Get ready for some Action Action at the Grog Shop

Ben Breier

Action Action named its first album, Don’t Cut Your Fabric To This Year’s Fashion, after an obscure Gene Hackman quote in the extras of the Royal Tenenbaums DVD.

Credit: Ben Breier


Action Action

with Men, Women and Children

Where? The Grog Shop

When? Tomorrow at 6 p.m.

How much? $8

Like most college students on Thanksgiving, the members of Action Action spent the holiday with their families, filling up on turkey, stuffing and all the appropriate sides. However, when Thanksgiving is over, students return for two weeks of classes and final exams while Action Action departs on their new tour in support of An Army of Shapes Between Wars, which is slated to be released at the end of January.

“Sometimes when we’re on tour we’ll go to the Cracker Barrel and have Thanksgiving there, but this year we got to go home,” bassist Clark Foley said in a recent phone interview. “It’s a celebratory time for us because we just finished the new record.”

Action Action is a hybridization of members from three different bands. Foley and guitarist Adam Manning were both former members of the punk-pop outfit Count the Stars. Vocalist Mark Thomas Kluepfel was picked up from the Reunion Show, and drummer Dan Leo arrived from Long Island rock outfit Diffuser.

“All three of our bands split for various reasons at the same time, so it was a natural shift for all of us,” Foley said.

When the band was finally assembled, Action Action didn’t have a hard time developing a distinct and unique sound – despite the fact that the band’s cast came from three different bands that were pursuing three different directions.

“It wasn’t a difficult thing,” Foley said. “It was kind of natural because all of us were getting older and we wanted to do something a little more mature – especially on the new record.”

Listeners who are familiar with the past works of Count the Stars and the Reunion Show will notice a striking difference – gone are the redundant and spastic pop-punk licks, replaced with brooding vocals and complicated layers of synthesizers.

“The music that we’re playing is music that we’ve always liked, where as before we would’ve been more of an emo, hardcore or pop-punk band,” Foley said. “We just wanted to get back up to either straight-up rock or a darker sound, playing with synths and strings.”

Action Action definitely draws from several different bands for inspiration. Foley said the band often gets compared with Depeche Mode, but that comparison is “missing the point.” Other bands that get Action Action’s gears going include Nirvana, The Cure and the Pixies.

“Everybody refers to Nirvana as their inspiration. I hate to be cliched, but we listened to them and they just made us want to go out and rock,” Foley said. “The new record has some David Bowie and Elvis Costello influences, much more so than the last record.”

For those who have never heard the band before, Foley describes Action Action as “taking sounds from Depeche Mode and the Cure, but rocking out like Nirvana.”

One thing Action Action hopes for on this tour is there aren’t any run-ins with mother nature. When the band was touring in support for Don’t Cut Your Fabric to This Year’s Fashion, it always seemed like the weather was against them.

“One time, we got stuck in a totally insane sandstorm out near Texas, and I remember we were taking sand out of our clothing for days,” Foley said. “We’ve also been in insane snowstorms. We were stuck in Wyoming for two or three days on the side of the road because there are like no plows in the state of Wyoming.”

Foley said those who come to see the band perform should expect a longer set because the band is using both old and new material on this tour.

“(Expect) new songs and new attitude – we’ve been anxious to get back out on tour,” Foley said.

Contact ALL correspondent Ben Breier at [email protected].