Strike Anywhere and The Loved Ones Interview | ThePunkSite.com
Loved Ones / Strike Anywhere
Dave Hause / Thomas Barnett
Fat Wreck Chords
Starlite Room - Edmonton, Alberta
Thursday, May 3rd, 2007
The instant I heard about this tour I was pumped. Bouncing Souls,
Strike Anywhere, The Loved Ones and Static Radio.
That would be a line up which will be hard to match. If what Dave Hause and
Thomas Barnett told me is any indication, then the bands feel the same way.
You see, I had the great opportunity to "interview" both Strike
Anywhere and The Loved Ones as they passed through
Edmonton as part of the aforementioned tour. I barely asked any questions,
in fact, I think I only asked three. Instead what happened was Thomas and
Dave had a conversation and allowed me to record it. It lasted just under
thirty four minutes and they talked about this tour, touring Europe, politics,
ideologies and what goes into planning for a tour. It was just a laid back
conversation between two friends about a wide variety of subjects you could
easily tell they were friends and were loving having the chance to tour together
once again. I learnt many things and saw a side of the bands I hadn't seen
before. While it is long, it's well worth the read. Enjoy.
Bobby: How has the tour been so far? You guys have been crisscrossing Canada,
how has it been?
Dave: It’s been good…
Thomas: Yeah, it’s really good. We had trouble, Number 6, our roadie
and good friend who traveled with us all over the world; he got repelled from
the border and had to just walk back to the American hub with his bag over
his shoulder. So things started out on kind of a sour note. It was just the
five of us in Strike Anywhere driving, setting up things, working it out. It’s
been – maybe a lot of extra work but also, it’s been so much fun
to be up here with this whole group – the Loved Ones and Static Radio.
It’s like a family vacation.
Dave: Yeah it is. We had a similar experience. We had to drive directly from
the East Coast to Halifax which is about a thousand mile drive and we had truck
problems and literally drove up to the show, the first show of this tour, loaded
in and played. No time, like we barely made it going eighty five miles an hour
in a box truck from Monkton, well, basically the Canadian border all the way
to Halifax. So it’s stressful to begin with, but as soon as we saw all
of our friends; you know, Strike Anywhere and the Bouncing Souls and the Loved
Ones have been friends – and two of the guys from the Explosion are playing
in The Loved Ones now so it was almost an additional band.
Thomas: So it’s like four bands.
Thomas: We have all this history with The Explosion as well. I mean, it’s
the whole thing. It’s so much like a celebration and a family vacation,
there’s so much love everywhere. People helping each other out, people
adding to the shows like getting up on stage and singing each other’s
Dave: Yeah, it’s been that kind of vibe.
Bobby: Like I read on April 24th when you guys were in Ottawa you
guys (The Loved Ones) did a secret show at a CD store after the show and
you guys promised “special
guests.” How did that go?
Dave: Yeah, right. It wasn’t promised though. I just more hinted that
you know, most probably…What I said was that you’d never know whose
going to show up. That’s just meant “listen, all of our friends
from the tour are probably going to go.” Like all of Strike Anywhere
came to the show, Pete from the Souls, all the Static Radio guys, some of the
Souls crew. Like whatever we’ve been doing we’ve been doing together.
It’s not like your typical tour where you load in and bands show up much
later and don’t really hang out. It’s like as soon as anybody’s
done whatever work they have to do its like “okay, let’s go, let’s
go get some food or let’s go do this together.” Everybody has been
really cherishing the odd circumstance that brings three - let’s call
it four - great groups of people, great bands together. Ordinarily you spend
a lot of time not doing that. You spend a lot of time touring with other kinds
of bands to promote your record and expand your audience. But this is a family
and the vibe from the crowd has been the same way. It’s been great.
Thomas: We contribute that to just also Canada being so friendly and expressive
and having a longer term memory than there is in the States. Like having an
understanding of the sense of legacy and continuity that the Souls bring and
then bringing us along and all the different little worlds that we’ve
inhabited. Like Strike Anywhere and The Loved Ones just came off a European
tour in November and December together that, to us, was an incredibly perfect
time. In these beautiful, fantastic cities like the vast country in the Northern
Seine or wherever in France and having these memories and now being able to
take that energy and also have it with the love that each band has individually
for the Souls. It’s incredible.
