Destroy, oh boy!

Michigan’s Destroy This Place brings thrash pop to Gem City

 By Tim AnderlPhoto: Detroit spazz-poppers Destroy This Place visit Blind Bob’s on July 26; Photo credit: Doug Coombe

 Michigan’s Destroy This Place is comprised of dual singing guitarists Ryan Allen (formerly of Thunderbirds Are Now!), John Nelson (of indie-pop faves New Grenada), bassist Monday Busque and drummer Sean Sommer (who pounded the skins in Friendly Foes). They channel your 7” collection from the ’90s, then they mix them with elements of early thrash, ’70s power-pop, effects-pedal-hopping UK shoegaze and SST-affiliated punk. The result is an amalgamation of volume, hooks and intensity.

For their new album, simply and fittingly titled Destroy This Place, the band sought to refine their assets while adding even more heaviness to their already pulverizing jams. Captured expertly by Mike Bridavsky (Rogue Wave, Murder By Death, Magnolia Electric Co.) at Russian Recordings in Bloomington, Ind., and mastered in Chicago by Bob Weston, Destroy This Place leave little doubt that they can deliver muscular, pop anthems that deserve to be cranked.

Dayton City Paper recently caught up with Ryan Allen, discussing his previous output, and the record they released in May via Bellyache Records.

Since we’ve known each other, you’ve been in no less than four bands …

Yeah, I get around dude. – Ryan Allen

There’s not a lot of problem for you finding people to play with, but do you find it is difficult to find dudes who want to put in the time and effort to make the longevity of a band work?

No, I just think some things run their course. I love some bands who’ve been around forever and there is something to say for a band that doesn’t overstay its welcome, does what it should do and then gets out before things get stale. I don’t think I’ve ever intended for any band that I was in to end, but at the same time I’m proud to look back at everything those bands have done and say, “None of this got shitty.”  -RA

All of your bands have sounded a little different. Is there a diversity to your particular style, or do you take the same book of tricks to each band and get influenced by the people you’re playing with?

With Thunderbirds Are Now, it was a mixture of everybody’s influences. I think the band, of any band I’ve ever been in in my life, was the product of a timeframe in my life and very much a combination of the people playing. With the bands that I’ve been in after that, the bands have been more interested in writing pop rock songs. That’s where I feel most comfortable. I really love rock music and Destroy This Place … I’m not the only songwriter. I write some of the songs. We write a lot as a band, and it is definitely a band, not someone pushing an agenda by any means. The place where we converge is informed by the shit we were into in high school. And we’re all still into that. For a couple of the guys in the band, it is early Metallica and thrash stuff. For me, it is Superdrag and Superchunk. Whether you like it or not, hopefully it ends up eliciting some kind of emotion in you. That’s what I’ve always tried to do. -RA

How was being in Bloomington for the recording of the album?

Bloomington is rad man. We holed up in the studio mostly when we were there. Mike [Bridavsky], who recorded both of our records for us is an awesome guy. The studio is really nice and comfortable and you kind of just live there. That was fun for us. It was like being on vacation, but also working. -RA

How does it feel going from sort of a heavier indie to being more grass roots again?

It is cool. I loved being on Frenchkiss [Records] with Thunderbirds and I thank the guys from Frenchkiss for giving me and my brother and the other guys in the band [the chance] to see the world and play with tons of really awesome bands, and get our music heard by so many people. I’m super-appreciative of it and couldn’t thank them enough for taking a chance on us. We have a label. The guy who is putting our record out is a really good friend of ours and he’s put several records out in Detroit. He knows what’s going on. Hopefully, regardless of label association or what bands anyone was in, somebody will hear it and think, “This is fucking good.” Or it’s not good. That’s what we are hoping for. We’ll push whatever angle we can to get people to hear the songs, hear our music and get into it if they can. That’s all we can ask for.       -RA

Do you collaborate with Scott (Allen, his brother and TAN! collaborator) at all these days?

He’s actually worked on a video for a song from our record. We collaborated on that, which was super fun. Right now our tastes are different enough to merit not being in a band together, but perhaps we’ll play together in the future. I miss being in a band with Scott, but I’m very excited about this band. The collaboration level and the respect we have for one another as musicians is super easy and exciting for me. -RA


Destroy This Place will perform on Friday, July 26 at Blind Bob’s, 430 E. Fifth St. Also on the bill are Oh Condor, Perhaps, Brujas del Sol and Yakuza Heart Attack. Admission is $5 for 21 & up. Doors at 9 p.m. For more information, visit


Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Anderl at


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