youre actually on tour...
Yeah this is the first show. We just did South America a week ago. We
did 3 shows in Brazil, 1 in Argentina, 1 in Chile, and 1 in Columbia.
We had about 7 days off, and we came right over here.
was the tour there?
it was crazy! The last time we were in South America was, like, 8 years
ago. Brazil was insane, Argentina is one of our best places to play,
down there, and we went to Chile and Columbia for the first time, which
was fucking amazing, it was just out of control.
they were waiting for you, there?
it was like being in a zombie movie. We were walking into the venue,
and there was a huge crowd of people. They see you, and swarm round
you. Its pretty scary.
see on the Internet that in Brazil, and in South America, Hardcore is
becoming more popular.
yeah. We were there about 8 or 10 years ago, it was very popular, and
then it started to die out, but now its on the upswing again.
Theyve always had their scenes, but theyre saying its
getting bigger now.
played with some local bands there?
thats all we played with, but I cant pronounce the names.
We played with so many, there were so many good ones, its insane.
just released Death To Tyrants. How was the response from
the fans and the media?
its been great. And the media too, which has been good. Its
weird, with all the ones we put out on Fat, the critics usually love
them, but our fans, for some reason, it was always a mixed response.
Some of them really loved it; some of them didnt like the fact
it was on Fat Wreck Chords. Then we finally left Fat, and now were
on Century Media here, everybody seems to really love the direction
we took with Death To Tyrants, which was more back to basics.
We took what we learned over the years, experimenting and just put it
to our original sound. We came up with what we felt was a very strong
record. We wanted it to be a very strong record because it was coming
out this year, on our 20th anniversary.
we also think Death To Tyrants is the strongest SOIA album,
we think its catchy and the songs are interesting, and the lyrics
have a stronger message than perhaps, those on Life On the Ropes.
Is this album the roots of SOIA?
like I said, we took what we learned, experimenting all these years,
and we wanted to get back to straight hardcore. We just mixed it all
together, and were really proud of it.
the booklet of the record, we read some thoughts from Herbert Marshall
McLuhan, and William Lloyd Garrison. Can you tell us more about them,
and this message?
thing is, we only knew certain quotes from these people. I dont
know the whole history about them. I knew this question was going to
come up and I kept telling myself I should read up more about
these guys. And I never did. We just wanted strong statements
about against tyranny, and we had tons of quotes from famous figures
all through history and we just liked the way they stood out to us.
name of the record, is it dedicated to George Bush?
could apply it to where they live. We just wanted to make a strong statement:
its time for a change. Were not calling for people to go
and kill the president, or whoever their leader is. Its more trying
to change it. I think, finally, now, people in America, are starting
to see how much the administration there is out for themselves, they
dont give a shit about the people.
you tell us more about the lyrics?
all came very political, this time. Weve always had political
songs, but it was just what weve been feeling for the last few
years. It all just came out on this record. Its like a call to
wake people up. We wrote it from our perspective, living in the United
States, but again, most people could apply it to their lives anywhere.
On this record, the message is more clear.
Well wait and see what the next ones like. The next onell
be really brutal.
you decided to work with Tue Madsen this time. Why did you want to work
were looking to get a really good producer. It was going to be the guy
Zeuss whos worked with Hatebreed, Madball, and I think he did
the new Terror. He wanted to work with us, and we were thinking about
it, but the timing wasnt right. He was very busy when we had time,
and when he wanted to work with us; we were going to be on tour. But
Tue Madsen who, we loved his work like The Haunted, Born From Pain,
and others, and we liked his sound. He approached us and was saying
that he wanted to work with us too. He would show up at our shows in
Europe, just to check out what we were like live. He said, Whenever
you need me, Ill drop what Im doing, and fly to the States.
So we used him. We hit it off as friends, and I think he did a great
job. And were talking about doing the next record, too.
do you think it sounds a bit more, metal?
It gave us what we needed to make the sound thicker, beefier. We tried
to do it on our own on Life On The Ropes. It just came out
muddy. I dont like the sound, but the songs I love. But the sound
is not too good. Lets see what happens on the next record. We
now have a clear idea with what we did on Death To Tyrants.
Now we have to take it a step further.
you said, you moved from Fat Wreck to Abacus/Century this time. Why
did you choose them?
been sitting at Fat for the last 6 or 7 years, and theyve treated
us well, theyve paid us well, and theyre really cool people
to work with, but they didnt know how to keep in touch with the
hardcore scene. We were losing touch with that. And we were getting
complacent. There was no fire, no spark, and we really needed to make
a change for ourselves to get excited again. On Fat, it got so easy
to sit back. Do you want to make a record? Heres a bunch
of money. Do what you want. And we got paid really well with
royalties, but it didnt make us excited. We wanted a change. Abacus
was just starting out. And we liked some of the bands on there, and
some of their ideas. We knew wed be working with Century Media
in Europe. Thats something weve always thought about. It
all came together at the right time.
have Ignite, Backyard Babies, a lot of different styles...
Enemy. Its a good mix of bands
wanted to feel that you had a new beginning?
I think it shows on the record, how we were excited about writing.
keep going for 20 years!
the song Forked Tongue, Freddy from Madball guests. Can
you tell us the story behind this?
us, Madball is our favourite hardcore band. When Madball started, it
was funny, when they played, youd get guys from H2O, 25 Ta Life
on stage, and me and Pete would be in the pit, when I used to dance.
