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Premiere: 208 Blast Through The Completely Blown-Out, Primal Aura "Tantrum"

As wild-eyed and chaotic as ever, Detroit's unabashed guitar-and-drums duo 208 are back today with the new single "Tantrum," a snarling tale that's guided through a deep vein of unholy garage-punk sewage. Following up 2022's debut LP NEARBY, this is the first single previewing the band's new EP POSSESSION, that will come out in true budget rock fashion on Goodbye Boozy Records (Satanic Togas, Sex Mex, Lothario) in May. Along with today's premiere of the single's visual, we also caught up with Kyle and Shelby to uncover the secrets luring behind the new single and what else fans can expect from the forthcoming EP.

Photo by Brandon Friant

First tell me what you've been up to lately? What have you been listening to, reading, or spending a lot of time doing?


Shelby: I've been doing a lot of screen-printing for friend's bands, trying to get better at sewing/making clothes from scratch, and making art to try and sell. Aside from the band, making art is a passion that I'm always trying to fill my free time with, and when I do, I'm listening to bands like Tones on Tail, White Fence, Section 25, Pylon, Modern Lovers, Minor Threat, The Intelligence, and Cleaners from Venus.


Kyle: Lately, I've just been spending all my free time working on this video, making the artwork for the album, and trying to write new songs. But during the making of this EP, I was watching a ton of X-Files and listening pretty much strictly to West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and old gospel music.


How was it playing The Hamtramck Blowout earlier this month? 


Kyle: Hamtramck bar fests like Blowout are always packed, sweaty, stinky, and drunk as hell. It's awesome because everything is seemingly running on fumes and it creates a really explosive environment for every single show, no matter what bar you're at. Tons of new people see your band play and everyone is on fire. 


Shelby: It was also our first time playing at the Painted Lady, which is one of the oldest bars in the area and used to be a legendary place where punk bands would play back in the day. Shows aren't really happening there anymore except for Hamtramck music fests like Blowout, so I'm happy to say that we've played there. Plus the show was absolutely packed and the sound was good so what more can you ask for? The night before, we learned how to play "Circle Sky" by the Monkees so that was a fun thing to drop into our set.


What are the best things to do in Detroit right now? Also who are some of your favorite bands in the scene currently?


Shelby: Drink beers at the bar and see a show where either Werewolf Jones, Toeheads, Fen Fen, Sugar Tradition, Shadow Show, Zilched, Day Residue, or Tyvek are playing. Alternatively, visit some sweet record stores like Peoples or Record Graveyard, vintage stores like Old Soul Vintage or Detroit Threads, see a movie at the Redford or Senate Theater, and go to Duley's Place Coney Island if you're hungry.


Kyle: I second what Shelby said! I love C.A.D and The Peacetime Consumers, Toeheads, Greyhound, Werewolf Jones, Coffer, Day Residue, Sugar T, Shadow Show, and Fen Fen! 

Photo by Mary Capps (Old Soul Vintage)

How has 208 grown or developed since 2019's Tascam-recorded debut tape Enough Enough!? What are your thoughts looking back on your past releases too?


Kyle: ENOUGH ENOUGH! was recorded at an extremely turbulent time in our lives when we still lived down in Florida; it was recorded in my bedroom every day after work for about a week while I was listening to a lot of Tonstartssbandht, Joe Meek, White Fence, and Dirty Beaches in 2018. I socked it away because there was barely anything going on where we were, and we had plans to move back to Detroit in a few months. When we moved here, we were struck with a flurry of extremely talented and powerful bands like Toeheads, The Stools and Sugar T. That simultaneously scared the fuck out of me and inspired me to no end. There was a small yet strong DIY house scene here that was full of accepting people like Brendan, who runs Remove Records, and Nips, who booked shows seemingly every weekend at his house on Belmont. That environment inspired us to write the songs for our last record NEARBY which stripped down and solidified my writing style. Looking back, I’m happy with what we put out in the past. So far, it feels like we’ve had a natural progression in inspiration, sound and song structure. 


You got a new EP coming out on Goodbye Boozy soon. What can you tell fans about the tracks on this 7" and how they all came together?


Kyle: Gabriele hit us up at the beginning of the year wanting to do a 45 with us; we had only had some scraps of new songs so I quickly started writing and recording with an 8-track we picked up on tour, but it was much too hi-fi. We went back to our 4-track because it instantly glues the sound together and has a way easier workflow. NEARBY was very focused on telling an almost third-person story about a hypothetical version of myself accepting evil into their life and getting nothing in return, only hurting those around them. That led me to the subject matter of this EP, which is called POSSESSION, structured somewhat like a short prayer for ownership and clarity; with praise, confession, acceptance and admittance. The title is a double entendre, less surrounding the idea of demonic possession and more of a sense of self-possession. 

Photo by Carrigan Drallos

Today we're premiering its lead cut "Tantrum." How did this one come about and what do you love most about it?


Kyle: The idea for the song was inspired by two different songs titled "St. Vitus Dance" by Black Sabbath and Bauhaus. "St. Vitus' Dance" was the original title of the track. That "dance" is a disease that causes your body to contort and thrash involuntarily until you are so physically exhausted you fall to the floor. That inspired the title "TANTRUM" and took me to the subject matter behind it, which is the admittance to myself that there are just things that people do to you, and you do to yourself physically or unconsciously that are out of your control. The lyrics pull from intense moments in my life, such as "I can never remember what day is trash day?" My dad worked as a mortuary transporter when he was younger and was still close with people, so he took me to a (cleaned up) site one day when I was a kid where someone that he had known very well had committed suicide in this small studio apartment. Toward the back door there was a hallway to the parking lot, and it was filled to the hilt with bulging black trash bags dripping with an unbearable stench. It's an image within a tense yet somber environment that has stuck to me since then. 


What were the inspirations behind its accompanying video? 


Kyle:  We were having a small get-together at our house to watch The Rutles and Yellow Submarine. One of the first music sequences in yellow submarine is the video to "Eleanor Rigby"; I loved the visuals so much with all the muted colors, the simple visuals involving the corridors and textures of Liverpool(?) with seemingly random people and things floating by, making you feel like you’re wandering the city streets in a daze. Shelby and I walked around Hamtramck/Detroit and took pictures of buildings and streets to capture similar textures. I printed them out, collaged and colored them to animate them together to create the visuals. 


What live shows do you have coming up? Can we expect 208 to do a mini tour or something later in the year?


Kyle: We have a fun single release show coming up at our friend's shop, Old Soul Vintage, with Toeheads and C.A.D & the Peacetime consumers this coming Saturday night. We teamed up with OSV on a really wonderful photoshoot surrounding '60s occult rituals. We don't have any tours booked yet, but as soon as we have a solid release date for our EP, we will definitely be ripping some weekenders as much as we can, we've never made the trek up the East Coast and really would love to come, so if you're over there and reading this hit us up!


Aside from the new 7", what else is happening in the 208 expanded universe? 


Kyle: I've been obsessed with archiving what's going on in the Detroit scene as much as I can. Trying to bootleg as many shows and take as many pictures as possible, finding older comps from the underground and giving them a home on a YouTube Channel for now, so people can look back at what's happening now and then. Things like the It Came From The Garage! comps that Len Puch put together in the '80s with a ton of underground bands that were playing back then; that comp was the first ever Gories release too!


POSSESSION will be out in May on Goodbye Boozy Records.


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