Dave: Yeah, it’s been great. It’s definitely one for the books.
We’re not really doing much else this year other than making an album
and I’m glad of it because I think if we were doing a tour right after
this it might be painful for me comparatively speaking. I don’t know.
What are you guys up to?
Thomas: We’re going to go to Europe again.
Dave: Oh cool.
Thomas: Yeah, we’re gonna follow up on those places and go to eastern
Europe for the first time – like Bulgaria, Romania, like non EU eastern
Dave: Cool, what places are you playing?
Thomas: We’re playing two places in Romania, Timisoara and Bucarest,
and we’re playing two places in Bulgaria – Varna and Sophia – and
then I think we’re playing Sarajevo and then we’re playing Zagreb
in Croatia and then Slovenia and then we’re gonna head back into Austria,
Switzerland, Germany. And we’re also going all the way to Portugal for
Thomas: Yeah, it’s gonna be wild.
Dave: Long tour?
Thomas: Five weeks.
Dave:*shocked* Five weeks???
Thomas: And then we take some time off. Then we take like two or three months
Dave: Are you doing festivals and all that stuff too?
Thomas: Yeah, yeah.
Dave: Oh, that’s so fun.
Thomas: So the in-between festival shows will be the adventurous ones and
the festivals will be, you know, anchored down. We’re also playing with
like Gorilla Biscuits and Björk and festivals that are ridiculous and
only happen in Europe with epic celebrities and then hardcore bands. It’s
like “what?!?” It’s Europe!
Bobby: Yeah, Gorilla Biscuits and Björk – not a normal combination
that you’d see.
Dave: Yeah, but it’s cool though. I remember doing those. I used to
work for bands and I did European festivals and it’s cool because you’re
definitely rubbing elbows with characters, some of which you really respect.
Like I ended up… what was it… there were just so many situations
where the Souls, I used to work for them, or Sick Of It All would be playing
with the Foo Fighters or some crazy situation like that. Or Metallica. It was
like “oh, there goes James Hetfield.” You’re having a beer
with Dave Grohl. It’s a strange, cool experience. That’s probably
what you guys will experience.
Thomas: I think the first taste of it actually already happened. We played
Taipei, Taiwan for the first time – the tour right before this one was
in the Pacific Rim, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. We went to Taiwan and
played this soccer stadium. It was like a human rights festival that commemorated
a massacre that officially isn’t official history. But the whole event
was about it so there’s this crazy sense of double speak and secrecy
about human rights advocates and democracy in Taipei, or the whole island of
Taiwan. So at this festival there was like a crazy Czech band and they were
in their sixties and they were friends with Václav Havel, the pro-democracy,
poet, president of the Czech Republic, several different Asian bands that were
all dissidents and then, Muse from England. *laughs*
Dave: *laughing* And you guys.
Thomas: That was wild.
Dave: How was Muse?
Thomas: They were really good. As guys, they didn’t seem, we didn’t
really interact with them, but they seemed friendly and kind of like eccentric
and accessible as people and put on an amazing show.
Dave: Yeah, that’s what I hear.
Thomas: And the bass player was the bassist of Senseless Things, a great melody-punk,
late eighties, UK band.
Dave: Uh? I didn’t know that.
Bobby: I’m seeing Muse in, I think, two weeks at this festival in Vancouver
and I’m interested to see how they pull off that massive sound live.
It’s only a three piece right?
Thomas: It’s only a three piece. It’ll blow your mind. It was
crazy. There were a lot of lights involved. I don’t see rock shows very
often at that level ever really, so even that blew my mind. Also, again, it
was in this falling down soccer stadium with jets, fighter planes going over
head, banners in Mandarin Chinese and the president of Taiwan was there, the
opposition candidates were there, these political parties – some of whom
don’t know the others exist; and a man was crowd surfing while we played
who looked sort of like the Dalai Lama. This old Asian man with gray hair on
the sides and black on the top….
Dave: Oh my God…
Thomas: …holding this pro-freedom, human rights, pro-Taiwan freedom
banners in Mandarin on a stick bouncing along on top of the crowd.
