I think this half of the interview is perfect for what is about to go down in the next 24 hours. I loved this part of the interview. Nobody loves political advocacy more than me. But politics does not necessarily make the best muse.
Here is the first half of this interview: /2010/09/29/skipjack-interview-part-1/
So with no further ado, here is the exciting conclusion to my interview with local punk magnates, Skipjack.
Nick: What do you guys think about the place of politics in punk rock? Does it have to be there or is it optional?
Chad: It’s a little touchy. Some people do it right. But I’ll say this. There was a period of time where… uh, I don’t know if this is shooting myself in the foot or anything…
It’s one of those things, there is a real long war going on now and for whatever reason some people agree with it and some people disagree with it. I disagree with it for the most part. I understand that there is sacrifice involved all around. But, there was like a two year period of time where the same CD came out non-stop. Where every song is about the war. And it comes to the point where you got to realize that you can scream and yell a hundred miles an hour as much as you want but you are not going to be able to change that. No punk rock song is going to change what you think is wrong. What I got into punk for, right out of the gate, there was a couple of times I heard NOFX and the reason why I was so sold on it was it was just completely stupid shit. I laughed half the time. Certain stuff stuck in my head. They were just making fun of everything. And when The War on Errorism came out. I think it probably had really good timing. But then ever album that came out from every other band afterwards was… Ok, I understand that this is the big topic and everyone wants to talk about it, but I got into those bands because when I listened to them I didn’t have to think about how fucked up my job was or how little I’m making. When I grew up, my dad was in the Army for twenty years. I didn’t have to think about him being gone for two or three years at a time. And worry about all the people getting killed. That’s what got me into punk was not thinking about not having a shit-load of money as a kid. They sand about everyday shit that people had to deal with.
Travis: A lot of our songs relate to the politics of different personalities. How people relate. And I think it parallels with what’s going on with the government.
Chad: All of our stuff so far, I always make a point to… There isn’t a song we have that isn’t part of MY BOOK. Our first CD was basically an apology letter to my dad. Every song. Apologizing for being such a fuck up. Every song on there was from 6th grade to 12th grade, basically “The Story”. Every song has to be something that I go through because I am not that good at… I’ll sit here and bullshit you all day, but I can’t write a song about bullshitting you. I guess I am not that good of a story teller. It has to be something that actually took place. A lot of the concept on the new CD is being older. Where we are now. Still wanting to do it. “I’m still here don’t forget about me.” That type thing.
As far as politics go, there are some people that will nail it on the head at the right time. And they will do it the right way. But I feel like a lot of bands put out these CDs because they fell that they have to.
Chad: Everyone else has this… I mean, how many CDs have to come out before you realize , ok we all know Bush is a dipshit; you don’t have to make every CD that comes out for the next five or six years about it.
Nick: I know that I lost about 6 years of punk because I was turned off by the same song. Exactly what you are saying.
Chad: The last one that I heard where I was finally “That’s enough” was the uh… cuz it was way after the fact… it was the last Rise Against album. Singing the song about the soldier coming home, and they pissed on the peoples head. There is good and bad in everything. But you are never gonna hear that there was some people that went over there and did some humanitarian effort.
What I am saying is, it is the time where it is not cool to say that I am an American and pretty proud of it. None of us are perfect, but that’s where you hang yourself out for the abuse. There are things here I don’t agree with. But I’m glad I am not living in China. You can spend your whole life pissed off and you aren’t going to change anything.
Nick: I want to title this interview “I am American and I am proud of it”. Because it seems like we have moved away from that. To “let’s see how many songs I can write about how ashamed I am of my country. Not what I have done, but everyone else around me. I am trying to be the voice of reason by regurgitating the same self-righteous stuff”.
