Break The Silence (29 mai 2005)



Lors de leur spectacle à la SHOP le 14 mai dernier, nous avons eu la chance d’interviewer Dan Précision (ex-88 Fingers Louie et ex-Rise Against), Josh Segal et Dan Wintercorn de l’excellente formation Break The Silence de Chicago. Le groupe a lancé en 2004 un CD intitulé Near Life Experience sur Hopeless Records. Voici donc un regard intime sur le groupe et son histoire.

[DAVE] T’es tu prête, Cath?
[DANP] Quoi?
[DAVE] Are we ready?
[CATH] We are ready.
[DanP] As-tu des singes?
[DAVE] Huh?
[DanP] Je mange des singes.
[DAVE] That doesn’t make sense.
[DanP] It doesn’t?
[DAVE] Je mange des singes?!
[Cath] That doesn’t even make sense in English.
[DanP] Je mange des singes! Right?I like to eat monkeys?
[DAVE] Ok, yeah ok. That really doesn’t make any sense, though.
[DanP] Yeah it does!
[DanW] Don’t say monkeys, say bebe.
[DanP] No.
(laughs)
[DanP] Bebe monkey. Bebe singe.
[DanW] Is it bebes…plural?
[DanP] Alright enough, she wants to start this interview!
[DAVE] Yeah, it’s bebes… anyway, she’s gonna ask the questions… And I’ll record!
[DanP] Ok.

[CATH] Ok, so for the people who don’t know, who are you, who is Break The silence?

BTS: We are Break the Silence! We got Dan Wintercorn on vocals, me, Dan Precision, on guitar,
[JOSH] Josh Segal, bass…
[DANP] And then Mike Ford is on drums, and Brian Phee is on the other guitar.

[CATH] How would you describe this band in seven words or less?

[DANP] Fuck you up like a bad accident!
(laughs)
[DANP] I stole that from SNFU, I cannot take credit for that…
[DANW] Seven words or less…
[JOSH] Take it away, Wintercorn.
[DANW] I’m just gonna quote Mark and say, rake your face.
(laughs)
[JOSH] Rake your face Jesus
[DANW] Rake your face Jesus?
[DANP] No, don’t say that…
[DANW] No, that’s not real. I’ll be serious.
[DAVE] We’ll cut that part out.
(laughs)
[DANP] Yeah…
[DANW] I don’t fucking know!
[DANP] Melodic-energetic-aggressive-hardcore-punk-metal.
[DANW] Is that seven?
[DANP] I don’t know, I wansn’t counting.
[CATH] Yeah, it’s seven flush.
(laughs)

[CATH] What’s behind the band name?

[DANP] Originally how I got the band name from is that I was falling asleep one day and started thinking… There’s a CD that I like, an old CD and I know there’s a lyric in there that I really like and I can’t remember what it is… So, I got up at like one in the morning and started looking through all my CDs and I remembered the CD, started looking through all the lyrics and I found it and it was a song lyric, but I won’t tell you where it’s from…
[DAVE] Ok…
[DANP] But it is NOT from Depeche Mode and it is not from Finch
[DAVE] Ok…
[DANP] …not from any band from now, it’s from an 80’s band that most people would have never even heard of…
[DANW] But it’s not from Depeche Mode –
[DANP] Yeah, it’s not from that, I already said that! So anyways, that’s where we got the name, but what I think it means, well I think that there’s a lot of different meanings for each of us. Dan, you got any takes on this?
[DANW] Um, yeah just basically, you know… I don’t know how to… It applies to, like, anything, you know?
[DANP] Well, the way I looked at it in the beginning is there are a lot of people in this entire world that are silenced because of whatever... There might be an oppressed wife from a husband, there might tbe an oppressed worker by his/her employer or something like that –
[DANW] Kids at school…
[DANP] Yeah, like by his friends or teacher or whatever, and basically, it’s just break the silence, stand up for yourself, don’t let people keep you down, don’t be quiet and keep your opinions to yourself, be vocal about what you like and what you believe in.
[DANW] Yeah, mainly stressing don’t care what other people think as long as you mean it, it’s definitely worth presenting.
[DANP] Josh do you have any different views on that?
[JOSH] That sounds good to me…
(laughs)
[DAVE] And what do we get if we find out where the lyrics came from?
[DANP] What do you get… Why, you’re gonna take a guess?
[DAVE] No, no, it’ll take some research.
[DANP] Yeah, do some research… I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone, have I yet? I mean, I told you guys… You probably don’t even remember though.
[JOSH] I can’t remember.
(aaahhhhh)
[CATH] Already?
[DANP] Yeah, that’s good. But that’s ok. Alright, so and it’s not from a Queensryche song, which is breaking the silence.
[DAVE] Oh, ok.
[DANP] Someone thought that, even though I am a big Queensryche fan.
[JOSH] Right when I joined the band, I was reading Crime and Punishment by Dostoevsky and he uses the phrase ‘break the silence’ pretty much in every chapter maybe 5 to 10 times…
[DANP] He’s lying, he cant’ really read!
(laughs)
[JOSH] … and I just thought it was strange because I’ve just got into the band and it was the first thing I start reading and this is even be some kind of sign for me…
[CATH] It’s a sign from God!
[DANP] There you go. Yeah, by the way, this is Josh, our newest bass player; I guess we can kind of touch up on that a little…
[JOSH] Hello.
[DANP] A very good addition to our band!

