Formerly known as The Spacepimps, Eternal Boy are ready to release their debut album under their new name. “Awkward Phase” comes with 12 whoppin’ pop-punk tunes that will take you right back to the glory days of Drive-Thru Records. We talked to guitarist/vocalist Rishi Bahl about the band's upcoming release, which will be out July 14 via Four Chord Music.
PRT: Can you sum up the band’s history in the form of a tweet?
Rishi: Easily: Punk rock, hangovers, 3 continents, success, failure, touring, close calls, and complete and utter contentment.
PRT: You used to go through life as The Spacepimps… when and why did you decide to change the name?
Rishi: We decided last summer that we needed a rebrand. We kind of got stuck with the old name, as things began to really pick up for us and we felt like it would hurt us to change. However, we realized that not only were we losing out on some big opportunities by having that name, we also couldn’t grow with it. We decided to use the name of our last album, Eternal Boy, so people would be able to follow the trail.
PRT: A lot of bands try to sell themselves as something completely new that no one has ever heard before. You on the other hand make no secret of the fact that you are a product of the Drive-Thru records era. What is it about that sound you like so much?
Rishi: Great question. Yes, we are not trying to reinvent the wheel, we are just trying to provide a bit of a different “look” of the proverbial wheel. That brand of pop punk was so new then; it felt like the bands on that label were on the verge of something really special, and truth be told, they were. The label really did a great job (in terms of having great bands) of staying to their core sound but also progressing a bit: NFG and The Starting Line as well as The Early November and Senses Fail. The label hit at just the right time and had bands that were on the brink.
PRT: For the ones out there too young to remember Drive-Thru, what are some of your favorite releases from the label’s glory days?
Rishi: Oh man. The Starting Line – "Say it Like You Mean It", New Found Glory – "Self Titled", Allister – "Last Stop Suburbia", Homegrown – "Kings of Pop". Those albums changed my musical life.
PRT: In your band interests on Facebook you not only mention pad thai and mango juice, but also offensive lyrics. Do you think punk rock has become too safe and politically correct?
Rishi: Hmmm…this is an interesting question that I struggle to find a good answer to, and also can bring us back to the “SpacePimps” discussion. When I listened to punk rock, one of the goals was to offend and shock the listener: Nofx, Blink 182 etc. If Blink released their Mark, Tom, and Travis Show live album today, I have no idea what the scene would think. Equality and feeling safe are super important to us, without question, but I do think it has tamed the offensiveness to some degree. I think when we say offensive lyrics, we are referring to swearing and bucking the system, not political correctness. Though this is something that is still to be determined for the scene.
PRT: Your new album is called “Awkward Phase”. What’s the most awkward situation you’ve ever been in?
Rishi: I could write a book on this. I think the most awkward situation I have ever been in onstage was when we were in Japan and I said “Ni Hao Japan!” at our first show. What I didn’t realize at the time is that that is Mandarin (China) not Japanese… the entire crowd looked at me as if I had a dick tattooed across my face.
PRT: You recorded the album with Chris Badami who has worked with some of Drive-Thru’s greatest bands. Was he key in capturing that 90ies sound perfectly?
Rishi: YES YES YES YES YES YES YES. Chris is the best. He is not only genuinely fun to be around but he understands how to take a song and make it into something great. Nothing more, nothing less. Chris is the best. And he likes being tickled which is really weird…
PRT: What was the main thing he brought to the table and the biggest lesson you learned from him?
Rishi: I learned that recording is a process and that performance is vitally important. Oftentimes bands think they can go into a studio and “make them sound better.” Yes, this is true to some degree, but Chris showed us that getting the best performance means that during the mix process, things will come together much better. Chris is also the most patient person, no matter how crazy or ridiculous things are he knows how to keep an even keel.
PRT: The album will be out July 14. What’s up after that for you guys?
Rishi: Touring, grinding, pushing the hell out of this album, writing more songs, and doing what all bands should be doing, having the time of our lives.