Interview: Lost In Society

joe zorzi speaks with the band before their big show opening for The Pietasters and HR of Bad Brains at the famed Stone Pony …

Since their formation in 2004, Lost In Society have built up quite a name in the New Jersey music scene. Made up of Zach Moyle (guitar and vocals), Nick Ruroede (bass) and Hector Bonora (drums), Lost In Society are a fresh punk rock band with an old school sensibility. Pop-Break’s Joe Zorzi recently had the opportunity to speak to Zach and discuss their brand new single, “Not Afraid”, their upcoming split release with American Pinup, and their touring plans for the up and coming months.

Pop-Break: So, you guys have been around the Central Jersey scene for quite some time. I remember seeing you for the past three or four years at Chubby’s and other places in Red Bank, N.J.. How long exactly have you been around?

Zach Moyle: Me and Nick, the bass player, actually formed in [the band] 2004. We’ve been around a while.

PB: What do you think about all of the changes that have happened in the Central Jersey music scene? A lot of places have closed down.

Pinball Wizards: Lost In Society delivers straight-up Jersey punk rock

ZM: Yeah, I mean, Chubby’s is closed [it has re-opened as The Fixx]. The whole scene in general is kind of changing. Like, the music. Since we started playing, [there was] the emo whole thing, heavier pop punk kind of came into play, and we would always be the odd band out when we would play.

PB: Yeah, because you guys were more towards the straight punk as opposed to the more …

ZM: Yeah, we’re more like the old-school ’90s kind of, slashed with The Clash type straight punk. Rather than kind of dueling guitars and overly distorted, kind of high-pitchy vocals.

PB: I’ve noticed that you guys seem to have shifted more over to the Asbury Park type of section of the music scene. Am I right in saying that?

ZM: Yeah, we like to play over in Asbury. The scene’s getting pretty cool down there and everybody kind of works together. And, if you help a band out, they’ll help you out. The venues down there are pretty cool. And then we play the Brighton Bar a lot in West Long Branch, which is becoming one of our favorite spots because we get all the kids from Monmouth University.

PB: Oh really?

ZM: Yeah, ‘cause me and Nick actually, we attend Monmouth for Music Industry.

PB: You guys just released a new single, “Not Afraid,” which was actually produced by Pete Steinkopf of the Bouncing Souls — which is pretty sweet. What was working with him like?

ZM: It was awesome. It was kind of surreal at first, because I’ve been listening to them forever — since I got into punk rock. So they were kind of the stepping stone. I never thought that I would see myself recording and having an album produced by the Pete, who’s kind of a punk guitar legend in New Jersey, you know?

PB: Yeah, that’s pretty awesome. They’ve been very influential in the scene, so I’m sure it’s probably an honor.

ZM: It absolutely was. And he’s totally one of the coolest dudes, one of the nicest guys I’ve ever met. He’s just completely chill about everything. And he’s very, like, if you screw up on a take, he’ll be like, “Oh, this next one, this one’s going to be the best!” Always pushing you forward. Yeah, it’s very laid back, but you know, he’s a really cool guy and kind of motivates you to give it your all.

PB: So, when he was producing you guys, was he mostly letting you do your own thing and do it the best you can, or was he giving you ideas and stuff?

ZM: Um, it was a little bit of both. I mean, he would be free with whatever we wanted to do. And if he heard anything, then he’d be like, “Oh, we can try this.” Mostly, with the guitar parts, though. Especially for the lead stuff, me and him would break down most of the solos and just kind of go step by step and what sounded good. That aspect, he definitely did the most. And then getting all the sounds and tones for everything, which he did an awesome job. It ended up coming out sounding really killer.

PB: How’s the reception been so far for the song?

ZM: A lot of people like it. It’s usually the song we close with at our live shows, it’s what everybody kind of waits for ‘cause everybody likes screaming the chorus when it’s like, “Fuck you, too.” I mean, the crowd goes crazy when we play that. So I mean, everybody’s excited to hear it finally recorded. It’s getting good reviews thus far.

PB: So, this new EP that it’s on, you guys didn’t release it yet?

