Name: Al Pist
Years Performing: I've been messing around playing music since 1984, but played my first show with a real band in 1988. I've been doing it consistently since then.
How would you compare the punk scene today to the punk scene when you started? I think the biggest difference is the crowds and bands are much older in general than back in the 80's and 90's. Back then it seemed that 3/4 of the crowd was under 30...now it doesn't seem to be the case, at least at the shows that I go to. I can only hope that there is an underground scene somewhere that a 50 year old dude like me is completely unaware of, that exists and thrives on its own. Even if that scene isn't punk or hardcore, I hope there is a still a true underground for the kids.
Because PIST lyrics are so politically charged do you find them even more relevant today than when you wrote them 20 plus years ago? I don't know if they are MORE relevant, but I think they are STILL relevant. It seems a lot of those topics are getting a louder voice, and some are even getting some mainstream attention (veganism, ecological issues, police brutality). I believe all significant change starts at a grassroots level and eventually spreads to the rest of society and ideas that matter will rise to the surface over time.
In your opinion has Social Media been a Net Lost or Net gain for the music scene over the past decade? Overall, Net Gain. Ideas and music have a much further reach. Communication with anyone, anywhere, is now just a part of our culture. Musicians are being heard without the help of agents or record labels, which is a good thing. And of course, now we have Musical Osmosis!
What does 2020 have in store for The Deacons and The Pist? The Deacons are in songwriting mode...playing a few shows in the Northeast over the Winter. Hopefully back in the studio for the Spring. The Pist is playing the State House in New Haven, CT on March 14th, and we are planning to do a few more shows this summer. We've talked about writing some new songs at some point, but we'll see when we get together to rehearse.
Famous last words: "Pfffft. Expiration dates don't mean anything. This tastes fine."
Artist Spotlight: Al Pist
Welcome to Musical Osmosis
Over the past 6 and a half years I have been involved in several different podcasting projects. We've done a political show that lasted from 2013 until just before the 2016 election and then ended very badly (can you say hate-filled chaos parade?). We had a trivia podcast that fizzled out after 77 episodes with a whimper, and our Kettle Of Fish podcast that lasted 104 episodes and then sadly came to an end when my best friend and cohost lost both of her parents within a couple of months of each other and had to move back home to Maine. But throughout it all (my short-lived Tin Can Media Podcast Network, My children's book "Edward" that never got off the ground, my time spent as a political writer for such sites as "If You Only News" and "Daily Discourse" that went down in flames) the one constant has been the music.
I started the Musical Osmosis podcast back in 2013 when I realized I could actually talk to some of my musical heroes from the comfort of my bathrobe. The podcast ran for about 6 months as I chatted with everyone from Steve Moriarty from the riveting Seattle punk band the Gits to the great Chicago working-class punk pioneer Joey Vindictive. But something was missing. I had no zig to my zag no McMahon to my Carson no cohost to keep me in check and keep the show interesting with more than one viewpoint at the helm, so I abandoned ship.
Then in the summer of 2015 something serendipitous happened. I became Facebook friends with both Al Pist from The Pist and Larry Damore from Pegboy. Both of these gentlemen were personal heroes of mine, Al Pist because he is my all-time favorite lyricist and Larry Damore because Pegboy's "Strong Reaction" was the first punk album I had ever heard and it dragged me out of the stale depths of the metal world and into the vibrant and politically conscious punk world where I so belonged. Oddly enough I had tried to reach out to both Al and Larry in 2013 to no avail but it seemed the starts had realigned and now was the time to bring back Musical Osmosis.
But did I want to bring it back alone....?
The answer was a quantitative-NO! So the search began for a cohost. I say search but in reality, it was a shortlist of longtime friends I had talked with, listened to, and played music with over the years and at the top of my "mad respect for your musical knowledge" list was a man named Odell Norman. And as they say, the rest is musical history.
Over the past 4 years, Musical Osmosis has allowed us to chat with some of the greats from the punk world and beyond. But it has also given me the motivation to start searching out new music again after a 10-year funk of listening to the same NOFX and Screeching Weasel albums over and over again. And just like the name suggest we have gone through our own Osmosis as we have grown as podcast hosts and evolved our format to bring the fans what we consider some damn good conversations with old school punk legends like Dave Dictor and Jughead to artists who are redefining rock music like Bonnie Bloomgarden and Crow Jane.
This new website which will not only showcase our long-running Musical Osmosis podcast but will also expand into the world of video interviews and music reviews is just the next step in our journey. A journey we are happy you have chosen to come along on, but it will also serve as a fulcrum for my mission statement that I call "Weaponized Creativity"- the process of combating fascism and hate with music and creative expression. In my opinion, art is the last bastion against fascism and has never been as sorely need as today.
In closing, I want to thank you for reading the long stream of conscious ramblings of an almost 50-year-old punk dude and to remind myself that our podcast is only as good as our guests and only as successful as YOU the fans allow us to be. -Saucey