Donnybrook Interview
This interview was made in Friedrichshafen (Germany) the 14th of January 2006.
Manu and Laureline have met Martin Stewart, the guitar player.

Today is maybe the first Donnybrook interview for a french media, the band is not very popular... Can you tell us a bit about the history of the band?
We've been playing together for over two years now, and shows started about a couple of years ago. All of us in the band have been really really close friends before that, me and my bro is in the band he's sings in the band and Pat the guitar player we've been friends for 22 years. There have been member changes in the band like the bass player and the drummer, we're always cycling through bass players and drummers. So that's about it 2 years now.

Is this your first European tour?

What's your feeling about our continent and the visited countries ?
It's great, so far there haven't been any bad shows. A lot of the cities are like being in the US but some are a lot different as far as the shows go, but overall its been great every show has been awesome. We were lucky enough to be able to come over with Terror. They've done like 2-3 European tours so far so that helped us a ton.

You're on tour with Terror and Blacklisted what are your feelings about those bands? And the link between your band and them?
I think its perfect we were originally gonna come with Blacklisted. It was just gonna be the two bands as we've played a lot of shows with them in the US, we've become friends with them and have played 4-5 times in Philadelphia where they come from. And they come to California to play a lot so it was perfect that both bands were releasing records at the same time and we knew each other and it just seemed right for the two bands to come to Europe together. And with Terror we were friends before any band stuff was involved. So we were gonna come over and Terror had a tour booked at the time but at the last moment the tour was cancelled so they just decided to come with us, so we're all on a bus together, all 3 bands, we're all friends outside of the whole music thing so its perfect the 3 of us together.

What is the meaning of the band's name?
Well, when we started the band we had two vocalists in the beginning and one of them was a huge hockey fan and also our guitar player Pat is a huge hockey fan so Donnybrook is a word used when there's a giant fight when both teams are fighting each other at once its called a Donnybrook, so that's where the name came from. It originated in Ireland, there's a town there called Donnybrook and every year they would have a carnival and it would always end in a riot, people would get drunk and riot and so they used it for a large hockey fight and that's where we got it from.

We didn't know that because in France we are not big hockey fans. That's strange cause when I was looking up info on your band I found a traditional Irish folk band.
Yeah we found that out a few months after we started playing shows, they never contacted us about it so we don't really worry about it, so it wasn't a problem for us.

Anything funny or strange happen during this tour?
We've only been on the road about a week....

... Only ? How many shows have you done?
Nine shows, so there's still about 2 weeks left. Well aside from people getting too drunk and not remembering the show there's hasn't been anything too crazy. And for us as a band its just crazy to come over here and be in this giant bus! There's 18 beds on the bus, we get to sleep good and not have to worry about driving like we're used to in the van. So for us its just crazy to be able to come over here.

And your first record "Lions in the Game" was released a few months ago...
Yeah it was released in June last year.

How would you describe your music for people to discover it?
Its always hard to describe your own music but from other people describing us, they say we sound like a New York hardcore band, we've been compared to Madball of course, Killing Time, hardcore like that. Probably because our favorite music is New York hardcore. So that's what I would tell someone, we have a New York hardcore sound with an LA edge with a lot of fast stuff.

So according to you what makes the difference between you and other hardcore bands?
Well we are not really trying to reinvent something or start something new. We just play hardcore music cause that's what we've known for so many years and it is what we love and what we wanna be a part of. So when we started the band we didn't wanna break new ground or make something huge, we just wanted to play music and if people were into it then that was great. I never imagined that it would eventually take us to Europe and that we would play here. So it's hard to say that we are different from other bands that are doing the same thing. We're just trying to do the best that we can. It's hard to explain.

Can you tell us more about the cover art ?
Yeah, we came up with the idea as a band and Michael Buckowski was the artist that did the whole thing. He did the Comeback Kid's, Outbreak's record cover, a NOFX record and a ton of other bands. I had seen his artwork everywhere so I just thought it would be perfect. So we emailed him and asked him if he would be able to do this and he said yeah! So through email we would tell him what we wanted and he would send us sketches and we would say yeah it looks great!

I read in an interview that Mitts is a big Donnybrook fan, "Lions In This Game" is one of the records he listen most to...
Really? Wow that's awesome to hear especially from someone in a band we look up to, its one of my favorite bands. Especially from someone like Madball. We played a couple of shows with Madball in California and we also did a small tour with Ragmen which is his other band, so that's good to hear.

Can you tell us a bit more about your lyrics?
Well we write songs about pretty much what all the other hardcore bands write about. But that's the way I like it. To me it's kinda like the only way to keep things going strong and writing about the hardcore scene. So we just try to like stay aware of these things and putting them into our music and hoping that other people will read them and feel the same way we are feeling. We are not breaking any new ground or written about any new subjects other bands have not written. We just try to like … ah I have a hard time with interviews…that's it!

