is going this new European tour?
It has been great so far. We have played I think seven shows and all of
them were sold out. It is going really good
you go in Japan and South America?
I am not sure when but we definitively want to. After this tour, we
will go to New Zealand, Australia and do the United States again. Then
we will come back here for spring and summer festivals.
on the Ropes" reties with "Built to last" and "Call
to Arm". It has the ardour of the HxC Old School and the power
of current sound. How do you define this new record?
Hum, I think we just wanted to try to capture more of our live energy.
It sounds really good. All our previous album were very sound produced
what we didn't want to do on this. And it's cheaper which is even better
does the "Life on the ropes" artwork means for you?
If you look at the cover, there are those characters: a drug monster,
a religion monster, a government monster and all those other shit. It's
like pressure on people or the innocence of the world being attacked
by every moment by all this things.
"Life on the Ropes" means boxing. When you are on the rope
where all the shit comes at you, you have to learn how to fight!
lyrics are about lies and power. Did he find his inspiration from all
the stories related to worldwide companies who rigged their financial
balances and abused of their power?
Oh yeah, obviously. And from the government shit too. It's like "How
Bush became president?" Everything was heaven and it was like "OK,
here is the new president". No one even knows how that happened!
I guess his family was richer than the other guy's one. That's all depend
of who has the more money, and it's pretty much everywhere. Who can
make the richer richer. That's all about that actually
is for you the most change in this new album?
It is more aggressive. When I was writing the songs, I was like what
going to make me dance in the pit. I went to several concerts and I
was like "yeah, this riff rules!" And when I get back home,
I tried to do even better.
you feel angrier?
Hum, as usual I would say. We have tuned the instruments down what makes
you satisfied of the result? Would you change something if you had the
I am very satisfied. But since we have played several lives, I play
I wish I could go back and do some few guitar, add some parts
It is like that with every album! But you can't! (Laughs)
"Live in the Dive", at the end of the cartoon inside the CD
book, is "To be continued
" seems that it would be a
second part of The Medallion of the Mighty Dragon story?
We would like to do another comic but we don't know when, probably with
the next record. The guy who did the artwork on "Life on the rope"
did that too.
it be on another live album?
Oh, I don't know. Probably before. But we definitively want to do another
live album, but in a couple of years.
A while back you switched labels to be on Fat
Wreck Cords, and it was somewhat controversial. What prompted that decision?
We were on a major label when "Scratch the surface" came out.
Things were going great in Europe and kind of suck in America. And when
"Built to Last" came out, it was completely the opposite:
pretty good in America and absolutely sucked in Europe. The metal division
of the major really sucked this year. During the same year, a Pantera
and an AC/DC album came out, and nobody knew it! We came in Europe,
and it was weird: we opened in front of 17 000 people the Dynamo festival
and we first played a song of our new record. But nobody knew it and
the album was out since five months. We were like "What a fuck!"
At the end of our contract, they asked us if we wanted to stay with
us and we said no. It was like a mutual thing. And after that, a couple
of independents and majors were looking at us. We met Fat Mike in a
couple of summer festivals in Europe, and one day he told us "you
guys are off of labels, you can come with us". He gave us a better
deal. And when we have a problem, it's not like in huge company because
we only have to call Mike on his cell phone.
you say from experience that independents labels are better than major
It all depends. Certain things are good about majors like tour support,
when they advance you the money. Be sure you always have to pay everything
back! And in independent label, it is like "we going to use this
money in advertising instead"
After twenty years of music, what does SOIA means
It' my entire life, what I ever ever wanted to do!
was your motivation for playing hardcore at the beginning of SOIA?
We were pretty much the outcastes at school and every Sunday, the only
thing we have to do was to go to the CBD and see all the hardcore bands
and guys like us. Seeing bands first in the pit dancing and after on
stage playing, like there is no separation between the bands and the
crowd. It wasn't like Hollywood's shit like a movie star or all those
guys whoa are in a band and act like movie stars. Fuck that! Like a
lot of stuff in America, like the rap artists. The sing about being
gangsters, but they are actually movie stars, they are living in Hollywood,
and they are millionaires and not gangsters. But the kids who listen
to those people will go out, hurt people and get in troubles.
do you explain the longevity of SOIA?
I think because this is what we ever wanted to do. We have always loved
aggressive music. We write to please ourselves and the people who like
the same style as us. When a new trend comes out, we don't say "we're
going to do stuff like that now", because changing your style every
single month suck! So many bands do that now, like wearing make up one
week and not the other one! I hope they feel stupid when they look at
us in magazine and realize that they act like shit! I think our longevity
comes from that we are true in what we do. If you want to talk with
me, you only have to come and talk! We are not from the hype motherfuckers
who are hiding in their hotels. Just knock at the door of our freezing
tour bus! (Laughs)
are the band's projects nowadays?
After the tour, we will have few weeks off and then we will go in New
Zealand and come back to Europe for summer festivals.
it sometimes hard to live 24h a day with its brother?
Oh no!! When we are not on tour, we go to the gym together, go to each
would you define the hardcore you play?
New York Style. Between the coasts, the east coast is more minor and
I think it comes from the weather, it is always sunny there. New York
is always shitty, always too hot or too cold. (Laughs)
do you feel, if kids call you founding fathers of hardcore?
