The Bloody Hollies are back with a vengeance.
Along with a new home base of San Diego, the international garage-punk sensation returns home to Buffalo offering plenty to catch up on. Ferocious frontman Wesley Doyle (vocals, guitar, harmonica) and bassist Phil Freedenberg are now joined by guitarist Joey Horgen and drummer Matt Bennett, and the now-quartet has another explosive album in "If the Footmen Tire You ..." (Alive), produced by Jim Diamond, the pioneering purveyor of the Detroit sound's hard underbelly.
In the midst of a grueling, coast-to-coast tour, the band brings its ear-bleeding dementia back to Mohawk Place, 47 E. Mohawk St., on Monday, with openers Mockba and the Afterbirth Tycoons. Grandstanding before a gig in Green Bay, the brash Doyle once again showed that his trademark white work shirt and thin black tie can't hide the chip on his shoulder.
How does San Diego's music scene compare to that in Buffalo?
It's kind of like the same crap as everywhere else, with the local bands playing a cat-and-mouse game. I've always thought it best to avoid all that and just go on tour. Buffalo never considered us an integral part of the scene -- we were never included on big bills or invited to local festivals, so we just toured. It's the same there, where the local bands play king of the hill, and the only way to make it is to get out.
You have to be excited to come back to the Mohawk, though.
Yeah, we're gonna be looking forward to it. That was where we had our first show ever, so it's cool to be back. Plus, we have new guys in the band now, and we're always telling Mohawk stories, so they're excited about it. It'll be nice to stay at home for a few days, and have my mom do my laundry. We're driving back after the shows in Toronto and Hamilton.
The tour you're on is insane -- I counted two days off in six weeks. How does your voice handle all that screaming?
The more shows we play, my voice gets stronger. You'd think it would be the opposite. The new album helps my voice too, it's not as screamy as "Fire at Will."
Your new album also has the benefit of Jim Diamond producing -- how was it to work with him?
It's funny, because I kind of expected to butt heads with him, but it was cool. We were both shooting ideas, and there was hardly ever a point when we disagreed. And there were a lot of times when I second-guessed myself in the studio, and it was good to hear someone with a reputation say, 'Go with it.' "
That's the biggest difference between the band's old lineup and the current one?
We don't miss a beat with Matt -- we don't really have a whole lot of structure with this band, and he gets that. And Joey is perfect. He comes from my school of thought -- kind of punk-blues, a little sloppy, but he knows his (stuff). My confidence level is at an all-time high with this band.
So you have to have some tricks up your sleeve for the Mohawk show.
You know, not really. I think we pull all the tricks out every night. People are in for a shock when they see us.
We're a lot more dynamic band, especially as a four-piece. We've developed a lot, believe it or not. There's a wider spectrum now -- more than just "1-2-3-4" fist-in-the-air blues-punk. They're going to have to see it for themselves.
-- Seamus Gallivan, Special to The News