They are devastatingly serious when it comes to their ass kicking hardcore punk style and hysterically uproarious with their song writing; they are the one and only No Redeeming Social Value from New York City. In the tough guy/beat down world of Hardcore Metal NRSV’s style is a welcomed change of pace, never taking themselves to seriously, but constantly putting everything they have into their explosive style of playing; blood sweat and beers included.
The bands newest release, High In Holland, is a live show captured on October 18th 2007 at the Dynamo in Eindhoven, Netherlands. The band was in the midst of its wildly drunken and successful “Still Drinking Across Europe” Tour hitting on all cylinders this night as the brew and fists flew with passionate abandon. This 19 song barn burner of a set, put out by Dead City Records, spans the groups long career with crowd favorites “Your Boyfriend’s A Guido” and “No Regrets” mingling amongst newer tunes like “Beer =’s Fun” and “I Hate Everyone”. Sprinkle in a few covers, a psychotic Dutch crowd and you have the makings of one frothy live album.
Glide managed to connect with lead vocalist Dean Miller for some thoughts about the new disk, touring, drinking and the general insanity that makes No Redeeming Social Value the only band that truly matters these days…
No Redeeming Social Value has been together for a long time and has had a ton of releases, what made this show special?
NRSV has indeed been around a lot longer than most of our contemporaries or other hard-core/ punk bands that tend to burnout within a few years. This is largely because we are fueled by beer which sustains us and besides we are still playing to try to make money to pay enormous bar tabs. We decided that THIS particular show would be appropriate to release as a live CD, very simply because someone (the sound engineer) remembered to record it for us. HIGH IN HOLLAND is basically an updated version of all of our classic material as well as capturing our live drunken energy. Besides, we love to play in Holland.
So just how high were you in Holland on this particular night?
How high were we?? That’s like asking Louis Armstrong how ‘black he was?’ Let’s just say that if ‘getting HIGH IN HOLLAND’ were awarded with degrees – NRSV would have a PhD. The people of Holland are very kind to NRSV as we share the same Rasta culture and beliefs. NRSV playing in Eindhoven, Holland is an ‘event’, a festival. We have many friends in Europe – particularly Holland – from playing there over the years – our friends always come buy the gigs w/ loads of ill weed and blocks of sweet hash for us. Also, keep in mind that HIGH IN HOLLAND was recorded on the ‘Still Drinking Across Europe Tour’, and our tour company was called ‘Wasted for Life Productions’ – so you get the idea………..but even as high as we were/ are – the precision and skilled musicianship is represented to the max, no doubt.
Give me a crazy story from the "Still Drinking Across Europe Tour"?
Well there’s a few crazy stories from the tour that come to mind – like when we stayed at the Duvel brewery and they offered to give us all jobs as brewers, or when we were in Belgium and ate all our spliffs because the cops were turning up the heat on us, or the time when the tour mgr. crashed the van, or the time when we were walking to lunch in Maastricht and some photographer coaxed us into a full ‘photo session’ in his studio on the spot, or the drinking Olympics in Germany.
But the craziest story had to be when we were challenged to a soccer match by the curator of a Dutch national historic site and his crew of female, college age, exchange student tour guides. In Holland, all soccer challenges are meaded out shirts vs. skins style – like in gym class in the U.S. – except the opposing team was skins, and that team was all girls with big tits. They won, as we were easily distracted. But they all gave themselves black eyes from playing so fiercely. What a game that was – one for the record books.
How is the Chicken in Europe? Any special places with a tasty bird?
Europe isn’t a big bunch’a KFC eatin’ grease junkies like we are here in the U.S.A. Mostly vegan food in Europe. All the backstage catering is Vegan, because we have such a big straight edge following over there. The Vegan food is great!!! It’s well prepared, it’s tasty, etc….But, you ain’t gonna get your dick hard eating food that’s not all chocked full of grease, or animal hormones and steroids – that’s for sure. So once in a while we gotta hit up the Chinese food restaurants and get our fill of fried chicken under a hot lamp, or duck, or pork or whatever dead animals we can munch on. It’s not as good as our ghetto chicken spots here in NYC, but we’ll get our fix enough for a half-hard on, at least.
You guys have played all over the US, Europe and Japan and there is a palpable energy and party mood on High In Holland, how was the crowd this night?
It was a hot, steamy night with a low hanging fog cast over the restless city of Eindhoven. As the sun went down, and the stage lights got hot the Dynamo crowd was buzzing with electricity. Then, like the crack of a lightning bolt, NRSV hit the stage in a most riotous and raucous manner that set the party into full-tilt motion. People swarmed the dance floor like angry bees on a piece of candy. From the opening notes of ‘More Tattoos’ there were hardcore antics galore – sing-a-longs, swill-a-longs, hardcore finger pointing, dance offs, stage dives, high fives, and all the usual stuff that sets an NRSV party in motion. After blazing through all the classics, and bashing around to all the anthems with the ferocity of a drunken incredible hulk, the crowd was still cranked up and howling through the streets of Eindhoven – drunk on hardcore, drunk on fun, drunk on NRSV party energy. As for me, I was so wasted I don’t remember the show at all – so I’m glad we captured it on a live album.
What are some differences between European/Japanese and American crowds when it comes to your Hard-core/Punk style?
Not many differences really. People are more alike than different – there’s the lesson. Only the geographic setting is different, really. NRSV is well received wherever we go – and we are grateful for that, and thankful for all our supporters. NRSV never really fit into any ‘style’ of hardcore – we play a pretty broad style, mostly based in old school punk – our crowds in Europe, Japan, U.S. has always been a unique mix of people. Mostly it’s people that want to come out and have a good time with no holds barred fun and no ‘heavy messages’ or slogans to bum anyone out.
Generally, if you can party with NRSV you got to be good people. Being pressed to think of a difference, I would only be able to note the varying levels of alcohol abuse. The Europeans definitely don’t know when to ‘say when.’ That being said, they are a jolly bunch, but they just don’t like the party to end.
Humor is obviously a major part of your show, do you think everyone gets the joke or is beer the common thread that unites us all?
Even after all these years, I’m sure that not everyone get’s the joke behind ‘Skinheads Rule’ or ‘More Tattoos’. So, maybe that makes those songs even funnier, I don’t know?!
Regardless, I think most people understand our humor and relate to our message of fun. I’ve heard it said that ‘if you can’t have fun at an NRSV show – you don’t know what fun is’. I’m proud of that – I feel we’ve accomplished something with that beyond any musical goals. If we do have a unifying message – I’d like that statement to be it. Beer is secondary, really, but essential all the same. I had a friend in high school that once said ‘drugs bring people together’. In this case, it’s beer, but regardless, I think it’s true.
What do you have to say those people who insist that drinking is in fact a game?
HAHAHAHAHAAAA many have laughed in the face of an NRSV fueled party – few have laughed the day AFTER hanging out and drinking with us. Remember this about our band; numerous members have left NRSV because they couldn’t handle the ‘party’ aspect. When we say in the song ‘Drinking is Not a Game’ – that means, if you hang out with us and you can’t keep up, it’s better to drop out of the game because trying to out-play us is just not possible. Ask anyone on the hardcore scene – they’ll agree. NRSV #1 drinkers, #1 smokers – NRSV won the championship trophy at the 16th Annual International Hardcore Drinking Contest – so there ya go.