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scream looks up

Scream interview from Touch and Go 21.

TV: So, are you guys pleased with how your LP turned out?
ALL: Yup.
Pete: Only one mistake, on one song...I don't know if it was when they mastered it or what.
Skeeter: It drops out for a split second and then comes back...one bad thing was the drum sound.
Pete: The sound coming out of Don's now is incredible, but the drum sound still needs to be louder....

TV: So is this the first band for all of you guys?
ALL: Yeah.

TV: So you've been together about.
ALL: 3 or 4 years.
Skeeter: It took us a while to sort of get into the scene. The first time people heard us they weren't sure what we were trying to do.
Pete: We played the first Wilson Center show.
Skeeter: And the crowd naturally rejected us because we were outsiders.

TV: Weren't cool or something?
Pete: At that time there was a lot of that...and we weren't as good then either.
Skeeter: I think we were good but we were pretty lackadaisical and Pete would be the only person really into it, but now we're a lot more versitile. I was pretty nervous if there was more than fifty people, because we were used to playing parties.
Pete: We were still developing our sound and the Georgetown thing was a small crowd...The punk scene was small.
Kent: And most of the punks come from Maryland and stuff.

TV: So you were grits huh?
Pete: I saw this magazine at Ian's house called Capital Punishment that reviewed Black Market Baby and they called Scream "a bunch of jocks trying to be punk"...that basically was the attitude at the time...
Skeeter: It was like MD and DC were unifed...there were a few people that really liked us. We didnt spike our hair and we wore tennis shoes and not boots, we use this term, boxed in and boxed out, you know the hippies, grits...
Pete: Where we lived we started out playing parties and there were big crowds, but we still played our own music...we listened to the Sonics and that's how we learned how to play--listening to these old sixties songs...
Skeeter: We had a great time...the hippies didn't like us because we were too fast and the punks didn't like us because we wouldnt fit their impage...we weren't total thrash we were like melodic thrash. We always had a 'throw it in your face' style..like we might start off with a heavy metal song...
Kent: We were all influenced by the Bad Brains.
Skeeter: With me it was more like Hendrix...the stuff I hear in my head that I want to play is more like Hendrix...all of us write our own songs, even though Pete is like the master brain for writing...we try to throw him ideas so he doesnt have to do it all himself...it might sound stupid but I like to have three changes in each song...they dont even have to be chord changes or key changes but like climactic changes...

TV: So how did they react to you out west?
Pete: It went real good, I was surprised...we all had a great time.

TV: All in the same truck? No, not the midwest I mean the west west...
Pete: Oh that we had a good time but it was a financial disaster...we just went out there, kind of a slipshod setup.
Skeeter: We just wanted to see what was happening out there.
Pete: The best times we had was playing parties...we played one in Santa Cruz and one in Monterey.
Skeeter: I like playing where the people are eye to eye and they're trashing all about you...you function better because its a person to person thing...

TV: So what show was better in the midwest, Detroit or Kalamazoo...
ALL: Detroit...
Skeeter: Kalamazoo was great...the scene is bigger in Detroit more established...and Kalamazoo was more like just starting out...it was cool. Violent Apathy played and what was that other band.

TV: The Virrelles?
ALL: Ya..people didnt like em...
Skeeter: I like Violent Apathy--the lead singer makes it..
TV: Kenny? He's the best!!

(talk here about the early years as Skeeter gets nostalgic about getting a Strat and Franz instructing him on its use)

Skeeter: When I was in school they used to call me a frock...cuz I was a jock and I used to smoke pot..
ALL: YA WE'RE ALL FROCKS TRYING TO BE PUNK!!!
Skeeter: Yeah, as soon as we got into this...like nobody at our school was into the music--we were actually playing at beer blasts--people would get so drunk they would almost start to get into it...even though the backs of their minds they were hating it.
Franz: It was blind enthusiasm. Everyone would get slushy drunk...when we would play there would be no place to sit down, so everyone would have to stand up and Pete would just run and jump into people...Kent antagonized em.
Skeeter: Someone would be just about to drink a beer and there would be these girls that were made up and their lipstick and mascara is all running...
Franz: We created some thing they'd never seen before...they started to understand it.

TV: This was what about 2 years ago.
Pete: Yeah, about the time Teen Idles were starting.

TV: So what was your reaction when you saw them?
Kent: I thought they sucked...the bass player sucked.
ALL: yuks!
Skeeter: Ian don't pay attention to that...one string and one finger...I thought it was great! To me Ian was like the fastest bass player cuz I hadn't seen the Bad Brains.
Franz: Well, when we saw the Teen Idles we were just as close minded as the punks were about us at the time...
Skeeter: I thought they were just getting into the fuck this and that and they made it a point to be so belligerent...the guitarist would like throw his guitar out into the crowd and hit people...I wanted to kill...but after a while, you know, I listened to their stuff on Flex Your Head and realized what they were trying to do.
Kent: I thought the Untouchables were good...
Skeeter: Yeah back then SOA were cool too. The Enzymes were the big band--they were the first HC band with two guitars.

(Conversation turns back to west coast and their aborted interview)

Pete: How'd you hear about it?
TV: I think it was John Stabb.
Skeeter: Yohannon asked me what I though slamming was about..you know I could have made up some thing about how hard it is...the day to day struggle, but instead I said I don't try to hurt anybody...it's more or less having fun. What it reminds me of is this game called "Smear The Queer" when we were kids.
Pete: He asked Skeeter like what was slamming all about and Skeeter said its like this game called "Smear The Queer" and then Yohannon said, "Well...thank you very much."
Scream: (Laughter)
Skeeter: No, here were his exact words, "And with that closing statement..."
Kent: He said "What does that mean?"
Pete: We shouidn't have done the interview like we did it with GI and us...we had a great time fuckin' around but...the next day he said to me, "Look if I wanted interviews like that I could just go to any rock and roll bar..." He wants bands that come up there and make political statements, which I'm willing to do anytime if he wants to sit down and talk politics, but it was an interview with 2 bands--we were having a good time, we were answering all his questions...and when Skeeter answered that question, I guess he just got a bad attitude...I guess he's got alot of gay friends.
Skeeter: Later I went back to him and said to him what kind of game it was.
Pete: He tried to explain to Skeeter some psychological rap, like his parents taught him a was Queer was someone who wasn't right and he said, "What if it was 'Smear The Nigger'?"
Skeeter: I was about ready to rip his nose off...


Franz: Here we are at Tesco's bird sancuary.

(discussion on various topics)

Pete: We used to have lots of trouble with the Faifax County police, I guess they had nothing else to do except bust up parties. There are always cops who'll abuse their power but there's more that don't, you have to respect them for that...

(conversation drifts to matinee violence)

Pete: In New York it's like kill...I like playing up there cuz we get reactions like we used to get here...alot of 'em make fun of us.

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