Better Days Saw the Cro-Mags Stabbing Coming and Has a Seven-Inch on the Way
Better Days has existed since the beginning of 2010, comprised of hardcore scene veterans and former members of local favorites To No End, the Requiem and Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting (as well as many more). Playing catchy, melodic anthems drenched in positivity and good times, Better Days hit the ground running with its self-released demo entitled Songs About Drinking (complete with Big Black parody art) and has been playing basements and stages alike throughout town ever since. The sound is reminiscent of Gorilla Biscuits crossed with Saves the Day, or maybe a slightly less spastic Kid Dynamite, and it has already earned the band loyal fans all over St. Louis.
Photo provided by Better Days
Recently Better Days hooked up with Maplewood-based local label I Hate Punk Rock Records for the upcoming release of its debut seven-inch EP, Good Luck Tonight, taking advantage of IHPR's in-house recording and screenprinting facilities. We sat down with bassist Kevin Tomorrow and drummer Travis Sheaffer and talked about the record, broken collarbones, and Harley from the Cro-Mags recent stab-frenzy assault charges. The interview and a preview track from the record can be found below.
The DIY punk, hardcore and metal scenes have always existed underground and off-the-radar in St. Louis, operating out of basement venues and VFW halls throughout town and rarely-if-ever striving for mainstream attention. While necessary to conduct business properly, an unfortunate side-effect of the approach is that within a few years of disbanding great musical acts are often seemingly erased from the public consciousness. This could have to do with the fact that there is no "retirement plan" for aging punks -- indeed, the genre is perpetually populated by kids in the 18- to 24-year-old demographic -- or perhaps more to do with the intentionally underground middle-finger-to-the-public-at-large attitude with which the music carries itself. In any case, I've always found this posthumous descent into obscurity to be a shame, and my aim with this weekly blog is to shed some (discreet) light on the actions of the current local scene as well as to document some of the notable bands from our city's past.
(Interview edited for content and clarity.)
Daniel Hill: OK, so tell me about the new record.
Travis Scheaffer: It was recorded over three days with Gabe Usery at Encapsulated Studios.
Kevin Tomorrow: We went with Gabe because he recorded our demo and has watched Better Days evolve over the year between recording the demo and recording the seven inch.
TS: Four fast and aggressive melodic hardcore jams, with posi lyrics. Pencilbomb is doing our cover art. Mike Jones and I Hate Punk Rock Records will be putting it out.
TS: Pencilbomb has done cover art for the new Humanoids, Haddonfields, and Hot Atomics in the past.
When and how did you guys get hooked up with I Hate Punk Rock?
TS: Mike Jones is our homey and he's been there for us since the beginning. He's helped us by stuffing our old demos and stickers in his mail orders. He also wore a Better Days t-shirt for like five or six consecutive days while touring down to The Fest with Bent Left last year.