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Interview with Woj and Albite of Cold World, Pt. 1

Cold World are one of the coolest bands out there, but the band is the tip of the iceberg to their coolness. A lot of it comes across on records and shirts, but there’s more. It’s not so much that they’re a work in progress, but they’re always progressing. I’m not sure the kids are truly aware of the extent of their coolness. AlBite has a big name in Wilkes-Barre and is like the mayor over there. Nick has been into bad shit since he was 11. Anyways, we hope this gets at some of it. Enjoy.

What’s new with you Alex? how’s Gypsy going?

There’s a lot of new stuff in my life, but, its mostly just guns, perks, and attachments in Call of Duty. Gypsy’s doing pretty well. We finished writing the LP. Well, I have to write lyrics still, but other than that it’s finished. We’re gonna go into the studio in May/June and record it. We already have an EP written for after it, songs that just don’t quite fit the LP. The LP is straight up Jawbreaker / Dinosaur Jr. / Quicksand and the EP has more of a Jawbox/ Superchunk / Fugazi type vibe to it. We also added a third guitarist. Cause why not?

Who’s the third guitarist in Gypsy? Does he use any cool pedals?

Alex: Colin Gorman. He’s young, just turned 20 today on March 11 and knows how to play more SRV songs than anyone I know. His pedal game is not so strong. He uses a small clone and an overdrive right now, that’s it. But he did just buy a Purple 1971 Marshall Super Bass JMP that with his G&L Legacy sounds perfect. Colin spends about three hours a day watching youtube videos of Stevie Ray Vaughn, John Frusciante, Jimi Hendrix, and Stone Gossard.

Nick, what’s new with you? How’s Pegasus going?

Honestly I’ve just been working and coolin out. I haven’t really had the inspiration to fuck with music lately. It’ll come back to me though. Pegasus is weird cause it wasn’t supposed to be how it came out. They had the songs recorded for a minute and Georgie was supposed to do the vocals but something weird happened every time he tried to do it. He was busy with Blacklisted and I really wanted to do something, ’cause Cold World wasn’t very active, so I asked George and Haroun if I could just sing on it and they were down. Sausage put the record out and we’ve never even played, which is funny. I’d like to play a couple gigs and do another record but the other guys are busy with their shit. I really want to be prolific and put out a crazy amount of records in different bands, I just can’t find anybody to do bands with.

What’s it like not being on the road?

It sucks, man. When I’m working I really miss gigging and writing music. Seeing Alex’s little brother’s band (Title Fight) doing it big makes me wish we would’ve stuck it out and hit the road. Then again, most actual hardcore bands that tour a lot and put their all into it don’t have much to show for it at the end of the day. Also, kids are so fickle and are over everything before they even get into it.

Alex, how often are you touring these days? What’s it like not having Nick on the road?

I’m always the first person to say I hate touring.

Really, you hate touring? I thought you were a road dog.

Alex: I love waking up in different cities everyday,I love playing shows, and I love meeting new people. But, I hate sleeping on floors, and I hate sitting in a van for 12 hours. I don’t really think I’m a road dog, but I do like to go out as much as I can. Its hard to find a medium. … But when I’m in one city for more than a month I start to lose my mind, I think that’s the case with anyone who has spent time on the road. So, even if Cold World isn’t doing too much playing out-wise I’ll still go on the road with Title Fight for a week or weekend, just to get out. Cold World isn’t doing to much playing out right now. Scace lives in PHX, Haroun lives in Detroit, I work full time, Nick works full time (I hope you put in a picture of Chester Cheetah here)… and try this one on for size: Dan has a 17-year-old daughter, a one-year-old daughter, and is about to have twins any day now. So, it’s kind of a hard time getting all of our schedules to work together… But when we do play, yeah, Nick hasn’t really played with us on the road much as of late. Just ’cause his work schedule really isn’t very flexible at all. I don’t know. It’s really weird. We have some great drummers fill in from time to time, and no matter how confident I am in their drumming, it’s just strange, because I wrote all of those songs with Nick. So there is never going to be that 100% comfort that I have with Nick. Even if the fill-ins know how to play more CW songs than Nick does.

