Sunday, December 23, 2007
WHEN WE WENT ON TOUR AND WERE STUCK IN CLEVELAND FOR TWO DAYS, I REALIZED THAT THE LAST COOL THING TO COME OUT OF THAT TOWN WAS PETER LAUGHNER, AND HE'S BEEN DEAD FOR YEARS. LUCKILY WE WERE ABLE TO DO AN INTERVIEW FOR THE FINE FINE MAGAZINE CALLED (GET READY) HERPES. IT IS A HUGE INTERVIEW THAT I AM GOING TO RE-TYPE BECAUSE IT CAME OUT REALLY GOOD AND I CAN'T THINK OF A BETTER EXAMPLE OF THE FOUR PERSONALITIES INVOLVED BEING PRESENTED SO GLARINGLY..OR IS IT LOVINGLY?
WE DID IT MONTHS AGO IN OUR RENTED VAN BEHIND A CLUB IN CLEVELAND. HERE IS THE FIRST PART..THE SECOND ONE WILL COME LATER. ENJOY, KIDS!!
These dudes are old enough to have sired some of you. They love to talk just as much as they love to play rib-cracking hardcore, which made this interview a pleasure.
Herpes: Brian, you're in the band and you've drawn classic punk/hardcore covers. Why didn't you design the cover of the album?
Justin and Scott: We wouldn't let him.
Herpes: You wouldn't let him?
Justin: He's got one job and he can barely do that one!
Brian: I'm just the drummer. I thought it would be better..once these guys started showing me some of the ideas that they had, I never really wanted to do it. I never wanted to be part of that part of the band. What came out for the cover is so much better than me doing something because I could or because I played drums for the band. I just didn't want to be part of it.
Scott: You did our new shirt, though.
Brian: I drew a gun.
Herpes: You drew a gun? On whom?
Brian: On the t-shirt.
Scott: He drew it the wrong way and we had to reverse it. (laughter)
Brian: I was on PCP on the time, so...
Kevin: We're still trying to figure out if we should do any cross marketing. If Brian's career is going to help us a little bit or if we should hide it.
Brian: I wanna keep myself..I wanna keep that part out of it. I consciously..I mean the gun is the first thing that I drew that had anything to do with the band.
Justin: I'm sure if Brian made some plea about how he really wanted to do it, we wouldn't stop him, but I really don't think that...
Kevin: If he gets on Good Morning America, he'll draw our next cover.
Justin: It depends on how successful he becomes in the next year.
Brian: That's the solemn vow. So that is the answer to that question, I guess..
Herpes: Who designed the cover, then? It looks like, I don't know...
Scott: A Swans cover mixed with the "GI" Germs l.p.?
Herpes: I can see Swans elements, definitely.
Justin: Here's the whole process: Scott designed the logo and then we had done stickers right off. We were gonna modify that for the album cover because the stickers were the same symbol, but with a red background. Kevin was feeling iffy about the red background.
Brian: Being Jewish. (laughter)
Kevin: Not me, but..
Justin: Scott said the only way he'd change it is if we did it gold or silver. We did the gold, it worked and Brandon took it and ran with it.
Kevin: Yeah, Brandon's the one that really made it happen.
Scott: We would give Brandon the idea and he would formulate it into a picture and we'd say yes or no.
Justin: He didn't want to keep it as simple as we did, but I think once he finally saw it in final, with the raised letters, and extremely simplistic - we wanted something that when you're looking through something in a hurry, it stands out.
Kevin: Like a big stop sign.
Scott: Exactly, exactly.
Brian: It didn't have the giant mohawked skull that we were going to put on the cover initially. (laughter)
Justin: We made a compromise.
Brian: Or some kid screaming into a mic with thirty kids around him.
Herpes: What is so "wonderful and frightening" about your worlds?
Scott: Well, the Fall weren't using that album title anymore..(laughter)
Brian: That's it.
Scott: Our next record is going to be called "Daydream Nation".
Justin: Hey, you got a scoop!
