Interview with Lars Frederiksen of Rancid

October 28, 2012

Lars Frederiksen interviewInterview by: Dod M.
Big Wheel Overseas Staff Reporter

I first met Lars last year during his Old Firm Casuals tour, taking photos at the 3 of the shows, he is a very nice guy, instantly allowing me access to the band, some bands can be prima donnas but none of that here, we kept in touch, and when Cock Sparrer announced they were doing 2 shows with Rancid in San Francisco in March of this year, it was a no brainer,  I had to go - it was a good start to 2012 and with both bands doing Rebellion Xmas Bash and 3 shows in London ending their UK December tour. It will be a great end to 2012.


Lars had kindly taken time out of his very busy schedule to answer some of my questions.

Wow 20 years of Rancid, did you ever think it would last this long?
Never really sat down and thought about it to be honest. We just played the music we wanted to play and enjoyed doing it.
Were you in any other bands before Rancid?
My first real band was called The Knowhere Men. We where an Oi! band straight up. Gordy who sings for the Forgotten was the lead singer. He was also the Unknown Bastard in the Bastards with me. I guess the one that most might know or heard of is the UK SUBS.

What originally attracted you to the Punk scene?
I came from a working class background. I didn’t grow up rich or middle class so it was natural for me to get into it when I look back. My brother was a skinhead and into alot of the Punk music. He was the one that brought it home back in 79-80 and turned me on to it. We where both outcasts like our other friends who where into it. When the Oi! stuff hit that’s what really hooked me. I related to it 100% even though it was from the UK. The lyrics and the attitude was how I felt inside. I liked the fact that it was our community. It was my culture and has been since I got into it all those years ago.

What has been your biggest challenge as a band?
I know there have been many challenges for us but I can’t really think of one that really stands out hahaha. I’m sure we all have personal ones and for me these days it’s leaving the kids to go on tour.

You started the celebrating of 20 years of Rancid this year with 2 shows with Cock Sparrer in San Francisco how did this come about?
Daryl and I have been trying to get these shows together since 2003. At that time Sparrer where maybe only doing 1 show a year. We knew them for a while since the Sparrer family’s would come down to the Rancid gigs when we where in town. After we worked on the record together and they started getting a little busier we talked and we made a loose plan. It took some time to figure it out but thank god it happened. I’m actually glad it happened when it did and not sooner. The way it worked out with milestones for both bands made it that much more special. Those shows where some of the best nights we ever had as a band. I’m just stoked to do it again in the UK.

I was at both shows and thought they were totally rocking, how did Rancid feel about the shows?
Plain and simple we loved them!!! It was a dream come true for me personally since I grew up listening to them. They inspired me so much and still do. Also they are a such great guys.

You have just played Rebellion Punk festival this year for the first time, did you enjoy it?
Fucking loved it!!

Did you also know at Rebellion you set the record for people coming over the barrier -367?
My count had it at 329, but I was bouncing around allot and could have missed a few.

Having your own solo project must be a completely different experience from Rancid. What are the biggest differences?
Rancid and The Old Firm Casuals are full time bands for me. There are many differences for sure but the real big ones for me are the amount I sing and the style.

And how do you manage to fit it all in?

You toured with the Old Firm casuals last year, I was lucky enough to catch the shows, how did the band come about and where did the name come from?
We started in October of 2010. I knew Casey from around and he knew Paul from being in other bands with him. Me and Casey where doing allot of time together and I asked him if he wanted to start a band. We both loved the same music whether it was Oi!, Punk or hardcore and it seemed like we would have a few laughs playing together. He was into the idea and I asked if he knew any drummers who where into the same stuff. He mentioned Paul and I called him up. We talked for a few hours and the next weekend we practiced for the first time and wrote 2 songs. The name Pays homage to 2 things. First off the Cockney Rejects song “we are the firm”. That was always one of my favourites by them and I always thought that would be a good band name in some way shape or form. Secondly it pays homage to The DMS family that I have been a part of for 15 plus years. DMS was one of the first skinhead crews to form back in 86-87 in NYC. After all it’s just a band name.

What makes a good crowd for Lars Frederiksen?
When they show up

You have a UK Tour in November/December, What can we look forward too?
First of we are really excited to be playing with a lot of our friends again, so I’m sure the energy will be great. We always love coming to the UK. The country itself was one of the first to get what we were doing and made us feel like one of there own when we first toured back in 93. I think if there is anything to look forward to it would be all the bands that are playing as a whole. Hope to see you there.

