Interview with No Use For A Name bassist Matt Riddle


No Use for a Name (sometimes abbreviated NUFAN) is a punk rock band from San Jose, California, United States formed in 1987 by Chris Dodge (guitar), Steve Papoutsis (bass), Rory Koff (drums), and Tony Sly (vocals). The band's sound has evolved considerably through its career, taking on a much lighter brand of melodic punk as the years passed.

The original line-up of four added Ramon Gras as a second vocalist and Doug Judd as a second guitarist. The band was first featured on Maximum RocknRoll's 1987 Turn it Around compilation, with the song "Gang Way." A year later the band's self-titled debut EP was released on Woodpecker Records. Their second EP, Let 'em Out, was released a year later through Slap A Ham Records. Chris Dodge, Doug Judd, and John Meyers left the band after the release of "Let 'em Out". Soon after, Tony Sly entered the band.

NUFAN's debut album, Incognito, was released in 1990 through New Red Archives. Chris Dodge rejoined on second guitar, and they released their second album Don't Miss the Train in 1992 before signing up with Fat Mike's label Fat Wreck Chords in 1993. During this year Chris Dodge left the line-up, and was replaced with guitarist Robin Pfefer, who took over on lead guitar so Sly could concentrate on singing and stick to rhythm. No Use for a Name also released its first record on Fat this year, The Daily Grind, which turned out to be a highly successful album.

Ed Gregor replaced Robin Pfefer on lead guitar soon after the release of The Daily Grind. In 1995, after the release of Leche Con Carne, their fourth full-length, Chris Shiflett and Matt Riddle joined the band to play guitar and bass, replacing Ed Gregor and Steve Papoutsis respectively. With the punk music breakthrough in 1994, No Use for a Name received a larger audience after releasing this album, compliments of their video for the song "Soulmate" which was played on the MTV show 120 Minutes. This was the first video on Fat Wreck Chords to ever be aired on MTV. In 1997, after the success of Making Friends, the band went on a worldwide tour through the U.S., Europe, Australia, Canada, and Japan.

After releasing More Betterness!, Chris Shiflett left the band in 1999 to join the successful Foo Fighters, being replaced by Dave Nassie. Two years later, the band contributed to Fat Wreck Chords with the release of their live album, Live in a Dive: No Use for a Name and during the following year in 2002 No Use for a Name released its seventh studio album Hard Rock Bottom.The band released their 8th full-length studio album titled Keep Them Confused June 14, 2005. It takes a more political position than earlier releases. Roya sat down with bassist Matt Riddle to hear stories about the band and their new album.

Tell us about your new album, when did it release?

Matt: The new album, named Hard Rock Bottom, came out June18th, first day of the warp tour.

Where are you guys form originally, and how’d you start up?

Matt: California. I was in this band called Face to Face. We did the first warped tour together. That’s how I met NUFAN. When I got out of that band, NUFAN called me up and asked me to be in the band. The band has been around since 1987 with line-up comprised of singer/guitarist Tony Sly, guitarist Chris Dodge, bassist Steve Papoutsis and drummer Rory Koff. They weren’t really serious, it was kinda a joke, hence the name NUFAN. Shiflett is with the Foo Fighters now. The Line-up has changed a lot, and Sly and Koff are the only original members left. It’s pretty serious now.

How long have you been doing this?

Matt: About 10­­­­-12 years now. Before this I was in mainly heavy metal bands. I was a little metalhead.

How have you noticed that the punk rock scene has changed since the first Warp Tour?

Matt: Well when your on the Warp Tour, its so different, you have so many radio bands out here. Its really weird with bands like us, that aren’t really radio friendly. Some of the kids are really into us, and some don’t really know the songs but are into it cuz it’s energetic. So it’s fun, we love it.

What have you noticed from the first tour in 1995 to this one?

Matt: The Catering is a lot better. Heh. More stages…There used to be one or two stages, now there’s six or seven stages. There’s 40-50 bands a day. It’s huge. I really like the Warp Tour. The only thing is, If you’re not on it, it’s really hard for a band to tour in the summer, cuz you’re up against something really massive, and it’s really hard to do.

Do you think you get new fans

Matt: Yea, we definitely get lota new fans this way. Some kids just come for the radio bands, and they see us and they like it, and they come to our merch booth and we get to meet them, and it’s really great for us to be able to come in contact with our fans.

So what bands have influenced you; more Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, or Sex Pistols, The Clash?

Matt: Iron maiden is my favorite band of all times! Seriously, I just watch them and I’m blown away. They were the reason I even started playing bass, I saw Steve Parris and would try to play along with the guy listening to it or watching it or whatever. I even try to look like him stylewise, when I’m on stage. But, I don’t like any of that glam metal. I’m more into Hardcore Goth Stuff like Black Sabbath and Norweigen Black Metal like Meyhem. The Punk Rock I like is weird, like old English punk rock: Toy Doll, The Addicts, Rudementary Peni. They are so adamant about what they say. There’s so many cool bands out there that a lot of people are not familiar with.

Have you noticed the difference between the perspective between old and new bands?

Matt: Yea. The bands that are influenced by Green Day--they know like 3 chords! These kids are going to their guitar teachers and they wana learn a Green Day song--like ‘these three chords is all I need to know’. But they’re not asking to learn a Led Zeppelin song, which is far more complicated. And that’s what new bands are doing now. But it’s not an insult, cuz it’s whatever makes you happy. If they like playin it, and kids are appreciating it, then who am I to complain about that. But yea, a band like us is influenced a lot differently, we understand harmonies and melodies and that’s just how we’re influenced. Like I said, one of most commercial bands I listen to is Bad Religion. I love Bad Religion.

Are you glad Bad Religion is back to the original line up?

Matt: Yea it’s pretty close to the original line up. Their drummer is friends with our guitar player. They were in Suicidal Tendencies together. It’s pretty cool.

That’s insane you got the Suicidal Tendencies guitarist on your lineup now!

Matt: Yea.

Do you think that the Warp Tour is going to go back to what it first started as, or become more Punk Rock?

Matt: I don’t even wana guess at the future. I don’t wana even guess what’s gonna happen. But, you know the minute it drops off and it’s not fun anymore I’m so out of here. This is all for fun, that’s why I’m doing it. That’s what makes it so high energy. I don’t wana ever just be goin through the motions. I don’t wana live my life like that.


