Lower Class Brats @ Back Booth Orlando 12/11/06 (pictorial)

All photos courtesy of Dawn Berinsky

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All photos courtesy of Dawn Berinsky

Interview: Rise Against (Tim McIlrath & Joe Principe)

photos courtesy of  Jared Kaszuba

 Formed in 1999, these Chicago natives have been tearing up the punk scene ever since. With each album since their first (The Unraveling), the band has grown immensly lyrically, musiclly with an ultra-loyal fanbase. Their latest release, The Sufferer and the Witness is no different. Granted with such things as Avril Lavigne, Hot Topic and fashionable faux hawks, the word punk has all but lost it's meaning. Not if the members of Rise Against have anything to do with it. Although recently signed to Geffen Records and poised for mainstream success, Rise Against have yet to soften their socially & politically charged views. If anything, the bands only solidified their stance silencing the elitists crying sellout while bringing their blend of hardcore and punk to the masses. C'mon just think of how different the world would be if bands with a concious message like Bad Religion, Minor Threat or Operation Ivy had been transmitted out on the airwaves to millions of people. The only question is, Will the world listen?
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Big D - You had an album come out on July 4th, The Sufferer and the Witness, what's the story behind the name?

Tim- Thematicly the record is dealing with alot of different things but what the title is referencing is certainly there is alot of suffering that happens on this planet, you know, and all of us bear witness to that and so it really changes your perspective when you consider yourself a witness to the suffering instead of just an innocent bystander or someone that doesn't know that it's going on. It's talking alot about cause and effect, you know, action/reaction, our relationship with the world around us.
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Big D -  Ready to Fall's video is a little deeper than the cookie cutter shit you see on the tube these days. What was the inspiration behind the video itself, and please touch on some of the topics it covers?

Tim- Well the video was alot of Kevin Kearse our director, he went with this really great idea that we back 100%. The video is obviously considered an enviromental piece and it talks alot about what the record is talking about, the title of the album and this action/reaction theme about how we effect the word around us and ya know, I think that growing up in punk rock ya always think if someone gives you a stage or if someone gives you a bunch of money to make a video, what are you going to do with that? Are you going to hire a bunch of strippers and a limo and some champagne? Or are you going to make something that is going to be seen by millions of people and have an impact on their lives? And that's something we've always tried to do with this band, to use what we have to make an impact on ourselves, the world around us and our fans and the people around us. The video is just in line with that. Kevin Kearse did a great job, the video came out great and it's really starting to affect alot of people.
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Big D - No kidding, it really got my wheels turning. Did you do anything differently from previous albums?

Tim- We have our friend Emily from Holy Roman Empire out of Chicago,she sings on a few of the songs. That's something we've never done before.

Big D - 
 You guys have been known to be champions of animal rights and the enviroment, what do think are the issues that most need addressed?

Tim- Without getting into specific issues there's so many different things that you can talk about. I think that just creating an awareness about what's going on will change what people think, everything from locally to globally, if we could create just a little more awareness about how important it is to change the direction the world is heading in right now. I think there are tiny little changes in your life that you can make that will have big effects on the world around you.

Big D - 
 Obivously, your not going to readily find information on making a positive impact, I mean the media seems intent to cover our decline as a society?

Tim- I guess off the top of my head just being out here at Warped Tour you have The One Campaign booth, which is a great place to get information on poverty in the world and how it's affecting the world and how it can be solved and what you can do about it. You have the Take Action tent, I think it's takeaction.com , check that out. They certainly have alot of important messages about empowering women and stuff like that. Just really cool stuff, they do alot of stuff with army recruitment in public schools. PETA is certainly out here. PETA does really great work and I think that what's so inspiring about PETA is that they do really effective work, like what they do actually makes a difference. When PETA goes to Ralph Lauren and says " Ralph, stop making fur", Ralph goes "Ok". Like when they go to Old Navy and a couple different people and say "Stop making animal products, stop selling animal products in their stores", they do. For the most part they win, and that's really cool. Once they go at something, they really achieve that goal.
So those are definitely three places you can start right there. And check out a DVD called Earthlings, it's at iamearthling.com, go to that, there's a trailer on there that's free, watch it. Joaquin Phoenix narrates the whole thing, that's a really interesting documentary. I haven't seen An Inconveniant Truth, but I hear that it's a pretty eye opening piece as well. It's in theatres right now. Yeah, I mean if you just look out there, there's a ton of stuff and a ton of information. You don't have to look very far to find something that's going to open your eyes.
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Big D - I used to date a girl who was vegan, she kind of made me an aspiring vegetarian, but I'm addicted to meat,

Tim- We we're all once addicted to meat.
*Dorian- Well, she had quite a bit of health problems (from not eating enough protein I imagine), most notably an extremely weak immune system, is there anywhere an aspiring vegetarian could learn about a balanced diet?
Tim- PETA again actually.

