The Hairlips’ Eric Stutson on the band’s past and future
Chicago’s the Hairlips is a band that puts a unique twist on pop-punk. Taking as they do from both the pop-punk acts who have come before them, as well as liberal doses of ’50s rock ‘n’ roll, the Windy City foursome makes music that is at once modern and timeless. They sent us a copy of their recent CD-R, which is five tracks of relentless catchy pop-punk, and we took the opportunity to speak with guitarist and vocalist Eric Stutson by e-mail about the band’s influences, history, and upcoming projects.
So, do you guys dig on the whole doo-wop / oldies thing, or are you more influenced by the bands who did, like the Ramones, et al?
Well … Johnny [Wabich, bassist] and I were always huge fans of doo-wop and ’50s rock. I’m into a lot ’60s stuff as well, which Johnny just can’t stand. We’re also huge fans of the Ramones.
How did you get into that style of music? What’s appealing about ’50s rock?
We both grew up with parents that loved that style of music. I guess it just stuck with us. My dad was a Ramones fan so I got started on them at a real young age. I remember singing along in the car to the “hey ho … let’s go” of the “Blitzkrieg Bop” as a little kid. Hands down my favorite band of all time. We also loved all the pop punk bands like Weasel, Queers, Beatnik Termites, Teen Idols, Lillingtons, Connie Dungs. I could go on and on.
We did a couple covers on that recording. “Denise” is a cover of a Randy and the Rainbows tune and “Quarter to Three” is a cover of a Gary (U.S) Bonds song.
What’s the history of the Hairlips? How’d you guys come together, how long have you been together, etc.?
Johnny and I went to the same shitty high school, and were in other Bands together before starting Hairlips. I recently had quit a band I had been in and decided it was time to start my own. I wanted to incorporate the doo-wop and ’50s feel to the music, but also keep it punk. So when thinking of a line-up, Johnny was the first person I called. Turned out he had recently jumped ship on his other band and was totally into the idea. Me and him started writing and recording songs together and before we knew it, we had more than an album’s worth of tunes. After a month or so I got my buddy Nick [Rivets] to play second guitar. All we needed was a drummer.
After several tryouts, we decided that we would head to the studio as a trio and I would pull double duty and record the drums myself. Shortly after we finished our first studio session, we were contacted by a drummer named Ron [Capiz], and the the band was complete. Since then, we have only played a handful of shows. We just got back from West Virginia where we had the honor of sharing the stage with the Connie Dungs. Hands down best show I’ve played in my life.
Does the band have anything new on the way?
We have a split 7-inch with the Dewtons coming out soon. We are also heading back to the studio December 18 to finish recording the full length. We will be touring the U.S this spring to support the upcoming full length.
Where can folks find you online?