Pittsburgh punk trio Run, Forever recently released their second LP, Settling, via Tiny Engines. It’s been over a year since the band last released any new music, and they’re celebrating the new album by setting out on a tour with labelmates State Lines. The tour hits Kansas City’s Art Closet Studios for a show with Emo Side Project on Sunday, January 13. Singer and guitarist Anthony Heubel spoke with us via e-mail about the new record, touring, and cats.
Run, Forever’s sound swings back and forth between anthemic punk and acoustic folk. What’s the appeal for a punk act to play acoustic?
For me, it’s really fun to write something so minimal and simple. I think that sometimes it’s even more challenging than writing a song that would be played by a full band. Its a lot easier to notice mistakes when it’s just guitar and vocals but I also think that’s what gives those kinds of songs their character. I write all of our songs on acoustic to begin with and one of them always ends up just feeling better that way.
I ask, because it seems that number of punk bands which go from electric to acoustic and back is growing. Does it have to do with the roots of protest music lying in the folk genre?
Acoustic songs can definitely feel more intimate. They can be a good way to kind of get to the point of something right from the start. Stripped down without flashy instrumentation it’s all about the lyrics, so who ever’s listening is going to be focused on what you have to say.
Your 2011 split with the Wild featured a ‘zine that was produced by both bands, and tied its content into the material on the 7-inch. Do you have any plans to revisit that idea of text plus music in the future?
Cassie is still very active in writing her zine “Cat Power”. We don’t have any plans right now to release any more text with music but I’m always open to that idea. Our friends in Rubrics released a book not too long ago, I would love to do something like that but I think I question my writing ability too much. Especially if it’s something political, I feel like I always sound like a little kid.
You’ve obviously been recording and releasing music since your first LP, The Devil, The Death, and Me, but it’s been over a year since your last 7-inch. What was the delay on releasing Settling?
I guess we just didn’t want to rush things. We put out a good bit of music pretty fast and with “Settling” we really wanted it’s release to be anticipated instead of something that just happened. The record also loosely documents our recent move at the time to a town just outside of Pittsburgh called Braddock and up until the record was done being recorded we were still writing bits and pieces of it. The song “Braddock Beach” in particular was the last song to be finished and recorded.
Settling by Run Forever
Run, Forever’s tours take the band to a lot of house shows and otherwise “nontraditional” venues. Are there upsides or downsides to playing galleries, basements, and the like?
Absolutely, each one can be equally great and frustrating in their own way. Basements and houses are always really fun because they’re intimate and close up and you feel like you’re in a Sum 41 music video. And while most of them are awesome sometimes they’re just parties and no one could really care less about what you’re playing as long as they can slosh around to it, those shows are bummers. A really great gallery in Pittsburgh called Most Wanted Fine Arts used to have shows and it was one of my favorite places to play. Galleries are cool because they’re kind of in the middle between venues and houses/basements. They don’t have a big stage and fancy sound system but they’re also not as cramped and hard to access as someones basement.
What’s with your love of cats? I mean, I understand completely, as they’re adorable and loveable, but you make mention of how much you’re into them on your Facebook, in your merch store.
They’re just great animals. Very spiritual, lots of good energy.
Pop over to the Tiny Engines site for more tour dates, as well as the ability to pick up the new releases from Run, Forever and State Lines.