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Ann Beretta Interview

So who is this and what makes you so darn special?

I’m Rob and there’s really nothing special here I’m just a guy in a band. That’s all.

How do you think outside appearances are different from what’s actually inside people?

I think sometimes it’s like night and day but it’s hard to say. Outward appearance tends to make for a bad judge of character. Actions are where it’s at, my friend. They truly do speak louder than words.

What do you think about the perpetual punk rock myth that bands change their sound once they join a label like Fat Wreck Chords or Epitaph? Do you find truth in this? Can we expect you guys to sound a bit more like the Mr. T Experience now that you are on Lookout!?

There’s no way will we sound like MTX. There definitely is some validity to that statement though. I know what you mean. Take Fat Wreck Chords for example. Five years ago, all the bands sounded like NOFX. Part of that, I think had to do with using the same studios, same engineers, and same producers. Of course, everything’s going to sound the same. I think that especially now they’re doing a better job with diversity. I mean there’s no way Avail is going to sound like NOFX, you know?

As a kid, I never went to many parties. Can I live vicariously through you? Please, tell me a party story or two.

I never really started partying until I got to college and then, of course, the whole motivation is getting drunk and laid. I really haven’t been to a party in years though. I kind of fell out of that whole loop. I mean I’m like almost 28 now. I hate to say it but I guess I outgrew the whole party scene. Bummer.

Why do we believe that spies are so much more intelligent and sophisticated than ourselves? Should I continue to believe that they are inherently better than myself?

I wouldn’t say they’re better than anyone else. They are just better trained and maybe educated but those are things that can be solved through personal choice. You want to know more, learn more, you know?

What have been the most indelible moments in your life thus far? How did they change you as a person?

Here’s a perfect example of what I was just talking about. I have no idea what indelible means. I should go look it up, I guess, when I feel a little more like educating myself but don’t think you’re better than me, ok?
Note From Trevor: I won’t.

What were the lessons learned from your tour with Less Than Jake? How did that go and what did have you taken away from that experience?

We definitely learned a lot about the rock and roll machine and how it works and how it doesn’t. Those guys are really professional and still maintain their integrity and their focus. They’re a major label band with DIY ethics. So I learned that and I learned a lot about performing. Working with an audience and so on. I also learned this, if you are someone who is in a position to help out someone else. You have to do it. No matter how small or how great you think that help is because chances are you’re in that position because someone helped you. Chris from LTJ taught me that. It’s a never-ending cycle. Someone helped them, they helped us, now I help out my friends as much as possible. Whether it’s as simple as passing on a phone number or taking a band on tour. It’s all relative.

Did you ever try on your mother’s clothes as a kid just to know what it felt like?

Not that I remember but that doesn’t mean anything.

What games did you enjoy as a child? How do they make you feel today?

I grew up in the country so I was always playing in the woods. Making forts and doing guy shit like that. Fun stuff.

What would you do if a very effeminate man came on strongly to you and told you that your “fruit basket” looks very appetizing?

It doesn’t bother me. I’ve been hit on by guys before. Enough times to not let it bug me as long as it’s not rude. I mean what’s the difference in being hit on by a girl. You’re either into it or not. It’s just how you deal with it that turns the situation bad. But like I said if it’s a rude situation from the start then it’s a whole new ball game.

What are some ideals that you hold that may be different from other people’s?

I don’t know. I don’t feel the need to justify any of my actions. I stay true to myself and to the people who are important to me. I do the things I do because they are important to me and I don’t feel like I have to explain why. I respect other people’s space and appreciate when they do the same. Is this even answering your question?
Note From Trevor: YES!….er….yeah

Are dentists scary? What kind of oral work have you had done?

Well, now this question could go in several directions. As far as dentists, I haven’t been to one in years. I probably should. I had braces when I was a kid. I’ve had cavities and on and on just like everyone else.

I’m reading this book on my mom’s desk called “Nuggets Of Life”. It states that “When you complain, you open the door to the devil and close the door to the answer”. Do you find truth in this statement or is my mom just a religious freak?

Well, see I love to complain but again the answer is what you do about it. Complain and do nothing or change what needs to be changed to end the complaint. Sometimes, that’s not possible. Other times, it takes longer to complain so whatever. As far as your mom, who am I to say? We’re all a little quirky.
Note From Trevor: That’s an understatement.

What have we learned from this interview?

What have we learned? I don’t know. That I talk too much about nothing? I don’t know. What have you learned?
Note From Trevor: How to love again?

Any final words for our viewing audience?

Yeah. There’s a new record out in October on Lookout! Records. We’ll be touring in September with the Swingin’ Utters. That’s it. Thanks a lot.


Interview by :
Trevor eatpets@aol.com I dunno Webzine – http://fly.to/idunno

Ann Beretta

Samuel Barker: Alright, start with the basic. What is your name, and what do you do?

Rob: My name is Rob, and I play guitar and sing for Ann Berreta.

Samuel: You guys are from Richmond, VA right?

Rob: Yeah

Samuel: There’s a lot of good bands around there.

Rob: Yeah totally, It’s a college town, so there are new kids coming in every fall, so you get a lot of new blood and energy every year. There’s also a lot of good bands the college kids start every year, so there’s always something new, and it’s also very fresh.

