My introduction to The Wrists was a nearly accidental occurrence. I was burning some music for a road trip (a drive to Toronto to see Lost Sounds if I remember correctly) and I was just picking random files that I hadn't really listened to yet off the hard drive and dumping them on CDs. I had downloaded a folder called "Wrists" from a Soulseek user called paulhasaknife (along with a million other things) and picked a few songs at random and threw them on a CD with a slew of other anonymous tunes. So, after driving to and from TO and listening to a good four hours or so of music in the car, I realized the one song that really stuck was some crazed and blown out sort of synthpunk masher about some crazy shit like living in an eyeball or something. Of course, genius that I am, I had not kept tracklistings for any of the discs I made, so I wasn't exactly sure what band it was that had piqued my interest. About a week or so later I finally took the time to figure it out via a painstaking search through a few hundred files, and submerged myself in Wrists material, and another heap of tunes by a related band called The Wax Museums. Soon after, a Wrists CDR arrives in my mailbox, and I finally realize that paulhasaknife and Paul from The Wrists are the same person. Full circle. Long and boring story, sure, but the distorted vision of these guys and all their related outfits (with The Wrists being the 'flagship' band it seems) is anything but mundane. Their guitarless double-bass and keyboards approach takes the best parts of the modern synth-punk revivial formula I like to think the Lost Sounds perfected and strips it down to bare bones, fusing basement fidelity and rough art-punk shards into their approach. It's the fact that most of the tunes seem barely held together with glue that the band just got huffed that makes them so interesting. In a time when it seems like everyone and their mother is recording at home and posting their tunes on Myspace and printing endless CDRs, The Wrists actually make me glad that this is the case. With no actual records out (until now, that is) they are and continue to be a band whose every move I am keeping an eye on...
TB: Who are The Wrists? Name/instrument?
Wrists:Loren -- bass/vox
Mike -- drums
Paul -- keyboards/vox
Daniel -- vox/bass
Doing this interview are Paul and Daniel.
TB: Has this always been the line-up, or were there other Wrists?
Wrists: We started out with a drum machine and found that difficult to set up live, then we ditched that and got a real drummer. Then we ditched him and got Mike, which is working out best. He's really handsome.
TB: How and when did you all get together?
Wrists: We all grew up in different small East Texas towns and knew each other for years. There is absolutely nothing going on there, so we got together in July of 2004, just bored. Loren was gonna move to Milwaukee so we decided to start a dumb joke band and play a lot of shows before he left. At our first practice we recorded 3 songs and realized we had more potential than some jagoff band. Now 3/4 of us live in Denton, TX, alma mater of actor Peter Weller (fuckin' ROBOCOP).
TB: Who has been doing all the recording for the demos/cd-r/soulseek records stuff? What kind of set-up?
Wrists: All the recordings thus far have been on our computers. Everything up until our last demo/7" recordings were done in various bedrooms, this latest one was done in a shed behind a Unitarian church. It was in the middle of the Texas summer and it was really hot.
TB: What stuff is on the Die Stasi record (the "Freak of Natures" EP) on how did that deal come about?
Wrists: Lane H. contacted us after hearing the demo and wanted to do a record. Its four songs from the last demo that's been circulating around, including "Livin in the Eyeball". It should be out in the next month or so. (Ed: the single is now readily available as well, see the link at the end of the page.)
TB: Any other plans for future releases and recordings?
Wrists: We're gonna be recording some new stuff soon, and we'd be looking for any offers for other records. It's hard for everyone to get together because we don't all live in the same town.
TB: Have you guys toured at all? Any plans to?
Wrists: We've played around Texas and Louisiana, but at the moment we haven't toured. We'd like to tour but its hard to get our shit together between work, school, and one of our members living in a different state. We've also been banned from most local venues. We've only been asked back to 2 venues we've ever played.
TB: Explain some of The Wrists related projects out there: Wax Museums and Pumpers in particular. Are there more? Do these bands play out at all?
Wrists: The Wax Museums started off between Daniel being bored and recording a bunch of music with a drum machine, and sending it to Paul in East Texas and him recording vocals over all of it. Before we knew it we had recorded almost 20 songs. We've recently become a full band and we're starting to play a lot of shows. Rehab records is also putting out our first 7" in the next few months. The Pumpers is Daniel and Mike and some other dude's garage punk band. We've been playing a lot of shows and it's really fun. We're set to record some 7" material soon and hopefully a full length with Mark Ryan from the Marked Men. Daniel was in a band called The Gash with Joe from the Marked Men. We just recently broke up but our split 7" with Austin's the Ape-Shits will be out in mid-August on Big Action Records. Theres also a bunch of other random crap and solo stuff that we all do. There's basically 10 of us in Denton who all just inbreed in the same bands.
TB: What were some other band names vetoed before you settled on The Wrists?
Wrists: The name process is always really difficult for us, cause we're so stupid. The Wrists originally started off as a joke band called the Kimmy Gibblers. We sat around thinking of the worst names ever including the Muffindicks and Bob Seger and the Hairy Nuts. The next day Paul came up with the Wrists, and that's the best we'll ever do. I wish there was something deeper and more artsy, but this is the sad truth.
TB: Best band name ever? (besides your own)
Paul: Pissed Jeans!
Daniel: The Homostupids.
TB: Favorite local band from any time period?
Wrists: Theres basically nothing from where we came from. The only good band that has come from anywhere near East Texas was the Vomit Pigs. But we were about 20 years too late for that one. Our current favorite local band is the Marked Men and their other projects.
TB: Who has the most annoying habits in your band?
Wrists: Loren has a habit of getting really drunk and acting really Southern Baptist at hipster college kid parties. He once threw a bunch of patio furniture over a fence onto a car and almost got beat up by a dyke, all the while yelling "Jesus told me to! Jesus loves a chair thrower. Y'all are all a bunch of antichrists!"
TB: Name three of your favourite albums.
Paul: Hubble Bubble -- Self Titled, X -- Aspirations, Flipper -- Generic
Daniel: Ramones -- Self Titled, Reigning Sound --Too Much Guitar, Teengenerate --Get Action
TB: Favorite fast food?
Paul: Taco Bueno.
TB: Favorite beverage?
Paul: Dr. Pepper/Steel Reserve
Daniel: Milkshakes/Cream soda
TB: Worst show experience?
Wrists: Theres a few. We were playing a show at Beerland in Austin, and a guy kept pushing Mike off drums and playing along offbeat to our songs. He knocked over our keyboard and broke it and knocked Loren's bass so out of tune that he had to play 2 steps up. It went past the point of funny to the point of annoyance. We later found out that it was the drummer for ...And You Will Know Us By The Trail of Dead. We also once set off fireworks at a club in Denton and later, after being banned for life, asked the club for gas money. They threatened to call the cops. Oh yeah, and we also incited a small riot the time we played with the Lost Sounds.
TB: What do you strive to do in The Wrists live show?
Wrists: Have fun and git-r-dun.
...and I think we'll end it on that high note. Multiple copies of the single can be purchased via Die Stasi Records for $5ppd. (and if you have a label, you should do a record with them too...). You can scope out The Wrists on the web via their MySpace page. Also, you can purchase stuff from their CD-R label, Eye Damage Records , right now they have demos by The Pumpers and TV's Daniel One Man Mess available, $3ppd apiece or both for $5ppd. Check them out!
Interview by Rich Kroneiss
Pic credits: Daniel and Mike by Kyle McPeek; Paul and Loren by Sherry Cardino