Voice of Addiction

Fast, dynamic, powerful, and packing a message; these are the reasons I love punk-rock music. It started for me with bands like Bad Religion when I was forming my political preferences as a middle school jerk, and I continue to hear the genre of punk transform today, while still remaining completely loyal to its roots.  The Chicago-based trio, Voice of Addiction is walking in these kinds of footsteps, providing their stamp of ownership with unique touches of punk soul and reggae.

Ian, Jeff and Andy just released their latest record this summer, a collection titled “Reduce, Reuse, Resist”. We asked the guys to get into it – Ian says “We put a lot more into this album than any previous. Not just in time spent on it but in effort and planning as well. For the first time, we also did group vocals. We invited 25 close friends and fans to Jeff’s venue/school the Auxiliary Arts Center, and did two takes on every song. Then we layered these so essentially we have 50 people on group vox on every song.” Pretty badass.

 
I would be remiss if I didn’t point out the message behind Voice of Addiction; Ian puts it best: “We’re a politically charged and socially conscious rock-punk band… Basically, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I do not want to hear someone sing about girls and cars, and if someone is taking the time to listen to me I better fucking have something to say that’s more important!” I like it! Check the band out live – they’ve already put on over 500 shows. And give “Reduce, Reuse, Resist” a listen. There’s a lot more to get into, so keep reading for all the answers to the XXQ’s.
 

XXQs: Voice of Addiction

PensEyeView.com (PEV): How would you describe your sound?

Politically charged and socially conscious rock-punk band. Blending the emotion and intensity the punk rock revolution instilled in us with genre mashing breakdowns. A mix of 80's and 90's punk with contemporary issues.

PEV: Based out of Chicago, what kind of music where the  members of the band into growing up?

I, Ian grew up on 80'spunk and hardcore. I later went on to music college to get two bachelor degrees, and delved into a lot of styles. But I have kinda returned full circle to my roots, simple and powerful. the guitarist, Jeff and I have been playing together since middle school when we met back in the Cleveland area. He was into a lot of 90's punk aka Bouncing souls etc. Also was more into rock. our current drummer, of almost 3 years started in revolutionary war reenactments! Believe it or not. And was big into rock ska and punk. As we all progressed, and learned and went through classical training, we got interested in all types of world genres on our personal fronts. But we just decided to do what we love, heart wrenching punk rock from an honest place.

PEV: Tell us your take on the music scene is like in your hometown and what was it like trying to  break into it?

V.o.A. has been a band for 7 years-ish. The scene was a lot different then. There are way more bands and triple the places to play punk rock in Chicago these days. As a Nationally and Canadian touring band, I gotta say I love our hometown scene and think its one of the most vibrant around. As for when we started, Chicago is a hard market to reach, political and tough for new kids on the block. In a sense only the strong survived. But it has been a rue honor and the best experiences of my life to grow our band as well as be a part of something that not only still is expanding, but unique and rad!

PEV: With that, what can fans expect from a live Voice Of Addiction show?

Mayhem, Monkey man, rocking out with your cock out, whiskey breath, slow death, Being invited to break down the barrier between performer and audience, a true unifying experience, sex, politics, rock and roll, a lot of whoa's! Puke, over indulgence, disgusting rituals, and starting to follow the gospel. Underage girls, punkers from the beginning of the genre. All creeds, all welcome, all shall feel the fury. We are primarily a LIVE band and thrive on the experience. This is where the scene is, and where we set ourselves apart from the herd. I dare you to come.

PEV: Having all been in other bands before how is playing  with Voice Of Addiction different then those other works?

This is my baby, this is my voice and this is my addiction. My lifelong band mate and best friend founded it with me. We had some drummer issues, currently on our sixth drummer, but he has been with us almost 3 years, and in 7 years we have done over 500 shows, most with Andy Bobby! I have been in many bands but this is the first I have truly poured my heart and soul into, this is the only band that matters. This is a pure transition of our lives and experiences into aural inebriation.

PEV: What was the underlining inspiration for your music?  Where do get your best ideas for songs?

Suspect. Contempt. Disillusioned and laid to waste, a feeling of being stepped on far too long. the eradication of the middle class as the top one percent gets richer. Basically, I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I do not want to hear some one sing about girls and cars, and if someone is taking the time to listen to me I better fucking have something to say that’s more important!

PEV: What’s one thing we’d be surprised to hear about the members of Voice Of Addiction?

A lot of people put punks synonymous with being low lifes and ignorance but it is not that at all. Of course we like to have fun but being all classically trained we are in it for the music and the scene. I personally run a booking promotion company called Wrecking Ball production. Jeff runs a music school/performance venue. But there is no reason to live beyond your means. We are all humble and put most all that we have into the scene. It is that important to us and all the kids. Punk rock saved my life. I wasn't the best kid and got into lot of bad shit. But the music pulled me out of it. And I could not be more grateful. I just want to do what I can to contribute and can only hope I can help someone in the same way.

PEV: Tell us about your latest release, “Reduce, Reuse,  Resist”. What can fans expect from this?  How is this different from past works?

We put a lot more into this album then any previous. Not just in time spent on it but in effort and planning as well. We recorded this with our producer Scott Fritz at the Chicago boutique studio Stranded on a Planet. This is the third record with Scott and the studio so He is the fourth member essentially in the band. Aside from the time spent on it, we also for the first time did group vocals. We invited 25 close friends and fans to Jeffs venue/school the Auxiliary Arts Center. And did two takes on every song. Then we layered these so essentially we have 50 people on group vox on every song. Also in the last acoustic song we got to put a timpani on it, I do not know of any other punk band that has ever done that.

PEV: How is life on the road for you in the music world? Best  and worst parts?

Being on the road as much as we are is like a roller coaster ride. You are gonna have ups and downs. The important thing is to not dwell on the negative and focus on the positive, as is such in any part of life. Luckily for us we have been at this a while, and well before the economy went to shit and gas prices sky rocketed. So we have done pretty well lately, but all the cards are stacked against DIY artists these days. We gotta stick together support one another, and keep this amazing thing going!

PEV: Is there one area you wish you could travel around and play that you have not yet?

Japan and Europe and definitely on radar, and I would love to play there sometime soon. But the logistics are rough; it will involve an enormous initiative and planning. But it is on the list and I hope sooner then later I can make this happen.

PEV: What can we find each of you doing in your spare time,  aside from playing/writing music?

In my day job I usually am teaching and tutoring music. My whole day is spent on music in one capacity or another which was a childhood dream of mine. So I cannot complain. Jeff runs a music school/performance venue, and also is a bartender. Andy bartends and serves and gives drum lessons.

PEV: If you weren’t playing music now what do you think each  of you would be your career?

That thought has never entered my head or even been an option. I worked in kitchens to get me through school but other then that I have been all music.

PEV: So, what is next for Voice Of Addiction?

We are currently on a U.S. tour in support of the 4th album "Reduce Reuse Resist" and will have a record-breaking amount of shows this year!! We are also becoming The Clash for Halloween this year, and will be doing 4-5 shows as them. We will keep playing and writing as long as you will have us!

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)