The Menzingers at Underground Arts
Sunday, November 28, 2021
About The Menzingers
Philadelphia-based punk band, The Menzingers have released From Exile, a reimagined stripped down version of their 2019 release Hello Exile. From Exile was recorded from the band’s respective homes while in isolation during COVID-19 stay at home orders.
The Menzingers were on tour in Australia when the world seemed to abruptly stop due to COVID-19, forcing the band to cut their tour short and make their way back to Philadelphia. “The live music industry vanished before our eyes, and just like that we were out of work like tens of millions of others,” notes singer/guitarists Greg Barnett. “As the weeks progressed the upcoming tours got rescheduled, then rescheduled again, then effectively cancelled. There were times when it all felt fatal. There’s no guide book on how to navigate being a working musician during a global pandemic, so we were left to make it up as we went along. We wanted to document and create in the moment, and though we couldn’t be in the same room together due to social distancing lockdowns, we got creative.”
Over the next few months, the band would re-record Hello Exile from their separate locations. “We would track the songs from our own home studios, share the files via dropbox, and pray it all made sense when pieced back together. Initially, we planned for the album to be similar to our acoustic demo collection ‘On The Possible Past,’ but we quickly found out that this batch of songs benefited from more detailed arrangements,” adds Barnett. “We rewrote, and changed keys and melodies. We blended analog and digital instruments in ways we never had before. We dug through old lyric notebooks and added additional verses. We got our dear friend Kayleigh Goldsworthy to play violin on two songs. No idea was off limits. Hell, I even convinced the band to let me play harmonica on a song (no small feat!). The recording process ran from mid-March till June, and upon completion we sent it over to our dear friend and close collaborator Will Yip to mix and master.”
Since forming as teenagers in 2006, The Menzingers have shown their strength as rough-and-tumble storytellers, turning out songs equally rooted in frenetic energy and lifelike detail. To date, the band has released six studio albums, with their most recent, Hello Exile, released October 2019. Produced by Will Yip (Mannequin Pussy, Quicksand), Hello Exile sees The Menzingers take their lyrical narrative to a whole new level and share their reflections on moments from the past and present: high-school hellraising, troubled relationships, aging and alcohol and political ennui. With the band achieving that soul-baring intimacy all throughout the album, Hello Exile emerges as The Menzingers’ most emotionally daring work to date with Fader calling the album “The Menzingers’ greatest statement on adulthood to date.”
The Menzingers is singer/guitarists Greg Barnett and Tom May, bassist Eric Keen, and drummer Joe Godino.