Contributed by angele, Posted by A-F Interviews

Angie Lalonde recently had a cozy fireside chat with Richard and Alex, the rhythm section of A-F Records darlings New Mexican Disaster Squad.

So, you’re just back from Europe with the amazing men of Strike Anywhere…

ALEX: It ruled! Yeah seriously it was good times Strike Anywhere is a really great band so we were really happy to go over there with them, their really good friends of ours so it was just the best time ever

First time out there?

A: Yeah it was all of our first times in Europe, we got to see the sites, we got to go late at night lots of times like three in morning in the Coliseum

RICHARD: In Europe people are extremely nice! Yeah Germany everyone, everyone was really nice to us we didn’t expect everyone to be that nice, but they were!

A: They take really good care of the bands as in feeding everyone every night, making sure we always had a place to stay and stuff, it was really great.

R: Oh yeah we got stuffed every night with cheeses, spreads and crazy bread, it was awesome!

Freshly signed to AF Records in 2003, proud to be a part of and on a label that has such a viable voice in music industry right now?

R: Yeah and I mean it’s almost kind of strange too because we’re not used to the… Like they have a very political background and we have more of a socially conscious background.

A: It’s political stuff but in a more personal kind of way, so it’s a little bit different but it’s definitely good to get our records out and people will have a chance to see us and hear us now so it’s really great, I feel it’s a good step.

You guys recorded at Rec Room Recording in FL did you want to stay close to home while recording?

R: Actually we were supposed to do it where was it, Baltimore?

A: Yeah it was in Baltimore DC with J Robbins but he had another thing come up and was like ‘sorry’ he couldn’t do it anymore. We had a friend who recorded at the Rec Room and we were like ‘hey do you wanna do the record?’ he was like ‘yeah’ and we just went with it. And it came out really good like I really like the way it came out, I love the sound and the guitars and stuff it almost sounds kind of 80’s I can say I am really happy with it.

When you guys first released the record did you want to concentrate on touring fulltime or were you worried about concentrating on self promotion, getting news of the new record out there covering indie press, reviews…?

A: We just wanted to play! (laughs) That’s what we’re all about.

R: And it was a little hard too cause it took a little while for the CD’s to get out there and there still not out as much as we’d like but it’s so hard, we understand.

A: people don’t know that much about us yet.

R: Yeah we’re still fresh.

A: I think we could only go up from here.

And what’s your biggest 80’s influence cause like you said it definitely comes out in your music?

A: Man, it’s a lot of bands like Minor Threat, Dag Nasty, Bad Brains, The Adolescents, Black Flag that sort of stuff we’re all about it…

There’s always certain words repeated or seen through a record, for you guys I definitely saw lots of references to vultures, I’m sure you’re not just simply referring to it as a bird…

A: No, it’s more about… Like if you see the picture of the building on the front of our record it’s actually a court house and there’s really this problem where vultures just constantly surround the court house and it kind of seemed weird and symbolic to us so we went with it, like the theme of the vulture fucking lawyer type guys…

R: It was even a bad problem you would go outside and just stand under this building you’d see them circling the building all day, it looks really awkward, a court house surrounded by vultures?!

A: So yeah it’s symbolic to the kind of fucking assholes who work there.

And public media is also another strong issue you guys cover on the record "Fuck The Oscars" & "Fun Box" really pressing how not enough people are aware or educated on the ways media transmits it’s messages for population control.

A: I think a lot more people should be more aware.

R: Especially in the U.S though, compared to Europe even, they bullshit so much in the U.S compared to Europe. Even in Canada we noticed just billboards and stuff…

A: Canada seems a little more clean-cut here compared to America you know the supposed ‘land of the free’ where there’s a lot more freedoms over in Europe for individual people and you can just do more shit and people are more respectful to each other. But you see that people are definitely more free over there and then you hear fucking ‘oh America the land of the free’ and all that shit and it was really weird to be out there and to get the full grasp of it.

And to ‘Ride The Crest’ something NMDS will always fight against

A: Of course, that song is about conformity just to make it for yourself. That’s our thing just be yourself and make that your thing. Other people can dictate what you’re going to fucking do and what you’re going to dress like and how you’re going to act….

R: It’s almost our anthem for our style of living, don’t follow everyone, don’t dress like everyone, do what you want, do what’s comfortable, dress comfortable. If you wanna wear pants that squeeze your balls out of your ass well that’s fine too it doesn’t matter but be yourself, don’t do it because you feel like you have to.

A: And I mean you notice that lots, in kind of the punk scene itself for a lot of people there’s just kind of a lot of hype, people decide what’s cool and it’s kind of sad, deciding the ‘coolest’ type of music right now or deciding it’s ‘in’ to play eighties ripcore. We just do it because we like it.

