Prozacs is a really good punkband which have done some earlier records that I hope the singer sends to me. Here´s an interview which was done in February 2016.
Please tell me a little bit about you and all the groups you have been into, for how long have you been into punk?
-J: I started learning about punk music and the culture that came along with
it around 1994. I was already in college, so at the time it felt like I was
real late comer! I rode BMX bikes for a good portion of my early life, and
it was thru BMX/Skateboard video soundtracks and the Greenday/Offspring
explosion that really caught my early attention. By 1995 I was discovering
bands like Screeching Weasel, Mr. T Experience & The Queers, and really
found my favorite bands.
Please tell me a little about every member in the groups you are right now, age, family, work, interests and something bad about everyone?
-J: I am currently in 2 active bands. The Prozacs have been my main band since starting in 2001. We have a crazy amount of line up changes and a couple hiatus’s over the years. The newest incarnation consists of Matty Prozac on drums, who is 29 I believe. He’s been playing with The Prozacs off and on, and subbing on solo projects too, since 2005. He’s an easy guy to get along with and fantastic drummer, who can sing backing vocals and add lot’s to the song arrangements. He is also drumming in my other band, Stilettto Bomb. Matty comes from a family of drummers, musicians, with two older brothers that both play. Nic Cross is currently on lead guitar. He’s 26 and has been playing in several area bands for probably 10-12 years. He works for the Coca-Cola Company between rocking out. He’s also versed on playing drums and bass. Paul Basile is playing bass with the band. Paul is generally on the quiet side. He has also been playing for quite sometime, but I think the Prozacs are upping the game for him! He is 25 years old and seems to have some family and relatives also involved in music. He recently moved to Colorado for a year to do some sort of Peace Corps work of some sort.
My other band Is Stiletto Bomb, which both myself (guitar/vocals) and Matty Prozac (drums) play with. Andy Nihilate is also singing lead vocals and writing lyrics. She’s 32 years old and is very creative and full of ideas, which leads to her work in the field of marketing. Stiletto Bomb is her first foray into an active band and she is killing it. She spent 4 solid years skating roller derby, mainly as a jammer, in the 2000’s, on top of being a mother. She’s very easy to get along with and very likable. She brings a very new element to the music in her vocal styling and approach which is fresh and awesome. Oh yeah, she’s also my wife. Jeff Blood is 44 years old and has a roster of bands from the area under his belt, mainly The Uncomfortables as of recent years. He’s a totally amazing guitarist with more gear than your average music store. He’s a fairly new father, married, and has another couple music projects keeping him busy as well, along with working the 9-5 in the machining business. Jeff brings a new and varied element to the music with his versatile guitar playing and wide range of influences, from 80’s punk, surf, metal and 90’s alternative. Scotty Blood plays bass for Stiletto Bomb, and he’s, um…50 something years young! Scott spent a good portion of his playing with Massachusetts punk legends Pajama Slave Dancers, who have recently been out rocking again. He’s a badass bassist, very creative and seasoned, bringing much energy and enthusiasm to the music and band. He has a wonderful wife and daughter in college. He has much love for the Euro punk and much punk of the 70’s/80’s…which he was very much involved in.
I can hear much different influences in your music like but mostly old punk etc? Favorites from the past?
-J: My main influences are by far from the 90’s Lookout Records! Family of
bands, including Screeching Weasel, The Queers, Mr. T Experience, Riverdales,
Vindictives, The Mopes, The Invalids, The Abducted, The Methadones and so
on. Of course The Ramones, Social Distortion, Toy Dolls, Bad Religion,
Descendents & Green Day are among my influences. I’m also big into power pop
and oldies, stuff with much harmonies. There’s too much to really make a
The J Prozac CD you did as a solo artist, was it a dream you have had to do a solo album?
-J: I wouldn’t really say it was a dream to make, but more out of default.
In essence, The Prozacs has been a solo project, with myself starting the
band and being the only remaining original member over the coarse of 20
something members! “Here Is My Heart” came about during a slow period with
The Prozacs, combined with a grouping of songs that were hitting a much more
personal place. I started hitting the studio for solo sessions as a way to
remain active, and it just sorta worked itself into what it did. It let me
leave some of my comfort zones and try new things, which is now turning
around back into the active bands.
What´s the best thing with playing live?
