Article By: Pat ‘Riot’ Whitaker ‡ Edited By: Leanne Ridgeway
West Chester, Pennsylvania’s Backwoods Payback are one of the most unique, stand-alone bands existing in the music underground. I say that because they walk a genre-taut tightrope between some very diverse points in the sonic stratosphere.
Abundant amounts of grunge, punk, alternative, and stoner rock along with shades of psyche heaviness, permeate their overall sound. Now in their fifteenth year of existence, Backwoods Payback has long thrilled many of us within the cavernous subterranean set.
I have been a longtime fan of the band, which is currently the trio of guitarist/ vocalist Mike Cummings, bassist Jessica Baker, and drummer Erik Larson (Alabama Thunderpussy, Birds Of Prey). Pick up various Backwoods Payback output on Bandcamp here.
With several phenomenal albums under their belt, the latest of which, ‘Fire Not Reason’, continues to bring new fans to the band, Backwoods Payback has been quite active the last couple of years. In 2017, they played the famed Roadburn Festival; this year they will bring their highly energized, aggro-audio to The Maryland Doom Fest for the first time (which you shouldn’t miss, of course)!
Find all the need-to-knows for The Maryland Doom Fest 2018 right here.
Despite my appreciation for Backwoods Payback, two previous attempts I made to see them live were thwarted for whatever reasons. They remained one of my top Bucket List bands to see, and just recently I was finally able to make that quest occur.
Out on the road with Royal Thunder here in the U.S., the band rolled into Johnson City, TN a week or so back, and being determined to not miss them again, I went. They, Royal Thunder, and support bands, Bones Of Mary and Sabrewulf, played the beloved dive The Hideaway and I was witness to this grandiosity.
Before they stormed the stage, I was able to stand in the dark coldness of a Tennessee winter night with Mike Cummings for an on-camera talk. We discussed the origins of Backwoods Payback (including its name), the band’s 15th anniversary this year, playing Roadburn, looking forward to Maryland Doom Fest 2018, and more.
Before you watch this conversation, I want to thank Backwoods Payback and Mike Cummings for their time and participating in one of the more enjoyable exchanges I’ve been party to. So, without further ado… oh, and try to ignore the hair-whipping winds and inconsequential setting, (ha!) as we present you: