Mittwoch, 3. März 2010

Interview with the 45 ADAPTERS - Skinhead Rock & Roll from New York City

Here we do have an interview with the 45 ADAPTERS, a fuckin' brilliant and damn great band from the 'Big Apple' called New York City. They are truly just awesome and outstanding, you should really, really check them out!!! There's no need to say more about them at this point, the interview- that Gerrad had done: THANX A LOT mate!!!- really speaks for itself, and yes, like I said, check them out. It's not an advice, it's an order!!!

*** 45 ADAPTERS ***

01.) Hey guys, first of all a very big "THANX!!!" for doing this interview. Is everything alright these days in the 45 ADAPTERS camp?!? I think that you are still a pretty new band, or at least to us over here in Germany. So please introduce yourself to us, who is in the 45 ADAPTERS, name, age, hobbys, jobs, other bands you've played before in, etc., some insider stuff;-).

Thank you for the interest! Things are going great for us right now. We're just getting started recording a new EP, so I'm really excited.
Craig is our bassist and a librarian by trade. He's also a music encyclopedia. He used to play bass in THE TRADITIONALS.
Dave plays guitar and manages restaurants.
Pat is our drummer and he is a union carpenter.
I'm Gerrad and I sing and play guitar. I'm unemployed at the moment and burning rapidly through my savings. I used to sing for BOTB.

(02.) Can you tell the readers and me what's the meaning of your bandname, the 45 ADAPTERS?!? Because, honestly, I'm not so sure, if I have a clue at all, haha;-).

45 ADAPTERS are the little plastic adapters that you use to play 7" records with large center holes. They com as stars, domes, triangles or discs. Except for Dave, we're all record junkies, so it made sense as a name. I also DJ old jamaican sounds, old soul records and a little punkrock; strictly on vinyl.

(03.) I've already mentioned, you are- at least to us guys over here in germany- a pretty new band. After I also think, that you guys are all already for quite a while in this whole wide world of Punkrock / Skinhead - Subculture around, please tell us your bandstory up to this day, should be interesting to get something to know about it at all.

We've been around for more than two years, but with a quite long break in the middle. Julio was our original guitarist, but he's ade to move on due to real life commitments. He's still our brother until the end!!! He just got married, so congratulations to him and Kate from all of us. We've all been in the scene for a while, but I'm the oldest so for meit's been a very long while.

(04.) I've read that your "NOT ONE MORE DAY" 7" (we will come in a jiffy to this masterpiece, be sure) is your Debut Release. Was there any Demo stuff recorded before?!? And of course, 7" singles totally rule!!! Are you also dedicated to vinyl releases, especially 7" singles stuff?!? But why it's so strictly limited?!? (Not that it is a bad thing at all, not at least because I call it my own, haha;-).)

We've recorded songs on cassette tape at our practise space and given them out to friends and promoters, but that's about it. As a record collector, I'm most excited about releasing stuff on vinyl, but it seems like we'll need to release something on CD soon. We keep getting asked for CD's! Evidently, some poor souls don't own turntables. Can you belive it? Obviously, they should be ashamed of themselves, but I try not to judge! I'm not sure about the release numbers, I'm just glad I didn't have to buy back a bunch of unsold copies and put them in my closet.

(05.) What I think is a really good thing, that at first comes a 7", it's always a nice thing to make a band better known to a passionate crowd. Here in Germany it seems to become more and more normal that young bands get signed (sometimes you get the feeling that this bands haven't even recorded a Demo before...) and they are releasing a full length album all at once, what is really a pity if you ask me, young bands are getting thrown on the market and fired up and burned, sometimes already with their first release. Is this type of record label business also to be seen in the U.S.A. as the common affair to deal with new young bands?!? What's your opinion 'bout it?!?

I think our music probably appeals to other music nerds, so a 7" release was perfect for us. The great thing is that the music nerds are always looking for new music and are more than willing to try out something new or with a different sound. I've found out about a lot of bands just by flipping through records at a shop and seeing an interesting cover. A 7" is cheap enough you can just take a chance on something random, you know?!? I like that we're a part of that now. Hopefully enough people will take a chance on our record and like it to justify an LP. We're recording another EP first, though. I want to be completely prepared to make sure the LP is great when it's finally released.
I don't really know much about other bands' experiences, to be honest with you. I'm really learning the basics on this stuff right now.

