S L L A W H SMAS
: O G E I D N A S CLASSY
RED+ DIRT RU DI ES
+STEPHEN EGERTON INTERVIEW +COLUMNS/INTERVIEWS/REVIEWS +OTHER STUFF
Smash Walls OKC punk zine is done in my bedroom, on a shitty laptop I bought from one of my computer programming major friends for $50 back in May. We use Adobe Creative Suite to do our design work and photo editing. The main camera used is a beat-to-shit Nikon D50 with whatever old lens I can scrounge up at the last moment - and whatever someone brings to the shows.
These are the awesome guys and girl s who helped put this first issue together .
SOPHIE “THE IMPALER” RIGHTMIRE TEGAN TERRIBLE HILLARY MCLAIN ZACH, DAVE, RYAN, GRANT AND JESSE JERRY AND ZAC FROM SELF-MINORITY JAMEE KALISIK
So, as you can see on the next page, we love mail of any kind. We get giddy when we open our email box and something that isn’t spam or a notice that we’re in overdraft appears. So you can imagine the pure joy we experience when we get stuff in the real mail!
Send your letters, your band’s demo tape/ cds, column submissions and/or photos to Trevor Hultner, PMB 341115 100 N. University Drive, Edmond, OK, 73034-0003 (NOT “Kyle Kepone” or “Smash Walls Zine.” THIS IS IMPORTANT). Even hate mail will be gladly received. Think Steve Martin in The Jerk when he finds his name in the phonebook.
SERIOUSLY. SEND US STUFF. WE WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER.
We would like to thank all the contributing writers who submitted stuff this month, Classy San Diego, Self Minority, Violent Affair, Jim and the Gang at the Conservatory, and all the folks whom allowed us to stick our cameras and recorders in their faces for the interviews and photo pages that appear here. Also, my parents, for equipping me with the tools to do this zine. And making sure I got into college. Coercion does work, it seems. :)
We all have our “getting jumped into punk rock” stories. Some of them, good. Others... more than regrettable. Punk is a great scenario to prove that human beings learn from their experiences and grow because of them. This is my 11th month in the Oklahoma City scene, and sixth year living in the state. It’s been fun, for the most part. But the best time has been this last year. Much has changed for me in that time. I started going to shows in November 09, on a constant basis in early 2010. In May I joined the hardcore punk band Self Minority fulltime as bassist, and now I’m starting this zine. It’s been a crazy year, to say the least.
I grew up listening to a lot of the music my dad listened to when he was growing up Dead Kennedys, The Clash, Madness, The English Beat, The Cure, etc. - the list goes on. I was singing along to Kill The Poor before I was ever exposed to shudder Avenged Sevenfold or Good Charlotte, and this is generally a good thing (I hope). The fact that my parents - that favorite scap egoat of punk rock past - were the ones who showed me all of this stuff makes it that much more awesome, in my opinion. This rudimentary punkucation, howe ver, has made me realize that I have a lot to learn about the scene, and I figured doin g a zine would be a good way to learn as much as I can.
I have a good base to build off. The international punk zine network has allowed punk to grow to every corner of the globe. It’s pretty much an honor to add this voice to the mix. Anyway, I’m rambling at this point. The point I was trying to make before my attention span got away from me was this: I love punk rock, and I hope that with this little zine I can keep an adequate record of this scene and help keep that ball rollin’. Thanks for reading, fuckers! K. Kepone KYLE KEPONE’S TOP 10 RECORDS - OCT. 10
1. COMBAT CRISIS - Face the Crowd LP 2. WITCH HUNT - Burning Bridges to Nowhere LP 3. WORLD/INFERNO FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY - Vox Inferne EP 4. DEFIANCE - Out of the Ashes LP 5. COCK SPARRER - Spirit of ‘76 (7” Single Flexi Disc) 6. VIOLENT AFFAIR - Stand Trial LP 7. PAINTBOX - Flame:Desert EP 8. TEENAGE BOTTLEROCKET - They Came From the Shadows LP 9. CHOKING VICTIM - No Gods / No Managers LP 10. GOVERNMENT WARNING - Paranoid Mess LP
OPEN CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS FOR THE NEXT ISSUE OF SMASH WALLS!
The first issue is done and out, and we think it was a success. But this ain’t over! Our resources are limited, and we’re not omnipresent or omniscient. If we could be everywhere all the time, for free, that would be killer but unfortunately we can’t be. So if you’re at a show, or if you know a band or a punk something-or-other that you think merits coverage in these pages, interview em! This is a reader-driven zine. We depend on you for our content. If it wasn’t for you, we’d be nowhere. So you can send stuff to Trevor Hultner, PMB 341115 100 N. University Drive, Edmond, OK, 73034-0003. Or you can email us at email@example.com. And you have until Midnight on October 29, 2010 to do so. SO GET CRACKIN!
DEADLINE: MIDNIGHT OCTOBER 29, 2010! GET GOIN’, PUNK.
