Rise Against (14 mars 2005)

Voici une entrevue réalisée avec Érik Stein du groupe Rise Against

There's been a few lineup changes in the band's history - how did the Rise Against form initially?

We started in the winter of 99, after Joe's band 88 Fingers Louie broke up he was looking to start a new band, and the band I was playing in had broken up too, so we started playing together. We searched for a long time for a stable drummer, but eventually found Brandon who had recenlty left his band, Pinhead Circus. He moved from Colorado to Chicago and he's been here ever since. We've gone through several guitar players but we're now rocking with Chris who used to play in Reach The Sky who plays on our last record and has been touring with us for a year now.

I'm sorry if this is inappropriate but I have to ask... What the heck happened with Dan Presicion, anyways? I've heard so many sides to this story that I really don't get it anymore...

There really is no story, just lots of rumours, like everytime a band loses a member. Put very simply, it just wasnt' working out, and we needed to either make a change or end the band right there in our first year.

Rise Against is a band with a mission - how would you describe it? How important is it for the band to carry a message of some kind through music?

It's imperative. It why we are here. We're not in this for any other reason other than the fact that we enjoy what we do and we want to carry on the legacy of punk, which has always had a message.

How educated are you guys, school-wise? The reason I am asking is that people like you who seem as aware as you are must somehow have started that whole process somewhere... So if it's not from school, then from where?

None of us have a college degree, some of us were close. I was heading into my senior year as an English major when I had to choose between the band and my degree. I knew I could always finish my degree whenever, but the band was now or never.

Punk rock was my introduction to a sort of awareness of the world around me. Records by bands like the Dead Kennedys, or Propaghandi, Refused, Bad Religion or Los Crudos shed a lot of light on the the problems of our world. I think literature was what nurtured that awareness. I think reading is so important to every single human being, especially today with so much bullshit we are bombarded with everyday in the form of billboards, commercials, worthless television shows, mind-numbing movies, or giant sporting events to distract us. Reading is so important to each of us.

[if Tim is answering these questions, or if you could fire that one at him please:] The band's lyrics are truly unique - inspiring, mind opening, emotional, eloquent and beautiful. I was really impressed with that when I reviewed Siren Songs Of The Counter Culture, amongst other things. Where do you get the inspiration?

The songs speak to me and they bring the words out of me. Honestly it feels like its coming from somewhere else. My inspirations are the world around me, whether that's sweatshops and the AIDS epidemic or a friend who I had a falling out with, I just try to put down these feelings and emotions as openly and honestly as I can.

How do you guys have time to get involved with all kinds of causes, from Punkvoter to promoting AIDS awareness to supporting Peta and everything else in between??

It doesnt take a lot of time to get involved in these things, it just takes a couple people to care about it. Like PETA for instance. We are on tour all year, playing shows in clubs all around the world. None of us eat meat. Why not give PETA a call and have them come out and set up a table at some of the 200 shows we're gonna play this year? That doesn't take that much time. We're not heros, the people that dedicate their evening to sitting behind a table at a noisy punk rock show passing out literature on how terrible meat is for the your health and the environment, those people are the heros.

What we do is simply try to incorporate more than just music into what we do.

What changed when you jumped from mega-indie FatWreck to mega-major Dreamworks/Geffen?

Not much, I mean, more people listen to our band it seems like, but not like millions more. We're not a giant arena rock band, our shows have been getting bigger and bigger over the last five years and I think Geffen helped us grow naturally without compromising what we do.

What is the band up to this year?

Worldwide touring pretty much. We've already done Japan, Australia, Hawaii, most of the US and we're in Canada now. We'll finishing the rest of the US and Canada in April and then heading over to the UK and Europe.

What makes your band want to rock every night?

The people that show up. They give us a new reason to be playing every single time we hit the stage.

What's the most wonderful thing you gained because of this band?

Perspective. It's very humbling and eye-opening to travel to other countries and be the outsider, the minority. You find new respect for the people who've come to America to start lives here.

What's the worst thing you lost?

Close relationships with friends and family back home. Touring like 250 days a year keeps you away from them.

What quote first comes to mind?

"Strong is what we make each other."
-Marge Piercey

When I think of Canada, I think of...

Free healthcare and an amazing punk scene...

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