Hard Rock Bottom, 2002
The NRA Years, 2000
More Bitterness, 1999
Making Friends, 1997

Official Site:­


The Ramainz interview with Marky Ramone


Marky Ramone, longtime Ramones drummer was born in New York City on July 15, 1956. Marky Ramone joined the Ramones in 1978, recording Road to Ruin. Born Mark Bell, he adopted the name Marky Ramone and played with the band through 1983. He took a break for four years, returning in 1987 and playing strong until they broke-up in 1996.

This year, Marky Ramone, along with DeeDee Ramone and his wife Barbara Zampini recorded a live album “The Ramainz.”
Roya: What is your favorite song on the ramainz album?
Marky: I like Chinese Rocks because the Ramones did it, and so did the Heartbreakers with Johnny Thunders—that was the original Heartbreakers, before Tom Petty’s Heartbreakers. I like the way Dee Dee interpreted it. Dee Dee wrote it, and Joey sang it on one of the Ramones albums. The way Dee Dee sang it was the way he wrote it, which comes across on the Ramainz live album.

What was your inspiration to make the Ramainz album?

Marky: We were talking about doing a fun show in New York, so we picked a club with a good soundboard; we did a tight sound check, and wired everything up so that the mix would have high-quality, and we could take it into a studio and mix it the next day. So the inspiration was to have a entertaining night with good fun. We just wanted to get a bunch of friends packed in really tight, close to the stage—which we always like to do. This live album is just an aftereffect of the fun we had that night. Dee Dee was fantastic—he was really very terrific, playing guitar and singing—everyone was just having a great time.
Was there any press there?

Marky: We didn’t invite any press down, but maybe there was. We just wanted to have a really fun night. It was initially for us and some friends. We played at The Continental—they advertised it, and it was oversold, so we said “great so let’s just do this and record it.” We were really happy to do it at that club, since it’s a small venue—it holds 350-400 people.
How did Dee Dee meet Barbara Zampini?
Marky: Dee Dee married Barbara 2 years after he met her in Argentina, where she was originally from. She was 21 years old when she recorded that album with us. Dee Dee lived in Argentina for a year.

Was making this album a natural progression for you?

Marky: It was natural, yea--two Ramones doing Ramones songs. So hopefully after so many years of doing them, it better come natural or you better just give it up, you know.

What do you feel is evidence that the younger punk fans are able to fully respect and appreciate what pioneers like you have done?

Marky: It’s evident by their influences in music, which I’m extremely grateful for. You hear it everywhere in bands like: Greenday, Rancid, Offspring, The Donnas, and The Queers, to name a few. It’s wonderful. I mean they could have gone the other way and been influenced by WASP, White snake, you know, bands like that. Everyone has their own taste in music genres, but The Ramones have left a pretty big legacy in the punk scene.

Were there plans for a studio album? If so were there any songs completed that might get released eventually?
Marky: With the Ramainz, no, unfortunately. At that point, I was asked to join the Misfits as a guest, and I couldn’t really do anything with Dee Dee at that point, he was doing his own thing. When we got into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I saw Dee Dee there, and he was in great shape. I was going to bring up to him the possibility of recording a studio album, but unfortunately he passed away a little bit after that. But I’m totally grateful that that album was made. It was his live legacy.
What’s your favorite Ramones album you recorded and why?

Marky: Road to Ruin. The first song I recorded was: “I wana be sedated.” And I really liked the production on “Mondo Bizzaro,” which was one of the last albums we recorded. And “We’re Outa Here” with Rock and Roll High School. It’s tough to pick just one…

Tell me about your upcoming tour with the Misfits.

Marky: That’s going to go through the United States. We’re playing about 30 shows, starting in Ohio, all the way through Chicago, and on Halloween night in New York at The World on Broadway. Then we travel back to New Jersey, to Boston—all around the US—Washington. I just got back from a 30-day tour with my other band that I play with out there, so I’ll be coming back on the Misfits tour. It’s going to be a lot of fun. I really enjoy being around them. They’re dedicated and they really love their fans/friends, and it’s going to be a great tour. We’ll be playing on November 2nd in Reading at The Silo. We’re doing an in-store signing at J&R Records in NYC on October 30th at around 2:30pm. We look forward to seeing our friends/fans there.
By Roya Butler


Full Blown Chaos Drummer Jeff Facci Interviewed


Hailing from Queens, New York, Full Blown Chaos is a Hardcore/Metal band well known for their songs of inner-strength backed with riffage that hug hairpin turns and a dynamite-triggering rhythm section.

Touring with bands such as Hatebreed, Sick of it All, Terror, Madball, Himsa, Napalm Death and many others, Full Blown Chaos commands insane mosh pits with their intense stage presense and connection with their fans.

I had the chance to sit down with Jeff Facci, drummer of Full Blown Chaos; as he told me about his background, about the band, and their new album Heavy Lies the Crown released June 2007 on Ferret Music.

Tell us how you got your new bassist.

Jeff Facci: Our old bass player was basically a real piece of shit. I’m going to say it on record: If Ed Conroy ever comes in my presence, I’m going to beat the shit out of him, cause I hate him. You can put that in the interview--please, actually. Basically, we were touring with Agnostic Front and Ed had to step out of the tour for back surgery. So we had our crew guy, Mike, fill in. We toured Canada, and then went to Maine and New Hampshire. In New Hampshire I called up our manager and said, “Listen, we can’t have Ed in the band anymore.” Within that week of playing with Mike in the band, instead of Ed, everything was just so smooth and stress-free. That’s how Mike joined the band, and Ed was kicked out.

Tell us about your tour so far.

Jeff Facci: Tour’s been great. I think this is day six, or seven maybe, I don’t even know. But it’s been going really good—the fans have been really cool. I don’t what else to say about a tour. It’s the same thing over and over again, everyday.

How’s the food on tour?

Jeff Facci: Eating habits on the road are very poor. As you can see band dudes are big most of the time. Lately there have been really skinny dudes, but mostly they’re big guys, because on the road you can’t eat anything really healthy. And if you can, you must have more money than the other bands. Because it takes more money to buy shit that’s good for you, than to buy dollar menu shit at McDonald’s, or wherever else. So be prepared to eat like a fucking disgusting animal while on tour.

Tell us the difference between your fans in Philly and your fans in New York.

Jeff Facci: What fans in New York? *laughs* No, I’d say that the fans in Philly just care a little bit more, because we’re not a local band. Like in New York it’s not fans, it’s more like friends. But in Philly we actually have people that come out that don’t know us in everyday life. It’s cool; I like it.

Tell us a little bit about your new album.

