Friday, December 9, 2016

Quotes of Note for 2016

Bill Stevenson of the Descendents in Seattle. (Cat Rose photo)

When we started this blog six years ago, we were mainly using it as a vehicle to tell our stories of punk/rock past and present. That's it... gather around the campfire and shoot the shit.

Soon, we started expanding and interviewing bands, which has generated some of the best feedback from readers and some of the most fun, insightful and inspirational moments for us.

Here's another round of Quotes of Note culled from our interviews for this year, which either took place over a meal, a beer, a phone call or an email.


"The (best) reward for me, personally, seems to have come from when something that we wrote that was very personal to us specifically, had a way of resonating with someone else. Even if that thing didn't happen to them, they could feel what we were talking about and they could tell that it was genuine, they could tell that it wasn't a made-up song. And it somehow maybe helped them get through some maybe tough period they were having because they felt comfort in knowing that maybe somebody else had similar feelings or a similar hardship or whatever it is."

-- Bill Stevenson, Descendents

"It's like 'Lights Out' by the Angry Samoans, hey let's write a song about poking our own eyeballs out, except 'Stealing Office Supplies' I'd like to think actually does have a message in addition to the humor, which is companies taking away people's health insurance and benefits and cutting their wages and treating them like shit, and so the very least you could do is steal a couple pens or a staple remover. Rebel in your own little way."

-- Ben Merlis, Surprise Vacation

"So RUDI were in on the ground floor when punk broke – unlike glam  - this was the first time we could identify with and be involved in something that we were a part of and creating ourselves. It was a great time to grow up – and it really changed my life and my outlook on things. Here in Belfast, punk had a really positive impact in the main. Here it wasn’t a pose and initially, at least, the ideas behind it were fresh and exciting."

-- Brian Young, RUDI

"At this point in our lives, we've all been through personal challenges and issues, so in some ways the lyrics are probably are more meaningful now. I think the overall vibe, and I think Shawn (Brown) would say (about the new lyrics), it's sort of a positive spin on the world and how we see the world. It fits pretty well with the personalities of everybody in the band."

-- Colin Sears, Dag Nasty

"I have been playing in Bad Religion for 23 years and we play a lot. It's basically the same thing except for I don't know the Dag Nasty songs as well. So it's more of a challenge, because I'm actually going like, 'What the fuck's next?' The Bad Religion thing is totally fun, I get incredible joy out of it, and the Dag Nasty thing is very similar. I'm having a good time getting the drug that I am looking for."

-- Brian Baker, Dag Nasty

"(Music) was the one thing that I could get into and crawl into and immerse myself into to forget about what a bad day I'd had at school or outside of school or whatever. It makes me think back to those times. Actually, I wouldn't change anything because I might not have what I have had I not done what I did, which was move away from Rockford and then pen these songs with my friends."

-- Daniel Kubinski, The Crosses, on Die Kreuzen songs

7 Year Bitch in Seattle. (Ben London photo)

"What struck me is that they (the songs) were very honest, they were very real. It's our experiences. People experience tragedy or loss or a relationship... I'm not gonna sit here and cry all day. I'm gonna go hit something. There's a lot of raw emotion and energy in it."

-- Selene Vigil, former 7 Year Bitch singer, on the band's songs

"(Mia Zapata had the) ability to express human experience in a way that everybody could connect to. The lyrics to 'Cut My Skin'... I remember listening to a cassette tape of them before we moved out to Seattle. This is while we were all still at Antioch. I remember thinking, just listening to the certain lyrics and the way that she sung them, just having this feeling like she understood and was able to emote these universal things."

-- Valerie Agnew, former 7 Year Bitch drummer, on The Gits

"We just had zero expectations. I've struggled for a long time to find the right people to play in a band with and I had laid out of playing in bands for six or seven years prior to this band just cuz I was so frustrated. The process of finding people, and then I think I just wanted to write songs that we were all proud of. The fact that we've had the opportunity to do more with the band than I ever anticipated or expected ... I remember thinking it would be cool if we could play a couple shows and play with bands that we like, and we've been able to do much more than that, which has been surprising and awesome."

-- Gregg Emley, Holy Grove

"I wanna give people an escapism. I want people to say, 'I'm going out to go to a show, and I'm going to forget pretty much about everything that maybe has been weighing me down for the week.' I wanna give people that sense of, 'Goddamn, I'm glad I didn't say home.' I think that the lyrical content really matches the music, because the music builds and there are moments of  hills and valleys, and that's why I think that I can be more creative and actually tell a story or really use my personal tastes in folklore and fantasy and can make it maybe a little bit more accessible and still keep people (guessing) what's coming next. I want a level of unpredictability, but I want people to know that they're in good hands."

-- Andrea Vidal, Holy Grove

"It was something in the air that night. We wrote the song 'Empress Rising' on our first rehearsal and two lights broke. So I guess something was going on."

-- Thomas V J├Ąger, Monolord

Monolord pummels Bellingham, WA. (Cat Rose photo)

"I am having the most fun I have had since maybe later period Slip or when I was in The Forgotten. We have been a band for barely over a year and we have been quite fortunate with what has happened to us. Starting The Defenders was just an idea that has become a reality. It has been so much fun playing with my bandmates. We all get along really well. I mean, we might have a disagreement, but we are all pretty level headed and just don't take it too seriously."

-- Ken Helwig, The Defenders

"I've never not been able to tell Kerry (Martinez) exactly how I feel about stuff, or when something's really bugging me. I was always and still am always able to talk to him about it. He understands. We made a deal a long time ago, that if we're single when we get old-old, like in our 80s, that we're gonna move in together and spend the rest of our lives. Neither one of us are going to go out alone."

-- Spencer Bartsch, Shattered Faith

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