Posers On Beginnings, Influences & The Philadelphia Community

Posers On Beginnings, Influences & The Philadelphia Community

Interview with Jade Anna, Rory Cain, Johnny Coyle, and Collin Russert | By Max Mclaughlin

Hailing from the streets of South Philadelphia, Posers are a well-oiled four-piece consisting of Jade Anna on vocals, Rory “Roro” Cain on guitar, Johnny “Mick” Coyle on bass, and Collin Russert on drums. Their sound is an energetic yet distinct concoction that traces the sonic evolution of punk and its best subgenres from the 1970s to today, while managing to avoid the creative and ideological pitfalls that plague many of their contemporaries, both locally and abroad.

Since their formation in 2014, the band have released two self-titled EPs—Posers in May 2015 via Low Level Records and Posers, Too in August 2016 via Enthrall Records—toured throughout the Mid-Atlantic, and have shared stages with bands such as Protex, Buzzcocks, Paul Collins, and many others. They recently performed at Punk Rock Bowling and are currently preparing for their first national tour.

For more information, follow Posers on Facebook and Instagram.

To start, will you introduce each member of the band, explain how you met, and share when the group was officially formed?

RC: Posers have been a band for about two years. The band initially formed with Jade, myself, Johnny, our first drummer Ray, and an additional male vocal by our buddy Chris Hart. This, however, was short-lived, and we quickly simplified the vocal arrangement with just Jade remaining. This fulfilled a dream of mine to be in a female-fronted punk band, though we tend to avoid that term. I grew up with X-Ray Spex, Action Pact, Vice Squad, The Bags, and Lauren Hill posters on my walls. I have always loved the way the female vocal range sits against a rock ‘n’ roll band. When I come to think of it, many of my favorite male punk singers also take on a feminine-like quality. We have gone through various drummer changes, but Ray is featured on our first EP. Our current drummer, Collin, has been with us the longest, is featured on the most recent EP, and is definitely the fourth integral member we had been searching for all along.

JA: I heckled Rory and Coyle’s band at the time. While I was making fun of their crappy band, though, I definitely thought to myself, “These dudes are sick musicians. I’ll make a better band with them someday.” Collin was a fan of Posers once we formed, and when we needed a drummer, he came in knowing all the drum parts already. The original Posers formed, like, three years ago. Holy Fuck.

JC: Rory and I have been playing in bands together since we were kids. Our former project had fizzled, and we were looking for a new couple of goons to play with. To the best of my knowledge, I met Jade at a party shortly after she got to Philly. She doesn’t remember, and I keep trying to forget. We talked to her about singing with us, and she was down. It became apparent pretty quickly that she could hang, and we’ve been friends ever since. About a year into the band, we were in search of a drummer. A friend of ours was in Trenton and saw Collin in a Posers shirt and told him we were looking for a drummer. Collin tried out, and he was immediately in. I consider that the day we finally became a unit—heh, unit.

CR: I met the band—Jade, Rory, and Johnny—at Mill Hill Basement in Trenton, New Jersey. It was some kinda tour they were doing, and I happened to be there on a Wednesday, and I found out they needed a full-time drummer. That wasn’t quite two years ago.

What was the inspiration behind using the name Posers, especially when so many view the word as an insult?

JA: When a genre built on bending norms and pushing boundaries has aged into a fine wine of repetition, where are the new limits? Before Posers was Posers, we were already posers. No one wants to be called that, but everyone throws poser-stones at glass punk-houses. When the band first started, we joked about how everyone called us posers to the point we really began believing [it] and calling ourselves Posers.

RC: The name Posers is most definitely an insult within the punk scene. But in a scene ripe with many contradictions, it seemed very fitting for us and almost antagonistic towards a subculture that claims to be about self-expression but tends to reject new ideas. We all have a deep love and respect for the history of the culture, but as with anything, it should not be exempt from scrutiny. I think we feel frustrated with this beautiful and powerful art that is punk becoming just another social hierarchy. If we don’t play what everyone expects a punk band to play, we already warned you that we were Posers.