COMMON FUCKING SENSE A Column By Nina Napalm
Let’s face it. As children we’re subjected to our parents’ musical tastes. We’ve all had the experience of covertly turning that radio dial all the way to the left and hoping it’d go unnoticed. It never ended well. But, the worst part of that childhood experience was the part where we actually started liking the songs being forced upon us. And then, there were the songs we liked for no reason other than we were all idiots as children. Yes, even the most intense punk rocker you know went through that totally illogical phase. Obviously we all grew out of it. In my childhood, I was lucky enough to have a musically intelligent mother. She imparted unto me the wisdom and love of the classics like The Who, Zeppelin and The Doors. And, for the most part, my younger years were centered on those veterans of the music industry. But, tragedy struck and I delved into the musically untalented, terrible drivel I’ve been rambling about. Which is why I’ve composed a list of the most terrible songs I’ve ever listened to and the songs that have replaced them. Because the most important part of the healing process is admitting you were wrong. Number One: “A Song That Attempts to Be Profound, But Fails Miserably,” - Or, “Beth,” played by KISS Why did I like this song? Not even I know. The song is, essentially, Gene Simmons crooning in his trademark rasp to his lady about how he’s never home and that’s just too damn bad for Miss Beth. Sure, she calls every day, wondering when Simmons is coming home, but he replies with, “Just a few more hours.” That’s the sort of a reply a heroin addict uses. “Just a few more hits, man.” Later in this awful ballad, he remarks that, sure, he knows she feels empty and hates what her life has become; however, he is jammin’ with the boys and can’t be bothered to come home for jack squat. Yes, KISS, I can now see why this your highest-charting single. Nothing like fake sympathy for your increasingly depressed woman. I’d like to think that this was one of those songs in which the public doesn’t really know the lyrics. They just enjoy that nice piano in the background. Replace this profoundly terrible song with You’ll Come Crawlin’ by The Creepshow. I like to think of this song as dear Beth’s response to her man’s ode to her. So it may be a little more violent, but hey, she’s been left in a house for how long? By this point, she could
be psychotic. Then again, she could just be pissed off because Geney doesn’t have time for her anymore because of his prestigious career. I prefer the latter. Number Two: The “Hopelessly Upbeat Women in Power Song” - Or, “Saturday Night Divas” by the Spice Girls Okay, so technically, I didn’t go out of my way to listen to this one, but my best friend did. And since I spent most of my time at her house, I couldn’t escape the Spice Girls fanaticism. The lyrics to “Saturday Night Divas” urge us womenfolk to remind ourselves that we are “superfly” while asserting their (the Spice Girls) obvious partying tendencies. Not so strange in this era of pop club songs, I admit. Though, there is no denying that judging by their outfits, they really were asking for the swarm of players they’re crooning to. That aside, perhaps the most disturbing part of “Saturday Night Divas” is the repeating line, “Go down, get deeper and down.” I’m not really sure what it means, and I’m pretty sure I don’t really want to know. Those Spicy Senoritas are capable of anything. Case and point: they brainwashed an entire generation to think their music didn’t suck. Still don’t think they’re magic? Ginger actually made a career for herself after the band broke up. Replace this “Obviously Ill-Thought-Out Women’s Rights” song with Don’t Need You by Bikini Kill. Most famously, Bikini Kill was the band that kicked the Riot Grrl movement off in the 90s. Kathleen Hanna, the lead singer, specialized in crass lyrics and an inyour-face attitude. She’s also been involved with feminism since the tender age of nine. Hanna attended Women’s Rights rallies and became incredibly active after her artwork was censored. She’s also appeared in several documentaries over the Riot Grrl movement as well as music in general. Now, compare her to the Spice Girls. I’d say Kathleen Hanna has gotten a little bit of a head start on that whole women’s rights issue. Sorry Spices, better luck next time. Number Three: “The Most Painful Experience I’ve Had to Endure,” or Def Leppard’s “Hysteria” in its entirety Alright, so I didn’t go out of my way to listen to this one either. However, my father did. Every month or two, we’d spend six hours driving to Oak Hill, TX to race. On that terrible journey southward, we’d listen to one of three things: Toby Keith, Ludacris or Def Leppard. Out of the three, Def Leppard was the album I hated most. Try spending six hours listening to “Pour Some Sugar On Me” and you’ll understand. I think my first problem with this band is the simple fact that, apparently, they can’t spell leopard. As a sane, literate person, I just can’t wrap my head around purposefully misspelling words to make your band alternative or metal or whatever
