One man’s “sloppy” is another man’s “shindig.” That is the essential truism you should keep in mind when checking out local loonies Foster Care. In the fine tradition of later-2000s Brooklyn dive-dwelling riff-rammers like Live Fast Die and DC Snipers, Foster Care get faster, more furious, and drunker with each tune, while (usually) holding together their downhill-sans-brakes momentum. The Foster fellows have been the house band for punk-bar tomfoolery for a year-plus now, playing out incessantly. But they’ve figured a way to get it all down on their new LP Bad Vibe City (Jackshack).
Bear in mind, Foster Care is not the type of “Brooklyn band” you read about in blogs that talk about “Brooklyn bands”—it’s a Brooklyn band for blogs that complain about the staggering costs of ramen and Coors Light. Singer Chris Teenager and bassist Jesse “Martinez” Crawford elaborate.
A quick history of the band—when it was formed, other bands members were in previously….
“Martinez”: Foster Care started in the fall of 2008 originally as a five-piece called Herschel Walker.
Teenager: We changed the name when he went on that show with Donald Trump.
“Martinez”: The original lineup was our boy Timmy Harp from Power Douglas on Farfisa, and Karen “Tate” (then) on drums—now she’s in Habibi. Through some kind of degenerate Darwinism, our band is now a four piece.
Teenager: Our good friend Josh Martin is now and will be our drummer.
Were any members under foster care whilst growing up?
“Martinez”: Luckily none of us grew up in foster homes.
Teenager: My mother grew up in foster care, however.
“Martinez”: Ha, yeah. That’s why she hates our band name.
Worst Foster Care show so far? And best?
“Martinez”: Our worst show had to be at Public Assembly. It was to be video taped for a Killer Diller Records DVD. My E string went out and no one would loan me a bass to use. So I barbershop-quarteted all the bass lines, and Teenager and I ran around like fuckin’ assholes shoving everyone around. Next thing we know, the sound guy is on stage pulling the mics and turning our amps off. So we turned them back on. Then the bouncers turn them off and told us to get off the stage. We told ’em fuck-all, and then all of a sudden our boy Neil throws a smoke bomb on stage. They start grabbing us, and Karen and I start throwing the drums off the stage. Ends with the curtain literally closing on us. I guess it was kind of great, actually.
Teenager: Best show? Either El Paso at the lesbian bar where there was an old guy who chills in the mens’ bathroom and watches people piss. Or maybe at Matchless with Dinos Boys, Family Curse, and Livids. (Stroke to the interviewer—natch!)
“Martinez”: Yeah. good show! That was the night Pete from Pampers said he wanted to put the album out. And that he would make us millionaires!
Who is putting your album out? And why?!
“Martinez”: This lovely label called Jackshack out of Brooklyn, run by the lovely lads behind Pampers, are putting out our debut LP.
Teenager: Yeah. They’re fools.
“Martinez”: They actually fooled us.
Bad Vibe City—where did that title come from? And which Foster Care band member gives off the worst vibes?
Teenager: The term “bad vibe city” comes from me humming “City Slang” [by Sonic’s Rendezvous Band] in my head, and working a shit job listening to some jam band talk about “good vibes.” I couldn’t understand it, or stand it.
“Martinez”: As far as bad vibes and the band are concerned, we’re all pretty fuckin’ miserable, but Josh probably beats us all by a cunt hair.
What are Foster Care’s Top Five influences?
Teenager: Crypt Records, Robert Mitchum…
“Martinez”: … liquor, the color brown, juke joint drug/murder tales, and benzoylmethylecgonine.
Foster Care play at Union Pool with Call Of The Wild, Pampers, and White Pages tomorrow.