Governess are a sleazy bunch of sexy sailors playing a glunky blend of all action rock n’ roll that would bring a tear of pride to the guy lined eyes of Johnny Thunders and Happy Tom. Hailing from Buffalo, NY in the late great USA, Governess share the balls of their mid-west neighbours and the guts of their NYC cousins. We had a word with guitar player Handsome Erik, an all American guy with an unhealthy love for UK 90’s indie bands.
Compete the following sentence “Governess sound like a cross between………..”
A cross between deathpunk, glam, and Scandi/action rock. Big riffs, flamboyant swagger, sick guitars, and one hand gripping your crotch. Our influences include Hanoi Rocks, NY Dolls, Turbonegro, The Hellacopters, and the Dead Boys, to name a few, and I think that comes out in our musical style.
Writing songs, and hitting the road, mostly. Getting out there, grinding, playing shows has always been at the forefront of our minds. We didn’t really want four years to pass before putting out another record; it just kind of worked out that way. The luxury of taking that time gave us a lot of material to choose from – the best we have from the last four years!
You’ve just unleashed new tune “Grime Time” what’s the response been like?
Oh man, the response has been great! Choosing the first single is a tricky thing. We wanted to put a song out that gives the audience an idea of what the record sounds like, but we didn’t want to blow our load early and use the strongest tune(s). I think we made the right decision; the song rips, and there’s still plenty of gems on the record. Every lyric in that song is true, by the way. It’s about our best bud, and 6th Governess – “Grime Time,” Matt. Without blowing his head up too much, he’s become some sort of quasi-fabled legend. He travels with us, partying his ass off the whole time. Once he learned that we wrote a song about him, shit really popped off!
Never Coming Home sounds HUGE. Don’t expect some weak-ass, lo-fi, art-punk crap that was recorded on an old mixtape, or something. There’s a lot of guitars, a lot of sing-a-longs, cool lyrics, and upbeat songs. No snoozers. It’s dark, it’s fast, and it’s loud. In a lot of ways, we feel like Let Me Be Your Governess was kind of like our Ass Cobra, and this new one is our Apocalypse Dudes moment. The band has evolved so much in four years.
Have you got a label lined up or will you set up your own label to get it out there?
We are currently doing everything ourselves, but we are definitely looking to shop this around and get label support.
What’s your plan, post-pandemic battle plan?
Staying in lock-down has everyone really dying to get out play shows. Once we’re able to do that again, we’ll be pounding the pavement hard. This pent up energy is going to make for some wild times ahead! We’re trying to get this record released, in physical form, by the end of the year/early 2021. We haven’t discussed an early digital release, but that’s a possibility as well.
Are there still any great undiscovered bands out there? Give your mates’ bands a push.
Absolutely! Punk’s not dead, it’s just down on the floor… Through the years, we’ve met some great bands, and have made some great friends. Without a doubt, the best band in our scene is Hot Blood, from Asbury Park, New Jersey. If you’re into hardcore punk, there’s no one doing it better. They have two guitar players that shred, their lyrics are on point, and their hooks are strong as fuck. In early 2019 they put out Fear of a Unified Public, and we’re still all talking about it! Another great Asbury band (now in Los Angeles) is The Battery Electric. These beautiful babies are the hardest working band in the business. 100% rock n roll, sweet hooks, and another Jersey guitar shredder! I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Rotten UK (Rochester, NY) and the Cheats (Pittsburgh, PA). Both bands are incredible and should be way bigger than they are. I hear the Hot Blood guys a Rotten boys don’t get along, though….
I find it curious that you’re asking for five records, and it just so happens that those first five Oasis releases are pure fire! Coincidence??? For real though, my favorite bands/records change on a daily basis, depending on my mood, or what Kinks record I’m listening to at the moment, so this is a tough question. How about I tell you the five records that are getting the most spins in the Handsome household?
- Greater Than Ever, by Baseball Furies – Buffalo punk legends. I discovered this record about two years ago, and its been in regular rotation since. I’m mad at myself for not discovering it sooner.
- Off the Rails, by Gino and the Goons – I just discovered these guys too! Their entire catalog is great. I thought I was a huge Heartbreakers fan; these guys really love them, L U V!
- Funhouse, by The Stooges – This record blows me away. It’s so loud, raw, and loose. Plus Ron Asheton is fucking MENTAL!!
- Crystal Gazing Luck Amazing, by Compulsive Gamblers – I love that 60s vibe. The singer has a sweet voice, and that song Two Thieves always makes me want to cry. I DON’T THOUGH!!!!!
- Algorithm & Blues, by The Good, the Bad, and the Zugly – Jesus Christ! What can I say? Its not only the best record of 2019, but it’s going in the Deathpunk Hall of Fame.
Robot Rob: Vocals & Bass
Handsome Erik: Lead Guitar
Fast Teddy Clarke: Lead Guitar
Jon Swayze: Rhythm Guitar
Matty Wild: Drums
Hurl them some abuse on their Facebook page Here
Check out the latest single “Grime Time” Bandcamp
Catch up and grab their debut album “Let Me Be Your Governess Here
Author: Fraser Munro