That’s where we were when things shut down in 2020, so excited to go back after all this time.
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