Editor’s Note: Philadelphia teenage punk rock is back in the form of Stolen Wheelchairs. On November 13th, the punk rockers released their latest album “The America” , which is available on Spotify, at Get Punk and their Bandcamp page. The album was recorded by Osc4r Capps at The Jewel Box, mixed by Benny Grotto at Mad Oak Studios and mastered by John Naclerio at Nada Recording. Stolen Wheelchairs has released a music video for “Already A Ghost”, which draws inspiration from legendary punk/hardcore bands Minor Threat and The Unseen. In this mental health conversation with Madness To Creation, Oscar Capps IV of Stolen Wheelchairs discusses “The America” album, mental health awareness and the writing/recording process. Fans can find Stolen Wheelchairs at the following locations:
Madness To Creation: You have released a kick ass music video for “Already A Ghost”, take us into that song.
Oscar Capps IV: Hey, let me preface this by saying I appreciate you having me. Songs, to me, are a way of capturing a feeling. If done right, this will be unadulterated and sometimes incredibly honest. Maybe even more honest than you would be about these feelings to yourself or others. It helps the song connect with someone who can relate. When I wrote Already A Ghost, it took a while to pinpoint exactly how I was feeling. Sort of that my life had already been lived out. I could almost see everything I had ever done and would do. It’s incredibly difficult to explain but I think the song does a good job of relaying the message. I started with the line “Despite the fact that I’m alive, I already feel like a ghost.” and went from there.
Madness To Creation: I envision you all just slaying crowds in DIY venues and in basements, what do you miss most about playing live?
Oscar Capps IV: I miss all of it. I miss performing and I miss our friends. We still rehearse but it’s not the same. We love the community that Philly has and the people who are involved in it. It’s so incredibly close knit. But honestly not just Philly, all of our friends we’ve met from all over the world. (That’s not to say I don’t also miss jumping on people’s faces haha.) The community aspect is what really hit me personally, and Facebook just isn’t the same.
Madness To Creation: What do you want to do when the Covid-19 pandemic is over?
Oscar Capps IV: Tour. Tour. Tour. Play. Tour. And play some more. Anything involving music. I’ve been writing non stop so there will be no shortage of material. I can’t wait to play new places, with new bands, and make new friends. I also can’t wait to play old places, with old friends.
Madness To Creation: You’ve released the album “The America”, take us into the writing process, what are a few themes that you cover?
Oscar Capps IV: It’s sort of a concept of my life from when the 7” was released. Looking ahead to the future, and to the past. Not wanting to live with regrets (Under The Knife). There’s the theme of duality also which may be the most prominent. In the album art and in the types of songs. There are some negative songs (The America) and some positive ones (Pick Yourself Up). The whole record I think covers what it’s like to be human and flawed. It was therapy for me, and I hope others get something out of it as well.
Madness To Creation: What are some crazy antics that Stolen Wheelchairs do during shows or during the writing process?
Oscar Capps IV: Well, I do jump on top of people often haha. Our guitarist (also my father) has fallen off stage as well. But one of my main goals for each show is to make it different from the last in some way so that people remember it. We also have friends who come out to almost every show and I think it’s nice to surprise them with something different each time. Or sometimes stuff outside of our control happens and we all sing without a PA. It’s always something different though.
Madness To Creation: Most embarrassing moment on stage.
Oscar Capps IV: I feel like a lot of us have conditioned ourselves to turn anything embarrassing into something funny for everyone. However I think my pops falling off stage has got to be one of my favorite moments. There’s a video of it too haha.
Madness To Creation: Coolest moment on stage.
Oscar Capps IV: As dumb as it sounds it’s really cool making eye contact with a friend in the back of the room you’re playing that you didn’t know was coming. I try to make eye contact with as many people as possible at shows for this reason. I have some cool memories from doing this.
Madness To Creation: We cover mental health awareness at Madness To Creation, what helps you get through when times are difficult?
Oscar Capps IV: Playing and writing music. Friends. Apart from writing we haven’t been able to play or see most of our friends which makes this situation a whole lot worse. All about finding good coping mechanisms and trying to find healthy ways to deal with everything. Key word being trying.
Madness To Creation: What do you see happening for Stolen Wheelchairs in 2021?
Oscar Capps IV: Hopefully a lot of touring but who knows. Definitely some live streams and new material from us. Maybe in the form of collaborations though. It’s hard to know for sure though.
Madness To Creation: What else would you like to add?
Oscar Capps IV: You can pick up the record at GetPunk.com on colored Vinyl and CD. But the vinyl is almost out so check it out soon!
And there you have it! Check out their awesome acoustic cover of “Avenues & Alleyways” by Rancid below: