I last interviewed Borrowed Time for Double Rabies in 2006, which finally made it into print in early 2009. When I heard that Borrowed Time was once again active and playing shows, I wanted to check in about their new lineup and upcoming projects. Borrowed Time was criminally underrated the first time around so I hope there are some people out there who are equally ecstatic about their return. Thank you to Brendan for participating in this follow-up interview and I hope I have the opportunity to do a Borrowed Time interview in another 7 years too.
First off, I was overjoyed to see that Borrowed Time is playing shows again! What were the circumstances that led to you getting back together, and what’s new this time around?
Well, I had never intended for it to take this long to get things going again, but such is life. Aidan, our original singer, decided to quit a little over four years ago. We had just finished recording a new album for Reaper Records and things were really starting to pick up for us at the time. He came to me out of the blue one day and told me that his heart really wasn’t into doing a band anymore and that he wanted to focus all his energy on tattooing. He gave me his blessing to continue on with BT and I had no doubt that that’s what I wanted to do. I love this band and I had put way too much blood and sweat into this to just give up. The other guys I had at the time either didn’t want to carry on or had other things they wanted to pursue, which was fine. We went through a revolving door of members and hired guns with the original incarnation of the band with Aidan and I. It was definitely frustrating. I wanted to take my time to find the right people this time around… People that wanted to play, could do the material justice and would hopefully be in for the long haul. It took a while to put it all together. There was also some personal and family shit that I had to deal with over the past few years that took my focus away for a bit. So fast forward a little over four years and here we are. The new lineup consists of James Lyons on vocals, Dave Palermo on bass, Dave Larson on drums, Chris Pallatto on lead guitar and myself on guitar and vocals. So far, the response has been really good and we are having a blast.
Also, do you want to give a short summary of your previous history as a band for those readers who are not familiar with Borrowed Time?
Aidan, Jim and I started the band in 2004. That was the core of the band for most of the initial run. Jim left towards the end when he went away to school. We went through quite a few drummers until we found Collin, who was with us for the last few years. We also had a revolving door of second guitar players, the longest serving of which was probably Greg from the No Escape era. Whatever we had to do to keep going, we did. In spite of all the lineup changes, we were able to release a demo, a CD called No Escape From This Life on Reaper Records and a split CD on my label (Surface Records) with our good friends from Canada, Sons of Disgrace. We played shows around the Northeast and Canada and did a brief European tour in 2007 with Cheap Thrills.
We stopped playing in 2009 and now we’re back. I’m very proud of all we were able to accomplish in the past and I’m stoked to be back out there playing now.
Besides the upcoming Rochester shows and the date with Terror in Syracuse I noticed you also have a few Canadian shows lined up as well. What else do you have coming up after these shows? Would your work schedules eventually permit a real tour or just weekend dates for now?
We’re about seven shows in right now with the new lineup and things are really starting to gel. The Canada shows went really well aside from some van problems. We played Rochester tonight with Take Offense, Malfunction and The Storm and we play Syracuse later this week with Terror and Strife. We have a few shows lined up after that and we’re hopefully going to start writing in October in hopes of getting some new material out there by early next year. Everyone is really motivated right now. As for touring, I think we’ll mainly do weekends and one off shows and maybe a week or so here or there when we get some new stuff out there if a good opportunity presents itself. I would really like to get back to Europe as well. We are not really in a position to do a lot of touring though. We all have jobs outside of the band.
You had mentioned that there are some unrecorded songs from the first incarnation of Borrowed Time. How do you plan to integrate these into your repertoire? Is it going to end up like the show where Jorge was out in the crowd singing along and moshing while Eddie was singing for Merauder?
We’re figuring out what we’re going to do with all that unreleased stuff now. Hopefully we can work something out that’s fair to everyone involved and everything will come out in one form or another. As for Aidan moshing in the crowd during our shows, you never know. He lives out in San Diego now. The door’s always open for him to join us on stage if he’s ever around when we play. It would be fun. I have nothing but love for all the past guys. I’m glad everyone is happy doing what they’re doing now and I wish everyone the best.
I remember in like 2006 you had mentioned possibly doing a Zero Tolerance cover. At the time I was unfamiliar with the wonders of Zero Tolerance, but this time around I’d be very psyched for it to occur. I’ve heard a little about the turbulent history of ZT, are there any stories you’d like to share? Or where I can get a ZT windbreaker? I did get one of those shirts that came out when Reaper put out the Fuel the Fire promo tape as a 7”.
I would love to cover ZT at some point but it hasn’t happened yet. I was stoked that Patrick put the Fuel the Fire tape out on 7” on Reaper and got those guys a little more recognition. They were a killer band. No good stories for you on those guys, but I have heard rumors for years about a discography CD being in the works. Let’s hope that happens one day.