Jeff Facci: Well, it’s heavy. *laughs* It’s angry. There’s not much positivity on the record. Lyrically I don’t really know what to say about it, because it’s mostly Ray Mazzola’s stories and what he wants to tell, and I don’t really write lyrics. But I know he’s pissed off at a lot of people and he wrote songs about a lot of those people. Musically it’s probably the most metal album we’ve ever done, but we still have hardcore aspects to it. Some people beg to differ, but I say that the record is pretty well balanced between hardcore and metal. It was produced by Billy from Biohazard. I mean that right there is enough in the hardcore world to have the hardcore touch in your music. It was really a lot of fun to write and make, and I’m really happy with the way it came out.

How does it compare with your past records?

Jeff Facci: Like I said, it’s more metal than our past records. It’s more similar to our older stuff than our last record before this one. That one was really rushed, and a lot of songs weren’t finished the way we wanted them--it had to be put out in time for Ozzfest. I think, personally, our new album is comparable to our older stuff. There will always be people saying, “No, it’s not like you older stuff. Play the old stuff!” But I don’t want to play the old stuff. I like the new stuff.

So tell me about the rest of your tour and what you plan to do after your tour is over.

Jeff Facci: We worked our way from Chicago, to Detroit, to Cleveland, now we’re here in Philly. Then we head down south into Florida, and then we work our way up through Texas and into and through Cali for a few days. They we work our way back through the Midwest and end up with our last day in Boston on December 22-- a few days before Christmas. So it’s going to be a long, cold run, but its fun--It’ll be good. And what I plan to do when I get home is nothing. Sit around and sleep and watch movies. That’s about it, really. Hang out with my family. Maybe write some more music. I don’t know. Maybe get a job. I never know what I’m going to do after I get home from a tour.

So you don’t have any tours scheduled after that.

Jeff Facci: Not after this one, no.

And no plans to record anything else?

Jeff Facci: Not any time soon, no.

Let’s talk about your video.

Jeff Facci: It’s almost done; we did it a while ago. It should be airing on Head bangers Ball soon.

Tell me a little bit about it.

Jeff Facci: It’s for Halos for Heroes. It’s kind of like a mafia movie in a way. We had a bunch of actors come out and we filmed it in New Jersey in some abandoned mental facility--some haunted joint. Basically, the story is that this one guy was with the mafia boss’ daughter, and he fucked her up, beat her and what have you. The two hit men then find him, rough him up, throw him in the trunk, and bury him--it kind of goes with the song which is “don’t fuck anyone over, or you’ll get yours.” It’s a pretty cool video. I’ve seen it, and it’s going to be pretty sick.

Do you believe in karma?

Jeff Facci: I don’t know. The song’s written by Ray, so it’s what he believes. I just play the drums--and I play them good (scratch that out of there *laughs*).

Tell me about Rev Ray.

Jeff Facci: Ray’s the reverend. He took a course online and got a certificate. So if he wanted, he could marry people. It’s kinda pointless in a way. It doesn’t really serve any purpose for the band, or him I imagine. I don’t see the big hooha in Ray’s being a Reverend. It’s kinda funny. He did it because he wanted to help people. *laughs*

Come on, tell us the truth! Was he tryin to get with a girl who'd only get with him if she was married? *laughs*

Jeff Facci: Yeah, we can go with that, too. You can put your imagination to it. Ray being a Reverend is blank to you. What does it mean to you? That’s what I want to ask you people.

Thanks, Jeff, this was a fun interview. Do you have anything to add?

Jeff Facci: Buy our new cd now. It’s good. And you’ll like it. It’s heavy, and it’s moshy, and it’s…. I’m trying to make the interview fun here! *laughs* Yeah, just go buy the record. It’s on Ferret Music. It’s called Heavy Lies the Crown. Just check it out. Don’t down load it. Or do, I don’t really care. Just come out to a show and have a good time.

by Roya Butler


Anti-Flag Interview with Justin Sane and Chris 2


Hailing from Pittsburgh, PA, Anti-Flag is known for their outspoken views on American government and activist movements.
Anti-Flag was formed in 1988 by singer/guitarist Justin Sane and drummer Pat Thetic. During the band's early years, various guitarists and bassists moved in and out of the band, including Justin's sister, Lucy Fester (aka Lucy Geever-Conroy) formerly of Chicago band Toothpaste. The band failed to solidify, and it fell apart after playing just one show. In 1993, Justin and Pat reformed the band, now with Andy Flag on bass.

Anti-Flag have been involved with activism throughout their musical career. This has included starting the activism groups The Underground Action Alliance, Military Free Zone (A group to protest a clause in the No Child Left Behind Act, which gave military recruiters automatic access to student's personal details) and The Bright Lights.

They have been involved in performing at multiple protests, these included two in support of Rage Against The Machine.
The most recent protest they performed at was outside the National Republican Convention in 2009, they were supposed to be the last band to play but they had been touring with Rage Against The Machine and had decided it would be a good idea to get them involved since they had a long history of getting involved in related events. When officials found out they were going to perform, they shut down the stages power and the band performed two songs using megaphones.
They also regularly support political organisations which include: Democracy Now! the latest headlines from which can be found on the band's homepage. PETA,whom are one of the sponsors of their 2010 'The Economy Sucks Let's Party' tour. Amnesty International, whom the band donated money from the sale of The People And The Gun to and who are one of the sponsors of their 2010 the Economy Sucks Lets Party Tour. Greenpeace, whom the band worked in conjunction with in order to persuade world leaders to attend the climate conference in Copenhagen and whom are one of the sponsors of their The Economy Sucks Lets Party Tour.

The Gun Star is the symbol for the band Anti-Flag, designed by Anti-Flag guitarist Chris Head. It was first used on the cover of the album Mobalize. It was later used on merchandise. It is made up of a number of broken M-16 rifles in the form of a star shape. It is not infrequent for fans of Anti-Flag to get a Gun Star tattoo. Also, they used the O & X superposed symbols on Die for the Government LP frequently.

What are your name and instruments you play?
Justin: I’m Justin Sane and I play guitar for anti-flag.
Chris: I’m Chris (number two) and I'm the bass player for Anti-Flag, and I like baby carrots.
How did you guys start out?

Justin: We’re from Pittsburg, PA. Basically the drummer and I started the band ten years ago—we were just a couple kids with nothing better to do. Most of the other kids were just doing drugs and getting fucked up and being idiots, and we wanted to do something different and play music.
So you guys are straight-edge?

Justin: I wouldn’t classify us as straight-edge. I don’t use drugs or alcohol, but it’s a personal choice; I just chose not to do those things.

