Believe it or not, things used to be different. People used to start punk bands because they wanted to have fun, not because they needed a vehicle to get their faces on the covers of magazines. Artists used to tour to meet new people, not to sell products in various "markets." Above all, especially in the punk scene, bands in the past didn't believe in a division between themselves and their fans because at the end of the day they knew we were all the same. However just when things seem to be at their bleakest and most dismal Compton, California's Pour Habit have come along and remind us all about why we got interested in punk rock in the first place—and the fact that they have gained a reputation as "the band of the people" is no coincidence.
Initially started by Steve and Chuck as a trio in 2005 in Compton, California, the band underwent a series of member changes and instrument swaps before landing on the perfect lineup of Chuck (vocals), Colin (drums), his brother Eric (guitar/vocals), Shaun (guitar) and Steve (bass/vocals)—and they haven't looked back since. After gaining a local following performing with Authority Zero and Guttermouth and building an enthusiastic fanbase in California, the group entered the studio in 2007 to record their debut full-length, Suiticide. "We barely had enough money for a week in the studio and that album is pretty much a live CD," Colin explains, adding that his drum tracks were cut in one take. "It was a good learning experience and we're proud of it."
From there the band started playing even bigger shows with acts like Strung Out, the Adicts, the Expendables and Death By Stereo and before they knew it, they had sold more copies of Suiticide than they ever imagined they would. As luck would have it, Colin's father was a studio musician and friend of Strung Out's drummer Jordan Burns and eventually Colin convinced Strung Out to let Pour Habit open for them. Pour Habit's impressive arrangements, infectious energy and mind-boggling musicianship made Burns an instant fan/cheerleader and he passed the band's CD onto Fat Wreck Chords owner and NOFX frontman Fat Mike who signed the band in 2009 after watching them play a handful of dates opening for his own band.
"Fat Mike told us that he was expecting to like two or three songs but he said it was a great album that he could release as it was before he put us in the studio," Colin says sounding like he still can't quite believe the band's good fortune. "I'm still kind of overwhelmed by the whole thing." Listening to Suiticide, it's no surprise that Mike wanted to re-release the disc. In fact, from ultra-tight, metal-tinged melodic rock anthems like "Light The Torch," which recall SoCal acts like Ignite to frenzied thrash masterpieces like "Bad Luck Drunk" to sinister sounding hardcore tracks like "Hell Bent," Suiticide harkens back to the early days of the Fat Wreck Chords sound and manages to unify seemingly disparate punk subgenres into a unique amalgam of music that'll instantly get the lead of out today's subdued circle pits.
"When Suiticide came out you have to realize that we were just kind of getting our songs together and our members were into everything from Guttermouth to Pantera, so it was us trying to find that in-between," Colin responds when asked about the album's original sound. "Through that we realized, 'Let's just do whatever we want to do and if it's a simple three-chord Green Day pop song or a crazy Meshuggah wannabe song who cares? Let's do whatever we can do and if it rocks, it rocks.'" It certainly does rock—and the good news is that the band already have another collection songs written that they'll be recording this summer. However in the meantime you'll be able to catch them on tour spreading their brand of punk to the masses and continuing to win crowds over one fan at a time.
"Fat Mike ruined me and my brother's lives," Colin summarizes with a laugh. "If it wasn't for Fat Wreck Chords, I'd probably be working a steady job, but because of those bastards this is my life and there's no way I could ever quit or stop. None of us could and that's the thing—the five of us are so plugged into each other that we're really best friends and that's why we're so dedicated to making this work," he continues, adding that the band have never brought in outside management because they're happy to be involved in even the most mundane aspects of being in a band. "We're looking toward the future and we just want to keep growing and meeting good people and always moving forward."