You are working on a new longplayer called "Putting The Hammer Down" what can we expect compared to
"The Common Cold"?
well, I’m actually completely finished with it and it has technically been out for a couple of months since my last European tour.. it will be released in it’s final format hopefully within a month or so..
as for the difference between “hammer” and “common cold”.. I suppose that the production and tempo of the record are the real differences one might hear while listening to it.. there are more slow songs and I think it’s quite a bit more of a depressive record then the first one… also, the songs maybe aren’t as straight forward on “hammer” as “Common cold”.. there are more textures and subtle harmonies…
You currently live in Prague, Czech Republic which is pretty far off from Indiana why do you live there, did
you emigrate and do you already speak the language, yet?
I live here for many reasons, mostly these days because the hardcore scene is so totally amazing..
I speak Czech like a 4 year old maybe or a mentally handicapped person which is better than the majority of foreigners living in Czech.. that by the way is not something to be proud of.. it’s pathetic…
Steven from THE YELLOW PRESS also moved to Europe recently, he lives in Regensburg, Germany. Did
you already have an American-evening since you released records on the same label?
I don’t know him at all so I guess the answer is no.. I’ve spoken with Jason from the yellow press online quite a few times and he seems to be one heck of a nice guy.. I really hope to meet all of them someday….
How did you meet Chuck Ragan and who had the idea to do a split record? Did you record together or was it merely a file exchange?
Well Chuck and I have known each other since about ‘97 because of the American diy touring circuit.. we also used to trade records etc.. through the mail back in the days of the P.O. box before email took over.. Although, we hadn’t seen each other in years so it wasn’t really our idea.. actually, Elmer from hometown caravan came up with it and asked both of us what we thought about doing a record together. after that we just each went separately to the studio and recorded our tracks.. We will be doing a record together though this fall.. we’re going to my fathers house in Ohio and recording a collection of American traditional and country songs..
I think it’s gonna be a great time, chuck is a fucking amazingly sweet and talented guy.. it’s going to be especially cool to share the studio of my father with him and record some really great old songs that almost no punks or hardcore kids have heard before…
Another split you'll be doing soon is with MÖNSTER, will your songs be heavier or will their songs be
acoustic or what plans do you have for the record?
Okay so this record will be a split of covers, I’m recording one monster song and one discharge song..
monster is recording one of my songs and a buzzcocks song… expect exactly what you would expect from each of us.. monster will sound like monster and I will sound like me…
You have played in various other bands and you also have another project besides your country/bluegrass
band, could you tell us about these groups?
I also play guitar in a crust band called Guided Cradle, we are actually going into the studio this weekend to record our second LP.. I also play in another band with Ethan from guided cradle, Ricky from oi polloi and Marek from monster… we are called Nightliner and play a mix of Journey or Europe with Wolfpack style crust.. it’s totally fun as hell and I think it’s going to make the punks dance dance dance….
THE K10 PROSPECT record has a statement against the war in Iraq printed in the booklet how have the reactions concerning that issue been?
I’m not exactly sure how you mean?? In Europe obviously people are very supportive of any anti-war stance… in the states as well people from the punk scene are all basically in the same anti-war boat.. as well a majority I would say of normal Americans are very anti-war, anti-bush
You are on a pretty political label and folk singers always had a political agenda, is your approach more of a
personal one or are there certain things you try to mention when you play shows?
Well, it always depends on the night and how I’m feeling.. I do talk a lot in between songs some nights and others not so much.. truthfully, I usually speak more if I believe that the crowd is less politicized rather than more.. I don’t think there are too many things I could talk about at a punk gig that would open anyones eyes politically… I do however tend to talk a bit more about the affects of massive drug abuse and alcohol on my friendships in the scene and outside of it.. not that I am preachy or anything because I also drink and do drugs
myself at times.. but I try and tell people about what real drug and alcohol addiction can do to themselves and their families/friends.. I personally don’t believe that the sum of all things punk has to lead to a path of self destruction.. I also want to touch on this subject often because I think that country music as well has a tendency to glorify drug and alcohol abuse.. I honestly believe that there is very little that is “cool” about being an addict, and I also think that the whiskey drinkin’ lonely nights metaphors and such that have been used over and over again in country music are completely stale and over done.. especially when it’s coming out of the mouths of punks who play “country music”..
Which are the most important records in your record collection and do you still buy records after all those years or do you have other hobbies?
wow! I like answering this question.. so I’ll do my top ten if that’s okay..
10. flying burrito bros. - guilded palace of sin
9. dystopia - Human = garbage
8. Johnny cash – live at folsom prison
7. zero boys - vicious circle
6. bad religion - suffer
5. neurosis - through silver in blood
4. doc Watson - the Watson family
3. his hero is gone - 15 counts of arson
2. bad brains - rock for light
1. X - wild gift
Actually after spending years being broke buying records all the time I weaned myself off of the addiction.. now I just buy stuff that I absolutely have to have and download the rest..
You still consider yourself a part of the hardcore scene, do you think its ideological basis is slowly breaking
Yes I do consider myself part of the hardcore scene and no I don’t think the ideological basis is eroding, I think it’s always been the same.. I think there is balance in the hardcore scene between the political and A-political sides of the scene.. it’s always been like that in my opinion.. I just wish there were more people who were political in nature and had a sense of humor.. I wish there was more middle ground between the two and I believe that both sides of the coin would do well if they would be more open minded..
Any piece of advice you'd like to give all the youngsters out there?
Listen to a lot of different kinds of music starting right now or else you will get bored and lose interest in the hardcore and punk music you love.. when that happens and you drop completely out of the scene, don’t blame me for your Robbie Williams obsession.. I warned you!!!