View Full Version : Maximum Rocknroll - Number 89 - October 1990

01-02-2009, 12:39 PM
For a SoCal punk band that's been around for over fiver years, the Offspring just haven't gotten the attention they deserve. mixing driving, hard punk with Orange County melodif sensibilities, this band is one of the best around. With one 8! and a fantastic album, the Offspring are really worth lokking out for both live and on vinyl. The band consists of Brain - vocals, guitars; Ron - drum; Greg - bass; Kevin - guitar. This interview was done outside of Gilman St. by Lance, Kamala and Karin...

MRR: First of all, for a band as catchy, upbeat and fun as you are, why do you live In Southern Califronia (laughter), and how can you stand it?
Kevin: Well, we're used to it. We all grew up there... for better of for worse.
Brian: It's like being born a Hari Krishna. You just don't any other way. I don't know. Southern California is so spread out that you don't have a lot of contact. It's not like a real community like it is up here. We just try to avoid everybody. (laughter)

MRR: I heard that the nickname for Garden Grove is garbage grove.
All: (groaning) Yeah.
Kevin: That's a cute one.

MRR: Everyone talks about how shows are hard to get. When you do have them, ther're these big violent things. How do you put up with that?
Kevin: Actually we're staring to get more shows now. We have a show lined up every weekend for the next four weeks. There's hasn't been too much violence lately. Except for Rico beating up some guy with a spray can at the Anti Club. Why do we live in Southern California? (laughter)

MRR: What do people think of you when you play there? Are people receptive to the stuff you do? You've been around for a few years now. Do you feel like you're making progress?
Kevin: More people have seen us up here because we've gotten on some really good shows. Down there, we just haven't been that fortunate. The way shows are promoted there are mostly through flyers and record shops. And like Brians said, everything is so spread out that you don't get to a real lot of people.
Greg: It's noy like word of mouth or anything.

MRR: Are you able to avoid this "pay to play" thing?
Kevin: Yeah, we have been. We had to do it once.
Brian: Yeah, we did it once because we thought it would be worth it. It was with Dr. Kno on New Year's Eve. There were 20 people and they were all people on the guest list. (laughter) We learned our lesson.
Greg: A few people paid. But ther were charing like $14 or something.

Was that at the Balboa?
All: Yeah.
Kevin:It was supposed to be some New Year's Eve bash. It was kinda fun actually because we got to run around the back in the dressing rooms. It's kinda like a dungeon in the back of this old theater. As far as playing, we played great. It was probably the best show we ever did. But there were just 14 people there.

MRR: Have you played any big shows? Have you played at Fender's or anything?
Ron: Fender's doesn't really hgave shows anymore.
Brian: Ther still have shows in the back in the smaller room.
Greg: We played at the TSOL reunion show.

MRR: How did you go over at that?
Brian: It was alright but we had to open up. There weren't even as many people as were here. We had to play so early.
Kebin: Maybe close to it. It was a bigger place. It's funny we get compared to old TSOL so much. Then we do this big reunion show and we get to open up for them. (laughter -- Suddenly, a car with no muffler goes roaring by.)
Kevin: Sorry, it must have been the burritos. (laughter)

MRR: We'll come back to the TSOL influence later.
Kevin: Uh oh.

MRR: Have you ever thought about moving? We've adopted you anyway. It seems like people are more receptive to the things you're doing up here.
Kevin: W Shit, we're so used to driving up here whenever we need to or want to.
Brian: I like Southern California actually.
Ron: You get used to it.
Brian: We have things going on down there. With school. He's (Kevin) got a family.
Kevbin: I've got a child so I don't want to leave.
Brian: We're all going to school.

MRR: Since you brought it up, a lot of people do compare you to old TSOL. Do you think that's strong influence?
Brian: Well, it was aan influence a long time ago. I don't really see it anymore. A lot of people don't. The guy who produced our record, Tom Wilson, produced TSOL. He said he noticed certain things. He said there ewre things like certain guitar parts and certain vocal parts. I don't know. I think Kamala had a good analogy. She said that people kind of get it in therir head. Then they start to listen for it.

MRR: Then what bands would you compare yourselves to? As far as what you do...
Brian: I like Big Drill Car a lot. I think that what ther're doing is really neat.
Kevin: I don't think we sound like them.
Brian: No, no.
Kevin: I like them, too.
Brian: Ther're more light-hearted punk rock type of thing. It's a little more poppy.
Kevin: I guess we are pp. But I think we're pretty different from them.
Brian: Yeah, but that kind of show is really fun to play at. A really good kind of crowd goes to those kinds of shows.

MRR: Are those bands that you play around a lot with? What bands do you feel you're connected with?
Kevin: (laughs) We haven't developed any really strong bonds with any bands.
Brain: We talk to Big Drill Car a lot. We used to kinda hang around 647F. I don't know if you remember them. But they broke up. That's about them.

