Interview with The McGunks at the Church
By Jim Slimedog
The McGunks are a Providence punk band that I’ve seen for several years and are one of my favorites. They always put on a great show and are fun to watch. They are now a trio and I caught up with them before their drummer had arrived at the club.
Slimedog- You don’t really need a drummer.
Bob (Guitar/Vocals)- No, they just slow you down… then speed you up…. and slow you down.
Slimedog- How did you get started.
Bob- We got started about 2003. I just came from out playing with a band, USM, it didn’t work out so well. We started doing this band and the idea was a cross between The Sex Pistols and the Rolling Stones, have a little more rock’n’roll vibe to it which a lot of bands don’t do, it’s a little different than most.
Pete (Bass/ Vocals)- You ever get tired of telling that story?
Bob- No, I don’t because I get soooo many friggin’ interviews (laughter). You know, when I was on TMZ. The other day, me and Paris Hilton and that fat chick from, ah, Kadashian.
Slimedog- Lovely, lovely ladies.
Pete- Very nice, very dainty ladies- I met Bob in 2007, I moved up here from Virginia and ran into these guys. Actually, at a Rancid show where their bass player was fired and I was hired on the spot.
Bob- I remember the first time we met him. He was wearing a Yankees hat in the playoffs and we’re like, “Dude, you’re gonna get your ass fuckin’ killed over here.”
Slimedog- Any recording plans?
Bob- We do, we have an ep that we’re working on. The problem is it’s costing us a lot more money than we expected. We thought we were gonna get it cheap but the mixing process is gonna cost a ton of money so it’s put the brakes on it. We got five songs, its $500 a song that’s almost $1000 (Laughter).
Slimedog- Who writes the songs?
Bob- I write the lyrics and stuff. Actually, I don’t even write them. They’re never actually written down until actually recording them.
Pete- Bob still has songs from 2003 that he’s writing lyrics to, so he comes up with most of the song ideas. I’ll throw in a bass line, backing vocals; Bobby will throw in the drum part.
Bob- Bobby’s the new guy; he’s been here about a year.
Slimedog- How about influences for the band?
Bob- I would say, ‘cause I’m getting old now, classic rock. I like punk rock and Zepplin. I listen to some of the newer bands but mostly older stuff.
Pete- Bob listens to the classic stuff. I listen to the 90’s, Lookout Records, Pop/Punk shit which is where my melodic bass lines come from.
Slimedog- What your take on the difference between the Boston and Providence scenes?
Bob- Providence is obviously a smaller area, I wouldn’t say cliquey-
Pete- It’s just a more confined scene. You have fewer bands in a smaller area. There are cliques but we all have to band together to do what we do.
Bob- The funny thing is there’s more places to play now in Providence. We got a couple of places to play twice a month just to pay the rent, you know. We invite bands down. We had Bad Lieutenants last night, the Chosen Ones from New York at the Broadstreet.
Slimedog- You know of all the bands I’ve followed you guys might be the most consistently great live one, why do you think this is?
Bob- We have a certain level of suck we attain to (Laughter).
Pete- We drink a lot.
Slimedog- I think the other bands do that, too.
Bob- We drink a lot but the honest answer is- I love doing this, it’s what I do. I can’t throw darts, I can’t bowl, I’m not good at sports, maybe if I was good at something else in a bar I would do that but I play guitar and sing, that’s what I like to do.
Pete- This is our Sunday night bowling league, this is what we do.
Slimedog- Who drinks most in the band?
Pete- Bob does, hands down, he wins. I’m the second; our drummer doesn’t drink pretty much at all, maybe a beer or two a show. We need someone like that to drive home after the show.
Slimedog– Do you think it’s a coincidence that Phil (former McGunk) is the biggest drinker in the Doll Eyes?
Pete- I don’t think it’s a coincidence. If you look at all the ex-McGunks they’re all pretty big drinkers. (Laughter)
Bob- There was a time when Phil and me and some of the other guys, it just got to be, “What the fuck are we doin’?” We go to a show, we drink a 30 pack on the way to a show! We’d pour it in ginger ale bottles, we’re like, “What’re we doin’?” The shows are suckin’ and we’re blaming each other, it’s “No, we’re just drinkin’ too much.” And Phil called it best, we played one night and he says, “Man- everything- went dark.” We had so many of those shows where we just don’t know what happened.
Slimedog- Who is most likely to be a serial killer in the band?
Bob- Oh, Bobby, yeah, without a doubt.
Slimedog- It’s unanimous, and why is that?
Pete- He’s too much of a nice guy.
Bob- Yeah, those are the guys who’ll snap, you know.
Pete– He’s gonna have to end up defending himself at some point.
Bob- Yeah, with an ice pick- AH,AH,AH (making stabbing gestures).
Slimedog- If you could do one thing to make the world a better place what would you do?
Pete- Free beer, free beer everywhere.
Bob- World peace. But that wouldn’t work because of the fuck’n terrorists. Make cars that run on dirt!
What continues is a ten minute diatribe by Bob that we are unable to print as we feel it would insult people from a part of the world that is also, a popular club in Cambridge. Bob continues resulting in Pete having to spray him with cold water from a hose. Check them out live and check out the profile and links from this fine band.