Hope Conspiracy interview, with Jonas their bass player, that was done when the band headlined the Underworld in February (?) 2003. The interview resurfaced in time for Rancid News #3.
RN: OK well generic question first… how’s the tour been going?
HC: The tour’s good, the tour’s been… really long. I think today’s the 32nd show so we’re going home tommorrow morning now!
RN: It’s been the whole of Europe right?
HC: Yeah we did [mainland] Europe with Snapcase, and that was like a tour of three weeks, and then we did a few shows on our own, and then we came over here to the UK with IDefy…
RN: What happened with the whole Snapcase incident thing?
HC: What happened? Basically there were some dudes at the show, and they weren’t hardcore dudes, they weren’t punk rock dudes, they were just there to cause trouble, and have a fight, and then just during Snapcase’s set they just started punching kids in the face, and uhh during the first song Daryl from Snapcase was like, ‘No! No! You gotta stop that!’, right in the middle of song, but then they just kept on doing it, so in the middle of the second song they just stopped the set, and Daryl said ‘You guys gotta get the hell out of here!’ And basically they started leaving and then for whatever reason they got pissed off and decided to turn around and started to fight everyone, and it basically turned into part of Snapcase, and part of Hope Conspiracy against eight to ten huge people and it just became a huge mess. I don’t … you’re next question is probably going to be what about the rumours about you guys cancelling the tour right?!?
RN: No actually I didn’t really believe them when I heard them, I thought that Snapcase might have done though cause didn’t their drummer have his jaw broken?
HC: No… well their drummer had to get some stitches in his face, and one of their roadies did as well… but it was the tour manager who got his jaw broken, and he had to go home, just because he was miserable and it sucks… But yeah he’s a strong guy and he didn’t even notice it before he reached the hospital and then they did the x-ray on him, and they were like ‘Oh your jaw’s fractured!’ So he got it all wired together, and to have to go through surgery in the middle of tour [pause] that’s gotta suck! So he went home but everyone else… we agreed to cancel the show in Paris but that was it!
RN: Fair enough… OK well when you started the band you were all Edge right?
HC: Different members were, me and Kev were the only straightedge members from when the band started, but yeah I guess when the band started we were all straightedge scene.
RN: Did you ever wanna be part of the straightedge scene?
HC: I didn’t really know there was a straightedge scene. I mean being someone who’s been straightedge for a long time, I mean there were bands like ‘In My Eye’ and ‘Ten Yard Fight’ and you know those guys aren’t around anymore… I mean are there any straightedge bands left, I mean Count Me Out were the last one I knew of!
RN: You’re playing with xCANNANx tonight.
HC: Oh cool that’s awesome. I mean I love the Edge, but I mean just in general I don’t know about about any straightedge bands, they all seem to have gone, but I mean we were never Xhope conspiracyX, that was never anything to do with our band besides that some of the people that were in the band were edge.
RN: Fair enough… is it weird suddenly the Boston scene becoming popular, and Bridge Nine becoming such a big label?
HC: It’s … I mean it’s kind of weird just seeing Chris [B9] becoming that big, or how big it’s getting, but at the same time it’s not really surprising in the least because he is by far the hardest working record label is the world by far… by miles! But honestly you would not even believe just how hard that kid works so! So it’s good, it’s good to see that get some recognition, because he’s always to one up everyone else (laughs)… So it’s cool!
RN: Is it weird your band, or at least the music you’re playing being flavour of the month with the big magazines?
HC: Umm.. I don’t really notice, I don’t really notice that much because we’ve always had the same kind of like media.. I don’t know, media something (laughs) but we’re still, we’re still just a hardcore band and that’s not going to get us like radio play, or rack us up any platinum records or anything, and if magazines are covering us then that’s cool cause it might get kids into our music, and into our shows and that’s awesome. But honestly most important to me when magazines and whatever coverus it’s just cool to show my parents you know! (laughs) Because I mean being honest quitting college and going and being in a hardcore band is not a wise career move, it’s not the wisest deciscion, except I get to do cool stuff like coming to Europe and stuff, which is awesome so!
RN: So you don’t think that hardcore’s going to be the next big thing?
HC: No, I mean… there are hardcore bands who have mainstream appeal you know in the same way that there were some pop-punk bands that got mainstream appeal in the early nineties, but that’s not going to last! You know it’s not going to last… look at the bands from the early ninties that made it. Green Day and the Offspring and that’s it! Jawbreaker, Samian, Jawbox, fucking… I don’t know… they just didn’t make it you know! I don’t think that hardcore is ever going to be bigger than it is at the moment except for maybe two bands, and I don’t think that we’re one of them!