[CATH] Where did you find him, where is he from?

[DANP] We were going through the subway once, and he was laying in the gutter and he was all fucking drunk and he had a bottle of Jack Daniels and stuff…
[DANW] He had a couple of needles sticking out of his arm, which is actually why I noticed him because I was looking for a new needle!
[DANP] He was drooling a lot too and you know, we thought, most bass players we know drool so…
(laughs)
[JOSH]That pretty much defines me!
[DANP] Ok, go ahead; tell them your side of the story. Your story differs… slightly.
[JOSH] I went to school in St-Louis and I played for a band called Form Follows Failure and we had played with Break the Silence a number of times and my band broke up and as soon as I heard that they were looking for a replacement, I tried to get in touch with you guys and fortunately Dan got a hold of me and I started learning their songs as quickly as possible and I tried out and just seemed to click so… here I am.
[DANP] So after several people we tried out, definitely the one.
[DAVE] Did you play with other people?
DP: For a time being, we did one tour and a major show in Chicago, with Rise Against actually, with Bob Skwerski, he was the bass player from a Chicago band called the Bollweevils, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of them; They were a pretty big Chicago band back in the time when 88 Fingers Louie was doing well as well and I had been friends with them since back in 94. But yeah, he filled in for a bit, which was a cool addition, but he definitely didn’t want to do it full-time and anyway we got Josh and that’s definitely for us a better choice. Sorry Bob!
(laughs)
[DANW] With Josh is was kind of instant too, we were all feeling very strong –
[DANP] Not me, remember? I have to be honest, when we were first trying him out I was like, I don’t know… there’s something weird about him! He doesn’t look at me when he talks to me! He talks to everybody else and looks at em, me he seems very hesitant. I think he doesn’t like me, or what!
[CATH] You’re just intimidating.
[JOSH] You’re pretty imtimidating.
[DANP] Am I?
[JOSH] At first yeah.
[DANP] I apologize for that.
[DANW] As somebody else who has come into the band after they were kind of together and stuff, I can see why you would say that.
[DAVE] He’s drunk all the time so…
(laughs)
[DANP] This guy…..
[DANW] Between the both of us, there’s usually somebody drunk…

[CATH] How about youdid you (DanW), how did you end up in the band?

[DANW] Actually, I was at Warped Tour 2002? Is that?…
[DANP] Yeah, it’s when NOFX was playing.
[DANW] and a band of a bunch of my best friends, called Much the Same, had actually recorded a demo with this guy (Dan Precision) and made plans to record a full-length and they just heard from him that they were looking for a singer. I had this solo project going at the time, it was just rough ideas and stuff like that… Actually, Dan OG from Much the Same, their guitar player, gave me a flyer at the Warped Tour and he was like, dude, your solo stuff sounds good; maybe you should just try out singing for these guys. I liked 88 way back in the day and I liked Rise Against a lot, so I figured why not give it a shot? So yeah, I just started auditioning with them. We did what - three or four sessions?
[DANP] Yeah, we did some recording sessions and stuff like that just to see how we’d do. Actually, we were down to two singers; it was him and one other person. The other person was very good as well, very melodic, but didn’t have any type of screaming capabilities. Dan hit it on the head, you know? We slapped him around a bit… Him to (pointing at Josh) – that’s what I do!