Chris: I mean you gotta do whatever gets you through the day, as long as you’re not causing harm to anyone else. But we feel a lot of negative energy gets attached to labels, but yea, we do what we need to do to get us through the day...
Justin: …and for us that basically is just staying straight.

How did you conceive the name of your band?

Justin: Well the idea behind Anti-Flag is to bring down the false barriers that are put in place by people in power around the world. We think that Patriotism and Nationalism—they’re imaginary boundaries that are being set up by the people in power that divide the masses. We want to break down those barriers and bring people together. Instead of having different flags around the world, to have people united under one flag.

Chris: Again its one of those things where it’s open for interpretation. The way I see it is everyone should be anti-flag. Everyone has a part of what the band is. We could end it tomorrow if the world chose to view human beings for what they are, and treat human beings the way they should be treated. At that point, there would be no necessity for anti-flag. Until that day comes, we’re going to use our music and our ideas to reach people Anti-flag is not a name, it’s a value.
Justin: It’s the idea of seeing people as human beings—not as a religion, or as nationalities—not as cowards or hero’s, that’s the idea behind anti-flag

I know a lot of your songs are politically based, why is that so?

Justin: Well, to me it’s like any other political publication, except with music instead of print. The reason behind the political lyrics is that there are more social issues around the world that effects everyone’s life—not only everyone’s life, but the world as a whole—psychologically, so I think its important that we are in control of what’s going on around the world, and move things in a positive direction. I don’t think the leaders of this world rather, people in power (I don’t really like to call them leaders because, they don’t lead by example, in fact, I don’t think they lead at all) abuse those powers, and I believe they use the masses of the world to keep themselves in power, and to gain more power. So with these abuses in place, we defiantly want to make a statement against those kinds of obscenities and offer an alternative solution or resolution.

Who has been an influence on you, past or present?
Justin: Someone who I really look up to is Billy Brag. I really love Billy Brag. One of the things he really advocates is humanitarianism; that’s something I’ve learned from him and try to make conscious in my life. I try to treat people how I would like to be treated; when I see something wrong, I take the side of right, make a statement and try to make an impact.
If you could influence your fans, with one statement, what would it be?

Justin: Well if there’s one main message it’s treat people like human beings—act like brother and sister, and discard any adversarial thoughts of hatred due to differences (be it nationality, religious belief, or sexuality).
Chris: I think that right now the Government and the businesses of the United States don’t view people as individuals, but instead, as a group. I believe that thought process is a profound problem; we hope to convey that.
Tell us about the album you're currently working on?
Justin: We’re working with Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine. The new CD will be released soon on Fat Wreck Chords.
Tell us about Mobilize, your new full-length CD.
Justin: Well Mobilize is a new release on our label, AF Records ( Mobilize contains a free sampler with A-F bands. Included on the sampler is my solo project, Justin Sane: Life, Love, and the Pursuit of Justice—it’s along the lines of Billy Brag, lots of love songs. The sampler also contains two songs from #2’s band Whatever it Takes: “Stars and Skulls”.
What has been your best tour thus far?

Chris: I would have to say this tour with the Bouncing Souls and The Mobilize for Peace Tour. That was a really great tour to do because it was right after September 11th and we weren’t sure how the world would look at Anti-Flag. We went out and basically had the best shows we ever had. It was refreshing to see people uniting and thinking about the world as a whole verses just crime for bloodshed. It was heartening to see people asking why September 11th happened versus trying to blow people up or go over and kill someone due to outright hostility...

Justin: …not only asking why September 11th happened, but resolving the problems at hand, as well as deep-rooted problems. The anti-violence movement was really very exciting to witness. We didn’t know what it was going to be like. There were a lot of kids who thought that George Bush was not doing a good job, and that violence was a horrible solution to violence. It was really magnificent to go out there and find others like us, and to feel the unity of people that were feeling this way.
Chris: Every time you turn on the TV, there were messages of retaliation—of let’s go bomb them…
Justin: …Which is pretty much how it is now—it’s still that way. Kids went to the shows and saw that there were a thousand kids who felt the same way they did; they recognized that they were not the only ones who saw the hypocrisy in bombing Afghanistan. So at that point, yea, it was very exciting.
Why do you take that stance?

Justin: I think we are all connected and that we come from the earth. We are all a part of the earth. It is important to have respect in the way we treat the earth, and in the way we treat each other. I think it will all come around indefinitely.

Interview by Roya Butler


Animosity interview with frontman Leo Miller


Animosity is a deathcore band from San Francisco, California.
Their debut album, Shut it Down was released on Tribunal Records in 2003. In 2005, they released their second album, Empires on Black Market Activities and toured the United States with Origin and Malevolent Creation.
Animal was released October 2007, and produced by Kurt Ballou of Converge.
I had the chance to sit down with singer, Leo Miller, before their show at The First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia.
I heard you guys started out in the industry at a young age.

Leo Miller: Yeah, we started out at around fourteen--about seven years ago. I met two guys right before we started high school; they were the only guys around my age that were into metal, so we started jamming together. Since then, we’ve added a few more people and played a lot in high school and locally. When I turned 16 and got my drivers license, we started hitting other states. Right when I graduated high school we did our first full US tour. We’ve been on the road ever since.
How did you get discovered/signed?

Leo Miller: I just sent it out to all the record labels, and they were interested in us, and put it out for us. Our first record, ‘Shut it Down’, is on Tribunal records out of North Carolina. It was a pretty cool deal; no strings attached--they just put the record out for us, and that was it. So it gave us a good head start, and from there we were able to hook up with Black Market Activities, which is our current record label. They put out our last two records, including ‘Animal’, which we put out three weeks ago.
It has been rumored that there is some Deicide influence on your new album,‘Animal’.
Leo Miller: All sorts of bands influenced us; I don’t think at this point we have any main influences--It’s just an eclectic mix. Death Metal as a whole influences us. We listen to a lot of different Death Metal bands, so it’s not just one band like Deicide that’s changing our sound, but a lot of our influences come from other styles of music. Just individually each player has a different history with a different kind of music. I’m really into Latin Brazilian music and seventies music: Jimmy Hendrix, Frank Zappa. Our influences are really broad, and that’s what makes our sound somewhat unique.
How do you feel that your sound has changed from your first album to ‘Animal?’
Leo Miller: We’ve matured a lot; we’ve moved away from genetic sounding trends and song structures. Most of the songs on our first record were written when we were fifteen years old. And so naturally six years later the songs that we write are just more mature. Everyone’s grown as a musician and as a listener. We’ve never consciously made any changes, like contrived a new sound or anything. But as a whole we’ve just become much more extreme, technical, and proficient in our playing.
Any plans after this tour?