Kevin: There's your scoop.
Herpes: That's got a simple cover, too.
Scott: All of the covers are simple. All of the covers are going to look the same.
Justin: We're gonna change the gold to silver.
Herpes: (laughing) So the second album is going to be worse then, because it's silver? Shit!
Justin: Then it's gonna be a brown paper bag sleeve.
Kevin: That's what bands do, right? They get worse.
Brian: We have to follow the tradition; we have to get worse and worse as time goes on.
Scott: There's no photograph that can picture what the band means except for that symbol.
Scott: It's easy for kids to recognize, scratch into their desks at school, or spray paint onto a wall.
Herpes: Scratch it into their arms.
Brian: If they are cutters, yeah. It's simple..
Justin: That is our target audience: cutters.
Kevin: We want to appeal to not just punks, but cutters, everybody.
Scott: Social retards, freaks, everybody.
Brian: Mentally retarded people.
Justin: Everybody's involved! Ninety year olds, grandparents..
Scott: Not them, they suck.
Kevin: Jewish people.
Brian: Okay, scratch that.
Herpes: The name of the band..is that to piss off grammatically-minded people such as myself?
Kevin: Why does it piss you off?
Herpes: I'm an editor and I deal with grammar all day. I see "Double Negative" and grammar is the first thing I think about.
Justin: We wanted the most positive name you could possibly have.
Brian: In reverse.
Scott: Yeah, two negatives are a positive, so Double Negative is positive. It has a negative connotation, but in reality...
Kevin: It's positive.
Herpes: So it's like that "double plus good" Orwell shit?
Kevin: (laughing) yeah!
Justin: It rolls off the tongue.
Brian: The Exploited was already taken!
Scott: I think, except for Kevin, we were all at pretty negative places in our lives when we started this band, so we were going from bad to good.
Kevin: Oh, I was coming from a negative place. I was trapped in a shitty corporate job going nowhere and this band was very liberating.
Scott: I brought them together.
Kevin: It was like karma.
Scott: I called..I hadn't talked to Kevin in like ten years and I called him up and said, "hey, come check out this show" and he said, "let's play in a band" and it started that night.
Brian: We basically put the band together to play a house party in Raleigh. That was the inspiration.
Kevin: We didn't do that.
Scott: It was at the Thrashitorium, it was this really high energy thing and it was the whole reason I got into music to begin with. We're like c'mon let's do this. We've all been in bands before.
Brian: We've all been with each other in bands within a twenty year period because we have known each other that long.
Kevin: There was more energy in that one Thrashitorium show than in the previous ten years of fucking indie rock shows. (laughter)
Scott: It was a whole new group of kids and they were totally outside the general alternative rock scene in our town. They were doing it and were bringing in bands from all over the world to play in a living room. We were like fuck yeah, this is what it's about - everybody having fun. In Raleigh, there's never any fights. It's young kids with smiling faces.
Kevin: They are happy to be there.
Scott: It really is. It's fun, total fun.
Herpes: That's awesome you guys were like teenagers again. Just like every thirteen year old does when they first see a punk show and says, "I can do this, too." That's fucking cool! Since you guys have been around for awhile, do you think there are any unsung bands form your area in the past that need to be given respect?
Brian: A lot, but you know, every town has that.
Justin: Do you mean existing right now?
Herpes: When you guys were coming up or whatever.
Justin: Every band we were in that didn't make us millionaires.
Brian: Aside from every band that we did that no one noticed, there's no one else.
Kevin: It's not important.
Scott: Corrosion of Conformity from like 1982 to 1985 were a monster machine, hands down. Whatever they're doing now, it's not my trip, but they're cool guys.
Justin: There's a lot of cool stuff in Raleigh, but it's the same problem that most young bands have is that it's very hard to keep things together. I mean, you gotta make a mistake so the next band you are in doesn't make the same mistakes. When there's four nineteen year old kids playing together, most likely that's not going to be the last band they play in.
