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Interview with Youth Brigade from Pages of Rage 4
This interview with YOUTH BRIGADE was done after their show to Winnipeg at the Doghouse. YOUTH BRIGADE have been around for about a year and a half in LA, but the three Stern brothers have added alot more to the scene in LA than the music of YOUTH BRIGADE. They run a record company (BYO Records) that has released four albums to date and many more in the works. As well as doing shows and running a national Music Magazine, along with what should be called a halfway house for out of town bands at their home in L.A. Helping out and getting shows for most bands that come through. Busy bunch of guys, these Stern brothers. They expressed alot of ideas and are very dedicated and serious about what they are doing. It proves that you can do things on your own and get it done effectively, such as shows records etc. Anyhow blah blah blah, here's what they had to say...
WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN SO FAR ON THIS TOUR?
S: Where have we been so far, Adam?
A: We've been to Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Boise, Reno, and San Francisco.
S: And Sacramento.
IS THIS AS BIG AS LAST YEAR'S TOUR?
A: It's not as organized.
S: No, I wouldn't say that.
A: Well, we started setting them up a week before we left.
S: This one will be better because I think we're a bit more well known this time.
A: It'll be better because we don't have as many fuckin' jerks on the tour this time.
HOW'S IT GOING SO FAR?
S: Really good. Fun! Fun! Fun! We took this band from Canada with us, The STRETCHMARKS!
A: Vancouver wasn't the greatest.
S: It's been a lot of fun cause the STRETCHMARKS came, pretty wild, most every show has been pretty wild. Calgary and Winnipeg has been the best Boise was really surprising.
WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH YOUR NEW ALBUM, "SOUND AND FURY"?
A: It's basically a new album with only four songs from the old one.
S: The covers redone, the production is better...
A: We may as well have called it a new album.
S: We rushed together the one last year and we weren't really satisfied with the production. Everything was rushed because we wanted it released for the tour. So when we got back we decided we wanted to redo it, but we'd written so many new songs and alot of the stuff from the first version is really old.
BUT IT'S STILL CALLED "SOUND AND FURY." IT DOESN'T SAY REISSUE OR REMIXED ANYWHERE. DON'T YOU THINK PEOPLE WILL BE CONFUSED?
S: Yeah, there is a little confusion, but most people know because we'd said in all the interviews we did across the country that we weren't happy with it, we'd stopped the pressing at 800 and we were going to redo it. It'll cause some confusion, but we didn't want the first one to be our first album, because it really wasn't a good representation of the band. We figured if we're going to put out a first album, let's put out one that really represents the band, because we'd only been a three piece when we put out that album, for about five months. We'd only written about 4 or 5 songs since we'd been a 3 piece and 2 of them were on the compilation. Basically we just took the 4 newer ones from the album and put those on the newer version.
WHAT'S GOING ON WITH THE BYO THESE DAYS?
S: Just got out the new AGRESSION album and the redone YOUTH BRIGADE, and a new compilation with bands from all over the country to follow up the one from last year, 'cause last year it was just all southern California bands. We might put out other bands too, like 7 SECONDS, we'll see when we get hone. The first thing we'll do when we get back is start work on the compilation. We'll have to find a new place to live, new BYO headquarters.
ARE YOU STILL PUTTING ON SHOWS IN LA?
S: There's no real place to do shows in LA, it goes in cycles.
A: The club we did play in LA, with The STRETCHMARKS before we left, sucks?.
S: Yeah, when we left LA at the beginning of the summer there was a few clubs to play, there was a few smaller clubs, the biggest one was the Vex and that maybe holds 800 people, the bouncers are really fucked. Basically it's so hard to do shows in LA, you gotta take what you can get cause they only last for so long. We haven't done any shows since April, we were gonna do thia big show in June, but it fell through. All the legitimate clubs are closed like The Whisky, The Roxy, they don't want to do punk shows anymore.
THESE BIG HUGE SHOWS THAT DRAW 3-5 THOUSAND PEOPLE, DO YOU THINK IT'S GOOD OR BAD?
S: I think it's great I think the more the better. I mean, we play music for as many people to hear as possible, I would never want to say, "Oh I don't want more than 50 people to hear our music." Because of course we want to make money, we would never deny that, and also we write songs that we think are important and that people should hear and the more people that hear it, the better.
TELL US ABOUT SOME OF YOUR SONGS, WHAT'S SINK WITH CALIFORNIA ABOUT?
S: It was influenced by the tour, basically it's an anti-nationalism song, anti-territoriality, you know people going, this city's better than that city or this country's better than that country. It really doesn't matter where you're from, alot of people rag on English bands or alot of people rag on bands from LA or whatever. It doesn't matter where you're from, it's the attitude you have that counts and that's basically what Sink With California is about, It seems when you first hear it that it's a joke song like "California Uber Alles" or something, but that's not what it's about. It's what's in your head, we all have similar ideas, let's look at it from that way, not "Oh, he's from LA."
DON'T YOU THINK ALOT OF ENGLISH BANDS COME OVER HERE ASKING OUTRAGEOUS GUARANTEES, ETC?
S: As a promoter, yeah, but all the bands aren't like that.
(More talk about English bands, the cost of getting over to America, etc.)
S: You have to look at it this way, they don't know anybody over here, they can't just come over here, get into the underground scene and book it themselves. To get the money to fly over here is difficult itself.
YOU'RE STARTING A NATIONAL MUSIC MAGAZINE, AREN'T YOU?
S: It's called 'Generation' and it's a national magazine covering the US and Canada. It'll be really commercial and the idea is that by using the really big commercial New Wave bands that are finally getting into Billboard charts and becoming really successful, that it will open people's eyes to the punk scene cause there'll be alot of stuff on punk in it too.
(Mark, the drummer, slightly inebriated, stumbles in)
S: It's like in LA, alot of kids go to New Wave shows and stuff, it's just that they've read all this stuff about police riots so they're scared (to go to a punk show). Hopefully this will help.
HOW DID THE MOVIE THAT WAS MADE OF YOUR TOUR LAST YEAR TURN OUT?
S: It came out alright, it's just dated. We were supposed to have more say, at least we thought, in the post production and editing. We had disagreements with the guy that put it together.
M: It's a good movie, it's real positive.
S: Compared to any punk movie I've ever seen, it's definitely the best punk movie that's a been put together.
WHAT WERE YOUR REASONS FOR FORMING THE BYO?
S: The immediate reason was in reaction to police violence after the Elks' Lodge riot.
M: There's so many fucking bands every where, we get so many tapes, any band that pushes themselves I'll support. There's so many bands, go into any music store that sells instruments and listen to these people talk, it's fucking amazing, everyone's a star, everyone's this, everyone's that, anyone that's in it to make money, especially this type of music, that's ridiculous. What was the question anyway?
S: The question was about the BYO!
M: I don't care. What do you wanna do, fight?
S: No, I don't want to fight, you just go off on tangents! Hold on, are you going to print this?
NAH! BUT WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TAPE.
M: I got a tape in the car you can have.
S: You just walked in!
M: So what, I'm not answering the questions, I'm sorry!
ONE MORE QUESTION, WHAT ARE YOU ALL GOING TO DO IN THE FUTURE, ANY PLANS, LAST WORDS, ETC?
M: Drive to Minneapolis.
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