Yuppicide is a really good band which is really fast on answering interviews too….november 2014
Please tell me a little bit history about the band?
-S: Joe (bass), Jesse (vocals) and Steve (guitar) have been doing Yuppicide since 1988. Over the years, we’ve been lucky to work with some great drummers; and we continue that tradition by having the pleasure of having Jay on drums since 2010, when we started playing again after calling it quits in 1998.
Please tell me a little about every member in the group right now age, family,
work, interests and something bad about everyone? Original members? Bands on
S: Joe plays bass, he’s 48 and he owns ReadySet. Jesse sings and is also 48, he’s a new dad and he does freelance web and graphic design. Jay plays drums and he just turned 40, he also plays in the awesome NY band ‘Caught In A Trap’. Steve is 45 and plays guitar in the band and is a designer in an engineering firm. Joe, Jay and Steve are all really into vintage British motorcycles, but Jesse who is from England is the only one smart enough to stay the hell away from those things. We all work because the band doesn’t support us, in fact the band costs us money to do!
I can of course hear some Anti-Seen and DOA …what about that? Which bands are
you being compared to??
-S: Those are both great bands, for sure. We in the band like a wide variety of music, but we all agree on the Clash, Ruts, Blitz, Dead Kennedys, Negative Approach, Cro Mags, Laughing Hyenas, etc. I love Motorhead, so a fair amount of them can be heard in our music.
Yuppicide where did the name came from… Was it suggestions on any other name?
Which is the best band name ever?
-S: I think Jesse may have seen it in a magazine in the 80’s, or maybe written on a wall back then? I’m thinking the best band name that comes to mind might be “The 4skins”? Great band with a great name, but maybe “Dead Kennedys” tops it?
Jesse: I saw it written on a wall on the Lower East Side in a neighborhood that was being gentrified. We thought – well that's clever and catchy!You don't see so many Yuppies these days, now its all their hipster kids plaguing the city!
What´s the best thing with playing live?
-S: Being able to play LOUD! But, it’s definitely the crowd reaction: if they go nuts, it gets us that much more stoked.
J: Yes a good crowd reaction is the best part.
And where is best to play?
-S:I like smaller clubs with great sound systems.
How is it to play this sort of music in your USA? Is it a big scene?
-S: Americans are spoiled, especially in the NY area, because there’s SO many good bands playing. On any night there might be 3 or 4 good shows to see. But like anywhere, it can be tough for people to get out to support the smaller, local bands.
How would you describe your music in three words?
-S: Loud, fast, sincere
What does punk mean to you, is it only a word or is it a lifestyle?
-S: The great thing about ‘punk’ is that it’s so open to interpretation. Everyone can define it and live it for themselves, as they see fit. At this point in my life, it’s still about questioning everything, and not being afraid to be anti-establishment.
J: I think punk means a lot of different things to different people, and some of it contrasting! I think the DIY aesthetic was really liberating, and the idea that anyone could start a band. But the fashion side got pretentious fast, and too much Nihilism is a dead end.
How do you see on downloading, mp3 and that stuff?
-S: Since we don’t rely on the band for income and we’ve all accepted the fact we’ll never get rich from punkrock, I don’t mind people having and sharing our music. The corporate music industry is such a bloated, corrupt money machine- anything that can be done to destroy it is fine by me. Music, especially punkrock, is meant to be shared and enjoyed, not be someone’s cashcow that they milk for all they can.
J: Yes big labels work the biggest scam artists, so in some ways MP3s leveled things. I think the 'pay what you want' is a good approach. It costs the band money to release music, its only fair that you pay them something for it. Or buy a shirt or go to a show – just support the bands you like and don't be a fucking mooch!
How is it to live USA? Politically?
-S: It’s tricky, but we do have a fair amount of freedom to do and say what we want, but that freedom is constantly under attack. The far-right religious fundamentalists are making a lot of noise right now- they’d love to bring the country back to 1846. Some changes are moving the country forward, which is nice to see, and it seems like more and more people are getting upset about the grip that corporations have on our government.
J: America is a big as country, and things change from state to state dramatically. Christian fundamentalism is on the rise for sure. The biggest issue is that corporations are buying representatives. Greed is America's greatest enemy.
Is there any good bands from USA now??In your homecity?
-S: “Caught In A Trap” is a great band we like a lot.
J: Oblivionation are great, Hoax are super intense, and our friends band Ache are really good too. There are tons of bands popping up all the time, hard to keep track.
What do you know about Sweden? Have you been and here and played?
-S: Well, I used to have a Saab car so….We haven’t been there yet, but we’d love to get there and play- it seems like there’s always been great underground music scenes there. And we all saw “The Girl With Dragon Tattoo”.
Have you heard any good bands from Sweden?
-S: Many! Disfear, Wolfbrigade, At The Gates, Entombed, Anti Cimex, Anti Bofors..
Your lyrics, who does them and what influences you?
-S: Jesse and I work on them; he’s been doing a lot more of them lately which works out great because he’s really come into his own as a great lyricist. We sing about a lot of stuff in our lives: politics, war, religion, bosses, failed romances…Sometimes we just write a good old fashioned angry punkrock song about being angry!
J: For me, some songs start as a vague idea with just a few lines jotted down. Other times there's something that really bothers me and what I want to write is really specific. If I'm writing about someone I don't like I usually try to write as them – a technique I got from Jello Biafra.
Is there any subject that you never will write anything about?
-S: Probably no love song ballads in the near future.