Dave: How many people were there?
Thomas: *seeing a friend pass by* Hey Mark, how are you?
Mark: Good, how you doing??
Thomas: Doing okay, just doing an interview, you wanna have a seat?
Mark: Nah, I’m okay.
Dave: You get your tattoo?
Mark: I did.
Dave: What you get?
Mark: A Strike Anywhere symbol.
Dave: Oh cool. I got my Strike Anywhere tattoo… when was it… it
was the Anchors Aweigh tour with the Souls. Mines a little wrecked, I like
it though. It’s based exactly on a patch.
Mark: Yeah this one’s based exactly off a button. He took it off this
button *pointing to one on a his pants* and blew it up
Mark: How the hell do you get back outside?
Thomas: This way, and then up the stairs and out the doors.
Dave: So what’s been your favorite show Tom?
Thomas: Um, that’s a good question. You know, it’s hard. Winnipeg
for a lot of reasons just because we just all went for it and it was a bit
celebration but also Timmins was really kind of unexpected and wonderful and
there were a lot of people there and it was such a rural and, of the surface
at least, kind of depressing urban landscape. With sawdust blowing in the wind
and a lot of boarded up houses and then you got inside this place which was
this old hotel with a dance hall with a high ceiling and there was just so
Dave: Yeah, it was great. Timmins was one of my favorites for sure I would
say. Well, Toronto, I mean there’s a lot of buzz in Toronto and it’s
like a major city on the East Coast in my mind, I think of it just the same
as New York.
Thomas: We’ve never been to Western Canada to speak off, I mean, we’ve
played the Warped Tour, in 2005 we played in Calgary and Vancouver. Before
that we did a tour 2001 in the summer where we played in a tiny coffee shop
in Surrey, south of Vancouver and then in Victoria but not even in the city
of Victoria. So our experience, we haven’t really connected or really
gotten deep in Western Canada and now we are and it feels great.
Bobby: You guys just finished a European tour together, is there a big difference
between the European and the North American crowds?
Dave: Seems like the European ones were a little bigger.
Thomas: Yeah yeah. I think in Europe… Well, I would say it’s like
a scale. In our country music is strange and very commercial, a very captured,
disposable product and we talk about this a lot. We try to figure out how best
to give each other the moral and psychological support to continue doing it
because it’s, I don’t know, it’s really hand in mouth in
the US. It’s hard. You feel like every time you go on tour you’re
restarting it. You’re introducing yourself to people, people don’t
really hold on. Canada is maybe more like Europe where people remember and
the same people from like years ago come out and there’s a sense of continuity
where they believe in it. So it helps us, as bands, to continue to keep our
ears to the ground and do it and keep it in our blood – and Europe is
even more so.
Dave: Yeah, I would agree. It’s hard because for us, younger bands and
obviously Strike Anywhere… we’ve had to strategize the States because
I’m married and I own a business with a partner. But we tour like crazy
anyway. So we’ve had to, in certain areas of the States, just say “well,
we’re not coming; we’re not going to go.” Especially the
south central section of the States – it’s just bleak. I mean,
it can be good. There’s definitely places where it can be good but we’ve
definitely had to really strategize the amount of touring we’re going
to do. So that’s why, I think, we paid a lot more attention to Canada
because I think we feel like there is more of a market for what we do. There’s
more of a place for it and I just think it’s more appreciated. There
and also the UK.
Thomas: Yeah, yeah.
Dave: Strike Anywhere took us on that tour, that was our first European tour;
and in the UK it was just incredible the response. It was like being on the
East Coast, it was like being home.
Thomas: Yeah, and there’s a sense at these shows for us– I mean,
of course we’re with the Souls and the Loved Ones have been here before
too, so it’s like we are shepherded by these two forces who have cultivated
people and have people singing along. For us, like I was telling Dave before
this interview, people look at us like “man, I thought you were dead” because
we’ve never been here before. But maybe they’ve picked up our records
in the past and held onto it; but that’s the thing, people remember up
here and we’re so grateful for that and astonished.
