We Want The Airwaves: Save Music in Chinatown

kxlu

For more than a month, I’ve been submitting details about Sunday’s Save Music in Chinatown benefit show to just about every calendar and music blog in town. And I have yet to see a listing or receive a reply.

That’s a bummer since I’m super proud of the lineup (the first hometown Bicycle Thief gig in 13 years, second show ever by Evil Hearted You, the return of Hector Penalosa from the legendary Zeros) and feel very strongly about the cause (music education at Castelar Elementary, the public school that my 6-year-old daughter attends). I thought the angles of bringing punk shows back to Chinatown and uniting the neighborhood’s subcultures of art and music for the local kids were strong, too. Oh well.

But just when I start to wonder if I’m delusional, in come my excellent friends contributing awesome goods for the raffle, volunteering at the bake sale, and promoting the gig via social media. And a few have even put me on the airwaves to help get the word out.

kchung

Last night, I was a guest of Cyrano and Lotus on KXLU‘s Molotov Cocktail Hour. How cool was it to make the pilgrimage to L.A.’s main artery of underground and independent music–and for my pals to not only give me a lift to the station but provide snacks, as well. They’ll be DJing at Sunday’s event, and I’ll be too busy to enjoy their selections of Asian and Latin garage rock, psych, and punk, so it was extra cool to dig those jams in the studio while adding cuts from bands that have been supporting the cause and gushing about the upcoming show, as well.

On Thursday, my friend Gabie invited to the KCHUNG studios in Chinatown to be on her Crystalline Morphologies program. She invited me to bring a guest and Ben from Evil Hearted You was available to talk about his band and share why they jumped on a chance to play our next event. Gabie has been a supporter of our project since the beginning, and always invites me onto her show each time we have a benefit to play records and promote the cause. You can stream or even download the show at archive.kchung.org.

Thanks again to Cyrano, Lotus, Gabie, and everyone else who helps in whatever ways they can. There’s no way we will single-handedly raise enough dough with our little DIY shows to pay Castelar’s $50 thousand bill for music education. But raising awareness, building community, and engaging the scene matter, too. And we can have a blast doing it.

Rad band alert: Evil Hearted You

ehy4I’m super stoked that Evil Hearted You will be playing our fourth Save Music in Chinatown DIY punk matinee/benefit gig next weekend. I found out about them not much more than a month ago when I met the bass player Ben Solis through our mutual friend (and another badass musician) Fredo Ortiz at an art show. Our paths had crossed in the past, notably at a Red Aunts/J Church/Money Mark show that GR put together back in the day, and we chatted about being grown-ups informed by DIY punk values as well as being parents of young daughters, not to mention our latest projects. I was starting to plan our next fund-raiser, he was in a new band Louis Perez III. (Yes, the latter’s dad is in Los Lobos.)

Turns out the band is amazing. On the self-released CD and Burger/Weiner cassette, Evil Hearted You’s songs reflect Perez’s childhood soaking in the O.G. punk/L.A. roots sounds of Lobos and Gun Club but are filtered through modern sensibilities. The collection is as restrained as it is realized, and there’s an underlying darkness, vulnerability, and beauty that pulses through the songs. And then a few days ago, I was invited to see the live unit with Louis, Ben, and drummer Eric Fuller at the practice spot and holy crap! A totally different animal, kind of like the difference between Nick Cave crooning in the studio and being a possessed demon onstage. Badass and heavy as hell. They blew me away and, even better, are down to play for the kids of Chinatown.

To date the band has only performed at one show and have yet to do any press. So here’s a quick conversation to get everyone up to speed and ready for the afternoon of Sunday, October 19.

