Punknews interviewer Faye Turnbull sat down with Patrick at The Fighting Cocks in Kingston, UK to discuss, well, everything Ė from CM Punk to prostitutes.
The thing I find funny about End of a Year Self Defense Family is that there are a lot of people who arenít into your music, but avidly follow you online through Twitter/Formspring/Tumblr, how do you feel about that?
Weíve got that a few times on this tour, people coming up to us and saying that. I donít really mind. Nobodyís obligated to like our music. It doesnít matter one way or the other to me. If they think weíre funny or just interesting on some level, Iím not going to be angry about that. God bless. I would say that the same attitude or personality that is present in all the bullshit on the Twitter and everything is evident in our music, so they might want to give the music a try. Either way, itís cool. It doesnít matter. All of that shit becomes unpopular in a year, anyway. Two years from now, Tumblr will be dead, Twitter will be dead. Itís just some fun to waste your day with when youíre at a bus stop and you have your phone, just tweeting things as if people give a shit. I donít see how it could harm anybody. I donít think itís changing the world, either. Itís just a fun thing to do, to bullshit.
On Formspring, youíve become an agony uncle of sorts. How do you feel about people valuing your opinions and advice so much?
Thatís a little weird. Itís not that Iím an expert on thing, but I think itís just because a lot of the time, people need someone, beside their immediate friends, to talk to and if itís a stranger, it doesnít matter if they have all the answers or is just an idiot, they just want to tell somebody something, because they need to talk. In that respect, Iím happy to do that. The Formspring experiment was actually interesting, because I thought I could be an asshole, but once people start telling you serious things about their life, I think itís hard to be an asshole. I couldnít do it. I had to answer in a serious way, because when somebody asks if they should keep the baby theyíre carrying Ė what am I supposed to say? Acting like an asshole isnít going to help anybody. It turned out to get a lot serious a lot faster than I thought, but Iíve enjoyed it and people tell me that it helped them once in a while, so Iím happy about that.
Was it an attempt to raise your profile?
I honestly didnít think that it would, but I guess it has, to a degree. People just like to talk and if somebody wants to say, ďThatís the band who answers peopleís questionsÖĒ or whatever, I guess itís something to talk about. Iíd prefer them talking about our music, but fuck it. I guess I donít have control at the end of the day.
You come across very intelligent and entertaining in the way you talk, have you ever considered spoken word? Iíd attend ĎThe Patrick Kindlon Experience.í
People tell me to do spoken word a lot, but I donít think people would actually enjoy it. I like to think Iím a friendly guy, warm, not a douche, but thereís somebody in every room that thinks Iím a douche when I start talking. Like, I see it when we play. This is a memo for those people reading this: I see your faces when we perform. I can look at you and see you. I know you are the weak dude whoís angry, because Iím talking loudly or asserting an opinion as if itís a fact, and thatís somehow irritates you, because youíre an insecure weirdo. I see it on your face. So, if you do spoken word, thatís half the room. Half the room is looking at you like youíre an asshole. Maybe Iíll do it. Iíd like to do comedy, not because Iím funny, but it just seems so hard. Band life isnít easy, because, obviously, not that many people like us, but I have more or less figured out what I want out of it, and what I enable to get out of it, so thatís not mysterious to me anymore. But comedy, I might want to do, just because it seems so fucking hard. Youíve got to spend fucking 25-years just trying to get good at that and then thereís still no guarantee that anybody gives a shit, itís a lot like being in a band. So, I might try that. Spoken word, I donít know if it appeals to me as much. I enjoy some of that shit, I like talking, but as youíre probably picking up from this interview, Iím not the most articulate dude in person. Thereís a lot of me saying, ďYou know what I mean?Ē Thereís a lot of the word ďfuckĒ in there. Iím not quite a brilliant orator yet, Iím working on it.
Iíve noticed, both personally and in the band, you seem to go out of your way to approach things unorthodoxly. For example, recording in obscure countries, like Jamaica and Iceland, for a band of your level, or travelling from LA to New York by Greyhound, why is that?
