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Interview: The Schizophonics New Zealand Tour

Interview: The Schizophonics New Zealand Tour

Interview by John Baker / Thursday 9th May, 2019 11:39AM

San Diego's The Schizophonics are bringing their famously explosive live show to Aotearoa for the first time ever, set to decimate stages across the nation with their untamed riffage in late May and early June. The husband and wife team of Pat and Lety Beers (that's their real name) first debuted their incendiary brand of rock action in 2009, and finally unleashed their debut album Land Of The Living in 2017 via Sympathy For The Record Industry. Auckland's John Baker got on the blower with Pat Beers for the lowdown on where all that energy comes from, their love of Christchurch 60s garage-punk legends Chants R&B, what kind of stage antics we can look forward to, and more...

UPDATE 19/12/19: The Schizophonics are returning to Aotearoa for even more explosive shows in February and March, including an appearance at the Obey The Riff festival...

Undertheradar is thrilled to present...

The Schizophonics NZ tour February / March 2020

Friday 21st February 2020 - Leigh at Leigh Saw Mill*
Saturday 22nd February 2020 - Not Woodcock festival, Tauranga
Sunday 23rd February 2020 - location to be announced
Monday 24th February 2020 - Valhalla, Wellington*
Tuesday 25th February 2020 - Mussell Inn, Takaka*
Wednesday 26th February 2020 - The Plant, Blenheim*  
Thursday 27th February 2020 - Space Academy, Christchurch*
Friday 28th February 2020 - The Cook, Dunedin*
 Saturday 29th February 2020 - The Yot Club, Raglan
Sunday 1st March 2020 - The Whangarei Club, Whangarei*
Wednesday 4th March 2020 - Neck Of The Woods, Auckland*
Friday 6th March 2020 - Paisley Stage, Napier*
Saturday 7th March 2020 - Obey The Riff festival, Upper Hutt~

Early bird tickets available HERE via UTR
Obey The Riff tickets available HERE via UTR (ticket + return bus fare options available)~

Undertheradar proudly presents...

The Schizophonics 2019

Thursday 23rd May 2019 - Whammy Bar, Auckland* (new show) supports to be announced
Friday 24th May 2019 - Whammy Bar, Auckland w/ Echo Ohs, The New Telepathics*
Saturday 25th May 2019 - The Yot Club, Raglan*
Sunday 26th May 2019 - under The Tauranga Harbour Bridge, Tauranga (2pm, free event)
Wednesday 29th May 2019 - Space Academy, Christchurch
Thursday 30th May 2019 - Lucky Bar, Whanganui*
Friday 31st May 2019 - Caroline, Wellington
Saturday 1st June 2019 - Common Room, Hastings*
Sunday 2nd June 2019 - Smash Palace, Gisborne*

John Baker: Hello Pat – how's it going – where are you right now and what are you doing?

Pat Beers: It’s going well, thank you. I’m having lunch at home in San Diego with my dog, Beanie, who is gazing longingly at my food.

Can you give us a 101 on The Schizophonics for the South Pacific? What makes you guys tick tock?

We’re heavily influenced by high-energy performers like the MC5, the Stooges, Little Richard and Jimi Hendrix. While I’m not comparing ourselves to those greats, we try to keep our show in the spirit some of the wilder acts that have inspired us so much.

From what we've seen on YouTube – the live show has you as a frantic front man – there's the obvious part James Brown, part Rob Tyner, then part whirling dervish with a guitar – have you always performed like this? it seems like you deliver "the show".

I’ve been freaking out and moving on stage since I started playing in bands as a kid. Over time it’s gradually changed and I’ve added new things, but it’s the same energy I’ve always had when reacting to rock and roll.

...and do you use a plectrum at all ? It looks like you don't – you must have tough fingers?

I stopped using one a few years ago, and I feel like it’s given me more freedom on guitar. The first few tours without it were hell on my right hand, but now it’s super calloused. Lety thinks my hands look gross, which they do, but they don’t hurt anymore.

Your album Land Of The Living has a crunchy sound for sure – is it all in mono?

Yeah, it was mixed on a mono tape machine that was originally from the studio Sunset Sound in LA in the mid-1960’s. We pushed it pretty far into the red on that one.

How are the knees? Do you ever injure yourself?

My knees are fine, thankfully, but I’ve had my share of injuries over the years, and the one thing I’ve learned is to not worry about it, because most times, an injury that initially feels tour-ending will actually heal in a day or so.

From what I see on the inner net - you seem to be playing a lot of shows in France – any particular reason? It always strikes me that the French never forgot rock and roll.

There is very passionate audience for rock and roll in France, and it’s one of my favourite places to play. We were lucky enough to perform a whole live set on a national TV show called Album De La Semaine, and I think that helped get our music out to a wider group of people over there.

I hear you are a fan of Christchurch wild R&B legends Chants R&B? How did you find out about them?

YES! I’ve probably listened to the Chants R&B LP more than any other record I own. I got into them through Mike Stax at Ugly Things Magazine. They sound like a combination of the MC5 and the Pretty Things, and if you haven’t heard them, check out their version of “One Two Brown Eyes” and have your mind melted.

And you're also connected to the greatest music magazine on the planet Ugly Things – tell us about that connection?

Mike Stax has been a good friend and collaborator on different music projects, and for a while I helped him with Ugly Things magazine, doing layout and shipping. He’s one of my artistic heroes and one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet.

Are the kids digging rock and roll at the moment?

It’s hard to tell. Rock and roll hasn’t really captivated the mainstream since the early 2000’s, but at the same time, the “mainstream” is no longer how people discover new music. A decade later rock and roll came back as the Oh Sees / Ty Segal garage /dance / trance type thing, but this time it had more of an underground following, probably because of the collapse of the music industry. I think there will always be young people seeking out rock and roll because of it’s energy and vitality. John Reis said something like “rock and roll cannot die, it can only live!”. That’s all it does is live. With the way the world is right now, I think it’s high time for another version of rock and roll to rear it’s ugly head, and the kids definitely have plenty to shout about.

If they are, they seem uniquely dressed...

Haha, yes! Hopefully the next wave of rock and roll will do away with the tank tops.

When I first heard your name was Beers – I must confess I thought it was a stage name – but I've been told it isn't - where does the name come from?

Most likely it’s Irish. I come across another Beers every now and then.

I also imagine with a multi-syllabic band name – you must have had some 'different' spellings of the names used around the world – any in particualr that standout – we promise we will always call you The Schizophonics.

Early on we thought it’d be more phonetic if it was spelled “SchiTzophonics” with a “T”, but then we realized that could be pronounced “SHITzophonics”, so we stuck with what we have now. I’ve never been fond of our band name, but I also don’t think band names are very important, so we’ve kept it.

The Schizophonics are playing throughout Aotearoa in May and June – nab your tickets while you can HERE via UTR.


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Fri 21st Feb
Leigh Sawmill, Auckland
Mon 24th Feb
Valhalla, Wellington
Tue 25th Feb
Mussel Inn, Takaka
Wed 26th Feb
The Plant, Blenheim
Thu 27th Feb
Space Academy, Christchurch
Fri 28th Feb
The Cook, Dunedin
Sat 29th Feb
The Yot Club, Raglan
Sun 1st Mar
Whangarei Club, Whangarei
Wed 4th Mar
Neck of the Woods, Auckland
Fri 6th Mar
Paisley Stage, Napier
Sat 7th Mar
Panhead Brewery, Upper Hutt

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