for. Which brings me to my second point. Def Leppard is classified as pop-metal. Pop metal, folks. Since when has a metal band decided, “You know what? I really dig this dark, heavy music we play and all, but I’d really like to add more fun and maybe a song that strippers can dance to for aeons to come”? Answer: Never, although apparently Def Leppard thought they had it covered. Def Leppard, you were never metal to begin with. Now go live on the millions you received from Pyromania and don’t release any more albums, ever. Replace Six Hours of Torture with Six Hours of Fun! Listen, instead, to the entire London Calling album from The Clash. No punk album, in my opinion, has ever spoken as clearly or boldly as London Calling. Seriously. Turn off all distractions, sit in your room and listen. This is the kind of music that fuels revolution and movement, music made by men who were confident that music could change culture. After hearing that the title of a Clash song, “Rock the Casbah,” had been painted on an American bomb, Clash frontman Joe Strummer reportedly wept, saying “Hey, man, I never could think that a song of mine could be written as a death symbol on a fucking American bomb.” Strummer actively promoted peace and seeing the obvious war cry appropriated to his music affected him deeply. I doubt Def Leppard lead man Joe Elliot cries every time a mulleted redneck blasts his “anthems” at one in the morning and wakes up the people who don’t still live in the eighties. Number Four: “Women Have No Use ‘Cept For Pleasuring Men,” otherwise known as Cherry Pie by Warrant. I’m aware I covered my irritation with obvious stripper songs (see above: Pour Some Sugar on Me), but this song is just so damn bad, I couldn’t not put it on my list. It’s one of those songs where I completely ignored the lyrics and focused on the music itself (which wasn’t that fantastic, but remember, I was an idiot). It wasn’t until I watched the music video that I really started to pay attention to Warrant’s lyrics. Let’s start with the repetition of the word “swingin’”. Obviously a euphemism for doing it, sexual intercourse, however you want to put it, because apparently we don’t already have enough songs concerning sex. Swingin’ is used sixteen times in place of other, more creative verbs with a final added, “Huh, SWING IT” at the very end. Apparently, Warrant assumed we weren’t intelligent enough to figure out what “swingin’“ meant without several examples of said word in proper context. Thank you for your time, Warrant. I assume you can figure out the “cherry pie” euphemism for yourself, so I won’t touch it. Instead, let’s move on to my favorite part of the song, “Most folks don’t because they’re too busy bitchin’.“ Assuming they’re referring to “swingin’,“ we can make an educated guess that everyone else has an issue with
said “swingin’.“ Maybe this is because Warrant has an insatiable lust for intercourse with a real woman and when he finally scored one of us womenfolk, he just had to do her everywhere. Specifically, the front porch, the kitchen, the livin’ room and most disturbingly, the floor in front of his woman’s father. I don’t think that’s your first mistake Warrant. Basically, this assault on the ears is one big metaphor. What about, you ask? Swingin’. Replace Degrading Ode to Getting Laid with Cherry Bomb by the Runaways. There. I’ve given you another “cherry” song that’s a thousand times better, and about a thousand times less idiotic. The Runaways were pretty influential in the punk genre and refused gender roles like the dickens, to use a cliche. The all girl band wrestled their way into a mainly male music industry and held their own for a couple of years. That’s not terribly long, but you can’t argue their impact. After the Runaways, more and more girl bands broke out and, as a result,the Riot Grrl movement began. I believe that’s a much more effective, useful impact than Warrant’s euphemism-laden songs. I rest my case. Number Five: “The Song That Causes the Neurons in Your Brain to Stop Firing,” Every Rose Has It’s Thorn, by Poison. Oh, yes. I went there. I listened to it. Felt it was a solid 7/10 and hummed along with Bret Michaels. And then I got logic back and thought to myself, “What in the hell am I doing?” Possibly the worst ballad that has ever been released, period. It’s written worse than an eighth grader’s fanfiction with sloppy metaphors, no rhythm and poor word choice. My absolute favorite verse of the entire song: “I know I could’ve saved a love that night/If I’d known what to say/Instead of makin’ love/ We both went our seperate ways.” Did you feel that? That sudden lack of thought and feeling? That was all the neurons in your brain simultaneously shutting off. Don’t worry, they’ll come back, but with a vengeance after that terror you put them through. Now, focusing on that little segment, Michaels seems to feel that if he had made love to his woman, then their love would still be strong and intact. Where the hell did he learn that? That’s the last thing your lady wants you to do if you’re both sucking at your relationship. You could try and, oh, I don’t know, talk it out maybe? Write her a letter explaining how you feel? Use a middle man for crying out loud! No. Nope. Bret Michaels is just going to sex her up and hope for the best. Well, if that’s how you play the relationship game, Michaels, then you don’t deserve to have
sex ever again. Ever. You have only yourself to blame. What song, you might ask, have I chosen to replace such a terrible, mind numbing song? Anything. Anything else would be better than Every Rose Has It’s Thorn. Even Warrant. Comments? Questions? Rants? Raves? Bitchings? Email Nina at nina(dot)napalm[at]yahoo. com. USELESS JUNK A Column By Kyle Kepone
Here’s what I don’t get. There’s like a love-hate relationship among punks in the scene with politics. I’m not, you know, talking about Republican versus Democrat, although that certainly has some bearing on the antipathy, but just in general - it seems like some people are either really passionate about a single issue or they just don’t give a shit. My opinion may be totally fucking pointless here. But I’ve always had this preconceived notion of punk as being expressly political. I’m sure you understand where I might get that impression: with bands like Dead Kennedys, Minor Threat, Bad Religion, Anti-Flag, Aus Rotten, etc. reaching some level of popularity, it’s hard to not think that. I mean, there was a fucking uproar when Against Me! came out with I Was A Teenage Anarchist this year. People freaked the fuck out, and when the video came out man, all bets were off. So, at least from my view, punk is inexorably political. With the legacy of all these political bands that happened to be great bands as well, there will always be someone who takes a political stance. For this reason, I get pissed when someone comes along with a “fuck politics” attitude. Of course they’re