Joe- They have a vegetarian starter kit. Whether your a vegetarian, carnivore or omnivore, you can eat unhealthy, you just have be careful of what you're eating and watch what your eating, a good balance is the key I think.

Tim- PETA is a good place to start.The literature they provided hardcore bands that I used to see like Earth Crisis....

Big D - 
 Wait, How old are you?

Tim- 27
Big D -  Same here.

Tim- So yeah yeah, you know what I'm talking about, all these bands like Earth Crisis or Snapcase or whoever, they'd bring literature with them. I'd go to buy a CD and a t-shirt and someone would stuff a pamphlet in my pocket, and I was always like "Fuck this. I'm never gonna not eat meat". You know these pamphlets would be in my pocket days later and I'd be waiting for the bus and I'd find it and be like "What is this crap" then you're reading it and you're like "Holy Shit". After a while it actually....It wasn't like I made descison to be a vegetarian it was like I couldn't even stomach it. Like putting the fork to my mouth, I was like "Awwww, I can't fucking eat this anymore". That was when I became a vegetarian and I haven't looked back. But I think even if you cut the amount of meat people eat, I think that's certainly a positive change. You know if they limit the amount of meat in their diet, that makes a huge impact, for sure.
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Big D -  Alright, let's lighten this up a bit, This is your third stint on the Warped Tour (I must have missed you the first time),

Tim- In '03 we did half of it. I don't think we did Florida that year. Then in '04 we did all of it.

Big D -  Right on, what's the difference between touring with 3 bands vs 30?

Tim-Big difference.Everyone assembles there own little cliches,

Big D -  Yeah I kind of noticed that at the dining area. I also noticed after everybody's eaten they put the leftovers out for us derelicts. I scored a mean fruit salad earlier.

Tim- (haha) Cool.

Big D - So, walk us through an ordinary day on the Warped Tour.

Tim- We pull in at like 7 in the morning, all the crew and all the techs wake up, they're up by 8 usually setting up the stages, unloading the gear, just setting up this massive circus out here, you know, then production sets up and gets the schedule going. You don't find out when your playing until about 10:30 -11 that day. So you have no idea when your playing. You could play at noon, you could play at 8 o'clock at night, you won't know until 11. Nobody finds out until then, there's no special privelages whether your NOFX or your the BBQ band, you know it doesn't matter. And um yeah, the whole shit gets rollin' around noon usually, sometimes around 11, sometimes earlier. And then it's a long hot day of loud music and everyone trying to sell you something. But it's a good time, it's alot of fun. You know when the last kid goes home, everyone starts to hang out around 8 o'clock and that's a good time too. We barbecue, and have bonfires and parties and whatever. It's a good chance to meet alot of people you wouldn't normally meet. Tonight we rollout at 11, last night we rolled out at at 1:30 in the morning.

Big D -  Is it a big Warped caravan or what?

Tim- Pretty much, it all depends on how long the drive is the next day.

Big D -  Whereas tourmates NOFX have seemingly written off any hope of reversing the current state of life in America, your lyrics often point to a sense of hope, how do you still have hope after enduring the Bush administration and their all-out disregard for our nation's well being?

Tim- I guess 'cause I still see changes happening, you know what I mean? You certainly see everything from Bush's approval rating, which is changing drasticly nowadays, That's evidence of hope I think. You know what I mean. You see in the news the other day that they're bringing alot of troops home. There's a sense of hope there. You certainly see changes like that happening. People are starting to come around to the fact that this war wasn't justified. It didn't make alot of sense. The reasons that they told us we were going to war, turned out to be different reasons then why we actually went to war. And I think alot of America is waking up to that fact. And to me, there's a sense of hope there. Hope that people are becoming a little more aware of what's going on. Specificlly the war, but there's also alot of things you know that.... there's alot more vegetarians, there's alot more people caring about the enviroment, there's alot more people giving a shit. And all those things are signs of hope.

Big D -  How do we get the kids to stop being so apathetic about politics and get them into the polls?

Tim- I think Rock Against Bush and PunkVoter.com are certainly a great places for punk rockers to start.

