One of the best rock n roll bands right now is Rumblers and they give me some answers to my questions in the end of december 2003 and they became the last interview in 2003.
-The Rumblersí history is complicated. I started the band in 1996 with someone named Derek Morley. He and I played around the Philadelphia/New Jersey area for a few years with friends sitting in on the bass and drums whenever we had a gig. After a while Derek and I did not agree on how seriously we should take the band and we went our separate ways. At that time, I had the opportunity to move to Indiana and work as an engineer and producer at a recording studio called Sonic Iguana so I took the job and thought that The Rumblers were history. After a few years working at Sonic Iguana I still had the desire to play music so I decided to resurrect The Rumblers. While talking to my brother, Matt, who at the time was playing drums in The Teen Idols, I told him that I wanted to reform The Rumblers and he suggested that we go into the studio with The Teen Idolsí guitar player Phillip on bass and record a Rumblers album so I would have a record to play for prospective members and record labels. We recorded the album and after a while I had enlisted Johnny, Tim and Keith as new Rumblers and we landed a deal with Knockout Records as well as a spot on the Muttiís Booking Buro roster. Thatís pretty much where we stand today.
Please tell me a little of the members in the band, age, family, work,
interests and something bad about every one in the group?
Rumblers, why the name?
-I chose the name The Rumblers because it evokes the 50ís era when a big fight was called a rumble. Hopefully people donít take it to mean that we look for fights. I deplore the thug mentality.
Is the name important to a group, what do you think about that?
-Ultimately a bandís songs are more important than its name. If a bandís songs are absolutely incredible its fans will overlook the bad name but I think that bands with bad names have done themselves a disservice by placing an obstacle in the way of their success. Fans should not have to ďget pastĒ the name to appreciate a band. I think a bandís name should represent a bandís personality and, in turn, itís memberís personalities. If fans can relate to a bandís name then you have broken down one of the barriers between band and audience.
Which is the best bandname in the world?
-The best band name in the world is The Clash. It perfectly sums up what the band stood for both socially and musically.
In my review I describe you as a mix of Social Distortion and Bad Religion, what about that?
-Well, first of all, I am flattered that you would place us in the same category as those two bands. Social Distortion and Bad Religion are both fantastic bands. Weíve gotten the Social D. Comparison from the very beginning so we are used to that. I think that Mike Ness and I draw on a lot of the same influences so itís only natural that there will be some similarities. For inspiration I listen to a lot of old country, blues, rockabilly, sixties pop and old punk and Iím pretty sure youíll find the same records in Mikeís collection. As for the Bad Religion comparison I think that probably comes from the fact that we have a lot of harmony backing vocals. I like bands that offer melody and grittiness at the same time.
Other bands you have being compared to?
-At times we have been compared to Heartbreakers, The Devil Dogs, The Black Halos, The Ramones, The Teen Idols, The Supersuckers and probably more but thatís all I can think of right now. I think itís good that we have been compared to such a diverse group of bands. I think that shows that we are not a one dimensional band and people across a broad musical spectrum can enjoy us.
Do you care about reviews?
-I do care about reviews. A well written review lets people know how we sound. Whether a reviewer likes the record or not doesnít really matter if they accurately describe the music.
Which is the most peculiar review you ever have got?
-I recently read a review that said Hold On Tightís production was too good and after while it made the reviewer sick. What was particularly strange was that he compared the production quality to early Green Day records and those early Green Day records are notorious for their poor production. I had a hard time figuring that one out. Another reviewer spent a lot of the review saying that he didnít like us but then he said that he thought the songs were the kind that mainstream radio would pick up and force it down everyoneís throats. Both reviews were sort of compliments and putdowns at the same time. I found them both very strange.
Do you believe the good or the bad reviews most?
Youīre on Knockout Records now, is it a good label?
What do you like the other bands there?
-I like Oxymoron and Cock Sparrer a lot. Also, Bombshell Rocks and Agnostic Front have done records with Knockout and I like both of those bands.
How is it to play this type of music in USA?
-Itís very difficult playing our style of music in the US right now. Our record came out on my label, Switchblade Records, here in the US and it is a very small operation. Switchblade does everything it can to promote our records but it is run on a very small budget. We would like to be on a bigger label for our future releases but most of the bigger labels seem interested in emo bands or watered-down, new school punk. I think that since the punk scene has gotten so young in recent years (over here punk shows are mostly attended by 15-18 year olds) that labels are reluctant to take a chance on a punk n roll band because they donít think the young kids will understand it. I think that is the wrong attitude. Whenever we play for a really young audience we do well.
Any good bands there?
What do you know about Sweden?
-I know that Sweden enjoys a very high standard of living and has a reputation for governmental policies which benefit its citizens. Many American progressives use Sweden as an example of how our government should look after its people. I know that part of the country is above the Arctic Circle and that makes for some cold, dark winters. Iím not sure about the Southern part. To me Sweden is famous for exporting, Volvos, Saabs, Ikea Furniture, hockey players and the Swedish Bikini Team.
Have you heard any good swedish bands?
Is it many interviews? Is it boring?
-We get a medium amount of interviews. Itís never boring. I like connecting with people. I enjoy corresponding with people from all over the world.
Which is the question you never get but you want to have? Please ask it and answer it?
-The question I never get is: ďDid OJ do it?Ē and the answer is ďYesĒ.
Do you have any favouritezines on the web or on paper?
-My favorite webzines are runamok.de, wasteofmind.de, and therocknrolltruckstop. My favorite printed zines are Fat City, Gearhead, AMP and Up Mag.
Where do you stand when weīre talking about mpī3 s, do you download yourself? Whatīs the good and whatīs the bad with them?
-I have never downloaded an MP3 in my life. I believe it is stealing and I donít support it. I know it is difficult to feel any sympathy for big record labels or for bands like Metallica who have all the money they could ever want but the laws that protect them also protect the struggling bands. I know that downloading has really hurt independent labels and small to mid-sized bands. Some labels have even gone so far as to hold back promotional CDs until the release date out of fear that the CD will be on the internet before it is for sale. People who are pro-downloading argue that downloading helps promote a band but that only helps if the downloaders go buy the CD and we all know that most downloaders do not buy the CD after they have the songs.
Do you think that in the future no bands can earn money on their music and they only play for fun due to this fact with mp3īs?
-I think the music scene is resilient and bands will find ways to earn a living off their music even if downloading makes it more difficult. It seems that the major labels and lawmakers are slowly developing ways for royalties to be paid on downloads. I think some sort of pay-per-download system is needed. It wonít completely fix the problem but it will help.
Do you have any favoruitesite on the net?
Please rank your five best records, five best concerts and five most
important things in life?
First, last and most expensive record ever bought?
How is a good concert with you?
Do you have good contact with your fans and what sort of fans do you have on your concerts?
-I think we have a really good relationship with our fans. We are the same as them so we donít treat them any differently. Our fans are a very diverse group of people. We get greasers, mohawk punks, skins, pop-punkers and regular rock fans at our shows.
Futureplans for the band?
-We want to release a new album in the next 18 months and continue to tour as much as possible. Hopefully our next tour of Europe will take us to Sweden.
-Personally, I want to develop Switchblade Records into a label that people can count on for good records.
-I think itís important that people all around the world treat each other with respect and recognize that any differences that we may have based on language, culture, skin color, sexual preference or religion mean nothing compared to what we have in common. We only live a short time so make the most of it and try to be happy.
Something more to add?
-Keep on rockiní!