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Photos by Leslie Wimmer
Back in August Miami/Ft. Lauderdale got its first taste of some DC hardcore when Double O came into town. It was a last minute decision by the band to make the journey south. They were in North Carolina and had the misfortune of having a bunch of their dates cancelled, so south they came. The local turnout was pitiful, but the few that did show up weren't disappointed by the band's performance. I think I can say that most of the people in attendance had a good time.
For those of you unfamiliar with Double O they've been together for almost a year (I think that's right). The band consists of Eric (vocals) Jason (guitar), Bert 'bass), and Richard (drums). They don't have anything on vinyl yet, although they can be found on the "Charred Remains" cassette compilation. All the band members have been active within the DC scene for awhile--Bert and Richard were in the Untouchables, Eric was in Red C and Bert also played bass in the Youth Brigade. Their roadie Tomas was formerly the drummer for Red C as well. He begins their sets with a quick warm-up on guitar...was that Jimi Hendrix or Robin Trower? The following interview was conducted on the beach (where else? This is Florida!)--everyone was present except Eric.
SR: Why do you think most of the DC bands only stay together for a few months?
JASON: Because there's a lack of places to play...there's really not alot of places to play...but usually other bands come out of the bands that break up.
SR: Tell us about the whole "straight edge" thing.
RICHARD: Let's get some shit straight about straight edge. It's not a movement. People get the wrong thing about straight edge, it's not a movement; it's the idea of one person (Ian MacKaye). If some people are straight edge that's great, that's fine--if you're not, you're not.
JASON: There's no turmoil in Washington like these two groups who hate each other.
SR: Is there a DC philosophy?
RICHARD: Everybody has feelings--'What's this all about, man?'...it's all about your own ideas...how you feel--it's independence.
THOMAS: It's like alot of people don't drink or take drugs, but that's their own idea.
JASON: Then there's alot of people that do--it's not like a turmoil...people get along with each other.
SR: Where do you get the ideas for your songs?
RICHARD: Most of the ideas for your songs come from everyday things.
BERT: Your surroundings.
JASON: It's reality, it's not like "I love the girl, she's the most beautiful in the world" or it's not about beating people up or being real tough or anything like that.
RICHARD: It's what's going on...how you feel about what you see.
THOMAS: It's personal politics.
SR: So you're about personal politics--you are not an overt political band?
THOMAS: We're all homosexual communists.
JASON: Just omit everything he says, too.
SR: What about anarchy?
JASON: Anarchy's dumb. All you've got to think about is if there's anarchy...you're going to die in whatever a matter of time...someone's just going to come up and kill you and take all your money.
RICHARD: Let's get it straight up--what you're talking about as far as anarchy.
SR: What about peaceful anarchy?
THOMAS: Terrorism is not anarchy, anarchy is a lifestyle. It's not fucking throwing bombs at tanks....
RICHARD: I hate labels like that.
JASON: Labels basically suck--all the straight edge labels, anarchy labels.
RICHARD: To label is to limit...to limit is to label. Put that down for Bored Youth....
SR: What do you guys do during the day?
SR: What about skateboarding?
RICHARD: These two are the big skateboarders, Eric and Bert. Me and Jason just fuck around...
JASON: We're the ones who just drive down the hill.
SR: Weren't you going to be on the Bad Brains compilation?
JASON: We declined--we dropped out of that.
SR: Alot of people lately seem down on the Bad Brains.
JASON: The Bad Brains have alot of things they need to take care of...too many worries on their minds...
BERT: They've got Zion Train and their album coming out and all this shit. We're probably going to be on a compilation cassette with Brian Schroeder...
JASON: We're definitely going to be coming out with something...hopefully by this winter.
SR: What about the shows there?
JASON: There's show's on and off...like Wilson Center has shows...930 Club when some major hardcore band comes by...there's shows.
SR: What bands have you played with that you've been particularly impressed with?
JASON: Negative Approach.
RICHARD: They were hot as shit.
THOMAS: Bruce Springsteen.
JASON: I wasn't impressed with the Dead Kennedys when we played with them. I mean, I thought they sounded like your average basement band. They all just stand there like they're dead...like they have sticks up their asses.
JASON: No, he moves around and all.
SR: Are you making any money on this tour?
RICHARD: As a matter of fact, we're in the hole, but we're having fun.
THOMAS: OK, here's my comment. You've got to give up, you've got to make sacrifices. The problem with the punks today is that they don't make any sacrifices, they just go along with all this bullshit, and the only thing that sets them apart is the music they listen to. It's not supposed to be that way, they are supposed to have a totally different lifestyle.
JASON: Wait a minute...I don't believe that--like I listen to punk rock and I've got to get a mohawk now and a pair of boots--I've got to drink warm beer and beat up old women--that's a bunch of shit.
RICHARD: I'll go along with what Thomas said, but most important is where your head's at...
SR: So are you saying be an individual?
THOMAS: It's doing what you believe in and you don't have to live up to the role because it's an image. It depends on what your real feelings are about it, and not how you look. Being a punk means looking at all the bullshit around you and fighting against it. Wake up and make sacrifices.
SR: What kind of sacrifices?
RICHARD: Anything that bothers you...anything you don't agree with. There's your sacrifice, so go against it.
THOMAS: Punk is supposed to be a lifestyle, it's just that people lose track of it.
SR: (Heavy sarcasm) Hey, one more question--So, is Ian MacKaye the leader of the DC scene?
JASON: Oh yeah, he's our god, we worship him. Every Tuesday night we go to his house, everybody in the DC scene, and some people from many other cities like LA, and there's a big shrine that looks just like Ian 350 feet tall, and we all worship him.
RICHARD: Hey, that's one thing...hey...Ian MacKaye is probably one of the most outspoken people in the DC scene. That's why he gets all that fucking recognition, which is fucking great. He's got something to say and he says it--he's not afraid to say it...but he's probably one of the friendliest people in DC.
BERT: See, all along their tour they encountered people that thought Ian would go up there and call them assholes because they're drinking, and not to drink...but it's not true.
SR: So he's not trying to impose a punk "moral majority" thing?
BERT: Not at all.
RICHARD: People get the wrong idea. The attitude they have with the straight edge, it's...who the fuck are you? They shouldn't do that shit. Look at that song "In My Eyes", people get the wrong idea about that. If you read the lyrics, and read carefully, you can really see what he's trying to say, man. It's almost like you can stick an 'if' in there...it's like "if I don't smoke, if I don't drink".
SR: Yeah from "Out of Step".
BERT: It's not a preaching song, he's stating what he feels.
RICHARD: I don't know if the 'if' is supposed to be in there, but that's the way I see it.
Shortly after this, we concluded the interview. It's really too bad more people didn't show up, but in the end it's your fuckin' loss--these guys were hot!
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