Once again, our very own cub reporter Angie Lalonde brings us another exclusive interview, this time with Jason, the singer of Strung Out. Click READ MORE to find out about the band's plans for a retrospective DVD, plans for a new album, and more.
ANGIE: So itâs been a year since your last time in Canada
JASON: Yeah it seems like I was just hereâ¦
A: You guys have been touring non-stop since?
J: Yeah pretty much
A: There isnât too much of a gap between "An American Paradox" and "Live In A Dive" you guys havenât really stopped in betweenâ¦
J: Well we stopped to record "Live In A Dive", we had to record that then we took sometime off to work on the art work, mix it down and stuff like so we took a little time out but weâre always workingâ¦
A: Lately everyone has crazy border storiesâ¦
J: I think everyone has problems when youâre driving through on a bus filled with stinky tattooed guys trying to make it over the border, itâs always a hassle. One of our guys wasnât able to go in and he had to walk back and try somehow to sneak his way over, we got everybody now so weâre doing alrightâ¦
A: I heard you guys got caught for something at the border beforeâ¦
J: Everytime, everytime thereâs just always something, so you know weâve learned our lesson and now weâre just going to do it straight and by the book and expect to take 10 hours to get through the border. Whatâs funny is itâs sometimes worst trying to get back into the states, thereâs just always some fucking jar-head who had a bad day or a bad night with his wife or something ah, just those fucking jar-heads you know, U.S military personnel can fucking suck my cock.
A: Iâve heard about you guys working on a DVD?
J: Weâve been working on it for a while we have so much footage from twelve years of being in a band that itâs almost overwhelming so Jakeâs at home trying to put all this stuff together and I think by the end of the year it should be done.
A: And you guys are all personally working on launching your new website right now?
J: Yeah thatâs getting done right now, itâs just were not home so itâs hard to communicate over the phone and stuff and trying to email whenever we can, weâre just stuck in the bus everyday going and going so weâre all home in two weeks and it should be up or hopefully pretty soonâ¦
A: Itâs going to be more interactive, whatâs it going to contain?
J: I just think each member of the band will be a little more personally involved with it, cause for a long time I never even had a computer I hated them and it was only a couple people checking up on it, now I think everybodyâs got a computer, everyoneâs kind of into it now and Iâd like communicate with the kids a little more, maybe each one of us have our own section. So just a little more interaction and more information, I know how people are bored sometimes and just look on the website, spend some timeâ¦
A: You guys were trying to work on playing Costa Rica and South Africa?
J: Yeah we were supposed to go to South Africa after this tour but it fell through again and we were supposed to go last September 11th but for obvious reasons we didnât feel like getting on a plane and flying to Africa. But yeah both of those places are kind of sketchy when it comes to working out the deal and stuff so maybe one day it will happen.
A: You did all the artwork for "Live In A Dive" had you ever worked on something like that before?
J: I do a lot of drawing at homeâ¦
A: You do tattoo and other stuff like that right?
J: Yeah I was doing tattoos for awhile then I just kind of got out of it, I was kind of getting disillusioned with it, with the medium I guess. I donât know I just want to get more into art and the comic book was sort of just a starting point to start really getting into art again as opposed to just tattooing and doing album covers.
A: Was it your idea to do the art work or did Fat Wreck approach you with it?
J: No, I guess Iâm a nazi that way I like to keep everything within the band. Itâs not an ego thing or anything like that I just think why have somebody else do it when I can do it, it keeps me on my toes and itâs fun.
A: And what was the turn out and night like when "Live In A Dive" was recorded?
J: Oh it was great man, we recorded four shows in two days at a really tiny club in Anaheim, The Chain Reaction and it was fucking great man just the spirit of the crowd and the kids. Yeah some of the shows cause we recorded four in two days, some of them sounded awful, a couple of the show sounded really bad just because we were so pumped up and enthusiastic and then to record a live album you have to sound good and stand still, really concentrate on your playing and there was just a couple of times where it was just too fanatical, off the handle that we couldnât use a lot of the stuff.
A: Is it true you saw a bum holding a sign saying "An American Paradox" and was inspired for the title?