LPIII: Louis Perez III, vocals, guitars, accordion, synth strings, lyrics, songwriting
BS: Ben Solis, bass, keyboards, analog synth, glockenspiel, arrangements
LS: Lars Stalfors (not pictured), studio drummer, percussion, Mellotron, production, mixing
EF: Eric Fuller, live drums

ehy2

MW: Louis, you already have a very successful, satisfying, and busy career as a tattoo artist. What drives you to create music on top of that?
LPIII: The tattoo industry has kept me very busy for over a decade, and for that I am eternally grateful. Tattooing also has given me creative freedom and the discipline to raise the ceiling for myself both visually and musically. I had been playing in bands long before I ever picked up a tattoo machine, and music is a hard habit to shake. Also, I don’t sleep very much and I find myself strumming into the wee hours of the night/normal people’s mornings…

MW: What’s the pre-history of Evil Hearted You?
BS: Our history is too long, idiotic, and beautiful to go into here. Louis and I have shared the most amazing times together and, as kids, we did some really stupid things together. Louis is a poet; I am a critic. Louis is a musician; I am a logician. In these roles, we are able to make an otherwise incompatible relationship productive. He’s my brother and, aside from Lars, the only person who has ever taken me seriously as a musician. I don’t even take me seriously as a musician. I guess Evil Hearted You happened because Louis remembered my musicality from 15 years ago–more than a third of our lives. He is obviously a gifted songwriter. It’s possible that I am one of the few people who ever took the time to remind him of that. This is starting to read like a love letter, so I must conclude my answer here.

LS: I had worked with Ben on other projects, and he introduced me to Louis. After we all talked a few times, I think we worked on two songs together to see if it worked. Even though we did tracking separately, we had a great chemistry, The three of us share a really great musical dialogue.

MW: Can you describe the band’s music making dynamic?
BS: Lars’s relationship with Louis is different from mine, but I imagine dealing with Lars makes dealing with me more tolerable. Lars is a producer, and he is very adaptable. When he works with Louis, I stay out of the way, and they wait until I am done writing my parts before commenting. It’s a mature process that way.

Lars probably has the most difficult job, because he has to speak two languages to communicate with Louis and me, but when all three of us are in the studio, we speak the same language. Louis synopsized it best when he said, “We’re all playing something totally different, but it works.” I think it gives the listener a lot more to grab onto. One fact is inarguable: Evil Hearted You is the raddest thing I have produced musically, and that has everything to do with the others involved.

ehy3

LS: I usually work on project where the band is already in place but this was different: Ben showed me the first songs he worked on, and I had an instant vision of how the drums should be. The first track I heard was “Home.” It had a really interesting old drum loop in it, so I decided that the rest of the songs should feel like that. It really makes the record unique.

MW: Had you been drumming all along, or did you have to get your chops back?
LS: I probably play drums on a project once a year but, yeah, it always takes a few warm-up passes of a song to get back into the swing of it.

MW: Eric, Lars is a badass but are you given a lot of freedom to drum in your style?
EF: I had known about Lars’ work for years, and was really stoked to hear that we would be working with him. He laid down some really good drum tracks on the record, and I had the challenge of listening to the songs and trying to recreate what he did but also putting my own touch on it. It has been a real learning experience playing with these guys, and everyday I am trying to create the best sound for the band. As for freedom, I was given a great foundation to work on but they definitely do not restrict my playing.

MW: And how did you get involved in the band?
EF: I met Louie when I was 18. I walked into a tattoo parlor he was working at in Fullerton, he scratched on my first tattoo, and the rest is history. I would hang at the shop with him, just shooting the shit, and we started talking about jamming together. This talk went on for a year or two before we finally met up one night at a studio and played for hours. I met Ben when we started working on new songs for the band. Once he got involved, our very sloppy sound turned into something worth listening to.

MW: Louis, was it difficult for you, especially as a visual artist who is used to being in total control of his work, to see the songs change and have a more collaborative effort?
LPIII: I stopped playing in bands but never stopped writing, so I had a ton of old and new songs. It was definitely hard to let my little babies go and watch them get spray painted blue, but then I realized they needed to be painted that color or maybe they were that color all along. It was definitely a difficult yet rewarding process to write songs and see them morph into the awesomeness that Ben and Lars created. I think being willing to let things change was key.

ehy6

MW: Where do the lyrics come from? Do they stem from you own life? Stories around you? An overactive imagination?
LPIII: For the most part, they come from your typical “artist inner demons” scenario. Haha. Most everything I have written has roots in an experience, emotion,or even an opinion I have had on a person, place, or thing. I’ve spent most of my life moving around Southern California, and experiencing so many different, diverse landscapes has definitely had an effect on my views. I also tend to make big deals out of nothing, so my overactive imagination must definitely have a hand in it as well.