JC: It seemed right at the time. Calling the band Posers was a cheeky way of telling a lot of people to get bent, but it’s also kind of a call to arms for anyone who ever felt like an outsider amongst outsiders.

CR: I’m not entirely sure I know what the inspiration was, but if I were to guess, I’d say it was to preempt that fucking try-hard square with some snobby fucking opinion. There’s always some jerkoff who has something to say about “too punk” or “not punk enough.”

How would you describe each of your bandmates? What are the strengths and personality traits that each of them exhibit, and how do they contribute to the band as a whole?

JC: Rory is the Thunders to my Lure. The Strummer to my Jones. The Davies to my—uh, Davies. Besides being my best friend, he’s also one of the most proficient musicians I’ve ever played with. Driven, intelligent, and a complete bastard. Jade is everything you want in a lead vocalist. She nails all her vocals and has enough energy to crawl all over the ground like an insane person. I’ve seen her crash a moped into the stage and still start the song on time. You can’t teach that shit. Collin is flat-out a great drummer and bandmate. He’s hardworking, reliable, and a total road-dog. Knowing that I can trust him as a drummer makes my job infinitely easier. In short, he’s the shit.

CR: Rory is Dad. Jade is the Mad Scientist. Johnny is the Inspiration. I’m the Diva. It’s all strength, man.

JA: Woof, this a toughie. First, it depends on the situation. More often than not, the band can sometimes seem like a single-cell organism; we might have different working parts, but we share some type of hive mind. Other times, we are fiercely individualistic in nature. Rory, like a mullet, is business in the front and party in the back—if you know what I mean. He’s like the brain. The dad. The engineer. Coyle is fucking talented as fuck. Creative and insightful beyond measure. Coyle is the driver of the band, literally and figuratively. He’s also really handy. This has nothing to do with the band, but I legitimately think he can fix everything. Collin, he’s always there for you. He’s the friend who will get into a bar fight for you, even if you started it—believe me, I know. Collin always has some harebrained idea and can probably do anything if he puts his mind to it. He’s the tough cookie with a warm, gooey inside. They are the closest thing to a family I’ll ever have.

RC: Johnny is a total fucking goofball who provides hours of levity on long and stressful van rides. He is also one hell of a songwriter who wears his heart on his sleeve. He definitely contributes a more introspective element into the songwriting. Collin is a brick shithouse of a drummer that brings some much-needed weight to a band that only has one guitarist. He is also one of the most affable people I have ever met. Shit, drummers are usually the fucking worst to deal with, and Collin is most definitely the exception to this rule. Jade is an extremely creative being who I think finds a way beyond just her choice of melodies to bring a theatrical element to the band that is essential to experiencing Posers. I don’t even mean visual theatrics: the timbre, inflection, and overall expression of her voice really add something beyond just the notes being sung. She is also an absolute psychopath onstage, and who doesn’t love that?

Who are some of the main influences—musical or otherwise—who inform the band’s sound and philosophy?

CR: I’ve had some pretty varied musical influences from playing and seeing and hearing so much, but the more I’m asked this, the more I realize they’ve gotten muddied the last few years. I really need to start listening critically to things again, admittedly. Philosophically, though? FEAR, Honah Lee, and Idiot Boy.

