Mable Syndrome chats with Aimee about the challenges of touring, being serenaded on stage by Green Day, and how she was introduced to punk rock.
She's one of the most fascinating people to explode on the punk scene in a very long time, and her band, The Interrupters, is gaining popularity and momentum quicker than you can say, "Touring with Green Day." If you don't know about The Interrupters, or haven't had the chance to see them live, you are seriously missing out. Watching this band perform is mesmerizing. They skank, shuffle and jump their way through the most engaging and energetic set you've ever seen. And Aimee, the lead singer of the band, has enviable cheekbones and a voice that is raspy punk perfection.
The Interrupters are truly a family band. Aimee is joined by Kevin Bivona (guitar), Jesse Bivona (drums) and Justin Bivona (bass).
The interview, below, is less personal and intimate than we usually strive for. We've chatted with Aimee a few times before, but everything has been off the record. We've been wanting to talk with her about some of the fascinating details of her life, but she keeps things pretty close to the vest. "...I guess I am kinda private..." Aimee says during our interview (below). She doesn't like to talk about personal stuff and we respect that. Why dwell on the past when the present is so amazing?
I caught up with Aimee when she was in Boston supporting the Dropkick Murphys for several St. Patrick's Day shows. The Interrupters have been on a whirlwind ride, going straight from Warped Tour to a headlining US tour with Bad Cop Bad Cop, to supporting Green Day in Europe to performing at Coachella. Holy shit, this band doesn't stop.
Mable Syndrome: Congrats on the recent tour with Green Day. That must have been a blast! What was the biggest surprise about those guys or about touring with them? Any fun tour stories?
Aimee Interrupter: Thank you! The Green Day tour was such an incredible experience. Everyone in the band and crew were such sweethearts and so welcoming to us. After the Prague show, on my birthday, they surprised me with a cake and everyone sang happy birthday to me. Billie Joe even gave me a birthday shoutout on stage and sang a verse of their song “Amy”. I love that song so much and it was just all really special. They treated us like family. Love those dudes!!
Your recognition as a band is world-wide now. Does it feel like it happened over night, or like it took a long time?
AI: It’s hard to say because I still feel like we have so much room to grow as a band. We have all been playing music our whole lives so it definitely doesn’t feel like anything happened overnight. Everyday I have multiple moments of “how did I get here” and am just so grateful for all the blessings I have been given.
You’ve said you grew up listening to punk. Tell me about how you were introduced to it and your favorite bands.
AI: I grew up listening to ALL types of music and each artist has a unique story of how I got introduced to them. Discovering new music has always been one of the biggest passions of my life. In middle school I would switch off between Bad Brains, NWA, Beastie Boys, Ani Difranco, Nirvana, Joan Jett, The Pixies …I could go on and on…. It’s all punk rock to me. My freshman year of high school I was introduced to Epitaph bands like Rancid, Bad Religion and NOFX through my friend Nick Danger. He used to hold me hostage in his truck and play me band after band while he played drums on his steering wheel and air guitar to every song. I loved all of it! That music made me feel less alone in the world. That time in my life was actually the inspiration for our song “By My Side” and when we got offered our first tour with Rancid, we brought Nick along as our roadie. He’s done a lot of our tours with us since. I always say he introduced me to Rancid, then I LITERALLY introduced him to Rancid! haha
Life as a woman touring, must be hard. What particular challenges do you face and how do you deal?
AI: Not everyone is built for touring. Man or woman, it can be tough. It’s a lot of hauling gear in and out from place to place, inconsistent sleep, hard to keep up the laundry and hygiene and never any days off. Even on a day where there is no show you can still have a 13 hour drive in a van. It can be a challenge for anyone. We all got our struggles we deal with and my job isn’t any more challenging due to my femaleness.
How much does your “look” matter to you? Do you think women punk artists have a particularly tough time with what they look like and being judged?
AI: Not as much as the boys in my band’s look matters to them! Haha They are always looking super sharp! In life, as on stage, I’m just trying to pull it together as much as possible. I’ve always been a tom boy and I think about function over style most of the time. I sweat a lot on stage so I have to find clothes that I can move, dance and feel comfortable in. And hopefully, if the stars align, I’ll think they look cool too. As far as other women punk artists go, I have no idea.
How do you tell the twins apart? What are their unique features?
AI: It really helps when they are behind their instruments! Other than that Jesse usually wears a hat and has more of a beard. Sometimes when we’ve been on the road for a while and neither have shaved it’s nearly impossible! I just call them “Twin” and they both answer to that. :)
Balancing personal life with being famous. Try to keep things private?
AI: I’m FAR from famous so balance is easy. When I’m not on tour, which is very rare these days, I am a homebody. I usually don’t take selfies or update my social media of what I’m doing on a daily basis. I try to document cool things happening in my life, but Im not very consistent. I’ve always struggled with engaging in social media. There’s a lot of reasons for that. None of which i’m going to get into. So yeah, now that you mention it, I guess I’m kinda private. ;)
Favorite punk rock women?
AI: If you’re doing it or have done it, I have massive respect for you. I can’t pick a favorite. Wait, Joan Jett. Yeah, definitely, she’s my favorite.