J: (laughing) Where did you hear that, yeah thatâs funny I think I only told one person that, oh actually I said it in an interview maybe once, I might have. Yeah well itâs just L.A is a strange place and if you look around and youâre observant I think you can find inspiration in anything. There was a bum in Beverly Hills sitting on the side of the sidewalk holding up a sign that said an American paradox, not begging for change or anything and I was like thatâs fucking brilliant. Things like that happen everyday and I guess you just got to be aware of your environment, be aware of the little things that happen everywhere and youâll pick up on some really kodak moments.
A: You have a video out for "Cemetery", I heard you guys had so much fun recording itâ¦
J: Yeah man that video was amazing! We know a lot of friends that work in the movie industry so we had a lot of people who were willing to help out and give their ideas, time and their energy. I just look back on that video and ah, itâs like a beautiful drug or something because everyone was friends and everybody that helped out they did it just cause they wanted to help and when you see the video every person in it and every scene, it was just the spirit of it was just so fun. I want to make more videos just for that reason alone.
A: Were any fans or anyone touchy about it, cause I know Fat arenât huge on videosâ¦
J: No they think itâs a waste of money and I think our fans are willing to see us go as far as we can go and I donât think itâs aboutâ¦ I mean weâre always going to be Strung Out, weâre always going to have our integrity in our music and everything we do is from within us itâs not like some record company is telling us what to do so everything we do comes from our heads, I think people see that and I hope that they can respect that.
A: Do you think fans might ever get over idea that if a punk rock band gets paid itâs not a bad thing?
J: I personally donât give a fuck about the work punk rock, I play music and I think as long as your music is rebellious and itâs got spirit and itâs honest who cares what it is right? And who cares if some kids wants to beâ¦ Some kid with a bunch of buttons and thatâs into a certain scene canât transcend that then fuck him, you know. Weâre all about playing good honest, rebellious music, thatâs what weâre all about.
A: You guys are infamous for pulling pranks on tour and after I heard you toured with young Rufio I always wondered, what did you do to them!
J: Oh dude whatever we could, itâs Rufio. Oh man, I canât say that I personally pulled anything cause Iâm not the biggest prankster or anything. We did too when we first started out; we got a lot of pranks pulled on us fuck air out of the tires and stuffâ¦
A: What about the firecrackers?
J: Yeah we threw firecrackers in their dressing rooms and yeah we put, oh I could tell you some stuff but it would probably gross you out but itâs all in good fun. Youâve got to give the bands some stories to go home and tell their girlfriends you know.
A: And having Strung Out written across your bus causes you guys to get pulled over in every stateâ¦
J: Yeah in Texas, well mostly Texas, we got our bus searched a few times there (laughing) itâs something you donât think about when youâre like seventeen and you have to think about a band name, youâre just trying to piss off youâre parents. Oh still now with grown-ups and stuff theyâll be like oh whatâs the name of your band and Iâll come out with Strung Out. You get the look you know, oh Strung Out, cool are you? If I hear that one more time Iâm going to fucking shoot something.
A: Whatâs it like to hear or see a band cover one of your songs?
J: Iâve actually never seen thatâ¦
A: I haveâ¦
J: I think itâs weird when bands are better than us tells us that theyâre influenced by us, Iâm like wow you guys are way better than us. We were on tour with Thrice and I love Thrice, those guys I think are the future, I mean theyâre really fucking super cool guys, down to earth and I think their really talented kids, really honest and they believe in what theyâre doing. We were on a bus with them in Europe and theyâre telling us how much they love our band and they were influenced by us and like I guess thatâs my place in the world, I canât ask for anything more, to be a part of the perpetuating of that kind of inspiration, itâs cool.
A: So any big plans for Strung Out in Montreal tonight!?
J: Umm I hate to let this one down but I think Iâm just going to go skating after the showâ¦
A: Skating what on ice!? (wow I am really Canadian)
J: (laughing) no I am going to take my skateboard and go around cruising by myself
A: Well thank you and if thereâs anything elseâ¦
J: Um well weâre going to go home and write our new record, I think each one of us has a whole shitload of new songs and I think, I feel like a whole new phase is starting with the band, a whole new sound so just to let kids know and be aware that we never stop working and weâre always there.
A: When can we expect this new records release?
J: Hopefully by next summer I think it will be, Iâm praying hopefully by January we can start recording it to have it out by summer.
A: Good, canât wait to hear it!
J: I canât either.