Has it ever been hard for you guys to write a song with a certain political subject and incorporate all of the bands opinions to get everyone to agree on, it’s final message?

R: It is kind of hard sometimes because… I mean we’re not so much into politics like others, I guess it’s almost like we’re neighborhood kids who just want to play music and it’s hard for us sometimes to have political views that are really insane and get it off, we kind of let other bands do it cause they just do it better I think…

A: I feel there’s more personal stuff about it and I think less bands touch on it, a different angle in a way.

Would you like to achieve anything new with this record compared to other releases?

A: We definitely did, when we went in to make it, it was more of a ‘okay we’re making a full length and we want it to be a certain way’ where as our first full length was kind on like ‘okay well we have some songs lets go record’ it wasn’t like that was going to be an album that was going to be out, it was just lets do this we got some new shit. But this was ‘were making a record and we wanted it to be a certain way’ and we sort of mapped it out before recording it.

With burning now, would you prefer your fans go out and find one of your records in a store or would you prefer for them to come out to your show, buy the ticket and see you live?

A: I don’t care as long as they give us some fucking props (laughs) seriously though you can burn it if you want yeah whatever but if you come out and watch us than that’s awesome.

R: It means more to us if we see a kid out singing one of our songs than buying our CD.

A: That’s the thing, a couple of places in Europe we would notice some kids signing our songs, like what? I’m in fucking Europe, that’s insane, we’re thousands of miles away from home and it just seemed like the craziest thing ever to us, it was the best ever and yeah I would totally rather people come out to our shows.

R: It’s not like we’re used to selling a bunch of records so, even if we have any amount of records sales then that’s cool, we sold some records!

A: That’s awesome, we sold some records! We’re really laid back about that shit. (laughs)

You’re all kind of new to the full-time touring schedule, have any of you felt your sanity fly out the van window yet?

A: You know even the States is a lot easier than being in Europe to tell you the honest truth cause there was a little bit of culture shock over there that was kind of stressful cause you’re in certain places and you just can’t talk to that many people. A lot of shit was out of our hands over there, you know in the sense we weren’t in charge of things, like we had no control over it. We were trying to go along and really just fucking not die, there were some scary times but it was awesome!

So what’s it like touring with your boss sort of? (laughs)

R: I don’t know it’s kind of weird, I mean I never really think of him as our boss, we think of him more as our peers and the other bands on this bill, it’s just insane to us really cause they’re all just awesome, Against Me, None More Black and Rise Against all incredible bands by themselves and it’s really cool to be on tour with other Floridians; Against Me! It’s just a lot more comfortable.

A: I wouldn’t say it’s uncomfortable to be on tour with them at all, I mean we’re cool to each other! (laughs). It’s just been really laid back, this is actually the first time we meet him too, so yeah that was a little bit weird.

(Chris #2 from Anti-Flag interrupts)

CHRIS #2: So what are you guys doing?

A: An interview…

CHRIS #2: Good, you’d better grill ‘em!

What’s been one of the biggest choices you guys have faced together as a band?

R: Well, oh man!

A: I don’t know, you see that comes back to our more laid back kind of ways where we’re just like ‘alright, okay let’s do it!’

R: We never look at anything like a real big decision.

A: Well I guess signing! Yeah going to AF was kind of our biggest decision. Yeah, just cause we were like ‘okay do we really want to do this?’ yeah that was a big thing.

R: Even if it’s still a really awesome label you still have to sign.

A: Yeah it’s a commitment, it’s a good thing we’re all serious and good enough friends that we all have the same goals in mind when we started this band which is really awesome, we all get along really well.

Do you guys think it’s harder to name a song? Or an entire record, your new release is self-titled too.

A: Oh yeah it’s just always such a big decision.

R: Oh yeah that’s cause we really couldn’t think of anything and this was our first real big step too.

A: Not only that it was our first record we felt that we just needed to start by getting our name out and maybe you’ll hear it twice makes it even better. (laughs)

Have you ever been to Mexico?

A: No! No we haven’t.

What’s been if ever, your closets encounter to a disaster?

R: Um our band forming, no just kidding! (laughs)

A: Our van not starting today, we have a lot of problems with broken vans and stuff, certainly not rich guys so we’re struggling along with a little bit of credit card debt right now, a broken ass 92’ van, seriously. (laughs)

What’s the newest thing you bought?

A: I bought a pedal.

R: I got some strings.

A: Oh yeah we’re splurging on strings! You know.

R: Definitely a band that never strived to have amazing equipment but did well with what we had.

A: Yeah we’re adequate, our shit’s just a little busted up but it works most of the time. (laughs)