On a related note, I feel like I have been seeing less and less of them, especially among the younger generation. Do you think this is a sign of bands taking themselves too seriously or not being familiar with their history and influences? Or is this just something I’ve noticed down here and is not representative of the scene further north?
I’m a fan of covers. We’ve done a few with BT over the years (Cro-Mags, Entombed, Misfits, Type O Negative, Life of Agony, etc.) and probably will do some more in the future. Whether covers are any more or less popular than they used to be, I really don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it too much.
Are you still playing with Heatseeker or any other bands besides Borrowed Time? If so, how is BT starting back up going to affect your other projects?
Yes, I still do Heatseeker. That’s my rock ‘n roll band that I’ve been doing for the last 13 years. We just put out a new CD earlier this year called ‘Heads Will Roll’. James and I also do a 70s/80s hardcore punk cover band during our down time called Riot Squad. We haven’t played in a while but we’ll probably do a few shows during the winter. James and Chris also previously played in a metal band called Ledyard. They’re talking about getting back together and doing a few shows and I might join them on bass if it happens. Dave P. plays guitar in another HC band called Forked Tongues and the two Daves have a new hardcore studio project they did called On the Ropes. As far as how much affect our other projects will have on Borrowed Time, I’d say very little. There’s plenty of time for everything we do and the other projects help keep BT fresh and pure.
I’ve never even been to Rochester, so what are shows there like in 2013?
Things are kind of down a little bit from where they were a few years ago in my opinion. There’s a lot of good bands here and there will be a big show every once in a while where people will come out of the woodwork. On average, the shows have been pretty small lately. There’s a small core of dedicated people that will make it out to most shows. That’s pretty much true of the rock and metal scenes here too. People just don’t seem to be all that into live music at the moment.
What are some other local bands that someone should check out if they traveled to Rochester to see Borrowed Time?
Lots of great bands here. As far as hardcore bands, check out The Weight We Carry, Holy War, Death Camp & Forked Tongues. There’s a load of other great metal/punk/rock/blues bands here as well like The Emersons, Sulaco, The Ginger Faye Bakers, BML, Baba Yaga, Vinyl Orange Ottoman, Fox 45, Clockmen, Oceans of Insects, Burn Everything, Order of the Dead, The Dirty Bourbon Blues Band, Pink Elephant, etc. I’m sure I’m forgetting some. We have a very eclectic music scene in Rochester.
What are some of the changes you’ve noticed in hardcore, for better or worse, since our last interview in 2006?
It’s hard to say because I don’t get a chance to go to as many shows as I used to. I certainly don’t get to travel as much as I’d like. Obviously that will change a bit as we are starting to play out more again. From what I’ve seen though, there’s a lot less fights at shows compared to a few years back, which is great. The violence was really bad here for a while. It really wears on you having to deal with that stupid shit all the time. The vibe is a lot more positive and fun right now. There’s also a lot of really good newer bands out there at the moment that I enjoy.
Sort of related to the last question – one of the things we talked about last time was reunions – I feel like 2006 was right when a lot of bands started getting back together. And you were absolutely right about Underdog being one of the very best and most consistent out of those who have reunited in the last decade. What are some of the best reunions you have seen in the last few years, and how do you feel about bands who have gotten back together for a reunion and then gone on to continue playing and record more material?
My favorite was probably the 2 shows Leeway did at CB’s before they closed with the Desperate Measures lineup. I saw them a few times after that, but those 2 shows were really special. I thought Judge was great when they played the BNB Bowl this year. I’d say they exceeded my expectations for sure. Let me see what else… Underdog is always awesome to see. I’m stoked Sheer Terror is back, especially since they’re writing new music. They sound great. It was also cool to see Breakdown with the original lineup. Some of the reunions I really wanted to see but I unfortunately missed in recent years were Quicksand, The Bruisers, Into Another, Only Living Witness and Dag Nasty with Shawn Brown on vocals. All the videos I was able to see though were really cool. I’m gonna see Into Another finally in December with Clutch. I never really cared for that band when they were around the first time, but I’ve really come to like them and appreciate what they do in the last 10 years and I’m looking forward to that. As for the 2nd part of your question, I think if bands are going to get back together for a one off show or a reunion tour, then cool. That’s great. It’s cool for the younger kids that never got a chance to see them and cool for the older fans as well. I think if they stick around beyond that, they should put out some new material. That’s just my opinion.
Being a musician, I value that creative outlet and want to be constantly writing and evolving. I get bored playing or listening to the same stuff over and over without having something new in the mix to spice things up.
Anything else you want to talk about – Pete Rose, Ty Cobb, Dwid stories? Thank you so much for doing this – I hope we have the opportunity to do an interview every 7 years!
Thanks so much for the interview. It was great catching up. Keep an eye out for something new from BT early next year. Pete Rose should be in the Hall of Fame!
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Nice one Becky!
I really liked the Only Living Witness reunion. And I still hope to see Quicksand & Into Another.