Anarchitex: Welcome To The Digital Dark Age
"I find I don't use the word 'fascist' as much as I did when I was younger"
There's little your humble narrator can add to the exhaustive work our own David Ensminger did on the elusive Anarchitex, something of Houston's best-kept punk secret, and his in-depth preview of the band's new album Digital Dark Age. However, there is always a however, and Rocks Off wanted to check in with singer John Reen Davis before the band formally releases the album tomorrow at Fitzgerald's.
Since 1983 Anarchitex has put their own spin on the punk genre - looser and more experimental than The Hates, but with the same kind of legitimacy. The music is as angry as ever, railing against their own advancing age as well as the continuing downfall of society. There's nothing standard about their songs. Don't expect some kind of generic punk soundtrack to some kind of half-remembered Sex Pistols-inspired film. You're going to get hit in the brain when you turn on Digital Dark Age.
John Reen Davis: I haven't experienced the alternative so I'll have to take your word.
Originally Punk was about the frustrations of young people. I wrote "Mean and Bitter" as sort of a sequel to "Blank Generation" by the Voidoids or the Adverts's "Bored Teenager." "Button on a Lapel" was written when I was about 25. Back then, that already made you the oldest punk in the room.
RO: What kind of place to you have to be in to write a song like "Chain of Cigarettes?" The whole thing seems bizarrely stream-of-consciousness on top of the more standard punk on the album.
JRD: Well it's not like I took an unhealthy amount of LSD one night and scribbled a bunch of nonsense that Torry set to the tune of an old Beatles instrumental. No one should ever write a song that way. So I guess I don't remember. Originally it was two songs, one about my addiction to nicotine, which I've since kicked, and another which was about "class anger," or something like that.
I never did see what the two had to do with each other. Now that I'm all grown up I find I don't use the word "fascist" as much as I did when I was younger.