I know this is a strange thing to say, because it sounds like Iím condescending people that donít feel the same, but thatís not the case. Iím just speaking exclusively about myself right now. Iím bored with everything. I might just start climbing mountains or some shit, just because I constantly need some sort of challenge. Like that LA to New York trip, I knew it was going to be miserable. There was no way it wasnít going to be miserable, but I did it because it was going to be miserable. I just wanted a challenge; I just wanted to feel unhappy. I might take a train across India early next year; I just want to shit in a coffee can. Just give me a challenge. When things happen to us on tour, like when the van explodes or some shit, itís obviously a hassle, but some weird part of me just gets excited, because itís a challenge. Just give me something. The same thing with recording in different places, Iíd like to get better and better at organizing those ideas, to the point where weíre really doing things really outside of the norm. Not just for a small band, but also for people, itíll be strange stuff. The reason for that isnít just for being the sake of strange, itís just because the stranger you get, the more challenging it is and I could just use some sort of challenge. Like if youíre an adult in a band, and youíre not trying to be famous, there is nothing hard about it at all. You just play shows, you have a good time, thereís nothing hard, and Iíd like it to be hard sometimes. I enjoy that.
So, youíre happy at the level the band is at? Is fame not something you wish to achieve?
I thought about this today, actually. I had a moment and a realization in the van, because I was reading some sort of music press piece of shit, and it referenced a band, but totally unrelated to the band. Like everything in the UK is all naked women, all of your magazines have naked women in it, and it was like, ĎLook at this naked woman, sheís hot!í and then said some bands, and it made me realize that I donít want a moron to reference me. I donít want some not funny, stupid douchebag to be talking about my band the way they talked about this guyís band. I havenít thought about being famous or well known in a longtime, and this just put the nail in the coffin that I have no interest in it. Just think about it, when youíre famous, itís basically everybody pretending to care for a short amount of time than not caring. You go through the emotional rollercoaster of believing everyoneís bullshit, and then finding out that itís not real and that nobody really cares about you. I do well enough with women, I donít need to be a rock star to land ass, and the money isnít actually very good compared to working a professional job, so thereís not a ton of motivation to be a celebrity, unless youíre going to be that next level celebrity.
Like, thereís a lot of motivation to be Lady Gaga, thereís a lot of motivation to be Metallica. The sort of music that interests me and the only music Iíd feel comfortable playing, thereís no real fame. Thereís no real money. Thereís variant levels of doing ok, but if money is all they care about, all of those men and women would be better off getting straight jobs and working really hard. Seriously, ask any band. People ask me all the time like, ďHow do feel about so-and-so band getting big?Ē and I always tell them, ďThatís not a big band, theyíre not getting big.Ē Just because you can fill a 1000-cap room, that is fucking awesome in small music, thatís great, but itís not big. Big is a stadium. Big is an arena. Filling a 200-cap room is an achievement for a young band, but it is not big. Until youíre routinely bringing in 3000 people a night, you could do better at any job. Even when youíre bringing in 3000 people, which is a great amount of people for a small band, you better have a reason to do it besides money and besides fame, because old people arenít going to know who the fuck you are and youíre not going to be making real money, so youíve got to have a different reason. Iím not one of these bands thatís like, ďI hate fame.Ē but at the same time, it doesnít interest me in the way that it interests a lot of people, I guess.
Right now, the big buzz is about Refused and At the Drive-In reforming and playing Coachella - obviously for a paycheck - despite the former claiming to have been long-dead.
Anybody that thinks that thatís not for money is out of their fucking mind, and I say this with all of the respect for Refused and At the Drive-In, I donít give a fuck what they do. They carved a legacy by playing things a little differently to everybody else and hats off to them, but anybody who deludes themselves into thinking itís not about money is off their fucking tree. Itís obviously about money. The question youíve got to ask yourself is, is that wrong? I have no idea how much money theyíre making, letís make it a crazy number like $2,000,000. Thatís a lot of money, split five ways, itís not very much money, and then after you have your taxes took out, itís not very much money at all. I have no idea how much things cost in Sweden, but I do know that with what you make at the end of the day, you could buy yourself a small house in South Carolina, if thatís what you want to do. Itís not an insane amount of money. If you have bills, like I have $80,000 worth of bills, if someone says, ďIíll give you $3,000,000 to play this fest.Ē Well, I like playing music anyway, so is it wrong for me to take the money to do something I like anyway? I donít think itís wrong, but I do think itís deluded for music fans to think that dudes who donít like each other and dudes who do other gratifying things outside of their bands just want to get together, because itís so full-filling to play with dudes you donít even like to look at. Thatís not true.