Big D -  Not to mention bands like yourselves

Tim- Definitely Rise Against, we take what we do (which is play music), and we put a message to it. I think that if you take whatever it is you do, you don't have to play in a band, but whatever it is that you excel at, and do it for more reasons other than your own personal agenda and actually give a little bit back to the world you know, I think anybody can do that. No matter what it is that your doing, just give a little bit of yourself to something bigger than you.

Big D -  Do you think punk rock has lost some it's personality now that bands shy away from the poltical aspects in favor of singing about botched relationships, social ineptness and getting a C on their midterms?

Tim- Well there's certainly that aspect to punk right now, which is sort of disheartening. I think there needs to be more of a balance. I mean, if you want to sing about the grade you got on your midterm or your girlfriend breaking up with you that's fine, I was a big fan of Screeching Weasel and.....~I show Tim my Screeching Weasel tattoo~ and so are you, that's cool. I don't think they ever delved into anything too political. I don't think the Decendents did anything political and what a great band. Those are amazingly great bands. I was a huge fan of Jawbreaker and they never really got political either. But there was always a great balance. There was a great balance in punk rock. You would still have bands that talked about important things. Now that balance is sort of skewed it seems. There are alot less bands talking about important issues. And now the whole world is taking that route. You know, there certainly is a place for it but after awhile it gets mundane. I don't bash bands out there for singing about whatever they want to sing about. But as a band that grew up with bands like Minor Threat, Dead Kennedys and Black Flag, bands that had an important message, it's kind of disheartening to see the overwhelming number of bands that aren't singing about important things.

Big D -  What do you say to the elitist kids who feel you've (dare I say it) soldout since your move to a major label?

Tim- Labels don't change people, people change people you know what I mean? If your band sold out, they sold out, that's their personal choice. You can blame it on the label they're on, but it was the people in the band. Something that we've learned is that alot of the descisions you make as a band, no matter what label you're on, are still your own descisions. So we make each descision very carefully. If somebody gives you the chance to be heard by 10 times as many people as you are now, who wouldn't jump at that opportunity? That's in line with why we do records and songs and why we did our video, so people could see it. What's the point of doing something if nobody is going to see or hear it. I mean it's great for me to be driving around and hear a song like A Life Less Frightening on the radio. I'm glad radio is playing something like that. People who aren't used to a song challenging their thought process are hearing that song as they're driving to work. I think that's awesome. I get stoked when bands like us or Anti-Flag or Bad Religion are on the radio. I think it's important music people need to hear.

Big D -  If I'm not mistaken Siren Song's art was done by the cult hero Shephard Fairey, how did that come about?
Tim- Shephard, amazing designer. Legendary designer. The Obey campaign is something that's been in skate punk for a long time, so of course it was an honor to work with him and have him be a part of that record. Alot of what he does ties into the theme alot of Siren Song for the Counter Culture. And so it was rad to have him be a part of that. It's cool.

Big D - 
 Sufferer and the Witness has some interesting artwork as well, who's responsible for it?

Tim- This guy named Andrew Zbihlyj out of Vancouver, he has a website called Pieceofshow.com . Amazing designer, I saw one of his political cartoons in a magazine once and I was blown away by it. I gave him a call and he was totally down to do the record. He really loved what we were about. It came out really great. I think it's a really unique cover. He hasn't really done any record covers before so it was cool to get him in on this record. I think it's something different for us and something different as far as the album cover.

Big D - 
 The members of Rise Against have a pedigree in punk, tell us who's who and a brief history of the members former bands.

Joe- Well, I was in 88 Fingers Louie, Brandon is from Pinhead Circus, Chris is from Reach the Sky and Tim here is from Baxter.

Big D -  You guys tour quite alot, how do you maintain your sanity on the 

Tim- We don't lose our minds, we lost them a long time ago. (laughter)

Big D - 
 Although you guys have proven to be quite versatile, Rise Against has a very distinct sound, who are some of your musical influences?

Joe- I'd say Minor Threat, Bad Brains and then bands like Pegboy and Naked Raygun and things like that. I mean we all have pretty eclectic tastes. We all like different things, for different reasons. That's the common ground right there.

Big D -  As a band your often very political, but sometimes shift to very personal subject matter with an underlying sense of honesty. Does writing and performing these songs ever open old wounds emotionally?

Tim- Alot of times when I see a kid singing along with me, and I see something that's from my past that I've gotten over and wrote about, documenting it in a song, say off the Unraveling you know, when I see a the kid singing along, I can see it in their eyes that this kid is going through it right now at this exact moment and it means alot to him. And it certainly reminds me of why I wrote that song and those things certainly come to life on stage for sure. That's what makes playing in this band an emotional process. For the most part everything that I've sung about I did for that exact reason, to put it in my past. It's very therapeutic.