A few months ago you were on a tour in the states called the Streets Of Brutality tour. And we heard a story about something that happened in Tucson, Arizona. Can you tell us what happened?
Well our band had nothing to do with it, but stuff got pinned on us cause it happened while we were playing. From my understanding a fight broke out and ended with someone pulling out a gun and shooting someone and killing them. I actually was standing in the wrong place and the wrong time and one of the bullets hit me. It wasn't a big deal, I got shot in the ass. It sucks that that had to happen, but we just tried to steer clear of it, 'cause we didn't want to affect our band in a negative kind of way so that people thought that if they came to our shows they'd get shot. So that's what I know about it, people got into a fight and someone got really pissed off and shot and killed someone. I haven't heard anything else about it, if anyone is going to jail. But its a terrible thing.

The US is very strange for us because although this can happen in Europe the fact of Dimebag's murder and that it always happens in the US. Do you think that these shits happen because of all the guns there?
What do you mean exactly? Oh ok. Yeah I would say so. I myself don't carry a gun and don't wanna carry a gun. In Arizona it is legal to carry a gun with you. In California it is not. I think that directly had something to do with it, if you were not allowed to carry it you would not have it with you and would not shoot a guy.

What are your feelings about the hardcore scene?
I think its great, a lot of peple complain about it and say there aren't good things going on right now and all these bands are fake. But when I'm home and not on tour there are shows in my city like 2-3 times a week and there always new bands starting and good shows going on. I don't see it going away any time soon, it's been the strongest since I've known it and I couldn't be happier.

Do you have any new bands to recommend?
From the us?


We have a ton of bands in LA. LA right now is like big in hardcore. Have you heard about the Warriors yet? They'll be coming to Europe soon, they're on the label. Internal Affairs, they've been here before. The first tour we did in the US was with them they're good friends. And of course Terror and Blacklisted. I think everybody should check them out.

And do you like bands like 100 demons and Bloody Sunday ?
Oh definitely, we've played with both those bands actually. We did a full tour with 100 demons like 4-5 months ago. They're one of my favorites now, that's a great band.

What are your plans for the next months? A new record?
Oh definitely. Were writing music right now. We have to take a month off cause after this tour I stay in Europe by myself and then I'm meeting with Shattered Realm from New Jersey. Do you know them? They're also on our label, I'm gonna play bass for them on their European tour with Knuckledust for a month. Then once I get home in March and we'll get our new stuff together for our record. We're also making plans to go to Australia and Japan with Blacklisted we like each other's bands so much and it makes sense for us to go to many places together.

And will you release your next record on Hand of Hope records?
Yeah we have 2 more records with them and I love it. Their a great label and I'm happy with what they've done for us so far.

As you come from L.A, you maybe know Rey from Downset?
I don't know him personally but I love Downset. In the early 90s they were playing a lot of shows in my area. They were one of my favorite bands at the time. I don't know what happened to them. Its funny cause the club we played last night played their CD. But I don't know what they're doing now. I heard rumors they were starting a band with members of Strife. But something happened and one of the members of Downset wound up in jail. I wish they'd come back, they were great.

In fact they had released a record 2 years ago called " Universal ", and they toured Europe last year, it was amazing !
Really??! Cause its been about 4 years since I've seen them play in our area! I'd love to see them.

Pivots' Questionnaire :

Favorite word? Probably, rage
Least favorite word? Haha ummm… could we come back to that one?
What turns you on creatively? Oh music!!
Spiritually? Music also.
Emotionally? Music.
What turns you off? Bad music.
Favorite curse word? Jeez! I try not to curse, usually shit slips.
A sound you love? The beach.
A sound you hate? Traffic.
Your favorite place on earth? So far…Milan, Italy
The place you hate? Salt Lake City, Utah.
The person who influenced you most? My Father
You heroes when you were a kid? My dad for that one too.
What job what you like to do if you were not doing this?
Probably a veterinarian. An animal doctor.
What job would you not like to do?
These are hard questions, I don't know I haven't thought of these before. (Laugh) I don't know garbage man.
Last one, if heaven exist what would you like God to tell you at the pearly gates?
Does it have to be one word?
How about? Umm this is hard…I don't know. Ill just go with, " Welcome!".
Back to your least favorite word? How about any racist word?
(To Terror member) I wanna see you do this.

A big thanks to the Juz Molke Team and also so Martin for his time!

Interview Laureline & Manu
Translation Kostas

Copyright Hammerock - Spiritribe 1999