Chad: My idea is “I’m still and American”. A few times a year when we do our benefit shows, we do them because they are fun but we also do them for a reason. Our first benefit show was for the San Diego Center for the Blind. My dad is blind. And we put on this big show, had a ton of people show up and gave all the money to the school. So as far as “Still be an American”, you know, you can be pissed off at what’s going on the world, but if there is some little thing that you can do at home, then that is pretty bad ass. And I wouldn’t be able to do this in any other country. And to have that many people who were into helping someone. I am not Bono but I still think it is pretty bad ass.
Nick: I just wrote an article about Bono. His charity organization called One gave one percent of the money to people in need. And they kept the rest for themselves. So the average people can definitely help as much as the professional celebrities.
Chad: Yeah. It’s like I said. I got into all this stuff because I didn’t have to worry about the bullshit. That was the sole reason. It was a big escape. Not throw on a CD and have to listen to what he is saying and then I am going to stand up and fight the great big machine. No, it was the energy of the music and take it for what it is.
Travis: I think that’s why all of us gravitated towards punk rock, because when you are a kid you don’t know the facts. Not to say that we know all the facts now. But when you are a kid, you know something is fucked up. And that’s a good way to express it is playing that style of music.
Chad: And once you get past the Bad Religion SUFFER album, don’t worry about learning anything else. Because you aren’t going to be able to change anything. You get Suffer memorized, and you look in the dictionary 5,000 times to look up some of the words…
Travis: Now, for us it is less with politics and more with just enjoying playing music together. Chad and I talk about it all the time. The day we practice is our release. It is what we like to do.
Nick: I started out listening to Hair Metal in the 80s. And talk about music where you are not paying attention to the words. Not tryi8ng to get any greater meaning, and they are not trying to solve the world’s problems.
Chad: You would probably shit yourself if everyone threw their iPod into a circle a shared what songs they have. I get made fun of the most because that is exactly where I came from. A little bit before that though, because it was all about Judas Priest and KISS. The two bands that opened it up. I was in second grade at my friend’s house. His cousin had got his record confiscated because of the cover. Her parents didn’t want it, so they hid it at his house. He had this turntable in the middle of his room. And he opened up the cover. It was KISS Alive II. Open it up and see this huge stage that was all on fire. And I listened to the intro of the record, and I have never looked back.
Travis: KISS sucks.
Chad: I am the only one who is a die-hard KISS fan. Same with Priest. I have actually become decent acquaintances with Rob Halford from Judas Priest. He comes into my work a lot. But yeah, that’s where I come from. And still you put those songs on and you can’t help but feel good. Even if the song wasn’t about anything.
Nick: It was about forgetting what you went through this week, and having fun on Friday night.
Chad: Same thing with the early 90s punk. Like PUNK IN DRUBLIC. You weren’t thinking about a damn thing and you did it with a smile on your face. I still like the east coast stuff that has a strong message in it. Gorilla Biscuits. Sick Of It All. All those bands, I’m still a huge fan.
But there is no life changing message in what we are doing. We are just happy to be out there playing. Speaking of which, our CD release party is opening for Vanilla Ice.
Nick: Wow, talk about bringing it full circle.
Chad: Yeah, it kind of gives props to the era that we came from. If you want to come out, I’ll give you a ticket.
Nick: I don’t think it would be right of me to say no. Are you going to get to talk with him backstage?
Chad: I will make sure that you get a chance to talk to him…
Nick: No, that’s not what I asked. [everyone laughs] Are you guys going to get to hang out with him?
Chad: Yeah, because conveniently the green room is three foot by six foot with a little bathroom in the back. So I am sure that we will get to know each other a little bit.
Nick: Good. No, I am definitely not trying to use my status as Professional Blogger to meet… uh, whats his name?
Chad: Rob Van Winkle. He might give you a “Word To Your Mother”. You don’t know.
Nick: Well I’ll bring my tape recorder. “Mister Vanilla, can I get a word to your mother?”
Chad: “Can I get a Yo VIP, we’re out of here,” before I leave?
Nick: “Can you wax a chump like a candle for San Diego Punk?”