Big D -  What's up with the Journey (Any Way You Want It) cover at the end of RPM? I myself have never been overly fond of them, but you guys just rock it.

Tim- I don't think any of us were Journey fans either, but everyone knows Journey. They know Journey songs, they're just engrained into your system somewhere. We were driving from Chicago to Fort Collins to do RPM,  Me, Joe & Todd in the van and Brandon was following us in his car and we had toyed around with covers at our live shows like Minor Threat and Black Flag, and Creedance Clearwater Revival.

Big D -  Whoa, what CCR song?

Tim- Yeah, we did Fortunate Son.

Big D - A punk rock staple.

Tim- Yeah, on tour we did alot of songs. They were alot of fun for us to play but alot of our fans didn't know them. Alot of our fans don't know Minor Threat songs and that's really a bummer. We thought "Oh man, the kids are gonna go crazy", and people would be like "What are they playing?" So it was sort of in desperation, we were like "fuck it, let's just do a Journey song". We had Journey's greatest hits playing in the van on that ride from Chicago to Fort Collins to do our record. And that song came on while we were having that conversation and we were like "What if we just covered this"? And everyone was like "whatever, let's do it". And we did it, so I think we did it out of frustration, we also did it to show, you know, we're a very serious band and sing about alot of serious things but we also have a sense of humor. We're all just like everybody else, we like to have a good time. So covering a Journey song was like "hey we like to have a good time".

Big D -  Obviously performing every day has got to take a toll on your voice when you're on tour, what do you do to keep your pipes healthy?

Tim- I warm up before I go on, and try to warm down when I'm done. Try not to stay out too late, avoid loud smokey bars. These sets (at Warped Tour) are pretty easy, 30 minutes, no big deal. But we play for 1:15 when we headline usually. That's when I have to be real careful about it. It's really just basic shit, stay hydrated, stay healthy, that's what it's all about. Your voice is simply another element of your entire system. Stay healthy and your voice will stay healthy. When you get sick, and you don't eat right or whatever, it shows.

Big D -  Yeah you guys got my voice at the Friday show, man I was out there screaming along with you guys, hell of a show.

Tim- Thanks.

Big D - 
 Ok, let's finish this, What kind of gameplan do you gents have for the future?

Joe- Touring! Ha! Touring, touring and more touring.

Tim- Finishing up Warped Tour, UK, Europe, back to the States for a tour, Australia, Canada
*Dorian- Antartica?

Tim- Maybe. We'll be on tour for the next year pretty much.
*Dorian- Well, I really appreciate your time.

Tim- Cool, cool

Joe- Yeah man our pleasure.

Big D -  Alright good luck!

Tim & Joe- Yeah man back at ya.

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Interview: Fat Mike (NOFX) @ Warped Tour Orlando 2006

Fat Mike,NOFX,Punk,Punk rock news,Warped Tour,Fat Wreckchords,bicycle

 What's there to say about NOFX that hasn't already been said? They've been at the pinnacle of punk for an eternity now without any signs of letting up. Their sound has been imitated by more bands than your than your average high school graduate can count. The clown princes of punk have put out more albums than will fit on that K-Mart brand MP3 player your mom bought you for Christmas. Let's face it, it's all been said before. But, even though they've been around the globe 10,000 times, they've still maintained a healthy sense of humor. The fact of the matter is NOFX live performances often times resemble more of a stand-up comedy act than a punk show (that's not to say when they do play they don't rip). So it was no surprise when I approached ringleader Fat Mike for an interview at a recent Warped Tour his response was "Can I catch up with you later? I'm about to shave a mullet onstage in like 5 minutes". And catch up with him later I did, as he got his feet massaged backstage by a professional masseuse. The following is the conversation that transpired........

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Big D - Let's talk about Wolves in Wolve's Clothing, the song 60% is about how you guys only give 60% of "your all" playing live shows and into the band in general, is this true?

Fat Mike - Not into the band in general but we put 60%..... actually we don't really give that much. I don't know, I kinda play on stage to have a good time. And if you try really hard to impress the kids, it's not that fun.

Big D - You can't tell me you only gave 60% on The Decline.

Fat Mike - No, that took me like 6 months.

Big D - So would you say 80%?

Fat Mike - No, I gave that 100%. The new album....Well I try, I don't know.

Big D - What made you guys set out to make The Decline?