RC: I can only speak for myself when speaking influences, as everyone’s are different. My guitar playing is heavily informed by everything from early blues, rockabilly, and country to ‘70s glam, punk, Mod, power-pop, and hard rock. I would have to say some of my main influences as a guitarist would be Joe Walsh, Paul Weller, Johnny Thunders, Brian Setzer, Chet Atkins, Jimi Hendrix, John Doe, Rikk Agnew, Elliot Easton, Terry Six, and my god, is John Perry from The Only Ones the best. The song “Another Girl, Another Planet” contains probably the perfect punk solo. That and “Baby, Baby” by The Vibrators. From a songwriting perspective, I pull heavily from ‘70s punk and power-pop: 999, The Only Ones, The Exploding Hearts, The Nerves, The Briefs, Stiff Little Fingers, The Clash, Dead Boys. That being said, I could just as easily be inspired by a Zombies melody or a pop song on the radio. Good is good; I don’t give a shit what it’s packaged in. Philosophically, we pull on all sorts of ideas. I am personally influenced by many of the existentialist and Romantic era writers of the 19th century, as well as anarchist writers of the 19th and 20th century. Rimbaud, Nietzche, Baudelaire, Byron, Shelley, and Goldman will all be found on my bookshelf. I think our overall sentiment is that no one should tell you what to do under any circumstances. Be yourself unconditionally.

JC: I love Newtown Neurotics, The Clash, Eater, Wreckless Eric. Big fan of The Velvet Underground, Television, Joy Division, Pixies, Black Flag, Minutemen, X, Dead Kennedys. A lot of old funk and soul: The Dells, Curtis Mayfield, The Four Tops. I love reggae and dub: Delroy Wilson and Mikey Dread. I just like the stuff I like. I try to be open-minded, but I can be really cynical too. If it’s safe or boring or lazy, then there’s no point in even making it.

JA: With influences and philosophy, we’re all different. What I try to hone in on specifically with this band, vocally, is this weird mix of Katy Perry meets Brody Dalle; Kathleen Hannah meets Etta James; Pat Benetar meets modern hardcore such as Latex, who are a local Philly band fronted by Lauren Nunnemaker. In general, I love everything from John Cage and Bach to ‘80s Boston hardcore and ’77–‘82, and I have a huge soft spot for that early rock ‘n’ roll bullshit like Buddy Holly and The Crystals. I want things to be fun yet serious, catchy yet technical. Philosophy has never been my strong suit. I just want people to know that they are only slaves to their idols and that you don’t belong to anyone, anything, or any belief structure unless you allow them to own you.

How would you say the punk scene in Philadelphia differs—both positively and negatively—from that of other cities you’ve experienced, either alone or together as a band?

JA: Everywhere is the same, yet different. I’ve definitely gone on a journey through punk by moving from town to town, scene to scene. Musically, Philly holds on to its roots of punk. It’s a historically punk town! Some of these kids have been going to amazing punk shows since they were old enough to get fake IDs. Growing up in Missouri, we definitely had a lot of pop punk and hardcore. We were allocated to basements and small venues, because big-name acts don’t really roll through. And because the early shit didn’t hit us, I learned about punk backwards: I got into modern hardcore, like Limp Wrist, Lumpy, and The Dumpers, Gas Rag, etc. Once I moved to Boston for a stint, I learned about ‘80s hardcore and that side of things. Moving to Philly, they exposed me to the good early stuff. There’s definitely a little of everything everywhere, but this was my personal experience.

RC: Philly punk is constantly in flux as more and more people who are not from here move into our scene, because it has become a town known for having a good music scene. This is neither good, nor bad, but merely is. This is kind of a tired subject for me, and I would prefer to not comment much on it. We have a huge punk scene, and it includes many wonderful and genuine people and also many disingenuous and self-serving people. I will leave it at that.

CR: Philly is different in that it’s bigger and more genre-specific than what I’m used to coming from Trenton. It’s kinda both a positive and a negative; on one hand, you have cats who are extremely informed and familiar and dedicated to the genre and the lifestyle and the history and all, but at the same time, that can seemingly lend itself to an echo chamber deal or a one-dimensional music experience. I’m used to a scene that regularly incorporated an art show in a backroom with a punk band, a hip hop act, an acoustic duo with a harp, and a beatdown hardcore band all on the same bill—every weekend. I don’t find that in Philly.

JC: Philly as a city has a certain type of harsh reality that I feel like I don’t encounter anywhere else. It’s not exactly “go fuck yourself,” but somewhere in the realm. You just have to be here to understand—but don’t come here. Last thing we need is more tourists.

