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Denver, Colorado, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2013 | SELF

Denver, Colorado, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2013
Band Rock Punk




"Wiredogs truly connect with The Resistance"

It's probably the most unhappy I've ever been as an adult," says Dan Aid, frontman for the Wiredogs, the band previously known as the Hate. He's referring to the group's name change, a stressful process that involved wading through hundreds of possibilities.

"The reason for the name change was mostly because we brought in a drummer, and we sort of re-evaluated at that point," explains Aid. "It made sense to have a name that incorporated the four of us at that moment in time and represented us at that moment."

He and his bandmates — bassist Mark Hibl, guitarist Austin Searcy and new drummer Stefan Runstrom (who played with Tickle Me Pink) — had been close to choosing the Linesmen, inspired by the men who put up the first power lines across the nation, a job with a 50 percent mortality rate, with most dying from electrocution. But when they discussed it with their manager, who had been in the military, he suggested the Wiredogs, after a nickname servicemen had for electricians. The band agreed.

"We felt that Wiredogs did a good job of representing all four of us and who we are right now and where we want to go with the music," says Aid.

While the name is solid and represents a new chapter in the group's history, there's also a certain amount of irony attached to both it and the one the guys passed over. One of the toughest and most emotional events Aid has endured in his life was being shocked by an electrical power line. He was visiting his grandmother in San Miguel Allende, Mexico, when it happened. He was just twelve years old.

"I was up on a balcony at her complex, and basically went to look over," Aid recalls. "There's a cement wall around it, and I went to look down in the street, and there was a high-tension power line on the other side of the cement wall that I never saw. So when I put my hands on it, I accidentally laid my right hand on that wire and it blew me backwards, actually — the force of the electricity — off the building.

"I landed on my head," he continues. "I fractured my skull, like, seven inches, and basically spent the summer in a Shriner's Hospital in Sacramento in the burn unit. They did preliminary surgery to see how much damage had been done, because electricity basically keeps damaging your body for hours after it hits you because of the heat. The heat that passed through my body was hotter than what steel melts at."

While Aid, who had been playing guitar for a few years prior to the accident, had his right hand and part of his arm amputated, that didn't stop him from playing. When he got back home, one of the first things his father, who was also a guitar player, did was sit down and make a device to pick the guitar — a sweatband with a pick at the end of a wooden stick.

"I think one of the reasons I was drawn to punk rock in the first place was...," Aid says, pausing for a beat. "Honestly, there was a part of me that was really afraid of failing at being able to play leads. I can't fingerpick. So I think I was drawn to punk rock because here are people who just strum their asses off, basically, and it was the first music where I heard it on the record and went to play it and it sounded right. And I think that sort of influenced everything I've ever done since."

Aid wears his guitar low, even though he can't reach all the strings, and the edge of the guitar pick can be heard scraping across the strings. You couldn't hear that on previous recordings he's been involved with, Aid points out, because his guitar parts got cleaned up in production. But on the Wiredogs' new four-song EP, The Resistance, he says, you can hear what his guitar playing really sounds like.

And, he insists, the EP, which was recorded live in the studio at Black in Bluhm by Chris Fogal of the Gamits, sounds like the Wiredogs. Part of that is because of the people involved: "To be a punk-rock band working with a punk-rock producer guy in Denver and to be able to take it to Jason Livermore at the Blasting Room, it's the perfect production team for this record, and you can hear it on it." Another key to the album's sound is the way it was tracked.

"Having that energy of the room and the four of us all looking at each other, listening to the same click, listening to every part — if one of us made a mistake, the four of us went back there and fixed it as a group," he continues. "That comes across on the record. It sounds like us. It's the first record I've ever made in my life that sounds like the people who made it, and it sounds like they made it together."

"A lot of classic records that you hear from the '60s and '70s that were recorded live, you listen to them, and you can just kind of feel it a little more," Hibl adds. "We wanted to capture that, because our live show is a big part of what we do and who we are. It's just as important to us as the recorded music, so we wanted to be able to kind of meld them together and capture the live sound."