Leo Miller: Right after this tour we’re going to go home for two weeks, and then spend a week in Mexico--we’ve got a couple shows down there. After that, we really don’t have anything planned. We’ll be looking for some new tours. I’m sure we’ll still be out on the road. Hopefully we’ll have a little more of a break this time, though. We’ve literally been on tour for years. So looking forward to a little down time, but we’ll see what happens. *laughs*

How much time do you have in between tours and recordings?

Leo Miller: The most time we’ve ever had off, was like three months--and we used that time to write our new record, and practiced nearly every day during that time. The normal break is about a month. Between three to six weeks is decent break for us.

So it took you three months to write and record ‘Animal?’
Leo Miller: I mean, some of the songs took two years to write, but we had a couple songs. When we buckled down and stopped touring to write a record, we had three and half months off to do it, and we got it done. It could have taken forever if we hadn’t had a deadline, but we were in a little practice room everyday trying to make music.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Leo Miller: Check out the new record if you can get it. It’s online. It’s in stores, and it’s pretty fierce.
Interview by Roya Butler


Horse the band Interview with keyboardist Erik Engstrom


An experimental metalcore band, HORSE the band is well known for their achievement of an 8-bit video game-influenced sound, resulting in them often being referred to as "Nintendocore".

Their keyboardist, Erik Engstrom, uses the Korg MS-2000 and more recently, the Roland Juno-D synthesizer and LSDJ Gameboy cartridge to create their trademark sound.

Horse the band’s songs include Cut Man from Mega Man, although the song is spelled "Cutsman"; Birdo, one of the bosses from the NES game Super Mario Bros. 2, in the song "Birdo"; and the rabbit-like nemesis from The Legend of Zelda in the song "Pol's Voice". The song "A Million Exploding Suns" refers to the Marvel Comics character Sentry, a schizophrenic hero with this abundance of power.

2007's A Natural Death featured significant lyrical evolution into the concepts of nature and mortality while moving slightly away from the Nintendo metaphors. The song "Murder" is inspired by the Western novel Lonesome Dove, in which a Native American named Blue Duck stalks and kills white settlers on the plains.

HORSE the Band is known for their tremendously energetic live performances; their Halloween show at the First Unitarian Church in Philadelphia was filled with props and costumes.

I met up with Horse The Band in their van before their show, to listen to what they had to say about their tour and the new album.

So tell me about how you started the band and how you got together, and such.

Erik Engstrom: We were in high school; we had no friends. It was me and Dave, our guitarist, and *laughs* I don’t know, we just started playing music. We didn’t go to any shows, we didn’t know anything about the scene--we didn’t even know it existed. We just wanted to have a band, and we just started writing the most horrible music you could ever think of, and now eight years later, here we are *laughs.* That’s about it. I mean we got a lot of new members along the way who knew how to play their instruments, and we learned how to play our instruments. So, that was good.

So you started with a keyboardist and a singer?

Erik Engstrom: No, we started with a keyboardist, a guitarist, two singers, a French horn, a bass player, another keyboardist, and a drummer.

And now it’s just come down to…

Erik Engstrom: Keyboard, guitar, bass, singer, drums.

And does it sound a lot tighter. What’s the difference in the music?

Erik Engstrom: Yeah, you can’t even compare the two. The sound is tighter…the songs are better, I don’t know *laughs.* If you took where we are now and where we started, you could have eight different bands in between that sound completely different.

What kind of genre were you before and how has it changed to now?

Erik Engstrom: There was no genre before *laughs.* Cause we didn’t know any bands, so we didn’t even know what a band sounded like. We sounded like fifth graders trying to write music. When our singer, Nathan, joined the band and we showed him our music, he said it was like kindergarteners trying to play music in class…*laughs*…Kindermetal.

What has inspired you most recently for your new album, A Natural Death?

Erik Engstrom: Together as a group I would say nature, time, animals, and… emptiness.

How does it tie into everything you just said?

Erik Engstrom: Well, natural ties into nature, and so do animals. The album title, a Natural Death, it shows us being murdered on the cover by Indians, which is not a natural death. It’s not dying in your sleep, but we say it is, because that’s deep. Everything here is a part of nature, like these cars and these buildings were just made by humans/animals. So no matter how you die, it is natural--It is part of nature, and life is empty.

So your philosophy is Taoist?

Erik Engstrom: Nathan, our singer has some Tao ties. The band has some Taoist influence, but also goes its own way away from that. But our philosophy on this album is: your life may not matter at all when you think about it on a grand scale. But, that’s not something that you should be depressed about, because, if you are, that’s just ego and sentimentality about nothing. So just enjoy your life, do what you want, and if it doesn’t matter, fuck it.

So it’s existentialist, in a sense.

Erik Engstrom: Yeah, it’s probably closer to existentialism, but with a really-really happy spin on things. Cause there’s no reason for that to be depressing at all. I’m way into the existential writers, but I think that we’re nowhere near as sad as most of those dudes.

Kierkegaard, Kafka, Sartre, Camus…

Erik Engstrom: …yeah, Camus…the new guy, Wellabeck, all that stuff--it’s cool. But I think that we don’t have as sad of a view on life. If you boil down what we’re saying then, yeah, maybe we’re saying the same things. But then our take on it is, ‘who cares! Don’t get down about this stuff! You’re living, make the best of it, and follow your heart.’ Maybe you can’t make a difference, but there’s no point in not trying to, if that’s what you want to do.


Erik Engstrom: Yeah, cause everyone who looks at our album thinks we’re depressed and have this somber view of things, but I don’t think we do. But we’re also not a joke band *laughs.*

So has it always been that way from the beginning, or is it a metamorphosis as you’ve matured as a band?

Erik Engstrom: The album is still more about the music than the philosophy. These thoughts all came to us at once as a group just from being on tour. We talked about them, and joked through them, and came to some conclusions. Being on tour makes you see the world from a new perspective. You get to take a step back from your local involvement, and all your friends and family, and having a base. You step away and see many people with their bases from far off, and you realize that no one is anything to anyone else except the ten basic people around them. And no one’s life is as minutely important as they believe--even the super important ones. A lifetime, let’s say, is between 50 to 100 years, and then it’s done. Maybe people remember them once every six months, or in history books, or something, but even that will be annihilated *laughs.*


As a band, we’ve been friends forever, and we just talk about whatever. We’re not just business people trying to do a band together. For as long as I remember, the core of the band would be getting together and talking about whatever. So I wouldn’t say we are philosophers, but everyone’s into their own thing, and reads a lot, and brings in their own perspective. We have a humorous view point on some stuff, but that’s just a result of…

Nathan Winneke: …being happy.