free to believe what they like; that’s the benefit of living in a society where free expression is the rule, rather than the exception. But I feel like it’s fucking hypocritical to call yourself an antiauthoritarian or an anarchist or a radical or whatever and then say “Oh, I hate politics, I’m just gonna have a couple beers and pretend I’m ‘smashing the state’ by fucking up my local show space.” It’s not only a validation of the very system you’re so against, it’s a spit and slap in the face of anyone who held similar leanings and who actually wanted to make shit better. The Infoshop closed down a couple years ago. Part of the reason this occurred was because the patrons treated the space like shit, and the landlord had had enough, and kicked the people out. Now, we have no Infoshop. Aside from being a place where radical information could be collected and distributed, it was a show space, a place where bands could play to kids of all ages - a kind of a rare commodity in the city these days. And now it doesn’t exist. Kind of a bummer, but this proves my point. In addition to that, we don’t have to paint ourselves or each other into a corner by saying we’re only anarchists or only skinheads or only street punks or anti-racist punks. It’s anathema to the scene. We can take broad sociopolitical stances that cover a wide range of issues, believe it or not. Another thing before I cut this off at the knees. The November elections are upon us, and we all pretty much know that no matter who wins (aside from exactly one candidate), we’re fucked. The mainstream political players don’t represent us. They’re either backed by massive corporations (thank you Supreme Court) and
therefore could care less either way, or they’re so spineless they twist around like Arby’s Curley Fries and just constantly acquiesce to whomever happens to be in control. This can look pretty hopeless. Especially when you realize - as nihilists and absurdists do - that none of it really matters anyway. But if anything, all that means for us is we have to fend for ourselves and create a community for us. I’ll leave it there, since I know we’re treading on dangerous ground now, and this is only the first issue. You can annoy me at firstname.lastname@example.org. WHAT DO YOU SEE? A Poem By Jamee Kalisik [Coordinator’s note: This is the first part in a series by Kalisik.] What do you see When you look at the screen Is it something to be inspired by Or just mindless TV? A man on the street With barely shoes on his feet Is this someone you see Would you let your eyes meet? Look at the sky Then turn to ask why Is your father’s word true Or is it all a lie? Can you see the wall That encloses us all Do you honestly believe That one day it will fall? Would you catch the sight Of the world’s delight Through all the hellfire At the end of this fight? What do you see Freedom, joy, glee Is it that perfect vision Or is it too cloudy? In a broken down home Where one man lives alone Her health is not a worry to you When she can’t even pay that loan. But what you see Doesn’t matter to me Until we all get it This is how it’ll be.
Open your mind. Now keep it open. We’re ALL different, and we need to learn to accept it. So what if I’m gay, and he’s short, and she’s blonde? Why should it matter? It doesn’t! So to all ignorant people: grow up! He’s overweight, she’s depressed, he’s purple with blue polka dots - and we’re all homo-freaking-sapiens. Stop treating people like freaks - because really, we’re all freaks! Nobody has room to judge, so learn to ACCEPT. We all bleed red. Everyone hurts and cries and lives and dies. We all hit and miss and shit and piss. Whoever we are and wherever we go, nobody is better than anyone else. So what if you’re wealthy, they’re scrounging, or I’m in between? Money should NEVER be a means of judgment. The most wealthy man in the world could be dying inside because he’s expected to associate with high class people or risk being constantly judged by his peers. So remember: Don’t hate or discriminate before it’s too late to take it back. In the words of Thomas Jefferson, “All men are created equal.” - Tegan T.
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[Someone]: Let’s get this shit done. SMASH WALLS: Recording! Ok, so you guys are CLASSY SAN DIEGO. VALERIE: That we are. SW: Let’s start by introducing yourselves and what you do in the band. V: I’m Valerie, I’m the bass player. STEVE: I’m Steve, I play trombone. ANDY: I’m Andy, I play guitar. JOSH: I’m Josh, I play trumpet. HOUSTON: I’m Houston, I play saxophone. BLAKE: I’m Blake and I play drums. MARY: I’m Mary. I’m the sex appeal. [laughs] V: And vocals. M: And vocals. B: I like to party. SW: OK, when did you guys get started?
V: Yeah! [laughs] A year and a half latM: Ummm... B: It would’ve been - [to Valerie] well, do er, here we are with seven members. I we want to go with the official, like, when knew Mary, we were pretty good friends we got Mary, or do we want to go with at the time, and I knew she could play trumpet, and I begged her pretty much. when did you and I start? V: Blake and I met each other through [Mary’s phone goes off] another music project that failed horribly. B: Turn your phone off Mary, you’re in We kicked the other members out, but an interview! V: Mary, you’re getting interviewed, and we met you’re on the phone?! - Anyway, it’s ok. I B: We’ll just say January 2009. knew Mary and she had played trumpet muthat and V: Yeah. It was January ‘09, in high school, and she was my friend at this had both we and failed, sic project huge undying love for Five Iron Frenzy the time and we had always wanted to be in a M [hanging up phone]: OK, sounds ska band. And so we were like, “Screw good. I love you, bye. Um, I had not it!” You know, all these other music proj- played trumpet in three years when you ects haven’t worked out, let’s try to make asked me to do this. V: OK, yeah, she just played in high a ska band. Aaaand it actually worked. school. I begged her, I was like, “Hey, myself. so say do I if B: Quite well,
