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Askultura on Its Name: "It Means Waffle House Is Bad for Your Spirit"

The World Cup might bring the world together once every four years, but Askultura does it every day. The soccer-crazed gang of nine punk rockers describes itself as "globally-sourced." What makes this Miami-based band so different from their ska friends is their diversity and the ability to create music that hits close to home. Coming together from Peru, Columbia, France, and beyond, Askultura is as seriously worldly.

With the release of its new album I.N.F.E.R.N.O. comes another Askultura tour, this time to the Northeastern U.S. But when Askultura hits the road, it's not just a tour, it's a traveling circus. The only automobile capable of containing all their crazy is the official Cool Bus -- a school bus converted into a dream on wheels, packed to the brim with not just equipment but stations of fun.

Before it journeys north, we chatted with singer, guitarist And Mazzatoro about what's for dinner and the thing the Cool Bus has in common with MTV's Real World.

See Also: Askultura Hits the Road in a School Bus Filled with Beer and Dried Apricots

New Times: Have you guys ever toured the Northeast before?

And Mazzatoro: This will be the third time up there, but this time is the longest. We are hitting pretty much all of the big cities on the east coast; DC, New York, Boston, Philly. It's definitely the longest trek out on the bus. We are pretty stoked for this. There are some great shows and we are really looking forward to getting back up to New York where we have lots of friends and family and fans.

Do you treat your Florida shows different than you do your shows on the road?

I don't think so. I think we are pretty much all out at every show, it doesn't matter where it is. The only difference is with this tour, our Florida shows are also our CD release shows.

What's new with the Cool Bus?

There have been some upgrades. We installed everything from bunks to mini liquor cabinets. Even a mediation center. We have a installed a section in the front of the bus, back behind the kick drum and the bass rig, which is kind of like Askultura's Real World. So when you are feeling down, you can go back over there, flip on the switch of the GoPro and basically pour your heart out and talk about how famous you feel on tour or how someone drank your entire stash of Japanese plum wine.

The bus is what you would expect if a bunch of nine-year-old boys had a space to themselves and a bunch of blankets to build a fort. That's kind of what happened to the bus. We basically built little forts and little places to hang out and do stuff on the bus.

Last time we talked a lot about what you are eating. Have you discovered any new road food?

First off, people have been asking what Askultura means and I have been telling them "It means Waffle House is bad for your spirit" because we Waffle House-ed the hell out of last tour. And I don't understand why. We are European and South American. They love us there. They give us little hats to wear and really take care of us. I just don't get why we continue to go back there.

As it turns out, we played a pre-game show for the Fort Lauderdale Strikes and we happened to be set up next to a Chipotle, and the Chipotle folks were kind enough to dump close to 70 or 80 buy-one-get-one-free cards. I think we are going to be stopping at Chipotle a lot this tour.

Is the new album I.N.F.E.R.N.O. coming out on vinyl?

One or two of these songs are going to vinyl. It's going to be a vinyl spit with a legendary Italian street punk band called Cervelli Stanki. They are pretty cool. We will be heading to Italy and other parts of Europe next summer and they are pretty much going to take us on tour with them. That will be our first vinyl record.

What do you want to tell someone who hasn't listened to you guys before about the new record?

The new record is our first in a while, but I think what's really going on here is we are starting to move lyrically in a more inward exploration. Even an exploration into marijuana. It's harder and faster at some points but you still get your typical Askultura sound.

Askultura tours until July 27. The band's welcome home show will be at Churchill's Pub that day, at 5501 NE 2 Ave., Miami. For information and tour dates, visit their website

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Dana Krangel