July 2017


Ginger Coyote Speaks One On One
With Ian Walling Drummer For:
The Riverboat Gamblers, Drakulas, Broken Gold, Tyler Jordan And Threes Away......
Interview By: Ginger Coyote

Photo by Jen Reightly

Photo by Jen Reightly

In 2006 I was in Toronto Canada playing a show and The Independents were playing in Hamilton. I decided to go see them.... The owner of the venue was very generous with the booze and the night soon became a blur... I was trying to get into The Cocksparrer show at Punk Rock Bowling in 2017, which was over capacity.. I struck up a conversation with a couple guys in which we found out we knew each other from Your Place Too in Oakland and Hamilton, Canada.... In short here is my interview with the talented Ian Walling whom I have not seen in 11 years...

Punk Globe: Oh what a crazy reunion we had in Vegas since our wild night in Hamilton, Canada.... It was not at The Crazy Horse in Toronto... Running into you and Damon who I knew from Gilman Street at your sold out show with Cocksparr lt was really a trip.. It had been years for you both....

Ian: Hey! Hi! Hello! It was wild running into you at PRB... I think it had been something like 11 years! My buddy Damon was the first to recognize you. Then we put it together that we met when I was playing drums with The Independents in Canada. That's what I love about the punk scene. We are a loyal bunch and you're bound to bump into a familiar face at a show, even if it's 11 years and 2,000 miles apart!

Punk Globe: You were playing with The Drakulas at The Backstage Bar, with Cocksparr!!! How was playing to that crowd?

Ian: Drakulas is a different animal for me. I've had to reinvent myself as a drummer and really change up my style to play these parts. I joined the band about a year ago and I'm just now feeling comfortable with the speed and accuracy of the songs. We were a little nervous for this PRB show because it was our first with our buddy Daniel filling in on guitar. Our guitar player Zach couldn't make this show because of a commitment with his other band. Besides a few technical difficulties with the microphones going out, I think we played well and the crowd seemed to dig it for sure. Drakulas is a fairly new band and I'm glad we got the opportunity to play PRB for a second time. It really is a blast!

Photo by Jen Reightly

Photo by Jen Reightly

Punk Globe: You also played the night before at the same bar with The Riverboat Gamblers? I did see that show with Lina LeCaro from The LA Weekly... How many shows did you play at PRB and with what bands?

Ian: Thankfully just the 2 shows, Gamblers on Saturday and Drakulas on Sunday. I do the insane show schedule enough during sxsw. 2 shows in 2 days is plenty for Vegas. I treated this one like a vacation, Sleeping late, seeking out some good vegan food, hanging with friends by the pool and staying up late dumping my money into machines. I made a point to catch Iggy Pop but for me PRB is all about the hang.

Punk Globe: I am so glad we were able to connect the dots as to how we met... It was at that bar in Hamilton with Panti Christ and Dan-yell... Along with Larry Retard... The owner of the venue was really cool and we did throw back alot of free shots. It was not at The Horseshoe?

Ian: My head is spinning just thinking about it. We did a lot of drinking back in those days. The Independents tours would usually last about 3 months, you go a little crazy at that point. I remember it being Canada, that much is true. There might have been a man dressed as Santa wearing leather gauntlets and false teeth, if my memory serves me! All I know is that jagermeister was most likely the catalyst.

Punk Globe:Oh, Santa, was my date for the night!!! Now did you play with The Independents when they played at Slims in San Francisco with Joey Ramone singing with them?

Ian: Naw, I joined The Independents in 2006. There is a great love and respect for Joey in The Independents family. I did however get to tour with CJ last year. My band Broken Gold spent a month on the road opening for CJ. He played a major role getting The Independents hooked up with Joey and it was a joy watching CJ play all the classic tunes night after night. Usually you get sick of watching the bands you're on tour with but with a Ramone, every single night those songs brought a smile to my face.

Photo by Jen Reightly

Photo by Jen Reightly

Punk Globe: The Ramones fucking rule!!! Tell us about your early years in Michigan?

Ian: I grew up in a very small town called Coldwater MI just north of the Indiana boarder. I hated it. I quickly turned to skateboarding, spray painting, shoplifting and drinking which all got me into legal trouble. Anything to rebel! Luckily I had music as an escape and I played with friends in many basement, bedroom and garage bands. Punk music was all we cared about. It was the early 90's and our love for Nirvana had quickly morphed into Green Day, The Offspring, Rancid, Face to Face and NOFX. Coldwater literally had no record stores or music scene outside of the few friends that all played in the bands we were in. Luckily just 20 minutes north on I-69 in Marshall Michigan there was a rental hall called the B.E. Henry Building. Punk kids in Marshall would rent it out and host shows for touring bands. It was there where I first saw a band called South Bay Bessie, a screeching weasel style pop punk band with... a stage show? It was interesting to say the least and when I heard they were looking for a drummer I saw my escape from Coldwater.

