There’s not much that can stop Direct Hit! from having fun–least of all a bit of rain. This was the case when the band–vocalist/guitarist Nick Woods, guitarist Devon Kay, bassist Steve Maury, and drummer Danny Walkowiak–faced a downpour playing at Riot Fest in Chicago a few weeks ago. Tearing through tracks from their recently released album Brainless God, their second full length, the band–and sizeable crowd watching them–were having a blast.
With members hailing from Milwaukee and Chicago, Direct Hit! is a pop-punk band that cites its influences as The Thermals, The Ramones, and Andrew W.K, so it’s not hard to see where they get their fun-loving mentality from. Starting in 2008, the band put out five digital-only EPs from which songs were compiled and released as their first full-length album, DOMESPLITTER, by Kind Of Like Records (kindoflikerecords.com) in 2011. They’ve also put out five split 7”s and a split 12.” Brainless God followed in September of this year, produced by Mike Kennerty of The All-American Rejects and released by Red Scare Records (redscare.net).
Fresh off their Riot Fest performance, the band is currently across the pond for their second European tour. When they return at the end of October, Direct Hit! will be playing the Fest (thefestfl.com) in Gainesville, Florida, followed up with two shows in November to celebrate the release of Brainless God. More information on the shows, along with an interview with Nick Woods, can be found below.
Direct Hit! (record release) / Dr. Manhattan / The American Dead
Friday, November 15, 10:00
The Frequency, Madison, WI
Direct Hit!: directhitsucks.com/
Dr. Manhattan: drmanhattan.bandcamp.com/
The American Dead: theamericandead.bandcamp.com/
Midnight Reruns (record release) / Direct Hit! (record release) / Slow Walker
Saturday, November 16, 10:00
The Cactus Club, Milwaukee, WI
Midnight Reruns: midnightreruns.bandcamp.com/
Direct Hit!: directhitsucks.com/
Slow Walker: slowwalker.bandcamp.com/
Interview with Nick Woods (vox/guitar)
You guys played Riot Fest last weekend–how’d it go?
Pretty good I think! Minus the rain. That was sort of a bummer, but it didn’t look like anyone was having too bad of a time.
Best set you watched, if any? Why?
I really only stood and watched Off With Their Heads. I love that band–seen ‘em probably 3 or 4 times at this point. After that, though, I spent most of the day drinking free wine at the Red Scare tent and riding golf carts around.
What are you looking forward to on the European tour? How do you like it over there?
Hanging out with everyone we met there the first time is gonna be the coolest part. We thought it was gonna be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing the first time we went, so we didn’t hold out a whole lot of hope that we’d get to see our friends again, at least not where they live. We had an incredible time last year, and [are] looking forward to it being an even better month this time around.
What about Fest? Excited to see anyone in particular–friends, bands, both?
Fest is great if only because all of the people we only get to see once or twice a year are in one city all at the same time. So it’s more about buddies than it is bands. Last year I had a list of like 15 different groups I wanted to go watch, and I didn’t see any of ‘em. This year I’m gonna make a real concerted effort to see like 2 or 3 I think. Greys, Lipstick Homicide, and Masked Intruder are all pals of ours, so I’m gonna try really hard to see their sets. I thought Retox was supposed to be playing too, but I guess they aren’t in the lineup anymore. Other than that, I’ll probably try to go see Code Orange Kids again, White Lung, and Mean Jeans.
How was recording with Mike Kennerty?
Pretty cool dude! He lets us stink up his house whenever we’re in town, and it was totally laid back hanging out at his house for a week doing guitars and vocals rather than laid up in a studio. Way more relaxed.
What can attendees expect from your album release party in November?
Probably about the same as what you’d expect from any other show. Except more liquor. And more tearful gushing in the stage banter. We’re doing one in Milwaukee too I think with Midnight Reruns. You should get people to come to that. [You guys heard the man! Go to this! You won’t be disappointed].
Any Milwaukee-area bands you guys are into right now?
I’ve been absolutely terrible keeping up with Milwaukee’s scene since I left for college. I like Holy Shit a lot still, and Enabler, and Northless. And Tenement’s cool, but I dunno if you can really call them a Milwaukee-area band anymore. I like the Reruns a lot too.
Why do you, personally, play music?
Because it’s cool to be able to stand on stage and have a bunch of people applaud whatever it is you’re doing. I think most people play music for that reason, whether or not they’re willing to admit it.
Big thanks to Nick for doing the interview!