Interview mit Good Riddance

 

At the last Sick of it all show in Munich I had the possibility doing an interview with Good Riddance. I was really interested how they'll react on our Berlin review and well...here we go

Ploedi:

Would you first introduce yourself?

Chuck:

My name is Chuck and I play bass in Good Riddance.

Luke:

My name is Luke and I play guitar for Good Riddance

Ploedi:

How would you define Good Riddance to somebody who never heard a word about Hardcore or Punkrock?

Luke:

I would say Good Riddance is a Hardcore band that drives it's music from the style and music that we grew up listening to when we were younger. It consist of a lot of bands in the early to mid eighties. Bands ranging Minor Threat type of hardcore bands to Agnostic Front to more of those West Coast California type of bands like the Descendents or Black Flag. You know we grew up in a time where I think that there were a lot of good bands and the scene was really fresh and had a lot of different styles and attitudes. And I think we try to keep that general like open minded type of an attitude about our music not to necessarily fit into one style but to just incompas a lot of our influences.

Ploedi:

Actually your lyrics are very political, what topics touched you a lot in the recent times?

Luke:

For me personally the war in Yugoslavia was the strongest political event I had interest in. Just as a human being on this planet I'm very curious as to why people wanna kill each other and especially this age it seems like people should be smart enough to talk out problems with words rather than having to kill each other. I'm really kind of fascinated about this almost medievalness going on in that area and I guess it's a horror for me coming from the USA to understand because our culture is so young and we don't have all these really deep seated issues between cultures. Well have our own problems but you know for example European countries have thousands of years of history, of different cultures all having to live together in small areas of land. So I can somewhat understand that there's gonna be more problems. So that's why I'm interested and want to understand why and what's happening. Last time when we came over here was about four months ago and that's when the war was going on I tried to talk to a lot of kids and Europeans about it and get some opinions. And everybody had really different opinions and there was really no on attitude to like people were on anyone's side. Some people were very supportive to the USA and the NATO counties coming in and stopping this some people were just completely against it and felt like we need to stop being the police in the world I even had people telling me getting very specific on their culture why the Serbs wanna destroy theese people. And I found that incredibly interesting but at the same time it baffles me that people still want to kill each other.

Ploedi:

I read an interview with Russ in the Ox fanzine also covering this topic and he said that he doesn't know yet what to think of this war and now that this war is more or less over now do you think it was good throwing bombs or not?

Luke:

This is such a though question as nobody knows an answer to that.

Chuck:

Well actually I really didn't follow it as close as I really should have to even know if it was good or not it's sort of like the same thing with voting. I don't vote and I never have and it's like I don't follow things close enough to know if it's good or bad. I just know it's good when it's good and it's bad when it's bad *laughs*. So the Kosovo deal it's like I don't know if it's good or if it's bad.

Luke:

You know we're all different. Everyone in the band has his things. Russ is actually the most politically concerned and active, I tend to probably be the second most interested and keeping up with things like this.

Chuck:

You dummasses, we just like to rock!

Luke:

I'm more interested in different things, some people are more politically oriented some people aren't.

Ploedi:

What do you think are the main topics GR covers besides politics?

Luke:

I think the other main topics have a lot to do with Russe's personal life, personal feelings related to love and happiness and sorrow and his emotions and feelings about things. So I think that's one thing that set's our band apart from some bands is that in one aspect we cover like some political subjects but at the same time we are not putting ourselves strictly into that category. I think the lyrics of Russ incompense a lot who he is as a person, just relating feelings with love, with women and friendships. Well actually there's a lot of lyrics, too about friendship toward people that we know, growing up and getting older.

Ploedi:

Is Russ the only person writing lyrics?

Luke:

The majority of the creative structure comes from Russ. There's been a couple of songs that I've written the music for, giving ideas what I'd like to have the lyrics about. I feel like the singer is up there on stage and should be singing from his heart and I think that it would be strange for me to write words and have another sing words that don't come directly from them.

Ploedi:

What do you think where our culture will head in the next few years?

Luke:

Are you familiar with the new world order?

Ploedi:

Yes.

Luke:

I feel that the world is kind of steering into that direction where there is the worlds as a society being based upon certain power structures. The USA having the most power because it has the most resources in money and the you have your European countries and Japan are up there also. Unfortunately it's kind of always been the way our world has worked, where the stronger countries take advantage of the weaker countries and I's still true. So you know you see for example just nearby us, we live in California, you have Mexico just at the border and our companies and businesses really take advantage and almost rape theese other countries of their resources and the workers and hire up all this work and pay really small money and unfortunately I see that as a growing trend. It's coming more more, this division in classes in the USA. Between upper and the lower class and the middle class jobs are now being exported to the countries where they can get people to work for really low wages.

Ploedi:

How did you like the last show in Berlin

Luke:

The show at the Tommy Weissberger Haus?

Ploedi:

Yes.

Luke:

No, I don't think it was a great show for us. Berlin is one of those cites where we think we don'T get a good response. I think it's common as I've spoken to a lot of bands and promoters about it and a lot of people tell me it's because Berlin is somewhat jaded because they've had so many bands coming through there. So they see so many bands that they are not so excited to see bands. That's the way I felt a lot of times when we played there.

Ploedi:

Actually we didn't write a good review on this show because of the shitty audience (diving kids weren't catched and so on) and Russ was only talking shit between the songs.

Luke:

It depends, every show is different, I think it's really difficult as a band because you want kids to paricipate on the show but then you also don't want them to cross the line when they are hurting each other and being violent. So it's a very difficult thing to be a performer and be on stage and to have not only to play your music but to try to get the crowd into the show. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. It's different every where we go you know. You think about we grow up in this small city Santa Cruz in one type of scene and now we travel to different countries all over the world where the scenes are different, people have different attitudes everywhere you travel. So here we are just a bunch Californian guys and there's some hard looking Germany and we're just like "ok how do we deal with theese people, communicate with them", it's difficult.

Ploedi:

What about your plans for the next year?

Chuck:

Future is pretty much touring as much as we can. And I think we have plans on recording a new record next year in October sometimes. You know we have four records out now it's time to really like press those records into people's heads to where they know it. Because we've only been here twice playing new songs and in probably three or four months from now you'll be already waiting for a new record, but a lot of people don't know the words or how to react to our new album, you know what I mean? So it's like we're just gonna tour as much as possible so that people know the stuff *smiles*.

Luke:

Possibly we might do a split 10'' record within the next year where we'll just record five songs and find a band that we really like to do a split with and push them and see if maybe Fatwreck might put that out or possibly another label.

Ploedi:

Satanism's handmaids: Drugs and Heavy Metal Music ... what is this about?

*Laughter on the table*

Luke:

It's just sarcasm, just a joke with strong sarcasm.

Ploedi:

Coming to Heavy Metal.. what do you think of this new breed of hardcore which focuses a lot on Metal?

Chuck:

I think it's pretty cool just because they are pretty much starting their own thing.

Luke:

I don't really like that kind of music, but if they wanna do it, it's fine you know. I don't have a problem with it, it's not my type of music.

Ploedi:

Do you have some final words?

Luke:

Thank you for asking smart questions because we had a lot of people who asked what cereal we like, really dumm questions.

Chuck:

Hopefully next time we go to Berlin the people will drink a lot of coffee and come to the show and wanna freak out with us, so that's it!


Well that's it finally! Thanks to Chuck and Luke for this very amusing interview time! It was really funny talking to them. We had a great time! Thanks! The upcoming interview will be with Pete from Sick of it all!