Taking a few cues from Rancid, Against Me! and Bad Religion, the Wiredogs kick off The Resistance — which Aid says is more aggressive than last year's Authors — with the visceral, in-your-face "47515," a song about the estimated 47,515 people who died between 2007 and 2012 as victims of the drug trade in Juárez. Aid came up with the lyrics for "Am I the Resistance" after looking through photos of young men in Somalia, thinking about his own efforts to help organize protests with the Colorado Coalition for Middle East Peace around the first Iraq War, and thinking about how safe it was for him, as an upper-class white male, to arrange a war protest and go out there and shake his fist.

"And then you look at somebody — like a kid holding a machine gun, or a man holding a shovel and a tank coming at him," says Aid. "So there's two voices in the song: One is the voice of looking at these kids thinking what it really is to resist something when your life depends on it, and also thinking of what it's like to resist something as a white upper-class American male, and that dichotomy."

"Those first two songs are kind of similar in ways," Hibl says. "One thing I love about Dan's lyrics is that there's a lot of depth, and you can interpret them in different ways. So both of those songs have kind of been about people being exploited, people who were being taken advantage of for someone else's agenda. That's how I've always seen it. It goes along with our message so well."

The band's message, Aid concludes, is that, "we — all of us — are authors of the future. We write our existence every day, and the choices we make and how we build our lives. This record, in particular, deals with those questions about when you are going along with something because it's just what you're doing in life, and you're mindlessly not really engaging with anything, and when are you making choices to stand up, to take a different path and make a choice to go in a certain way." - Westword

"Steal This Track from Wiredogs"

What your day needs, thieves, is a bit of youth culture in revolt, and we’ll deliver. Gank this track from Denver punk rockers The Wiredogs, formerly known as The Hate.

When the Denver punk trio The Hate added Stefan Runstrom, formerly of Tickle Me Pink, to the line-up, the band thought a name change was in order. They settled on The Wiredogs, a military nickname for servicemen that work on electric wires. For frontman Dan Aid, the name has deeply personal meaning. At 12 years old, he suffered severe electrocution when he accidentally touched a live power line. He spent months recovering in the hospital and had his hand amputated. Dan credits the injury for attracting him to punk rock, a style that raises the strummed chord, something he could play, to levels of explosive energy.

The Wiredogs recently released its first EP, “The Resistence,” and the album is four tracks of pure punk glory. To capture the pure, raw energy of a live performance, the band recorded the EP live at Black In Bluhm studios with the aid of Chris Fogal (The Gamits) and Jason Livermore of the legendary Fort Collins studio The Blasting Room. The EP has everything you could ever want from a stellar punk release: powerhouse fast guitars, grit and grime attitude, and songwriting that transcends punk rock cliches.

Below, download “Chelsea Hotel,” a track about excess in the New York landmark where artists have resided and Sid Vicious allegedly stabbed Nancy to death. Denver, The Wiredogs are our very own punk rock heroes. Check them out live at the Larimer Lounge on Nov. 1. The EP is available through all online music outlets. - Reverb

"Wiredogs: Chelsea Hotel"

Denver’s hometown garage-inspired punk revivalists Wiredogs recently premiered its video for the single “Chelsea Hotel” off of its "Resistance EP" released just a short time ago. The four piece act was featured in our October issue for an article we titled Colorado Music Madness, and have since been working their due diligence in the scene – creating the video, playing worthwhile shows and was even named one of channel 93.3’s Top Eleven Bands in its annual Hometown For The Holidays contest.

The new video is a frenetically paced ride into all of life’s finer offerings: whiskey, loud music, drugs, sex, makeup fails and the shitty, but always-inevitable comedown. In fact, while we were watching we couldn’t help but get a little nostalgic, as it read to us like a home video from the 90s more than anything else. We have but such fond memories of shanty motels and tweaked out train-wrecks, sigh….

Here it is. Hold on. And fair warning, images may trigger relapse, or in our case, remind us why we got out of the habits in the first place and still maintain that drugs are bad, mmmkay? It's also worth mentioning that the video was produced by the local film-flipping institution Blurred Pictures - who themselves have created some of the finest work Denver has to offer.
- See more at: http://www.therooster.com/blog/wiredogs-chelsea-hotel#sthash.Ko1Iqhr4.dpuf - Rooster Magazine

"Music Video Monday: "Chelsea Hotel" by Wiredogs"

The virulent repercussions of a night teeming with incessant drug addiction and relentless debauchery are birthed to life in one of Denver’s strongest up-and-coming punk bands’ — Wiredogs — new music video, “Chelsea Hotel.” Wiredogs, comprised of Dan Aid, Stefan Runstrom, Austin Searcy and Mark Hibl, bring their own fiery brand of rebellious punk rock to the forefront of the Denver music scene.

