I recently sat down with Al Pist from The Deacons and asked him some questions. Here is part of that interview.
DHR- Describe the Deacons:
Al Pist - I think that The Deacons is the most unique band that I've ever been in. The one thing that I can truly say is that the band has got heart. Rich's songs all revolve around people that we know, and things going on in our lives and he puts his misfit perspective on it. The band is what it is. There's no pretense, posturing or in-your-face political message. We've also got a revolving door with members strewn all across the country, who show up and play when they can. Sort of a home for wayward souls who don't fit in anywhere else. Musically, it's kinda punk mod rock-n-roll skinhead hardcore.
DHR - you have been in what is arguably the best CT punk band of all time. although its not the same it was while The Pist were in their hey day, but how do you feel about the state of the Ct punk scene today?:
Al Pist - Aw shucks...I can't say that we were the best band, but I think we did a good job of getting the kids fired up and hopefully inspiring them the way that we were inspired by the bands that came before us...As far as the scene today, I see a pretty dedicated core of kids, especially from the Eastern part of the state that are making things happen. There's also places like the Whitney House in Hartford that are providing some awesome DIY basement shows, and giving people a place to hang out. New Haven's got a decent bar scene, and some spots to play, but it needs to fill that gap that Tune Inn left. There's good bands and good people there, but no place for the kids to go crazy.DHR - What are your influences? Al Pist - More than anything, I'm influenced by what is around me at the moment. The bands that we play with, the other solo people that I play with, my friends, etc. Almost all the music I've ever loved was introduced to me by my friends. Starting out, some of my main influences were the old CT bands. Although I loved Minor Threat , 7 Seconds, DKs etc. our local scene really inspired me to start playing and writing music. 76% Uncertain, Lost Gen, NMOT, Vatican Commandos, Violent Children, Seizure. These bands all seemed like they were just a bunch of people like me, who weren't hung up on the fashion aspect of punk. They were more about the fun, the energy and the message.
DHR - you are also in another band called M13. What is the difference between the two bands?
Al Pist - M13 is a bastardized Brutally Familiar reunion band that is starting to flesh out its own sound and identity. At the moment, the lineups in M13 and The Deacons are pretty similar, but the music and the vibe is different. M13 is way heavier, faster and more direct. The aim is to bring it with intensity and take no prisoners.
DHR - If you could join another CT punk band for a day who would it be?
Al Pist - I always wanted to be in Brutally Familiar, and M13 is a close as I'll ever get so that'll have to do. As far as current bands...I don't think any of them need an old guy like me hanging around.
DHR - you have been all over the country playing shows. How would you say Connecticut rates in comparison to other punk scenes?
Al Pist - I think that we have as much going on here as anywhere else. Every scene has its good and bad points. We've got enough people involved to support touring bands when they come through, and we certainly have our share of decent bands that span a pretty wide range of punk and hardcore. As far as I can tell, everyone gets along with each other pretty well and there's not a lot of rivalry between bands and scenes.
DHR - What does the future hold for you and the Deacons?
Al Pist - For the Deacons? Who knows? Maybe some more new members...(we just got Mike from M13 on 2nd guitar.) Rich and drummer Mike LoPorto have been working on a set of the more quiet Deacons stuff that has more of an acoustic feel. We'd also like to get in the studio and record some songs that we never were able to do in the past. As for me...I just want to keep playing, writing and going to shows. It's really not as easy as it used to be, but the day that you stop pushing yourself and doing things that you think you can't do is the day your soul dies. I'm 41 now, and I see people in their 50s still doing it, and that keeps me inspired
Al and The Deacons are playing Elm Bar (372 Elm Street) in New Haven on Wednesday April 27th with Sadplant, and yes Please