Erik Engstrom: Yeah, humor is very important--to not take yourself too seriously-- cause if you do, you just have your head up your ass, and you don’t know where you stand in reality.

So, I just want to tie this all together. When you started out you said that you were always very light-hearted and humorous and you’ve taken that throughout your music and into this album now, but with more philosophical sense now than you’ve had before.

Erik Engstrom: Yeah, there’s always been the humorous element, but we’ve always been serious about the music too, with the exception of one or two songs on each album which we thought were funny, but still good. We didn’t try to write any horrible music as a joke.

Just at first…

Erik Engstrom: Well, at first all we could write was horrible music, but we were still trying—in our defense, we didn’t know that it was horrible at the time *laughs*…or maybe our music still is, who knows. But we’ve always been trying, and we just got better along the way…hopefully.

Do you have anything else to add?

Erik Engstrom: I don’t know…

*Chris Profitt, the drummer, burps*

Interview by Roya Butler


Interview with Casualties frontman Jorge


Hailing from NYC, the Casualties is a punk band formed in 1990.

The Casualties members had the primary aim to revive the "golden era" of street punk, embodied by bands such as The Exploited, Charged, GBH, and Discharge, who's popularity was believed to have wained by 1985.

During the early years, the Casualties lineup was stable. The initial lineup consisted of Colin and Jorge on vocals, Yureesh on drums, Hank on guitar, and Mark on bass. Colin stepped out for several months to finish his education while Rachel, Rivits' singer, took his place.

At this point, Colin, Jorge, Yureesh, and Mark put together a demo. Fred replaced Hank, but then Fred left to go to school, and Scott from C Squat filled in. Another guitarist, Steve, from Distraught, also filled in during this period.

The EP 40 Oz. Casualty was recorded. By 1992, the band was touring and building up a fan base in NYC. In 1993, bassist Mark and guitarist Fred were replaced by Mike and Jake, respectively and Yureesh was replaced by Shawn on drums in 1994. In 1995, the band's second release, the "A Fuckin Way Of Life" E.P. was released on Eyeball Records. In 1996, Shawn left the band, and Meggers of the Rivits came to fill in and became the regular drummer.

The line-up of Jorge, Jake, Mike and Meggers continued until 1997. Johnny (Of The Krays) served as bassist until 1999 (a position more permanently filled by Rick later that year).

The Casualties have continued to produce high-energy recordings and they have played in and headlined many US and international tours (e.g., Europe, Japan, and Mexico). Under Attack was released on SideOneDummy Records in 2006, and they toured virtually non-stop for 3 years year in support of the album. Their newest album, We are all we have, was released on the SideOneDummy label on August 25, 2009

How did you start out in music?

Jorge: Since I was a baby. I used to sleep with the radio at my pillow. I’ve been listening to music as long as I know. I’ve been listening to music since 70s—but I’m an 80s boy, cuz I grew up with new wave, metal, and that’s when I got into punk. I became a punk rocker in ‘84, and the band didn’t start until 1990.

How did you get together with them?

Jorge: I started the band; a few of us listened to English Punk. At that time, in the early 90s, people were into Grunge, Hardcore, and straight edge. But me and my friends, there was about 5-10 of us, we just started the band for fun, after school drinking, it was nothing serious.

How long did that band last?

Jorge: For 5 years it was just the same thing—just something to do. Little soon became big. It was never really like a real band.

When did it start being for real?

Jorge: People came and liked the band. It was like 6-7 people. Through the years, people came and left the band. Th
en we became serious. We’d play shows and sell them out.. So I guess about 3 years ago it became a real band.

Do you have regular jobs?

Jorge: We had regular jobs. We’d tour for a few weeks then go back to work. I used to work at Trash and Vaudeville in NYC. One day I got fired and called Jake the guitar player. That’s when we decided to make it for real. It hasn’t stopped since.

Has it paid off?

Jorge: Yes, it’s just recently paying back.

I heard you put everything you make right back into the band. Is that true?

Jorge: Yes, we save our money and put it back into the band. We don’t get any help from the labels. We make everything ourselves. I bought videos and made my own video label. Jake has his own printing shop, so we print every shirt on our own. We try to just keep everything going so that we can do what we love, music. Everything we make, we’ve done
it on our own.
We spend our own money for transportation, tours, merchandise, everything.

What’s it like on stage?

Jorge: When we play, we give 100%. We’re not like every other band. We’ll come off the stage soaked in sweat and screaming! We like contact with the kids. We play for 10 kids, then when we come back its 20, and then next time it’ll be 40. We give everything we got. They know we mean it. They mean it too. We’ve made it on our own, because we love it.

What bands have influenced The Casualties?

Jorge: Throughout the years we loved the Clash, the Ramones. Recently, I’ve been really impressed with Flogging Molly. They give 100% too. I admire that. It takes a lot to do that. I also like and have a lot of respect for Death by Stereo. They’re really a hard band, and they are very sincere.

Any plans for new albums?

Jorge: We plan to record by the end of this year, and continue touring on the leg of that album. Hopefully a lot of these kids will see us play.

What’s your biggest hope for the future of Punk Rock?

Jorge: Not too many kids know where to hear Punk, because music today is all commercialized. Once kids get into us, they want to find more music like that. We’re always gonna support the underground, but our goal is to become more commercialized so we can get our music out there. We’re on a mission right now.

What are your future plans for the band?

Jorge: We wana get bigger A lot of people will hate us for it, maybe. But a lot of people will respect us for it. But when a businessman puts together a band and spoon feeds kids, I think it’s disgraceful. Our music comes from the heart, like we speak it. That’s what needs to get out there.

What differentiates you from other bands, in an organizational sense?

Jorge: We have a few band members that take a break sometimes and don’t play. But in The Casualties, everyone gets the same respect. The bass player is on and off, but still gets the same respect as the rest of us. We value that as our bloodline. The Casualties are in force.