[CATH] How about Jason, what happened with him?

[DANP] Jason - very good friend of ours - we were working with him for quite a while before we were in Break the Silence; I had joined their band, All Else Fails, that’s where it all started. And, we worked with him for quite a long time and he was probably… how can I put this… he was the least rehearsed on his instrument. He is definitely a decent bass player, but he could definitely use some work. When we were recording the record, in February and March of 2003, Near Life Experience, he was having a hard time and we were really trying to have him practice more and he started getting a lot better, he showed a lot of improvement. From there, as long as we keep going on the same track, we’ll be ok. Since then, until we let him go, which was December 2004, the whole band was showing improvement, we were all growing together, unfortunately, he wasn’t showing that much improvement. I mean, it’s not that he didn’t want to, I’m not sure if that was it but… You know, he had a good job, he was definitely busy with other things in his life and it was coming to a point where it was getting really rough. He wasn’t able to keep up in some ways, plus I don’t think he enjoyed the band as much as we did…
[DAVE] The touring and stuff?
[DANP] The touring and stuff…
[DANW] If I can interject…
[DANP] Yeah!
[DANW] It seemed like he was more on the fence with what he wanted to do with his life. Obviously, being in a band going out on tour for months is total commitment; you’re basically putting everything back home on hold. He just seemed like… It’s not that he wasn’t dedicated; it seems like he was more so unsure. He had a great job, so do I want to stick with that? Do I want to do the band thing? So, as time went on, he seemed to lose a bit of interest almost…
[DAVE] Because it is a big risk to take…
DW: It is! There are so many people that are talented musicians, but they’re not just cut out for the touring thing. I think he kind of just realized, as we did almost simultaneously, that he’s just not the kind of person that is willing to live the kind of unpredictable lifestyle that’s living in a band on the road.
(Dan P’s cell phone starts rigning)
[DANP] Oh shit, I got a call…
[JOSH] That can wait.
[DANP] Yeah, that can wait.
[DANP] Luckily, when we did approach him and asked him about things, it wasn’t like we were just throwing him out; we asked him how he felt with everything. Both the band and he…. or him, whatever the grammatically correct way is!… we were both on the same wavelength and we decided to part ways. And that’s the other thing, we weren’t the kind of band that’s like well, we might be letting go Jason, let’s go find another bass player. Because to us that’s like cheating on a girlfriend, like saying this one is going bad, I’d better find somebody else before I let this one go. That’s not the way we were.
[JOSH] As soon as my band broke up though, I started learning all their bass lines and that was when Jason was still in the band.
[DANP] What?! Oh yeah! That’s right!
[JOSH] I remember, the week after –
[DANP] Before we even asked him, he already was, that’s right!
[JOSH] And when Matt Crane went out with you guys, I told him hey, put in a good word for me. I don’t think he even knew what I was talking about…
[DANW] So, to a slight degree, we were trying to cover our asses!
(laughs)
[DANP] No, but he was doing it before we even knew about it!
[DANW] Yeah, that’s true…
[JOSH] I had nothing to do when my band broke up and I had no musical outlets so I just tried learning their bass lines. Or, Jason’s bass lines…
[DANP] Cool.
[DANW] Well, thank you for identifying with us, and not some other better band…
(laughs)

[CATH]There’s a lot of people that refer to Break the Silence as the band with you (Dan Precision) in it. How does that…

[DANP] Feel?

[CATH] How does that affect you, or whatever….

