Two Man Advantage on Hurricane Sandy and the NHL lockout
|Two Man Advantage|
Tonight at The Triple Rock's "Drunk Punk Hockey Night in Minnesota," East Coast punk favorites Two Man Advantage take the stage for a hard-hitting set of songs about hockey and beer. With 15 years under their belts, the group's coming to town to promote their new album Dynasty.
We spoke guitarist Captain and drummer Coach about hitting the road with the genre's best songs about hitting the ice.
You guys have been together now for 15 years. What do you think makes punk rock and hockey go together hand-in-hand so well?
Coach: Despite the current labor situation in the NHL, which is depressing because it's essentially millionaires fighting billionaires, hockey's always been the most punk rock of all sports. It's always been the least popular in terms of mass appeal in the U.S. It's the fastest game, like punk rock music. It's the most hard-hitting game, like punk rock music. There's a controlled chaos element and a lot of people can't relate to it at all, like punk rock. What I love about it is hockey combines all the elements that make man such a beautiful beast. It's a thinking man's game [with] so much grace and beauty involved, yet you have to be tough-as-nails and [be] as brutal as you can be to play the game. It's the combination of the highest and lowest elements of humanity, and I think punk rock is the combination of the highest ideals of how society should be organized and also the anger and brutality of life not being what it could be. To me, that's why they go together so well.
With your home base being New York, were you hit much by Hurricane Sandy?
Coach: Well, some of us were hit really badly. Our bass player lost pretty much everything he owns. He lives right on the water in a small town in Long Island. He's going on the tour with not much at all. Some of our families were affected, going without power for really long stretches of time. It's the worst storm to hit New York since the 1800s. One neighborhood in Queens lost 100 houses to fire alone. I just keep telling people it's a good time to not be in New York right now if you have the luxury to not be dealing with a crisis.
Did the NHL lockout cause any roadblocks while making your new album, Dynasty?
Coach: It's more of a problem now than it was during the recording. We had a song on the last record, South of Canada, about the 2004 lockout. And now, we're playing it on this tour constantly because it's pertinent. With this record out now, we wanted to court the NHL and get them interested, because we've had a little bit of that in the past, and all of a sudden they're not playing. It sucks, but I'd rather be able to just watch a game. We're so desperate, we'd watched a Columbus Bluejackets - Florida Panthers game. It didn't provide any challenge during the creative process.
Captain: We'd write a bunch of songs about the minor leagues I guess. I always look up on tour what hockey is going on, and [in Debuque] I was very happy to find a tier one junior U.S. hockey game. There's always hockey going on.
This year you're also re-releasing your debut Drafted. What made 2012 seem like the right time for a re-release?
Captain: We'd been talking about reissuing the first album for a while. The first label, Royalty Records, went under about two years after it was released. Locally, it remains maybe our most popular record, and there had been discussions with a few different labels about doing it, but it never panned out. Actually, it happened very off-the-cuff because as we were recording the new record for Drug Front Records, I asked how they would feel about releasing the first album with a few bonus tracks, and it happened very quickly. They remastered it in about two weeks, it's just a digital download, but it sounds great. It's so much meatier, heavier and stronger sounding.
Being that you tour with instruments as well as full-blown hockey gear, do you find any challenges traveling?
Coach: Well, space in the van. We've got about eight sticks that we've brought along. The days of us traveling with nets are over. They get destroyed anyway, and they take up so much space. We used to do more organized games on the road, so if anybody in Minneapolis wants to come play hockey in the parking lot, we're looking to do that for sure. We hope to play on the road whenever we get the chance.
Two Man Advantage performs at the Triple Rock Social Club on Friday, November 16 with In Defence, Archetectis Death Spiral, and Triple Crossed
18+, $8, 9 p.m.