As Neeson clamors for more beer, it's evident that none of what Cocked N' Loaded does is premeditated, or, for that matter, well-thought out. Along with bassist Michael Beradino and newish-guitar player Zack Wells, the quintet is foremost concerned with putting out music as soon as it's recorded. And Friction is just about done.
"While we're writing it, we're thinking, 'Someone is gonna want this shit immediately,' " Neeson says. "We've never had any dealings with any record label, which is unbelievable for a band that's been playing for as long as we have and still drawing fans. Our issue as a band is that we don't know how to do anything but write and play songs. We are very bad at self-promotion." Adds Davol: "Oh God, we're the worst."
Along the way, Cocked N' Loaded have managed to fall into high profile events, like opening for the Dropkick Murphys' House of Blues St. Patrick's Day Homestand in 2010. And in 2006 they were nominated at the Boston Music Awards in the "Hard Rock Band" category. "We lost to Godsmack, and they didn't even have somebody there to receive their award," says Davol. "So, fuck you, Godsmack." Neeson: "Godsmack can go fuck themselves in the ass."
Though more suited to the sleaze of Sunset Strip, CN'L prefer Boston's music community, which, as Neeson points out, "has everything you could possibly want — and you've got really good versions of everything you could want." He name-checks Bodega Girls, Doomriders, and Freezepop as diverse favorites that make the scene so enticing, but is quick to point out a problem he has with TAB the Band, featuring Aerosmith guitarist Joe Perry's sons Tony and Adrian, who have opened for headliners like Stone Temple Pilots and Modest Mouse.
"I have to be honest with you when I say that I don't think them opening up for those acts is deserved," Neeson says. "Have they put in their dues, Boston rock and roll-wise? We have another mutual friend of Tony's who saw them play and saw us play and he said, 'Man, having Father in rock and roll really does make a difference.' "
More aggravating was Aerosmith calling their world tour last year, "Cocked, Loaded, Ready to Rock."
"I don't think we're inferring anything," says Davol, "I think we all know what happened. They didn't just pull that name out of the fucking air."
Maybe everyone simply nicked it off the 1989 LA Guns' record?
"Let me put this on the record," states Neeson. "I'm willing to alienate bands like Aerosmith and their friends, as long as I have my friends like Mellow Bravo, or like Motherboar. I've never heard TAB the Band on Sunday night on any of the Boston shows."
COCKED N' LOADED + MELLOW BRAVO + TOWNSHIP + PLANETOID + THE GRINDS | Middle East Downstairs, 472 Mass Ave, Cambridge | December 31 @ 8 pm | 18+ | $12 | 617.864.3278
DROPPING BALLS WITH MELLOW BRAVO -- by Michael Marotta
When Keith Pierce was approached about a possible New Year’s Eve show at the Middle East, the Mellow Bravo howler was rightfully apprehensive: “My first thought was, ‘This is gonna be a shit hemorrhage.’ ”