Im too old now. But when Madball played, me and Pete were the
first ones in the pit, going crazy, having fun. Sure, everyone else
was on the stage, being cool; we were in the fucking pit. Madball is
our favourite hardcore band.
We always wanted to do something with Freddy, and he was on tour on
the time, but we lucked out. They were playing New York the next night,
they had a day off. Freddy came to the studio. His wife was sick, he
only had one day off in New York, but he still came, did the track,
we all hung out, had a good time and the next night, we went to see
Madball. It worked out perfect.
you are touring with Madball very soon?
in November and December, I think were doing a tour together.
no shows in France, it seems that theres a problem, theres
no French promoter for the Tour from MAD Booking...
started out with MAD years ago, like from 92 to 95, 96.
Then we left MAD, and tried a lot of booking agents. Nearly as many
as weve had labels. But with MAD, we know they have some problems,
but its like a family thing. We know theres problems, and
mistakes, we give them the benefit of the doubt. We grew up together
in the scene.
a lot of demand for your shows right now.
havent done a club tour on the new record, weve only been
over here playing festivals. So in November, thats why were
coming to France, even without Madball. I would love it if Madball could
do it. That would be great.
you toured with Madball before?
done shows, but never a full tour, which is odd, really. I wish there
was more shows. Theres only 8 or 10 shows with Madball.
time we were with Freddy, we asked him about New York bands. He said
: One of the most important band that comes from New-York,
next to Agnostic Front and bands like that. They definatly help to put
New-York on the map and definatly one of the most representative of
New-York Hardcore, of the New-York Hardcore imperium. They became a
legendary band, definatly a band that I apreciate a lot, and definatly
help to carry the touch for hardcore along with bands like Agnostic
Front, and now ourselves etc, etc... If you're in hardcore and you don't
know Sick of It All, you have problems
Thats nice! Thats great! If you dont know SOIA,
you have problems! (Laugh) Thats very nice,
youll guest in their next album...
hope so. Id love to. Thatd be fucking amazing! I thought
their last record Legacy was a great, amazing record. I
hope it does really well for them. Theyre doing really well in
the States. Theyve been playing a lot of shows with metal bands,
so its getting their audience bigger. Thats something we
used to do, but havent done in a while. We have a weird situation.
Were a big enough name, but we dont draw a lot of people
from outside the hardcore scene in America anymore. We still get a few
metal people coming, but to go on tour, theyd want to put us on
as the first band of the show. We could do that, but would we reach
the audience we want to reach? We want to expand. A lot of the metal
bands dont like to take out hardcore bands because hardcore bands
live are much more exciting. On stage, theres more movement. Look
at say Lamb of God. Great band, great music, not much stage presence,
they just shake their heads, and the singer stands still. You put someone
like Madball or SOIA on stage opening up, a lot of bands are afraid
to go on after us. Like Rancid, who are really good friends of ours,
weve heard from them, we really hate coming on after you guys,
we really have to work hard!
do you explain the rise of the hardcore scene, and you and Madball made
the best albums again?
had to! Theres a lot of young bands coming up! We had to show
everyone we were still on top. Its hard, some of these young bands
come up, and its like, Holy shit! Thats some good
stuff! From all over the world. When we were in South America
I cant remember how to pronounce it. Its a band called Hatred,
but in Portuguese. Theyre a fucking good band. They had a little
metallic side, but mostly hardcore, and they mixed it together really
well, it was original. I was likewow, these guys are good!.
We were in Bulgaria at the start of the summer, I cant remember
the name of the bands there, but again, a good new generation of bands.
Hopefully they can tour outside of Eastern Europe, get to Germany and
France, and everyone can get to see them.
you tired with all the touring and making records?
took a long time off to sit and write, Death to Tyrants
so now were excited to be on the road again. After Scratch
the Surface, and Built to Last and some of those records,
wed tour for 11 months out of the year. You just wanted to go
home. Now we do it smarter. We tour for a month, and take a few weeks
off. We did mostly festivals, so wed fly to Germany and do 2 weeks,
and then go home for 3 weeks, and then we flew to South America for
a week, then home for a week. Now were here for a month. Youve
got to break it up.
course you know Sob from Merauder. Do you have a funny story to tell
us that happened him ?
knew him for years, we grew up with him. I just remember watching him
grow up over the years, growing his hair long. He was always fun, always
smiling, thats what I remember.
it special, playing with Agnostic Front today?
Its all exciting, we get to see our friends, we havent seen
for a while. We did a tour in the States with Hatebreed, Agnostic Front
and Madball, and Chimaira, the metal band. It was fun for us to be on
the road with them all.
you heard the new Hatebreed record?
I havent, and Ive only heard one off the new Terror record.
But I liked it. I havent heard anything from Hatebreed. I know
they had a single out, To The Threshold but I havent
heard it yet.
very good. Have you heard the Icepick record?
were meant to come on this tour with us, but Jamey had to do something
with Hatebreed, so he couldnt do it. I would have loved that,
that would have been fun. Ezec told MAD he wanted to ride on the bus
with SOIA. He used to be a roadie with us, on his first tour as one
of our roadies in 93. We took him across the States, it was fun!
Interview O.S. & Manu
Translation Mike Winter