WESTERN ADDICTION have member who all works at Fat Wreck and thatīs really unusual. Jason is the one who answered my questions in November 2005.
-Western Addiction started in 2003 with just myself and Chad (drummer)in Chad's garage. Chad and I work together and I asked him if he wanted to play together sometime. It was a bit weird. It's like asking a grown man on a date. Chicken (bassist) also works with us and he offered to play with us for a little while just to keep busy. It was just the three of us for a little while until we asked Ken to play with us. He also works with us. We have one 7" out on Fat, one split EP with New Mexican Disaster Squad out on No Idea Records and now we have a full length out on Fat called Cognicide.
Please tell me a little about every member , age, family, work,interests and something bad about every one?
-Jason (that's me) - I'm 31, I'm married with a family and I work at Fat Wreck Chords. I don't really have time for any interests outside of my family and band. Most guys are in 2 or 3 bands but I am only in one band. I think this goes for all of us but I like music a lot, seeing bands live, finding new bands, etc. I also recently realized that I have no concept of historically classic books and authors so I went to the bookstore and bought some books for my trip to Japan. Something bad about me...I don't curse outside of our songs and my band mates make constant fun of me about it. I would say that I am pretty worrisome, neurotic and a bit OCD.
*Chad 28. Parents and brother are in Santa Barbara, where I grew up, extended family is in Wisconsin, where I was born. Work: I reluctantly sit at a desk bothering our CD or LP manufacturers to rush another order, because we're behind schedule. Outside of work and band, I buy and listen to punk (meaning D.I./Blitz) and metal (meaning Slayer/Megadeth) records. Bad? Some people think I'm mean because I'm brutally honest about stuff. I think most people sugar-coat what they say, and I hate that.*
*Ken: Age: old as dirt but look about 15
Family: have some
Work: Fat employee, doing things
Interests: everything Iíve never tried before
Something bad about everyone: Jason, beats and molests me when I don't do things he tells me to do. Chad: things about him can't and shouldn't
be in print. Chicken: bad jock itch.
*Chicken - 27, he has a family, he works at Fat and he likes to ride bikes and look for vegan restaurants. Something bad about Chicken...he smokes.
You all work at Fat Wreck I understand, isnít it difficult to both work
and play together, I mean that you see each other every day? What is positive and what is negative with this?
-It isn't as bad as it would appear. It actually has it's advantages because when we want to confirm a show or discuss something I just get up and go to one of my band mates desks. I think what makes it ok is that I like my band mates. I don't care how much I see them because we always laugh and have a pretty fun time. It is actually even more time then this because we have to attend work functions outside of our normal day to day jobs. Even if I wanted to get away from these dorks I couldn't.
What have you done except of the Cognicide-CD and how can I get it?
You could also get in a plane, spend all of the money your family has and come see one of our shows and buy it from us. You can live with Ken. He said it is ok.
You will go out on tour to Japan, howcome that a band like your which is really new get this chance?
-We obviously have access to some very great opportunities working a record label and I can't lie about that. However, Mike just asked us one day if we wanted to go to Japan and I about fell off of my chair. I am very thankful for everything we get and I am well aware that we don't deserve some of the opportunities that we are being given. I know that bands have to play for years just to get some opportunities.
Sometimes I feel like people are going to instantly discredit us but how could we say no if someone wants to take us to Japan or if someone asks us to go on tour with them. I just feel like this is a special time and it won't last forever so I should actually try and have fun and not let what people say bother me.
How would you describe your music in three words?
-Mid-tempo, old-school, hardcore. I cheated a bit but I used dashes. That's ok right?
Your music is a little bit harder than the usual fat Wreck-stuff, howcome? Do you think that the other Fat-stuff is too lame?
-I just like those type of bands more like Tragedy, Botch, Sleeper Cell, Direct Control, Tear It Up, Mastodon, etc. I like most of the harder bands on Fat like Propagandhi, Good Riddance, etc. This style is mainly what I am a fan of. I don't think the other Fat stuff is lame, it's just not for me. However, working in music for this long I have found that sometimes I like the people in bands more than their band.
It makes my job easier when someone is a nice person even if I don't enjoy their band. Be nice bitches.
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
-I honestly feel that there is a thriving, vital punk scene happening right now that still is very underground. This occurs way below the Epitaph, Fat, etc. level. I am not discrediting those labels or bands at all because they made it possible for me to discover so many other types of bands. I don't really like to get into saying what is punk and what isn't because I feel most humans in general are hypocrites and when you start telling people what is and what isn't then you open the door to contradicting yourself. I met this guy the other day and he said to me, "Wow, I didn't expect you to look the way you do. I expected you to have sleeves of tattoos and piercings everywhere." It just made no sense to me because I feel that punk ideology is in your mind. Look at old videos of Bad Religion...they look like they shopped at Miller's Outpost in the mall but it didn't matter because they straight up DESTROYED!*
What do you know about Sweden? Have you heard any good swedish bands? What is typical swedish?
-I don't know much about Sweden but I do have one Swedish friend named Ingemar. We work together on the weekends and he taught me a few bad words. I think he used to eat blood pudding as a kid. That is very goth. As for bands...we like Refused and I think INC are a radical live band. I'm a big fan of your delicious gummy fish as well. I sound like an ugly American...typical. Ken likes the Cardigans and oh crap I love DS-13. I also love Randy and Victims. The new Regulations LP rips too. I like Skitsystem too.