At the age of 19 I moved to Flint MI to join SBB. As much as there can be said about Flint MI, I'll say, I loved living there and it was the perfect time and place for me as a young adult and aspiring punk musician. There was an all ages, volunteer run club called the Flint Local 432. It's taken many shapes and forms over the years but it was the hub of all things independent music in Flint. I spent all of my free time there. It was our practice space. I would watch all styles of bands play 3 to 4 nights a week. I would work the door, load bands on and off the stage, run microphones, and eventually help book shows. It was a crash course in how the music world worked and I loved it. SBB were the ultimate weekend warriors. We played almost every weekend and would do insane drives like from Flint to Cincinnati and back in a blizzard just to get a chance to open for The Methadones and go back to work the next day on no sleep. Or once we drove all the way from Birmingham Alabama to Coldwater Michigan overnight after a show because I had a court date. We all had full time jobs but would play over 100 shows a year! It was wild and we worked our butts off. I was with South Bay Bessie when I met The Independents. It was the highlight of our tour, We played some dump in Conway Arkansas. We quickly became friends and would always host them in Flint and play with them in Detroit. After 4 years with SBB I decided it was time to part ways and eventually got the call that The Independents were looking for a drummer. I flew down to South Carolina and they decided they would keep me.

Photo by Robin Walling

Photo by Robin Walling

Punk Globe: Wow! What made you decide to play drums?

Ian: My Father is a musician. He graduated from GIT in Hollywood in the 70's. He is an amazing guitar player and has made a life long career out of teaching guitar lessons and playing gigs on the weekends. He also would do studio sessions for radio commercials when I was young but I don't think they really do that any more. When I was 3 years old he surprised me with a small jr pro drum set that had faded from red to pink in the sun in the window at the music shop he taught at. It's hard to say when I began playing because drums were always some part of my life. I think my earliest memories of actually playing along to songs would be around the age of 12. I would turn up my little cd player as loud as possible and try to play along to The Offspring Smash record. Shortly after this I joined my first band with a few friends from school and we would play just about every Nirvana song ever written that year. Shit was cool.

Punk Globe: How funny I live near GIT... Who are some of your personal inspirations?

Ian: Well first and foremost my father. The guy had me listening to Jimi Hendrix in the womb. How you gonna do that and then tell me I have a curfew at 16 years old?! My dad exposed me to many different styles of music at a young age and taught me the basics of music theory. He was a great example of a working musician in many different ways.

Mike Johnson has been my main inspiration for close to 10 years now. I started taking online drum lessons from him shortly after I moved to Austin TX. His career as an instructor is amazing. He constantly inspirers me to challenge myself, practice drums (not songs), stay positive and just nerd out and love music. He's a super corny dude but he's followed his passions and is extremely successful. He now hosts the modern drummer podcast that I look forward to every Friday. It gives me a chance to disconnect and totally nerd out on drums.

Punk Globe: Were you living in South Carolina at that time when you were playing with Evil and Willy B?

Ian: I was living in Flint when I joined The Independents. We would tour constantly so I pretty much lived on the road for those 3 years. If we had a substantial break I would fly home and stay with my girlfriend in Ann Arbor. Willy B has a print shop in his garage. We spent many nights between tours printing shirts and hoodies and anything else we could fit through the dryer. I think once we tried to cook a pizza and even some sausages in that conveyer dryer. Lots of late nights and pbr's from the Piggly Wiggly. I would crash in the spare room at Will house or stay with Evil in Myrtle Beach.

Punk Globe: When did you part ways with The Independents?

Ian: I left The Independents the summer of 2008. I had plans to move to Austin TX with my girlfriend and I needed a change from the constant touring. It wasn't easy breaking the news to those guys. I love them like brothers but I was getting super burnt out and saw the move to Austin as a new chapter in my life. We are still close friends and I've done a few tours with them since. I always hope someday we can make a record together. That band will always hold a special place in my heart.

Punk Globe: The Independents rule! What was your next project?

Ian: Austin was not a seamless transition. It took me a few years to settle into a band I felt comfortable with. Finally I answered a random craigslist ad, "punk band seeking drummer" and I was the new drummer for Born To Lose! We quickly wrote and recorded their next record and before I knew it, we were touring Europe for 6 weeks.

Punk Globe: I love when that happens.. What brought you to Texas?

Ian: I moved to Austin pretty much for a girl, I know. We had been dating for a few years and she wanted to go to grad school outside of MI. I told her I had been everywhere in the country and the best place to live is Austin. So she got into UT and I started over from scratch.