this guy I met in Stillwater and I want to try and start a ska band, will you play trumpet for us if we get this going?” She was like, “yeah, sure,” because - honestly I don’t think you really thought we would get a band going. M: No... I was like I’ll say yes and be nice, it’s whatev. V: And then it actually happened, and she was like, “Oh, shit. OK. I guess I’ll play trumpet.” M: I had to find my old theory books. V: Yeah... M: I was scared. V: And then we had a trumpet player - just one more player for like, a few months, and that was March or April, and then August rolled around, and Steve appeared from OSU. B: We had an original singer - Billy - and he was with us for a couple of months. He ended up quitting after our first show in Claremore. SW: Why? B: Well... V: He just had other stuff going on. B: Yeah, he V: He was almost 30. And it’s not cool to be 30 and in a ska band. B: Don’t get us wrong, he definitely had a good voice and was a good singer, but, you know, it just wasn’t his thing, like he had too much other stuff going on, and so, it wasn’t like a M: It wasn’t a bad breakup. B: No, it wasn’t a bad thing. It was just kinda like, “Okay, cool.” So that’s when we found a new singer and added Steve, which finally gave us a V: A trombone. B: - I should say a full horn section for the first time. V: We tried Steve out and we B: Andy was also there. V: Yeah, Andy came to us via Craig’s List. B: He did! V: Let’s not be shameful here. Lay it all out there. And we tried - when Steve came and tried out, like we tried to be hardasses at tryouts, and not really say much, and then Steve soloed, and everybody was a sucker and we were like, “You’re in!” Like, the first time he opened up with the solo in “The Fire” by Reel Big Fish, we were like, “Oh! It’s done, he’s in the band.” He could be a serial killer and it would’ve been okay. If you show up to practice and shows, you’re good. You’re in. B: Steve currently has a mohawk, for the record. SW: There will be pictures. V: We went through our second singer - we just had some mutual disagreements, and it just didn’t work out, and
we tried out some, and Mary, we discovered that she could sing when she wrote a song. She was like, “hey guys, I wrote a song,” and we were like, OK show it, and she just sort of belted it out and we were like, “Whoa, Mary can sing! Awesome.” B: So we moved Mary off of trumpet V: And onto the vocals. B: - And then in comes Josh, our new trumpeteer. V: Also via Craig’s List [makes a little heralding noise]. B: Craig’s List is how this band was made. V: Out band is called Classy San Diego (Craig’s List). B: And then, after that - actually about a month and a half, two months ago we added Houston, and here we are. V: He was kind of like this crazy groupie, he would follow us around to all our shows and beg to play with us, and we were finally like, “OK.” B: There you go. That’s the brief, abridged history of Classy San Diego. V: That took like, ten minutes. Sorry, I hope you have battery time. SW: It was only four minutes, actually. V: Oh, sweet, okay. SW: How would you gauge your experience over the last year and a half, two years? V: Go ahead, Andy. SW: Yeah. B: Someone else. V: I know, I’m being a chatty Kathy here. Andy: Well, there’s less than a scene for ska right now, so it’s always surprisingly been accepted in most places. SW: I think everyone loves ska deep down, so. M: They just don’t know it. V: Somebody said it’s like the cool kid at the party but he doesn’t show up all the time, you know? B: It’s not only that, you know, I think we’re actually having an influence on the music scene here in Oklahoma, because we’ve seen, as of now – The Last Slice out of Claremore was originally the only ska band around, and then we came along, and now we’ve got another ska band – Sunny Side Up – they’re kind of getting going, and we actually heard of that one up in Stillwater V: Yeah. B: That other Stillwater ska band, so I wouldn’t say that we’re, you know, getting the ball rolling, but I think we’re having some kind of influence, because people have been giving us really good responses when we go and play shows. We’ve gotten a lot more positive responses than we honestly expected. M: And just like people who don’t even
know what ska is come up to me like, “I love your horns, I love your sound!” V: Yeah, it’s like, “I don’t know what you guys are, but...” [trails off, watching Blake] I’m glad he doesn’t have like a videotape, man! B: My 50 dollar Gap pants have a busted zipper! It’s ridiculous! V: Oh, man. B: Anyway, back to the interview. SW: Wow. V: I’m glad this is just audio. SW: Yeah... I have a video camera in my bag, but... we’re not takin’ this out. B: You can get that in the edit, don’t worry! SW: [back on subject] Yeah. Well, I mean [Valerie] tought me bass scales, so. V: Little bit, yeah. B: We’re spreading the virus, we’re spreading the disease. SW: I’ve always liked ska though, so, you know. V: I think we’ve been really fortunate in the last year and a half. We’ve done a lot more than bands that have been together for four or five years have done. B: We opened for Reel Big Fish. And now we’re opening for the Ataris. We’re about to open for the Toasters in a month. We’re recording an EP, we’ve got bass and drum tracks done (as of this interview), so we’ve got a lot of positive things going on. V: I