Dave: It’s cool, like in the States if you’re not back within
a couple of months, you’re losing people to whatever’s the newest
thing that’s being forced down their throats. It’s frustrating.
I think of us as an American band so sometimes that does get a little frustrating.
There are places in the States, the East and West coasts and then some of the
Mid-West for us has been right away really responsive and right away has grown
really fast. So I feel pretty good about those areas, but there’s definitely
some parts… Like in Florida. We’ve been to Florida multiple times
and we just headlined there for the first time and it was like “well,
I don’t know if we should keep coming back here…” *laughs*.
It was just like “where is everybody?” It’s weird. I guess
ultimately, when you do this, the best way to keep perspective is to not have
expectations, especially not unrealistic expectations. Because the fact that’s
anyone’s showing up to pay to see what you do is a privileged and if
you can keep that perspective and not say “ah man, we should be bigger” or “we
should be this” then you’re going to have an easier time I think,
in life in general.
Thomas: I think it disrespects the value of what we have to say in our songs.
Like the honesty and the vulnerability in the way that you write and the messages
and the idealism and optimism of what we write; trying to strategize the business
side of being in a band, making it sustainable. Like you can’t get too
stressed out and the Souls are such good teachers at this because they are always
so grateful at every moment. No matter how sick they are, no matter what relationship
all of us are losing at home because we’re not there – you know
what I mean? How we’re like a ghost in our home town, our friends are
changing and growing and we have enough time between tours to catch up on stuff
and we don’t have any time to apply ourselves to our communities anymore.
We’re just sort of outsiders writing stories about things that are happening
in our home town but we’re not there. It’s a really strange relationship.
Dave: And they do, they have been really good guys in how they maintain that – the
Souls have. I mean, just because they’ve been doing it for so long and
they’ve been on a trajectory the entire time that’s been upwards – which
is cool. It’s cool to see an American band in America and then all over
the rest of the world to continue to get bigger and bigger and have it just
be about the songs. Like they go through so many phases - do you remember those
shticky things they were doing, that soccer thing for a while; and as soon
as it got to be stale they would abandon it. Where as a lot of other bands
that succeeded in our world would try to milk that shtick to the end. And they
would just cut it loose and try to keep writing better songs. I think that’s
the point. Just keep being honest and keep at it. Do it for the right reasons.
Bobby: Even with that, the soccer thing, the Souls are still known
for that. I remember the last time I saw them, instead of an encore chant
it was “Ole!
Ole! Ole!” So they’re still remembered for that even though they
don’t do it anymore.
Dave: Right. They’re remembered for it but it’s not the vocal
point of what they do anymore.
Thomas: It’s like they just add these things. Where most bands would
just accept becoming a cartoon as the way to be successful – they refuse
it; but they keep these layers on too for the sake of their legacy. You’re
not just going to throw shit out of the window because it didn’t work – it’s
a part of you. If you believed in it once, it’s always there but it’s
not all that you have to be.
Dave: Right, right, you have to continue growing and changing as an artist.
It’s been inspiring for bands like ours. You’ve got to feel fortunate
for the amount of people that, like for the Loved Ones, that have taken us
out on tour and given us a chance in front of their audiences. You’ve
got to soak it in and learn from what everybody’s showing.
Thomas: I think also the sense of fun, like to put your heart into something
and to be real, but also just embrace the level that everyone is at. If kids
just want to throw their arms in the air and chant and scream but they don’t
know your lyrics and they don’t really know what you’re writing
about, that’s just as legitimate as the people who are writing an academic
dissertation on a song or who can quote your own lyrics. Just accepting everyone
at whatever level they’re comfortable with, it keeps the door open – and
the Souls do the best job at that compared to any band I’ve ever seen.
Dave: For me, that’s also a testament for what rock and roll’s
supposed to be about. I think that in the fifties and sixties when rock and
roll was becoming popular it was a lot about sexual energy and a lot about
freedom and going wild, going crazy. It didn’t have to necessarily be
cerebral at all, the way it came out. So I think it’s true what you’re
saying. If you keep that a part of it, then you don’t have to worry.