Fat Mike - We were so bored with playing our songs and it was a challenge. We never really had a song that was a challenge before. We're not gonna play it that much, but we are going to try to play it in every city at least once.

Big D - I heard you played it (The Decline) live throughout the last tour.

Fat Mike - Yeah, I was pretty loaded too. I know I was way too drunk to be playing that song. (To Debbie the masseuse) It's an 18 minute long song.

Debbie the Masseuse - Oh, wow.

Big D - What the hell's up with the track Instant Crassic? I don't get it. It just cuts off at 34 seconds?

Fat Mike - Not alot of bands fade out a song at 34 seconds. I felt it was getting boring, we like short songs.(to Debbie the masseuse) Hey, I have a sprained ankle over there.
Debbie the Masseuse - Is it alright?

Fat Mike - Yeah.

Debbie the Masseuse - How did it happen?

Fat Mike - Eric Melvin shoved me on stage. I was wearing a bra and he shoved me on stage because Jason was fixing my cord. And he pushed me right over this guy, you know when someone's down on their hands and knees behind you? That old trick? He did that to me, sprained my ankle in a bra, it was not nice at all.

Big D - Is it just me or is The Man I Killed inspired by Johnny Cash's prison tunes, and if not what's the story behind it?

Fat Mike - I can't tell you what the story behind it is, because it's illegal. You hear what i'm saying?

Big D - Hmm, Nevermind. How did you come up with Marxist Brothers? From what I gather it's about conspiracy theorists that shop at underground swap meets. More illegal activities?

Fat Mike - Nah, it's about bourgousie revolutionaries that uh, like to read Karl Marx and drink in coffee shops. They like to talk about revolution but they've already got money, so... me being one of these people. * begins raining* You know I used to love the rain, until I started golfing. For the next few days you can't golf.

Big D - Are you an avid golfer?

Fat Mike - I used to be, I used to go out 3 or 4 times a day. Now it's once a month maybe.

Big D - Oh yeah? What's your best score?

Fat Mike - My best score is a 76.

Big D - I can't golf for shit. Last time I "went golfing" I broke a window out of a trailer home.
*Joan Jett walks by*

Fat Mike - (to Debbie the masseuse) Hey, has Joan Jett got a pedicure yet? (to Joan Jett) Hey Joan, let me buy you a pedicure.

Joan Jett - What?

Fat Mike - Let me buy you a pedicure.

Joan Jett - I've never had one.

Fat Mike - Let me buy you one after me.

Joan Jett - Yeah, I'll do it.

Fat Mike - Alright, your up next in a few minutes. It's a good time. I've only had one before in my life.

Joan Jett - So what, do I get my nails painted. I don't even know what a pedicure is.

Fat Mike - Don't look at my feet juice, my jew juice.

Joan Jett - Why? Are you dirty?

Fat Mike - I am a dirty jew *chuckles all around*

Debbie the masseuse: Actually your not. With your shoes and your socks on, your feet weren't bad at all.

Fat Mike - I should take more showers though. I have only had one shower this tour. I spent some time in a pool though.

Joan Jett - I want my nails black.

Fat Mike - So get'em black. *rain gets even harder* Now it's coming down! It's cooling down that's pretty awesome. (Back to your humble narrator) So what else were we talking about?

Big D - Me?

Fat Mike - Yeah.

Big D - NOFXs' lyrics often take a very anti-religious stance, are you religious at all?

Fat Mike - No.
Joan Jett - Your doing an interview?

Fat Mike - Yeah.

Joan Jett - I'm so sorry

Big D - Are you kidding me? You're Joan Jett. You can interrupt my interview anytime. I'm stoked just to be in your presence.
*picture taking ensues, narrator forgets about Fat Mike and chats with Ms. Jett, Mike chats with masseuse about knots in foot*
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Big D - Sorry man, that's Joan fucking Jett man. I was jammin' out to her when I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

Fat Mike - We're like this now.*does the finger deal*

Big D - Hell yeah, that's cool. Back to the lecture at hand, You put alot of time & effort into thwarting the relection of W, what do you think his biggest blunder (aside from attempting a to create theocracy of intolerance) is to date?

Fat Mike - Certainly the war in Iraq has got to be the worst. But that's obvious.

Big D - And what was your reaction at his reelection?

Fat Mike - I was bummed out for about 2 days. Life's too short to be upset. The day after the election I had a pretty bad ecstasy hangover. No kidding.

Big D - Aside from Mr. T who do you think would make a good president?

Fat Mike - I think Joe Biden would make a good president. Senator Joe Biden (of Delaware) . He has god ideas.