Anybody who wants to relive old parts of their life, I feel sympathy for that person, because thatís not good for your mental health. If I have to tell someone how to live, Iíll tell them this, perseverating on good parts of your past is as unhealthy as perseverating on the nasty parts of your past. Just fucking move forward, because forward is always more interesting, unless youíre willing to fucking admit that you donít have a creative drop left in your fucking ball sack, which I donít think thatís what Refused and I donít think thatís what At the Drive-In are willing to admit, but is it wrong for them to take money? Thatís for everybody to decide. I donít think itís wrong for them to take money; I just donít give a fuck about either band. Neither band did anything for me in my life. Refused? Two good songs. At the Drive-in? Two good songs. Who gives a shit? If they were playing this bar, Iíd watch them. If they played a fest where you have to pay 300-fucking-dollars, camp out and watch the fucking lamest bands on the planet in the fucking sun. I donít think that people understand, itís a fucking heat locker in that part of the country, talking about Coachella. There is no force on earth that could get a sane person to go there, people only go to do drugs and have sex with people they met on the Internet, just like every other fucking fest. Donít delude yourself to think itís about music; it most certainly is not, because if you enjoy music, you definitely donít enjoy watching it from 600Ėyards away in the fucking sun. No one enjoys that. You enjoy music as it was meant to be performed, not some bullshit, fucking dot on the horizon where you need a JumboTron to see the motherfucker. You go to that to do MDMA and fuck a woman youíve been talking to on Facebook. Thatís it. You donít go there for music, so everybody whoís like, ďOh Refused is back, Iím going to go to Coachella.Ē Stop your bullshit, youíre going to watch them from a football field away and it will be absolutely nothing. Zero. Like you want it to be. If you walk away from that experience being, ďIt was exactly what I wanted it to be.Ē Then you are convincing yourself of something and youíre deluded to a point of serious mental health issues. At the Drive-In and Refused, if youíre reading this, good luck. Take the money and run. Who gives a shit?
So, we wonít see End of a Year Self Defense Family playing Coachella?
Iíll play anything! We play fests all the time, because theyíre fun for the band. I just donít understand how theyíre fun for a crowd at all. I love, love, love playing fests, theyíre the most fun things in the fucking world. You just show up, thereís no pressure, you hang out with friends, you meet people, youíre usually catered ok, and then you leave half way through to go watch a baseball game or something. Itís really fun for bands. Itís bullshit for most audiences, like if you want to do a fest, six bands, 500 people, one venue, thatís a fucking fest. When you talk about 80 bands, multiple days and outside, thatís still cool for bands, but not that cool for the audience, I donít think. Give me the invite, Coachella, or any of these other fucking bullshit fests; Iíll play them. I donít care.
Going back to how you do things differently, even the format of the band is weird Ė can you explain it?
I donít think itís that weird, but I understand a lot of people do. When I talk to people that play folk music, they seem to understand it better than most. However, because we primarily play to punk and hardcore people, itís not a format thatís really popular in those styles of music, so itís something people definitely ask about a lot. This isnít bullshit, we write 100 songs a year, and theyíd all be the same level of good Ė not too many moments of brilliance and no real moments of shit. Theyíre just good songs. It was like a fucking machine, we had it down to a science, we could have been a band for 50-years, just fucking churning out songs that are all good, but there was no challenge. There was no point. So, we just decided to bring everybody in and be like, ďI really like the way this person plays bass, letís have two basses on the song, who gives a shit?Ē I could sum it up with this: who gives a shit? Itís fun to play with different people; anybody who doesnít understand that hasnít been in a band for very long. Anyone who doesnít understand that has probably been dating the same man or woman for a decade, itís fun to be with other people. Itís fulfilling to be with other people. I think we have about 16 people that we play with at any given time, thatís fun. For example, on this tour, Caroline Corrigan, who sings with us sometimes, came for half the tour. Sheíll probably play a few shows with us in the US, or maybe not. Sometimes, I wonít sing at all. Iíll ask a friend to sing for me, because when you trust everybody in your band to play well, and you donít give a shit what the audience thinks; you can do anything. You can express yourself anyway you want. Itís weird to me that more bands dont do this, especially punk bands, because itís the natural extension of being a punk band. I donít give a fuck about playing the songs exactly as they are on the album, at all. I donít give a fuck about the audience connecting with the songs in anyway. So, with that in mind, why the fuck wouldnít we bring in a tuba player? Why the fuck wouldnít we play occasionally with a giant harp? Who cares? Itís just an excuse to challenge yourself and have a good time.
