L - R
Steve Maury - Bass/Vocals
Nick Woods - Guitar/Vocals
Devon Kay - Guitar/Vocals
Danny Walkowiak - Drums
Direct Hit isn’t a punk band so much as a collection of pureed grey matter.
But this summer – with the help of Fat Wreck Chords – the Milwaukee-based group will make those mushy brains useful by releasing Wasted Mind: an 11-track concept album inspired by the warped sensibilities of such savage works as Burroughs’ Naked Lunch and Thompson’s Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. Produced by All-American Rejects guitarist Mike Kennerty, Wasted Mind follows a cast of drug-addled, medicated and insane characters who check in and out of reality with reckless abandon. Singer/Guitarist/Lyricist Nick Woods says the record is less about chemical abilities and handicaps and more about identity, consciousness and relativity.
“We wrote songs for Wasted Mind that could easily be construed as straightedge anthems, and others that seem to encourage permanent brain-melting as a weekend activity,” he explains. “It’s more of a cautionary tale – ‘Yeah, this whole other world opens up when you start fucking with your own perception. But how does that affect your relationship with people locked in the reality you’ve left behind? Does seeing the world in a different way than everybody else make you a deserved outcast…regardless of how good it makes you feel or the joy you bring to the world as a result?’”
“I hadn’t really experimented with drugs until some time in the last couple years. Having approached that horizon later than most who ever do, it’s easy for me to see how so many people have realized such amazing ideas with the use of mind-altering chemicals and plants. But it’s also easy to see why a lot of those people descend into madness and ruin.”
Since 2007, Direct Hit has produced their own share of mind-altering substances, which includes more than just a couple full-length albums, a pile of 7" records and dozens of demos for crowds on the internet. They’ve created a volume of web comics, a hot sauce brand and more than 15 music videos, most of which contstruct 2013’s acclaimed Brainless God: An irreverent, apocalyptic musical short film that pulled together a narrative hinged on the existential crises of a serial killer, a vengeful loner, a doomsday cult and other miscreants as they await the bomb dropping to end the world.
Somehow, between writing, rehearsing, recording, producing, promoting a series of DIY shows in their hometown and plowing through the doldrums of real life, the band has also managed to travel the U.S. and Europe several times over, touring and sharing stages with the likes of Rise Against, Naked Raygun, The Lawrence Arms, Dillinger Four, Good Riddance, Off With Their Heads, Masked Intruder, PEARS and a laundry list of others. You’d almost think the group was cheating the universe with a time machine. And then you remember that if there’s a band that’s maniacal and hard-working enough to invent one, it’d be Direct Hit.