Has playing in Cold World ever endangered your life?

Alex: Yes. Anytime Dan is driving at night. He is not afraid to sleep and drive. Anytime Haroun and I drink too much Steel Reverse. When Party Boy drank a cocktail some guy in Belgium made up called Twins (a shot of whiskey called Danny Devito, dropped into a glass of Duvel called Arnold Schwarzenegger) and ran out of the van to fight some wild ass group of hooligans. And a couple other times I don’t really want to get into.

Is the band a full-time thing still? Will it be once you’re in L school? Will you still jammy jam?

Far from it right now. We only have one show booked for any point in time in the future, and it’s United Blood. I don’t even know how that’s gonna work out since Hannah [Dan's wife] is either going to be ready to have twins, or will have just given birth to twins. It’s kind of weird, I’m not used to having NOTHING on our schedule. Once I’m in school, I don’t know what I’m going to do. My life is going to be a whirlwind of books and hating everything. I’m sure over a break or something we’ll bust out a Philly show. I hope at least. I’ll never stop writing music… I talked to Dr. Dan Yemin once about how he pursued his doctorate while playing in Lifetime. Basically the gist of what he told me was, “Choosing between furthering my education and playing music was like choosing between eating and breathing”. I like to eat a lot though, so much so that I might forget to breathe sometimes.

So the band’s not full time. Is it still your primary music/creative outlet?

Nick: The band is far from full time. We’ll do shows here and there and a lot of times I can’t even do the gigs so we get [Adam] Rifkin from Bad Seed, Daniel from Down to Nothing or Ben from Title Fight to fill in. I’ve played the last few shows though, and there’s talk of doing Japan in July, which I’ll definitely do. I’d like for Cold World to be my primary music outlet but it’s really hard for us to get things written. Haroun lives in Detroit and he’s come out to Philly a couple times to write, and we can never seem to get shit done. So I guess making beats is my primary outlet, but nobody even hears them, so it’s kind of a bummer. I’m sort of dying to do another band right now. I don’t even care about gigging, I just want to make jams.

What’s the deal with Josh Jew? Do you have any good stories about him? Why did he buy a scorpion?

Nick: Party Boy [Josh] has been out of Cold World for a while now but we’re all still friends with him. He hangs out at bars and plays in a band called Robes with Mook from War Hungry and Shafer from Frostbite. They’re like dance rock-type shit. Shafer writes all the music and he loves Primal Scream. Jew bought a scorpion basically just to make everyone laugh. There’s so many good stories, but you’d probably have to ask Albite. I will say that Josh was going out with Bam’s [Margera's] wife’s sister for a while but she broke up with him because he was too stupid for her. So much for touring with HIM.

Albite: Owen had to have asked this question. When I first met Josh, he was this little spazz that would ride around town on a gas-powered stand-up scooter, until the cops pulled him over and told him it wasn’t street legal. Then he got a unicycle and learned to do tricks on it. He perfected these tricks in order to perform in a talent show at the Wilkes-Barre JCC. He moved on from unicycles to motorcycles somewhat recently, and I seriously have no clue how he’s still alive. That kid is a maniac. I’ve seen him climb halfway up lamp posts because there was a lull in the conversation, that is 100% true. He bought Party Scorp because he felt that the tour we were on needed a mascot, and he wanted a pet. I had every intention of throwing it on kids when they were to be singing along for us at Sound & Fury, but it had to go and die… Dan was so mad at us for buying a Party Scorpion, since he used to be vegan and into animal rights when he was 18… which was about 15 years ago.

What are you guys listening to now? Any new stuff or something we should be keeping an eye on?

Alex: This is the part where I’m supposed to give shout outs to every single person I know who has a band… But I’m not gonna do that. I’ve done that enough. Right now, at this very moment, I’m listening to my friend Matt play C.O.D. while I do this interview. New stuff to check out: The last Teenage Cool Kids [Foreign Lands] record is great. The XX LP is real cool. Joshua’s Song has great stuff that I don’t think too many people have heard.

