Enoch Magazine ) So you guys are coming up on 20 years as a band. What is that like reflecting back, that you’ve made a career out of 20 years of playing music?
Jake ) It feels good; it doesn’t feel like 20 years. It just feels like maybe 10 years, 15. I mean it’s hard to say because it’s gone by really quick and it’s been really fun. We just do what we do, we love it and we never think twice about it.
Jordan) They say time flies when you’re having fun, and we’ve been having fun. So we’re lucky that we get to do this; it’s been a great time and we’re still going.
Enoch Magazine) And you’ve got another 20 years?
Jake) Yeah, as long as the hands keep moving. Look at Judas Priest: they’re way up there. It’s crazy and it’s interesting because now that those metal bands are getting older this is the first time you’ve seen that level of playing be put to the age test. Because it’s one thing for the Beach Boys to still be up there playing, but to see Slayer up there playing and they’re in there late 40’s.
Jordan ) We saw Judas Priest, and Rob Halford was just killing it! He sounded so good.
Enoch Magazine) Every different generation has had their definition of punk rock and every punk band views it different. What do you guys think punk rock is?
Jake) Well I think just the ethic of punk rock: doing your own thing on your own terms. Whatever that happens to be. I think that’s what, supposedly, it’s all about in the early days. We’ve always tried to do the music that we enjoy and not try to fit into anything too much and put together our own influences into something.
Jordan) Yeah, punk rock just isn’t what it used to be. Punk rock in the early times of punk rock: that was punk rock. Punk rock used to be dangerous. It’s no longer dangerous, you can walk down the street with a Mohawk ten feet tall and no one cares. It’s just kind of standard. Punk rock is just something that people put a label on. I think there are a lot of young kids flying the punk rock flag these days. Punk rock just isn’t what it used to be: it’s just another word and another title.
Enoch Magazine) Our online magazine is a non-profit media movement and last night we had an event in Skid Row, Los Angeles. You guys familiar with skid row?
Jake) Just the band.
Jordan) Yeah, they do that song “Woke up to the sound of pouring rain.”
Enoch Magazine) Skid row, Los Angeles is a nine by nine block where ten to fifteen thousand homeless people live. Have you guys had any experiences with the homeless?
Jake) Well we’ve been homeless from time to time. I mean every time you’re on tour you’re pretty much homeless. We’ve got our van down by the river, so you just make due with that. In our early days especially, we were sleeping in basements and I remember sleeping in bathrooms of peoples’ houses. After the show people are like: “hey come crash at our place!” But it’s sad when people aren’t choosing to do it.
Jordan) I think we’ve given away some merchandise to some homeless people and seen them in Strung Out shirts.
Jake) Jordan’s never fed the homeless
Jordan) Well I have actually. I’ve eaten with the homeless too.
Jake) What did you guys do?
Jordan) We went to a mission. We wanted to hang with the homeless and see what it was like and check out the meal. We met some really cool people inside. It was an experience.
Enoch Magazine) When I work with the homeless, a lot of people claim Jesus as their savior, but they’re laying in the gutter. It blows my mind that people take up faith but they’re homeless. What is your perception of Jesus?
Jordan) It blows my mind that anyone takes up faith. I’m not a believer in any of that stuff myself. I speak for me; straight up atheist for sure.
Jake) I just don’t think about it too much. I was brought up Catholic and told all the stories. I think there probably was a Jesus. My roommate is totally pro-Jesus and he always tries to tell me it’s Roman history; it’s Roman history that he existed, that he walked. I’m a big history guy, so if that’s history then cool there was a Jesus, but who’s to say. I don’t know about all the miracles and stuff. I think you’re taking just one man’s story and other people are just rewriting it. I’m just not that interested, I just don’t need all that faith stuff myself. But if people want it, cool go for it. I mean I have a lot to be thankful for. I’ve had a crazy life and gone to do exactly what I’ve wanted to do. So if there is a god out there: thank you very much.
Enoch Magazine) You guys have been on Fat Wreck a long time. What has that been like? I mean every punk band I’ve ever listened to has been on Fat Wreck. Have they just had a good run with a lot of those bands?
Jake) They’ve been really cool about giving us complete control over our music and our artwork. They don’t need us to give them demo tapes and approve them or anything. They just let us record and put out the music we like to do. So that’s been a very important thing to us, it’s pretty much why we keep working with them.
Enoch Magazine) You guys put out a new album just a while back. Tell me a little bit about the recording process and the writing process. Was it different from other records?
Jake ) Not really we just got together with our ideas. We all pretty much write different musical pieces and we’ll put them together to create different arrangements out of the riffs that we have. Then Jason will listen to it and throw in his two cents, and we’ll rearrange things sometimes. Then he’ll write the lyrics and melodies over it. We had Cameron Webb helping us out this time with production and pre-production. He came in and took it a step further. It was just real natural; we never premeditate our records they just come together. And some people like certain ones better than others but to us they’re all coming from the same place. So it was easy, a straightforward record this time, less production than in the past.
Enoch Magazine) What advice do you have for kids who are starting bands today? I mean, it’s a whole different era than bands that started 20 years ago, with the internet and digital music.
Jake ) I wouldn’t even know. It’s such a different playing field and record labels are different than they were when we first started. So I don’t think much of it applies: just practice your instrument all the time. Play as much as possible. Just make it second nature, to where you’re the best player you can be. Then there will always be work for you. There will always be someone looking for a good performer. So I think you just have to improve your own playing and work on becoming the best performer in your own right and hopefully the whole group will rally around that.
Jordan) I think a lot of people start bands just to succeed. I think you have to play because you love playing and that should be the first reason you play music: for the joy of playing and creating music. Then, whatever else comes along with it is the bonus part. So don’t just necessarily concentrate on just: ‘we’ve got to succeed.’ Have fun doing it and then other things will come.
Jake) The fun is the whole experience. It’s not just getting there and having a platinum record; I think it’s the whole experience. We’ve done this, been in the band for 18 years; and it’s just gone by, it’s just been so fun. I don’t think we’ve been too concerned about the commercial and if we were I think we would have broken up. We would’ve been discouraged by that, but the fact that we love it, we love playing shows. People still come out to the shows and we still make records that we believe are good. So I guess just do it for your own purposes, do it to get what you want out of it and have fun with it. That’s the best thing.