The Krum Bums are a band that are testimony to hard work, and to plugging away with relentless vigor until they make it or burn out trying. For over a decade now, the band has been raging on the scene in Austin, Texas and elsewhere, making as much noise as possible and working to get attention.
With their latest release, Cut The Noose, the band seems poised to break out. So what's next?
We caught up with Krum Bums frontman Dave Tejas just before the band set out on tour, to see where the band has been, and what they're up to.
RC: For the past 11 years, you've been going at it as a band, through lineup changes and all sorts of other hardships, but through it all you kept going. Now you've put out your strongest release yet. Looking back to the beginning, did you see yourself here 11 years on?
DT: No way in hell. I would have never thought we would have still been this passionate about what we're doing. Every day, I think we get better. Every fight, every blow out, every time the van gets broken into (or stolen), it only brings us closer together. What doesn't kill you, only makes you stronger.
RC: I've caught you a few times over the years, and I have to say that each year has been better than the last. Do you see it that way as well?
DT: Of course, I think that's what keeps us going. There's always gonna be times that you feel run down, and are not completely satisfied with your performance, but there is always tomorrow.
RC: Was there ever a time where you wanted to call it? Where you were like "f**k it, I'm done with this?"
DT: F**k yes, of course! Then I sober up and realize that I was just being a big, f**kin' baby. My ego is a hell of a drug There are times when you are having financial problems, then you just realize that money comes and goes. That can never be you motivation for music anyhow. And just like family, you're always gonna fight but you get over it.
RC: Could you have done this, made this same album, 11 years ago, say with the same lineup you have now?
DT: There's no way, lyrically, that I could have written this 11 years ago. To write stuff that really has meaning, that has guts behind it, you have to live life... and at that time, I hadn't seen s**t yet. In the last 11 years, we've traveled around the world. We've dealt with death, we've dealt with loss and also some of the greatest times that you can't even put into words. Come on, i drank a glass of red wine and smoked a cigarette on a mountain in France at 5am. It was bad ass And today... I worked two jobs, struggling to pay my rent... I stink like barbeque, but I got my dog with me and tomorrow I go on tour. F**k it.
RC: And back then, is there anything you know now you wish you'd known then?
DT: Always wear a rubber, one red shirt can really ruin a pair of nice white pants, if left in too long, bleach can really fry your hair, don't go see any of the new Star Wars, definitely don't watch Marley and Me in public, and always bet on black.
RC: And what is Cut the Noose about for you as an album?
DT: This was very liberating album for me to write. There's a song title on here that really kind of sums up life for me at the moment... "High Highs, Low Lows." But I really wanted to write an album about succeeding throughout any difficulties. We all go through serious problems in life, but i really wanted to express that there's always light at the end of the tunnel.
RC: Any songs that mean more to you than others?
DT: They all kind of like my little babies. Each one has a very strong meaning to me. Each one is like a chapter in a book for me.
RC: Over the years, you have toured with everyone across the ranks of punk rock royalty. Who are some of your favorites you've toured with?
DT: Oh god, GBH are not only like kings to us, but they're now our brothers. Those guys are f**king crazy. I've seen them party everyone under the table. And hanging out with Pat Smear (the Germs) was a total trip. I can sum him up in two words: washington apple. mmmm...
RC: Any outrageous tour anecdotes to share?
DT: For one, the best place to sleep in a cramped hotel room is underneath the sink. It's dark, and no one will step on you. Walmart will only arrest you for stealing if it's over $50. Completely saran wrapping a van is always a surprise. Finally, putting moist s**t in a paper bag and hitting another car on the highway never gets old. I think we'll end that one there.