Nick: I basically just listen to all the hip-hop that comes out. I’ve been fuckin with Roc Marciano, Joell Ortiz, Curren$y, Freddie Gibbs, Jay Electronica and some other cats. Jay Elec is cool but he has the Nas syndrome. He sounds super smart in songs then when you hear him in interviews he sounds like an idiot. I have a feeling he’s going to make a lot of bad decisions but I’m rooting for him. He busted out the best song of 2009 with like only three weeks left in the year, so that was really exciting…

What was that Jay Electronica song, “Exhibit C”?

Nick: Yeah. “Exhibit A” was really ill but I didn’t realize this dude’s potential until “Exhibit C” dropped. Just Blaze obviously has a lot to do with it (that beat would fit in on The Blueprint) but so many guys did freestyles on that beat after him and his is still the best version, so you gotta give it to him. If Jay sticks with Just Blaze and stops doing every stupid Internet interview he’ll be alright. Fab needs to do shit with Just more often too. When “Breathe” came out I swear it was the only song I listened to for at least a month. … In the rock realm I really like The XX, Beach House and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart. I loved the last couple things Boris has done. I have a soft spot for really melodic vocals over crazy music. I’m not really aware of anything under the radar at this point. I was really into dubstep a few years ago but the excitement’s kind of gone from that but there’s still some good tunes coming out. I only really have time for the stuff that keeps the distinct UK garage influence. The Kuedo record is really ill, Untold is good and I’m really anticipating a new Burial record. The heavier/half-step stuff has just turned into male rage music, much like drum n bass did in the late-90s. Honestly though, I mostly just listen to Howard Stern and The Best Show on WFMU, although [Best Show host Tom] Scharpling has been annoying me lately.

Why has Scharpling been annoying you lately?

Nick: The main reason is he talked shit on XLERATOR hand dryers, but I guess I just wish he’d change the pace sometimes. I know his attitude is what makes him an interesting character but he’s a little too much of a know-it-all. If he had more guests and stuff it’d make it easier for me to deal with his `tude every week. I guess I started getting annoyed with him when I started listening to Stern. Although Stern annoys me sometimes too. I really wanna call in and try to become a regular caller but I need to figure out an angle.

Why is it each of you don’t live in New York?

Nick: I went to the city two weeks ago and realized that barely anything I used to love about going there exists anymore. I don’t really like any gear that comes out now, all the sneaker spots have the same thing and I don’t really fuck with vinyl as heavy as I used to. I didn’t go to school so it’s not like there’s much opportunity for me. There’s still a part of me that loves it there and would live there though. My girlfriend is in N.Y., so it’s inevitable that I’ll be living there at some point. I’ve just been putting it off because it’s so expensive.

Alex: Sports. Foot traffic. Parking. Food prices. Brooklyn. Fashion week (every week). My backyard. My wallet. Taxis. Winter: Too cold. Summer: Too hot. Have you seen what people look like who listen to similar music to me? I’d walk around looking like a cartoon character with my eyeballs falling out of their sockets and jaw on the ground. Mustaches: Go home. You’re not funny anymore. Then, the other end, “True Life: I’m a Staten Island Girl.”

Can you talk about the demos you recorded a few years ago a little bit?

Alex: We put out a split with our friends in Strength For A Reason last summer, and when we went into do the two songs, we decided to record some demos for an EP. Nick and I had one of the songs for a bit, Haroun had one song for a bit, and then Haroun and Nick wrote the other three at 5 a.m. using “rock band drums” and an uplugged electric guitar. So, CW has about five songs written right now that have to be recorded for an EP. They’re real good songs too. We just haven’t been able to figure out when [to record]. We had time scheduled once, but we didn’t sync it up with Deathwish’s schedule (totally our fault) and had to cancel the session. I don’t know when we’re gonna do it. Again.. hard to get our schedules to match up.

So those are the Strength For A Reason split-era demos. Can you say anything about the demos with Nick singing?

Alex: No. Sworn to secrecy. Sorry.

Stay tuned/subscribe for part two!