Brooklyn hardcore revisionists Cerebral Ballzy channel the splattery, skate-friendly tantrums of the early-’80s California underground–think Circle Jerks or Rich Kids On LSD if they had to live with bad weather. Songs titles like “Sk8 All Day,” “Cutting Class” and “Puke Song” speak for themselves; they all lean into that classic, cassette-dubbed, slightly-sloppy, naturally shirtless grind-and-yowl that was punk rock before Lookout! made everyone clean up their production. Ballzy’s self-titled debut (due July 26 via Adult Swim’s Williams Street imprint) blurs by in less than 20 minutes, and its 12 songs contain no shortage of frontman Honor Titus’s adenoidal wail and the sounds of skateboard wheels hitting pavement. Titus says first taste “Insufficient Fare” is something “every New York City person can relate to”–an anthem for MetroCard blues, it’s a mix of Suicidal Tendencies tantrums and Dead Boys guitar heroics. “See it my way,” he shouts. “Fuck the MTA!”
What is “Insufficient Fare” about?
Basically about not having the means to get where get where you’re going but being hellbent on getting there anyway… “Insufficient fare” is such an ominous, heavy term for not having money. It reeks of a metal undertone.
What inspired it lyrically?
What inspired it legally? The numerous MTA tickets we garnered being “bad” in NYC.
When was the last time you hurt yourself on stage?
Last night. I hurt myself quite often. I’ve chipped my teeth and I passed out during a gig in England last week. Mason fell off stage once into a moshpit and landed on his face and got trampled. We’re tough.
What’s the most confused or annoyed reaction someone’s had to your name?
Uh, certain media outlets are scared of what we entail. We get shunned on fliers all the time. People can’t spell it. People with cerebral palsy reach out and respect what we do all the time and are always asking for shirts. Needless to say, we give ’em. Cerebral Ballzy is not negative towards the handicapped; it’s about us being a cerebral, ballsy crew of kids. We do what we wanna, baby.
What’s the most memorable show you’ve ever played in New York?
There’s so many. Our gig with the Black Lips at the Shank in Brooklyn. It was a secret and 2,000-and-something kids showed. It was straight ruckus and girls have been throbbing for me since.
What’s your favorite place to eat in NYC?
The dollar slice on St. Marks and Mother’s in Brooklyn.