Current line up:

Jorge Herrera- vocals (1990–present)
Rick Lopez - bass (1999–present)
Jake Kolatis - guitar (1993–present)
Mark "Meggers" Eggers - drums (1995–present)


Studio albums
1997: For the Punx
1998: Underground Army
2000: Stay Out of Order
2001: Die Hards
2004: On the Front Line
2005: En La Línea Del Frente
2006: Under Attack
2009: We Are All We Have
1992: 40 Oz. Casualty
1994: A Fuckin' Way Of Life
2000: Who's In Control?

By Roya Butler


Gallows guitarist Laurent Barnard Interview


Formed in 2005, Gallows are an English hardcore punk band from Hertfordshire, England. Guitarist Laurent Barnard united with bassist Stuart Gili-Ross, and with the rest of their band mates released their debut album, Orchestra of Wolves.

The album caught the attention of Bad Religion’s Brett Gurewitz, who released it in the US on independent label Epitaph Records with new tracks including a cover of Black Flag’s “Nervous Breakdown.” In an interview Gurewitz named Orchestra of Wolves as one of his favorite albums of 2007, praising it as being the best hardcore album since Refused's The Shape of Punk to Come. The band won the 2007 Kerrang! Award for best British Newcomer, and were recently signed to Warner Brothers Records.

I got the opportunity during Warped Tour to sit down with guitarist Laurent Barnard and discuss the tour, their album, and why every Gallows show leaves audiences begging for more.

How did you get your nickname ‘Lags’?

Barnard: When I was about 10 years old I was on the school football team (soccer as you Americans like to call it). At the time, I had a really good long distance goal score. Meanwhile, another player from Yugolsovia, who was a friend of mine called “Dragenslocavitch,” was scoring all these amazing goals for long distance as well. So he started calling me “Lagenslocavitch.” That name later got shortened to “Lags,” and somehow for 18 years it’s managed to stick. That’s how I got “Lags,” the nickname. I always get asked this question, so hopefully, now, kids can search and find out the reason why, so that’s good.

Who are your musical influences? Do you guys like Minor Threat, Gorilla Biscuits, Sick of it All?

Barnard: Our influences range from all those bands to Discharge, back home, as well. [Discharge is a British hardcore band, credited as one of the first bands to blend punk with metal, creating hardcore].

What about Amebix? [Amebix is a Brittish crust punk band, credited as one of the first bands to blend anarcho-punk and heavy metal music]

Barnard: I actually listen more to a lot of American Hardcore like Fugazi, The Stooges--bands that are taking Rock and Roll and doing something different with it. I think with Gallows, we're not just a straight up punk or hardcore band; instead we incorporate loads of different musical elements.

Tell us about your recent signing to Warner Records.

Barnard: It’s really a good opportunity for us to really push the band. It was wicked being on Epitaph, cuz they released some of our favorite albums, and signed great bands such as Bouncing Souls and Converge. But moving to a major label makes being in a band a lot easier--a lot easier to handle. Signing to Warner made sense for us, cuz it just meant that our band will have more support behind us. When we were on Epitaph we were very DIY. Although we like DIY, we’ve been playing in bands for over 10 years, and are looking to make Gallows work. So we’re really happy; everyone’s working really hard in helping us reach our dreams.

You have a “Viva Hate” (long live hate) tattoo on your forearm, is that in reference to Morrissey?

Barnard: Yea, it’s from Morrissey. It’s just a cool phrase as well, I reckon.

What does it mean to you?

Barnard: I was really angry when I got it--actually I got it done yesterday. And, I dono, it’s just like all my tattoos, they don’t really mean much. Like I got this one [pointing to a tattoo of a key] when we were recording in the studio, so I got the key to the studio cuz it was a good time. Then [pointing to another tattoo] mom and dad. Then, [pointing to a tattoo of a rooster] a French cock, which means “family” in French. A lot of my tattoos don’t mean anything though; I just like ‘em. I get ‘em cuz it’s a fun thing to do I think.

Can you tell us about the, now legendary, on-stage tattooing of your singer, Frank Carter, at the Reading Festival?

Barnard: We played a show at Redding Festival--which is a massive deal for us, and it was the first time we ever played it. We had just come back to the States, and it was one of our best shows ever. During our set, our singer, Frank was like ‘ah yea this is great,’ and asked Dan Smith (a friend of ours, who had some of his tattoo equipment with him) to get his tattoo stuff. Dan got it, and brought it on stage, and we kinda forced Chad, from Newfound Glory, to tattoo a lock with seven dots on Frank. The seven dots was for 2007, and the lock was for ‘the lock up stage’ which was the stage we were playing. It was a pretty spontaneous event. That’s what we’re saying: it’s good to have random things happen in music. If you come to a Gallows show, you know it’s not going to be exactly the same as the last show.

Frank has been quoted as saying: “If the crowds don’t fear their own safety then we're doing something wrong.” Can you elaborate on that?

Barnard: Yea, Frank said that. I feel like music's become really safe. Going to shows today isn't quite like it used to be. Back when hardcore/punk rock first started, there was an element of danger at shows--like you dono what's going to happen, and it was like exciting. But now when you go see a band, it's the same show every day--a rehearsed set. It's just a bit boring. We're trying to inject some excitement back into music.

How do you like Warped Tour this year as compared to your debut a couple years ago?

Barnard: We did Warped two years ago, and that was really hard. Coming back two years later is a lot better--more people know us, so the shows are better. It’s going really well; we made heaps of new friends and got to hang out with loads of old friends as well. We know loads of bands, as well, now which is really cool--when they come out to the UK we get to hang out and see ‘em again. So yea, it’s like the whole friendship/family vibe of Warped tour. The one thing I’d say about Warped tour is there’s a lot of non-punk rock bands playing, which is not something you associate with a Punk Rock tour, but I guess it’s like trying to attract different crowds. Being a hardcore/punk band, I think we're pretty different than a lota other bands on tour with us at the moment.

Tell us about your new album, “Great Brittan,” which came out in May.

Barnard: It’s kinda like a concept record about everything that’s wrong with England. We’re not trying to say that England is a terrible place to live; it just has a lot of problems. The album focuses on all those issues. It’s wicked; we spent so much time and money making sure the record is what it is today. This new album may not be something our fans expect, in listening to our past albums; there’s heaps of piano and strings—we just tried to make a really big dramatic album.

Tell us some of the problems you focus on in the album.
Barnard: Quite a few, really: Youth Crimes, Politicians, Religion…I wish I had a record here so I could look at the album and tell you which song is about which. In whole, it’s basically a social and political view of living in England.

