Punk group gets Lucky outdoors

Lucky Boys Confusion, a Chicago-based punk-influenced quintet, which is coming off a signing deal with Elektra Records and an MTV2 video premiere, stopped by Sawyer Lawn on Sept. 6 to entertain the student body with so much energy that it apparently could be heard miles away in North Adams. The Record caught up with lead singer Kaustubh “Stubhy” Pandav after their show, which was sponsored by All Campus Entertainment (ACE).

You’ve been doing a lot of punk-influenced material, so what do you think your biggest influences are, in terms of music?

Our biggest influence is just music. I think the only thing about us that’s punk is our lyrics. Double-time beats and guitar riffs don’t make you punk, though a lot of people think that it does. I don’t think we’re a punk band at all. I think what we stand for and our lyrics are more punk-rock, but our biggest influences are bands with a lot of variety – we’re big fans of the Clash – and that’s more of the political ideology. Obviously, the Beatles, Bob Marley and Sublime just because they can mix it up really well and still have a really good pop song. Nirvana’s really awesome. Our influences are just music and life. It’s not like we’re trying to be punk, but that’s just what we’ve always been. We’ve always been those kids in school that all the teachers said had so much potential.

So what’s in your CD player right now?

Right now, I have Co-Ed, Debbie Does Dallas, the Used and Saves the Day. We’ve been going through the writing process, writing all these, and I like half of them. I don’t like half of them, so it’s like we’re going back to the drawing board. I listen to the Cure, Greatest Hits. And our friends, Fifteen Minutes Late. And the new Ben Folds CD. The Eminem Show is pretty good, too.

There are a lot of great bands out there right now, like Jimmy Eat World just signed their last album to DreamWorks, and you guys are on with Elektra. Do you think there’s this growing interest with these big labels and this kind of new rock that’s just coming out?

I don’t think it’s all that new. I don’t think there’s any new interest, but everyone’s watching what everybody else is doing, and there’s a few big players in the music industry that are signing bands like the Used and Jimmy Eat World and whatnot. But I think that little bands have always been signed, and some make it and some don’t. And I think all the bands that are cloning, like Staind, aren’t going to get anywhere, either. The bands that make it are the ones with individual sounds. There’s always like the one powerful guy with RCA who signs someone who’s just never going to sell a lot of records but they’re signed because they want to be.

You’ve got Jimmy Eat World on MTV now, and Dashboard Con-fessional’s been shown a couple times, too. There seems to be recently this tension of more popular songs, so what do you think about that?

I think it’s just pop music. I mean, you can call it emo but it’s still pop music. People just need to stop categorizing music and just call it what you want. Dashboard Confessional is acoustic pop rock – it’s not emo. What the f— is emo? “Emotional.” You know what “emotional” is? Any emotion. Right now, I’m feeling anger. And it’s like, it’s just so lame. I think NWA was the best emo band. They were really angry. But bands that the masses can relate to are the bands that are going to get somewhere.

You know who really rules? You.

Thank you.

If everybody were just like you, everybody would make a lot of good music.

What are your plans for the next album? Do you have any ideas?

I want to make a good record. Period.

Do you think it’ll be any different from the last record?

When the record’s done and somebody asks me about it, I’m going to say, “This record rocks.” And the record after that: “This record rocks.” We’re just going to write the best record we possibly can. I want it to be more focused, cohesive work of art. Lyrically and musically, I want to step it up. We’re still playing around with ideas. We have a lot of stuff written but we want to record the best 14 songs instead of the first 14.

How do you feel the band’s grown in the past few years?

We figured out the time to be drunk isn’t from ten o’clock in the morning every day. And I hate the guys more than I did before – and I hated them a lot before, too. [laughs] I think the band has grown; the band’s been going through this gradual change. Our relationship’s always been the same; there’ve been times when everybody’s on the same page and times when nobody’s on the same page. But there’s never been a time when we didn’t want to be. Imagine having a girlfriend who’s four different people every single day. There’s never a time when you’re like, “God, I never want to see you again.” Even if we ever break up, it’ll be for mutual reasons. I mean we already know we hate each other, so how much worse can it get? I think we’re writing better and lyrically, we’re caring more what we’re talking about.