They can, but many bands came before: Agnostic Front, Murphys Law, Bas
Our goals was to bring our music all around the world,
where hardcore bands have never been before.
do you think of actual hardcore bands?
I think it's great, because they have a different style. The people
who get in hardcore through Hatebreed should always go to see where
the roots are! Many persons who like new hardcore bands have never listen
to Agnostic Front, Madball or us! It's strange!
are your favourite up and coming bands in the hardcore industry?
Definitively, Most Precious Blood. We are taking the road with us every
time we can. My wife's band, a 100% girl hardcore band called Schyzonesian.
A great band too.
You have travelled all around the world with SOIA.
How the hardcore scene has evolved in all the countries you have visited?
It's actually pretty good; of course much bigger than when we first
start to tour.
In Europe, it's so much bigger than in America. It's kind of like depressing
in America!!! We've toured from New York down to Florida, it was really
The best show was the New York show, and in the other cities, it was
crap! This is probably because so many kids are influenced by MTV: they
only know bands that are on TV. Us guys are more "The Doors are
dead guys, and I can go to the city and see Agnostic Front.!" We
all prefer dive off the stage and go nuts! Kids are told what to like
now, and it changes every ten minutes!
a New Yorker, what did you fell when you saw the twin towers fall?
Wow, it was the most horrible things ever. We were in Tokyo in tour
with AFI during few days. We tried to cancel the tour but no flights
were going back to America.
So we did the three shows tour and flew home on the 13th. We flew over
the city and I live one mile away from the tower. It was horrible. The
weeks before, in the news it was like "it's going on better here
" and it happened! The worst thing ever! I still can't see
it on TV: when it comes on, I just change the channel or look away.
those events, does the N.Y. City way of life change?
It did first but now everything is back to the same old shit! It's a
little more secure, more cops.
Presidential elections are in few months. What do you wish and hope
for your country for the next 4 years?
(Laughs). I don't know because it is so hard to judge, we don't really
know this people. They come from rich family and I don't want to know
them. Power and money are driving their lives! I don't know, we have
to wait and see.
What do you think of the Bush's politics inside
and outside the USA?
It's completely wrong! All his efforts are for rich people and his family.
it's time for a stupid questionnaire we all love in France (Pete
Questionnaire of Pivot :
is your favourite word? Love
What is the word you hate? (Laughs), Hum,
this question!! No, interview!
What turns you on creatively? I really
don't know, just music I think, other music.
What turns you on spiritually? Love (Laughs)
What turns you on emotionally? My wife,
she drives me nuts! Nut I love her
What turns you off? Close minded people
What sound do you love? My guitar
What sound do you hate? My guitar when
is not working
What is your favourite place on earth?
That' a good one! The City (New York)
And the one you hate? I don't know if it's
a place, it's being on a plane. I really hate that, I can't stand it!
Which persons influenced you the most during your
My parents. Lou and I always get in trouble, but the kept us out of
Who were your heroes when you were a kid?
Before music, I was really into soccer. My favourite players were Franz
Beckenbauer and Pele. When music happened, it was a lot of bands like
Which person dead or alive, do you wish to meet?
Hum, Bruce Lee! Because he is a guy who has been focused on his life
He is now a legend because of it.
What profession other than your own would you
like to attempt?
It would be in the music industry showing bands things not to do.
What profession would you not like to do?
All the office work.
If Heaven exists, what would you like God to say
when you will arrive at the Pearly Gates? Welcome, come on in!
do you do to be so energetic on stage and play in tune?
I tried to play in tune, but if you listen carefully, I'm not always
in tune (Laughs). Last night, I was out of tune for a couple of songs.
Do you have something to say to the young generation?
Do everything at 100%
did you come to tattoo?
When I was a little kid, there was all those bikers on TV and I was
"Wow, they look cool"! As soon as I get one, I just wanted
more and more! I love the way it looks! And it's a part of the hardcore
one is your first one?
It's a skull and a dragon on my chest.
Among all your tattoos, which one do you prefer
The demon's head on my elbow. It is so colourful. It looks really good!
one is the last one?
My last one? Oh, it's a coloured skull on my other elbow.
you have an idea for the next one?
I would like to finish this one first (Pete speaks about his elbow)
and add a blue rose and a red spider web.
there a tattooist's works that impress you?
The guy who did this elbow, his name is Jime. He is from Electric Superstition
Tattoo in Detroit He is really colourful. He did many other things like
my wife's portrait in cartoon at the back of my arm. He is a very nice
you, what's the importance of tattoo in the rock's spirit?
You don't really need! Like he rest of the band! Lou has two very very
little tattoo. It's a personal thing and it's not really important.
do you think about the new rise of tattoo?
Everybody have a tribal tattoo in America, and all the girls have one
near the belly button or on the lower back! That's cool if it's something
you get because you want. But if it's because it's a trend, you are
stuck with it forever! We see kids who get their first tattoo on the
neck! How are they supposed to live with this? Think first!
you have a message for kids who want to be tattooed?
They should definitively think first, don't get what somebody else has
instead of a symbol. Don't something on your hands or neck first! Do
something you love, you have created ...
do you react when you meet somebody with a Sick Of It All tattoo?
It's great! Last night, there were four guys very close to the stage
with the dragon on the fore-arms. This is cool! The band we created,
some of the fans have the symbol tattooed!
Pete tattoos there !!!!
Interview & Translation Ben