The New Dumb, formed in 2003, are not reinventing the wheel, and they would probably be the first ones to tell you that. What they are doing is churning out a deliberate brand of post-punk infected with their spastic humor, resulting in a sound catchier than the bird flu.
On stage this 3-piece, comprised of Jay Edmands on bass/vox, Foster Hoyt on guitar/vox, and Brian Rusnica on drums, approach their tunes with a feverish intensity but also with enough self-deprecation to allow for moments of hilarity and hi-jinx. If you like your bands brooding and self-involved then The New Dumb are not for you. On the other hand, If you like bands that look like they are having a blast playing their tunes then do the smart thing and head to O’Briens tonight to see The New Dumb.
Q&A w/ Brian Rusnica of The New Dumb
Q: You are planning to release a DVD of your 2007 tour. What would be the script for the voice-over guy to read during the trailer for the movie?
A: we actually did put out the DVD, i think we made 25 of them, sold ’em at shows, and gave the rest away to our families and touring friends. the voice-over would be something along the lines of, “JUST HOW HORNY WILL THESE THREE MEN GET, SPENDING 10 DAYS AWAY FROM THEIR GIRLFRIENDS?” i think everyone who actually sat through the DVD ended up liking it, because apparently we are pretty funny and charming people. you can actually watch the first 7 minutes of it on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RY1N8WwQRBw.
Q: There is a distinct air of self-deprecation in the way the band presents itself. Does that come solely from your collective sense of humor or has the band made a conscious decision to set the bar low?
A: yes! self-deprecation is at the heart of everything we do, from the name of the band to the names of the albums and a bunch of the songs, and definitely even into our live show. it’s definitely a collective thing from what we find funny, and hopefully we can make some people smile at the same time as they are hopefully appreciating our actual music. also, it’s probably partially due to how much we dislike bands and people who take their music careers so seriously. we believe in effort, and working hard and sharing our ideas with other people, but hopefully never at the expense of alienating anyone with an overbearing sense of ‘we’re so important.’ the core of our band has always been us as friends hanging out, playing music at practice a couple times a week, and making new friends through our shows. plus, we’re terrible!
Q: What is the most flattering/sickening band comparisons The New Dumb has received from fans, friends, family, press etc…?
A: the most flattering things we’ve ever heard are when people compare us to say the Pixies, Fugazi, or any of those really good bands in between. when people reach a little further and say they hear things like the Minutemen or Ween as influences, that’s really exciting as well. i think we tended to be pretty blatant earlier in the band with what we’re trying to emulate, but after 6 years of doing this, we feel that our “sound” is pretty well defined inside our practice space. the most depressing thing for me personally was when someone said we sounded like the Offspring, although they were pretty fun when i was in 7th grade!
Q: You released your second album this past year Let’s Get Lucky on Mighty Science Records. can you tell us about the label and how you ended up working with them? Also, what, if any, were the differences in the process between you’re self-released record and this one?
A: the label is a start-up based in DC and South Carolina. we haven’t fully explored what working with the label could bring to us, but we’re looking this year to tour more in the summer, and definitely put out another record with their help when it starts to get warm out again.
the best part about the label is how we met one of the founders, Zak Jordon, during our ’07 tour. we were talking with Zak on the computer about trying to get his band to play with us on a Monday night in Washington, and although we couldn’t get it to happen, he came to the show with a bunch of his friends. we had known him for about 90 minutes in real life, and then we asked him to come on stage with us and sing a Misfits cover. four months later, we were signed to his new label! so i guess the moral of the story is, get in the van, meet people, listen to the misfits and something good will happen.
Q: If you could play a show in Boston with 3 other local bands who would they be and at what Boston venue would you play?
A: i love a lot of boston bands, so it’d be tough to choose! Harris is the first one that comes to mind; i think we do some similar things in the ‘genre’ of a harder indie-rock, so i think our friends and theirs would enjoy the experience. we finally played with them this past april on their residency at O’Briens. plus they’re great people.
i’d also put on Amoroso, who are a band we’ve played with a couple times (once before they were even called Amoroso) and are absolutely brutal. and finally, we’d probably play with Piles, just so we could finally do our awful cover of “Sub-Mariner” in public and thoroughly embarass both us and them. the song is in drop D and 7/4, which are two things that we will probably NEVER have in one of our songs, haha, and rightfully so.
for venue, i’d say Middle East Downstairs because i’ve always wanted to hang out “backstage” during a show i was playing, and after 60 shows in this band, we’ve yet to play in a venue that even has a backstage!
Listen to The New Dumb…\”Pea-Knuckle\”