think we all just like to play and have fun, but the deal is, we don’t all live in the same town. We have two members that live in Stillwater, we have three from the Edmond area, and then we have two from Tulsa, and we try to have practice at least once a week, two times before a show if we can squeeze it in. J: Today when I was buying these new shoes, I was B: These are new shoes?! V: They’re gray and black with gray laces, they’re kinda skaterish. J: Anyway, I was at Journey’s in the Woodland Hills mall in Tulsa, and this guy, this shoe salesman asked me, “So uh, what are you doin’ tonight?” I was like, I’m, er, I’m busy? No I’m not interested [laughs]. I said “I’m playing a show in Oklahoma City tonight.” He goes, “Oh, you’re in a band?” I go, “Yeah, I’m in a ska band!” and then he goes, “NO SHIT!” and I said yeah. He goes, “what’re your biggest influences?” and I’m like, well, mine have kind of always been Reel Big Fish and he goes, “Really? Did you see em a couple years ago when they came through?!” SW: And you’re just like, “Weeeeelllllll.....” J: “I actually opened for them over the summer.” He was like “NO SHIT!!! Can
I have your autograph?!” And here’s where it gets even more interesting. I said yeah, ska’s always been to me – everyone likes it but is almost afraid to admit it. And right as I said that, there was another guy in the store that said “Yeah, I love ska. I was actually listening to the Toasters on the way up here today.” I said, “I’m opening for the Toasters!” and he was like, “NO SHIT!” [Laughs] B: This is the same conversation that Josh has with everyone. J: I only have one conversation. SW: And it usually ends in “NO SHIT!” J: Pretty much. S: My experiences in the band have been pretty swell. J: This is your second ska band. B: Yeah, I was about to say. He’s a veteran in the ska scene. S: I was in a ska band called All Things Considered, and that failed horribly. SW: Yeah. It happens. B: Just another in a long list of failed music projects. S: And for a while, you know, I was, just in general with my thoughts on music, I was in a slump for a while. I wasn’t really getting a lot from it and it wasn’t a lot of fun. And then, when I joined the band last August, it really just helped bring that fun aspect back to it that I once had, and it’s been just an absolute blast ever since. B: Well, Houston, since you’ve only been here a short time, tell him about your initiation! SW: Yeah, talk about your first show. H: “I played a show one time...” Nah, I’ve been with you guys for what, two months now? This is the first ska band I’ve been in. The project I did before this was a jazz fusion Chick-Korea influenced group, and I gotta say that all these guys are great people and they’re great players, and I’m absolutely ecstatic to be playing with them. Josh is saying “No.” J: I’m not a good person. H: But it’s been a good experience, and we’re all really … [unintelligible – multiple people talking at once] H: But they’re all great musicians and they have such great style. They definitely know what they’re doing, and I’m glad to be with them. V: You’re like our ultimate fanboy except you play with us. SW: Alright, Talk about the recording experience with the EP, how’s that going? V: It’s going well. We’re recording at ACM (Academy of Contemporary Music), which is where Andy goes to school, so we were fortunate enough to be able to record for free. B: We’ve got bass and drum tracks done. V: Bass only has two more left. B: Oh, bass is almost done. Drum tracks are done. M: Next in are vocals or horns? B: Vocals or guitar. I don’t know. None of us really know, we just kind of V: Blake doesn’t really know what’s going on, He came in and laid down his drum tracks in like 30 minutes, and he was done. SW: So can you tell me what songs might be on there, or is that top secret? S: It’s a surprise... B: Pretty much, what you heard live is going to be on the EP. We decided, instead of writing material right away we’re just going to focus on really tightening up stuff we wanted on the EP so it could sound as good as possible. A: There may be a live recording from tonight on the EP. B: That might be a little bonus there. But yeah, we’re having the EP release party on November 23, possibly. V: That’s a big maybe, but we definitely want to have it here at the Conservatory.
RU DI ES
years ago? SE: Is that a band from here? SW: I think that’s a band from Tulsa. SE: I didn’t do Bring Down the Hammer. Ryan – I run my recording studio up in Tulsa with another guy, he may have recorded them. But I have recorded a ton of bands from Tulsa and Oklahoma City. Red City Radio, uh – what did they use to be called – Anchors for Arsenal, I did The University, Virtue the Hero, Like A Million, I’ve done tons of bands from down here. SW: How did you get your start in punk? SE: Well, I grew up in Salt Lake City, which, you know, obviously – well, Salt Lake’s a funny place, because it is a place of incredible conservatism, and also of the in well-known fairly you’re So WALLS: SMASH extreme rebellion, and those two sort of – one can’t punk scene. live without the other, you know? STEPHEN EGERTON: If you’re old! SW: Right. didn’t – and ALL from SW: I recognized your name you produce Bring Down the Hammer a couple of SE: And so, punk rock took a very very early foothold
INTERVIEW BY KYLE KEPONE Stephen Egerton is a punk rock virtuoso. Getting his start in the early 80s Salt Lake City scene, Egerton went on to be the guitarist for the Descendents, a post he holds to this day, one of the founding members of ALL, and a record producer operating out of Tulsa, OK. He’s proficient in classical guitar and ain’t too shabby on the drums, as evinced by the above photo. SMASH WALLS ZINE was lucky enough to catch Egerton at the Ataris show last month, where he was filling in on drums for his friend, folk punk artist John Moreland.
