Berwanger’s First Communion Soundtrack: ‘Shout at the Devil’
In Physical Education, we ask musicians to divulge their earliest, latest and most meaningful encounters with physical media. Today's vinyl fantasies are courtesy of Josh Berwanger, frontman and namesake of Kansas jangle-rock trio Berwanger. The band is gearing up to release their new album, Exorcism Rock, November 4 via Doghouse (pre-order it here); in the meantime, they've shared a '90s-inspired, VHS-based visual for their single "Slutty Skin." Take a trip down memory lane below.
What’s your parents’ favorite album?
For my dad, Jerome Berwanger, it’s Cream’s Disraeli Gears. My mom, Kathleen Berwanger, mainly bought 45s, but has said for sentimental reasons it’s Meet the Beatles; she also loves Sgt. Pepper's and the White Album.
What was the first record you bought?
The first vinyl record I bought was Ozzy Osbourne / Randy Rhoads' Tribute. The first tape I bought was with the money I got for making my Holy Communion, and it was Mötley Crüe’s Shout at the Devil. The first CD I bought was the Doors s/t. I still have all three of them.
What record has your favorite art and/or packaging?
Led Zeppelin and Alice Cooper were always doing really cool things. I remember being blown away when my cousin Jeff opened the gatefold of Led Zeppelin IV, and held it to a mirror to reveal the demonic rock goat. Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies and From the Inside are two of my favorites.
What’s your preferred method and setting to listen to music?
Turntable. Methods that drive me crazy are hearing music through computer or phone speakers.
Most disappointed you’ve been with an album?
Man, I don’t know the band personally, but I feel like I would be talking bad on them — no comment.
What’s a record not enough people own?
Terry Allen’s Juarez.
That too many people own?
Eagles' Hotel California.
What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a record?
Both VG plus OG pressings, the Leopards' Kansas City Slickers — $70; it also ended up having a drawing one of the members did in the insert — and GN'R's Live ?!*@ Like a Suicide ($110).
How do you organize your records?
I organize by by genre, unless there is a label I buy a lot of their albums — like Numero, LITA, Waxwork or Mondo. Then I organize by that label. I just moved, so I’m thinking about trying to do alphabetical by genre. But I did the alphabetical thing with my LaserDiscs and VHS, and I was always bored looking at them that way; it just wasn’t as exciting knowing exactly where something was. It’s fun to sorta know where something is, and then end up finding something you didn’t know was there.
What’s your latest acquisition?
Lee Moses, Time and Place (2016 FDR). I have a U.K. pressing, but bought two of these recent pressings. This album is so great! It’s one I like to have extras [of] in case a friend comes over and loves it; that way I can give them one.
BERWANGER on TOUR
Oct. 28 — Kansas City, MO @ Record Bar
Nov. 2 — Detroit, MI @ Small's Bar
Nov. 3 — Buffalo, NY @ Mohawk Place
Nov. 4 — New York, NY @ Cake Shop
Nov. 5 — Philadelphia, PA @ Ortlieb's
Nov. 6 — Cincinnati, OH @ MOTR Pub
Nov. 7 — Chicago, IL @ Burlington Bar
Nov. 8 — St. Louis, MO @ Foam
Nov. 9 — Kansas City, MO @ Mills Records