[DANP] The way I look at it is I’ve been in bands that have done the most out of the five guys that are in Break the Silence. Not trying to be big headed or anything. Obviously, that’s a fact, it’s cool because a lot of people who liked 88 Fingers Louie and Rise Against have now come up and let’s see the band that Mr. Precision’s in and that’s cool.
[DAVE] Mr. Precision? (laughs)
[DANP] Mr. Precision, Dan Precision, whatever. The proper nickname that I was nicknamed, not by me, by someone else, was Mr. Precision.
[DANW] I, myself, was introduced to him as Mr. Precision.
[DANP] My name’s Dan, whatever; call me anything you want… (laughs) It’s a cool thing, but at the same time I know there’re some people out there that might hold grudges against for whatever it might be: I hated 88 fingers Louie or I hated Rise Against, so I’m not even give Break the Silence a chance.
[DANW] Or look at this band, riding someone else’s coat tails…
[DANP] Exactly! Or they think the reason we got signed with Hopeless Records was only because I was in 88 or Rise Against, which is a bunch of b.s. because with All Else Fails, I was with All Else Fails, we tried to get in Hopeless Records and they were like, no, we’re not interested, sorry! not our style! So it’s good and bad. My favourite thing is seeing people at the shows here, especially here in Canada, that have been with me for so long. They come to shows and they’re like, man, I saw you guys back in 98, 99, 94, whatever and it’s really cool that they stick with me and say hey, we want to check out the new band.
[DANW] And there’s a lot of that. I mean, even me, myself, I notice a lot of people come to us like, hey, is your guitar player was really in 88 and Rise Against? Ah man, do you think I could like, come talk to him or something? I know a lot of people are sensitive about asking you about that stuff…
[DANP] I don’t care! Anyone who reads this, you can talk to me all you want. I don’t care! We can talk about anything!
[DANW] He’s always honest and lays it out. It’s kinda funny because people are like, will he be offended if I mention 88 fingers Louie or Rise Against? No, dude… it’s all water under the bridge. [DANP] It’s all part of my life!
[DANW] Yeah, I feel like that’s cool…it’s like…you know…

[CATH] It is cool, I mean there’s so many bands that are touchy this, touchy that, don’t talk to me about this or that, and you guys are really open and one-on-one with people.

[DANP] Who cares?! It is part of life, shit happens, things go well, whatever…
[DANW] I mean, if people know about my shit, might as well let everybody know, it doesn’t matter… nothing to hide!
[JS] It’s also very nice to have a punk rock veteran in the band that has a lot of touring experience and pretty much know how the game works. It’s very comforting to have him around.
[DANP]Thanks Josh!
[DANW] Not to mention this guy is a champion when it comes to the van and trailer.
(laughs)
[DANP] Yeah, backing it up and stuff…
[DANW] I mean, he was doing it when I was 9-10 years old.
[DANP] Oh God… (laughs) That sounds kinda scary!
[DANW] Just for the record… um well no.
[DANP] What? The ten years apart thing?
[DANW] You go ahead.
[DANP] Yeah, Me and Dan are 10 years apart;
[DANW] He’s ten years older than me.
[DANP] I’m the oldest member of the band, the other Dan is the youngest member of the band. And the funniest thing is we’re the closest on wavelength… when we start thinking of goofy ass shit… it’s all right here!
[DANW} So, if you ever see things crazy or off the wall especially in terms of live shows, chances are that he’s been driving and I’ve been navigating, and just go nuts all in crazy tension, but it’s good though, I love being in a band with you, man.
[DANP] Thanks man!

[CATH] We’re gonna talk about your CD a bit. You started your recording in 2003 and you released your CD only in 2004. Why was there such a long delay?