-J: I guess just getting to rock your tunes in front of real people. It’s a real high when you see people singing along and having a good time relating to the songs you’ve created.
-J: I have had a lot of fun over the years playing in the Baltimore,
Maryland area, including the Insubordination Fests, and Philly and
Pennsylvania in general as well. I would have to say those are some of my
favorite places to play. As for the worst, probably local hardcore shows!
How is to play this sort of music in USA right now? Which types of bands do you have concerts together with?
-J: Honestly, I have not played a whole lot of shows the past 3-4 years. I
think the styles from which I generally come from have a little pockets of
bands here and there, but the more popular punk seems to be in a different
direction…and I feel a bit out of touch from it all. Recently we have been
booking some upcoming shows with old pop punk bands from the 90’s, Ramones
inspired stuff, and seeing some of the 90’s skate punk stuff coming back,
like Bigwig and the sorts. That’s exciting to see!
How would you describe your music in three words? With your different groups?
-J: “True To Heart”
The Prozacs: (90’s Pop Punk)
Stiletto Bomb (Old School Punk)
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle
-J: At this point, punk really feels like a word attached to the music and
general ideas of being myself, for me and no one else. In the world, I have
no fucking idea what punk means, if anything.
How do you see on downloading, mp3 and that stuff?
-J: I’ve been very blind and stubborn to downloading music over the years.
It’s not my way of attaining music for the most part. Yes, it does make it
really easy to send music and spread it world wide, but there’s just a loss
in the feeling, the culture and the excitement of a physical album and the
stories that come along with the search and discovery of much music. The
times have changed, but I’m still not fully embraced.
How is it to live in USA now? Politically?
-J: Eh…I don’t have much to say in the political forum.
Is there any good bands from USA now? Is the punk scene big? How is it in your hometown? Any good old bands from USA you like?
-J: It’s hard for me to think of what’s current at the moment. I love my pop punk, and Teenage Bottlerocket has been holding down the fort, as well as newer bands like Masked Intruder. There’s bands like Against ME and of the sorts, but I have not really been able to get into that stuff.
As for older bands, it’s been rad seeing the Descendents, Rancid and Bad
religion out there doing it!
What do you know about Sweden?
-J: I honestly don’t really know a whole lot about Sweden.
Have you heard any good bands from Sweden?
-J: The only band that I’m really familiar with from Sweden is Millencolin.
I really like the tunes I have heard from them over the years, but for some
reason never grabbed any of the albums. I guess No Fun At All & Satanic
Surfers are also from Sweden?
Your lyrics, who does them and what influences you? Is it different in different groups or do you have the same lyrics writing in every group, solo etc?
-J: For the most part I have written all the lyrics for my solo material, The Prozacs (aside from the first couple releases) and my first band, The GrandPrixx. With Stiletto Bomb, I had written the bulk of the lyrics thus far, but Andy Nihilate is writing much more now. I did an album with Bil McRackin ( McRackins!) last year, and we each wrote half the album musically, then traded songs and we wrote lyrics for each others tunes! My general influences for writing come from at the moment events in my life, or stories of the love, loss, struggles, the good and bad, my kids and family. Sometimes I like using metaphors and changing the outward meanings of things…or sometimes being upfront with anger or love. Other times it’s just fun, made up stuff, or drawn from subjects like movies and whatnot.
Is there any subject that you never will write anything about??
-J: I guess I have never really have written about sex or outright violence.
Politic and music, does it goes hand in hand? Which is your most political song?
-J: The political stuff is not really something I touch upon heavily. I
guess some views may make into music, but it’s generally light and based on
a personal experience at a ground level. A couple of those songs would be
The Prozacs songs “The System” & “Choice, Voice, Waste of Time”.
Best political band/artist?
-J: God, I don’t really know.
Do you think that music(lyrics and so on) can change anyones life, I mean people who listens to music?
-J: Yes, I do. I also believe it’s a totally different experience for
everyone in what they find in particular bands, songs, words that may spark
something in them.
Your cover on your CD looks really nice, is it important to have a record cover which shows people which type of music you play? Your favorite record cover? Who does your covers? And do you have any good record stores in your hometown?