MW: Ben, after a career in the music industry, you dedicated yourself to academia and skateboarding. What is it about Evil Hearted You that brought you back to making music?
BS: I have always been dedicated to skateboarding, even during the periods of my life when I wasn’t skating. But when I heard Louis’s songs, I recognized them as a vehicle that allowed me to use my professional skill sets and my academic training. I wrote the arrangements and the accompaniment on the record, but I approached them as if I was writing a text. I realize now that I merely contextualized Louis’s work.

MW: What’s it like making music as an adult, a husband, and a dad? I know it’s harder to make time for it, but are there other ways that they affect or maybe even spur your creativity?
BS: Making music as an “adult” affects my creativity on a few levels. My professional background impels me to prefer anonymity. My age informs me to make age appropriate music without making Dad-rock. The husband in me wants to impress my spouse. As a father I am stoked every time my kid hears a song she likes and asks, “Is that you playing bass, Dad?” Beyond that, I could take it or leave it. I think we all could. I’m sure that inspires us all to take certain risks.

MW: As a parent, a musician, and a guy who know about L.A. Punk, can you give me some reasons to be psyched about playing the benefit?
BS: When I learned of Save Music in Chinatown, I immediately thought: Wow, this is rad: Adult D.I.Y. for a children’s benefit that simultaneously resuscitates Punk shows in Chinatown. I was very grateful when we were asked to play because we don’t have much of a live history as band, but the history we are authoring is pretty amazing according to our ethos. Save Music in Chinatown allows us to participate in the musical tradition that defines us while also providing the opportunity to productively engage the community. When I consider the historical arc of Louis’s dad’s band (Los Lobos), or my own identification with (and definition of) Punk, nothing could be more poetic.

ehy7

LPIII: I am so excited to be taking it right back to where it started for me. My first band, The Villains, literally played our first gigs during the second wave of the Hong Kong Cafe in the early ’90s when they use to have the gigs in the back room instead of the front room so that the checkered floor wouldn’t collapse. Haha!  We went on to play Club Impala, the Peace and Justice Center, etc., until we were old enough to play Al’s Bar (R.I.P.). I would love to see a resurgence of great music back in the Greater Downtown area. It’s a great thing to be part of, and I thank you for letting us contribute.

EF: Being from Fullerton, I love any chance I get to play outside the city. It’s crazy to me to think that just three years ago I had never played in front of anyone besides family and friends, and in less than a week I will be playing with guys like Bob Forrest and Josh Klinghoffer.

MW: X’s Make The Music Go Bang! festival was your band’s live gig. What was it like to have an onstage debut among such stellar company? Also,  it seems like most band play lout before recording but you guys did it the other way around. Was that a conscious choice?
LPIII: Our first gig was definitely trial by fire, and we rose to the occasion better than I could have imagined because of the limitless support we have received from everyone–including you–that hears the music and immediately identifies with what we are doing. The offer to do the gig came up so quickly; we blinked and there we were looking at room packed with people cheering us on. It was and continues to be very humbling.

EF: Playing that show was a very humbling experience. Being surrounded by other musicians that have been playing longer than I have been alive is a bit nerve-racking. We were all a little on edge that day since it was our first time performing live together, but I had a blast being there and it was nice getting the first show jitters out of the way.

MW: Lars, don’t you ever want to play live, just for kicks? What would it take to get you to tour?
LS: Ha. I think I have closed that chapter of my life. A special appearance could be fun here and there, but touring isn’t something I feel like doing anymore.

ehy5

Listen to Evil Hearted You on Soundcloud, follow them on Facebook, and catch their next gig at Save Music in Chinatown 4 with The Bicycle Thief and My Revenge on Sunday, October 19 at Human Resources. No other shows are planned so do yourself a favor (and save some dough) by getting advance tickets at Eventbrite.