[DANP] Well, before we were signed with Hopeless Records, we were just like fuck it, let’s just go into my recording studio, the Bomb Shelter, and let’s record a CD. However long it’s gonna take, whatever. So, we started on February 15th 2003 and we planned for four weeks or something like that. About three weeks into it or maybe two weeks, Hopeless Records called us and to say, hey, what’s going on? How are things going? We’re interested in the new band. So, we just gave em a heads up, like oh yeah, we’re recording some stuff. And then they were like, yeah, when you’re done, just send it to us. And a week later, Hopeless Records called us again and they were like, look, we have an opportunity for you. There’s a festival, Sout By South-West, it’s a music festival in Austin, Texas, every year; and they were like, we’re having an all-Hopeless showcase, with just Hopeless bands. Avenged Sevenfold was supposed to be on, they dropped off at the last minute, we’ve got about two weeks to the date, would you guys be willing to play? And we were like, I guess, you know? What’s gonna happen? They were like, we will pay for plane tickets, we will pay for hotel stay, we’ll fly you out here and if we like you, we’re going to sign you. If we don’t, and someone else signs you, based on the showcase, all we want is our money back for the plane tickets and the hotel. So we were like, wow, this is kind of a win-win situation!
[DANW] I’ll never forget the phone call I got at work from this guy: “Ok, can you get the weekend off work?” I’m like, I don’t know… And then I was like, yes, I’ll quit if I have to!
(laughs)
[DANP] So, we did that and we went out and it all worked out. Three weeks later we were signed to Hopeless Records. So that’s another reason it took so long: when we came back we had to finish it off. And based on being in my studio and I’m a real stickler for performances to make sure everything is as tight as possible…
[DANW] Especially when you’re in his band!
(laughs)
[DANP] What was even harder for me was the fact that I wasn’t very good at mixing at that time. I think it was alright, but it took me a very very long time to mix the record until I was happy. Now I look back I still say I could do a lot better now, but even at that point I had to make it as best as possible. It took me a while, but I think we came out with a pretty good product. But the reason it took so long is that Hopeless wanted to spend some time on promotion, which they did a lot of right when the record came out.
[DANW] And they threw us on a few Warped Tour dates and they encouraged us basically to start planning a tour around that and get that going as they’re getting their publicity stuff going… So yeah, all that, I mean…
[DANP] So yeah, it took time…
[DANW] Basically, at least seven or eight months.

[CATH] At what point did you (Dan W) end up in the band? Was the recording already started?

[DANW] No they just uh….
[DANP] September of 2002 is when we got him.
[DANW] I was actually on tour with a band called Much the Same just being the roadie/merch guy and the day I left for that tour, Jason, our old bass player, had given me a demo because I sent them a demo of my solo stuff and we kind of traded. It’s just the kind of rough basement demo recordings of this music and they were like: “write what you can to it and we’ll talk when you get back”. So over the time of being on tour I got three songs roughly done and just came in to the studio.
[DANP] We did a couple sessions, you know?
[DANW] But it was still… The music was pretty much finalized; I mean it was probably a good chunk of what’s on the album right now…
[DANP] The structure…
[DANW] Something like 75-80%. As far as crafting the actual music with the guitar, bass and drums, that was pretty far along and we got only one new song…
[DANP] I don’t remember!
[DANW] One or two new songs after I joined. So yeah, they were pretty much far along with their stuff, it was basically like me, a lot of that time was taken for me to write to their stuff.

[CATH] How about new stuff? (new stuff, new stuff!!)

