Milwaukee’s Burning Sons Revive a Legendary Punk Label
“We’re going to be
on the same label as some of the bands that influenced us—Battalion of Saints…
All these early-’80s California bands,” Burning Sons drummer Dan DuChaine says
of the label that recorded and put out records by more than 400 bands.
“[Bands like] RKL
and NOFX, Dr. Know, Social Distortion,” offers vocalist Dillon Hallen on
Burning Sons’ die-hard influences.
Milwaukee with Shane Hochstetler, Burning Sons’ debut release pays tribute to
their label heroes, yet maintains a solid sense of Milwaukee hardcore punk.
“There were bands
from the Midwest [on Mystic],” DuChaine explains. “An old band from Milwaukee,
Sacred Order, had released a record on there and there was a band from Green
Bay, Withdraw, with Jim Baker, I believe; they were on Mystic at one time. They
had bands as far away as England and Germany on there too, but predominantly it
was Southern California.”
So how did Burning
Sons grab a foothold in the very label that inspired them? DuChaine made the
connection through Rush-Mor Records, the store he runs.
“We dealt with
Mystic Records, which essentially ended in 1990, but a manufacturer and
distributor still keeps the vital material in print,” DuChaine explains. “We’ve
been buying from them for years and I befriended the owner [of the
distributor]. We were just talking and he mentioned how funny to him it was how
much of the Mystic stuff we stocked and sold. I was like, ‘Well, doesn’t everyone?’
He couldn’t believe how much we did, with the Midwest kind of being landlocked;
it was more of a West Coast kind of thing. By coincidence, the owner of Mystic,
Doug Moody, who’s 83 or so, was there just hanging out and the guy gave him the
phone and said, ‘There’s someone you need to talk to.’”
Moody said he was
impressed by DuChaine’s knowledge of the label’s 7-inch singles, so DuChaine
joked, “You should do one for my new band.” Moody took the idea seriously,
requesting that DuChaine send him a recording.
“We were rehearsing
that week, so we recorded a rehearsal, sent it to him and didn’t hear anything
back for nearly two months,” DuChaine says. “We get a phone call from him and
turns out he was ill and was in the hospital not doing well; he’s resilient, so
he got back and was doing great. He was going through all this mail and he
found this package from us. He listened to it and liked it a lot. He said, ‘Why
don’t we do the 7-inch? It’ll be a one-off. I haven’t done anything in 20
years; it’ll be fun.’”
For Burning Sons,
the 7-inch is only a taste of the music to come. The band—which includes Carl
Steinhagen on guitar and Matt Budda on bass—has already played a generous 19
shows in just six months, and the songs are coming quickly.
“Our strategy was to
do a series of 7-inches, but with our current lineup, the way the band is
coming together, it’s prolific,” DuChaine says. “We already have a lot of
A 7-inch, Hallen
adds, is “like a teaser—once you hear it, you like it and you just want more and
Burning Sons release their 7-inch Masquerade at the Monkey Bar (1619 S. First St.) on Friday, Aug. 6, at 9 p.m. Also playing: Drugs Dragons, Reckless Reasons and Wing Attack.