Like I said, with folk, if youíre not talking about a singular folk artist and talking about a folk band, they understand flux of members. They understand sometimes youíll play a format with 10 people and other times, youíll play a format of three people, and thatís not very old to them. Punk and hardcore are very strange, rock is strange similarly - not as extreme - but they want to see original members and shit like that, itís a joke. Some of my friends are very successful music people, not like me, who is an unsuccessful music person, but they work on the other side of music, the business side, and they LOVE original line-ups, because it is a fucking joke in the music industry. Itís just a way to get money. They love when bands get back together with an original line-up, because you just fleece the fucking show-goer. You convince them that the drug addict guitarist that left 15-years ago and couldnít play worth shit then, you convince the audience that him coming back is important in some fucking way and legitimizes the whole fucking affair. Then they can ask more money from the promoters and more people come, and itís a fucking joke. Everybody that knows how music works knows that itís bullshit. The only people that care about that shit are fucking ďmusic fansĒ who donít get it. Who care about things like, ďI saw the real Black Flag.Ē Fuck you. Who fucking cares? Did you have a good time? I bet you probably didnít. PiL is one of my favorite bands; they played some of their best music with line-ups that had nothing to do with the Ďoriginal line-upí. Itís a fucking fallacy; itís a fraud. ĎOriginal line-upí is one of the biggest scams going, so I want no original line-up. Weíre recording some music this year that doesnít have me on it at all. Mark E. Smith of The Fall, that dude is a bit of a megalomaniac; because he insists he touches everything. I want to take that idea, adults enter and leave you life, the same way lovers, the same way friends, the same way family, the same way with everybody. Everybody enters and leaves your life at their convenience, because they have things going on. We want to take that model and apply it to a band that plays vaguely punk music. I might take a fucking year off and somebody can sing in my place, as long as I trust them to do a good job, who gives a shit? Basically, can I sum it up? Who gives a shit?!
During that, you said youíre an, ďunsuccessful music personĒ, do you really believe that? I mean, youíve travelled the world and done more things than what most bands get to do.
Youíre right, actually. What I should say, unsuccessful by your grandmaís standards, musicians know what Iím talking about. Musicians go through phases in their life where if youíre playing music at 18, everybody else in your circle of friends is also playing music, whatís success then? Your grandma doesnít know the name of your band and as the years go by, you realize grandma is never going to know the name of your band. Your friendís grandma will never know the name of your band; you will never be successful in that way. Then you will go to your high school reunion and they will all think youíre successful just because you do something interesting, so they want to talk about that, as if youíre the biggest success in the world, but grandma still doesnít know who you are. Iím unsuccessful in the way that almost all musicians are unsuccessful. My grandma is dead and she probably still knows who Bono is. Bono is a success in music. Frank Sinatra, very successful dead guy, my grandma knows who Frank Sinatra is and, again, sheís dead, so thatís saying a lot. Thatís success. Everything else is people convincing themselves that they are doing better than they would working in fast food. True success is something that very few of us will achieve; itís probably doing something that you stand 100% by and an unmitigated, beautiful effort that you probably donít even know that youíre capable of. Thatís probably success and probably one billionth of musicians get that, success as the larger world knows it or grandmaís success, thatís not easy to come by. Let me say this, Bono: probably successful. Patrick Kindlon: not that successful.
You donít really seem to value other peopleís opinions much and make light of most situations. I saw a YouTube video that you made about how people shouldnít get so offended, but I watched another and you got bothered about the wrestler CM Punk making a gimmick out of straight edge. I didnít think youíd be the type of person to care for labels, why does the straight edge label still matter to you?
Yeah, itís funny, because I date around with a woman who challenges me on this all the time. I have an utter disdain for labels and people self-defining that are obvious in aggrandizing and ridiculous self-involvement, so this woman that I date sometimes, she tells me, ďYouíre an asshole, because you happily accept the word straight edge and youíll use it for yourself. Youíre a hypocrite and a moron.Ē Sheís probably right, in the respect that Iím a hypocrite, I donít know if Iím a moron. This is difficult to explain, especially as you said, I donít value much, but straight edge made my life better and I find it difficult to shit on anything that made my life better. If college made my life better, I wouldnít be angry with college. I wouldnít be able to say bad things about college. The women in my life, I never say anything bad about the women in my life, because they all made my life better. My parents made my life better. Straight edge made my life better. So, as childish as my reaction to things like fucking CM Punk is, itís purely that. Itís the same way that people get rankled if your mom is a really nice lady and someone walks in and says, ďYour momís a stupid bitch, I just want you to know that.Ē You understand that, that person probably doesnít know your mom and that person probably canít change your relationship with your mom, so their opinion doesnít matter, but you still donít necessarily want to hear it. Iím about as offended by CM Punk as I am by anything, which is not much, but enough to say, that dude can suck a dick. I would hang out with the dude. I find it ridiculous when people say, ďIíll never speak to that dude, because 10-years ago, he punched a woman in a bar.