Karen and AZNR finally had the chance to sit down with one of their all-time favorite punk bands, Face to Face, on their Vagrant Records / Napster tour in September. Anyone who has seen their video knows these guys are really funny and interesting to talk to, and were really cool with us. (Don’t forget to check out the review of their amazing new record Reactionary in the review’s section!) Interview on 9/26/00.
AZNR: Well, first of all, from the rumor mill-
TREVER: Ah, the rumor mill.
A: There’s talk that Chad [Yaro, rhythm guitarist] either quit the band or is quitting the band. Can you straighten this out?
T: Chad thinks he quit the band, but we won’t let him quit, so he’s technically not out of the band yet. But he’s not touring. That’s the one thing that he can’t do. During some of our down time he took a job that he really really likes, and he’s fully engrossed in that. He couldn’t take the time off to do this tour. I can’t imagine that anyone would rather work a job than do this. He likes it because it keeps him at home with his wife and his son.
SCOTT: [Walks in] What’s up.
A: How did you acquire drummer Pete Parada for your last album?
T: He was on the side of the freeway with a little ‘Will Work For Food’ sign…
A: Uh huh.
T: And we picked him up, and he played drums, so it just kinda worked out.
S: The truthful answer is that he worked at the rehearsal place-
T: The truthful answer’s not even interesting.
S: Okay, he was an astronaut and his spaceship crash-landed on Earth. [laughs]
S: He’s from the past, or the future, I’m not quite sure. How does that go again?
T: He’s from the future, where all drummers will weigh 90 pounds or less. [laughter]
S: Exactly, and his ship crashed and he was looking for a home, so we gave him one.
A: Right on.
T: Then another story is that I was at a freeway offramp waiting to turn left and he was selling bags of oranges. I happened to buy a bag and we just started talking and we hit it off. [tries to cut limes for Coronas] Dude this knife sucks ass.
S: Dude, what happened was Pete and Rob [ex-drummer] were best friends growing up in school, and the whole time Pete kept saying ‘Dude, I’m gonna fuck you over and take your fuckin’ band.’ And Rob just kept going ‘No way dude, you’re my bro! We’re best friends.’ And then one day, right before a show, he pulled a Nancy Kerrigan and CRACK! He’s all “I know all the tunes, I’m ready to go!” So we’re like “Shit, well get up there and play.” And you know, the rest is history.
A: Well, I’m sure you’ve been asked a lot about Reactionary, and obviously it’s a response to the criticism you guys got for Ignorance is Bliss. Do you feel that the criticism has limited what you’re able to play?
S: What I mean is: Yes.
T: It hasn’t limited us, but it’s definitely shown us how far the audience that we’ve all grown with is willing to go on our musical interludes. And maybe we took it too far.
S: But it doesn’t stop us with being experimental in our side project, the Chocolate Illuminati. In that band we get to use synthesizers.
[Trever goes to put in a DVD]
KAREN: What do you got?
T: Kalifornia. Did you ever see it? It’s really good. Juliette Lewis, Brad Pitt, and David Duchovny, and some other unknown actors.
S: That doesn’t even sound like a good movie. [Sarcastically] Brad Pitt and David Duchovny, this is sounding awesome!
T: No, it’s really good. Brad Pitt plays some crazy hick guy who’s a killer.
S: It’s from ’92, and when I saw it I had no idea who Brad Pitt was. It’s not cute, endearing Brad Pitt; he’s got a beard, and he’s fuckin’ scary through the whole movie. It’s awesome.
A: Cool. So was there any bitterness in putting out Reactionary?
T: You know, I gotta tell you the honest-to-god truth. When we first got together to do Reactionary, we were feeling a little bit like, ‘Well fine. If they don’t like Ignorance is Bliss, then we’ll just go make another punk rock record. Fuck it.’ We wrote some songs, and we started practicing, and we’re like ‘Punk rock, punk rock, blah blah blah.’ And then pretty soon, we’re like “Wow, these songs are pretty cool.’ And by the end of the rehearsals and writing all the songs we were totally into it. But at first we were a little bitter.
S: But for me, I’d never got to actually be part of writing a real punk rock record, which is something that has always been a part of my life. So it was actually just as fun for me as doing something real experimental. I get mine any way; don’t you people worry! I’m having fun.
A: So do you see yourselves maybe trying to experiment again in the future?
S: Sure. I don’t even consider it experimenting. We were just doing whatever.
T: Yeah, we like to push the envelope a little bit and try new stuff. I don’t think any of our records really sound exactly the same.
S: And to be honest, I don’t even think this new record is such a throwback, you know. It’s got elements that are more traditional like googly bass lines and quick drums and shit. The songwriting structures aren’t, in my opinion, necessarily playing back to the old days of the band. It sounds more like Ignorance to me. Just raw and up-tempo.
A: What were your impressions of Internet voting for the songs, and would you consider doing this again?
S: Those five guys were full of shit!
T: They voted a lot of times.
S: You know, those five guys who had the programs to vote a million times?
T: Well, I think it worked really well. What is was meant to do was turn people on to the album before it came out, and basically let people know what the record was going to sound like. I think it worked great for that. I don’t know if we would necessarily do it again because we like to try new things, but other bands should do it cuz it works.
S: Our next album’s gonna be “Chocolate-core.” Like Bavarian chocolate.
A: Do any of the songs on Reactionary stick out as having personal significance or a favorite?
