When the Strange Boys played Churchill's last September, our review was, well, a bit harsh. "The band appeared to be catching a cold," we wrote, "seemingly disinterested in their songs, and even less interested in the crowd." But in the spirit of second chances, Crossfade's giving the Strange Boys a shot a redemption.
On Thursday night, the Strange Boys are scheduled to play at Grand Central as part of the Bruise Cruise Kickoff Party. They'll be joined by nine other seafaring indie acts like Vivian Girls, Surfer Blood, and Black Lips before they all set sail aboard the Carnival Imagination for a weekend of ironic theme travel.
We briefly caught up with the Austin-based, self-described "lyrical jam band," to discuss maritime adventure, the comforts of a Ford Econoline van, and the future of the Strange Boys.
Crossfade: Y'all playing the inaugural Bruise Cruise this weekend, have y'all been on cruise before?
Phillip Sambol (Bass): Once, in the Greek Isles. It was glorious. I went to Turkey and saw a man pissing on a church in broad day light, on a busy with street, and no one even paid any attention.
Greg Enlow (Guitar): Yes, to Key West, Cayman Islands, and Cancun. I was 17 and with my mom, but it was still cool. We thought my brother got left behind.
In 2009, y'all released And Girls Club, and then followed it up a year later with Be Brave; will we see a new album this year?
Ryan Sambol (Vocals/Guitar/Harmonica): Yes, certainly.
PS: Ryan, can I reveal the working title? It's Live Music
Since releasing Be Brave a year ago, you've been touring pretty extensively, are you still in a van, or have you upgraded to a proper tour bus?
PS: We tour in our Ford Econoline. We got a bed in there now.
One bed for all of you?
PS: As many we can fit.
What are the plans after the Bruise Cruise?
PS: We're going to tour with Natural Child on the West Coast.
Do you have plans to make it back East?
PS: We're going to do an East Coast tour in June or July.
What's your favorite city to play?
RS: Ft. Wayne, Indiana or Lisbon
PS: Anywhere in Holland or Spain.
Speaking of Holland, over/under 30: number of Bruise Cruisers caught by US customs trying to smuggle weed onto the ship?
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RS: I'm no narc.
Bruise Cruise with master of ceremonies Ian Svenonius and the Black Lips, Vivian Girls, Surfer Blood, Strange Boys, Thee Oh Sees, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Ty Segall, Turbo Fruits, DJ Mr. Jonathan Toubin, and Jacuzzi Boys. Friday, February 25, to Monday, February 28. Carnival Imagination, boarding at the Port of Miami, 1015 N. America Way, Miami. SOLD OUT. Visit bruisecruisefestival.com.
Bruise Cruise Kickoff Party with the Black Lips, Vivian Girls, Surfer Blood, Strange Boys, Thee Oh Sees, Quintron and Miss Pussycat, Ty Segall, Turbo Fruits, and Jacuzzi Boys. Thursday, February 24. Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami. The party starts at 6 p.m. and tickets cost $20 via wantickets.com. Ages 18 and up. Visit bruisecruisefestival.com.