Ē I donít give a shit. Who gives a shit if he punched his mother yesterday? Whatís that got to do with me? I donít give a fuck. Iím not here to fucking be Judge Judy with total fucking strangers. That dude has a right to sit next to me and Iíll engage with him like Iíll engage with any human being on this planet. I donít care if heís a double murderer, I donít care if he contributes to genocide in Uganda, heís a fucking human being and Iíll treat him like a human being. So, thatís when I think people are being ridiculous. Iíll talk to anybody. Iíve talked to double murderers, Iíve talked to rapists, Iíve talked to people that everyone thinks is a piece of shit and they often are pieces of shit, but it doesnít change the fact that theyíre fucking human beings. If a dog came up to me right now, Iíd pet the fucking dog, because itís a living being and Iíll treat it with respect by virtue of the fact that itís got a fucking heartbeat and it doesnít deserve to get spit on. It doesnít mean that I want to hang out with a double murderer or rapist, but it means I donít find their crime or offence offensive. It doesnít offend me. Theyíre just a person. The same thing with CM Punk, CM Punk does the straight edge thing. Itís really embarrassing to watch, but Iíd still sit next to the guy on a plane and talk to him about Junkyard Dog or Hacksaw Jim Duggan. Who cares? Thatís what I mean by offense. When people saying, ďIím offended by this, I donít want it in my world.Ē or whatever, who said itís your fucking world? Fuck you. That guyís got a right to be here too. CM Punk, heís got a right to say all sorts of fucking stupid shit, you going to be offended? Itís fucking stupid. I think itís hokey and what he does is corny, but itís the same thing with bands. I try to explain it to dudes all the time, if I think your band sucks, if I think your band is a fucking joke, if I think your band is a terrible piece of shit, who fucking cares? Why do you need my approval? Yeah, I guess you offend me because youíre bad at what you do, but am I going to stop you? Iíd sit next to you and weíd talk about how much you love the Deftones or some shit, I just donít understand blocking people out of your life, because they do shitty things. Iíll talk to CM Punk. CM Punk, write me a fucking Twitter message. I donít give a fuck. Iíll talk to you, whatever.
Is it not good that heís exposing the concept to a large audience?
If you want to look at it in a larger context, and donít want to get all weirdly personal about it, you could say that heís exposing people to what a lot of us think is a good idea, and helps a lot of people. Maybe gives a lot of young dudes the clarity to get motivated to do certain things they want to do and if he exposes to 20-million people to that idea and only 200 people take that idea and run with it, I guess thatís good. If someone made that argument to me, Iíd say thatís fine. Personally, I just feel heís really hokey and itís a corny presentation, and maybe not representative of how Iíve identified with that idea, but fuck it. Heís a motivated, clean living dude thatís making a little bit of money. At the end of the day, Iíd think a lot of people would find that positive, I just think that he looks like an asshole.
A year ago, you mentioned in your Punknews article about sexism in punk that youíve had issues in Germany, like getting kicked off shows for your previous use of prostitutes, have you had any problems this time round?
No, the German people were real cool to me this time and I appreciated that very much. Itís very strange, the only place Iíve ever experienced that is in Germany and it really seemed to be part of a group thing, like a moment of mob intelligence as opposed to individual intelligence where people just got worked up over stuff and it was fun for them to have a target for a minute and have a focus for things they care about, that they donít get to yell at anybody in particular, because the whole world is sexist. All day long, they think ďThe world is sexist, the world is fucked up.Ē and for a minute, they could blame me, so it gave them an excuse to throw a couple of tomatoes or whatever. It doesnít seem that, that instance represents German people as a whole or even how those people who did it at the time feel now. This time, I had a very beautiful time in Germany, Iím not angry at Germany anymore. The diss-songs I wrote about Germany will never come out now Ė well, they might come out on different comp tracks in weird countries and shit. I guess with the Twitter or the way we conduct putting out releases or whatever, thereís a certain degree of audience concentration. You distil the large audience, letís say our records only sell a couple thousand, but because of downloading and stuff, letís say 10,000 human beings have heard our music and letís say, 2,000 people donít like it because of the voice, 2,000 donít like it because of the instrumentation, then someone heard Iím not a cool dude, so 1,500 donít like it, and you just go down this list and distil it, itís like coffee, and you eventually have a product that you want, and the product that I want, is fans that arenít dumb motherfuckers. I want fans I can look in the eye and treat like a fucking peer, instead of an idiot. I think thatís what a lot of bands donít want, especially some of the bands that want to successful donít want. To be successful, you have to have a moron-fucking fan, because thereís only about 30,000 smart people on this planet. If youíve got 35,000 fans, at least 5,000 of them are dumb-fucking-idiots. I donít want someone to look me in the eye as they tell me they like our music but say, ďYeah, but I think youíre a fucking shithead, man.Ē I donít want to do that. I want to look at people and say, ďThanks.Ē I hope that by being honest all of the time and saying things that not everybody likes, if it makes you stop listening to our band, you probably didnít like the music to begin with, because the music is a separate thing. If you donít think it is, then youíre an idiot. Our lives outside of the band and the band itself, are tied in, in a very specific way where you can enjoy any one of them on their own, or you can enjoy them all at the same time, itís entirely up to you, but it would be nice if we got to the point where the only people who liked us were the people who really like us. The people who understand and share our sensibility musically or whatever the fuck it is. I think the problem, like the people crying on Punknews or the people in Germany who werenít happy with the idea of prostitution, I think in a way, those people are really great, because they help cut away from the larger fanbase and make an actual fanbase, making people care about the things that matter, not the bullshit. At the end of the day, if thereís only 100 people on the planet out of 7 billion or whatever the fuck it is, but theyíre all people I consider peers and can look in the eye and treat like an adult, thatís mission accomplished. I feel like Iíve done a good job. But yeah, there were no problems this time; it was actually really breezy.