Save Music in Chinatown 4

smic4-horiz2a

One week from today, my wife Wendy and I will be throwing the fourth Save Music in Chinatown DIY punk matinee/fund raising gig at Human Resources gallery to pay for music education at Castelar Elementary, where our daughter goes to first grade. This an unplanned and awesome extension of my days of writing about music and hanging out with artists when I edited Giant Robot mag. Getting to share and push culture on the printed page was a real gift. But to do something that happens in real life and try to make a difference in the community where my immigrant grandparents and in-laws have spent time is a different type of radical. Especially since Eloise goes to school there now.

The harebrained idea was spawned last year when our daughter started attending kindergarten. Her inner-city campus looks like a prison but it’s an excellent school with passionate teachers, bright kids, and a kick-ass dual-language Mandarin program that Eloise is thriving in. Then, in the first week, we parents received a flyer stating that the music program had been defunded. Could the households help pay the $50 thousand bill? In that particular mostly immigrant and blue-collar neighborhood, probably not.

10710767_552878631506292_1632786943716340501_n

Wendy wondered what we could do, since we’re not loaded and don’t do bake sales. It occurred to us that Chinatown has a punk rock heritage that can’t be beat (X, Zeros, Weirdos, Black Flag, Dils, Germs…) and a lively art gallery scene (post punk) as well. Although the scenes don’t overlap much with the locals outside of bars and restaurants, of course they’d help kids if they could. Especially for music. And since Wendy and I have ties to all three cultures, we decided to have punk matinees in art galleries to help the local kids. Wendy came up with the name: Save Music in Chinatown.

I was fortunate that my old friends Gabie from KCHUNG and Wendy from Ooga Booga Store introduced me to the crew at Human Resources right off the bat. The gallery’s vibe is perfect with its past lives as a kung fu movie theater, porno theater, and sweat shop before it was abandoned and was reborn as a gallery that specializes in difficult to show or sell art. Eric, Grant, Luke, and everyone else there have been nothing but super cool and supportive.

SaveMusicinChinatown
Save Music in Chinatown 4 flyer by Louis Perez III

And how awesome is it to have punk rock back in Chinatown. In the afternoon. I have a lot of friends who don’t get out as much as they used to because they don’t like staying up late or dealing with getting a babysitter. These all-ages matinees are a perfect way to get everyone out but also expose kids to cool music.

At six, Eloise has seen the likes of The Chuck Dukowski Sextet, California (with Jason from Green Day and Adam from Jawbreaker), Channel Three (with guest appearances by Maria Montoya and Tony Adolescent), Money Mark, Hector Penalosa from The Zeros playing with The Baja Bugs, and Bob Forrest from Thelonious Monster. Not to mention art rockers like Lucky Dragons, L.A. Fog, Deradoorian, Bitter Party… (Conversely, a lot of the artists who are used to playing late-night, sketchy venues dig being able to bring family and kids to our shows.)

While groveling for raffle goods is definitely the most awkward part of planning, I think it’s a key part of the fund raising. It allows us keep the door price low but raise some extra bucks. And it allows all sorts of friends and neighbors to contribute and build a scene. Regulars like Una from Keep, Mark from Donut Friend, Chris at Scoops Chinatown, and Vicki at Berndt Offerings, all the bands that sign records, artists who donate autographed books and prints, and everyone else–what would I do without them? And on the the bake sale end, gourmet goodies from so many parent/volunteers plus baked goods from Wendy’s pasty chef/cousin Linda, coffee courtesy of Julia and interTrend, and other treats add to the awesome experience (and funds raised) substantially.

And Sunday afternoons are ideal because there’s plenty of free street parking and everyone can leave early enough to grab some noodles in Chinatown before getting home at a decent hour and not being a wreck on Monday. A perfect day.