Samuel: Didn’t you guys play Warped Tour last year

Rob: No, we’ve been supposed to play it every year, and something happens and we don’t play it

Samuel: So, a couple of you guys used to be in Inquisition right?

Rob: Yeah, me and Russ.

Samuel: Well, that was a pretty politically charged band, but I notice Ann Berreta is more everyday life stories as opposed to being very political.

Rob: Yeah, I think that comes from different people writting lyrics. The singer in Inquision who is now in a band called Strike Anywhere, that’s where he came from, he was very politically minded. I write all the lyrics for us, and what I write about is very day to day. More what I know. I’m not a very socially political person, I’m more into personal politics.

Samuel: A lot of your songs are fun in a way, and that’s something nice to see that people who come from such political bands can have a sense of humor.

Rob: Yeah.

Samuel: So, are you guys big Social Distortion fans? Some of the leads you do have a very old style 50’s rock sound in your songs.

Rob: I like Social Distortion and all, but I’d say our sound is based more in 50’s rock. i grew up on that with my dad and everything early on. It all depends on who you ask. I’m a big ’80’s pop fan, because I grew up on that too, but it’s mostly rooted in 50’s rockabilly and 50’s rock, Buddy Holly and stuff like that. And a lot of the punk rock that has been influenced by that, Social Distortion, The Clash. Russ, our drummer, is really into the Descendents and Metalica.

Samuel: You can hear that stuff, because he’s wild, and really tight.

Rob: I like a lot of folksy music, James Taylor, Tom Waits. It comes in because most of the songs I write I begin with an accoustic guitar. So that’s kinda how it starts out on one level, then when it’s brought to the band, it goes to the next level.

Samuel: Is most of the song writing done as a group, or is it mostly singular with you writing most of it?

Rob: The majority of the songs come from me sitting down with my accoustic guitar and writing the songs. Of course it changes when it comes to the band. A small percentage, 20-30% comes from us sitting in our basement jamming. Russ will start playing something on drums and I will begin, or I’ll start off and he’ll come in.

Samuel: So have you guys played together a long time?

Rob: Yeah, about 7 years.

Samuel: So you guys have a good feel for each other?

Rob: Yeah, we work off each other really well, and if one of us starts something the other starts right in. And usually when a change comes the other is right there with it.

Samuel: It helps having experience together.

Rob: Totally, it’s very natural with us.

Samuel: So, were you a bass player before you were a guitar player or vice versa?

Rob: I played bass in Inquision. The first instrument I picked up was a bass. Then I learned guitar which helped my bass playing a whole lot. But I didn’t play much guitar while I was in Inquistion until near the end. Then after Inquisition broke up I started playing guitar more and started this band.

Samuel: So I noticed you guys were on Lookout! is that your first album on Lookout!

Rob: This last album, our second full length, was on Lookout! and before that we released our first full length on Fueled By Ramen, and the EP between the was on Fueled By Ramen.

Samuel: I noticed Avail used to be on Lookout! so you got the whole Richmond thing going on there.

Rob: The Young Pioneers who are also from Richmond were on there for a while too.

Samuel: Has it been a cool label to work with?

Rob: Yeah, they’ve been totally supportive since the start. The way we got hooked up with them was they actually called us and asked us what we were up to at the time and wanted to see what our plans were for a new album, and we were actually in the studio for about 2 days. When we agreed to do the album with us they hadn’t even heard it yet, and they were like ‘We’ll help anyway we can.” So the amount of faith they had in us right off the bat without even hearing the record was a good sign for us.

Samuel: It’s nice having full creative control right?

Rob: Yeah, we’re still working with Fueled By Ramen. We just did an accoustic album, we did one before we weren’t really happy with. The guy who did it got out of the music business and didn’t want to press anymore of them. It’s something since I write on accoustic….

Samuel: It seems like a natural step for this band.

Rob: Yeah, it’s a very natural place for us to be. We talked to Fueled By Ramen and they wanted to do it, and we wanted to do it. So we went into the studio and started recording. I was mostly by myself, it’s not a solo album, but it’s mostly just accoustic guitar and vocals.

Samuel: From hearing the band play live, it doesn’t seem something too far fetched for the band to attempt.

Rob: Yeah, it’s really not. It’s actually a lot of fun. It’s something we do live here or there. Mostly by myself. We do it here and there occasionally. Sometimes I’m able to talk the band into doing it.

Samuel: It’s nice to see people willing to try other things.

Rob: Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. We usually just do it at home. I’ve done it here or there. The whole band has done a couple while on the road when we have a night off.

Samuel: Do you guys pick up any fans who normally wouldn’t be into the music?

Rob: I think so, I think more ofter than not we usually turn our fans onto something new as opposed to picking up new fans. But the people who really like the band have been really responsive to the accoustic sets and albums. They really seem to have fun with us.

Samuel: Well, I need to let you guys go, gotta be in Florida tomorrow right? That’s a fun drive.

Rob: Yeah, 10 hour drive. We’ll be driving all night.

Samuel: Anything you’d like to add?

Rob: Not really, that’s always the hardest question.

Samuel: Well, I appreciate the interview, thanks.

Rob: Thank you.

 


Interview by :
Samuel Barker of Rockzone.com