(06.) Now to your "NOT ONE MORE DAY" 7": Like I've already mentioned before, it's a damn great masterpiece!!! Thumbs up!!! I first listened to your songs on your MySpace - Profile, and it was pretty clear to me, that I need to buy your 7". Damn great music!!! No matter if you call it Punkrock or Skinhead Rock & Roll or what so ever. You are playing a very unique style, maybe just a little bit comparable to the TEMPLARS. Would you somehow agree, or am I total wrong?!? How would you describe it?!?

Thanks for the kind words!!! We recorded it just hoping to get it released, so it's been flattering to see it get so much positive feedback. That's real motivation to get more of our music out there. We have a lot of songs right now and I'm always writing new songs.
We're from NYC and we're friends with those guys, so the comparison is inevitable. I take it as a real compliment!!! They are an awesome Rock & Roll band that any music fan can appreciate. We recorded a cover of their song "New York" for a tribute compilation that will hopefully be out soon. Recording it reminded me of just how many amazing songs they have released over the years. That said, I think the main similarity between our bands is that we have good record collections and we're not afraid to make music that reflects that.

(07.) Your taste in music seems to cover a long distance, from the COCKNEY REJECTS to the TEMPLARS, and over Soul and Jamaican Music to Glam and Classical 1970's Rock. That's a lot of good and interesting stuff to listen o, absolutly. And I find that it's very positive, that you are not bringing us just another dose of the typical Skinhead sound, so from where and how do you get your inspirations riding songs (and lyrics)?!?

You know, I've always liked making mixtapes with different bands and genres bumping into each other. Our band is like those mixtapes. Like a gtruck full of STAX Records crashing into a truck full of COCK SPARRER records or something. Our band philosophy is to get in a room and let things happen without trying to fit a certain mold. We're all music fans first and foremost, so you get a lot of different influences thrown into the mix. That's one of the cool things about being older now; I care less and less every day about satisfying anything but the tastes of th band members. Pat wants us to get more Soul influence. Craig would love to sneak some psych rock into our sound. Good songs, that's what it's really all about. We're a band full of Skinheads, so we say any sound we make is the Skinhead Sound!!! Of course, that's not for everyone. Some people won't even give us a listen because we have love songs or whatever. I don't have a problem with that. I mean, when I was 16 or 17 I just wanted to hear about Boots & Aggro!!! Those songs are fun, too.

(08.) Now let us come to your lyrics: Also not that typical Skinhead Lyrics Style. So let us go though them song for song. First of all "OVERTIME" really blew me away. Really strong Working Class / Blue Collar - Lyric, very emotional and not the typical style of just roaring "Working Class and proud of it!" stuff. It seems to me that it has also a very personal touch, right?!? What are your thoughts on the so called blobal fiscal crisis?!? I mean, if you're looking on what's going on in the world of economics since the last two or three years, then lines like "Feel the kind of joy the bosses never can / they need us more than we need them!" do become even more right and get a even deeper meaning than before, tuly, if you ask me.

You know the alarm clock sound that starts the song? That's actually my alarm clock. I get a kick out of the fact that so many people get to hear that!!! In the end, the thing that unites most people is that they have to work hard and support their families. That applies to Blue Collar Workers, Teachers, Data Entry Clerks or whomever. It used to be that you could get a decent job and work hard with the goal of some kind of retirement and a chance to help your kids have a better life. Now it seems like most of us know deep down that we may never retire and that we may end up doing worse than our parents did. In the end a very small amount of people are becoming unimaginably rich at the expense of the vast majority of us. That's not fair or sustainable. I'm no political or economic expert, I don't have any big answers to offer. I do know that they need us more than we need them. That's a fact!!! That's the kind of politics I do care about.

(09.) With "THE BRIDGE STORE" you've created a very strong and beautiful love song. A personal story?!? Something to say about it, or rather not?!? Ah, but for what stands this image of the bridge store in this context?!?

There's an old saying that's applicable when someone tells you that they believe something which is obviously bullshit: "If you believe that; I've got a bridge I can sell you." The idea is that if someone is gullible enough, you can trick them into giving you money by telling them you will sell them the Brooklyn Bridge. It's a really old saying. The song is basically telling a former girlfriend that I'm not going to deceive myself anymore. There's no particular person that the song is about, though. We've all had many experiences where a loved one tricks you into believing things that deep down you know aren't true. Then one day, you finally open up your eyes and it hurts.