Is it important to have important lyrics? Does politics and music always goes hand in hand? best political band/artist?
-I really listen to lyrics a lot when I hear a song and I think they are VERY important. I am not a big fan of songs about drinking and girls. It would just sound funny coming out of my mouth. There are bands that do it well but if I sang about chuggin' whiskey and my "red hot mama" or some crap like that I would just sound ridiculous. I don't know if politics and music have to go hand in hand always. We love the Descendents and they have some amazing girl songs. The best political band...hmmm, how about Fugazi or the Dead Kennedys.
Which is the most peculiar review you ever have got? Do you care about reviews?
-The most peculiar review we got was someone likening our band to the Descendents but I don't really hear their sound in our band. I want to not care about reviews but there is a morbid curiosity to find out what people think about my band. I am now officially not looking on any message boards though. They just make me feel bad about myself. You should read all the outlandish stuff people claim as truth about your band. I want to keep things as pure as possible so I try to avoid it.
Good bands in USA right now?
-There are LOTS of good bands everywhere right now. I don't like when people say things like, "The music scene is dead...punk is dead...there are no good bands right now". I just feel like they aren't digging enough. Some bands I like right now are Direct Control, Sleeper Cell, Propagandhi (Canadian but I don't care because their new LP is so damn good it will make you cry), Against Me!, Coliseum, the Bronx, Dangerdoom, Atmosphere, Dead To Me, Doomriders, The Holy Mountain, Lords, Mastodon, New Mexican Disaster Squad, Pelican, Warcry...I could bore you forever with good bands.
How is it to live in USA right now ?
-I guess I can never complain when I have a roof over my head and food to eat but I don't like the political climate. I feel like if someone in public office does something horrible and illegal that doesn't necessarily mean they will be prosecuted or brought to justice. I just feel like anybody can get away with anything and doing the right thing is hopeless. I am not a vengeful or violent person by nature but when I see our president I automatically get angry. It's like a Pavlovian response. I hate the news and television and big media. It just isn't honest.
Is people afraid that it will be another terrorist attack soon or what?
-I was just in NYC last month and the traffic was absolutely horrible and I was talking to a few people about it. The traffic was so bad because the President was in town for UN meetings and people were afraid to use the subways. Also, my mom was just in NYC and there was another subway scare so my natural reaction was to call her and I was worried but it turned out to be a hoax. A hoax that was covered by every major news outlet. I just don't know what to believe and what is real. As much as I don't want to listen to lies on my television they do get to me sometime.
Please rank your five favouriterecords, five favouriteconcerts and five most important things in life?
-This is tough because I like tons of different cds but I will give you 5 of my favorite ones but I can't put them in order...that is just straight up unfair *
Misfits - Walk Among Us*
Jawbreaker - Dear You*
Johnny Cash - Anything
Tri-State Killing Spree - Some Words on the Subject of Being Alive
Morrissey - Anything
My 5 favourite shows:
-Botch at the Great American Music Hall in SF
-Zeke @ Bottom of the Hill
-Green Day at this secret warehouse party in Oakland
-International Noise Conspiracy @ the Great American Music Hall in SF
-The Bronx, every time I see them in SF
My 5 most important things in life are my wife, my daughter, my family, my cats and my guitars oh and my cds. That's 6...damn it.
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
-First - It was probably some Weird Al tape when I was a kid
Last - Fiona Apple - Extraordinary Machine. Go ahead and make fun of me. I could give two squirts if you make fun of me.
Most Expensive - Probably some box sets, Misfits, Willie Nelson, Clash or Johnny Cash
Most embarrassing record in your collection?
-I've got this one cd that the Neurosis dudes put out of all bug noises.
Sometimes I go off the deep end with what I think is cool. I have a couple of other cds that I don't really ever want to tell people about but since being in a band I have a newfound respect for performing so I try listen to music with a different ear now. My daughter has the Kelly Clarkson cd and I think that song, "Since You Been Gone" is a really well written song.
A good concert with you-how is it? Which type of people are coming to your concerts?
-I don't exactly think we have found our fans if such a thing exists.
Mostly it is just creepy, sweaty old dudes.
How would you describe/review your own record?
-I wouldn't do a good job of that. I am always self loathing and I never think we are very good. The minute I start thinking we rule is the minute I start slipping. You can't destroy without the desperation. Our record is short and fast.
Which bands are you being compared to?
-Discharge, Black Flag
Western Addiction, were does the name come from?
-There is a neighborhood in San Francisco called the Western Addition and that is where it came from. I wanted to name the band Polterchrist or Family of Boys or Terciopelo...I got outvoted.
Is it many interviews? Is it boring?
-Not yet. I am just kind of flattered that people would want to talk to us at all. I have a feeling that in two weeks no one will care.
Which is the question you want to have but you never being asked-ask it and answer it?
-I haven't had that many interviews yet so I don't really know.
Futureplans for the band?
-We really want to go to Europe and play. That is our immediate goal.
-Find a way to not have to work every day, all day and just be happy. I also want to have another child.
-The only words of wisdom that my dad ever told me that absolutely, 100% came true and has been proven time and time again is..."Don't marry your first piece of ass". Holy crap, that sounds horrible and red necky but damn it if it isn't true.
Something to add?
-Thanks very much for interviewing us. I really appreciate it.