Whoever’s there is there and that’s heart. That’s kind of
the way we look at it. That’s coming from me, when I write I write as
vulnerably as I can. So it sometimes gets a little scary to put it out there
to people who are just jumping up and down and throwing beer around but I know
what it’s like to jump up and down and throw a beer around. I know what
it’s like to do that. So to have that exchange in any capacity is cool.
Thomas: I find that on this tour too, we are always in each other’s
audience at each other’s performances and often on stage and all together
when the Souls play. So it’s that sense of like being out there and sweating
and laughing and dancing and losing yourself in that moment, it’s not
like we’re just austere people waiting from our tower in the backstage
room. We have to change out of our stinky clothes and grab some water but we
want to get right back out there and be there with everybody because it’s
one of those tours. If we’ve ever forgotten what it was to love a show
and be involved and just fucking get sweaty and get crazy and not care that
you look foolish screaming your heart out, this is the tonic for that. That’s
important because, especially in America, you have to look cool at all times.
You have to be posing in the right one-dimensional way and you have to fabricate
this image and it destroys souls – but not ours hopefully.
Dave: No, no, it hasn’t obviously. You can see, coming here and doing
this tour that none of the souls – I mean all of our souls, not the Bouncing
Souls but the collective souls on this tour, the collective minds on this tour
aren’t destroyed. Everybody still has their heart in it. It’s definitely
for the right reason. None of us are millionaires. We struggle, everybody struggles,
but we love to do it and audiences in Canada have been making it absolutely
worth it, every night.
Bobby: I remember a few years ago there was a picture in the newspaper
of a concert here that I was at; and right in the front row is me and I look
the biggest idiot and people were making fun of me for it. But I was like, “you
know what, if you look around, every one looks like an idiot too, all having
fun, living in the moment.” It’s a night you won’t forget,
so it makes it all worth it.
Dave: For sure.
Thomas: If we can’t give people the sense of peace and the sense of
courage to break through all the conformity and fear and insecurity and vanity
and just let go and sweat and cry, yell, grab a stranger and dance, whatever – then
we should stop. This is one of those tours that re-invigorates the whole deal.
We aren’t going to see all this energy for like four years. We toured
in 2003 with the Souls and it kind of changed us. It made us see a little bigger.
Because we were, at that point, even smaller than we are currently and it was
amazing to see how honorable and decent they were and how it wasn’t a
hierarchy of faceless bunch of managers and a bunch of band guys that didn’t
give a shit. It was like everybody was involved. It was punk. It was extremely
democratic. We have been trying to do our best, to create our own model but
also follow that sense of fairness and participation. We’ve been wanting
to tour with the Souls again for four years, and here we are in Canada doing
it and it’s just like perfect. It’s perfect.
Dave: Yeah, I mean, it’s just been great. One of those tours I’ll
Bobby: Next week there’s the Prisoners Of War benefit CD for Peter Young
coming out. You guys (Loved Ones) have “Hurry Up And Wait” on it
and you guys (Strike Anywhere) have “You Are Not Collateral Damage.” What
made you guys do that mix CD?
Dave: Well, I’ll get my short answer out because it is quite short:
the only reason that we would contribute a song to a cause like that is because
of the person who asked us to do it. She’s a really good friend. Her
name’s Tara and she organized it and I’m not an animal rights activist
or anything like that. I don’t have really anything to do with it or
know too much about it. I mean, I respect it as something that people take
seriously, I think that it’s a good thing. But it’s not part of
my political makeup at all. She just asked us for the song and she’s
a good egg and I trust that she’s doing the right thing with our music.
So that’s why we’re on it.
Thomas: And she is. If it doesn’t come from good people, no matter how
good the cause is, if the money doesn’t go to the right place and it
doesn’t get promoted in a way that is tasteful and aggressive and intelligent
then the ideas themselves get diluted and it’s worthless. I’m the
only vegan in my band and probably the only person who’s really directly
involved with animal rights stuff. Garth’s a vegetarian. But we’ve
been involved, as a band, pushing for this for a long time. I managed to talk
to Peter Young when he was still in jail in Victorville, California and the
next week he got out – it’s pretty amazing. So the rest of the
money from this comp is going to more legal defense expenses for other people.