S: [to Trever] You’re the lead singer, answer the man!
T: No, not really. I like the song “Hollow” a lot.
S: I like “Out of Focus.”
T: I like the song “What’s in a Name?”
S: I like “Out of Focus.” [Whispers] We both picked the songs that we wrote. I like “Out of Focus.”
T: Scott’s favorite songs are “Disappointed,” “Out of Focus,” and “Symptomatic.” [Scott claps] Mine are “You Could Have Had Everything,” “Hollow,” and “What’s in a Name?”
A: Are you planning on making a video for anything?
T: We have made a video! Where have you been?
A: [recoils in shock on the rare occasion that he didn’t know everything that every punk band has ever put out] I missed it. [Scott yells like a madman]
T: We made a video for “Disappointed,” but it hasn’t been played on a lot of outlets.
S: In case you haven’t noticed, the world hates our band. We’re the only people that like us. Actually, even we don’t like us.
T: I don’t like us, I’m sick of us.
S: Yeah, we’re boring.
A: Considering Napster sponsored this tour, what do you think about the whole MP3 craze?
T: Well, we think computers are taking over the world and we’re sick of being ripped off by programs like Napster and MP3.com. Right Scott?
S: Exactly. Down with corporate sponsorship!
T: Basically everything Lars Ulrich says is right.
A: [laughs] Yeah.
T: Well, we obviously think it’s a good think cuz Napster is sponsoring the tour.
S: But even outside of that, this was a Napster-friendly band before we ever were in contact with them.
T: Yeah, I like what the filesharing has done not for the music industry, but for music in general. It’s got music fans and even the world to start talking about music again.
S: Just to watch the old-dog businesspeople scramble in a panic-
T: Yeah, “Oh shit, we’re gonna lose money!”
S: Even if in a year or two they figure out a way to squash everything, just watching them be scared right now is worth the price of admission.
T: I had garlic on my pizza.
S: They’re putting up guys like Lars Ulrich to do their arguing for them.
T: It’s giving me bad breath.
S: And he’s probably got gas.
A: Well we just ate at the Mexican place across the street so I’m sure we’re not much better.
T: I’m drinking beer too.
A: So can you explain the relationship between Lady Luck Records and the other labels you work with?
T: Lady Luck is essentially Vagrant Records, just with our releases. But all the people at Vagrant are doing the work behind the scenes.
S: And deserve all the credit for the actual hands on stuff.
T: We’re just too cool to let a Vagrant logo go on our records. We had to come up with our own.
K: Is it from your arm? [referring to Trever’s Lady Luck tattoo]
T: Oh, no. This is just one of those standard tattoos like Man’s Ruin or Lady Luck-
S: Or Eight Balls.
T: Or Miss Fortune.
S: Or women with big boobies. [laughter]
T: What? I don’t have any of those tattoos.
S: No, not at all.
T: She clearly has two Eight Balls in place.
S: [laughs] Exactly.
A: Well, I know Trever has produced some other bands like Jughead’s Revenge, but what other projects do you guys have going on outside of the band?
S: Getting the garden in the back of the house to look real nice.
T: You can’t give a single serious answer! [laughter] So sarcastic. I just produced a band called Death on Wednesday whose record comes out around November on Vagrant. Other than that, everything else is pretty much focused inward on the band. I was in a film called the Ides of March.
A: Oh yeah?
S: I don’t fuckin’ do anything.
T: Scott plays bass and smokes a lot of weed.
S: Yeah. I’ve got problems.
T: [laughs] Yeah, that’s about it. He reads books about the Illuminati.
A: Lady M (firstname.lastname@example.org) wants to know when the touring is all done, what are you going to do?
T: Probably just rest because we only have about three weeks off between this tour and the next one. We’ll be touring Canada for about three or four weeks. After that we’ll take the holidays off and be back out in January and February. We’ll kinda do our cycle of tour-off-tour-off for the next six to nine months.
A: What else, if anything, would you like to accomplish with Face to Face that you haven’t done yet?
T: I want a platinum record! I think it’s not necessarily an accomplishment, it’s more like once we got Face to Face to the point where we were able to go on tour and make records and have that supplement us so that we didn’t need day jobs. I think that was really the ultimate goal. There were times when I was trying for world domination, but that’s just not in the cards. You have to be like ‘N Sync for something like that, so who cares. But I just like the fact that we make music and it has an effect on some people, and it speaks to some people in any way. Whether it’s just having fun or the lyrics make a difference in their life or whatever it may be. There… I made it all serious.
A: What else can we expect to see from you guys in the future?
T: A lot more touring. We’re probably going to do some kind of package tour in January / February, and I think we’re gonna be on Warped this summer. We’re releasing a record called Standards and Practices which has been only available by mail-order through Vagrant up until this point, but it’s coming out in the stores in April.
A: And finally, what do you think of Britney Spears?
T: Trailer trash. [laughter] I don’t like it, I don’t like her at all. I don’t think she’s hot or sexy, I think she’s just a puppet of the corporation that decided to build her empire. Same with Christina Aguilera. A talent maybe for singing, but not the all-around recording artist / performer sort of thing. Whatever… the kids sure seem to be liking it. That kind of garbage is always around, just with different names and faces to it year after year. Not too long ago it was New Kids on the Block, and when I was a really little kid it was the Jackson Five.
Interview by : AZNR – www.lethalinjectionzine.com