Do you think that punk today lacks the creativity and diversity—both socially and sonically—to ignite effective change in communities, either underground or mainstream? If so, how can this be solved?

RC: I think if punks ever want to unite to create any effective change, they need to stop alienating each other based on musical and political differences. Most punks agree on certain common enemies: authority and racism. I don’t think it’s a question of diversity or creativity, but more so of empathy with those who think a little differently from you. To be honest, this is more symptomatic of our political climate as a whole; punk is merely a microcosm of it.

JC: Of course I would say all of those things. It’s true. The market is flooded with bullshit, and everyone is too distracted by the computer in their pocket and compulsively trying to have their opinions validated to actually give a shit about how fucked we are. When being shocking is normalized, how do you get people’s attention?

JA: Yes, yes, and yes. Fuck the word “punk,” OK? That gives people this crappy idea that they have to sound, look, or act some kind of way. It puts people in boxes they think they have to fill. Wear studs. Play loud and fast. Be drunk. Put ‘Dis’ in your name. It’s fucking dumb. I’m not here to change the world or anybody in it. If anything, I believe the opposite: live and let live. Don’t fuck with me, and I won’t fuck with you. Punk kind of got oversaturated with political and social movements. It’s definitely necessary and, to an extent, definitely great. But sometimes, more often than not, that shit is overcooked.

CR: I think it has been lacking an ability to effect change, yes, both musically and as a culture. It comes off as undeservedly exclusive and inaccessible—or even unattractive, at least as an outsider looking in. I identify as a musician, not a punk. It’s an active choice to be relevant enough to the circumstances and surroundings you identify with to change them, whether that’s your scene or your country. The only way for that to change is for folks in the punk world to choose—really decide—to take more risks with their music and their lifestyles to evolve the sound and culture of the genre away from what, lately, has amounted to uptempo indie or simplified thrash metal.

What does it mean to be a punk band in 2017, with reactionary governments and their followers gaining more attention and power throughout the world again? Do you feel a certain duty to counteract this as a band, and what would you recommend for your audience do?

JC: Look, the system’s broken, OK? We’re out of bubblegum and duct tape, and this thing is leaking all over. The warranty was in the shoebox full of old Arby’s receipts you threw away, and the store where you bought it is now a vape lounge. I don’t know what the fuck to do, and it’s insane to even consider this a reality. But we’re all here together, so we oughta start treating each other with some more respect. That’s as good of a place to start as any.

JA: I don’t think it means anything to be a punk band in 2017. I don’t recognize punk as a musical genre that’s really creating effective change. As a human being, I definitely feel a certain duty to counteract the modern world. Every action is a reaction to the world around. Part of that is playing in this band. Is playing punk music effective, though? Hell no. But, to anyone who listens, I’d give them the ‘ole Mr. Rogers: be yourself, play nice with others, and clean up your damn mess when you leave.

RC: We can only think for ourselves, and you should only think for yourself. Keep an open mind and heart and sift through what you absorb to find your version of the truth. Those in power don’t give a shit about the little people. Take care of each other, be kind and compassionate. All we have is each other. Was it Jim Morrison or Kierkegaard or Dick Van Patten who said, “They’ve got the guns, but we’ve got the numbers”?

CR: I think punk bands have to stay true to the attitude and mindset it came from. Fuck ‘em. Everybody. Tell people what they don’t want to hear in the most obnoxious and direct way possible. Short-sightedness, belligerence, and ignorance of a group is what gets those kinda people into power, the same as short-sightedness, belligerence, and ignorance on the part of another group is what keeps them there. The best thing to do is to poke and prod at both of those opposing bears to the point where they can’t ignore their own bullshit any longer. Sincerely seek to genuinely agitate everyone.

How do you feel about the role of political correctness in the punk scene today? Is it ever difficult to avoid alienating people while maintaining the dark humor and satire that punk is known for?