-J: Ha! Thank you! Yes, the artwork and layouts are very important to me. It’s just as much a part of the creative process as the music itself. The bulk of the illustrated art for The Prozacs has been done by Canadian illustrator James Riehl. He’s an amazing artist who is doing great things involved with video games and Disney. German punker/artist Ole O’Brian (The Evil O’Brians) has also done several pieces over the past 3 years or so, including the Doubtfire album, Logo’s for Stiletto Bomb, and the up coming new Prozacs album. The latest EP from The Prozacs was illustrated by Jacob Sauer, who has done much art in the punk rock world. The Prozacs also had super cool piece done for our split 7” with Darlington by an old friend named Lindsay Branscombe. As for the other covers and layouts, I have done the majority of that stuff myself.
If I had to choose on absolute favorite cover, it would have to be the James Riehl illustrated cover of “The Prozacs: Questions, Answers & Things Never Found” album.
We have a few cool record stores in the area, but it’s definitely not what it was like in the 90’s…especially when it comes to punk. A couple towns over we’ve got Platterpus Records, Mystery Train Records, Turn It Up! and a new one called Mutation Records that I have yet to get out to!
Is it important to get out physical records of your stuff? Why or why not?
-J: Yes, totally! I love having something to hold in my hands, something for
people that want it to do the same. I’m not super huge or in a well known
band, but it still means a lot to me. It’s what will live on.
Please tell me a funny thing which have happened during your career and under some gig?
-J: Back in maybe 2000 or so, my first band, The GrandPrixx were on tour…and
we had a show in Pittsburg, PA. The booker booked the show on the wrong day.
We show up at this little bar...called Cool Peppers or something like
that…and there’s totally no one there. Turns out after getting ahold of the
booker, the show was set for the next day, but we had another show in Ohio
already. Our friends The Vermin, from Cleveland, OH were also playing and
had already drove down. Dave Parasite (The Parasites) was living in town at
the time, and I had met him months earlier, so I got ahold of him and this
dude Mike I knew…and they came to the show club with a PA for us to use.
Both bands rocked our sets like it was a sold out show….for like 3 people
and the bartender. Maybe this was more pathetic than funny?
How does your audience look like? Which people do you miss on your concerts? Which is the biggest band you ever have played together with?
-J: I guess that the general Prozacs audience has typically been your pop
punker, chucks, leather jackets type…and at times the all ages teenage
crowd. As of late, it’s been more old punkers/rockers and more bar/club
shows. I miss the all ages shows. Maybe I’m just getting to old now?
Please rank your five favorite records, five favorite concerts and five most important things in life?
Five favorite albums: (you know this isn’t fair, right?)
1. Screeching Weasel: My Brain Hurts/Anthem For A New Tomorrow
2. Mr. T Experience: Love Is Dead
3. The Mopes: Accident Waiting to Happen
4. The Vindictives: Many Moods of…
5. The Abducted: Self Titled
Five favorite concerts:
1. Hagfish/Face To Face/The Pist – Pearl Street/NoHo MA 1995/1996?
2. Dropkick Murphys/Ducky Boys – The Rat/Boston MA 1997?
3. Screeching Weasel/The Queers – House Of Blues/Chicago 2001
4. The Apers/Groovie Ghoulies/Furious George/Epoxies – CBGB 2003
5. Descendents/Suicide Machines – Pearl Street/NoHo MA 1997
Five Favorite things:
1. My family
Cookies & Milk
Is it boring with interviews? Is it much interviews??
-J: I love doing interviews! It makes me feel important! I don’t do a whole
lot of them.
If you could choose five bands from the past and the history and nowadays and both dead and living bands to have a concert together with your band. Which five have you been chosen?
-J: 1. Any band that Dan Vapid is fronting. 2. Ramones 3. The Vindictives 4.
Screeching Weasel 5. The Mr T Experience
Is music a good way to get out frustration and become a nicer person outside
Which is the most odd question you ever have got in an interview?
-J: Probably this one…
Which is the question you want to have but you never get. Please ask it and answer it?
-J: Q) What is your favorite color? A) Blue…I think…
Futureplans for the band?
-J: At this point I’m happy to be playing at all, between work and family
life. Just taking it one day at a time and seeing what happens! At the least
play a few shows and release new albums with both The Prozacs and Stiletto
-J: See the answer to the last question!
-J: Do what makes you happy…for you first.
Something to add?
-J: Thank you Pete and Skrutt Magagzine for having interest in my little
punk rock world!