Masterfully shot and edited by Blurred Pictures (You can read more about Denver-based Blurred Pictures here), “Chelsea Hotel” is a wild night full of turmoil; drug addiction has a visceral, almost tangible feel to it. The realism of the events that take place are adapted through a point-of-view/voyeuristic perspective, allowing the audience to live and struggle vicariously through a single night of dependency and promiscuity, making “Chelsea Hotel” an absolute stunner. “Chelsea Hotel” can be found on Wiredogs’ debut EP, The Resistance, which was released in September.

With an infectious sound and style and a penchant for candid lyrical content, Wiredogs are making their mark on Denver music in an incredibly fashionable style with their Blurred Pictures collaboration. Expect much, much more to come from Wiredogs and Blurred Pictures in the future. - 303 Magazine

"Artists to Watch in 2014"

Changing their name has not slowed down the momentum that the Wiredogs have accumulated over the last few years. With sharp social commentary and the catchy rhythms of nineties-era punk rock, this Denver four piece have developed a reputation for emotional, fast-paced live performances that continue to draw bigger and bigger crowds. Perhaps some of their widening appeal has been generated by their ability to gig across genre lines- you can often catch them one night rocking a full on punk show while their next gig will find them in the middle of an indie-rock lineup. The release of their recent EP Resistance saw the progression of the band in a more presentable, talent-focused light. Get your hands on their junk at facebook.com/wiredogs - Colorado Music Buzz

"Wiredogs - Kill The Artist Hype The Trash"

He awakens laying face flat on shredded carpet.

The stench of burning and death fill the remnants of a once peaceful room. Now a pile of destruction is all that remains.

What happened in here?

He picks himself up from his blood soaked position and slowly surveys the damage. In the corner he finds his laptop with a cracked screen muffling what sounds like music through heavily damaged speakers. Wiping the blood and whiskey from what is left of the screen he sees what caused this chaos. The events start to come back to him. The new EP from Wiredogs. He was listening to Wiredogs and it caused him to rage so hard that he blacked out and destroyed everything in sight. It’s all coming back.

They have a new EP called Kill The Artist Hype The Trash and it will make you bash your head through the nearest piece of glass. Listening to this record is like kicking someone in the face through someone else’s face. It makes you feel invincible. Be forewarned, you will wreck shit. You might fight someone, you might Fuck someone, and you might do both. I don’t care if you’re in church. I don’t care if you’re at thanksgiving dinner. My favorite track is easily “Fear Is A Lie.” muthafuckers, punk is not dead. The drums come in and get you into a Fuck yeah mood. Then the distorted comes grinding in driving you and cock teasing you until the chorus slaps you in the mouth with its tits. The lyrics, as you can probably tell from the song title, are fiery. Frontman Dan Aid has a punk rock voice that I would kill to have. He’s just walking around like, oh hey bros I have a mean ass punk rock voice bros.

Wiredogs waste no time jumping right into this EP. The appropriately titled opener, “Violence,” gets after it. The song breaks down to the EP’s title and point, “They’re killing the artist, and they’re hyping the trash” then it blasts you right in the face again. It’s obvious that this band has talent and the knack for fucking rocking. Every instrument fits how it should and the sound quality is top notch. It’s polished but it’s punk. Kind of like a really hot chick with a really cool scar. You’re like… dayum that shorty is fine and that scar… ooooweeee. What was I saying? Oh yeah… a great punk record is like a hot chick with a hot scar. Yeah that was all I was getting at.

Kill The Artist Hype The Trash is a well put together EP that will get your blood pumping enough to give you a four foot erection. It will make you either Fuck something or fight someone. It is like an audio version of that goo from Ghostbuster II but laced with Viagra. Every song is on point, the mix is straight, and it culminates in a quality punk rock EP. I highly recommend checking for this band because they have a great sound and tremendous potential. This EP will be available soon and you can check out Wiredogs at the following links: - Shut Your Fucking Face And Listen

"Wiredogs Are Here To Kill The Artist & Hype The Trash"

Interview with Vocalist/Guitarist Daniel Aid | By Damian Burford

We’re pleased to bring you the exclusive stream of Denver, Colorado’s Wiredogs new EP Kill The Artist, Hype The Trash.