(10.) "METROPOLITANS" is a very fine sports anthem!!! You're paying tribute to your baseball team, the New York Mets. Cool stuff, but I think you aren't the biggest Yankees fans at all, right, haha;-)?!? Can you tell us, do it has something to do with the fact that you are coming from Brooklyn?!? I mean, is there any kind of "team - affiliation" when you are coming from some specific parts of town?!? How is the rivalry between the Mets and the Yankees?!? Ah, and what do have the "boys in Philly" to do with it?!? Give us an inside view!!! Ah, and yes, do you know that Kevin James as Doug Haffernan in the comedy series "The King Of Queens" was also a Mets fan?!?

Well, the Mets have always been my family's team- I've been a fan since at least the age of 9 and probably much younger. I go to 15 or so games a year and I watch almost every game on TV. Baseball isn't as popular now-a-days in most places, but it's still very big in NY and the Northeast of the United States. I'm sure that most of your readers (and most of my friends) are more into soccer/football. I can understand that. At the same time, Baseball is our traditional American game and I'm a huge fan.
I don't hate the Yankees really, but I do hate most of their fans!!! In the past, certains areas preferred certain teams, but today the Yankees are much more popular overall. You see more Mets fans in Brooklyn and Queens than in say, theBronx, but the Yankees are more popular all over the city. Most people are front runners who jump on the bandwaggon for whichever team happens to be winning the most. Very often Yankees fans are loud mouthed people who don't even really enjoy Baseball, but they enjoy being on the winning side. There are some cool Yankees fans, but it's very rare!
Although Mets and Yankees fans have a rivalry because we are in the same city, we don't play in the same league. We only play each other a few times a year. The Philadelphia Phillies are our real rivals in our own league, the National League. They have been really good the last few years and they are also only 100 miles away, so it's natural that the two teams aren't friendly. The Phillies players have also insulted our players on TV and in the papers. Unfortunately, they have been able to back up their words by beating us again and again in recent years. Last year many of the Mets best players were injured and we really struggled. Then the Word Series Championship was between the Yankees and the Phillies. You can imagine how miserable I was!
You know what, I lied. I do hate the Yankees!!!

(11.) The lyrics to the title track "NOT ONE MORE DAY" are just brilliant, if you ask me. Copyright laws, digital downloading, etc., also not the typical kind of lyrics of Skinhead songs. Really good!!! How did the lyrics to this masterpiece came together?!?

I write songs because I want people to hear them. If you have downloaded one of our songs or someone gave you a copy on tape or whatever, why should I be angry about that? I'd like you to buy a record, but if you don't I don't think you should get sued or arrested. In the U.S., they are suing people for thousands of dollars for downloading songs. This obsession with copyright control is just a scam to make money for big companies. I don't think anyone has the right to make money off of my music without my permission, but no one needs my permission to just listen to it. Anyway, think about Jamaica. They could care less about copyright and look at the result. It's incredible that such a small country, with so much poverty, has created so much wonderful music.

(12.) As you are coming from New York City, maybe you can give us a little impression of what's going on in the city that never sleeps when it comes to the Skinhead scene. I know of two new (or maybe not so new at all) Old School Hardcore bands with a strong Oi! / Skinhead background, firts band is SKINHEADS STILL SCARE PEOPLE (S.S.S.P.) and the second is FED UP!, and then there are (of course) the great TEMPLARS, the legendary OXBLOOD are also back with a strong new 7", SKIN DISORDER were also a damn good band (if you ask me), but I think that they are a defunct band nowadays. So please give us a little update about what's going on in N.Y.C. (bands, labels, clubs, fanzines, distros, recordshops,maybe politics, etc.)!!!