MRR: That's amazing. It seems like anytime I was in a band, we made friends with other bands.
Brain: People aren't playing the stuff we play, because wither they're straight edge...

MRR: But around here. Green Day and Filth can have a bond. It has nothing to do with the sound. Just he community. On tour, Neurosis is meeting up with all these bands like Green Day and Filth. It just seems weird that you folks wouldn't develop any ties with any other bands.
Kevin: We did with Distant Silence while we were on tour. (laughter) And also Dead Silence.

MRR: Ther were great.
Kevin: Yeah, they were.
Ron: We don't play enough with the same bands to do that.
Brian: There are so many segregated sounds that those are the bands that hang around together. Either the speed metal types...

MRR: Do you think in Sothern California it's a lot more rigid as far as people following around just one type of band? Because over here, it seems that everyone that lives in the East Bay hangs out together...
Kevin: Yeah, I think there are alot of factors that come into play. Like Brian said. You have the straight edge. You have the kind of experimental punk rock. Then you have the Hollywood punk rock thing like Tender Fury. Bands that I think have a flashy images.

MRR: Well, a Hollywood type images...
Kevin: Ron got to play with them. Ron got to be their drummer. He sat in for Tony Sales.
Ron: No it was Hunt Sales.
Kevin: That's right. He was Hunt Sales for five minutes.

MRR: How did it feel? (laughter)
Ron: Oh it was pretty intimidating.
Brain: It was Ron's 15 minutes of fame Any Warhol talked about.
Kevin: Well, it was five and half of them. (laughter)
Ron: I didn't even know what they said until the record came out.

MRR: (to Brain) Do you write most of the lyrics?
Brian: Pretty much most of them.

01-02-2009, 12:40 PM
MRR: What inspires you to write your lyrics? It seems like you have two types. There are the socio-political lyrics. Then there are the, well, horror lyrics that are good too.
Brain: Over a matter of time you have these weird ideas and you make a song. When it comes to making a record, you're just lumping all these things together and it just kind of ended up that way.
Kevin: "Beheaded" was meant to bee comical. Almost kind of silly. But I don't think the music helps it. The music is kind of dark and kind of serious.
Brian: We knew, unfortunatley, that people were gonna take it seriously, the things we said on the album. Like "Kill the President".
Kevin: Wehn we said, "Kill the President," we don't want anyone to go out with a gun and kill the guy. I don't like him. I don't want to say anything too incriminating. The song is more about democracy.
Brain: Oh that's good. Tell thousands of readers you don't like the president when you're already singing a song called "Kill the President." (laughter)
Kevin: It's just a shock line.
Brian: The Dead Kennedy's did a lot of that. They didn't necessarily mean that line, "I kill children." The idea is to get you to look a little deeper into what the songs are saying.

MRR: Still, some of your lyrics certainly have a... not just horror, but a fantasy side to them. Telling a story and not just telling you something. Whgat influences that? "Beheaded" was written by your old drummer, wasn't it?
Kevin: Yeah, he wrote it with Brian. He was a lunatic. He was really crazy. In a good way. I loved his insanity. He was really funny. He would get these ideas and it would be like, "Yeah, yeah! Wrap the head in a burlap sack!" He would get into that. It was funny.

MRR: Are you folks comfortable with Brain doring a lot of this? Would you say he's the spokesperson for the band?
Brian: Well, they have veto power. And they use it.

MRR: It seems like Brian is the president. Ron is the senate. Greg is the house.
Kevin: And I'm the janitor. (laughter)

MRR: It doesn't seem like you want to write things. Or you just feel very self-conscious about it?
Kevin: Well, you know how it is. It's frustraiting. You have an idea and you jsut can't get it out. You know you can do it. But then when you go to trey and do it... I guess I'm wimping out when I don't keep trying to do it. I'd like to write and I get frustrated and just throw it away. Scrap everything. I could stick with it more and if I'm ever gonna do it that's what I'm going to have to do.

MRR: How important are the lyrics to the band? There are a lot of bands that feel music can only addect so many people, so the attitued or whatever is more important. The music is more important.
Brian: I think the music is more important. That's (lyrics) not the first thing that comes across. They just want to hear the music. If they like it, maybe they'll get into it.

MRR: How does the music come together? Does one person bring in the songs?
Kevin: That would be Brian. (laughter)
Brian: Everyone kinda chips in and forms it together once we get it into practice.

MRR: Do you think everyone has a lot of inpt as far as how the songs turn out?
Kevin: I think so. I think that's true for any band. Vrian will show us what he has in mind for a song and we pretty much stick with that most of the time. But we add out own things. We'll speed it up or slow it down. We all come together on it. It's majority rule. If we don't like it, we don't play it. We vote on what songs we're going to play. How we're going to do them.
Brian: Yeah, like "A Thousand Days." They made me change "A Thousand Days." THey thought it was stupid.
Greg: It was! (laughter)
Brian: Yeah, it was...