ZM: Yeah, we’re not releasing it yet because what we’re gonna do is, we’re kind of doing a partnership with this label called Altercation and first we’re gonna take our five songs from the EP and put a split together with this band called American Pinup, who’s also on Altercation. So, we’re gonna do five songs each and release it that way. We also have a 45-inch vinyl with a single on each side. So, “Not Afraid” and another song called “Too Late Too Fast” will be on that.

PB: Okay, so which one will come out first?

ZM: The 45 with the two singles will probably be out, I would say … end of this month probably. Hopefully. It’s already in production, we just need to get it back. I mean, it’s being made as we speak.

Lost in Society winning the Jersey Shore Metromix Battle of the Bands at The Brighton Bar in Long Branch, N.J.

PB: And this is going to be available online and everything or do you have to get it at shows?

ZM: I mean, if you order it from us, we could probably ship it out to you. We’re getting a hundred of those ‘cause they came with the prize we got from the Metromix Battle of the Bands.

PB: Oh, tell me about that — when was that?

ZM: The final show was on March 3. It was at the Brighton Bar [in Long Branch, N.J.] actually, and it was insane. It was my favorite show to date. We brought out around 140 people, and we had people crowd surfing and jumping off the stage and moshpitting.

PB: That must’ve been insane.

ZM: Yeah, it was crazy. I haven’t seen a show at the Brighton like that in, ever.

PB: With the EP, you’re doing it as a spli,t, so are you still calling it “Give Me Your Hope,” or is it now just going to be totally different?

ZM: We’re not actually sure about that yet. We might change the name.

PB: ‘Cause I was going to ask you about the album art for it. It seems very political. It looks very Obama-influenced, and I was wondering what the idea was behind it exactly.

ZM: Well, we’re still putting out stickers and posters that are like that. It first started with me saying, “Oh, I really like that style of art,” it’s relevant right now, so why not cause a little stir?

We’re not huge Obama supporters. I mean, we’re not lik,e “Oh, we all voted for Obama — he needs to be president forever,” you know? But, we really like the art and we just kind of went with it. And we did a bunch of different kind of things and then eventually we just kind of put a blank face up at a podium. And then we put Lost In Society on the symbol and instead of a donkey or an elephant, we put our seal there — the lotuses from our first album. So, it’s kind of like it’s our own political party, you know? We’re going to say what we want and do what we want and you can’t really tell us what to do. And it’s kind of like going after the people who say that they can do a better job than anybody else, when they don’t know anything.

I mean, yeah, there’s probably people that could do better. But most of the people who are saying it probably don’t, and they probably don’t know what they’re talking about. I mean, for the most part, I stay out of the whole politics thing. I just think it would be cool to cause a little stir and go after those people who think they know more than everybody else.

PB: I guess that kind of goes with the lyrics to the new song (“Not Afraid”), just like, “Fuck you, I’m not afraid”.

ZM: Yeah, you know. I don’t need you. If you don’t agree with me, fine. Fuck off. You don’t need to hang out with me.

PB: So, next week, you guys got a pretty sweet show coming up with The Pietasters and HR from Bad Brains. I mean, Bad Brains is arguably one of the most influential bands in punk music overall. So that’s got to be pretty exciting.

ZM: Yeah, I’m more than excited to do that. Once we got the call from our manager, Jeanne [Crump], she’s said, “Yeah, I got you guys on the Pietasters show with HR.” I was like, “Yes! We did it.” That’s awesome.

PB: That’s sick.

ZM: Yeah, I’ve been listening to Bad Brains forever, too, so it’s gonna be awesome. I mean, I know his solo stuff is more reggae and a little more chill, but it’s just cool to be playing with a guy who like started this huge influential hardcore punk scene.

PB: And I was told that you guys might be doing a North Atlantic tour?

ZM: Yeah, what we’re going to try to do … ‘cause everybody’s pretty busy over the summer, so I think we’re gonna just kind of go around, weekend warrior type stuff, you know? Dabble here and there and make our connections. And then put it all together in the fall. Just go all the way East Coast or kind of like go towards Texas.

PB: So this summer, do you think you’re going to stay more local then or small stints at different cities?

ZM: We’re definitely just not gonna stay local. We’ll probably only end up playing like five shows local over the summer and just kind of go everywhere because you don’t want to oversaturate people, like your same friends listen to your music all the time. I mean, unless it’s like a Bar A type situation, where it’s like a walk in crowd, you know?