J: I think there's always a risk of being cliché and I do my best to be sincere. Sometimes, in hindsight, I have ventured into pretentious areas, but I think its important to explore things regardless.
Politic and music, does it goes hand in hand? Which is your most political
-song? And your most unserious song?
S: They don’t always have to be linked, but they can be great together. One of our most political songs to date is probably “American Oblivion”; it deals with people trading their freedom for a false sense of security. Our most unserious song was probably “have Fun or Fuck Off” from our first album; but our most recent unserious song is “Not With You”, just a good old fashioned fast punkrock ripper.
Best political band/artist?
-S: The one I go back to time and time again is “Dead Kennedys”, but I’m also a big fan of early Discharge.
J: Crass were a big deal to me as a teenager. I find them a bit whiney at times, but I still respect the site out of them!
Do you think that music(lyrics and so on) can change anyones life, I mean
people who listens to music?
-S: Any art can change people’s lives. We’ve actually had the honor of people telling us that our music saved their life or made their life better, so it can happen. I know music changed my life and still is. Early on I learned to question the status quo and not just accept what everyone did.
Is it everything that you released between the years 88-98 on the anthology
or is it something you don´t have there???
-S: We actually managed to somehow get everything all together we did on that anthology- pretty amazing.
Is it important for you to get out physical records? Why or why not?
-S: I think it is- I’m old so having something physical to hold in your hand as a physical document of all your hard work is pretty amazing. But I think it’s more important for the fans out there- a lot of people still collect objects and physical things, so they like to have our records, which is very humbling. We always try and charge a very fair price for our records and gigs- this stuff should cost as little as possible so that people can come to the shows and so that we can keep playing shows.
Please tell me a funny thing which have happened during your career and under
some gig? I can imagine that it´s wild
-S: I’m sXe and always have been, but not everyone else is, so there’d be times when I’d be around people smoking hash or weed and I’d end up with a contact high. One time we were getting interviewed for a zine in Germany after a gig in a small room with no windows and there was a bunch of people smoking hash in there, so I ended up getting pretty baked just by being in that room. I found myself not making any sense when asked questions, and I also found out that I could no longer walk.
J:We once drove to a show upstate and everything went wrong. The Car was a classic convertible from the 60s, but not in good condition. We got pulled over and our drummer at the time who was driving had warrants for unpaid parking tickets, so they arrest him. We had to take out all the money we could and negotiate to get him out on bail. As we continued to the gig, the muffler fell off. Then we ran out of gas on a highway with not emergency lights and 16 wheelers rushing by. We had to walk 3 miles to get a can of gas. We were so late and stressed that we were speeding and got pulled over again by a state trooper. We told her what type of day we'd had and she asked to see our equipment to prove we were a band. We had to give her a screwdriver to open the trunk (that car was a piece of shit). In the end she let use off without a ticket! We got to the show 3 hours late but the crowd was still waiting. We played to most insane set – we had a lot of anger and frustration to release!
How does your audience look like? Which people do you miss on your concerts? -S:Nowadays it’s mostly people in their 30’s and 40’s- people who may have heard us in the 80’s or 90’s and still come out to see bands they knew from their youth. I wish there was more people coming out to our gigs, but we know that getting old sucks: people have to work or have kids to take care of- growing up can suck!
Please rank your five favoriterecords, five favoriteconcerts and five most
important things in life?
-S: My ‘top 5’ always changes, but right now my top 5 punker bands are: Naked Raygun, Effigies, Negative Approach, Poison Idea and Vitamin X. I’ve been lucky enough to see so many great bands: Swiz, Lifes Blood, Underdog, DOA, Leatherface; etc. The ONE most important thing in life is always gonna be “friends and family”. Oh, and cats- I LOVE cats.
J: Albums. Its hard to choose 5!Minor Threat: Out of Step, Madness: Madness, The Specials: The Specials, The Clash: The Clash, Negative Approach.
Gigs: Madness, Minor Threat, Linton Kwesi Jonhson, Cro-Mags, Nick Cave
Things: Friends, Family, Pets, Health, PMA.
Many of the old good guys is dead, Ramones, Joe strummer etc. If you had a
chance to put together a concert together with five bands(living and dead)
together with Yuppicide, which five would you have choosed?
-S: I’d love to play a concert with old friends like ‘The Radicts’, ‘Bad Trip’, ‘Blitzspeer’, ‘Devil Dogs’ and ‘Radical Development’.
J: There are bands I'd like to see, but when you play with them you don't really get to see them! There area show I would have loved to go to: Tool opening for Henry Rollins at CBGBs (we were touring Europe at the time), David Bowie in the 70s, X-ray Spex, The Clash, Madness at the Hope and Anchor.
Is it boring with interviews?
-S: Not if you go into them with the idea of having some fun.
Futureplans for the band?
-S: We’re actually working on recording an LP right now and then getting back out on tour…..maybe this time we’ll hit Scandinavia?!
-S:Get some sleep, not work so much, play more guitar, hang out with my cats more, ride old motorcycles more..
J: Work on being a good dad, find ways to simplify my life, meditate more, eat well.
-S: “To thine self be true”
J: “Forgiveness is giving up hope for a better past”
Something to add?
S:Thanks for the interest in the band; hopefully we’ll see you when we play Sweden
J: You can support the band by buying some shit: YuppicideMerch.com.
If you've never heard of us, check out Youtube for live videos, find us on Facebook or visit Yuppicide.net.