[DANP]: Well…
(laughs)
[DANP] it’s taking some time; we’re trying to tour more because, when the album first came out, unfortunately, we did not tour enough. We did a little bit and not enough to fucking back-up the record.
[DANW] Yeah, the tour that we had, that we started on the release date, wasn’t exactly as beneficial as we would’ve hoped. But it was still good, you know, we got on the road, it was our first real tour as a band.
[DANP] So right now, we got three songs completed lyrically… I mean, not lyrically, vocally… Oh my God I just said two wrong things!! Three songs completed musically, not lyrically or vocally, not yet. And the reason is we’re trying to do a concept record - I know I was talking to you about that realier - trying to have a whole story intertwined within all the music, possibly having dialog in between songs and really making it like almost a movie for your ears in a way. Again, we’re not sure if we’re going to be able to accomplish that, it’s a goal of ours, but I think we’ll be able to do it, but it’s going take some time. We want to do it correctly, we don’t want to, you know, hash it up and be done with it. But so far, the three songs we’ve written are very metal, are more metal-oriented. But at the same time where that’s happening and there’s trying to have more screaming in those kind of songs, we don’t want to lose our melodic edge. At least that’s my opinion.
[DANW] Oh yeah, definitely, I don’t think that’s gonna be a problem
[DANP] We want to make sure we’re still Break the Silence, keeping that nice balance of screaming and melody. At the same time, working Dan into getting some more tones into his voice. Even from a song like Comfort and Cold Blood, you can see, beside just melodic singing and screaming, there’s two other tones that he’s using: kind of a gruff voice and also more of a yelling thing. We want to explore that as well in this next record. We’ll see what’s gonna happen!
[DANW] My opinion of what will be more proeminent on the new stuff is that it’s going to be a little more dynamic than what you may have heard on a Near Life Experience. That will probably be a little more cut and dry in terms of the dynamics of the songs; we’re going with the flow more than the technicalities of the songs…
[DANP] Near Life Experience was a rushed thing when you think about it…
[DANW] Yeah! And we were such a young band and we were still feeling each other out as musicians, as people…
[DANP] …and feeling each other up, but that’s besides the point…
[DANW] Yeah, that usually happens on tour a lot
[DAVE] In the trailer?
[DANW] sometimes in the trailer. Usually we fold out that bed – our bench in the van folds out - it’s pretty comfortable! You can fit like 5 sexy guys on there…
(laughs)
[DANW] That was totally irrelevant and not necessarily true…
(laughs)
[DANP] Yeah, but that’s ok, you can still use it…
[DAVE] So, no new album, next spring at the earliest?
[DANP] Yeah. I’d say probably next spring at the earliest.
(Dan’s cell phone starts ringing again)
[CATH] Somebody really wants to talk to you I think. Just take it!
[DANP] Yeah, I’m getting… Oh God, I’m getting messages and calls from all kinds of various people… My special lady friend…
[DAVE] Universal Records…
[DANP] Sorry Elena, I’m doing an interview right now!
[DANW] You’re at work!
[DANP] Yeah, I’m at work, at the office, can’t take any calls!

[CATH] So, what’s up with Hopeless?

[DANP] Good question!
[CATH] I mean, they were pretty involved when your CD came out, but what’s going on now?
[DAVE] …And you were telling me you had two albums left with them?
[DANP] Yeah, two albums left. Here’s the thing I think Hopeless’s perspective is: they pushed the album at the very beginning, which is why, as a band, we should’ve been touring a lot more at that time. Because we haven’t, I think their push has kind of waned a little bit because, obviously, we’re not the only band on the label; they have their other bands on the label they have to take care of. We wish they could be pushing us harder, but I don’t think they’re in the position to be able to push all their bands at the same force, at all times. It has to be selective at times. I don’t think by any means that they’re abandoning us or leaving us at the wayside, it’s just at certain times they have to focus their energy at other things… Now that things have sort of picked up with our touring, we actually called them and talked with them and they seem to want to push a little more and have something a little more as a joint effort with the band to keep going. I know when the new record comes out, there’ll be a lot more pushing as well. But it’s hard for them… Like I said, I wish they could do more and there are times where I’ll be like, damn, they’re not doing enough, but we, as a band, have to realize their position as a label. It’s a give and take, it’s a balance thing.
[DANW] Also, they have picked up a handful of new bands and they’re trying to keep themselves strong as a label and try to put in effort for these bands too. So that’s going to take away from their time.
[DANP] We definitely need someone who can push us full-force, full-time, we definitely need that. But we’re willing to work with what we have.

[DAVE] You didn’t feel like going with Fat Wreck Chords? Did you ask them?

[DANP] No, we haven’t asked them… At this point in the game, the only people who are going to be willing to buy out our contract from another label are going to be major labels; the labels who are able to throw down a lot of money. Fat Wreck Chords, yes, they’re definitely bigger than Hopeless, but they’re not leaps and bounds away…
[CATH] But in the beginning, you could’ve asked Fat Wreck Chords?
[DANP] Oh, we did! They refused because they said it sounds too much, based on the three songs they heard, like Rise Against mixed with Strung Out and they already have those two bands. That was based on Close my Eyes and two other songs. I could see where they were coming from, but it was a little upsetting. Mark, from Fat, said: “look I’m not trying to talk any b.s., you guys are really good, I’m not saying you’re bad, but we already have those bands”. And I think they missed out!
(laughs)
[DANW] But then, in the meantime, Thrice had just left the label (Hopeless) and moved down to bigger and better things and then they had Avenged that was kind of in the process, so they (Hopeless) had the premises to work with a band of our stature and where we were at at the time. It was a great opportunity and they’ve really done a lot for us…
[DANP] They have, I mean I don’t want to make it sound like we’re unhappy. Bye Mike! (as Mike takes off to pick-up some water bottles for the set)
[DANW] You’re leaving?! He’s taking off with all the money!
[DANP] We’ll find you later and break your legs! Bye! Oh yeah, and make sure you get the heroin and the cocaine cause you know we need a lot of that!
(laughs)
[DANW] Hey, pick me up lots of beer!
[DANP] He’s just getting water. Thanks Mike, you’re the man!