Your single, “In the Belly of a Shark” recently came out on Guitar Hero 3: Legends of Rock. Can you tell us about that?
Barnard: We’re all massive video game fans. We’ve got an Xbox there [pointing to the Xbox in their bus], and we got it especially so we could have one for the tour. We got asked if we wanted a song on Guitar Hero. If anything, it helps…kids are gona play Guitar Hero, kids who have probably never heard of Gallows. Hopefully they’ll check out Gallows, and then check out the bands that we like—listen to something different.

Anything you want to add?

Barnard: Check out our myspace, check out our record, and come to a show.


Interview with BANE frontman Aaron Bedard


photocred: © Natalia Balcerska

I got the sincere pleasure to sit down with Aaron Bedard upstairs at The Knitting Factory in New York City to get personal about their most recent album, “The Note,” and experiences on the road.

Tell us about your newest release.

Bedard: Well the album actually came out a couple of years ago. It’s called “The Note.” We worked with the same producer that we’ve worked with through all of our recordings and we’re just really-really happy with it. It came out on Equal Vision Records. We toured on it pretty extensively in 2005 and 2006, and now it’s time to start thinking about doing a new one.

Tell us about the US tour you’re headlining right now.

Bedard: Yeah it’s just so small that it’s hard to call it a tour. But we’re doing five shows around New England and a couple here in New York starting tonight at the knitting factory. We’ll go to Albany. We’ll play our hometown of Worcester, MA on Saturday and on Sunday we’ll play some new place called Avril. And all of our shows are with bands that we’re really good friends with, so we’re just excited to be around all of our buddies this weekend. Next weekend, we’ll fly to California and do eight shows up the west coast where we haven’t been in over a year. So we’re really excited to get back out there, because obviously the scenes are really hoppin’ up there in Cali and we have a lot of fans. The shows are always good. Then after that we go to Japan.

Tell us about the festivals you’re playing in Japan.

We were invited to play a couple of festivals ? one in Osaka and one in Tokyo. So they are kind of paying for us to fly from California to Japan and back. We’re only going to do two shows, so we’re not going to be there for very long. Usually when we go to Japan we do two weeks of shows, but it’s just going to be real short ? in and out, bing-bam.
Why haven’t you done a lot of touring this year?Our Drummer just had a baby this year, so it’s been harder for him to get away. That’s pretty much why we haven’t been doing a lot of touring; this is the first time that he’s been out on the road with us since the kid came, so this is really exciting for him. But he was like, “It’s gotta be two weeks. We gotta do the whole thing in two weeks.” So, two weeks between Cali and Japan and then he’ll be home. I’m actually going to stay in Japan with a friend for four or five extra days and just chill…buy sneakers and stuff.

I heard they have a lot of cool sneaker shops out there.

Bedard: They do. They have a lot of cool sneaker shops, and a lot of stuff you can’t find here. They have a lot more exclusive stuff that you won’t find here. There are a lot of trendy little boutiques and a lot of weird underground sneaker shops that just have really old shit. They’re really into hipster U.S. style, in Japan. They have really nice jeans. They have really nice sneakers. They’re just on the next level when it comes to fashion.

Do they implement hip-hop in their fashion, as we do in the US?

Yeah, some of it’s real hip-hop, for sure. They’re just real obsessed with anything that’s American and street.
I’m assuming you got your name from Batman comix.Aaron Bedard: Yeah, that’s one of the things that inspired the name, for sure, was the dude that broke Batman’s back. I really like comic books. So yeah, that’s how the name came up. The line up now’s different than the line-up that we had in the beginning. But there are four of us that have been in the whole time, and drummers have come and gone as we’ve gone along. But once he left Converge, things just got real serious for us then, and we’ve done a lot of records since then and have done a lot of touring. We’ve been really lucky to just go all over the place and just play music that we really love. We’re really lucky.

How do you describe the difference between the Hardcore and Metal scene?

Bedard: I guess the main difference that I can see is that Hardcore always seems to be ? I don’t know the metal scene very well so I can’t speak for them ? the difference for me is that Hardcore always seems to be about just more realistic view points. The songs are of a more personal nature and try to confront issues a little more. Metal just seems to expand. You can sing about anything. You can sing about dragons and warriors, or you can sing about fast cars and fucking chicks. It’s just way more grandiose. And also to play Metal you have to somewhat talented, and to play Hardcore you don’t have to be really that talented of a musician. You just have to learn three chords on a guitar and beat the fuck out of your drums and be a punk band. It’s kind of one the things I’ve always really loved about Hardcore. It’s really created just by kids who are angry and confused and displaced and just want to scream about it. Whereas Metal, is a little more epic with guitar leads and fancy drum solos.

What do you see as the differences between the Hardcore scene in America vs. in Europe and also Japan?

Bedard: Well in Japan the kids are just so sweet, and they just love the image and music so much. There’s no attitude. They’re just giddy that you’re there. They’re so fucking happy that American dudes came to play there this music that they love. So that’s just the most positive, heart-warming vibe imaginable. In Europe it’s just so wide, and there are just so many types of scenes. The one that stands out the most is Germany, and German kids are just really blunt and confrontational. If something on your t-shirt offends them or they’re not happy with the style that you band is going in they will just straight up tell you in this very point blank way. Like, “I think that your stuff sucks.” Or, “What is wrong with your government?” And they’re just a little more, I guess confrontational would be the word, or they’re just more up front and forward about things.

How does that compare to the attitude of your fans in Japan?

Bedard: A Japanese kid would never in a million years want to say anything to make you feel uncomfortable or say anything to make you feel anything but just happy that you’re there.

What do you think makes up the differences in attitudes?

Bedard: German kids are just maybe a little bit more spoiled; they just have more bands coming through, and if they think that you’re full of shit, they’ll just tell you. It’s something to respect on some level, but is just a little awkward.
What’s it like in the UK?Aaron Bedard: I would say in the U.K. its becoming way more Americanized. There’s a lot of tough-guy bullshit, and a lot of gangs starting out, and this crew mentality that I think is really detrimental to the Hardcore scene. It seems to be taking over more and more in the United Kingdom. You hear about a lot of fights at shows, and a bunch of stupid bullshit like that. They’re a little bit behind the times, it seems.

So I guess America sets the benchmark for the Hardcore scene across the globe?

Bedard: We kind of set the standard here in America for dancing and stage-diving, and all the best bands tend to come from here. But they’re catching up. They’ve got some good bands out there. There’s a band called Rise and Fall from Holland who are really-really fucking good. There’s a band from Japan called the FC5 who are really great, and who are really good friends with us. So there’s definitely some good international stuff going on.

Interview by Roya Butler.