Tonight for the first time in nearly a decade, alt-rock icons will celebrate the 30th anniversary of their self-titled debut with a live performance at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park (get tickets
). Prior to hitting the stage for their only Northeast performance of the year, we caught up with bassist and founding father Brian Ritchie, and chatted about being back in New York City, and what it's like to be back in the limelight.
How does it feel to be reunited at last?
It's like riding a bicycle after some years; a rusty bicycle that's careening down a mountain road.
This is your first show in New York since 2004. How does it feel to be back?
We have all lived in NYC at some point or another, so we're New Yorkers. It is great to be in the best city in the world and ready to rock the joint.
Any more shows coming up?
After Central Park we're heading over to Chicago for Riot Fest and then a tour of Australia. Next year we hope to play other foreign dates and some Stateside ones as well.
The Violent Femmes have been a staple in just about every "punk" kids record collection since you guys formed back in 1981. Do you ever take a step back to realize the impact you've had?
It's humbling when musicians, in many cases more accomplished ones than ourselves, credit us with inspiring them. Many, many people have told us, "I got into music because of you." That's probably more gratifying than anything.
If you were to come up with a new album today, what would it be called, and would you still want Tom Waits to produce it?
That's a good one. Tom probably doesn't even remember who we are but it sure would be fun to work with him, mainly because Keith Richards might come around as well.
With age comes beauty and honesty. Now that you're all starting to get older, do you still feel the same way playing all of these songs? How is it different from when you released them back in 1983?
When you're in the moment playing the music it feels natural and engrossing. Time is not an issue. Thinking about it offstage, it's more like, "C'mon Dad, gimme the car!" But that's what being an entertainer is. We're musicians and entertainers, so we get into the sound and the act.
What can Violent Femmes fans hope for next?
Hopefully we'll be making the rounds and playing a few shows for the people who've been waiting patiently for a few years. Rock on!
Get tickets for tonight's performance here