[CATH] So what’s your idea of success for this band? Both personally and as a band.

[DANP] Sex, Drugs and Rock&Roll. No, no, no… For me, if I can maintain a decent lifestyle, if I can make a living and live like a person who’s working their 9 to 5 job, making money to afford their house and have a wife and kids, and whatever they want to do, that’s where I’ll be happy. If I can continue with the band, continue with my recording studio, that’s all I want out of this. I don’t need to be some stinking rich millionaire on covers of all these magazines. If it was happening, I wouldn’t deny it, I would be happy with it, but I don’t need that…
[DANW] Right, I don’t think any of us are looking for any of that. For me, my goals have been ever changing as things evolve. This right now is exceeding all my expectaions - all I wanted was a band that could tour. Since I started playing when I was 12 years old, that’s what I wanted to do. If we could leave and go different places that’d be great. And as things ascended with this band, my goals have changed, but at the same time, I’m still astonished at the fact that here I am, even in another country, getting to do the thing that I’ve always wanted to do throughout my whole life. That’s basically it. I don’t know, I’m kind of fulfilling my personal goals right now and that’s it…
[DAVE] What about you?
[JOSH] I consider success just being happy with what I’m doing and feeling like I’m productive for good and just travelling seeing the world, meeting kids and seeing people pour their heart out to us and singing along with us at the shows. To me, there’s no better success. I’d also like to end up dating Scarlett Johansson… I don’t want to push the envelope or anything… if that could happen, I would be pretty happy…
(laughs)
[DANP] If Scarlett is reading this, Josh is ready for ya…
(laughs)
[DANW] I have no idea who that person is…
[JOSH] She’s cool…
(laughs)

[CATH] Alright so you’re… I guess a few of you are involved with music outside of this band; You (DanP) do recording

[DANP] Yeah, I have my recording studio, the Bomb Shelter.
[CATH] Who/what else?
[DANW] I’ve filled in for a friend’s band a couple times on guitar –
[DANP] Mike our drummer – sorry dude!
[DANW] No, no, it’s alright!
[DANP] Mike our drummer teaches drum lessons to some kids. Yeah, I think that’s about it, outside of the band.

[DAVE] Do you all have other jobs anyway?

[DANP] I have my studio.
[DANW] He’s got the studio, I work at a very boring mall part-time job like half the kids who come to our shows. It sucks, but they let me tour so I can’t complain!
[JS] I just got recently fired from this movie theatre that I used to work at.
[DANP] You didn’t get fired, did you? You quit!
[JS] Well, they asked me to write a letter of resignation. It’s this great movie theatre in St-Louis called the Tivoli and I love it, I love the people who work there, but they just… [DANP] They let him go!
[JS] They let me go… I can handle it now that I’m on the road I guess…
[DAVE] And you’re missing Star Wars!
[DANP] What? What? No, no! The 19th! I’m going! I’m going! I’m going!
(laughs)
[DAVE] Yeah, Thursday. But you won’t be able to get in, though.
[DANP] Why not?
[DAVE] There won’t be any tickets left!
[DANP] Oh, sure there will. Come on!
[DAVE] For you?!
[DANP] For me!!!! Come on!!! Where are we gonna be on the 19th?
[DAVE] Ontario?
[JOSH] Somewhere in Ontario.
[DANP] There’s gotta be something! Midnight showing, I’m there! I went to see The Phantom Menace four times the opening night! Midnight, 10AM, 7PM and 10PM!
(laughs)
[DANP] And I have to say I was quite disappointed, but it was alright.
[DAVE] But you still went four times!
[DANP] And I went back for Attack Of The Clones, and that was a kick in the balls, I’ll tell you that! So hopefully Lucas will redeem himself in this newest endeavour!
(laughs)
[JOSH] Although I must say my sister’s new fiancee is –
[DAVE] is George Lucas?
[JOSH]No, but he works for George Lucas.
[DAVE] Oh!
[DANP] Who does? What?
[JOSH] My sister’s new fiancee.
[DANP] Are you serious?!
[JOSH] He was in episode I and II.
[DANP] He was IN the movie?!
[JOSH] He’s the Jedi. He’s the green, tall, with the long tentacles.
[DANP] No way! So that’s your Star Wars fiancee.
[JOSH] My sister’s.
[DANP] Wow.
[DAVE] So he can get you tickets, then
[DANP] Yeah, where are the tickets, man? Make it happen!
[JOSH] I’ll make it happen. I’ll make some phone calls
[DANW] I’ll hang out in the van while they’re doing that because I’m not a big Star Wars person unfortunately. I’ve tried, it just… hasn’t happened!