Save Music in Chinatown 4 flyer by Eloise
Save Music in Chinatown 4 flyer by Eloise

So please come to our next show. I still can’t believe Bob Forrest (Thelonious Monster) and Josh Klinghoffer (Dot Hacker) are playing their first hometown show as The Bicycle Thief in 13 years for our little matinee. And I love Evil Hearted You’s carefully crafted post-punk roots sound on their debut album but their live show is going to kill you. I’m not even going to get into how great Hector Penalosa’s mini set of My Revenge was at the second show–a perfect mix of power pop, garage rock, and O.G. punk–and how much I want to see a full set. All that tied together by the garage rock tunes spun by KXLU’s Molotov Cocktail Hour DJs? Damn.

I hope you can tell that although Save Music in Chinatown was born out of necessity, and there are worthwhile cultural angles that I’m interested in and proud of, this project is mostly just super fun for us. And I hope it’s that way for everyone who helps out by playing or promoting the gigs, donating raffle items, working the bake sale, or attending.

Save Music in Chinatown 3: with Chuck Dukowski Sextet and California (May 18, 2014)
Save Music in Chinatown 3 with Chuck Dukowski Sextet and California at Human Resources (May 18, 2014)

We can’t count on media, press, or calendar listings to get the word out, but friends with radio shows, blogs, and word of mouth all add up. If you can help spread the Facebook event page, Eventbrite ticketing site, or even this post, we would love it.

Have a blast. Build community. Help kids. Get advance tickets and save some dough on admission… See you there!

Hector Penalosa on My Revenge, Baja Bugs, The Zeros, and Save Music in Chinatown

The Zeros at The Troubadour (July 20, 2012)
The Zeros at The Troubadour (July 20, 2012)

My first contact with Hector Penalosa followed a double header at The Troubadour with The Zeros and The Muffs in 2012. After I posted a manic, raving review on my Giant Robot blog (R.I.P.), Hector did the unthinkable. He wrote a thank-you note. No one ever did that before and no one has ever done it since. Turns out not only was he in one of my all-time favorite bands but he is one of the nicest guys ever, too.

Hector and I became friends on social media after that, which was cool, but what was really awesome was how he liking, sharing, and promoting the Save Music in Chinatown project as soon as my wife and I started it. He even drove up from San Diego to attend the inaugural show and we’ve become friends in real life.

So of course I had to ask him to play our second show, and he brought The Baja Bugs. I have extremely limited knowledge of the Fab Four compared to the hardcore Beatlemaniacs out there but holy crap! The Baja Bugs play the Liverpudians’ catalog with the fire of a hungry and brilliant garage band loaded on uppers and riding the explosion of early rock ‘n’ roll. They also cranked out a blistering mini-set of My Revenge songs and I’m stoked that the latter will be playing our next benefit gig.

I had a short conversation with Hector about his bands and the Save Music in Chinatown cause to get us stoked for the show…

myrevenge-smic020914
My Revenge at Save Music in Chinatown 2 (February 9, 2014)

Can you tell me a little bit about My Revenge? How long has the band been together, what’s up with releases, and so on…
My Revenge is a band that I’ve had on the back burner for close to two years. I’ve been writing songs for many, many years, on and off, and I had accumulated quite a lot of songs. So I decided to expose them to the public. Naturally, I had to get a band together.

I have recordings of the songs we play, but I’m a bit of stickler when it comes to recording. But I am going to release a CD, as well as vinyl, plus the usual download access on the Internet.

Three of you are also in The Baja Bugs, who tore it up last year at a Save Music in Chinatown show. Can you remind me how you guys got together and describe your specific approach to the Beatles catalog? The era, the vibe…
The Baja Bugs are a Beatles cover band with rock ‘n’ roll muscle. It started out of frustration. Listening to to other Beatles cover bands and tribute bands, I realized that they were lacking energy in their performance. Technically, they have the musical parts down but there was no fire. That element is so essential to The Beatles’ music. Sure, they have ballads and mellow tunes. But for a live performance a band should focus on the “rock ‘n’ roll” Beatles. They were influenced by Elvis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, and a few other guys who started and were rock ‘n’ roll! And The Baja Bugs love to play all the wild, uptempo, rocking Beatles tunes.

