Spiritual Cramp Interview

SpirtualCramp Intro 750px

 

Spiritual Cramp has an overwhelming stage presence and the licks to back it up. React! Records just released their debut EP, Mass Hysteria, with four tracks about life problems and city living. I sat down curbside with Michael Bingham (vocals) and Stewart Kuhlo (guitar) on San Francisco’s Mission St. to talk about the band. —Jordan Joseffer

Are you guys named after the Christian Death song?
Michael: Yes, we are. Actually, we had a different band name picked out and someone vetoed it. My friend was, like, “Yo, you should name your band Spirtual Cramp. I’ve always wanted to name a punk band that.” And we all thought that was a sick reference.
Stewart: Yeah, I think Christian Death is cool and shit but it’s more like what those words literally mean together. That’s what the band is about versus being influenced by Christian Death.

What does a Spirtual Cramp feel like?
M: Life. Just feeling tripped out and fucked up all the time. Just everyday, man. Everyday is a spiritual cramp. Life is a spiritual cramp.
S: That’s right. It’s, like, how do you live in this world?

 

SpirtualCramp PQ 750px
You guys were in other hardcore bands. What was the concept going into this project?
S: Mike and I met because we were into the same shit and knew some people. He hit up the bassist, Michael Fenton, who wrote all of the songs and it just sort of came together that way. Really just as a way to express something that Mike felt wasn’t being talked about in the music that he was listening to. People view people in bands on pedestals and think they have their shit going for them. That’s not the reality. We are all fucked up.
M: Absolutely. I just want fools to know that I’m fucked up. You see all of these fools on the Internet and everyone looks like their shit is so sick and it’s not that sick. No one’s that sick.

You have a song called “Tenderloin.” How much does living in San Francisco have to do with your song writing?
M: It’s everything. I lived in a small town my whole life and moved here three years ago and it changed my whole life, man. It’s everything to me; it’s like a whole new world for me. That song is about finding a gun on Polk street.

How imperative is the tambourine?
M: So imperative! It’s a must have for the vibe.

Do you see the lineup evolving into an even bigger band with more instruments? Xylophone, synths?
M: Our friend is singing a song with us tonight. We played at the UC theater the other night and we had, like, 11 people on stage for the last song. We smoked a joint on stage and everyone had percussions and we were just jamming out.
S: Yeah, I think ultimately it’s about community. Like, San Francisco is important to us but so are all of the people that we know and that are involved in the community. So if the band was to expand it would be with people that we know and we love. We’re not trying to be a novelty. It’s about involving creative people that you respect.

I want to read you a recent quote from Bono in Rolling Stone: “Music has gotten very girly. And there are some good things about that, but hip-hop is the only place for young male anger at the moment—and that’s not good.” How would you respond?
M: That’s wack, dog. That’s so fucking wack. Tell that fool to fuck off.
S: Yo, man, it’s easy to be a millionaire and be an outsider and judge some shit. There is a place for female expression in every form of music and art, period.
M: You can be whoever you want to be. You can be angry; you can be happy; it doesn’t matter.
S: The perfect meme for this would be, “Bono, listens to Cardi B once.”

What are you guys up to in 2018?
M: We’re going on tour with American Nightmare, Pissed Jeans and No Warning in the spring. We have another EP that we recorded that’ll probably come out in the summer. We are trying to tour as hard as possible with only dope bands.

Anything else you’d like to say?
M: Fuck the police; fuck the government; 
fuck everything.

 

 

Catch Spiritual Cramp live with American Nightmare, Pissed Jeans & Protestor:

02/16 – Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer
02/17 – New York, NY – Market Hotel
02/18 – Boston, MA – Brighton Music Hall


with American Nightmare and No Warning:
02/21 – Montreal, Quebec, Canda – Fafounes
02/22 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – Velvet
02/23 – Pittsburgh, PA – Rex Theatre
02/24 – Detroit, MI – Magic Stick
02/25 – Chicago, IL – Bottom Lounge


with American Nightmare, Torso and Fireburn:
03/9 – San Diego, CA – Irenic
03/10 – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex
03/11 – Berkeley, CA – 924 Gilman Street

  • Mononeon Interview

    Mononeon Interview
    The term "musical prodigy" doesn't quite capture the bass-playing abilities of Mononeon. It's more accurate to say he's one of the best to ever pick up the instrument. See for yourself. 
  • Animal Collective Interview

    Animal Collective Interview
    Animal Collective blew up in the skate world when their song was used in Jake Johnson's Mind Field part­—which is regarded as a masterpiece of skating/editing/music. The band's unique legacy and sound has only gotten stronger in the following years.  
  • Thurston Moore's Interview

    Thurston Moore's Interview
    Thurston is a founding member of Sonic Youth and a guitar virtuoso. His various projects have created a rich musical legacy. He also has deep roots with skating and video-making. Here he describes the mutual affection between skating and his music.
  • Soft Kill x Welcome Skateboards

    Soft Kill x Welcome Skateboards
    Welcome gets the singer from Soft Kill on the line to discuss music, addiction and their recent collaboration. 
  • R.A. the Rugged Man Interview

    R.A. the Rugged Man Interview
    During his 30-year career, R.A. has occupied both the spotlight and the status of an underground hip-hop legend. His song "Uncommon Valor" is regarded as a lyrcial masterpiece and he shows no signs of stopping.
  • Third Eye Blind Interview

    Third Eye Blind Interview
    After millions of album sales since the mid-90s, Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins continues to make music without compromise or concern about radio hits and pop charts. He features Cher Strauberry in his newest video and she sat with him for an interview.
  • Creature x Gwar

    Creature x Gwar
    Chris Russell gets sacrificed onstage with Gwar for their Creature collab. Get a board with some gore, you maggots. 
  • Run The Jewels Interview

    Run The Jewels Interview
    Not many musical acts bridge the gap between hip-hop's "Golden Era" and those who seek fresh new sounds. Run The Jewels stands tall over this divide. Killer Mike and El-P already each had a rich legacy and their combined forces have produced something unique.
  • The Shrine's "Born To Waste Away" Music Video

    The Shrine's "Born To Waste Away" Music Video
    The Shrine’s raw new music vid pushes back on the American Dream in LA and helps give funds to protestors for legal aid. Bump this on your next bowl session. 
  • Hacksaw Interview

    Hacksaw Interview
    Hacksaw's music is not here for your enjoyment. It exists to pummel you into submission. We caught up with these heavy noise makers, but we were particularly curious about guitarist/skater Mike Hell's perspective and ethics of eating garbage straight from the can.