By: Charlie Daffron
The first time I saw Direct Hit! was at Fest 15 two years ago. It was in High Dive on Saturday night and it was packed to capacity. I was in the front and I was beyond stoked to see them play. I was still relatively new to concerts, so I had never stage dived or crowd surfed before. I was having so much fun moshing and singing along during their set that I decided if they played “Snickers or Reese’s (Pick Up The Pieces)” I would stage dive. Well, that moment came and kept my promise to myself, marking the first of may times I would stage dive during a concert. That show still stands out in my memory as one of the best shows I’ve ever seen, and since then I’ve tried to catch Direct Hit! whenever they’re in Florida. Naturally, I was excited to see them on the Fest 17 lineup and I can’t wait to see them again! Earlier this week, I spoke to Direct Hit! frontman Nick Woods about playing Fest, Direct Hit!’s new album, and his dream tour. You can check out the interview below and make sure you see Direct Hit! at Fest!
You posted on Facebook a couple of months ago that you finished tracking your fourth record, can you tell me about that? What was the recording process like?
We did everything the wrong way this time around, spending a shitload of time on drums, bass, and weird noises and effects, and like 10 seconds on vocals and guitars trying to make something that sounded totally different than anything we’d done before. It’s sucked in a lot of ways. All of the songs ended up sounding totally different than we expected, which made for a lot of anxiety along the way. I pulled a total “Mission Accomplished” a couple months back and told everyone we were done, but honestly, we’re still recording shit even as we’ve started mixing some of the songs, at the time of this posting. We expected that to happen to a certain extent, because we went in to recording this time around without a clear vision, so we wouldn’t think about the process the same way we always have and end up in a rut. But I don’t think anyone expected the experience to be as jarring as it has been. It’s humbled me in a lot of ways, and I think it’s definitely bruised a lot of our collective egos. I really can’t wait until it’s over, and we have this thing that we discovered. That’s a lot different than thinking something up and willing it into existence. It’s really scary, giving up control and just seeing where your intuition takes you, finding out what sounds good to you in the moment and what your brain looks like from the outside.
What’s it like working with Fat Wreck Chords?
They’ve made our musical lives over the last few years a very easy existence. They’re very supportive of what we do, which makes us a lot less nervous to try new stuff and take risks.
You guys have toured with some pretty awesome bands this year, like Face to Face and Less Than Jake, what’s your dream tour lineup?
I’d kill to go on tour with Andrew WK. Always have, still would. No one else, I wouldn’t want to share any attention.
What’s your favorite song to play live?
Our hardcore tunes are always my favorites. Lately it’s been “You Got What You Asked For” off our split with PEARS.
You guys recently got announced on the Fest 17 lineup, how many Fests have you played?
I lose track of count now. I think our first was Fest 11, so this is our sixth?
What’s your favorite Fest memory?
First year we ever played was still my favorite, just because it was so unexpected. When you identify as a punk band, you get used to playing to 0 people and nobody caring except yourself. It was wild to show up and find so many supportive people waiting for us.
What bands are you looking forward to watching at Fest?
I’m really excited to see Cursive. I got to check them out in Madison right after The Ugly Organ came out more than 10 years ago, but that’s the only time. I’ve listened to their music a lot before and since. Very excited to see how it’s grown.