If you had the power to change the world? How would you use it? Dan Aid of Denver’s Wiredogs believes he already has that power. Together with with drummer Stefan Runstrom and bassist Mark Hibl, the trio work to recreate those early punk rock moments that shaped their lives and opened their worlds for a next generation using music as their tool for reshaping the world.

I met up with Dan Aid over drinks at Illegal Pete’s in Denver. We chatted for over two hours. Aid is a storyteller who is more than eager share his enthusiasm for the band’s newest record, Kill The Artist, Hype The Trash. There is an electricity in the air as he talks about what he hopes to accomplish in this next year. He is a man who has never let anything get in his way. He doesn’t take no for an answer lightly, and works hard to make the world a better place for himself and the children of future generations.

In today’s interview we talk about how getting robbed at gunpoint, the death of two friends, a chance encounter with Iggy Pop and their love of The Bronx bore life to their new album. Dan also talks about the non-profit work the band has been doing, as well revealing that one moment he’s been searching for his whole career.

Kill The Artist, Hype The Trash was produced by Andrew Berlin of The Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado. Cover art by Joby Ford (The Bronx). It will be released January 24th at the Marquis Theater in Denver with locals Allout Helter and Slow Caves; followed by a short west coast tour:

How did the concept of this record evolve out of Riot Fest 2013 and what does it have to do with Iggy Pop?

At the time we were being managed by Holy Underground and Adam Lancaster and they needed drivers for Riot Fest Denver. Our drummer, Stefan, said “Sure! I’ll pick up rock stars and drive them to and from Riot Fest.” One of the people he got to drive was, Iggy Pop. The original Iggy Pop story was that our bass player Mark and I had watched the Iggy Pop/Stooges set. At the end of the set, Iggy mooned the audience and walked off the stage.

Stefan is waiting there with the SUV and Iggy’s super British manager. When Iggy mooned the audience he broke the button zipper on his pants and he couldn’t get his pants back up over his ass. He’s waddling off the stage and they want to get him out of there. They want to get him into the car and to the hotel. Iggy’s manager makes Iggy lay down in the back seat. He grabs his pants and rips them off. So Iggy is butt ass naked in the backseat of Stefan’s SUV. [Laughs]

They’re driving and Iggy says from the back, “Hey Stain! Stain!” Everyone is looking at each other confused and the manager goes, “Oh, his name is Stefan.” “Oh yeah, sorry. Stefan, do you mind if we pull over and open this bottle of wine?” They pull over, Stefan opens the bottle of wine and pours everyone a glass of wine and gets driving again. That’s the original Iggy Pop story.

The story that I didn’t hear till later, which is what started this whole process for this record, which was the next day; Stefan went back to the hotel. He picked up Iggy and his wife and drove them to the airport. While he is driving to the airport, Iggy is reading this article about the state of the music industry. At one point he says, “It seems like the whole mission of the music industry these days is to kill the artist, and hype the trash.” Stefan fixated on this moment.

Later, We’re in the practice space and Stefan and I are working on a tune and out of the blue he tells me that part of the Iggy story. We all looked at each other and that was it. “That has to be the name of the record.” When we booked time at the Blasting Room, we had one song. It was three months out and Stefan lives in Chicago now. We had just committed ourselves to thousands of dollars, that we don’t have, to make a record that we haven’t written and we don’t know what the hell we are doing. But we had to do it. [Laughs]

There was another conversation, we were hanging out at The Matchbox and decided we had to make a record. We had to book the time. We had to do it. “Where do you want to do it?” “We want to do it at the Blasting Room. That’s where our favorite records are made.” “Who do we want to work with?” “We want to work with Andrew Berlin and he’s fucking awesome!” I love Andrew. He would show up to the sessions with fresh eggs and goat’s milk from his farm! [Laughs] Andrew is probably the sweetest person I’ve ever met in the music industry. He’s a bad ass.

So you’ve got the concept, “Kill The Artist, Hype The Trash.” How does that become a record?

