InaGreendase recently had the opportunity to sit down with Andy and Jay, singer/guitarist and bassist of Hot Rod Circuit. Amongst important issues discussed: Europe, side projects, knife fights, and boxing between cereal box characters.
Hot Rod Circuit's new album Reality's Coming Through is coming out on August 24th, via Vagrant Records.
State your name and what you do.
ANDY: I'm Andy, I play guitar in Hot Rod Circuit and sing.
Alright…these are pretty much all user-submitted questions, so some of them are kind of retarded…
A: Ha, alright.
How did Mike leaving the band affect the new album, Reality's Coming Through?
A: He was getting married and he wanted to pursue his recording career and just didn't really want to be touring anymore. It was totally cool. He works for the band now on a management level so we're great friends and [we] talk to him everyday. It was for the best, 'cause he was worn out and we're real happy to have Dan with us now.
What's the general direction you were looking to go for on this album?
A: I'm hoping to bring rock to the masses. Hopefully, you know, get a single on the radio and, you know, 'cause there needs to be some good music on the radio these days. I think there's a couple good things going on, but not much.
Do you plan on staying on Vagrant beyond this album or contract or whatever…?
A: Is this our last one or…?
A: Uh, you know what - that's a good question. I think that we still have an option…like Vagrant has an option. Either they can tell us they don't want to make a record or, you know, we can do one or whatever. I think maybe one more. I'm actually not sure about that.
Have you gotten any major label offers at all?
A: We have in the past. I think a lot of people stay away 'cause they know we have a deal already, and…we're happy with Vagrant, where we are. We would like to sell more records at that level before we sign anything.
How do you feel about the bands you helped out that are blowing up now, like Brand New and Taking Back Sunday…? The Long Island bands…?
A: I think it's awesome. There are a lot of bands that have been on tour with us and then, you know, blown up. It's nice to know that, you know, we had bands that we influenced and they influenced us the same, and we've all been great friends, and they never forget us when they become really big, and they always take us out on tour.
What was the last CD you were excited about but threw it across the room in disgust when you actually heard it?
A: …that's a good question. That's a really good question. That hasn't happened in a while, because…really thinking about what I buy…wow…might have to skip that one [laughs]. I haven't done that in a long time, but I can't think of what it was. I'll come back to that one.
How'd you get on the New Found Glory / Good Charlotte Civic Tour?
A: We've done a lot of touring with New Found Glory and we've been really good friends with them for years. They actually did a tour with us where they were opening for [chortles] us for a while. We've been great friends, they've always taken us on tour…I did some vocals on their new record. And the Good Charlotte guys have always been really cool to us too.
Where does the guitarist get those jumpsuits?
A: I don't know. [laughs]
How do you feel about Europe? Do you have label support over there?
A: Yeah, we do. I like Europe a lot. It's a lot of fun. We haven't been there in a long time.
When are you going to get a "new fucking website messageboard?" It's a quote "piece of shit and never loads for anyone."
A: That's true. We're working on it now. All of us are being switched over to Interscope so everything's going to be faster. It's supposed to be taken care of really soon.
I know about Safety in Numbers, but what are all the side projects you guys are in?
A: Jay is in a little bar band thing called Diamond Jay in the Rough…uh-
JAY: Uhm-no, nope, that's not being disclosed right now.
A: Yeah, it is. It's fine. Alright. And then Casey plays in a band called the Don't Tells.
How much pot do you actually smoke?
A: …wow. Heh. That's between us all…on tour…in like a week, or…?
A: In a week? Damn. Probably about…ounce and a half, two ounces a week. [laughs] All kinds of pot…not bullshit weed. [laughs]
How many Fender Mustangs does Casey own?
A: Kay--Kay…that's a question she can answer. [points to girl, gets her attention]
GIRL: What's that?
How many Fender Mustangs does Casey own?
G: I think nine.
A: I think he used to have more.
G: Oh definitely, yeah.
A: He's down to nine these days. We're poor. [laughs] We need to sell some records.
"Ask them about the fight they and the Jealous Sound got into at the Jealous Sound / Engine Down show…"
A: Oh yeah. Jay was in that fight. You'd have to ask him that one. [gets Jay's attention]
The Jealous Sound / Engine Down show in Brooklyn? The fight? Someone pulled a knife…?
J: Oh, the fight. No one pulled a knife. [laughs] Rumors! Actually, it was an altercation that I-
A: Yeah, he just grabbed a guy and threw him outside.
J: There was some sucker punches thrown…but the first story, that was more graphic.
A: Yeah, you can use that. I got stabbed seven times!
J: [Did you see the fight?] Or you just heard about it…?
A: He just heard the story.
J: They were like…I don't know, they were just totally gay. They were drunk. Jealous Sound was pissed 'cause they drank all their beer and then-but it was, you know…so I grab 'em by the shirt and push 'em out the door. And that was the end of it. And there were sucker punches thrown. Casey had a stain on his back pocket though.
How was it touring with Superchunk?
A: Seriously, like, that's the highlight of my life right there. We could've quit playin' after that.
Why were you so obsessed with the blow-up doll on the Reggie tour?
A: …Thought it was funny. [laughs] We were always trying to do stuff…that was only at a couple of shows though. Did that make it here?
I don't know, I couldn't make it to the show.
A: Oh, okay. Yeah, it ended up like thrown in the crowd one night and never came back. That was just for fun.
Do you guys have any sick, twisted fetishes we should know about?
A: Wow. Uh, we always talk about taking a group shower, but it's a joke. Any time we're playing like arenas, they put you in like the locker room and shit…we always joke about it. I guess that's one of our joking fetishes. And we oughta clear something up. We heard recently from somebody that we were an all-gay rock band. It's totally true. [laughs] No…it's not true.
J: All these girls here…they were just hired, to cover up.
From Scott Punknews: Do you remember playing Dodge Lanes at Belvidere, Illinois back in June of '99…
…to like 20 kids…it was the first night of your tour with them. And then you slept in my friend's grandma's driveway afterwards…
A: I totally remember it. I remember everything about that night. We bowled and got really drunk, and then we also…we didn't have a place to stay, and we couldn't get a hotel anywhere in town because there was a big softball tournament. And we ended up going to a girl's house - this is an awesome story. She was like 'You can stay at my house' and we were like 'Alright, fuck it.' We went to her house and we pull up and she's like 'Alright, some of you guys can sleep in the backyard…' [laughs] She had like these cots in the backyard and I guess she and her friends slept out there all the time. So we weren't actually sleeping in her house, we slept in her backyard. It was awesome.
If someone killed one of your members, would you try and get the death penalty or life imprisonment?
A: Uhh, man. That's a good question. We'd probably just hunt him down and kill him ourselves. [laughs]
When you're on tour, do you miss your moms?
A: Jay might. [laughs] I guess so. We miss our families in general.
"Casey's got some wicked chops on the guitar--I'd like to know what he listens to, and how he developed that playing style…"
A: Well, one of our biggest guitar influences as a whole band would be the Archers of Loaf, an old rock band. We're actually doing one of their songs tonight in our set. But I mean, he listens to everything. He listens to the Stones, and Zeppelin, and all the rock stuff. He's a rocker.
Okay - this is the last question, but most important. If Toucan Sam and Tony the Tiger got into a boxing match…who would win? More importantly, who would the ref be?
A: Holy shit. 'If Toucan…' I guess…the Tiger would win, of course. And…the ref…would be…Casey in his jumpsuit. Like a cartoon character Casey. That'd be a good ref, don't you think?