FED UP! are great people, we're playing with them in a couple of months. Dennis put on a lot of shows and has a good distro. I've never met the guys in S.S.S.P. or seen them play. The TEMPLARS, OXBLOOD and SKIN DISORDER are all good friends. Everyone knows that OXBLOOD and the TEMPLARS put NYC on the map when it comes to Oi! Oi! music. You're right, SKIN DISORDER aren't playing together anymore. I still se Gasface their singer and Avi their bassist around all of the time. STEP 2 FAR is a Hardcore band in NYC that helps keeping things happening. HUB CITY STOMPERS are a Bootboy SKA band from New Jersey that has a huge following. THE FORTHRIGHTS are a local Rocksteady band that I really like.
I put on DJ nights with SPQR spinning Reggae, SKA and Soul and I also DJ Punkrock around town on occasion. I usually go to the Subway Soul DJ Nights and there are always other Soul nights around town. Frank from STEP 2 FAR has a regular DJ night in the city at Otto's spinning all kind of Bootboy stuff. A Skingirl named Grace DJs around town as well. The Double Barrel guys haven't been as busy lately, but they usually put on great parties spinning tasty bluebeats. You may have noticed, I like to go dancing! There's a regular Skinhead Reggae night Otto's, too, but I'm not welcome, unfortunately. It's too bad, they play great tunes.
I mostly shop for Reggae records and the place to go is Deadly Dragon Sounds. They have some really great original Jamaican vinyl all the way from Mento to the latest Dancehall. I love that place, but I have to stay away to keep my wallet from exploding! Generation Records in the city probably has the most Punkrock vinyl, but Passout and Academy Annex in Brooklyn also have some good stuff. There are tons of record shops all over NYC, but I have to confess to being kind of an eBay collector these days. I need to go out and dig through crates more often!
If you're in town and want to have a drink, you'll usually find me at the Second Chance Saloon. I DJed their New Year's Eve party and had a great time. They've got COCK SPARRER on the jukebox as well, so how can you go wrong? If you like watching football/soccer, Iona's in Brooklyn or Nevada Smith's in Manhatten are the places to go.
There are Fred Perry and Ben Sherman stores in town now, but people tell me that the smart money is at Century 21, a discount store.
The only problem with the scene in NY is that so many people only come out for their own events or only for big shows. Hopefully people will start supporting the scene in general more so that we can make each and every event really special. Either way, DTAWDD (<=> 'Don't Trust Anyone Who Doesn't Dance') will be there and dancing!!!

(13.) Here in Germany we do have a strong discussion about and because of R.A.C. music. Something like if it should be "allowed" and if it's okay or not to listen to it. Is there also some equal discussion going on in the U.S.A. these days?!? And what is your personal opinion to it?!?

First off, let me say fuck Nazis!!! We can all agree on that, right? (Damn right!) I don't think that's at all in question, is it? Fuck Nazis!!! Beyond that, let's not focus too much on all of the political stuff. My politics are in my lyrics. I love music, dancing and drinking with my friends. I try not to get too caught up with the political games, I just try to have fun and mind my own business. I think some people don't even enjoy the music or like to have fun, they just want to be politicians! It's okay; they can stand against the wall talking about politics and I'll go dance with their girlfriends. My politics is DTAWDD: don't trust anyone who doesn't dance.

(14.) On the other hand we have also a lot of a strong anti - S.H.A.R.P. and anti - RASH meaning in Germany in some (big) parts of the (so called) scene here. Is there something comparable going on in the States, and what do you think about it?

I'd rathr talk more about Mets vs. Yankees!

(15.) What I really wanted to ask you, before we're coming to a close: You are coming from Brooklyn, like the great BIOHAZARD, a band that was and still is damn important for me. So, do you know them, have something to say about them? ;-)

I don't know much about BIOHAZARD, to be honest with you. I remember having a tape when I was younger, but except for that "WRONG SIDE OF THE TRACKS" song, I'm not very familiar with them. Oh wait, I also know that one of the guys in that band is pornstar now!!!

(16.) Okay, I could ask you even more questions, but okay, I think this interview is already long enough, haha;-). So we're coming to a close now. Once again guys, a very big "THANX!" for taking the time and doing this interview, and I can't wait to hear a full length record of you, and it would be great if you would play over here in Germany one day. The last words now will be yours!!! Keep the faith, the best greetings from Germany!!! Cheers & Oi!, Andy!!!

Thanks to you first and foremost forhelping to get the word out about our band. I hope my sense of humor translates. Thanks to Mike from Longshot, Ecke, Hechti and everyone at Contra for releasing our music and giving us encouragement. There would be no scene without the people who put in the hard work and invest their money into making sure that the bands are heard. Support them!!! Thanks to everyone who has bought our record or come to our shows or danced out our DJ nights. Without you, nothing happens!!! Thanks to my fellow SPQR legionnaires. DTAWDD!!!

My last words: CHECK THIS DAMN GREAT BAND!!! Oi!

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The review of the "NOT ONE MORE DAY" 7" will be coming soon!!!

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