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Punk rock never felt so good.. that is, until Cheap Shoes formed; combining fast- paced punk with ferocious yells and all the hardcore dancing you could ever want, they rip you apart with sheer energy. If they haven't dismantled your flesh base yet, you can go catch them on their tour with Pity Party this summer! In the mean time, check out this interview we did with them!
What's the history of the band, and where does a band so heavy get such an innocent sounding name?
Richard: So the history of the band I guess started with me. I had been writing some songs myself for awhile, and my best friend Julien from Pity Party helped me record some on his 24 track just for rough ideas to show people. Next came Matt; we talked about making a band before, and now was the time since I had some music written. Jules, being the cool guy he is, helped us with drums and actually wrote the drums to one song. Next time I saw Matt, he said his buddy played drums and wanted to be in a band so he brought Mitch, and he fit perfectly! And last was Nelly; we had been messaging back and forth a lot after he left his band and asked him to come jam and play bass with us and he said yes!
Matt: I've been friends with Mitch since sophomore year. He'd play drums and I played guitar and we used play Rancid covers at his house when we were younger, so I asked him if he wanted to play drums.
Richard: And yeah, Julien is the Casper of the band *laughs*. He is our second guitarist, and he's always been with us helping us the whole way and even pushing all of us to be better and we were all happy when he said yeah to joining. Every time he plays with us, just get better and better!
Nelson: Thanks for calling us heavy! I'd say the history of the band is pretty simple.. a while after I left Knee Deep, I saw Richard make a Facebook status about starting a new project, so I told him I was interested and he offered a spot on bass. I told him I was down, and everything came together from there. Richard came up with the name actually.
Richard: The band name was influenced by the artist Atmosphere. He has a song called "The Best Day" and in one if the verses he's talking about how when he was in school, he didn't have or wear the cool stuff so no one paid him attention and the line I got it from is "but I wear cheap shoes so I keep losing." And I feel like we all have been there at one point or another. And at least for me growing up, I didn't have too many friends and it was because I didn't wear the cool Ecko clothes or have Jordan's, instead I wore band shirts and Vans or Converse so I was looked at different as a kid. So that song lyric definitely relates to, me and everyone else liked the band name so we stuck with it.
Talk about this upcoming mini-tour with Pity Party, and what you're most excited about!
Matt: We played a show at Seth's house with Pity Party and Julien asked us if we wanted to do a leg of the tour. I'm excited to play out of town and see what other bands are out there.
Richard: Super stoked about the upcoming Pity Party tour because everyone in Pity Party and of course our band are my best friends, and now I get to hang with all of them for a few days and play music with all of them, too! We also get to put our name out a little more since we rarely get out of town shows; this is a big opportunity for us to show new people who we are, and to meet all these new people is what I'm stoked for, too!
Nelson: Oh dude, I'm so stoked to actually be on the road and playing music with a group of friends. It's funny because my life is going to be a Willie Nelson song for a few days, but all in all, I'd say I'm excited to play new places, hangout with my friends, and go out of state for a day.
What can we come to expect from the new stuff that you guys have been recording?
Nelson: What to expect? I'm not too sure *laughs*, all I know is that two songs that weren't on our first EP (That's Life...) is going to be on the next one. The recordings sound dope *laughs*.
Matt: We recorded with Daniel from This Is Stockton Not LA, the guy who recorded Knee Deep and my solo acoustic music. These songs are some of the songs from our setlist that we haven't recorded yet so hopefully they sound familiar. There's gonna be a cover on there!
Richard: I think our new recordings are definitely defining our sound more and showing others that were not some cookie-cutter band and that we are a punk band, but still different. We really hope everyone likes them and we're really excited to show everyone!
How do you think Stockton and all of its baggage contributes to the music you guys make?
Matt: Stockton is known to be a bad city to live in to the people who aren't from here, but for the people who have lived here are so used to it. The locals who come to our show give us love and being a born and raised Stocktontonian contributes to how I play music.
Nelson: We've all experienced similar and different shit growing up here, but I feel that it's our similarities in our music taste and our hobbies as well as our differences that blends in with our sound.
Richard: Stockton does contribute to the band but not in a bad way. None of us really hate this place and most of my writing come from stuff that has happened to me in Stockton or people I've met in Stockton, but not necessarily Stockton as the town. I don't think the city defines us, it's more of we define us in the city. Stockton might not be the best place but we try to make the best out of all of it.
What do you guys have to say advice-wise for any bands just starting?
Richard: Have fun and don't stop having fun. Don't be too serious either, it all has a time and place. Also make sure you find good people to join your band. I have the best friends I could ever ask for in this band and hope you all can find the same, too, because it's an awesome feeling playing music with your best friends!
Matt: Balance out your time, dont quit your day job, and keep fighting
Nelson: Get together with a group of friends and play music that you all enjoy/want to hear. Don't get wrapped up in what you think people may or may not find like; in other words, don't be a cookie-cutter band and conform to genre norms. Stop doubting your musical ability and just fucking do it.
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PHOTO CREDIT: TANNER HEARD