MRR: What happend with your first 7"? Did you do it yourself? I see it floating around ever so often...
Brian: We did it completely ourselves. We had been around for a while and didn't know what to do.

MRR: How long have you been around for now?
Brian: It's over five years now. So we juyst did it ourselves. We had no idea on how to do it. We didn't do a very good job of getting it out. (laughs)
Kevin: We ended up giving them all away. Sending them to radio stations.
Brain: We had a though time getting it to distributors. Nobody wanted 7"s back then. We still had some 45's up until about six montyhs ago. We just couldn't get rid of them.

MRR: How many did you do?
Brian: A thousand. (laughter)

MRR: How did you hook up with Nemesis?
Brian: The guy who was doing out record kinda helps Nemesis out. We met hm though Big Drill Car. Frank from Nemesis heard about us throught the guy that was doing out record. He just became intresed when he heard about it and put us on. The guy who deos Nemesis also does a lot of other stuff. He put out the first Uniform Choice record. He put out Bad Yodellers and some other stuff. We were just going to go independant but we got on Nemesis.

MRR: That's good. They seem like they have tehir shit together. Are you going to stick with them? Do you know what you're doing next?
Brian: Yeah, we need to write some new songs.
Kevin: The thing I like about this deal with Nemesis is that we got to go into the studio. We put up the money and got Tom to come in and do all this. We liked him being there. He pointed out all this stuff that we didn't see in oursevles. We had total control.
Brian: Actually Nemesis didn't come till afterwards. They were pretty much, "Do whatever you want." Which was great.
Kevin: Yeah, so we gave it to him and he liked it. He did didn't he? (laughter) We felt good about that. Being able to do our own thing and then give it to them and have them appreciate it.
Brian: Frank has been really helpful to us. He got us a couple really good shows. He's been pushing things. He keeps the records up on the wall. He's pushing to get the cassettes out and everything.

MRR: Are you happy witrh the record and how it turned out? I thought it was great.
Brian: Yeah, no one's completely happy.
Kevin: There are hings that we would do a little diffrent now. Over all it came out pretty good.
Brian: Thanks to Tom.
Kevin: Yeah, thanks to Tom.

MRR: Yeah, I thought it was a really great record.
Greg: Thanks.

MRR: What are you going to do next? Are you going to puit out another album?
Brian: Eventually. We don't have any real immediate plans except to go on tour.

MRR: Is there anything else you'd like to say that got missed?
Kevin: We'd like to thank MRR for all the support, the good reviews.

MRR: Maximum just facillitates. It facillitates people that are doing stuff and good bands that are doing good things.

01-02-2009, 12:54 PM
good interview, thanks.
Fun to look back, also amusing to hear greg in an interview and tell
dexter that A thousand days was stupid before they changed it hahaha.

01-02-2009, 01:27 PM
Haha, I'm glad they changed it because it's my favorite from that album. I'd love to hear what it sounded like before, though.

Thanks for posting this Jojan. Even though I've read this before (somewhere, I have no idea where), I read it again.

01-02-2009, 01:51 PM
thx jojan good job

01-02-2009, 03:01 PM
I was born a year before this interview.

01-02-2009, 03:10 PM
Fun to look back, also amusing to hear greg in an interview...

Exactly what I was thinking :)

Tack, Jojan!

01-03-2009, 01:20 AM

01-03-2009, 01:26 AM
I really like these older interviews; punk zines actually know how to keep an interview interesting, rather then resorting to the same old generic questions that the band mostly gets asked today. Anyone have any other interviews from pre 1994?

Many thanks Jojan for sharing this with us.

01-03-2009, 06:45 AM
Thanks Jojan !! Man you sure had your work with typing it all over !!
Great job!

Blitzkrieg Bop
01-03-2009, 06:53 AM
Thanks Jojan ... Excellent interview
Greg actually spoke five times in the interview :D

01-03-2009, 07:32 AM
This morning, I found an interview around Smash era where Greg and Ron do most of the talking (Dexter was in the shower or something).

For the record, I keep reading this as "Maximun Rickroll".

01-03-2009, 07:59 AM
mmm delicious....

01-03-2009, 04:33 PM
Holy crap!

Dexter's real name is Brian?! :eek:

What else havent you told me?!

01-03-2009, 05:07 PM
I typed it again. Had nothing better to do.

Holy crap!

Dexter's real name is Brian?! :eek:

What else havent you told me?!

If you didn't know that, then alot.

01-03-2009, 05:08 PM
Dont assume. :(