We know we have a couple of shows in the two months before we are going to go into the studio and we had already booked the studio time. So we have Stefan come out a week before the show and stay the week after. We are scheduling our time down to the day. We have to write, demo, and create this record. If it doesn’t happen over these two week long periods while Stefan is in town… We would have to cancel the studio time, look like assholes and the band is probably going to break up. And that’s it.

Stefan came in for that first long weekend and we did a couple of sessions and we left that weekend with three songs. We were excited. We were going to make a record. We started writing really differently. On the first two Wiredogs records, I wrote pretty much everything and brought it to the band and they would tell me, “That sucks,” “That’s awesome,” and “Let’s tweak that,” and then it would become a song. This record, with Mark on bass and Stefan on drums; they got together and did writing sessions with just the two of them. So this record is a lot more groove oriented. That scared the shit out of me. I’d never had to add guitar parts or add vocal parts. I’d always written the two together and had a band back it up. I would sit there at work, at my computer and write lyrics and try shit out.

With the song “Violence,” we wrote all the music for “Violence” and I would sit there and agonize over it. First lines are really important to me. I feel like you either grab them or you don’t. If you didn’t, you missed out. You really could have gotten them right there and you fucked up. So I’m sitting there and I’m writing lyric after lyric and I’m playing the first seventeen seconds of the song, day after day after day. I’m driving myself insane. All of a sudden, I just write down, “This is the violence.” I thought to myself, “Okay. It’s aggressive. It’s there.” Then I got on this sort of tirade and it sort of became this comment on social reality that is this lack of connection due to people being driven away from themselves and artistic pursuits and into- There’s this line, “A million unengaged; kneeling, broken mindless; while a girl sits, reaches, turns up The Misfits. Her parents say the lessons won’t transmit now. She’s just another problem. So drag her away. She’s screaming bloody murder. As we as a collective all turn away; and we’ll watch you sway.” That’s the concept. So it is sort of this satirical look and we see it happening all the time. People driven to not create and not be themselves, but what can I do about it? I’m just one person. I can’t change how people think or feel. It was just me being like, “Wake the fuck up!” with this super aggressive song.

What’s the attraction to the aggressiveness? Where does that come from?

For that song, when I wrote the music for it, I had been listening to the Bronx all day. I love the Bronx. Their guitar parts on “They will kill us all (without mercy)” are so unrelenting the whole time. I thought to myself, “I have to write a song!” I have a tendency to kind of slow down some parts, but that day I thought to myself, “No matter what happens, it doesn’t get to slow down. Ever.” That’s where it started musically for that song.

Speaking of The Bronx… Their guitar player, Joby Ford did the cover art for your new record!

I had discovered The Bronx in middle school. I went home one day and was on some website was playing a Bronx song, scrolling across the bottom. I looked up the video for “They will kill us all (without mercy).” It’s that super hip-hop looking guy rolling through LA, and he’s screaming out the lyrics. It’s one of my favorite videos.

We got to open up for The Bronx, which was this holy shit moment for us. We pull up to The Bluebird and Matt Caughthran walks over and picks up my guitar head and asks us if we need help. He starts helping us load our gear! [Laughs] It’s always my favorite bands who are the coolest guys.

It was funny because later that night, GBH came up in conversation. The first big show I played, I was in a two-piece band called The Snobs, my first band. We were roadies for this other local band Letters From The Front and they were opening for GBH at The Bluebird and [Letters From The Front] got booed off the stage! They were more modern punk, while GBH fans were more into “Oi! Oi! Oi!” old school, hardcore, British punk. The crowd were not digging it. Halfway through their set we get asked if we want to finish the set! My drummer and I played five songs at the GBH show and the crowd starts moshing. People started moving and it was this moment of “YES!” I’m hanging out with Collin Abrahall and those guys. They were so cool. It turns out that GBH took The Bronx out on their first US tour. It was this huge full circle moment for us and it was all at The Bluebird. It was fucking rad.

