‘Anyway, it’s all rock ‘n roll’
photo and words by Crash
Yeah, that pretty much was the case. Also the irony of meeting people in some tight ass restaurant in Venice when you used to bomb the same falafel stand 3000 thousand miles away on Houston after leaving Max Fish. Not all ska is shiny happy and NYC two tone does not suck.
Nick- ‘Anyway it’s all rock n’ roll’. Roddy from the Specials said that to me.
Are you serious?
Yeah, that’s where that came from. He was walking by and I said, ‘Hey you’ve been doing a lot of drinking before the show, are you going to soundcheck?’ he says something great in cockney that you can’t understand “arrr-ahhrg, anyway, it’s all rock n roll”. He had some chicks that were all over him and he jut got so drunk.
Coolie-They broke out on him, it looked like he had them and then they just broke out. ‘anyway it’s all rock n roll’. It was funny.
-Name, what you play and favorite song from the ‘The Harder They Come’
Vinny, I play trombone, and um…what’s the one…’one more slice of Johnson’s wedding cake, another bottle of kola wine’… Fine and Dandy.
A-I’m Anna, I play bass, same song.
J-James, I play drums, and Johnny Too Bad.
R-This is Rick, guitar and Many Rivers Too Cross.
-Exactly what are you pilfering?
A-Anything, I pilfered some Sharpies from the record label today
V-(gestures at food) Anything we get gratis,
we’re very cool about it, you won’t even know.
-Why do you play two tone style?
V-Just our backgrounds, it’s the music I think we’re most interested in as a whole.
-You guys are from all pretty big bands. What are you doing now that you hadn’t before?
V-Taking the music in a different direction. I was in Bim (Skala Bim) for ten years and after that it kind of burnt out for me, or I burnt out on it and wanted to go in a more punk, heavier kind of direction and they weren’t into that so I jumped ship. Coolie called me one night and he said he quit the Toasters, and I realized at that point I had to quit Bim. Then we started exchanging songs and then we went through a bunch of players, we got James, and James got Anna. Then we got Nick from the Village Voice. From the personals section. I said ‘looking for guitar player, get your ass down here, we’ve got a gig in two weeks.’
Where did you play your first gig?
C-The Cooler! (NYC)
Now that they closed Coney and Tramps what should you do to fight Guliani’s regime?
C-Storm the building, grab him by his ankles throw rope around ‘em and drag him through the streets of New York.
A-Blast him with mosquito spray.
C-Keep talking, keep it out there. start an anti-Guliani league.
How has New York changed for you personally?
N-Can’t buy weed anymore, it’s gotten too expensive.
V-It’s not like the olden days in New York.
J-They’re running you out.
V-Used to be able to smoke joints walking down the street, can’t do that anymore. You’ll go to jail for that now.
N-The Lower East Side has become like Soho, art yuppie land. Right near where I live used to be a no mans land. You know what was there was the Gas Station 2nd and Ave B where GG Allin used to stick microphones up his ass.
Played his last show there.
N-Yeah, and now there’s this co-op that’s twenty six hundred.
V-It’s nice to walk around and not get mugged though.
Yeah, it’s a safer city, but…
V-There’s a drawback.
Disney took over Times Square.
C-Used to see Kung Fu movies there, now all those places are gone.
V-Guliani’s out, now Hillary’s gonna kick his butt.
N-He’s gonna have to commit suicide like Hitler!
J-There’s this track, it’s all of us but it’s really just Vinnie singing with Hasidic New Wave, a cover of the Dead Kennedys “California Uber Alles” except it’s “Guliani Uber Alles,” it’s great.
You’re touring with the Pietasters who are sharp dressers. Are you wearing suits more often now?
C-Man, I told them I would never wear a suit, it used to be predominately skinhead, rude boy and a certain dress code of jacket, now the skaters, the punk rockers bunch of different people are checking us out.
-Sometimes when you’re playing and look out into the crowd, do they ever skank in unison?
N-We have sections in the set where I’m just playing solo and we get people to clap in time, and you can kind of gauge how rhythmic a town is, whether it sounds like rainfall, or if they speed up or slow down.
What’s the most rhythmic town?
J-I can remember the worst, Humboldt County when we played with Mustard Plug.
They were probably just stoned.
J-The bigger towns generally have better rhythm. (everybody laughs) I don’t know what it is, they just can clap better.
V-Let us ask you questions, what are your influences?
N-Yeah, where did your parents get your name?
They were going to call me this but there was a kid down the street with the same name so they named me something else (everybody laughs).
J-What do you have to say about this-here is the only man in the business that gets away with wearing his own gear and looks fly in it.
This is your own clothing?
C- Yeah. (shows the Pilfers logo of robber guy with a sack of loot)
I don’t know, looks like he’s got a lot in that sack, that’s not a small amount.
C-He got that a lot of different places, that’s like a week of work!