The Interrupters have a decade together and three albums under their belt and are a musical force. Aimee Interrupter and the Bivona brothers, Kevin, Justin, and Jesse, met in 2009 while on tour with Sugar Ray and Dirty Heads. Aimee was a solo act and The Bivona Brothers were then with The Transplants. Following the tour, Aimee and Kevin started writing together. Soon thereafter Kevin’s twin brothers were brought in to form the band that would eventually be The Interrupters. Oddly enough, The Interrupters’ name was created after Aimee met the Bivonas’ mother, and said, “Your mom is an interrupter, isn’t she?” Hopefully, that fence was mended!
The Interrupters’ three album releases between 2014-2018 were produced by Tim Timebomb, of Rancid fame, and released by his label, Hellcat records. In 2019 The Interrupters were nominated for Kerrang’s Best International Breakthrough.
That was truly a breakout year for them, playing Coachella, Download Festival, and Summer Sonic, and playing over 110 shows. The band exudes gratitude towards their fans, preach inclusion, stand against racism and any form of bigotry. And this isn’t new for them, these messages resonated through their songs and live performances since the beginning.
I interviewed Aimee, and the others chipped in, following their Dallas show.
SPIN: A number of your songs speak of unity, togetherness, protest, strained relationships, and family. Writing during the pandemic, did your creative process take you down a different road? If so, how and why?
Aimee Interrupter: We have always written about subjects we hold near and dear. As a family band, we always lean towards the things that unite us all and try and sing songs that lift each other up. The pandemic hit us at an interesting time because we were just about to start recording a new record. When the world shut down, so did we. I think most people did a ton of self-reflection in that time of uncertainty. Being in that state when we returned to the studio definitely informed the writing process and we dug a lot deeper and I got a lot more personal than I have on the first three albums.
You have toured with a number of incredibly popular bands, including Green Day. Are friendships cultivated during that time spent together, beyond the tour?
Absolutely! We have been super lucky to tour with bands that came up in the same genre so we already have so much in common and so much to learn from them as well, and we do. Green Day, Rancid, Dropkick Murphys, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones…we consider all these bands mentors and family.
What musical decade most resonates with The Interrupters? What are some of your favorite groups from then?
We are huge fans of music from the ‘60s like early ska and reggae from Jamaica, all the Motown records, The Beatles… But the ‘70s was a great time of musical transformation and discovery and that’s where you get punk rock and 2 Tone ska. The sound of those records had such a beautiful urgency to them and that is something that still inspires the way we make music today. The Clash, The Specials, the list goes on! Finally, growing up in the ‘90s when punk rock had a huge boom and discovering bands like Rancid, Green Day and Bad Religion as they were happening was what really cemented everything for all of us. That is the bond we all share in this band. I know it seems like we skipped over the ’80s but there is so much great punk and new wave from that era too! We love music from every era!
What type of venue do you most look forward to, indoor arena or outdoor festival?
Since we started this band, we have all been blown away that we can even book a headline show and that people actually show up. The deep gratitude we have for each of our fans that took the time out of their lives to come celebrate music and life with us fuels our performance in a very special way. We don’t take one second of it for granted. That being said, there is always a beautiful feeling when you get a great slot on a big festival or open for a band you love in a venue way bigger than you are used to. It’s butterflies. It’s nerves. It’s excitement!! The bottom line is we just love all of it!
How do you compare the pre-pandemic crowd to the (sort of) post-pandemic crowd? At the Dallas show, Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day said the crowd was the most captivated crowd he’d ever witnessed. He was clearly moved by that.
This is our first time in baseball stadiums so for that reason alone it’s all completely new and exciting. We are having constant “is this real?” moments during the set but just standing on stage together still feels the same. In so many ways it’s like we picked up right where we left off, but there is also such a deeper appreciation for live music now.
What does a day off on The Hella Mega Tour look like for you guys?
Because of the seriousness of Covid and the reality that it’s not behind us yet, we are very cautious on our days off and staying in our bubble. We have been super lucky to travel the world and see some amazing sights but this time we are following all the guidelines. Making it to the show with everyone healthy is the number one priority!
When can fans expect a new album from The Interrupters?
Sooner than you think!
How important is it that your fans feel that they are part of The Interrupters? In The Interrupters movie, This Is My Family!, it was mentioned that your lyrics literally prevented a young girl from taking her own life.
We are the luckiest band in the world and that is because of our fans. It is truly a family and without them, there’s no show. At our core, we are still music fans and we know firsthand how much music saves lives. If one person in a room of a thousand is touched by one of our songs then all the hard work of being in a touring band is worth it. Like I said in the film, music is just my way of loving people.