An interview with Pat, the band’s drummer, in February (or March?) 2003.
RN: So are you still telling the world that you’re 19? AF: Yup I’m still 19!
RN: (laughing) So how long have you been 19 now then?!?
AF: (laughs) A number of years now! How old do I look?!?
RN: Ahh I don’t know – 24?
AF: Yeah alright I’ll take 24 then! (laughs)
RN: This is the first time that you’re playing club shows in the UK…
AF: Wait the last time we played (supporting Millencolin) weren’t club shows?
RN: Well kind of, but these are proper club shows…
AF: Oh Ok, Ok!
RN: So are people adhering to the ‘no smoking’ request?
AF: Umm well here’s our thing with the no smoking. The smoking really kills us, and I don’t think, I don’t know whether people have realised that we’re in smoke every night. I mean it’s alright if it’s just smoke for one night, we can handle that once kindof every two weeks of three weeks, but we’re in smoke every night so that over and over kills us, and Justin (band’s singer) specifically. We ask people not to smoke, and we hope that people don’t smoke but we don’t … we’re not Earth Crisis or anyone like that, we don’t beat people up for smoking! We aks them not to smoke and hopefully the majority will be cool and won’t smoke, and so far it’s been pretty good, we’ve survived. I mean my immune system’s pretty fucked up but I’m still alive today!
RN: So are you guys as a band straightedge then?
AF: Yes, yes we are. We don’t really…. we don’t do the straightedge thing cause I think alot of people take it in a bad way, they feel as though we’re telling them that you have to be straightedge else we’ll beat you up, and that’s not the kind of people that we are. We make choices for ourselves and hopefully other people will make good choices for themselves as well.
RN: This is the generic question that I suspect everyone’s asked but what do you think of the US/UK & Iraq situation?
AF: I think it’s really fucking scary. I go to bed hoping that when I wake up things’ll be better and each day they keep getting worse and worse…so yeah.
RN: Did it scare you a couple of days ago, how Saddam started dismantling some of his missles and then on the monday America bombed within the No Fly Zone?
AF: No I didn’t hear about that….It’s unfathomable to me that this is going on like this. It’s like a bad story that somebody wrote, that you’re like this can’t be real, but it actually is!
RN: Does it ever worry you that everyone seems to have just forgotten that Bush wasn’t actually elected?
AF: Yes! Well hopefully when the next elections come around we will hopefully be able to officially unelect him. But yeah, again it’s amazing that if you were to have written this as a story everybody in the states would have been like, ‘That’s horrible – that could never happen’, but it did, and we’re suffering through it.
RN: I don’t know which one of you in the band said it…
AF: If we was smart then it wasn’t me (laughs).
RN: (laughs) OK, well one of you guys said that actually you thought that 9/11 had politicised the punk scene, woken people up. Do you still stand by that?
AF: Oh yeah, yeah absolutley.
RN: Cause there are some people that think it’s gone the other way. Cause I was interviewing Jord from Propagandhi the other day, and he thinks that everyone has gone straight to the Right?
AF: You know it’s interesting because – well this is our experience and he may be having a different one – I think that a vast majority of people have gone to the right. But because of that, there are definetly people who are looking for something different, and they’re coming to the punk rock community to get that, and it may be definetly be that we’re finding people that are looking for something that’s different. And I mean that’s great for us because we’re always looking to talk to people who are looking for alternatives to the mainstream, the media, and the Bush routine.
RN: Do you think the that there is any way to avert the War?
AF: Yeah I think there is. I think getting out on the streets and demonstrating I think has done alot. They don’t let on that it’s effecting them but it clearly is. You can’t have that many people marching against a war that you’re trying to pull off and not get scared about that, and I think that’s one of the main reasons that they haven’t attacked Iraq any earlier because there is this opposition – at least I hope so!
RN: So was it a collective deciscion then to do the anti-war thing on your website?
AF: Yeah, it’s just part of what we do!
RN: Was it on the day of 9/11 that you decided to do 911 for Peace, or did you decide later?
AF: Well we were actually in the studio recording Mobilise and we went in the day before September the 11th and then obviously September the 11th happened, and obviously we saw a situation, and we wanted to express how we felt about that, and the way that we do that is through music. So I don’t think it was a sudden decision it just kind of happened!
RN: Do you have any other plans to do anything else for other demonstrations, outside of music?
AF: Well not whilst we’re in Europe, cause we’re driving pretty much all day, and then we’re playing every night! But hopefully when we get back to the States we can go back and do the protests and things that we were doing before we left.
RN: Kind of on that note, what do you think of Fat Mike suddenly becoming overtly political?
AF: It’s sort of funny, it’s sort of funny, because you know we obviously knew him before Bush got elected, and before all of this started happening and he was always like ‘Woaaaah’, but no I think that the thing about Mike is that he’s an intelligent person and if he sees these problems then he speaks out about them. And he decided that Bush is definetly a problem and he’s trying to come up with a solution to the problem.