Monday, June 23, 2014

Old Man Markley

Everything has to grow up at some point, even punk rock. The evolution of punk rock has taken many paths, some good and some very bad. Old Man Markley is one of those bands that found a way to mix punk rock with bluegrass and make it sound oh so sweet.

Old Man Markley is a 7 piece band from L.A. that is part of the Fat Wreck Chords music family. They have been playing together since 2007 and recently topped the Bluegrass charts with their latest album Down Side Up, which was recorded with none other than Fat Mike himself. They have toured with everyone from NOFX to No Use For A Name and were even part of the Tony Sly tribute album.

They are playing the Magic Stick in Detroit this Thursday, June 26th with Jeremy Porter & The Tucos, Fishgutzzz & His Ignorant Band (of The Goddamn Gallows) and Zander Michigan. We think that it's going to be a killer show, so we took the opportunity to talk to the bands drummer Jeffery Fuller to learn more about them before the show. Not only did he give some great answers, but the band sent us a gift to give away with a set of tickets to the show, which were given to us by Black Iris Booking. Check out what he had to say and keep reading to find out how to win.

HID - Your latest album Down Side Up was recorded by none other than Fat Mike, owner of Fat Wreck Chords. Can you tell us a little bit about working with him to make this album?
Jeff Fuller - "Yes, Fat Mike did co-produce the album. We love working with him and were open to his suggestions. Let's put it this way: he's been writing songs for longer than a lot of us have been alive, so he knows a thing or two about lyrics and song structure."

HID - What was your reaction when you found out that the new album debuted at number one on the Billboard Bluegrass charts?
Jeff Fuller - "We were stunned! We heard about it a few hours before our gig with the Dropkick Murphys in New York City. Our first record placed at #8, and we were hoping Down Side Up would end up somewhere close to that. But #1, we never thought that!"

HID - I just watched a video from one of the shows in Japan, the crowd was going crazy. Can you tell us a little bit about what it was like touring Japan, Europe, and Canada?
Jeff Fuller - "Japan was amazing! The fans are so friendly and stoked that an American band has come to their country. Between songs, they are so quiet, wanting to hear what we are saying over the mic. This is the exact opposite of most other countries.
Europe is a lot of fun and not as hard to get around as most people think. Almost everyone speaks English, especially the younger generation. It's kind of weird traveling in Europe because you can drive a short distance and be in another country with a different language and customs. It's something Americans are not used to.
Canada is easy because it's basically like touring America: a lot of long scenic drives and English as a primarily language. Eh?"

HID - Punk and Bluegrass are two genres of music that do not usually blend together, how were you able to make this work so well?
Jeff Fuller - "I think it's because half of the band comes from a primarily punk music background and the other half comes from a primarily country/folk/bluegrass background. We listen to all styles of music, though. Having drums in a bluegrass band seems to make people think we sound more punk rock, and maybe that's true. Or it's punk of us to put drums in a bluegrass band, or punk of us to put banjo or fiddle or autoharp, etc. in a punk band. You can look at it either way. We have a punk mentality for sure, and a lot of our lyrics show that. If the listeners want to say we are this or that, then that's fine, we understand. Just close your eyes and listen to the music. Do like it or not? At the end of the day, we just try to write good music."

HID - Have you ever played Detroit before? If so what do you remember from your last visit? If not what are you expecting?
Jeff Fuller - "We played the Fillmore in Detroit in late 2011 when we were on tour with NOFX. I love playing those old theaters! I remember that stage being huge. That's about all we got to see in Detroit, the inside of the venue, which is very typical for any city we play. Hopefully we will have more time to walk the city this go-around. And hopefully Detroit will come out in full force to show their love for our music!"

HID - You contributed a song to the Tony Sly tribute album that Fat Wreck Chords put out last year. How did you become involved with that project?
Jeff Fuller - "Fat Mike asked us and of course we said yes! In early 2012, we did a tour with NOFX, Lagwagon and No Use For A Name. We got to know Tony and the band really well on that tour. We've done our fair share of covering punk rock bands in the past that (Fat) Mike knew we would add a unique sound to the compilation. "Feel Good Song Of The Year" is one of our favorite songs to play live. All the proceeds for the album go to the Sly family, so get out there and buy one, or five."

HID - What is your go to fast food stop when you are on tour?
Jeff Fuller - "Whole Foods. We are probably the healthiest band on the road. We try to hit every Whole Foods in each city we play in, so if you work there, watch out."

HID - Annie and Katie are always rocking the best cowboy boots, I have always wanted a pair. Any advice on where to find bad ass ones like theirs?
Jeff Fuller - "Ebay!"

HID- Anything else that you would like our readers to know?
Jeff Fuller - "We hope that the last time we played Detroit had enough effect on people that they are excited we are coming back to the Motor City. I mean, who doesn't want to build a car while listening to our music?"

If you would like to see the band for free and get a copy of the the bands 7" Stupid Today, email your full name to We will draw a winner the day before the show and give them details on how to claim their prize. You can also buy tickets in advance for only $10 here.

If we still haven't convinced you to go to the show check out this video, you won't want to miss this one.

The Magic Stick is located at 4140 Woodward Ave. in Detroit and doors for the show are at 8 p.m.


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