in my town. I read about it in Time Magazine when I was 11, and then I started investigating the records that were sort of known at that time, and the one that really caught my ear was the Sex Pistols – Nevermind the Bollocks record. That was – well, obviously not the first punk rock record made by any stretch, it was the one that sort of caught my attention. After that, I was open to and listening to really just about anything that wasn’t on conventional rock radio. In a place like Salt Lake, where you don’t have access to the same kind of info and years before there was an internet or anything of that nature for the average person, the only way you could learn about these things was just by sort of buying records and seeing what you found. And so, in my town, we would listen to anything from the Sex Pistols and the Clash to the Ramones and Richard Hell and the Voidoids, to New Wave music – Gary Numan, DEVO, the B-52s, to second wave ska music – the English Beat, the Specials, and then once it started making its way over, the hardcore stuff from Los Angeles, and then a little later we started hearing the bands from Washington D.C. and so on. So that was sort of the trajectory – once I got into that music, I was just hooked, and that was the end of it. I didn’t really listen to much else, though I was raised on a pretty wide range of music. The Beatles were my first musical influence, and are still one of my top two musical influences. The Beatles and Black Flag are my two favorite bands. And so I grew up with a pretty wide berth of music – a lot of jazz in my house, a lot of good singer-songwriter music, some bluegrass, so there was a pretty wide berth, but the stuff that grabbed my ear – I sort of bypassed heavy metal, you know, when everybody else was listening to it, and punk was the music I listened to instead. So in high school, my friends and I, the other kids that [listened to punk], one was Carl Alvarez, who played bass in the Descendents with me, we were all listening to the same music, we were discovering all that music together, and we had a band called the Massacre Guys that opened for most of the bands that would come through town during a certain period there. So we got to do shows with bands like Dead Kennedys, T.S.O.L. and Discharge, Black Flag, Circle Jerks – anybody that came through, we opened for them, pretty much. From that, we made a lot of friends all over the country, and we were sort of part of the greater punk network of the early 80s. We knew bands from all over the country, and had the opportunity to go play in different places. And then, I found myself interested in classical guitar for a while, I was just sort of fascinated by how to do it, so I spent about a year and a half really devoted to playing that. Meanwhile, Carl ended up – the Descendents lost their bass player and guitarist, Carl ended up, through a weird chain of friends, hooking up with Bill Stevenson (sp?), they played together, Bill decided that Carl was going to be in the Descendents, and then they needed a guitar player, so Carl of course said, “Hey, call Stephen.” Bill and I knew each other a little bit from Black Flag shows. So I joined Descendents. And then from there on, it was just, you know, touring with the Descendents and ALL and putting out and producing records. And that just continued on for years and years until I finally moved to Tulsa after I was married and had a daughter. ALL was not really touring much anymore and so we just sort of decided to come down here, and do our own thing. And now, a little while ago,
ALL started playing shows again here and there, periodically, and then very recently the Descendents actually got an offer to play some shows in Australia. And so we’re going to go do some shows over there – three shows in December, and we’ll see what happens from there. SW: Awesome! SE: Yeah. So, there’s the big, long-winded story of the whole thing. SW: Which is actually fascinating to me. I love punk history and the chain of events that led to certain bands forming. SE: Well, it’s funny, because like Salt Lake, Tulsa and I think to a great degree Oklahoma City had a similar – there’s a lot in common with where I grew up in terms of how this stuff is trickling its way to the Midwest from the coasts and from other countries and so on, but it sort of takes its own twist when it’s in a place where it can’t rub up against – it isn’t like Southern California, where there are so many bands that got into it, and they’re all trying different things, but they’re also feeding off of each other. In a place like Oklahoma City or Tulsa, people don’t have much choice but to really kind of try some very extreme, weird stuff. It’s how you end up with a band like the Flaming Lips and a band like NOTA in the same hour-and-a-half zone, which is cool. That, I think, is a strength, know what I mean? SW: Yeah, definitely. SE: And of course, now, it is somewhat more homogenized throughout the world, and it’s such an old form that there’s a thousand ways to view the whole thing. SW: Everybody’s doing kind of the same thing. SE: Yeah, in some ways. And the little subgenres have kind of taken hold and you’ve got a different name for every different form. SW: Exactly, you’ve got crust, powerviolence, straightedge. SE: Yeah, yeah, exactly! And you know, when I discovered this music, the lines were very blurred between punk rock and new wave and ska music, there really weren’t any subgenres. You know, if it wasn’t Zeppelin, we were gonna check it out. That’s kind of how it worked for us. [bass starts up in the background] SW: Very quickly, since the next band is starting, how did you end up with John Moreland? SE: Well you know, John, actually he just booked a day at my studio to come and record some songs with the Black Gold band. I loved the band immediately, and was just listening to them nonstop. They very quickly became one of my favorite bands. I think John’s one of the most talented people I’ve ever met, incredible guitarist, incredible songwriter, incredible singer – everything. So, their band ended up having some personnel changes with the drummer and the bass player, you know, they were kind of down to a two man thing, and I already knew all of the songs, so I said, “Hey, I already know the songs, I’ll just play the drums.” So that’s kind of how that ended up happening, and that’s sort of continuing on. We play songs – John sang a song on my record that I put out recently, and so, whenever we can, we get together and write some more, play some more of his songs, and try to introduce his music to other people and hopefully get his name out there a little bit. SW: Alright, thank you very much, man! SE: Not a problem.