Punk Globe: I am impressed by amount of bands you play with. Are they all currently active and if they are. How do you juggle them?

Ian: I don't know, how do I?! I play in 4, well just recently 5 bands. Riverboat Gamblers. From there, 3 of us are in Broken Gold and 3 of us are in Drakulas. That's a pretty easy juggle because we are usually focusing on 1 of the 3 bands, depending on which members of Gamblers are available. I also play in Threes Away which is a result of Born To Lose breaking up. We usually practice on Tuesday nights and play a local show or so a month. We have most of a new record written and 4 songs recorded, more studio time booked next month to finish it off. I've recently been playing with a local singer songwriter type named Tyler Jordan, not punk but very beautiful music. I think he's one of the most talented song writers in Austin and I'm excited to see how this plays out.

Photo by Jen Reightly

Photo by Jen Reightly

Punk Globe: Are the Riverboat Gamblers your primary band? I can only imagine that Stormy keeps you busy.

Ian: Gamblers is like my main band that does the least. We've been on a break for a few years now with the birth of our guitar player's daughter. He's got real life stuff to do and that's what is important right now. We still play a handful of shows a year and have had the luxury of turning stuff down that we didn't really want to do. We haven't been road dog'n it but we've still done some great stuff. We were in the Richard Linklater film "Everybody Wants Some." We've played a handful of festivals over the past few years, released a series of 7 inches, flew out for 2 nights at Alex's in Long Beach and we always do our sxsw day party at the Jackalope. PRB was great this year and we're doing 2 warped tour dates in Texas this summer. We're recording a song for a Halloween comp next month, that should be pretty cool too. We have a ton of songs written, we're just waiting for the right time to do a record and figure out what to do with our lives.

Punk Globe: Tell us about Arlo's?

Ian: Arlo's... It has the best damn vegan bacon cheese burger in the world!

June of 2015 I got off the road with the Gamblers and I needed a job. A friend of a friend was opening a vegan food truck and needed someone to run it. I have lots of food truck experience and have been vegan for most my life, so I took the job. 3 years and two more food trucks later, I'm running an empire! It's extremely exciting, this business has been growing and growing since the first day we opened. It's a wild and crazy lifestyle, not far off from a touring punk band. I don't know any other way. Last year we traveled to Chicago and Toronto for vegan festivals and we even won a vegan burger competition in Miami! We're located at 3 music venues and bars in Austin, open all the time and the party never stops. If you're ever in Austin, you have to try one of these burgers. I can say, without a doubt, it's the best vegan burger you'll ever have. We constantly fool meat eaters, it's rad!

Punk Globe: How did you meet my long time pal Jimmy Acevedo?

Ian: I wouldn't say we're tight or anything. It's a small town, 9 years here you bump into just about everybody at a show or club at some point. We've just met in passing.

Punk Globe: Tell us what is in the horizon for you for the rest of 2017?

Ian: So much, everyday. I'm like a shark, I never stop swimming. Arlo's never stops. Gamblers practice tomorrow to work on this Halloween comp. Threes Away has 2 shows in town at the end of the June and studio time in early July. Drakulas has a show in July here in Austin and a release coming out soon. Gamblers have the 2 Warped Tour Dates, San Antonio and Houston this summer. Broken Gold has a release coming out soon, it's a 12 inch of our last 2 EPs. We're putting together an Austin show soon. I have a few shows with Tyler Jordan on the books. It never ends.

Photo by Jen Reightly

Photo by Jen Reightly

Punk Globe: Do you have any Internet addresses that you would like to share with the readers?






You can find my bands on napster. Naw for real, I couldn't be more stoked to be involved in all this music. I don't know the web addresses but check out Riverboat Gamblers most recent releases, Massive Fraud and Time To Let Her Go. The Drakulas released "Raw Wave" that recently came out. It is great (I didn't play on it but it's still really really good). Broken Gold EP3 is one of my most proud records I've ever played on, I love it. Threes Away has a band camp, we recently released everything we've ever recorded on one disk and you can pick it up there. Also check out Tyler Jordan's band camp. Amazing songs.

Punk Globe: Describe yourself in three words?

Ian: Passionate, Ethical, Sexual, Tired

Punk Globe: Any Last words for Punk Globe readers?

Ian: Eat your vegetables. Stay positive. Don't be a dick.

What was always appealing to me about punk rock was the fight for change and what's right. To overcome your oppressors and make the world a better place. It was having the balls to be different no matter what the consequences were. Punk rock was about forward thinking and progression. Punk rock is a place for the freaks and the weirdos. Let's keep it that way. The world is still a fucked up place and we have to stick up for the people fighting against social norms and for basic human rights. We're all on the same team.

Photo by Jen Reightly

Photo by Jen Reightly

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