When we played with The Bronx I kept in touch with them. I found out that Joby Ford did album artwork, and for big bands. He did the cover art for Alkaline Trio’s From Here to Infirmary. Every friend of mine growing up had that album in their CD wallet. I hit him up and asked if he wanted to do this. I sent him a couple of songs and he liked them. He said it sounded really cool. When I asked how much he charged, he told me; “Honestly man, the bands that are on labels and have money, I charge them because I know they have it. The bands that don’t? Well, what can you guys pay?” Because we valued him, we paid him as much as we could and tried to throw a little on top of it. We wanted him to feel like it was worth his time. He was so cool, he did the album art. It turned out bad ass.

We knew it was important for him to be a part of it.

Who else did you reach out to to be a part of the record?

Andrew Berlin reached out on our behalf to Tim McIlrath from Rise Against. On the song “Violence,” and with the message behind it, I felt like it could be super cool to trade verses with Tim. So much of what they write has inspired what I have written. Seeing their live show has inspired my live shows. Andrew wrote to him and we never heard back. I just felt like I had to try one more time. I had his email through this weird coincidence where I’d been trying to work with Wayne Kramer [of Mc5] on opening a chapter of Jail Guitar Doors, which is a program he works on and to get one opened out in Colorado. Wayne sent me Tim’s email. He had worked with Tim and Zach Blair from Rise Against in Austin on Jail Guitar Doors.

I wrote this long email to Tim that I knew he was never going to read. He didn’t even respond to Andrew, who had made several records with him. I explained why it would be important for him to sing on “Violence.” Well, Tim wrote me back! He wrote back, “Hey Dan, I love the song. What a great idea and concept, I love the feel, the production and the urgency. It sounds real and exciting. You guys are on the right track. Please excuse me, I don’t want to commit to it if I can’t do it one hundred percent.” That right there let me know that we were doing something important. I could feel it. I think it came because we had the balls to reach out to everybody we wanted to reach out to. We weren’t afraid of failing. Because of that, the record got bigger and cooler.

Do you consider yourself a storyteller?

Lyrics are incredibly important to me. I pisses off the other guys in my band because I tend to write too many words. It’s really hard for me to edit. “Two Ghosts,” the third track from the record. That story came out of us playing a show in Fort Collins. It was a Saturday night. We all crashed at Stefan’s place with his wife and their dog. We woke up Sunday and hung out. We’re all hungover. Sunday afternoon/evening is creeping on us. The other guys in the band start heading back to Denver, but I told the guys, “I’m not feeling it. I’m not going to work tomorrow. I need another day.” Stefan told me, “Don’t go. Stay up here another night. I have a song I want to show you tomorrow.”

So I crashed. At this time Stefan was living in Fort Collins and his wife was going back and forth to Chicago. She’s been getting her masters from DePaul. So they had not really been able to live together. So Monday morning, his wife Maddie is starting to pack up the house to go back to Chicago. This time she’s really taking a lot. She’s pulling everything off the shelves and putting it away. At one point she takes this little box of trinkets and she opens it up and shows it to me. Inside are these seashells from certain trips or places along with little metal figurines from Ghana from when she was there and it’s all in this sand. She’s showing me all this stuff and there was this really sad and depressed feeling in the house as she is getting ready to leave.

We go down to the basement and he’s recorded drums, bass and a few guitar parts. I’m listening and I just start making up words and making up the story and just letting it come out. We did one take and listen back. I do another take, just making it up. I start looking at some notes and I’m constantly writing lyrics. We do a third take and we’re starting to edit together some of these ideas. It’s coming together and it’s not disparate, even though I’m making it up on the spot; you can tell it’s this one idea. We do three takes and those vocals from those same three takes with all those lyrics are the same lyrics that ended up on the final take at the Blasting Room. It just captured this… this moment.

When I was in the studio I tried to do vocals for “Two Ghosts” on the first day. I tried to do vocals on the second day. I just wasn’t feeling it. On the third day, Stefan wanted to come sit in the room with me. I asked him if he would mind FaceTiming Maddie. So I FaceTimed Maddie. She’s walking to work. Her phone and the picture are bouncing. She says to me, “Dan, I’m hungover. What do you need?” “I need some Maddie wisdom right now. I’m having trouble laying down this vocal track right now and do you remember that day I was over at your house and we were laying out this song?” She says, “Don’t be a pussy about it, because sometimes you can be.” Perfect. [Laughs]

I hang up. I step up to the mic and do this take. Stefan is sitting behind the drums, I have my eyes closed and I look up and tears are pouring down his face. This is a guy I’ve been friends with for a couple of years and I’ve never seen him cry. Pouring tears. He’s looking at me and then he gets self conscience and walks out of the room. I immediately followed him and gave him a hug. He says to me, “Man, there is just so much shit lately.” We walk into the control room and everybody was like, “That is it.”