Any last words?

Rancid UK Tour 2012

Mandela Hall Belfast          28-11-12
The Academy Dublin         29-11-12
Rock City Nottingham         1-12-12
Barrowlands Glasgow         2-12-12
02 Academy Liverpool         3-12-12
02 Academy Newcastle         4-12-12
02 Academy Leeds                6-12-12
Manchester Academy            7-12-12
Rebellion Xmas Bash, Birmingham 8-12-12
UEA Norwich                     10-12-12
02 Academy Bournemouth         11-12-12
02 Academy Bristol                 12-12-12
The Forum London           14,15,16, -12-12  (3 nights)




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Interview: With Mike McColgan of The Street Dogs – GOP 7″ Press Release

October 23, 2012

Interview by: Jo Problems
Big Wheel Journalist

You'd be hard pressed to name a band that works harder than the Street Dogs. This year alone they've toured the US, Australia, Russia, and Europe, band members have spent time on the streets for Occupy!, and now they're releasing a new single. But this isn't just any single, this is an updated version of Menace's classic "GLC", re-written to express the band's feelings about the GOP and the current political climate in America. And they're not just recording it and hoping you'll buy it. Working with Pirates Press records, Street Dogs have pressed 20,000 flexis with the single, and are relying on the Street Dogs army to hand them out at political rallies all over the country in the weeks leading up to the election. We sat down with frontman Mike McColgan for a little more insight. 

Where did the inspiration come from to update and Americanize Menace's classic "GLC"?

We were on tour in Europe, and it was after the show and [bassist] Johnny [Rioux],me and [guitarist] Marcus [Hollar] heard the Menace  GLC song. Johnny hatched the idea that we cover the song, but with a twist. Hence GOP was born.

Why the cover/ re-write, and not something wholly original?

We all love the original song, but we felt we needed to make the cover more relevant to the now and also let loose how we feel about politics right now.

Your band has always loudly and proudly stated your views, and backed them up through your actions. Do you ever worry that that will lose you fans, or help divide people?

We are totally willing to deconstruct our band to make the music we want and to say what we want. Unlike other bands of the day we do not play it safe or straddle the middle. We pick a side in the fight and back it up. People do not have to think like us or agree with us and we can and do agree to disagree with fans, friends, enemies, or jaded broken bar room-dwelling Punk rock experts from today and yester year. We are not in the business of preaching nor are we in the business of singing about trite or insipid shit.

Tell us a little about the flexi promo you're doing with Pirate's Press. What's the MO, what impact do you hope to have?

The MO is hand these flexi's out to ANYONE who is actually willing to listen to them. The impact we want to have is to make people actually think!

Is there still time for people to get involved? How? 

Yes, go over to for all the info

You've had a pretty consistent schedule of releases, is this the first taste of a new album to come?

No, this is a separate project and the new album will be super angry it appears. We are currently working on record six and look to release that next summer. Stay tuned for more........

So there you have it. Street Dogs once again putting their money where their mouths are, and standing strong for what they feel is important, while bringing Punk Rock back to the fury from which it was born. 

You can join the effort at, or get a copy of the actual record HERE




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Show Preview: Awesome Fest 666 – at The Soda Bar – San Diego, CA – August 31 – September 3, 2012

August 24, 2012

Interview by: Kendra Sheetz
Big Wheel Contributor

On Friday August 31st, 400 people and somewhere around 70 bands will descend on North Park, a small bar filled neighborhood in San Diego, for the Awesome Fest.  The festival, which is in its 6th year, features bands ranging from smaller local favorites to more well known heavy hitters, from SoCal natives to international acts.  

The four day gathering is put on by Razorcake, It’s Alive Records, The Party’s Over Productions, Muy Authentico Records, The Slumber Party’s Over Productions, and Fast Crowd Records.  I sat down with Marty Ploy (of The Party’s Over Productions) and Christina Zamora (of the Slumber Party’s Over Productions) to chat about the festival’s humble beginnings, this year’s lineup, and what I will be getting myself into next weekend

How long have you been promoting and what got you into this line of work?

