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Kerrang! (UK) - - NEWS - Brian Baker

LIFE HAS changed im­mea­sur­ably for twenty one pi­lots since the re­lease of Blur­ry­face in May 2015. Over the past two years, that al­bum has turned Tyler Joseph and Josh Dun into Grammy-award-win­ning, Hol­ly­wood-moviesound­track­ing su­per­stars.and last month, the duo laid it to rest with an in­cred­i­ble home­town re­turn.tøur De Cølum­bus was a run of five shows, start­ing at tiny 300-ca­pac­ity sweat­box The Base­ment, end­ing at the 18,809-ca­pac­ity Schot­ten­stein Cen­ter, and the band’s pho­tog­ra­pher Brad Heaton – also an Ohio na­tive – was there to snap the lot.

“I’d say it was a utopic wrap of the Blur­ry­face era,” ex­plains Brad.“we came home, did the five shows and at the very end of the last show we felt this sense of re­lief. At the end of it, it wasn’t a ques­tion of:‘what’s next?’ it was more like,‘hey, it’s over… it’s the end of this movie, and we know that the next movie is not com­ing out for how­ever long. It felt like we’d come full-cir­cle.”

The shows them­selves were as crazy and won­der­ful as you’d ex­pect. Hun­dreds of fans turned up to the open­ing night at The Base­ment, and just lined the streets for the du­ra­tion of the show.“this one’s for the fans out­side,” Tyler would say mul­ti­ple times dur­ing the set, and you’d hear every­one out on the street cheer.

While at the big­ger 2,200-ca­pac­ity Ex­press Live! venue, on the third night,tyler’s stunts were lit­er­ally deathde­fy­ing. He scaled the open-air venue’s roof, and had con­cert-go­ers gasp­ing as he per­formed against the city sky­line.“that roof was tin, it was sloped down­wards, and it started rain­ing be­fore­hand…” ex­plains Brad.“so I was hop­ing he wouldn’t get too close to that edge and slip, ’cause it would have been very hard to catch him­self.”

The per­sonal high­light for the pho­tog­ra­pher, though, was an art ex­hi­bi­tion the band put on for the fan­base where 500 peo­ple showed up just to speak to him.

“It’s great to in­ter­act with such a pas­sion­ate fan­base,” he smiles.“and it’s su­per-cool that every­one’s ap­pre­cia­tive of my part in it.”

NEXT MONTH, thou­sands of punks will de­scend on Black­pool’s Win­ter gar­dens for four days of mu­si­cal an­ar­chy at Re­bel­lion Fes­ti­val. it’s a packed bill fea­tur­ing the likes of Slaves, Frank Carter & The Rat­tlesnakes, Pen­ny­wise,teenage Bot­tle­rocket and many more.

Bad Re­li­gion are set to head­line the em­press Ball­room on Au­gust 3, and gui­tarist Brian Baker – a man who knows a thing or two about punk, what with be­ing the gui­tarist in the le­gendary mi­nor Threat and Dag Nasty – can­not wait. “This is my favourite fes­ti­val to play, it re­ally is,” says Brian.“i’ve loved it for­ever and played there last year with Dag Nasty.

“Bad Re­li­gion played it when it was a lit­tle smaller [2010] and it hit me on all the right lev­els. it was like punk Quadrophe­nia! it’s awe­some and real. it’s great! if it didn’t cost so much to get over there, i’d just come and see the show. Hope­fully I can find a way to sneak onto the bill next year, too.” With so many bands to choose from, we called upon Brian to pick his Baker’s half dozen…


“Thanks to Men­ace, aged 16, I had to fig­ure out what the greater Lon­don Coun­cil was! There were so many Bri­tish bands i was into then, it was like a whole dif­fer­ent vo­cab­u­lary that you couldn’t get from Monty Python.the G.L.C. sin­gle was the first one i had.there’s a raw­ness to it and i’m Civilised is still one of the best songs ever.they’re play­ing on the same day [as us] and i might be able to make it.”

2SHAM 69

“They were a huge band to us in the U.S. and had great the time, lyri­cally, Jimmy Pursey was so in­spir­ing. he wasn’t punk-look­ing or a fash­ion guy – no spiked leather jacket or mo­hawk – but he had an in­cred­i­ble pas­sion. his lyrics were about every­body and it re­ally struck a chord with us. We’ve done Sham 69 cov­ers.they’re le­gendary.”


“The UK Subs are great. i’ve seen them a bunch of times.any chance to see [front­man] Char­lie harper] is some­thing every­one should take. he’s a na­tional trea­sure.”


“When the punk scene had more than 30 peo­ple in it, you started to de­fine your­self like,‘i know you’re re­ally into the Sex Pis­tols, but i found these other bands.’ me and group of 10 punk kid friends stum­bled onto [1979 al­bum] god’s Lonely men and they be­came one of our favourite bands. She Knows is an awe­some song.”


“my favourite punk band was The Ruts. When mal­colm Owen died and they re­leased [1981 al­bum] An­i­mal Now, i was not ready for the dub as­pect. i was too young. i didn’t un­der­stand them un­til years later. Last year, i got to see Ruts DC acous­tic which was my high­light of Re­bel­lion Fes­ti­val. i was ex­cited to be in the same room as drum­mer Dave Ruffy, and it was in­spir­ing how good they are. every­one should see them. i’ve been steal­ing gui­tar riffs from them for 36 years and it’s awe­some. i’ve stolen West One maybe 15 times. i re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate it.”

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