In February of 2008, Suburban Home Records announced the first issue in the Under The Influence 7″. To date, the series has reached it’s 16th issue with many more planned. We had the opportunity to discuss the history as well as future of the series with Virgil of Suburban Home.
VC: How did the Under The Influence series start?
Virgil: The series actually started with the idea that we might put out an album of covers by a single artist. We even did one with Stereotyperider. We were supposed to do others with Planes Mistaken for Stars and Kane Hodder. Mike Park was even considering it. Soon it was realized that it might be too much to ask a band to do an entire record of covers so eventually I started asking bands to do 1 song and put them out as splits.
I’ve always dug covers and when Vinyl Collective first got going, I discovered so many new, incredible bands. I thought it might be cool to see if some of these acts might be into putting out a split 7″ and record songs that influenced their songwriting. Being the big nerd that I am, I thought it might be cool to find out what songs a band might pick.
VC: How many were you planning on doing initially? Did that change?
Virgil: I always said that I would put out as many as I could. I knew that I wanted to start by putting out around 10. We are at 16 now with a lot more planned.
VC: How do you select and pair bands for the split?
Virgil: Usually, I begin talking to a single band. For example, I met and hung out with the Flatliners a few times and after discussing Under the Influence, they said they would be into it. We then started talking about bands and they said that they would love to do one with Dead To Me. Everything worked out. The Cheap Girls split was supposed to be with Loved Ones, but as so much time passed, Dave Hause began recording a solo record and keeping busy with that so eventually we decided to ask another band. Noise By Numbers got in touch and asked who else was doing a split and soon we found out both bands dug each other. It has always kind of worked like that.
VC: How are the songs selected? I
Virgil: ask each act to pick a song that has influenced their songwriting. It gets tough when there are 4 or more people in a band and each member has a different idea on what to cover. I’m not sure how bands settle which song they do, but somehow no band has broken up over making this decision.
Suburban Home have just announced pre orders and a release date for Volumes 14, 15 and 16 which can be pre ordered here:
Although the majority of the Under The Influence series is sold out, there are a few copies of the following series available now, in small quantities, at the Suburban Home Online Store:
Whiskey And Co./Ninja Gun – Under The Influence Vol. 2
Two Cow Garage/Jr. Juggernaut – Under The Influence Vol. 9 7″
O Pioneers!!!/New Bruises – Under The Influence Vol. 10 7″
Joey Cape/Mike Hale – Under The Influence Vol. 11 7″
Kevin Seconds/Kepi Ghoulie – Under The Influence Vol. 12 7″
Fallen From The Sky/The Wonder Years – Under The Influence Vol. 13 7″
Series to Date Includes:
1 Fake Problems/Look Mexico
2 Ninja Gun / Whiskey and Co
3 Bomb the Music Industry / Mustard Plug
4 Teenage Bottlerocket/ Ergs
5 Drag the River
6 Andrew Jackson Jihad / Cobra Skulls
7 Off With Their Heads / Lemuria
8 Frank Turner / Austin Lucas
9 Two Cow Garage / Jr Juggernaut
10 O Pioneers / New Bruises
11 Joey CApe / Mike Hale
12 Kevin Seconds / Kepi Ghoulie
13 Fallen From the SKy / Wonder Years
14 Ruiner / Attica Attica
15 Cheap Girls / Noise By Numbers
16 Dead to Me /Flatliners