JA: I don’t believe in political correctness. Call me a bitch, call me “cunt eyes,” call me whatever. You can’t redact the dictionary just because it hurts your feelings. What you can do is treat every person as an individual, which is more powerful than what any PC-centric scene has so far done for me. What I mean is: just because they don’t call me a bitch doesn’t mean they don’t think that about me. I’m Asian, a female, and queer—none of that defines me. I’ve never once felt more safe in their spaces than anywhere else. White men calling themselves “allies” doesn’t do it for me.

JC: I think it goes without saying that punk has always been on the right—as in morally—side of things. It’s not a political party, it’s the opposite. It’s for people who wanna jive with other people who dig the same kinda fun. Call that whatever you want. Racism, sexism, and intolerance of any type has no place in my interpretation of punk. Damn the Man. Be a decent person or get bent.

CR: I have always been a proponent of live and let live, of treating people with dignity and respect, and being an inviting and tolerant person, though sometimes, I can be more than a little abrasive. I think everybody, to some extent, can relate to that sentiment. At the same time, to those who really dwell on these kinds of issues—loosen the fuck up. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s that you’re always gonna find an enemy if you’re trying to; if one doesn’t materialize, that hyper-vigilance won’t take long to be turned on your own team. I’d go so far as to ask what kind of lifestyle it is people getting into punk—and I stress “getting into”—actually want? Do you want the chaos and camaraderie of what basically still amounts to being a weirdo and an outcast from society at large, or are you looking to justify some sense of superiority? There’s a point where claiming to be PC goes from a genuine concern with and attempt at including all others regardless of who and what they are to becoming an SS badge for a different kind of fascist.

Much of your art and merch is done by Philly street artist Tim O’Hanlon. What attracted you to his work, and is there any particular aesthetic you wish to convey as a band? How much importance do you place on visual style?

RC: I think it began out of necessity. He was an artist who believed in us when we first started and was willing to help us for free. This is not to say his artwork is not phenomenal, but necessity is the mother of invention, no? I think our aesthetics will continue to grow and change as we do the same sonically. Visual style is definitely important to us. We have always said to each other that we are more of an idea than we are a band. We want to encompass art, message, and music into Posers.

JC: I met Tim through Jade. I’ve always been a fan of his art, and he’s a good guy. He has a minimalist approach that I think leaves a lot of the audience to fill in themselves. I think that’s pretty heavy.

CR: I like the simplicity and directness of it, personally. I like to think that it counterbalances our songwriting but complements our personalities. Aesthetics is kind of secondary for me, though I acknowledge the importance of the visual component to who we are as a group. I know what I like when I see it, and Tim is one of a small handful of artists who do work I really like. Plus he’s always been real nice to me, which meant a lot when I first moved to Philly, and I prefer to be involved with people I like. When they’re especially talented and skilled, all the better.

Fairly recently, the school bus that you purchased and intended to use for touring was severely vandalized while parked in Philadelphia. Can you describe what happened and how the situation turned out, several months on?

RC: Somebody smashed our bus to shit with bricks, rocks, and god knows what else. The city took it immediately for being a public hazard. They then held it hostage despite an active investigation by the PPD. The money to get the vehicle back and repaired far surpassed the worth of the vehicle. Through crowdsourcing and a private donor, we were able to acquire a new vehicle. Our fans and friends are the best, and we are eternally grateful for their help.

JC: Ugh. The Bus. The Bus came down with a bad case of Philadelphia and, as such, had to be retired. We were super fortunate to know a lot of generous people who helped us out during a really shitty situation. Now, we’ve got a new ride. It’s a lot more practical. Tape player gets screwy sometimes. Besides that, it’s perfect.

