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In the early days of the American punk movement, “DIY” described any band that existed without the involvement of record labels, tour managers and other forms of meddling. Today, much like the vague adjective “Indie”, “DIY” has developed more into a genre all its own rather than a description of the bands’ politics and work ethic.
Currently, few bands exemplify modern DIY sound and traditional DIY work ethic better than Spraynard. Taking a nod from raw, melodic cult bands like Latterman and Plow United, Spraynard delivers an emotional wallop wrapped in pop-punk bounce.
Hailing from West Chester, PA, Spraynard has made a name for themselves in a true DIY fashion; through hard work, positive attitudes, solid musicianship and a great sense of humor.
“The name ‘Spraynard’ is a 'Tim and Eric (Awesome Show Great Job!)' reference” admitted Spraynard vocalist and guitarist Pat Graham. “We were really into the show a few years ago and we knew that we wanted a one-word band name that started with an ‘S’”.
“Five years later,” he added, “we don’t regret the name but we realize that 'Tim and Eric' wasn’t as funny as we thought.”
In addition to a (once) comical band name, the trio uses inside jokes and comical pop-cultural references to title songs. The opening track from their upcoming Exton Square EP is titled “Can I Borrow A Feeling,” a nod to Kirk Van Houten and his most pathetic attempt to win back his estranged wife, Luanne.
Despite the jokey origins of their names, the songs deal with much more personal, serious issues.
“Yeah, our artwork and song titles don’t really reflect the mood of our music at all.” said Graham. “Punk is something serious to me and holds a lot of meaning, but at the end of the day, we’re all just kids. Taking yourself too seriously takes away from the reality of your work.”
While bands like AFI and Staind have taken themselves so seriously that they have become jokes, other bands, especially in the punk realm, have made a business of negativity. This too is disturbing to Graham. “It might seem cool or funny to be self-deprecating but I’ve always had a problem with that. Punk, I feel, has always been so personal. It’s not that hard to find yourself — and reinvent yourself — in a positive way. It’s so backwards to just try to be negative.”
With the impending release of Exton Square, the band is embarking on an East Coast tour which includes two stops in Indiana. The first of the two stops will be Monday, April 2 at the WIUX Station House Bloomington with DIY folkster Paul Baribeau. The band’s second stop will be at Vibes Music in Indianapolis with Caelume and The Classless.
You can stream Exton Square here.