Walter Schreifels (Quicksand, Gorilla Biscuits), Zach Blair (Rise Against), Jamie Miller (Bad Religion, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead), and Autry Fulbright (Midnight Masses, …And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead) joined forces and the resulting band was the awesome Vanishing Life; a punk super group who are busy doing what they do best, destroying stages. Speaking to Walter on tour, we had a brief but pleasant chat about the band’s origins, influences and Togetherfest.
Jack: Hey, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you?
Walter Schreifels (Vocals/Guitar): All good, thanks.
Jack: Did you form when you all met at Groezrock or did you form after that?
Walter: The initial group was me, Autry, Geoff Rickley, Jaime and Jason from Trail Of Dead, we talked about forming a band at Groezrock, think it was 2014.
Jack: What attracted you to working with one another?
Walter: I had toured with Trail and was friendly with them. The idea sounded like fun, I was interested in singing without playing guitar, sick of bringing a guitar to the airport.
Jack: Was writing the demos hard due to the fact you were all in different parts of the country and doing it over the internet, or did it make it easier in a way?
Walter: Jaime made most of the music and I sang over the demos on garage band, Zach had a few as well. The songs I wrote were worried out in the studio, I don’t like recording demos.
Jack: What are the main influences of Vanishing Life?
Walter: The Stooges, The Damned, Savages, Black Flag, Nirvana.
Jack: How did you find performing at SXSW?
Walter: Exhausting, we played so many shows in a few days, had fun but wouldn’t do it that way again. Was helpful to the band though, we needed the experience to get ready to record.
Jack: You’ve done a few in-store performances, what appeals to you about performing in store?
Walter: Nothing in particular, you tend to sell more records that way though and usually the people who work at the store are cool because they invited you.
Jack: Surveillance has been out since November, are you happy with the response?
Walter: Yes and no, the record is great in my opinion so I think it should be more well known, the other side is that it’s difficult for us to tour and these things take time. Having fun with it at any rate and enjoying each experience as it comes.
Jack: Is there a theme to the album?
Walter: Yes, surveillance, the pressure of modern life , our evolution as a species.
Jack: What was it like recording with Davey Warsop?
Walter: Davey is great, he helped me be more confident in my vocal approach. He’s also a friend and I like hanging with him.
Jack: The album was released on Dine Alone Records, what was it like working with them?
Walter: Awesome, great people, great company.
Jack: You’re touring Europe in February as part of Togetherfest, what do you like about playing the UK/Europe?
Walter: It’s fun to be out of the US, drives are shorter, audiences are great too.
Jack: Because this line up has been curated by Walter, does that add any pressure to it?
Walter: Not at all, just an honour to have these awesome and innovative bands on the same bill, love it.
Jack: What have you learnt about this band from when you’ve been on tour together?
Walter: We’re better than I thought.
Jack: What are your plans for after this tour?
Walter: I begin a tour with my other band Dead Heavens in a week, we’re opening for Dave Hause.
Jack: Finally, how do you feel about President Trump?
Walter: He’s a bum out, not qualified for the office at all, a very divisive character, not good for the country, the environment or the world, dangerous.
Walter Schreifels – Guitar/vocals
Zach Blair – Guitar
Autry Fulbright – Bass
Jamie Miller – Drums