CR: Some fucking assholes decided to break our shit. A gaggle of organized alleged-anarchist jerkoffs, some neighborhood shithead, or plain drunk losers decided it would satisfy some fucking hole in their stupid going-nowhere lives to destroy the only nice thing we had. People encouraged us to do a GoFundMe after it happened, and it turned into an incredible outpouring of generosity and encouragement from a ton of people. We were able to invest in another, less conspicuous vehicle. I hope whoever did that to us gets pesticide-resistant bed bugs, though. Three times a year. Forever.

You have shared the stage with many bands, some of whom are considered legendary. Are there any particular standouts you can recall? Is there anyone you would like to play with but haven’t yet?

JA: Protex and NOBUNNY were definitely my favorites. Sharing the stage at Punk Rock Bowling with The Specials, Charles Bradley, and Buzzcocks wasn’t too shabby, either! I must say that playing with other acts on the same level and growing with them is what I truly enjoy, though. I’d love to play with White Lung; Personal And The Pizzas; Against Me!; Tyler, The Creator; S.H.I.T.; Descendents; Hunx And His Punx; Piss Test; OFF!; X; and local Philly bands Dark Thoughts and Sheer Mag. Also, I wouldn’t kick Green Day out of bed, if you know what I mean! Lastly, while it’s not a musical act per se, I really want to play on “The Chris Gethard Show” and “The Eric Andre Show.”

JC: I feel like I’ve gotten to play with so many bands that really blew me away. To be able to play with The Rezillos, The Vibrators, Buzzcocks, Paul Collins, NOFX. I actually get to do the shit I daydreamed about when I was young. It’s absolutely worth being broke and futureless. Stiff Little Fingers would be nice!

CR: NOFX. That was fucking cool. Dude from Poison Idea borrowed my snare. That was fucking cool. Took a picture with Protex and Paul Collins. That was fucking cool. Booked and played a Trenton show for The Zips. Fucking Cool. Crack Filler, The Up Up Ups, Shaboizi—now Pissed!—After The Fall, FTS, Josh Adair, PEARS, Direct Hit!, Crazy And The Brains, Iron Reagan—every band we’ve played with has been really awesome to share a stage with, really. If I had my way, I’d want to play shows with bands we have no business playing with, though, just for the fucked up novelty of it. Pitbull, Method Man, Taylor Swift, Metallica, Black Breath, Disturbed, Papa Roach or any other generic cock-rock band, Hall And Oates, The Isley Brothers—that’s the real dream. X would be really special to me, though. On the real.

RC: My favorite show to date was with Protex and Paul Collins of The Nerves and The Beat. I was fortunate enough to put the show on, so of course I put my band on it [laughs]. I would love to tour with The Briefs. I feel we would be a great pairing of bands. Also, The Adicts always put on a great show, and I would love to be part of anything they do.

To date, you have released two self-titled EPs. Are there any plans for a full-length sometime in the future? Will it contain new material or songs you haven’t recorded before? What else do you have planned?

JC: Probably at some point. We’re just writing at the moment. If something comes along to make it worth it, then I’m sure we’d consider it.

CR: We’ve been thinking LP for a while, but there’s no rush at the moment. We plan on taking some time to write, and I know we all have some shit to say and some pent-up things to get out. Maybe another EP, maybe an LP—inspiration knows exactly what time on what nights to find us practicing in the basement, so we’ll see what happens later this year.

RC: We will most definitely be doing a full-length and are shopping for label support to come in and help with the associated expenses. It will absolutely contain new material, because we are constantly writing new stuff. We are currently putting together a 2017 fall tour and have plans to hit the West Coast and Europe next year.

As musicians, how much emphasis do each of you place on gear? Do quality and brand name matter to you? What is everyone currently playing? Does anyone have a dream instrument?

CR: I can’t speak for anyone else, but I am a huge gear guy. I really look at everything I buy as an investment in myself and my sound, which is directly correlated to how well I can contribute to the quality of the music I make. I absolutely swear by Vater drumsticks. There is no other stick to play in my mind. Sabian cymbals have treated me very well, though I have been flexible in the past due to budgetary constraints, and I’ve been testing out other manufacturers when I hear something I think I can use. [Pacific Drums And Percussion] is the only drumkit I’ve ever chosen to purchase new. They make truly roadworthy shit, and same goes for [Drum Workshop Inc.] hardware and pedals. I have a dream setup, but I don’t like to think about it too much, because I can’t afford that stuff.