I was wondering, because a lot of people consider no promiscuity as one of the factors that form straight edge Ė is this not the case for you since you have used prostitutes?
This is always an interesting question, because, obviously, the promiscuity part is the most self-defined part of straight edge. Obviously, now is weed a dangerous drug? Nah, but weed is a drug. Thereís very little debate on that, so thatís pretty straightforward and clear. Alcohol, pretty clear, I know sometimes itís not, but promiscuity, thatís pretty much up to every person to define for themselves. Myself? I legitimately like every woman Iíve slept with. Legitimately. To me, the ugly thing with promiscuity, the ugliness that people want to avoid, is when people treat their sex partners like some weird piece of shit. Like, ďOh yeah, I woke up with this whore the other day, she was disgusting, I ran out of the room.Ē When people say shit like that, thatís ugly to me and thatís what I want to avoid, but if I just had a nice night with a beautiful woman, I donít see any harm in that. I treat her with respect, she treats me with respect and we like each other for that moment. Itís like talking to some dude on the bus talking about football and telling them to have a nice day when they get off, thatís a nice exchange. I think promiscuousness gets ugly and negative when people treat their partners like some weird fucking whore they have contempt for. Obviously, a personal issue for a lot of people and if some dude thinks Iím not straight edge, because I like to be with women, thatís fine, but, personally, as long as I treat every partner with the utmost respect, I find it difficult to fault me and I have a clean conscience on the subject.
Back to your Punknews piece, you said the argument, ďseems like a waste of bandwidth and time to me.Ē While you make trivial YouTube videos on Facebook etiquette, hipsters, Paramore, etc. Isnít something like sexism a more engaging issue for intelligent discussion?
Iíll tell you the difference, one might make you giggle, the other one is just a bunch of hot air from a bunch of people that donít understand that everybody has already said what they have said a hundred times before, maybe a billion times before. All of that sit around, talk about the world bullshit, it is so tired to an adult. It is so tired to someone that went to college and had to sit through all of that shit, itís tired. Itís like, I donít like fucking Italian food, because I grew up eating it and now when I see Italian food, Iím not excited about it. It does nothing for me. A conversation about fucking sexism in punk, is about as interesting as the worst Italian meal Iíve ever had, because everyone is saying the same fucking thing, which is sexism is not good. No shit. No fucking shit. Itís a human rights issue. Obviously, sexism isnít good. Everyoneís sitting around saying we shouldnít have sexism in punk. Firstly, thatís a fucking incredibly presumptuous argument from one person in a subculture that includes millions and you get to decide what the larger masses of people get to think? You fucking fascist fuck. You get to decide now? No. But, itís also obvious - yes, all thinking and intelligent people donít like sexism, no shit. You dumb motherfucker. The only person thatís going to disagree with you is the person who will never see your side, because theyíre a fucking asshole. So, sitting around saying, ďThereís so much sexism in punk, there really shouldnít be.Ē Yo, I dare you to find a more progressive subculture and join that one, because I donít know where it is! I still find myself playing punk venues and vaguely what we call punk music, because I get to express myself there, and people are willing to accept that. They look at things and say, ďOk, this motherfucker needed to get something out and now heís getting it out.Ē I didnít come here because I thought everybody would agree with me, itís a ridiculous idea. Itís foolish to think that just because you listen to some fucking Crass lyrics that everybody agrees with you. Even when Crass was performing, there were other fucking bands that were considered punk that had the opposite view, so fuck you! You donít get to decide what exists in other peopleís minds. Deal with that reality and just do the things that fulfill you. Behave in a way that fulfills you. Everybodyís sitting around saying there shouldnít be this; you might as well pull down your dadís pants and tell his asshole, because itís doing the same amount of good. Dig a hole in the backyard and tell the hole in your backyard. Put your face in the cushion of your couch and tell your couch, because it is doing the same fucking thing. Nothing. I find it offensive when someone hits you with the same tired fucking argument over and over again. The idea that I wouldnít have heard it is an insult to my fucking intelligence. Iíve heard it a billion times, because Iím a fucking thinking person that seeks out that fucking argument. The person that you want to reach, you will never reach, because that dude doesnít give a fuck about your fucking opinion and isnít seeking out that different point of view. Fucking, please, 100%, open up your book bag and tell the inside of your book bag; itís the same fucking thing.
