Live & Local with Taped Fist
Talking with Bruiser Braswell you wouldn’t think he was the singer and frontman for a brash and rowdy punk band called Taped Fist. His persona on stage, sometimes intimidating and most of the time shirtless, is quite the opposite in real life. He has an infectious laugh and the only thing intimidating about Braswell may be his beard, only because of its incredible length.
Taped Fist formed from the culmination of two former bands, Braswell’s, Pier Six Brawlers and Dan Lott’s, The Intoxicated. In 2013, Braswell, Lott (guitar), Brandon Hitch (bass), and Tyler Axtell (drums) decided to pull together and form an old school style street punk band dedicated to what punk holds most dear: extreme vivacity and the idea of self-liberation.
I talked with Braswell about Taped Fist’s crap county punk rock, what punk rock means to him, and their new EP Grounded.
You guys just released a new EP late last year, Grounded. Tell me about recording it and what direction you wanted to go in. We recorded Grounded in Macon with Johnny Davis at Symmetry Studios who is like the fifth member of the band [laughs] . He always knows exactly what kind of sound we want to get across and it’s always a very easy and fun process . As far as direction goes, that’s the one main ingredient that I truly dig about being in the band. We have the freedom to write what we want to write and we don’t have to go by any rules or guidelines.
You guys describe Taped Fist as crap county punk rock. Tell me more about this.
In our genre of music it’s kind of a thing to show ownership over where you’re from. So folks in those scenes tend to come up with nicknames for those towns, like Hate City for Atlanta or NashVegas for Nashville, Tn. I started telling people we are from Crap County, Ga just to kinda be a smart ass because our punk rock scene at the time literally was just us. Just our punk band and the locals that dug us, which also gave birth to the phrase “Crap county punk rock for crap county people” [laughs].
Do you write most of the songs?
98% of the time the boys let me write the lyrics and I let the boys write all the tunes . But it’s also a group effort at times too. We share all sorts of ideas and have a good time. There’s freedom all around as far as lyrics. I write what I want whether it’s about food, rasslin’, horror movies, things my friend’s and I deal with on the daily, working full time, you name it. As far as the music goes, the boys write what they’re feeling plain and simple
I’ve always felt that punk has been a genre of music that tends to open doors to other genres. Maybe it’s because most people fall in love with punk in their angsty teen years. Do you think that punk is a gateway genre in a sense? It’s safe to say that it was the exact opposite for us. We’re all old [laughs]. When we were kids growing up in small town Georgia we had am/fm radio, MTV, and magazines at best and that was about it. Most of us started off as metalheads or hard rock kids then we found punk rock and the love just grew from there. I think most people show up to punk rock shows with a certain chip on their shoulder and punk rock helps them deal with that chip. Others just wanna be a punker because it was the in thing to do at the time or they get bored then they move on to something else. The most important thing punk ever taught me was to be me, follow my path, and no one else’s. With that being said, I listen to any music I want to, go to any show I want to. I mean I love playing punk rock and that’s all I want to play band wise, but music is music. We love it and enjoy having the freedom of being able to listen to all of it.
Do you think there’s a new generation of punk rockers coming up in Macon?
Slowly but surely, yes. I meet new kids at every local show we play. Good head strong guys. It’s a good sign. And some of the old crowd are mommies and daddies now and they’re raising lil punk rockers. So the future could be very, very rad.
You always have so much energy at your shows, so I feel like stage presence is a big part of Taped Fist. Where does it come from?
I love music, and moreover, I love my band. Those guys can really lay it down and I just feed off of the energy, and we feed off each other. Also, I don’t want to bore people, and I don’t want to be bored. Stayin in one place is just lame to me. I’m a frontman. It’s all about making a connection with every person that comes to see us. So I just explode. I have to. I owe it to them, owe it to me.
What’s in store for the future of Taped Fist?
More shows, writing tons of songs like we always do, and having good times with good people. The sky is the limit and space is the place bay bay!