Big D - Why do you think our generation refuses to represent itself at the polls?

Fat Mike - Our voter turnout was higher this election than any other election in history. Our numbers were higher than any other group, percentage wise than the previous election. The press didn't cover that, but those are true numbers. Percentage-wise we came out more than anybody else. So I think we did our job. That's why we celebrated on election night,even though we lost. We did our job.

Big D - Do you plan to do your "job" next time?

Fat Mike - Not as good. Not as well, no. I don't want to work that hard anymore.

Big D - Even if Jeb runs for office?

Fat Mike - He'll never run. He doesn't have a shot. With George Bush's approval rating. He doesn't have a chance.

Big D - On Heavy Petting Zoo, The song August 8th, is it just me or is it celebratory of Jerry Garcia's death?

Fat Mike - Yeah it's a celebration of Jerry Garcia dying. The funny thing is I got the date wrong. He actually died on August 9th. We had a show that night in San Francisco and we bought drinks for everyone in the club, you know so we could all cheers to Jerry Garcia's death.

Big D - At what point did you realize "Holy shit, I can make a living playing punk?"

Fat Mike - 1991 I made $8000 that year. My wife was making $20,000 at her public relations firm. So I was like, "together, we can do this"

Big D - What's been the craziest thing you've seen while playing a show?

Fat Mike - Probably the craziest was in Columbia, Missouri, a really small town. There were some girls who came on stage and asked us for Liza & Louise. They all got naked and were licking each other, licking each other's "hoo-hoos"

Debbie the Masseuse - On stage?

Fat Mike - On stage. And the one in the back was getting spanked by the other one and the kid's in the front row were just...... it just blew everyone's mind. We actually played the song 2 times in a row because we didn't want them to stop.

Big D - What's your favorite country to play?

Fat Mike - Iceland's the best.

Big D - I heard you guys live in different cities these days. What's the writing process like now?

Fat Mike - I write all the stuff and tell everyone what to do. It works out pretty well for us.

Big D - I've got a bone to pick w/ you guys. The 7 inch of the month club, I refuse to buy a record player! Where did this idea come from?

Fat Mike - Because people who don't own record players bother me. So I wanted to bum them out because people should own record players.

Big D - Do you ever plan on releasing that material via the internet or CD?

Fat Mike - No plans

Big D - Pffft. Whatever. Speaking of the internet, what's your view on illegal downloading?

Fat Mike - You can't do anything about it so why bitch about it? I used to tape my friend's records on cassete tape so.......

Big D - You got any gold records on the walls back home?

Fat Mike - Punk in Drublic went gold. So Long and Thanks for all the Shoes went gold in Canada.

Big D - Have you ever been arrested on tour?

Fat Mike - Yes. 1986 I was arrested for possession of a deadly weapon. Went to jail in New York.

Big D - A deadly weapon?

Fat Mike - A billy club.

Big D - Which was actually a dildo?

Fat Mike - *all 3 of us laugh* No. Jail.... very boring, very boring place to be.

Big D - Don't I know it.

Debbie the Masseuse - Do feel that?

Fat Mike - Yeah

Debbie the Masseuse - It's a knot.

Fat Mike - Ohhh, hurt me.

Big D - Your the patriarch of Fat Wreckchords, who are some of the lesser known bands on Fat Wreck that we should watch out for?

Fat Mike - I think the most underrated band is Frenzal Rhomb from Australia. Their last album was so good and noone bought it. Dead To Me are good to, but the record's not out yet so..... (to Debbie) That feel's neat. Is that on a pressure point?

Debbie the Masseuse - I study reflexology.

Big D - I envy you. You've mention your record collection in a couple of songs now, what record do you most treasure and why?

Fat Mike - The first Misfits 7 inch. I used to see them play.

Big D - Not me bro. There's the New "Misfits" but we all know it ain't the Misfits

Big D - So you're married right?

Fat Mike - 14 years.

Big D - Has she domesticated you yet, or do you still reserve showering for Wednesdyas and Saturdays?

Fat Mike - I take one to two showers a week

Big D - If I know anything about women (editor's note; Dorian doesn't know anything about women), they won't have sex with you if you haven't showered.

Fat Mike - That's when I take my showers, before we have sex.

Big D - You've got the 'Gimme Gimmes, does anyone else in the band have side projects?

Fat Mike - El Hefe does hip-hop in a band called Potluck.

