Last November the Lucky Stiffs were throwing down some punk rock moves at a strip club where their show took place during CMJ in New York, receiving praise for being one of a number of bands that are contributing to a movement in music, “Punk is the new … punk.” They were also celebrating the release of their new album, Gold In Peace, Iron In War on Pirates Press Records, which has also been receiving the thumbs up from the press.
Then in December, the Lucky Stiffs needed to add “un” to the beginning of their name, suffering the fate of so many bands before them—stolen gear. In their hometown of San Francisco, some crack addicts (big assumption here, but one that I’m sure is not far fetched) made off with their trailer after playing a benefit, right when they were ready to head out on tour. And this was the third time it had happened.
But Greg De Hoedt, lead vocalist for the group, was all smiles when I met him at The Syndicate/Wonkavision party in Austin at SXSW. And this is a guy who had already been on tour for over a month straight.
“We’re playing 68 shows in 70 days. I’ve been on the road with my boys for a while now and we’re now about half way,” he explains proudly.
His boys include Sean Von Smith on bass and vocals, J.P. AKA the Pope on guitar and vocals, Aaron Argandona on drums, and Tony Teixeira on guitar and vocals.
Greg then gave me a bit of history lesson, referencing their chosen title for the CD. “It’s actually the creed for the San Francisco flag. It’s in Spanish and came up after the big earthquake. It was used as a way to unify the city and to rebuild and come together.”
The band was started seven years ago as a three piece, adding members as time went on and their sound progressed. During that time they had dealt with a number of misfortunate events, including stolen gear and the like. In the true sense of defiant punk rock ethics, the Stiffs is living to the ode of: whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.
“The whole concept of the album is, destroy the band, in a sense of all the mental experiences of band things happening and happening, and now we’re going to rebuild. Now we’re going to show these people that no matter how much you take away, no matter what you throw at us, we will rise above.”
Greg is quick to add that the strength behind their perseverance is their fans and the support of their friends over the years, from helping to get their equipment back to coming out to their shows. This is what pushed them to make such an aggressive tour schedule.
“The best part is, people have always said our live shows…we’ll play to five people and it feels like we’re in front of 5,000 people. We’ll be jumping on each other and running around with an attitude that, this could be our last show, so let’s make this the best show EVER. So that’s what we try and do every night.”
You’ve got three chances to see them when they arrive in Colorado today, hitting Colorado Springs first at the Triple Nickle Tavern, then north to Denver at Three Kings on Friday, March 30, and then over to Arvada at the 12 Volt Tavern on Saturday, March 31.
The Lucky Stiffs will then celebrating their return home on Friday, April 13th at the Parkside Tavern in San Francisco.