I’ve never had a moment like that. From the conception of the song to the writing of the song, to the recording of the song, was really hard. It came out of all these really hard days and really stressful times. Stefan, when we were recording that record, he wasn’t home for a month. I feel like it comes through as honestly as we could make it come through.

What are some of the other important stories you tell on this record?

The last song on the record, “Fear is A Lie,” is the only song we had written when we booked studio time. It was the first song that we wrote as a band in Stefan’s basement as Mark, Stefan and I. It was right when the newest Queens of The Stone Age record had come out. Stefan went into this beat, that was mocking them. We had just seen them at Red Rocks and we were all pumped on it. I just go into this guitar part and that same guitar part is still the exact same guitar part that starts that song off. We wrote that whole thing in two hours. I even started writing the first verse and chorus that ended up on the record in those two hours. I tend to write my best stuff, when it just happens. But then I was stuck. I had this verse and this chorus idea and didn’t know what it meant. What’s the story?

In the following month, I had a friend friend die of an overdose and about ten days later, I had another friend die. She went to sleep and never woke up. I was on Facebook the day after she died and the last thing she posted, I believe it was the day that she passed; was this picture of this big brick wall and written across it in big black, bold letters was just, “Fear is A Lie.” So I wrote it down. I knew I wanted to use it. All of a sudden, I started thinking back to that concept and thinking about death. A lot of the death in my life has not been natural death. Almost none of it, my grandmother is about it. Everybody else has been my friends, or parents of friends; have died from accidents or– I’ve almost died. I started to think of this concept of death, and one of the voices in the song that is kind of like what it’s like to watch yourself at your own funeral.

Is that something you think about a lot?

I’m going through a “What does it all mean?” time in my life where I’m wondering what’s the point of getting up, doing what I do, going to sleep. That sort of thing. I was trying to think. What is the endgoal? First I thought Happiness, but that’s a shitty end goal and not real and it never happens anyway. So give up on that. Coming back from New York and this last trip I took to Idaho, I was talking to my mom. I was feeling super down. She told me, “Daniel, you don’t understand. Most of life, almost all of it, doesn’t turn out like you expect it. Most of it feels pretty shitty.” I had just played her the record. She made me play it three times in a row for her and she said, “but you made a really good record finally.” [Laughs] This is my tenth record over all the years. [Laughs] But she says, “You made a really good record.” That made me happy. [Laughs]

I think “Fear is a Lie” the first line is, “Run, but run slow. Because I can not, I can not, I can not take anymore.” That was me talking to these friends who keep dying. Telling them, “Go after life, but don’t go so hard that you burn out. It’s getting really hard to take… everyone disappearing.” That’s where that song comes from.

Does this record come from a deeper, more personal place than the previous records?

This record comes out of a really hard year. I moved twice. I got into and then out of a serious relationship, very quickly. I was robbed at gunpoint.

Woah. Is that where “Violence” comes from?

That’s all of it, the whole record. I don’t really even know where that is in the record. [Sighs] Stefan being away in Chicago. Mark started a relationship. We lost a member of the band, brought in a new member. We’re a three-piece now and we have Steven Beck, who use to play with Stefan in Tickle Me Pink filling in. He’s been amazing. He played the Fucked Up show with us and Riot Fest and everything since then.

The title and the push of this record comes from an off handed remark from Iggy Pop at Denver’s Riot Fest in 2013. This year, 2014, you guys took the stage at Riot Fest with many of these songs. Was that another full circle moment for you?

