Alright lads! So let’s talk about the reforming of the band first, how did that come about, was there any big moment for it all to come together?
When Andre passed away, Jordan reached out to past band members and friends to get together to have a drink in his honor. We started talking about getting the band together with guest singers, maybe doing some sort of record or tribute show to Andre. Soon after we were invited to play the Oi! Festival up in Montreal. We recruited our old friend, Scotti Lyons (original NY SHARP skinhead/singer for PistnBroke), to sing for us, and just like that after more then 20 years we were a band again.
For those that maybe don’t know much about the band or the history could you give us a little overview?
The Press began in the mid-1980s in New York City. We were looking to have a sound that was a bit different then most of the punk and hardcore bands playing at the time. We were heavily influenced by all the early Oi! Bands as well as Ska and reggae, which gave us a different sound and vibe that set us apart somewhat. When SHARP started up we aligned ourselves with that as we supported the message.
The 0161 Festival show will be your first ever European show, what should people be expecting?
We are real excited for this one. People can expect to hear most of the classic Press songs as well as some of the new stuff we have written together as a band.
It’s a great honour for us to be able to host your first EU show, along with fellow anti-racist skinheads The Oppressed, you’ve obviously been hugely influential for many bands across the world, how do you see the skinhead and SHARP scene at the moment?
We appreciate you guys inviting us out to play. We expect it to be a great time. It’s great to see how strong the SHARP movement is around the world and that real Oi! Music has resonated with so many people across so many different cultures. If we were even a small influence on that it is something to be proud of. I would give a lot of credit to Roddy and the Oppressed for keeping the message alive and spreading it around all these years.
We’ve seen a rise in far right activity across the world over recent years, how are things for you guys in the states currently?
Fascism is an ever encroaching force within our mainstream politics, and SHARP, AFA, and the left in general, must push back, pushing fascists to the fringe, or ideally, eradicating them all together. We don’t claim to have the answers, but we align ourselves with those involved in pushing back against this. Most of us in the band are union workers and we’ve seen first hand the struggle in maintaining what we have worked for. For those of us working jobs without that, it’s a huge problem.
Do you have any more plans for some more recordings or potentially a new album at some point?
Since reforming the band, we have released a seven inch record of all new material called “Torch” on Oi! The Boat Records, a split seven inch on Insurgence Records, and a song on a great compilation record called Northern Aggression, also on Insurgence. We hope to record more material and release something new before too long. A new full length album is something we would love to do. We also would like to release something in Europe. Time will tell if it happens.
Any other comments?
Thanks again for inviting us to play the festival. We’re looking forward to our first show across the pond. Hopefully it’s just the beginning with many more to come.