Check out the song: “Gasoline”

Dave Tejas, vocalist for the punk band Krum Bums, spoke with me recently about the group’s latest disc, Cut The Noose. This is a band that has been around for a while now and it’s good to see them still releasing records and touring. They’ll be on tour this summer alongside Toxic Holocaust. Here’s what Tejas had to say.

Many of your songs are so hard and intense that I am sure they translate well into a live setting taking on a whole new life in front of a live audience. How does it make you feel when the emotion and power that you envisioned in the recording studio, come to life while playing in front of a crowd?
Dave: It’s an amazing feeling. I can’t put it into words; almost impossible to explain. So I can’t say anything more, leave me the fuck alone… Just kidding. Honestly, seeing your music come alive is fucking incredible. Each song is like a baby that we put so much time and effort in. Watching it grow gives you a sense of accomplishment. Watching the kids connect to the songs as much as we do is something that is still so crazy to me. From the time that we get on to the stage to the time we get off, I almost feel as though I black out into the music.

Different groups have unique ways of writing their songs. How do you guys go about writing your music? Is it a collective effort or is it more the efforts of one particular member of the band?
Dave: Everything we do, we try to make it a collective effort. A lot of times, Justin or Trae will have a riff and we’ll sit down together and add on to it. I do my best to write the lyrics.

Every band has its musical influences. What are some of the other bands and artists that have greatly influenced you guys and your music?
Dave: Oh, man… this is a loaded question. It’s hard to name just a few bands when all of us have such a large range of influences. Of course, bands like the Clash, Pogues, early American hardcore, Black Flag, Negative Approach, etc. We’re also influenced by metal bands like Metallica and Iron Maiden. Honestly, we’re influenced by our environment… Texas has always had one of the best scenes in music in general. The Big Boys, The Dicks, Motards, The Chumps… to fuckin’ Ghetto Boys to Willie Nelson. Who doesn’t love Bushwick Bill and the Redheaded Stranger?

If you could jam with any famous musician, dead or alive, from any century, who would it be and why?
Dave: I’m not really into “jamming”, but if I could rock out it would be with The Pogues on their first American tour. Just imagine the insanity of that tour. Between the live show, the drugs and the alcohol… woof.

The name of the band Krum Bums is interesting to say the least and sounds as if there is a story behind it. Where did the name come from and what is the story?
Dave: In early 2000, I had just moved home from Baltimore. I was living on Trae’s couch. We were getting stoned watching the Simpsons and Principle Skinner called the bad kids “you crumb bums.” I told Trae, in a super stoned voice, “Hey brah, that should be the name of our next band… Krum Bums”…and that’s how the band started… without any music, just a name. About a year later, my great-grandmother, who was over 100, asked me the name of my band. I told her, Krum Bums… and she just started giggling. She told me that she hadn’t heard that name in years and that during the depression, the orphan kids would scrape up crumbs from the bread lines off the ground because they weren’t old enough to get bread. This secured that it was an appropriate name for the band.

Now that your brand new CD, Cut The Noose, is complete how do you feel about it? Are you satisfied with the outcome?
Dave: I’m more proud of this than anything I’ve ever done in my entire life. We were at a point that many bands come to: It’s time to sink or swim. I feel we kicked this idea in the ass. We wrote everything that was personal to us and we threw it on the slab. That’s what I respect about everything I grew up on.

You guys have been at this for over a decade now. Did you ever imagine you would still be making music and releasing records?
Dave: Fuck no!

Do you think the band is getting more respect now as opposed to 10 or 15 years ago?
Dave: I’d like to think that all of us, working our asses off, would get more respect. Touring, touring and touring. Losing relationships and stressing out friendships and ourselves. However, in any music scene, the more you work… the harder they work to bring you down. Hate, hate and hate… we don’t give a fuck.

What kind of touring plans do you have in support of the record?
Dave: We’ll be heading out with Toxic Holocaust. We can’t wait to destroy every fucking show, every night. It doesn’t help that these are our homeboys. There may be many hospital visits.

What artists would fans be surprised to find on your iPod?
Dave: Oh, all kinds of weird shit, GBH, the Exploited, Crass, Dead To Me, Riverboat Gamblers, the Lower Class Brats… things you’d never think we would listen to. Oh, get out of my Patsy Cline collection.

Tell me about a book or two that you’ve read that you think other people should read?
Dave: I’m currently reading ‘A Million Little Pieces’ and it’s scaring the shit out of me. …but just like records, there are too many to name. I love reading the old Grimm’s Fairy Tales, not the little kid shit… the real fucked up shit. …And books about the Bubonic Plague.

If you had not become a musician what other career path would you have liked to attempt?
Dave: I love cooking. When I come home from a fucking shit day, I grab a pot and a pan, make a big thing of soup, and throw on a record and everything’s ok.

What three words best describe your band?
Dave: Great Fucking Disaster!

If you were a superhero, who would it be and why?
Dave: I’d be my own kind of superhero. Not the kind that could change the course of time, but the kind that could change the course of a meal. I could start off with dessert.

Any closing words?
Dave: Go fuck yourself. And come out to the Toxic Holocaust/ Krum Bums tour this summer. Let’s fuck shit up!