Pretty much. We played “Violence.” We played “Two Ghosts.” A lot of people who had seen our shows told us, “That was your best show.” It was so fulfilling. It was a moment where we got to play for some of our peers. Chris Aiken who plays bass for Strung Out, came up to me after the show and asked who we were and where we were from. “That was an amazing set! You have to come see our set!” They’ve been putting out records since 1989, and I was born in 1988! [Laughs] It was such a cool moment. I sent him this record. I stayed in touch and he’s been super cool. I feel like we’re finally creating music that is part of the conversation. When you get that feedback from your peers, Like Tim McIlrath’s comment, or from Chris Aiken, it’s important. It’s taught me a lot about reaching out to the younger people that we see doing great work. That’s why Slow Caves are on album release show. Jakob Mueller, [Vocalist for Slow Caves] is 18 or 19 years old. He’s an amazing guitar player and an amazing songwriter. I told them, “We like you. Please play shows with us.” And I know how important that is.

Not only that, but the proceeds from your release show goes towards Youth On Record, a non-profit that specializes in empowering children through creative education.

We were just out in DC. We got asked to play the Future of Music Policy Summit. It’s half these DC bureaucrats and policy wonks and there are also people there like Peter Jenner who managed The Clash is out there! [Laughs] I handed him our record and was like “[mimicking stuttering] Hi!” I didn’t know what the fuck to say.

We connected again with Youth on Record out there in DC. We’ve known those people for a while now, and we have our own non-profit that we’re trying to get off the ground called Authors of The Future, where we’ve been working with schools to bring our music into Denver Public Schools and do educational outreach for students. The only successful show we’ve had to date, was at North High School, but we sang with the students. The students had the glee club and we backed them up on a song. We played a full set. All those kids showed up. They were stoked on it. It raised money for the arts program at the school.

We can’t seem to connect with other schools. Youth on Record is definitely connecting. We asked them, “How are you doing it?” [Laughs] We want in! Let’s figure out how we can work with you. We love working with other organizations in the community. We work with 303 Choir as well. They are an offshoot of Colorado Children’s Chorale. It just made sense. Let’s reach out to Youth On Record. It’s a good gesture to them, and hopefully it comes back to us being able to work with them on bringing music to more kids. The shows we’ve done with 303 Choir and other groups, have been some of our best shows. Kids are SO stoked. They’re 13 to 17 years old and that’s when I started going to shows. Those shows blew my mind.

When I saw Rancid for the first time, I didn’t want to fucking blink. I didn’t want to miss a second of what was happening. I remember seeing Goldfinger at the Ogden. The singer, John Feldmann, grabbed the mic and just fucking stage dove on the first hit. I’ve wanted to recreate that moment my entire life. I’ve always been attracted to the live show, and I think that’s why I love punk rock. It’s why I still go to shows. It’s why I still occasionally get in the pit. Nothing can match it. It’s like humanity at its most basic and visceral.

At a good punk rock show, when people are slam dancing, it becomes a community of people that are aggressively creating this movement and this atmosphere. It’s not about hurting people. So many jocks have come into the scene and pits have become this whole different thing at so many shows. But every once in a while, you get a good one where everyone is feeling the music and moving together and it’s like, “this is it.” You can throw your arms around a complete stranger and you’re both belting out the same lyrics to the same songs that you both love and life doesn’t get better than this. “This is it.”

I want to recreate that moment for other people. John Feldmann grabbing that mic, singing that song that people love and immediately touching people by jumping into the audience… That physical contact. That’s important. Humans are tactile. Let’s touch each other! You know? [Laughs] I’ve always wanted that moment. - New Noise Magazine


The Basement Tapes - 2014 (Self-Released)

The Resistance EP - 2013 (Self-Released)

Authors - 2012 (Self-Released as The Hate)



WIREDOGS is an American punk rock band formed in Denver, Colorado in 2013. Wiredogs is Dan Aid - guitar and vocals, Mark Hibl - bass, Steven Beck - guitar, and Stefan Runstrom - drums. To date, Wiredogs has released three records, The Resistance EP, produced by Chris Fogal and mixed/mastered by Jason Livermore at The Blasting Room, and The Basement Tapes, and Kill The Artist Hype The Trash, produced/mixed by Andrew Berlin. They have also been featured on the For The Love of Punk - Riot Fest compilation, and the KTCL 93.3 Hometown For The Holidays 2013 compilation. The band has shared the stage with Pennywise, Anti-Flag, The Bronx, Fucked Up, The Ataris, A Wilhelm Scream, Teenage Bottlerocket, Masked Intruder, Authority Zero, and The Toasters, as well as played Riot Fest Denver 2014.

Band Members