MACHETE DIRECTED BY DANNY RODRIGUEZ, 2010 REVIEW BY SOPHIE ‘THE IMPALER’ RIGHTMIRE So, I’ve always been a fan of Rodriguez’s work. From his earlier films like El Mariachi, Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, to his more recent work like Sin City and Planet Terror. Now I have watched Machete, and I must say it is definitely worth it to write my first review over this amazing film. The action-packed kill scenes and bloody goodness are one thing to be a fan of, but I also fell hard for the choice of cast and the huge message behind the film. There was Steven Segal, Robert DeNiro, my main man Tom Savini, Cheech Marin, Daryl Sabara (if you don’t know, he plays Juni in another Rodriguez-directed film, Spy Kids), Michelle Rodriguez, Lindsay Lohan, Jessica Alba (whom I HATED as an actress until I watched this), the wonderful Danny Trejo as the lead character, and plenty of others. It is, in my opinion, the most random and ingenious cast this movie could’ve possibly had. Danny Trejo plays Machete and definitely follows up on all the hype that has been around for years since the preview Rodriguez made as a part of the Grindhouse features, and frankly, I wouldn’t ask for a better hero. Rodriguez has a talent for creating such ruthless blood slinging heroes, he has yet to dissappoint there. Then there are the main villains. Robert DeNiro plays the typical bigoted Senator McLaughlin, Jeff Fahey plays the two-timing Booth, and Steven Segal plays Mexican drug lord Torrez. They all want Machete dead. In this case, they fucked with the wrong Mexican. (HAHA PUNS!) Now, I can’t forget the lineup of beautiful ladies that Machete is ever so lucky to score
with: Michelle Rodriguez plays Luz, aka the mythical She, who is dedicated to the loyal people of her home country, Jessica Alba plays Immigration Offiicer Sartana who falls for Machete and does what is right whether it is against the law or not, and Lindsay Lohan who pretty much plays herself, but with the name April, and is the naughty daughter of the evil Booth. Then there are the small parts that I appreciate, like Tom Savini playing the hitman Osiris and is still attractive at his age and his weight, Cheech Marin playing the typical Cheech only as a gunweilding Priest, and I really loved that Daryl Sabara was in this, playing Julio, as a white kid adopted in the Mexican community willing to fight for what he believes in. So much action, so many boobs, and so many cheesy scenes, but there was also a strong message that I support. Many of you won’t agree, and a lot of you will hate me for even saying this, but I support a Mexican immigrant’s right to live a life like ours. No, they should NOT have free health care and better pay their taxes like the rest of us. But maybe Border Patrol should lay off a bit. Maybe the legalization test shouldn’t be so damn near impossible to beat. Maybe we as Americans shouldn’t be such bigots? But hey, this is my opinion. And my opinion really doesn’t matter. So if I have pissed you off, then move on. Don’t read my stuff. It’s that simple. Don’t be an asshole. ANYWAY, Machete gets 5 out of 5 stars from me. If you don’t mind movies that involve pretty much impossible scenes, if you aren’t offended by the message it’s sending, and if you’re a fan of Robert Rodriguez then by all means, check it out. You won’t be dissappointed. Write in to SMASHWALLSZINE@YAHOO.COM and let me know how you felt about this movie! This is my first review, like I said, so sorry if its a bit weak and maybe too opinionated. Give me a break. Hopefully there will be more in the future.
THE MILLENNIUM SERIES WRITTEN BY STIEG LARSSON, 2010 REVIEW BY KYLE KEPONE It’s hard to put into words exactly what the now-deceased Swedish anti-Fascist journalist Stieg Larsson has accomplished with his now-bestselling book series. The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked Over The Hornets’ Nest are three of the most explosive crime novels that have been written in recent times, have already been made into a film trilogy in Sweden and are already being Americanized by David Fincher, the same director who brought to screen Fight Club and, most recently, Ben Mezrich’s account of the founding of Facebook in “The Social Network.” In a word, the Millennium Series is electrifying. It is also hard to try to describe the three aforementioned books without giving things away, so I’ll run down the plot and essential characters (there are two): Crusading financial journalist Mikael “Kalle” Blomkvist and the independent magazine he works for and publishes, Millennium, are in trouble after losing a legal battle in which Blomkvist is sentenced to six months in jail for libeling a billionaire tycoon (this, as it turns out, is inaccurate). Before he has to serve his prison sentence, Blomkvist is approached by another businessman who implores him to solve a 40-year-old murder case (Girl With The Dragon Tattoo). Also assigned to the case is 26-year-old Lisbeth Salander, a computer hacker with Asperger’s Syndrome and a photographic memory. She has been in and out of state “guardianship” since she was 13, and “All The Evil” happened. This is never fully alluded to (in the first book, anyway) and remains a point of interest throughout the novel, using flashback scenes and quick little snippets of what “All the Evil” might be. From the moment we meet her we instantly take an affinity to her, and here’s why: she’s constantly being fucked by the man. No, literally; her new “guardian,” a state lawyer, rapes her repeatedly in exchange for money she has earned
with her job at a security company. She gets revenge at the end of a tattoo needle early on, and of course your immediate reaction is “HOLY SHIT THAT’S AWESOME.” Basically her life has been one long torture scene, and so it is natural to sympathize, although sympathy is clearly not needed; she kicks ass all the way through the series, even though, according to author Larsson, she’s about 100 pounds soaking wet and fully clothed.
Salander, it turns out, is the Sherlock Holmes to Blomkvist’s Watson. She is much better at detective work than he is, and with her impeccable memory and attention to detail, she is able to make vital connections much faster. It is also her Achilles’ Heel. She never forgets a face, therefore she never forgets a grudge; her steadfast approach to everything, including enacting revenge upon the people who made her life hell (Girl Who Played With Fire, Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest) also gets her in a lot of trouble. This is compacted by the fact that those same people (who, as it turns out later, are government agents gone awry) have created a web of criminal and psychological lies about her designed to make sure she never reaches them. The second book involves this very plot device, starting with the murder of two of Blomkvist’s journalists who are about to release a damning expose about Sweden’s sex trade. Salander is immediately blamed. Her reputation is ruined in the media, at one point becoming a “Satan-worshiping lesbian cultist.” The police initiate a nationwide manhunt for her, and a figure from her dark past appears in order to snuff her out. Aaaaaaaand....... if I get any more in depth, I ruin the whole plot. Go get Stieg Larsson’s books, all of them. Read them. And prepare to be amazed.
IN THE NEXT ISSUE... INTERVIEWS WITH: THE TOASTERS VIOLENT AFFAIR JIM AND DUSTIN FROM SIZE RECORDS/THE CONSERVATORY MORE MUSIC REVIEWS (AS OP POSED TO THIS ISSUE) OTHER COOL STUFF WE HAVE N’T THOUGHT OF YET OPINIONS & (maybe) LETTER S FROM YOU
Published on Oct 10, 2010
Published on Oct 10, 2010
The premiere issue of the new Oklahoma City Punk Rock Zine. In this issue: interviews with ska band Classy San Diego and punk rock veteran S...