M: I’ve been doing shows for a little over thirteen years off and on.  I started booking when living in Tupelo, MS where I did a small handful of shows with bands like Pezz (Memphis, TN) and the Grumpies (Starkville, MS).  When I moved to Riverside, CA I was hangin’ at a bar called Babylon a lot and knew a few bands and was really cool with everyone that worked there.  So, the opportunity happened when I was allowed to book a couple bands for a Brit pop/80s night called Disposable Pop.  Well, I booked a thrash band from Riverside called Rogue State and a grind/black metal band called Nihilium, or something like that.  Obviously it was not the right time or place for it, but it went well enough that I was asked if I would like to book Sunday matinee shows.  It was hard to draw but, I pulled it together and did some stuff.  Then they let me work myself into a weeknight and I started getting into it; around this time was when Myspace was starting, so it was much more accessible to hear bands and search for bands in the area to book.  This was about ten years ago. 

C: I’ve been booking shows for about seven years, I think.  I got into doing shows ‘cause Marty was moving to Austin, TX and he still had a handful of shows out here in Moreno Valley/Riverside that needed taking care of.  The Slumber Party’s Over Productions was born.  Originally The Slumber Party’s Over involved me and the lovely Jenny 15 (Jenny Kensler).  We ran the show Marty had booked at this place called Cheers in Moreno Valley.  Then I just started booking up a storm and Jenny and I would run them together.  Then Jenny started tour managing and hitting the road a lot so it ended up just being me.  I ran a record store called Glass House Records in Pomona.  It was owned by the Glass House concert hall, so I started booking all ages DIY shows there… fun times!  And well, it all sky rocketed from there. 


How did Awesome Fest come about?  Was it a always a collaborative effort?

M: The first Awesome Fest was an accident of sorts.  I was booking for a bar in Riverside back in 2007 and I got hit up by Jwang from Dan Padilla/Fast Crowd Records about a new band that featured members of the Copyrights and at the time Off With Their Heads, named Dear Landlord.  They hadn’t released anything yet, but there was some hype behind this band for sure.  I started getting hit up by all sorts of the bands people love in SoCal like Todd C (Underground Railroad to Candyland) and a lot of others.  When I started on the flyer for the show, I came across a photo of my friend Matty Awesome that I really liked and wanted to use it as the flyer picture.  As time went by, it started getting to be a pretty big lineup and I got this idea to put “Matty” all small then “AWESOME” really big with “FEST” after it.  That’s how Awesome Fest got the name. 

C: Well, its exactly what Marty said… it started with him, Matty Awesome, and Riverside.  It was all Marty for the first year and then Razorcake helped out for the second year.  J and Corinne took it under their wing for AF3 and moved it to North Park in San Diego.  They did an amazing job.  Then when it came to AF4, they were pretty exhausted with taking care of AF3, so the ball landed in our hands.  I got involved when it was AF4 and have been a part of it ever since.


Awesome Fest is in it’s 6th year.  With tickets selling out over a month ago, what changes, if any, have you noticed that has lead to the festival’s growing popularity?

M: I don’t see much change-wise about Awesome Fest except its more known about now. And every person I’ve met that has come to Awesome Fest, swears it is their single favorite fest they have been to or a part of, which is a hefty opinion with all the fests there are all over the world.  It makes me very grateful and honored to be a part of something that is looked forward to by so many people from all over the world.  I couldn’t imagine or even want to work with anyone else than the amazing people that help put this on.

C: I don’t think there’s any change with it selling out as fast as it had.  This was the fastest year ever though.  We still follow the same criteria and format from years before.  Its non-profit and we do it for the love of the scene and music.  More folks definitely know about the AF and that’s rad!  Every year we just try and outdo the previous lineup and try to make it just a little bit better.

What makes Awesome Fest stand out from the other summer festivals such as FYF?

M: Well, we are nothing like any other festival I’ve ever heard of.  We are a not-for-profit fest and we will never use corporate sponsors of any kind to raise money/make money.  We don’t over sell the thing.  We only sell 400 passes; that way we assure there will be VERY little or no lines to get into the shows and its pretty easy to get a drink and very close together venues so no long hauls.  We also make it so if you’re feeling up to the challenge, you can catch every single band of the fest if you feel like running back and forth from the venues.  I don’t know.  It’s the best thing I’ve ever been a part of and I’m so proud of everyone involved. 