[CATH] So what’s up in Chicago now?

[DANP] Fucking nothing.
[DANW] Yeah.
[CATH] There’s NO bands?!
[DANP] I’ll tell you what. The scene is.. No, there’s some good bands, bands like Fallout Boy and Alkaline Trio… and what’s that other band called… Rise…uh, Rise Against?…
[CATH] Huh? Who’s THAT?
(laughs)
[DANP]There’s a lot of good bands, but the scene, I have to say, kinda sucks.
[DANW] Yeah, in general, it’s just overwhelming.
[DANP] For the really small bands, you can get a lot of little small shows; there are a lot of underground things going on and what not. For the bigger bands, when you’re playing places that are thousand-capacity and bigger, there’s things going on. For anything in between, you’re playing 200 to 600-700 people, good luck! Unfortunately, that’s where we are in Chicago and it is really difficult. With the Fireside Bowl closing down… and I’ve noticed that with a lot of bigger cities, Montreal, New York, etc.

[DAVE] We used to have 2 venues that could have between 400 and 600 people but they closed down and now we’re stuck with that which is 200 people… [CATH] And that’s when we can keep the places open.

[DANP] Exactly, it’s a scary time. Scary time.
[DAVE] But band-wise, is it…?
[DANP] There’s a few good bands. There’s this metal… A lot of these bands are bands that I recorded and really liked. There a metal band called Lowchain that’s really good. There’s an awesome band, that almost signed to Epitath, called Ryan’s Hope and they’re a very poppy, happy type band, but they tune down to C, so they’re really heavy, it’s a really cool combination! Ryan’s Hope. They’re definitely something to be on the lookout for.
[DAVE] Do they have a CD, or?
[DANP] They’ve got a couple little CDs that I recorded for them, you know, six songs, nine songs, nothing like a full-length but we’re working on it!
[DAVE] Cool!

[CATH] What’s up with you guys for the rest of the year?

[DANP] Lots of shit.
[DANW] Yeah, we’ll be busy.
[DANP] We’re coming back from this tour on May 22nd, then we are leaving for a US tour on June 30th and then we’ll have a little break in between, but we’ll pretty much be gone until August 8th then I go by myself to Poland for two and a half weeks which will be awesome! So, I’ll be back on the 26th; then on September 10th we leave for Europe. We’re doing almost two months; seven and a half weeks in Europe. So, we’ll be back at the beginning of November and from there we’ll, hopefully, start writing. That’s gonna be the main goal.
[JOSH] We should start writing before we get home!
[DANP] Oh yeah! Yeah, yeah…
[DANW] I know me and Josh are gonna start, whatever you’re doing. We’ll go hang out at Exit.
[DANP] Yeah, Exit, Chicago, that’s the place to go.
[DANW] It really is. Honestly it’s the only bar I ever even visit.
[DANP] Nice punk bar, good stuff.
[JOSH] It’s like the only bar I’ve been to.
[DANP] It’s like Foufs!
[DANW] It’s the only one worth going to, Josh. You’re not missing anything!



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