Scott: I feel like when I was younger playing in hardcore and punk bands, I was thinking, "I've got all of the time in the world." But now, I'm forty-three and I don't have that much time left; I'm fucking going for it as hard as I can.
Herpes: Fuck yeah!
Scott: I didn't think that I was going to be alive when I turned thirty, so I was very surprised! (laughter)
Scott: I had to re-think everything. This band has actually been a very positive experience for all of us. It's been really fun, we've made a lot of friends, we put out a record. Most of the bands we've been in had posthumous records. Or we had demos and we were lucky to play in another town or another state. Thanks to the Internet and all of that crap, things have picked up quick. It's been a rewarding experience. It has its ups and downs, but nothing really bad.
Brian: We generally learned from our past mistakes.
Justin: Exactly. We know what we can and cannot do. We try to do every single thing we can do and don't sweat it when we can't.
Scott: This band isn't just one person. If we all don't agree, we don't do it. We all have full time jobs.
Brian: Except for the drummer.
Justin: I'm constantly being told that I'm "this close" to being replaced. (laughter)
Scott: But really it was Brandon and Lauren from No Way Records. They totally helped us out.
Justn: Hank, the guy roadieing for us..we've got a lot of help from really cool people that really wanted things to happen for us, which was not the usual experience for a long time.
Scott: We're really appreciative and really thankful that these kids are into it. We love doing our shit. We love playing out, regardless of what the reaction is.
Justin: It makes it a lot easier when people go apeshit.
Brian: It kinda seemed like when the record came out, we were all really happy with how it turned out. Speaking for me, I wasn't even expecting it to come out as well as it did.
Justin: Or at all, possibly. We've all been in bands where people have said, "oh your record will be out in six months!" Six months later, you call and it's like, "this number has been disconnected." (laughter)
Brian: We've all had experiences like that. This is the first time that we've been on a record while we're in existence. It's also been pretty educational for me at least, getting back into this world after all of these years and just catching up a bit. It's been awhile.
Kevin: I'm totally humble an I feel like every show we play is special because I never thought I'd ever...I mean I knew I'd sometime come around and be in some music stuff, but I never thought I'd be in a band that was touring and stuff.
Brian: If you had told all of us two years ago that we'd be doing this band, much less doing an interview with someone that wanted to talk to us, we would have laughed at you..but here we are.
Herpes: I have a question about the lyrics to "Redshift". Do you have a fantasy about being jettisoned into outer space?
Kevin: Oh, absolutely.
All: Oh, who doesn't? Of course!
Scott: I gotta say this..Outer space is such a limited area. All of the action is happening under the sea. Nobody knows what's going on under there. In the depths, there's some really cool shit.
Kevin: There's not five hundred telescopes pointed at the bottom of the ocean.
Brian: For me, I really appreciate what Kevin writes. I had no idea what he was singing about and I didn't want to know. It was only after we recorded our record that he typed everything out. When I read along, I was pleased. Everything was phrased real weird, He puts stuff in weird spots. That was the icing on the cake, for me at least.
Scott: I couldn't imagine anyone else singing for the band. I like Kevin's voice. It's not a real macho thing. I don't wanna play in some dude band.
Justin: We're not eighteen years old, we don't have the same problems. The songs aren't going to be about the same things. It's not, "hey dad..I gotta borrow the car" it's "fuck I gotta pay a mortgage."
Kevin: Fuck, I gotta lend my kids the car! (laughter)
Brian: Different problems.
Scott: The problems can be way more intense. I dunno, they seem more intense.
Brian: They're more real.
Scott: They were real before, too.
Justin: We've got more ways to make them go away.
Kevin: Hardcore really is more relative to when you're older, but people our age don't understand. We thought when people used to be into hardcore when they were younger and all about it.
Brian: Having real responsibilities and making real adult decisions. People would have more of a reason to be into "arghh!" kind of stuff as time goes on.
Justin: That is why we are trying to appeal to the AARP crowd now. (laughter)
PART TWO COMING LATER, KIDS!!!
Posted by brian walsby at 11:46 AM