Stomping Grounds: Enabler (Milwaukee, Wisconsin)

Ohio lost a huge asset to the heavy music scene here when Jeff Lohrber, formerly of Harlots, Trap Them, Shai Hulud and a buttload of other bands, packed his bags and relocated to Milwaukee, Wisconsin.  Thankfully, the band’s upcoming tour, during which they’ll preview material from forthcoming album All Hail The Void (for Southern Lord), brings them back to the heart-shaped state for a handful of dates. 
Ghettoblaster caught up with the guitarist of the punk/grind/hardcore quartet recently to ask him a handful of questions about Brew City.  Here’s what he said.
1. What’s your nickname for your town?
I don’t really have one, but Brew City is the popular one. Milwaukee love’s beer.
2. Why do you live there?
I came up here to play drums in a band about five years ago, said band broke up, and I moved back to Ohio. I came up to play a last show with them a few months later and decided to not go back to Ohio.
3. Did you grow up there? If not, what brought you there?
I grew up in Greenville Ohio. The main thing that made me stay in Milwaukee is my current girlfriend and also bassist of Enabler Amanda Daniels. She’s rad.
4. What’s the weirdest thing that has ever happened to you there?
Watching my friend sleepwalk into his living room and piss all over his TV and movies on the 4th of July.
 5. What is your favorite local attraction (monument, park, etc)?
I do love living next to Lake Michigan, and Reservoir Park is pretty cool, it’s the highest point in Milwaukee and has an awesome view of the skyline.
6. What is your favorite local event or festival?
Robot Mosh Fest was sick, unfortunately it hasn’t gone on for 4 years and I dearly miss it.
7. What is the best time of year to be there?
Summer and Fall are awesome. The lake is beautiful around those times of the year. Spring however is usually miserable here.
8. Who is your favorite local celebrity?
Andy Hurley, haha.
9. Where is the best place to drink and what’s their specialty or happy hour?
My house. My specialty is a bottle of cheap wine and I get to pick what I listen to and what volume it should be played at. I hate going to bars…
10. Who has the best jukebox (and what’s in it)?
Last jukebox I looked at was at Riverhorse and I remember there being Dead Kennedys and Black Flag records in there.
11. Do you play music there? If so, where is your favorite place to play?
The place we play most frequently is The Borg Ward, which is a pretty cool D.I.Y. spot. I really loved playing shows at The Eagle’s Nest while it lasted, and for bigger shows I love playing at Miramar Theatre. Another honorable mention is Cactus Club, perfect sound every time we play.
12. Does where you live influence your music? 
Most definitely. While living in Ohio, the Mouth of the Architect guys and pretty much every band they were in previously (Twelve Tribes, Rune, Dead Blue Sky) made a huge impact on me growing up. In Milwaukee, it’s a little different. Punk and DIY elitism have been at an all time high, and a lot of what I have to say is a definite fuck you to their mentality. Music is for everyone, not just a select few.
13. What is your favorite place to see live music and what was your favorite show there?
My favorite show I’ve seen in Milwaukee was Slang (from Japan) at The Outhouse. I had never heard the band before, and they looked like they would be a Japanese street punk band, but when they started it was some of the best hardcore I had heard in years. Close runners up are Today is the Day / Keelhaul / Sweet Cobra show at Cactus Club, The Killer at The Eagle’s Nest, Torche at The Borg Ward, and Wormrot at Mad Planet. They were all so fucking good!
14. What is your favorite local band?
Northless and Protestant. I love both bands equally. Get Rad is a close runner up.
15. What is your favorite diner or restaurant and what is their best dish?
Riverwest Co-Op. BBQ Tofu or Seitan Philly is the jam, with the Chikn fried Tofu as a close runner up, just depends on what I’m in the mood for.
16. What is your favorite record store and what was your best find there?
Halo of Flies Records distro. It’s obviously not a record store and he only puts up shop at select shows. It’s a toss up on best find. Martyrdod “Sekt” LP (awesome Swedish crust), Integrity “To Die For” 10?, Propagandhi / Sacrifice split 7?.
17. What is your favorite local publication (alternative weekly, zine, website or blog)?
Shepherd Express is the only one I really see on a regular basis. Didn’t That Hurt was an awesome site for years, but things have kind of died down with it in the past few years. Zines pop up here and there, but nothing consistent.
18. What is your favorite local shop?
Again, Riverwest Co-Op. They meet all my needs as a vegan.
(Here is the full-list of Enabler’s upcoming tour dates:
5/6 St. Louis, MO @ The Foxhole w/ Neon Warship
5/7 Denver, CO @ Blast-o-mat
5/8 Albuquerque, NM @ Gasworks
5/9 Phoenix, AZ @ Wallstreet
5/10 San Deigo, CA @ Bar 11 w/ Griever
5/11 Los Angeles, CA @ The Joint w/ Wizard Rifle
5/12 San Jose, CA @ House of the Dead Rat w/ At Our Heels
5/13 San Francisco, CA @ The Hemlock Tavern w/ At Our Heels
5/14 Portland, OR @ The Know
5/15 Seattle, WA @ Highline
5/16 Boise, ID @ The Shredder
5/19 Minneapolis, MN @ Medusa w/ Northless)