You always seem to place an importance on being an Ďadultí, is that defined by age or mentality?
Itís a mental thing, not an age thing. I shouldnít even use the word Ďadultí, I should use Ďreasonable personí, because you could be fucking 14 and be a reasonable person. Adult is just a catchall term. Just be a reasonable person and see the world for what it is, which is ugly and nice, good and bad. Itís all colors of the spectrum at once and you donít get to decide. You get to make the impact that you try to make at the best of your ability and I wish you the fucking best of luck, but you donít get to decide, and thatís what being an adult and A reasonable person is about.
You donít tour much and Iíve heard you say itís because people take advantage of touring bands, and that you prefer being in the studio, why is that?
I much prefer being in a studio; it gives you the chance to actually create something. Iíve come to realize that being on tour, a month is the absolute limit of what I feel I can express myself as honestly and as originally as I can. After that, it becomes repetition and I have no interest in repetition. I like to do something different, even if the audience doesnít know it; itís different to me. I like to do something different for myself every fucking night, and after 30-days, it starts to become repetitious and not genuine, and then it becomes an actual recital instead of a performance and I have no interest in that. To me, being in the studio gives me the opportunity to explore things and make something new everyday. We jam a lot live, and the reason we do that is because it gives us the opportunity to do something new. I donít understand these dudes that can do the same thing over and over again. Iíve been very fortunate for the last couple of years where Iíve had a job thatís allowed me to do different things almost every day. Musically, Iíve got to do that. When I write, Iíve got to do that. Touring to tour is just some bullshit, because you could go visit those places on your own, you donít need to go with a band, so whatís the purpose of you going? I just want to see new places and do different things every day. When I end up doing the same bullshit over and over again, itís tedious in a way that I find disgusting and Iíve got no interest. I love to play live, but only to a point, but then I like to make new songs and perform those songs live.
Does Deathwish not mind you constantly releasing material and not touring to make up for it?
Yeah, theyíd probably prefer that, but Deathwish, more than any other label that I can think of in letís say the Ďaggressiveí music world, theyíre more open to anything than any other label Iíve ever encountered. They understand that some of their bands tour more than others; they probably wish their bands would tour more, because it increases visibility and helps sell records, but Iíve never felt an ounce of pressure to be out on the road. We tour out of respect for them, because they spend money making things for us and it seems only right that we should try to sell some of those. They probably would prefer us to be out on the road. They used to not be in love with us putting so many records out, because in traditional marketing, if you flood the market, it becomes very difficult to promote any one release in a serious way, so I donít think they really liked that. I think thereís a bit of balance now, because when we put a bunch of records out, they wholesale the records and itís more things for them to sell, ultimately. Thereís a trade there, if we put out one record a year or one record out of every four years, would it be better or worse? I couldnít say. It wouldnít interest me as much and I wouldnít find it as fulfilling, and I think that Deathwish, at the end of the day, likes their bands to be fulfilled, so theyíve been very supportive of us doing whatever the fuck we want. We fight sometimes, but I never feel that thereís a real roadblock there.
On the song ďIíve Got An IdeaÖĒ featured on Run For Coverís Mixed Signals compilation, your voice is a lot less coarse, is this something weíll be seeing more of? It seems a lot more accessible.
I talk about this live sometimes. I donít know if Iíve talked about it too much on the Internet, but I find it terribly frustrating that I canít be particularly good at the thing that I like doing. Now, that doesnít mean that you stop doing it or you donít like it, just because I donít play NBA basketball doesnít mean that I donít like basketball. Itís frustrating to not be a good singer, because what people hear when they hear me yelling, thatís me trying to sing. Itís not that like Iím trying to yell or bark or deliver a punk or hardcore voice, thatís actually the terrible sound that comes out of my throat when I attempt to sing. That song was an effort to sing, which maybe people who like the band would be interested to know that pretty much every record weíve ever done, has had multiple tracks of me attempting to sing similar to that, but that shit never gets pressed or mixed or mastered like that, because it really sucks. Iím really bad at it. Iím better at yell-singing, which is unfortunate, but the reality. Weíre probably going to do a little bit more stuff like that, because weíre doing a duets record, but I donít know if thatíll necessarily take the place of the singular thing I seem able to do, which is yell like a moron.