There’s this thing called the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act which is
a form or hideous offshoot of something very ugly – the Patriot Act in
the US. So this AET thing will continue to put people who are using their robust
free speech as well as committing property crimes to liberate lives – put
them in jail for dozens and dozens of years. In fact, the Shac 7 are in jail,
some of them for six years, for just running a website talking about the deception,
the evil of it. That happened on the East Coast. So a lot of money from the
rest of this comp is going to go to help their legal defense and other people
who are wrongfully imprisoned. So I think it’s just a shout out, again,
to Tara and the organizers and Peter Young and anybody else who’s ever
decided that the laws weren’t protecting lives the way that they should
and went beyond those laws.
Dave: For me, it’s strange because the idea of someone breaking into
a property to free animals doesn’t necessarily jive with me entirely.
I don’t know, it’s not something that I’m necessarily right
away behind. So what he did, I don’t know exactly what he did but it’s
not something I’m necessarily behind. But Tom said something that’s
pretty interesting to me and that is, whatever that law is, it’s an offshoot
of the Patriot Act and I think at this point in time, people who play rock
and roll still, for the same spirit, understand that there’s a prevalent
mentality in the States that is domineering and it’s just a bad seed.
The government is so fucked up in the United States right now. I can’t
even believe it, you know what I mean? So I think that any rebellious activity
that you can muster, even if you don’t necessarily see eye to eye on
it, it needs to be stirred up. It’s so insane what’s going on.
Thomas: I think the Liberals, The Lefts, the Radicals, are all so incline
to divide themselves and get academic and make these ideas totally dishonored
by bitter cliquery in the belief system. So trying to come together with different
perspectives and maybe even passionate and affectionate disagreement but having
that unity is something that we back one hundred percent, even within our band.
Dave: Yeah right, that’s been the problem, I think, with left leaning
people for so long. That “well, my cause is this” and “my
cause is that” and not seeing that it’s all connected because the
way that George Bush and his regime are running things is based on unifying
people on just a few easy, hot button issues. Terrorism and religious right
and things like that and we don’t have that. We’re just like regular
thinking people, clear minded people. We don’t have these hot buttoned
issues. Like animal rights, I don’t really necessarily feel the same
way that Thomas feels about animal rights or whatever it is. Like corporatism
is a major thing, that might be my issue. It’s not, but my point is that
the left ends up dividing itself and making a mess of things when you just
need to understand that there needs to be a prevalent spirit. Freedom and thinking
clearly about issues and trying to be open minded is what the world needs.
That’s what rock and roll brought to the world in the fifties and sixties
and then sort of lost. That idealism and that spirit has definitely not been
maintained properly and respected properly for the proceeding decades and I
think that’s what needs to happen if you want to create some kind of
change. I guess that’s the way I’m looking at it.
Thomas: We see ourselves, not just Strike Anywhere but this whole collective
of people, trying to stand up for people who are being bulldozed by inhumane
violations of US law being perpetrated by this particular government in the
name of freedom. Calling anyone who is an activist a homeland terrorist when
there are plenty of white supremacists building bombs that are going to destroy
federal buildings in the years to come that are going to be less on the radar
of national law enforcement because of what George Bush has done. The green
scare is real and it’s just as shitty as the McCarthyism and trying to
find other scapegoats to distract people from the real criminals which is George
Bush and his people. But yeah, I think taking these ideas out of this esoteric,
academic, jackassery and all the vanity that activism, unfortunately, can propagate
within itself and just talking bare bones about the spirit of rebellion and
of free speech and standing up for the people who don’t have a voice.
That’s the bottom line to all of us and it unites all of our fans.
Dave: Right, giving it a back beat and giving it a place where you can freely
exchange ideas and drink and have fun and shake it into the night and not be
afraid. Not be afraid of all those other things. All those other things that
they’ve done are built around the fear and that’s something for
me, as an adult, for the last couple years that I’ve tried to get rid
of. Fear can fuck you up. It can fuck up your culture. It can fuck up your
marriage. It can fuck up a lot of things in your life. So I think to give people
that sense of “you don’t have to be afraid, you don’t have
to be afraid”, like here’s a place where you can come and act like – as
long as you’re respecting everyone – you can act anyway you want.
