I also did an interview with the band back in 2001 after the release of their breakout record Full Collapse. Ahh... memories.
Kevin - How did Skate and Surf go?
Geoff - It went very well, actually.
Kevin - You headlined Saturday right?
Geoff - Yeah.
Kevin - How many people you figure were there?
Geoff - Like seven... seven thousand.
Kevin - Really? I went there for the first year when it was New Found Glory headlining, Glassjaw played, but it's just a weird place.
Geoff - Yeah.
Kevin - Just a completely bombed out area.
Geoff - Yeah, totally.
Kevin - You played last year too, right?
Geoff - Yeah, last year was great. This year was just unbelievable; this year was so much better.
Kevin - That's cool, what made it better?
Geoff - There was more of a family feeling. I feel like from last year to this year, punk has gotten so much more corporate and so much more lifeless and dead, and at least on the Saturday and Sunday days that I was there, I wasn't there for Friday. On saturday and sunday it was this very good feeling of family and what not. I don't know it just seemed so much more real this year than it did last year. This year it was really different than everything going on, you know what I mean? It was like, not a festival, it was a big fun event.
Kevin - Yes, because for a lot of people to get to Asbury Park, it's [involves] staying in a hotel for two nights.
Geoff - Yeah
Kevin - And people just made a weekend out of it, I just wish I could have afforded to go.
Geoff - It was totally a memory and an experience for everyone, it wasn't just a show.
Kevin - It's cool that they've been doing it and if they keep doing it that would be something to look forward to.
Geoff - Yeah, that would be really cool.
Kevin - Ok.the new album. Is it definitely going to be called War All the Time?
Geoff - Yeah.
Kevin - What made you decide to call it that?
Geoff - It's actually not about the war that is going on at this time, it's a Charles Bukowski poem. It's about love, this record is really about love. I've never written a song about love before, the whole record is about love lost and faith lost.
Kevin - What made the change?
Geoff - Not being able to stop myself from writing about it. I had a pretty crazy year, I guess and it kind of came out.
Kevin - So does the direction of the lyrics, do they coincide with maybe a little stylistic change with the music?
Geoff - You know what? People that have heard what we have done so far seem to think that it's a little heavier and a little more direct. It doesn't shift gears as much, it's a little more straight ahead.
Kevin - So lyrically its about loss of love?
Geoff - Loss of love, loss of identity, loss of faith, loss of humanity
Geoff - On Island we have people that really believe in us, which is really awesome.
Kevin - Did you not feel that at Victory?
Geoff - Yeah, we had one person and she came... she left Victory with us.
Kevin - So she's with you at Island?
Geoff - She's actually with our management company, The Syndicate.
Kevin - Do you think with being on a label like Island it was easier to make a record?
Kevin - Because of time constraints or...?
Geoff - Well not even the time constraints. Victory just didn't like what we were doing until we started getting successful and they always showed us that they were unhappy with the direction that we were going in. They wanted us, they always kinda of said, and I love the kids which made it even harder, but they always said I wish you were more like Saves the Day, and we were just like, 'we're not Saves the Day, we're Thursday' and they just weren't having that. They were always telling us like 'this pop punk band or that pop punk band is so much better than you and you guys should be more like them.'
Kevin - What did it do to you to listen to your label tell you how to write your music?
Geoff - It made us go the opposite way. I think that's why the first out of our newer songs were heavier.
Kevin - Kinda like "Jet Black New Year"?
Geoff - Yeah we were just like 'fuck you' we're not gonna do that, we're not going to do what you want us to do, we're gonna do what we want to do, so we went in and.that's the thing it wasn't even natural, we weren't naturally getting that much heavier. It was a reaction to them to leave us alone. So at least on Island we sort of getting back to being comfortable and being ourselves and making music that we want to make.
Kevin - So the album is done?
Geoff - Part one of the record is done. Basically we recorded a record that we really liked and when we were done recording we wrote three more songs that we liked even better, so we kinda asked the label 'Can we please record these three more and we'll figure out which ones are going on?' and they were totally cool with it, they gave us more money to record and they were just really cool about it. So now we get to really finish the record the way we want to finish it.
Kevin - So you recorded the other stuff?
Geoff - Yeah.
Kevin - Where did you record?
Geoff - Same place we did Full Collapse in Jersey City at Big Blue Meanie.
Kevin - Do you know that [Victory] repressed Full Collapse on eight different colored vinyls.
Geoff - Yeah.
Kevin - Does that bother you?
Geoff - Kind of; I feel like they are exploiting the kids that like us, trying to trick them and trying to get them to buy the same thing over and over again.
Kevin - Like the repackaged CD?
Geoff - Yeah the repackaged CD with the videos. The videos you can get them on the websites, you know? I think that's really cheap. I mean, to me Full Collapse was the record that we put out two years ago and it should stay that record. That's a piece of time, and a place and it should stay that way and it shouldn't be updated to try and follow a trend or you know, it's stupid.
Kevin - You say they're ripping off the fans, do you feel like they are ripping off you too by taking your work and just kinda recycling it?
Geoff - Yeah, I do kind of. You know, that record was really fresh when it came out, I think. I think it was a really new thing, and I think what we were doing.it wasn't like we reinvented music or something stupid like that, but it was just like kind of new and kind of different and it was us. And since then, I feel like a lot of other bands have started doing what we're doing which is cool, but to re-release it, to me it's like 'no, that was then.' Like now, we're doing something else, we're trying to do something new again.
Kevin - That's the whole thing.I always get in these arguments like 'they should just record an album now like they did' with whatever band you want to talk about. But its like, its art, you're not just going to repeat yourself.
Geoff - That's the same, that's why it's taken us so long. We've written Full Collapse like 2 or 3 times since it came out, and we just don't want to release Full Collapse again. We have new ideas that we want to put out.
Kevin - Of course there's gonna be bands out there that say 'oh, this formula worked' and it becomes paint by numbers and fill in the blanks.
Geoff - That's how it is with Glassjaw, I feel so bad for them. I've seen literally 15 bands that are totally Glassjaw by the numbers. Some of them even seem to be more popular than Glassjaw.
Kevin - It's weird for me with Glassjaw, I've been listening to them since I was probably 14, they were one of the first hardcore bands besides Silent Majority that I got in to. So to see them move up the ladder, it's a whole new thing.
Geoff - But it's even weirder to watch the bands that have taken from them move up even more. It's just weird because they started a whole thing, they changed so much in hardcore and they did so much weird stuff and cool stuff. I mean, obviously they have bands that they were influenced by like Stillsuit, Yuppicide, and Mind Over Matter, like all the (Long) Island bands, Silent Majority, all those bands obviously influenced Glassjaw, but they did something new with it, and the bands that are coming out now after them are just like, taking it and making it easier to understand. They're making it more of a pop thing, making it stupid, making it scream-sing, scream-sing and that's not what Glassjaw is about. It's not scream-sing it's like.
Kevin - There's no formula to it.
Geoff - Right. It's not a formula. It's honest; it's whatever comes in that part of the song. To me, I see some people kinda taking what we are doing and making it a formula, not that there's anything bad.I mean, it's flattering. Like if they love us and they want to be like that.
Kevin - Yeah, with your stuff there's no formula to it, you can't just sit down and say 'oh this is where Geoff is gonna scream'.
Geoff - Yeah Yeah.