(Photo by: Andy Deluca)
Throughout the last couple of months, Lost In Society experienced a lot of excelling highs to start off the first half of the year on a strong note. After delivering a successful performance at the Asbury Park Convention Hall to celebrate the official release of their latest studio effort, Modern Illusions, the band embarked forward across the country to extensively tour in support of the record in the spring. Along the way, the band was graced with the opportunity to head down to Austin once again for this year’s SXSW, and also got to play a benefit concert for Dez Cadena (Black Flag, The Misfits, FLAG) at the Brighton Bar in Long Branch.
This weekend, Lost In Society will be kicking off the opening festivities for Punk Rock Bowling — taking place at the Stone Pony Summer Stage. Not only will they be sharing the stage with the almighty Descendents (who just premiered a new song for their forthcoming record, Hypercaffium Spazzinate via Noisey) — as well as Dag Nasty, Iron Chic and H2O to name a few, these Asbury Park-based local heroes will be celebrating their long-awaited return home from touring the West Coast in May.
Early on while Lost In Society was on the road, I had the chance to catch up with guitarist Zach Moyle a few weeks ago — to discuss the band’s upcoming performance at Punk Rock Bowling, and what it means to represent the city by the sea as its local opening act for the weekend. Moyle and I also got to talk about: the current reception of Modern Illusions, working with Bouncing Souls guitarist, Pete Steinkopf on the record, sharing the stage with Black Flag’s Dez Cadena and their trip down to SXSW back in March.
SIMGE: Hey Zach, thank you again for the interview. So, Lost In Society is currently on the road touring the West Coast. How’s the gig life been treating you so far? Are there any crazy stories from your recent travels that you’d like to share?
Zach Moyle (Lost In Society): Yeah, all of the shows have been great. Last night, I think was show number nine in nine days. We’re heading out to show ten now — we’re going to Sacramento from Reno.
At our De Moines show, we had a couple of fans come from like, three-three-and-half hours away to come see us — which was pretty cool. It’s not something that has happen too much for us in the past, but it seems like we’re finally getting to a point where a lot of people are coming out to our shows just too see us. Even if they have to go the distance to come check us out.
SIMGE: In a few weeks, Lost In Society will be graced with the opportunity to share the stage with a lot of iconic acts at this year’s Punk Rock Bowling. If you were to go back in time and tell yourself that your band was going play a show alongside Descendents, Dag Nasty, 88 Fingers Louie and H2O, how do you think would you react?
ZM: We had played it once prior in Las Vegas in 2014, which was pretty great too. You look the lineup, and there are so many legends, so it’s pretty cool to be a part of it — to have our name next to the Descendents, and to open up the day where the Descendents are playing with 88 Fingers Louie and Dag Nasty, so I’m definitely excited.
Especially being in our hometown of Asbury Park, it’s really cool. It’s like a little “punk rock badge-of-honor” I guess. It seems like people are starting to take more notice of us, and are giving us some more opportunities to get in front of people.
SIMGE: For sure. Seeing an East Coast addition to Punk Rock Bowling take place on your home turf, how does it feel to represent the city of Asbury Park as the weekend’s opening act?
ZM: I think it’s great. We love Asbury Park, and I like that it’s getting attention for this reason — for Punk Rock Bowling, and a Yahoo “10 Places To Go See In The World” article, just because it has a beach. There’s so much more to Asbury Park — like with the arts, and the music culture that I think gets overlooked. It’s nice to see that one of the reasons why Asbury Park probably started going up, and up in the first place is the reason why it’s being put back on the map. So, [Asbury Park] being put around for Punk Rock Bowling is pretty rad.
SIMGE: Definitely! Now, this won’t be the first time you’ve had the chance to rub elbows with the greats recently. A few months ago, Lost In Society had the opportunity to perform with Dez Cadena (Black Flag, The Misfits, FLAG) at the Brighton Bar. What was that experience like?
ZM: That was awesome. Jon Caspi reached out to Nick [Ruroede], and was like, “Hey would you guys be interested in playing at a benefit for Dez Cadena?” It’s kind of last minute, but we were the first band they asked to do it. It was pretty cool to be the first band at the top of their list. I actually was on a solo tour, and I got home the night before. So, it worked out perfectly where we got to act as if was a “homecoming show” too as well as a cool benefit for Dez.