Aside from the band, Iíve read that you write comic books. Is that something you do on a professional level?
I like to involve myself in things at the absolute worst time, thatís just part of the challenge. Music, I donít think we could have been a big band, but 20-years ago, maybe we could have been a bigger band. Comic book stuff, 20-years ago, I could make my rent or make a living on it. Now, itís professional, in the same way the band is, where you seek to run it as professionally as possible and you seek to always have a professional attitude where you do your best and hold yourself to a standard, but as far as making money - very, very difficult to make money in comic books. I continue to try. Unlike music, comic books were something I grew up thinking you could make a living in and I still pathetically hold onto that view. For people at home, to give you an idea, if I sold a comic book and reached sales of 7,000, that would be considered a very big success. Thereís 300,000,000 people in the United States and if Iím only selling 7,000, thatís considered successful. Thatís how pathetic the comic book market is right now. Itís a dead market, itís a sad market, and everybody that loves that medium is sticking around and hoping things go the other way by little progressive moves that everybody is doing. Hopefully, one of them will make a change and revive the medium to be financially solvent, but itís kind of like music, where you do it because you love it and you feel frustration that you canít make a living wage off it.
Does the band have anything else coming up?
Weíve just recorded in Iceland and Deathwish has been kind enough to release that record for us, that should be mixed in about a week, and thatíll be another 7Ē single. Then weíre going to finish all the EP and singles commitments for the year in one big burst, and then weíre going to start writing an LP that I hope I can talk Deathwish into releasing by the end of the year. Thatís the plan. People are trying to talk us into touring, but weíre keeping them short. I really want to be a scummy indie band that only does fests, thatís like my dream. So, working towards that goal of becoming a scummy indie band that does mostly fests and just gets to record all of the time. I donít know if punk people will be able to tolerate that, theyíll probably be like, ďYou havenít played my town in a month-and-a-half, obviously, you broke up!Ē So, weíll see, but a lot of fests, like we talked about earlier, playing in a field 200-yards away from people, a lot of that bullshit.
You came back over here after a year, thatís pretty good going for most bands.
I love a week in the UK. Iíd do a week in the UK in a heartbeat, itís just fun and I find it less stressful than touring the west and east coast, honestly. Let me go back to what we talked about earlier about celebrity, I do desire to get celebrity in one place, thatís Iceland. Thereís only 300,000 people in Iceland, thatís the size of a city in the United States, that means you could reasonably be a celebrity there by just being good at something. You donít need a marketing machine behind you. You can just be the best of what you do in that fucking country and that matters there, whereas it doesnít matter anywhere in the world where if youíre the best in the country thereís typically some marketing involved. But Iceland and UK, that might be our tour circuit from now on. That might be it.
I think Iím pretty much done, is there anything else you want to say?
Just thank you very much for your time. Should I address the people that are going to read this? I donít read it; I donít read your comments. I feel bad, because somebody will say, ďOh, I saw that thing you wrote on sexism, did you see the comments?Ē No, I didnít! I saw two of them and then I stopped reading them, just because I donít give a shit. So, if youíre going to write some weird, negative shit, just write me an email. If youíve got an actual concern or problem, write me an email, because at least Iíll validate it by viewing it. I feel bad for people that comment on shit on YouTube and message boards and shit, because half the people you want to see that shit, arenít seeing that shit. Just write them an email, even if itís an email like, ďHey, Title Fight, I donít like you.Ē If thatís what youíre going to put on a fucking message board, I guarantee, I know the dudes in Title Fight, theyíre probably not going to read it. Same with me, same with fucking Madonna, she definitely wonít read the email, but donít waste your time on a message board. If you want to make a general statement saying, ďThis dude sucks balls.Ē or ďThis band sucks balls.Ē Thatís fine, but I read message boards all the time, I love them, but I never really read them about myself. I read them about other peopleís bands and I always see one or two in every thread that seems directed at the band, as if the band is going to take the time to read the fucking thing. Just take that exact amount of time and send an email to whoever. Iíve wrote emails to people I donít like and just said, ďI donít like you.Ē Just do it. It takes 30-seconds and youíll feel a lot better, because at least you get some interaction. There you go.