|From punk to poetry to Neopets - this is what a conversation with
Uncle Monster consists of. That's not all! He has a vast and
interesting history, a good mind for philosophy and almost as much
hatred for the mainstream recording industry as I do...lol. Keep back,
Scary: So, how did you get started in this and what inspired
you to pursue this style of music?
Uncle Monster: I grew up in Los Angeles born in 1970, and a
friend of mine, Patrick Graham, turned me onto Black Flag the
day before he murdered both of his parents - true story - but
what sealed the deal was the Los Angeles Street Scene back in
like 1983 roughly, which ended in a riot. My buddy Scott and I
were into Suicidal Tendencies and Slayer, and we went to see
Fear and the Circle Jerks. I think Lee Ving was the one who
started the riot, but i was hooked. I Saved up $70.00 in
pennies and went to a pawn shop across the street from
Fairfax High School and bought my first bass from this guy,
Scare Crow, who worked at the pawn shop. He didn't even
charge me tax.
Scary: You sound a lot like me, with the exception of Skinny
Puppy...haha. What's your stage experience been like? Do you
have any cool road stories to tell?
Uncle Monster: Hell yeah! We made friends with this band from
China called Brain Failure, and they had this song on their
MySpace called "Fun and Fight Tonight". We all got hooked on
it, and it turned out they we're playing in Boise with friends of
ours N.F.F.U. So we rented a mini-van and went to see them.
They had me come up on stage and sing that song with them
and then the whole band. It was totally sick. We didn't leave
much for the headliner "The BUSINESS" who were totally sick.
They may have the best drummer ever, so we ended up going
down to Salt Lake City with them the next night. It was the best
weekend ever, except for the weekend I saw Battle Flask live,
but that hasn't happened yet so...
Scary: So, what labels heave you been shopping? I'm sure
there must be some interest out there. Who are you looking at
Uncle Monster: Hmm, we have had a lot of interest - everything
from news paper article feature request, to radio interviews, to
summer/fall tours, booking agencies hitting us up, to A&R
companies. There are some creeps out there, you know, and a
lot of real good peeps to. I would really go with anyone who
has a big heart for music - someone that i could learn a lot from
too. I happen to like Fat Wreck 'cause I went to school with Eric
Melvin's sister, and I'm a Fairfax Ghetto Boy, but a label like
that with people I respect as musicians first. I mean, if Tim
Armstrong or Mr. Brett hit me up, of course I would take it, but
for that very reason. Ultimately, though, I think record labels
are obsolete in every way shape and form. All we're seeing and
hearing now is just that old lion dying.
Scary: Well, the whole industry is full of people looking to use
you up and throw you away. That's why I take so much pride
in the label I own. We fall with you, if we must...lol. What would
you say is the most defining quality that sets you apart from
other bands attempting to do the same style?
Uncle Monster: I hafta write the songs and lyrics 'cause, for
me, it's like trephining my demons and I get to the point where I
can't think about anything else until they are outta my brain -
mostly, though, when I fell in love with punk, I fell hard , and I
like my punk like I like my women - diverse! I used to go to
Melrose Ave every day after school and walk from La Brea to
Fairfax and back again. We spent all our money on punk vinyl
drugs, and alcohol and spray paint. Then we'd go down all the
Fairfax alleys and spray paint those bands all over the place.
For me punk rock is a lifetime commitment, and everything that
goes with it - psychobilly, ska, oi, old cars, doc martens,
bomber jackets, and standing in front of POSEUR.
Scary: Where do you see yourself in the future? Do you want
to be picked up by a label, or would you rather stay
independent without anyone to answer to?
Uncle Monster: There's always someone to answer to. Like,
for instance my wife... lol. A big label would be sweet ,but be
wary, I have an army of lawyers. Whatever is gonna get my
music to the most amount of people without one drop of
self-compromise, I would totally be down for. MySpace records,
though, I feel i owe Tom a lot. I mean he hasn't deleted me yet.
Ultimately, though, I see myself inside a crypt 'cause I really
don't wanna be cremated, but being a skeleton in a science
class at Fairfax High would be cool too.
Scary: Yeah, I have a great lawyer that I trust. I own my own
label and production company. All that wasn't easy, but it was
worth it. I want to change gears a little here. What do you like
to read or play video games, movies, etc. in your spare time?
Uncle Monster: Reading: I love Anna Akhmatova, Pablo
Neruda, Octavio Paz, Federico Garcia Lorca, Boccaccio, St.
Francis. I loved reading Henry Rollins. I think I've read almost
all of his poetry. Alan Ginsberg and Charles Bukowski,
because I got meet them when i worked at the Los Angeles
Theater Center way long ago. Music though: hands down my
all time favorite bands are Bad Religion and especially No
Control and Suffer and NOFX, who are like the punk beatles.
They can incorporate anything into punk and make it sound
bad ass, and of course, every single band on PUNKAST and
PUBKAST. Movies: I saw Iron Man and I loved it, and I think
Hellboy II looks wicked cool. I do spend too much time lurking
around Neopia...taking care of my neopet, the_fiery_monster.
Scary: That's so cool. I used to run with NOFX. Did you know
they were a Christian band? Anyway, I hope Iron Man i as
good as it looks, and Hellboy 2 should be the bomb if they
don't screw it up. Before we wrap this up, I want to give you a
chance to say whatever you want to everyone out there...no
censorship...tell it like it is!
Uncle Monster: The laws of physics are in full effect. You get
outta things what you put into them. If you're half-assing it
with your music or your band, that's why you're getting
half-ass returns on your investment. Fame and fortune ain't
just gonna wash up on your shore. You gotta grab those
b-atches by the throat and suck the life outta them. Practice
doesn't make perfect, but you will be able to fool a lot more
people. If you don't know what to write about, tell the world
about your dreams. Also, I wanna say I will forever mourn the
passing of my old bud RIVAL WCA - RIP - this is for all the old
school Fairfax 217 Killas -
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