Big D - Let's go back in time for a moment shall we, at the So Long and Thanks for All the Shoes show in Tampa a few years back, I lost my shoes. So I yells up at El Hefe "Hey man, I ain't got no shoes on" so he brings me up on stage, after asking the crowd if they had seen my shoes, we were all treated to a shower of smelly old sneaks. Ultimately I got my shoes back.

Debbie the Masseuse - You got your shoes back?

Big D - Oh yeah, I was totally stoked .Before I got on stage I was in the pit dancing and didn't give a shit. I had hamburger feet for days. Anyway, El Hefe tells me to stage dive on his que. So you guys started playing a song I've never heard before, he looks over at me and gives me the go ahead. About mid front flip, I mean I went big, You tear into a song, "Don't know how to stagedive" were the only lyrics.

Fat Mike - I don't remember that at all.

Big D - Well, after peeling myself off the floor, all I could do was smile. Thanks for the shoes, and that was the best prank ever pulled on me. I got my balls busted for weeks after that by my friends. Has anybody in the band gone too far while pranking each other on stage or off?

Fat Mike - I don't know ..............Once I put some China White Heroin in Eric Melvin's Cocaine bag. That was pretty funny. Dude he slept for a week. Well it was a coma, you know.

Debbie the Masseuse - Alright your done.

Big D - Looks like my times up

Fat Mike - Yeah, I'd love to sit and chat D but we're playing in a couple of minutes..

Big D - Right on, thanks for your time

Fat Mike - Yeah man, no problem. Take it easy.

Interview: Guttermouth (Mark Adkins, Don Horne, Scott Sheldon)

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I caught up with the guys of Guttermouth a while back, with them releasing their new album last week I figured I'd post this up on the top of the blog 'cause I'm feeling lazy (IE:I'm still mourning Steve Irwin by watching video taped episodes of The Crocodile Hunter and taking massive bong rips all day & night).

Anyway, as you may notice, the whole lot of us are drunk off our asses for the interview and get side tracked a couple of times. Enjoy!

Big D - So how did Guttermouth come to be?

MARK - Personal ad. The personal section in the local rag.

DON - I was playing nose flute at the time.

MARK- Nose flute player seeks singer and back up band. Have you ever seen the nose flute?

Big D - Can't say that I have.

MARK - It's a great instrument from India or Africa I believe, one of those places. And Don is the master of the nose flute

DON - Yeah, I can do the theme from Titanic

* breaks into Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" with whistling nose*

Big D -  I'm king of the world!

MARK- You'd make a great Leonardo.

Big D -  Sorry, I couldn't contain myself, I love that movie.
So, there's been a few line-up changes since Guttermouth's inception?

MARK - Yeah, things change. Shit happens. Like evolution, we were born with tails and we crawled around on our knuckles, some lost their tails and stopped on their knuckles and others didn't and are now incarcerated in what is known as a zoo.

Big D - So who's in the band these days?

MARK- Me, Scott (Sheldon) and Clint (Heidenrich) sometimes. Those are the three original guys. Don (Horne) has been with us for awhile. Then there's Kevin (Clark) who fills in when Clint can't make it, and this goofball Ryan (Ferrel). Which is a good mix, they're younger than we are (Ryan and Kevin). They're like the kids of the band. We keep a toy box in the van for them so they can play as we drive. It keeps them entertained

Big D - You guys were on the first Warped Tour, you shared the stage with acts like Sublime, Face to Face and Civ who are now defunct for one reason or another, Do you feel lucky to still going strong?

MARK - Boy that's an understatement! No, luck has nothing to do with it. Actually it's perseverance, hard work and determination that make us who we are today. The four D's of Guttermouth.

Big D - How has the Warped Tour and punk in general changed since then?

MARK- Oh it's getting better! ~maniacal laughter all around~ with each day that passes I wake up a better brighter person and more optimistic about the punk scene in general because it seems to be progressing in a fashion I deem acceptable

Big D - But bands didn't used to get sued by some jerk-off's parents who got hurt stage diving at a show?

Mark - Yeah, they thought they we're going to get a whole bunch of money from some big rock band. Guess what, we didn't have any! Really the whole genre should've died long ago.

Big D -  You guys are still doing it.

MARK - That's because we can. It doesn't make it right. It should've died along time ago.

Big D -  Ok, So the song Black Enforcers off your last album (Covered in Ants), you make mention of a Jay Santos, every time my roommate gets drunk he claims to know Jay Santos and insists everyone knows it's nine times against the wall (which you also mention on the same song). Could you shed some light on me as to what the hell he's talking about?