Baja Bugs at the San Diego Library (June 28, 2014)
Baja Bugs at the San Diego Library (June 28, 2014)

As a fan of your music, I was stoked when you started supporting Save Music in Chinatown on social media right from the beginning. What are some of your thoughts on music education?
Music education is just as important as math, English, and history lessons. Creativity and music tap into a part of our brain that otherwise would not be used. They create a different way of thinking–a positive development of the brain. But music education and the creative development of children in schools don’t seem to be a priority in the school systems any more.

I know that music changed my life for the better. It takes me to a happy place when I listen to it or play it. And it does the same for so many other people. And, yes, it is stimulating and fun!

The Zeros at Los Globos (August 16, 2014)
The Zeros at Los Globos (August 16, 2014)

Do you have fond memories of playing in Chinatown back in the days of early L.A. punk?
I do have lots of fond memories of playing in Chinatown. The Zeros played at Madame Wong’s back in 1979 with The Go-Go’s, if I recall correctly. Who would have expected punk rock in a Chinese bar back then, but it happened! The punk bands were looking for venues to play and the Chinese bar owners saw it as great business through selling drinks and charging a little money at the door. A win-win situation. We also played at The Hong Kong Cafe in 1994 and a few other times, too.

The Zeros are still in demand and seem to play fairly often these days. Do you ever step back and think, “Damn we wrote a lot of great songs when we were just children!
The Zeros do play once in a while. If the offer to do a gig seems right, we tend to play it. At the same time, we don’t want to overplay and burn out our audience. It makes the gigs a bit more special.

Regarding our songs, we don’t really ponder much on, “Hey, we wrote some cool songs when we were kids.” We wrote what we felt about what we saw around us at the time. We just made sure the songs were catchy and a bit tough with a dash of cool. To this day, we enjoy playing them! They’re still fun and to see and hear fans sing along with us here in the U.S., Spain, Tokyo, or elsewhere is a blast!

Los Globos (August 16, 2014)
Los Globos (August 16, 2014)

Do you remember when you made the transition from a kid who enjoys and listens to music to someone who makes it?
From listening to music to playing music was a slow transition. My dad is a musician, and when I was 5 or 6 I discovered his record collection on the bookshelves in the living room of our old house. I started playing The Supremes greatest hits collection, and was captivated by the snare drum on the recordings. My dad had a drum kit in the living room and I recall tapping the snare drum to the beat of the The Supremes.

That was just the beginning. My dad also had a piano but it looked complicated with so many notes and keys. Six years later, I discovered the guitar and seriously wanted to learn how to play it. Once The Beatles became a part of my life, I really wanted to become a guitarist and musician. I was 12 going on 13 by then, and I haven’t stopped.

smic4-horiz2a

Catch Hector and My Revenge at Save Music in Chinatown on Sunday, October 19 at Human Resources in Chinatown! Show starts at 3, tickets are only 12 bucks in advance through Eventbrite and 15 at the door if it doesn’t sell out!

Adam Pfahler on reissuing Jawbreaker’s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy

10
Photo by Wild Don Lewis circa 1994.

While dorking around Facebook just like everyone else does, I started seeing posts about the upcoming reissue of Jawbreaker’s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy. Of course, I had to hit up my pal, Jawbreaker drummer, and Blackball Records founder Adam Pfahler about it…

I last saw him in the spring when his new band, California, was in town and they even played our Save Music in California benefit on a double bill with the Chuck Dukowski Sextet. How awesome was that? Did I mention that he also played my wedding banquet with Whysall Lane? Crashed at my place with J Church?

Obviously, I’m a big fan of the man and his music so you probably can’t trust me when I say that 24 Hour Revenge Therapy is possibly the raddest Jawbreaker album–a perfect balance of being evolved yet totally ripping. Can’t wait to hear the alternate mixes when the thick wax reissue drops on October 14.

Was the 24 Hour Revenge Therapy period a blur or do you recall everything?
Both. I’ve found in the process of doing press for this record that while I like to think I have a photographic memory, there’s all kinds of stuff I totally forgot. But what I forgot, Chris remembers. What Chris forgot, Blake remembers. But I will say, the things that I do remember are very clear to me. Also, I kept journals on all of our tours. They’re written in a sort of shorthand. I always thought that I would eventually flesh them out if I was ever inspired to tell our story. I’m thinking I might bring my 1993 book down to Giant Robot and just read from that in lieu of boring people with weak freestyle.