RN: Talking about that kind of thing do you worry that because there is almost a defined modern hardcore sound that we’re going to start getting a series of derivative bands?
HC: I think that there’s definetly a formula that you could take to create a hardcore band, and I think there are some bands playing that, which is fine, but it’s just not… it’s not my shit so to speak you know what I mean, it’s just not the thing that I’m into. I mean like the formula thing, I don’t know what it’s like here, but back in the states it’s blowing up, and like I don’t know, it’s really technical and people expect you to be really technical and stuff, and well I’m not, I’m not the best bass player in the world I just get up there and play music you know. [unfortunatley the tape is so managled that I don't know what the rest of the answer was!]
…. HC: [we return to Jonas answering something about a music video for the band!] … yeah we’ve done a video, whic I think they think can get played on MTV, I think at least they’re going to try and get onto MTV. I don’t really watch much of it, I watch MuchMusic (?) … I don’t know whether you guys have it over here?!?
RN: I don’t have a tv so (laughs)…
HC: Oh really… well MuchMusic has like… it’s like MTV but it’s cool because I’ll watch that it shows Cannibal Corpse videos you know?!? And I think that … well I don’t think that we’re going to be playing the MTV beach house or some any time soon but hopefully we’ll be able to get our video up on there! But I also think from a creative point of view and also just from just the fact that we like having fun making a video seems like a really good idea! But you know there’s still that old hardcore thing about not selling out or whatever!
RN: So have you gotten everything out of being a band that you’ve wanted?
HC: Yeah I mean we’ve been able to come across to Europe, and we’ve been able to tour the states a million times you know (laughs). But I don’t know there’s part of me that honestly still thinks that we haven’t got everything that we deserve as a band, like in a way … like it’s kind of like kids will talk shit because we don’t have mosh parts or whatever and then kids that will write reviews are saying that ‘oh yeah it’s good that these guys have matured a little bit on this record’ or whatever, and I mean until everyone realises that we’re not following some kind of formula, that we don’t just wanna be an average band. We don’t wanna be looked at in that way.
[fucked up tape interlude]
RN: Oh really have you not sorted out a European distribution thing?
HC: Well we’ve had offers, but no, like we’ve got to try and get a measure between us, the label, and the distribution company, and it seems to be hard to get all the parties on the same page!
RN: So have you started any work on the new record?
HC: We’ve got some ideas but we haven’t actually started writing anything yet. Hopefully when we get back home then we can start doing some of that. But basically the last album actually came out in September [i thought it had come out in December!] and we’ve just been on tour since then, and we’re going to be up on tour until May at least, but I don’t we’ve got some ideas.
RN: On a completly different note what do you think of the big touring festivals like Ozzfest, Warped Tour or whatever?
HC: I think it’s cool. And you know I’d quite like to play one of them at some point because I think it might be fun, maybe, but uhh at the same time I think that there are so many bands on those tours… I mean the Warped tours gotta have like five or six stages now, so it would be so easy just for a band to get lost on it, and then you’d end up on some tiny stage at the back of the festival to like one kid, and just no one gets to see you so I don’t know!
RN: Didn’t you play a couple of days on the Ozzfest though?
HC: No… no… but did you read that on the web, on umm static break yeah I don’t where he got that, and he did the interview and then we were reading it and one of our friends was reading it and he was like ‘I didn’t know you guys played the Ozzfest’, and we’re like ‘We didn’t!!!’ So yeah I don’t know where that came from (laughs)
RN: So is the actual Boston scene doing well?
HC: Yeah there seem to be alot of bands come from Boston at the moment, but I don’t think there’s like… I mean at the moment there’s no place for all ages shows in Boston so that’s a pain in the ass… but I’m never home anyways so I don’t really know!
RN: Are all ages shows still a problem in the states then?
HC: Sometimes… sometimes there are shows, but even if they’re ‘All Ages’ it normally means they’re just 18+, so I don’t know it sucks!
RN: OK well final question what do you hope someone takes away with them after seeing THC live, or listening to one of your records?
HC: Just that it’s a record that has feeling. Like that’s all we can do… I just want people to listen to our record and hear that we’re a band that’s about feeling, and that we’re not about like politics or straightedge or any of that shit, we’re just a band that’s about feeling… we just wanna shred, that’s it! (laughs)