Wear whatever you want. Do whatever you gotta do to feel free. I think that’s
the spirit in rock and roll that really hit something in the fifties and sixties
that we’ve got to try and get a little bit more back.
Thomas: As far as the civil rights movements, it made people want to really
think about sexuality and race. It was coming out to the surface, it was so
important. Especially in the American south which is where we’re from.
As Caucasian punk rockers we’ve been trying to organize and work with
different anti-poverty/living wage movements; and the people that we end up
marching with, talking to and running from are the African-American democratic
clergy. The church leaders. The men and women that marched with Dr. King back
in the late sixties. So it’s very different from being from a more sophisticate
and verified university environment. Like Richmond, Virginia’s the very
beginning of the dirty south in America and you have to build coalitions with
people that like… I mean, shit, most of us are either atheist or intense
agnostics and these are men and women of the cloth that we’re marching
with, facing down police for the rights of the poor. So right there that taught
us about building coalitions and making compromises and just seeing the big
picture and realizing that it’s more important that blacks and whites
walk together then divide about other issues like whatever you believe about
Dave: Right, like whatever you believe about the universe is your business
but there’s a greater problem going on which is people are not being
able to say and do the things that they used to be able to say and do in this – well,
maybe not in this country but in our country. So I think the people who realize
that are hopefully putting aside their differences. “Well, I believe
this about the universe that God did this.” That’s all fine and
well, but ultimately what are you going to do about people who are getting
poorer while other people are…
Thomas: Obscenely rich.
Dave: Right. Obscenely taking advantage of things. Building islands in the
Middle East, it’s just suffocating sometimes. I think it’s good
to have that spirit of rebellion and we try to bring that. We’re not
a political band per say, in terms of the way that I write lyrics, at least
not yet. But I think ultimately, that spirit of freedom – that would
be our political side. Maybe it’s a sexual thing. Maybe we try and bring
Little Richard in a little bit more. Whatever it is, just be free and be you
and do your think and don’t be afraid.
Thomas: What I think the Loved Ones do so well is that there’s a part
of the roots of hardcore, the roots of punk, the roots of like street soul
music, the roots of rock and roll, the roots of folk music before going all
the way back to the boxcar tradition of Woodie Guthrie and Pete Seeger, trying
to talk about the real stories that the corporate owned press won’t tell
you. Right along the way, because of the intensity of those truths, because
of what you risk when you’re that honest, you also shimmy and shake.
You also put your sexuality out there; put your soul out there. I think having
that moment where it’s almost like a revival. Like there’s a gospel,
a very secular like gospel awakening that happens with us watching the Loved
Ones, with the audiences at the Loved Ones shows. Feeling that kind of rebirth
of the juke joint, of a place at the end of the block where the cops don’t
go to where people are setting up and playing rock and roll until like four
a.m.; and that is the most purest act of cultural and social rebellion against
all the separation, against being too tired and just watching TV and having
the same conversation with your spouse. Like no, get up, get out, do something
crazy that makes you really tired the next day. A memory that you can’t
overwrite or forget.
Dave: Well thanks man.
Thomas: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Dave: You should write the bio for the next record. *laughs*
Thomas: I’m a fan.
Dave: It’s cool. It’s cool to be on a tour where people you love
and respect are some of your favorite bands reciprocate that. That’s
what we’re all feeling and that’s what we’re all going through.
It’s cool. I’d like to get a transcript of this interview just
because you can feel it, like every conversation we’re all having with
each other about what we ate for dinner or how the show was, or let’s
go do this crazy thing- whatever it is. You know, tomorrow it might be going
to that crazy mall which is funded by the oil industry and everything and just
shimmying down a waterslide. But the point is that you can feel everybody’s
energy. This is right now. This tour is happening right now, we’ve only
got a couple more dates left.
Thomas: We’re not walking through it like zombies or like punching the
clock. We’d be having this conversation if you weren’t here; we’d
be right here at the table saying the same stuff to each other. In another
way, it means that this is a pleasure. Like it could be just like some guy
wants to interview us, we don’t know how well he knows our band or we
don’t want to waste his time, whatever. We’re just in the moment
and hoping that this is good for you, because we love it.