JC: My current bass is an Ibanez from the late ‘80s. I got it at a pawn shop a few years back. I had a ‘67 Hagstrom that I fixed up, but the wooden bridge was never quite right. I don’t really have any brand I’m crazy about. I’d just like something with a fat sound and some personality.

RC: I love my current setup. I play a Fender Cabronita Telecaster—which means “Little Bitch” in Spanish—through a Vox Special Edition Tony Bruno amplifier. No pedals other than a tuner. I imagine I will eventually cave and get some pedals to play with, but I am stuck in the old-school way of thinking: plug and play. I rely heavily on my volume knob, pickup selector, and switching between using a pick and my fingers to produce different effects. I can’t say I am dreaming of anything in particular, though I wouldn’t mind getting what I have a little customized to include a Bigsby bridge on it.

What are you currently listening to, reading, or watching—together as a band or apart—that you would recommend?

JA: Music, aside from everything previously mentioned: Krimewatch, Chance The Rapper, Childish Gambino, The Guests, Institute, Boston Strangler, The Crucifucks, Parquet Courts, Broken Prayer, Male Patterns, Crazy And The Brains, Exit Order, Green Beret, Dolly Parton, Janis Joplin, Suburban Lawns, Princess Nokia, Com Truise, and a super new band in Philly called Zorn. Watching: “House of Cards,” “Shameless”—shoutout to Fiona Gallagher!—“Turned On,” “After Porn Ends,” “The Get Down,” “Hot Girls Wanted.” I’m really into documentaries about the porn industry, and “Chewing Gum.” Reading: “The Song Machine: [Inside the Hit Factory” by John Seabrook]. While this doesn’t affect punk, it’s a great look into why punk does matter, because “The Song Machine” discusses how modern pop music is created. It gives direct examples from Katy Perry, Britney Spears, and other mainstream artists’ careers. Also anything by Brad Warner. Huge zen lover. “Rules for Radicals” [by Saul Alinsky], and currently reading “Dianetics” by L. Ron Hubbard, because I love cult propaganda.

RC: Listening to Disconnected by Stiv Bators, reading “Please Kill Me: [The Uncensored Oral History of Punk]” by Legs McNeil, and watching “House of Cards.” Frank Underwood, why are you so savage?

JC: A lot of Miles Davis, Jimmy Castor Bunch, Wire. White Reaper is cool. I’m usually re-watching “Bored To Death,” “The Young Ones,” and “The Office.” I watch “The Final Comedown” before almost every show. Anything by Larry David. I don’t know, listen to more Public Enemy.

CR: They got me into Stiff Little Fingers and The Exploding Hearts, amongst a ton of other bands. I stay listening to Piss Test, Mad Anthony, Minor Threat, Molly Rhythm, Honah Lee, old Cam’ron, Circle Jerks, Sucidal Angels, NOFX, PEARS, Choking Victim, and whatever else I come across in the genre of excellence.

Lastly, is there anything else you would like to add?

JC: Oh, I went to public school, so I have trouble with addition. Thanks for the offer, though.

RC: George Davis is innocent.

CR: Grind. Stay grinding. Grind yourself to the bone, until there’s nothing left but the barest of bones. Grind yourself down to the core of who and what you are and what you want and why. Take the time and have the courage of your convictions to really lose everything—every-fucking-thing—as many times as you can stand in the pursuit of what you want your life to look like. No matter what’s left after you do that to yourself, your path in life and how to walk it will become so clear you’ll wonder how you ever had a question about it. Don’t expect it to be easy, ever, but it will be rewarding in ways you can’t begin to fathom.

Photo by Mike Petzinger

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