He [Dez] hopped up on stage, and we played “Fix Me,” which was a really cool experience. I handed him my guitar, he picked it up, and we went right into it and played that 50-second song. Prior to that, I bled all over my guitar because I slammed my finger on a string. I was like, “Oh, hold let me get you a different guitar,” and he was like, “No, give me the blood. Give me the blood brother.” I was like, “Alright dude! That’s punk.”
(Lost In Society Performing “Fix Me” with Dez Cadena at the Brighton Bar. April 30, 2016)
SIMGE: Fuck yeah! Your latest record, Modern Illusions has been out for a couple of months now. Since then, what’s the reception of the record been like so far?
ZM: The reception has been great. I mean, everyone has been saying that it’s definitely our best record, and the reviews are awesome. People seem really happy with it. We’re really happy with it [the record] too, so it’s definitely been an exciting few months for us since the record has come out.
SIMGE: Definitely. This is the band’s first proper release since Let It Sail, and also your contributions for your Panic State Records Series split with River Jumpers. Musically, and personally, how do you think Modern Illusions reflects where the band is at now?
ZM: I think it’s definitely a more “matured” sound than we had on our previous records. It really showed how far we’ve come since Let It Sail at least, as far as musicians and playing not just for parts for the song. It [Modern Illusions] was more of a cohesive project. We’re really stoked on all of these songs even though it took us a lot longer than we wanted to, but we’re so happy with the product.
SIMGE: Of course! Tell me, what was it like working with (producer) Pete Steinkopf throughout the recording process?
ZM: Pete’s the man. He’s one our best friends and that was a really cool experience to record with him. He’s a great producer, and he thinks like we do — so, that helps and we’re more comfortable more since we’re all friends. He [Pete] kind of guided the way, and really did leaps and bounds for the songs on this record.
SIMGE: How would you say that he helped you build your sound for this record specifically?
ZM: We did all of the tones together. Obviously during the first day with getting everything to sound perfect, we wanted to make it [the record] with more of a “raw” sound. Like, we recorded everything live and worked on tracking the basics within a day-and-a-half before I started doing vocals and lead guitar.
It was a lot of preparation on our part, and his part prior. Pete and I sat down for a couple of weeks, and just worked on the songs. We wanted to work on lyrics a little bit and we really didn’t want to get into the studio without thinking that every song perfect.
SIMGE: Very cool! I’ve been hearing nothing, but great things about Modern Illusions since its release. It’s also really cool to see that you were able to go down to SXSW this year to support the record as well.
ZM: Yeah definitely, it’s really fun down there [SXSW] I think this was our third or fourth year doing it. This was definitely the most rewarding year; it was really great.
SIMGE: What was it like being at SXSW this year compared to your previous times heading down to Texas?
ZM: This year was cool because we got on an “Official Showcase,” and we are an “Official South By Artist,” so we got all of the perks. They had a massage lounge, and they had an artist lounge where they gave us free swag — we got some really nice Jan Sport book-bags. So, it was kind of cool being on the corporate side of it, but still play on the underground and unofficial shows.
The turnouts for this year were really great. We played a couple of Altercation Records Showcases. Then, we did two things for Big Picture Media, which was awesome. We did a Ramones Tribute [Showcase] where we got to play a few Ramones songs, and a few of our own songs. Dave Turner from Soul Asylum came up, and played a few songs with us too. We were his backing band, so that was pretty cool.
SIMGE: Man, there’s just something about these iconic musicians who are taking quite a liking to you guys. That’s pretty sick. Moving forward, once Punk Rock Bowling is all said and done, what else do you have in the planned in the works for rest of the year?
ZM: It looks like right now, we’re going to do a few “regional” shows over the summer, but we’re mostly going to hunker down, and start writing again. We have a tour planned in the fall. Not exactly sure where, but we have a couple of festival dates lined up that we’re going to kind of do a little route around. Then, probably later in the year we’ll probably just keep writing — we usually don’t tour too much in the winter just because of weather issues.
So, between summer and the late winter — we’ll finish up writing an album, probably to try to record it sometime early next year, and also see what happens. We also might actually record a couple of songs over the summer into a little 7-inch to bridge the gap between the new album.
Show up early to catch Lost In Society’s set at Punk Rock Bowling at the Stone Pony Summer Stage on Saturday June 11 — where they will be playing with Descendents, Dag Nasty, H2O, Iron Chic, 88 Fingers Louie and more! For more information on the fest, you can go on Punk Rock Bowling’s website, and also view the festival set times and official club shows listed below.