I was recently invited to tag along with Pissing Razors one fine Sunday as they travel to a gig in Queens. So, despite a wicked hangover I show up at the home of Pissing Razors manager Rachel Martinez in Hoboken on St. Patrick’s Day. The living room is littered with bodies, half the band still sleeping and the air filled with smoke from taco’s and chili being prepared by our host. As the guys rise to my entrance and start eating their home cooked meal, Goodfellas is thrown in the VCR, I am offered a beer, and things start happening… it is 5:30 PM. I immediately see that I made the right decision with this one, and opted for the laid back, non-assignment type thing and just hang out with the band, get a feel for a day on tour and just be one of the guys. I didn’t bring a pen and pad and do Q & A with the band. I didn't even bring a camera. I just observed, and at times participated.
As the band looks over their brand new shirts to be sold tonight, tour manager and sound-man Shannon calls the club and goes over some details. I get the bassist Rick confused with guitarist Cesar so I am not sure which one was sent to the van to wake up vocalist Jason Bragg. Jason is welcomed with cheers as he walks into the apartment with a huge smile and a fresh wound above his eye. I learn that the gash was made with a bottle of Jaeger. The band had partied the night before on the Jaegermeister Tour Bus and this was their souvenir… along with a milk gallon half filled with the liquor. I meet Jason and he quickly dives into his food and wonders if he has time to shower. The band and I start talking about the tour and they are more than generous with their road stories. I hear interesting stories of Pro-Pain beating the shit out of people, how Razor’s drummer Eddie choked Tracii Guns after he mouthed off, how much of a dick Blackie Lawless is, how the band was offered the Slayer tour but plans fell through, and how when the guys are home in Texas, they have no better friends to party with than Pantera. I could easily have sat there and listened to this stuff all night but time moved quickly and we had to get going.
We piled in the bands new van with U-Haul in tow and made the trip over to Queens for the headlining gig with December, Scar Culture and three local bands. We get to Castle Heights and after circling around the block a few times, drum tech/driver Cesar, dropped us off and searched on his own for a parking spot. Inside the club we are greeted with pizza and beer. The opening acts are on stage already and sound really good, of course I don’t know their names -- no pen, remember. I found that oddly enough, the band on before December was better than they were, Scar Culture was great, but I must say, I know Pissing Razors will be better than everyone. Okay, I have seen them before!
Pissing Razors opens with “Between Heaven and Hell” from the Fields Of Disbelief album. The back room fills up and everyone moves close to the stage, now people are visibly into the show and the two lunatics that had danced alone in the pit are replaced with many, less violently flailing people. One thing I love about seeing Pissing Razors live is that they stick to the mid-tempo songs to keep the energy level up. The guys played “Three,” and “Fork Tongue,” followed by “Burning Bridges” and “Vengeance Is Mine” from the new album. Part of what makes their sound is Eddy Garcia, who is a great drummer and carries a big load of the band’s sound. Jay’s vocals are like Phil Anselmo’s, but pushed to the limit. When you think that Phil is pushing himself and wonder how long he can do it for -- that’s how Jay sings half the time. The rest of the time he has the most consistent growl, but he is a singer, with a growl, and the difference is evident.
As all this is coming together on stage, the kids in front are raging, totally into it. These guys are true fans; they know the words to all the songs and are allowed plenty of opportunity to scream into the mike, very nicely too. The band barely takes a breather between songs, just long enough for Jason to plug the new album and the shirts. They continue on with “Justice Denied,” and the by now even some girls are in the pit. The guys played five more songs before closing with “Permanent,” and “World of Deceit.” Every tune had the crowd’s attention and was welcomed as if it were a Razors classic.
The comparisons to Pantera, especially in the live show, I have heard from a few people. I think this is welcome and expected, as they are old friends from Texas, and shit, we could use more of them as it is. But the truth is as history goes… Pissing Razors take it to the next level, perhaps carrying the torch from their fathers. As everyone but people that intend to party with us leave the club, the band packs up and we inhale some beer and a few shots. Nobody is discouraged from not selling enough shirts or moving equipment in the snow -- right now seems like it’s the beginning of the night for these guys. We pile in the van once again, only this time with some more attractive guests, and head to NYC for some after-gig partying. For me, parting ways with Pissing Razors earlier than seems natural, is something I must do in order to obtain a few memories and a clear perspective of this night. Touring with Pissing Razors could take years off anyone’s life and my experience tonight already has taken tomorrow off of mine! It is obvious that whomever Pissing Razors tours with or runs into on the road either parties hard with them or gets out of the way… tonight I got out of the way. Pissing Razors will also be playing the following shows: Worcester, MA at The Palladium for the New England Metal Fest on April 5th, in Asbury Park, NJ at the Convention Hall for the New Jersey Metal Fest on April 6th and in Brooklyn, NY at Lamour’s on April 7th, with Cannibal Corpse. So…this story may be continued…