Is it awkward to listen to the old songs? Weird? Awesome?
I think we sound great. Objectivity is the benefit of being so far removed from the band at this point. I’ve said it before: Jawbreaker was so long ago, I’m not 100 percent sure I was in the band. But the weirdest thing is when I hear our music out of context, by accident. Like one time I was in a coffee shop and they were playing one of our records. It took me way longer than you might think for me to recognize it was us. But the cool thing was, I liked what I heard! Anyway, I find that it’s more awkward and weird to listen to new music.

You get pretty serious about the remastering part. Have you always had the ear for that? Is it something you learned?
My ears are pretty shot. The reason I spend so much time mastering then, remastering then re-remastering the re-master, then eventually going with the original is that I can’t really hear. I don’t trust my ears. There, I said it. Did you hear that? Because I didn’t. See what I mean?

For the reissues, do you read the reviews and comments when they get posted? People are either so serious or snarky it hurts!
One time a guy who wasn’t even old enough to have seen us play made a snide remark that we weren’t a good live band. Now, I don’t care if you don’t like my band. But I’m absolutely sure about one thing and that is that we were a really good live band in spite of what this prick saw on YouTube. So I wrote him back, “Fuck you in the heart.” That’s about as far as I’ve gone. Mostly, I just wash them out of my life.

Does your inner label guy have battles with your inner band guy about why there’s no shows to go with the re-releases?
I see where you’re going with this–because I’m both the label guy and the band guy. The inner struggle! Dr. Jekyll versus Mr. Heckle! Alas, what I truly want is for everyone to go out and purchase Jawbreaker’s 24 Hour Revenge Therapy at finer record stores in their area. Then I want them to listen to the record and be inspired enough to start their own band. Then one day when they’re practicing their craft, I want their copy of 24 Hour Revenge Therapy to be stolen from
their car when they absentmindedly leave it unlocked in a sketchy-but-affordable part of town. Then I want them to march right out and purchase 24 Hour Revenge Therapy again. But before they do that, I want their bandmate to be like, “It’s cool dude. I have that record. I’ll rip you a copy of mine. Or better yet, why don’t you just stream it on Spotify or Rhapsody or Pandora or BitTorrent or any number of illegal downloading sites that David Lowery warned us about?” Then I want them to go, “You know what? I’m buying it again. And on top of that, I’m buying an extra copy just in case this one gets broken or stolen. Wait. No. Fuck that. I’m going to buy three copies. That way I’ll have one to give away as a gift if the spirit moves me.” Then I want Jawbreaker to get back together and play Vin Scully’s birthday party.

Does all the producing make you want to drum?
In the past 33-plus years, the longest time I’ve gone without playing drums is precisely nine months. That was after my third shoulder surgery in 2006. I have three drum kits: one set up at my practice space, one set up at my house, one in cases in the basement waiting for the next show or recording session. Looking at my usual routine via GPS, it appears I’m never more than 5 miles or 20 minutes from a drum set to bang on. This is comforting to me.

Is California the next release on Blackball Records?
I give you my word.

Can we plan our spring Save Music in Chinatown show around California’s next tour, and what will it take to get Rachel on the bill?
You say jump, we say, “How high?” We ask Rachel to get onstage, we go through a number of receptionists at Third Man Records before finally
getting “accidentally” disconnected and continue trying to reach her through the That Dog Totally Fanatical Fanpage on Facebook posing as Todd Rundgren offering a proper paying gig. When she finds out it’s us, she burns an effigy of the band–a VHS copy of John Milius’ Big Wednesday–atop the lifeguard station on Santa Monica State Beach just north of Chautauqua.

In reality, all it will take is a pack of Marlboro reds. In a box.

adam
Eloise’s first pilgrimage to visit Adam at Lost Weekend Video (February 16, 2014)

Pre-order 24 Hour Revenge Therapy from Midheaven and follow Jawbreaker on Facebook.