MARK- It's actually General Jay Santos. He's the general of the Citizen's Auxiliary Police in the Southern California area branch. What he basically does is roams around town and looks for people who look a little unsavory, namely people with 5 O'clock shadows, and points them out to the authorities as terrorists. He's got a good eye for that sort of thing. So that's General Jay Santos. Nine times against the wall comes from the feature film that went straight to video, Black Enforcers (it's basically for truckers or something) there's this one scene where this pimp is banging his bitch's head against the wall 'cause she was trying to rip off her pimp, and you don't do that.

Big D - So everybody knows it's 9 times against the wall?

MARK - Everybody who's in the know, knows it's nine times against the wall, I just couldn't fit that in the song, so sorry about the confusion.

Big D - Off your last album (Eat Your Face), the song Octopus Hairpiece is about a balding middle-aged man who loses his hairpiece while surfing, how do you come up with this shit? Alcohol? Drugs?

MARK - It really happened. This guy was out in a pair of Speedos, he needed a hairpiece he didn't actually have one or know he needed one at this juncture in his life. So he was out there surfing and this octopus handed him one when he landed on his head. Speaking of which, it looks like you could use a visit from the octopus

Big D - Yeah, male pattered baldness is a bitch.

~Mark grabs my head in a modified iron claw aka the Octopus Hairpiece~
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Big D - How about Hotdog to the Head (also on Eat Your Face)?

MARK - That was Dave our old merch guy. He made up that little saying while he was getting wasted one night he said "I'm gonna give you a hotdog to the head right before you go to bed". So we had this board on the refrigerator of the van and you could write stupid slogans, one liners or whatever. That board is where a lot of that shit came from.

Big D - A lot of people don't get Guttermouth's sense of humor. I noticed a couple of posts on the internet labeling you guys as sexist homophobes and even going as far to call you "those asshole jocks from high school". Care to clear any of that up?

MARK - Yip, Yip. Absolutely all of that is true.

SCOTT- Who was a jock?

MARK - Let's just say we are and claim everything. Did you say racist? Guttermouth is not racist. But we are totally sexist, men rule the world!

SCOTT- We may be realists, definitely not racist.

Big D - You took a lot of flak for variance in sound that sets Gusto apart from your other albums; did that have any affect on the return to Guttermouth's more familiar sound?

MARK - Nope just like driving a car, shifting gears. We do whatever we want.

DON- We got the idea to do some country sounding stuff from the soundtrack to O Brother Where Art Thou.

Big D - With all the time put into Guttermouth (IE recording, touring, lawsuits) how often do you get a chance to paddle out?

MARK - As often as we want pretty much. We don't work that hard. We're pretty lazy about touring and stuff. We've done it a lot but we're pretty lazy about it. We'd rather be at home and punkin' around. So yeah, quite a bit actually, lots of time. The road gets boring fast. We do three week trips at the most.

Big D - What kind of stick are you riding these days?

MARK - A Hobie Fusion, my girlfriend bought it for me last year. My chick knows one of the shapers over there.

Big D - You ever get a chance to surf on tour?

MARK - Yeah in Australia. We schedule a lot of days off when we're down there. Around the States. You're usually in one city and off to the next. No real time for anything

Big D - Since surfing doesn't play a factor, where's your favorite place to play on the east coast?

MARK - Favorite place on the east coast Providence, Rhode Island.

Big D - Really? Why?

MARK- No, I'm kidding, I don't think there is one. And I'm not saying they're all good or bad, Jacksonville Beach on this trip. Good show. I'll roll with that for now.

Big D - You have a new DVD coming out soon tell us about.

MARK-We do?

Big D -  Beyond the Warped?

MARK - Somebody filmed some stuff and we checked it out. We had nothing to do with it. But it was ok, so we were cool with it.

Big D -  I noticed the Epitaph website took down all Guttermouth related material, are you still on their label.

MARK - No we're done with them and they're done with us.

Big D - Any plans for '06?

MARK - Well, we're gonna make another record, we better. It will be on Volcom's label. It's supposed to come out July 4th. We're working on it right now. Hopefully we'll finish it in a timely manner, which probably won't happen. But it's supposed to come out July 4th. It's going to be a long year.

Big D - With so many old school punk bands still around these days (see Subhumans, Circle Jerks and Social Distortion) where do you see yourself in 20 years?

MARK - living in the back of my car foraging for food behind the Food Riot, the post apocalyptic super market me and Ferrel Rian and I are starting. We're ready for the apocalypse.

Big D -  Thanks for your time bro.

MARK - Anytime, Delorian

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All photos above appear courtesy of Gemini Split