Kemper Blair is the bassist, vocalist and principal songwriter for Sports Bar, punk-influenced local rockers who are having a release party for their debut full-length, "Stranger in My Head" on Friday, Oct. 12, at Strange Matter.
Style Weekly: So the band's been together nine years and this is your first album: How did that happen?
Blair: [Laughs] I don't know. We've put out stuff, split 7 inches. That's just us, it takes me and Brent [Delventhal] a while. Making records is kind of expensive.
What can you tell me about this new one?
We recorded it a while ago. Eleven songs, recorded at Montrose studios over three days. It was mixed and tracked by Stuart Meyers [Agents of Good Roots]. He made it sound pro as shit. It's all new stuff. It's a pretty straightforward Sports Bar album. More of the same, no departures. Production-wise it sounds incredible, though.
Though it's a collaborative effort, you wrote a lot of the songs, what influenced the songwriting the most?
I think having a kid really affected it. When I have time to do music now, I'm way more productive. If I'm playing guitar now, it's because I want to [make music]. The lyrics are mostly self-reflective. Just growing up and stuff. For a long time we sang about partying, but this is more, I don't know, thoughtful partying [laughs].
It's a pretty stacked bill, what about the other bands?
Yeah, it's all bands I like. Bad Moves from D.C. Nana Grizol from Athens, Georgia. Cruzer is from Richmond — and Instant Regrets are friends from Greensboro.
Sports Bar performs with Bad Moves, Nana Grizol, Instant Regrets and Cruzer at Strange Matter on Friday, Oct. 12, at 8 p.m. $10.