C: Well AF stands out because its so posi and “awesome”.  I mean you can ask most folks who have attended previous years and they will say that it is one of the friendliest, most welcoming fests they’ve ever been to.  High fives all around; high five-ing strangers in the streets.  Its just something that you cant quite understand until you’ve gone.  We don’t use corporate sponsors and never will.  We all strongly believe in that.  Its for the love of music and the scene.


What are the top 3 bands you are most excited to see this year and why?

M: This year I am very excited to see Sass Dragons (Chicago).  This band has been one of my favorites for many years and the fact they were down to play got me hyped as hell!  I booked them at 12th & G (RIP warehouse Chino) when I was living in San Diego a couple years back and missed them due to work.  I was broken when I heard they broke up and I never got to see them; so yea, that’s for sure the most I’m looking forward to.  Another band I’m very excited to see is Divers from Portland, OR.  I’ve been obsessed with their first release on Rumbletown Records, a 7” that just blows 90% of all music out of the water.  The singer for the band is my friend Harrison who I have been doing shows with over the years through his old band Drunken Boat pdx.  They will impress you! The last of the three bands I’m super excited about are of course The Bananas, because The Bananas are the single greatest live band I’ve ever seen, not to watch but the energy in the room when they played AF5 was unimaginable and indescribable.  If you were there you know EXACTLY what I mean.  If you weren’t then DO NOT MISS their set this year.  I don’t know who is playing at the same time, but there is not a single band on this bill that will put on even half as good of a show as this band.  Quote me on that!

C: I think the bands I’m most excited to see are Masked Intruder, Siren Songs, and Shell Shag!  FUCK YES!  I’m stoked for these bands.

This is going to be my first year at Awesome Fest.  What am I getting into?  Any words of advice for this first timer?

M: Pace yourself!  Travel light!  Drink LOTS of water!  Eat at Luigi’s Pizza!  Give Marty hugs!

C: It’s your first time?! Gurrrl, all I can say is pace yourself and drink LOTS of water!  It gets crazy and out of control.  It’s a level of awesome, good times you’ve never experienced!  Having friends from all over the country, shit… even the world (‘cause its gone international the last few years) in town for three days and then all the new friends you’re gonna make!  Its just amazing and a bit overwhelming.

What is your fondest Awesome Fest story or memory?

M: I really don’t have an answer for that.  This festival is constantly giving me the fondest memories.  I love seeing all the friends I’ve made over the years.  I love making new friends.  I love the gratefulness of people that travel from all over the world and spend thousands of dollars to make sure their trip to the US is a really good time.  The people that come up to me on the last day and commend what we have done and tell you how they’ve never had such a good time is what means the most to me.  That’s what this scene is about - community and family and supporting one another and praising the accomplishments of one another.  I CANT WAIT!!!

C: Fondest memory?  Dang, I’m not even sure… there’s too many to list.  I should write a fucking book of all the good/crazy times for all six AFs.  Just get stoked ‘cause we ain’t going anywhere.  This fest is as rad as it gets.  And the fact that I get to work on this with some of my favorite people ever, well that’s just awesome for me..


At this time, festival tickets are sold out.  However, there are pre and post fest shows (in both San Diego and LA) with availability. You can get in touch with either booker through Facebook.  Marty can be contacted at “The Party’s Over Productions”.  Christina can be reached at “The Slumber Party’s Over Productions”.



















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Interview with Sam Soto from The Viva Vampira Art Show – at Kat Von D’s Wonderland Gallery – West Hollywood, CA

July 11, 2012

Interview by Louie Bones
Big Wheel Staff Reporter


With the aid of technology good news happens to travel faster than ever and with that said the news of an exhibit dedicated solely to Vampira was something we at Bigwheel had to get the scoop on. The good people over at Wonderland Gallery with the help of Johnny Coffin have really outdone themselves with the Viva Vampira art show; their biggest and most popular show to date at the gallery.




We wanted to know more so we went down and had a chat with head curator Sam Soto (who’s best known for his bass playing in Exene Cervenka's Original Sinners, Mercy Killers, & Fangs on Fur)
Below is our conversation - Enjoy!

We are here today at Kat Von D’s Wonderland Gallery, there are a ton of Vampira photos and memorabilia on display, how did all this come to be here at the gallery?
We have a show here happening at Wonderland, it’s called Viva Vampira, it’s a collection of Johnny Coffins (of Coffin Case fame) Vampira collection, it’s photos and memorabilia, some of the photos have never ever been seen before though some of them have, and we have her classic bat glasses on display in that case right over there. What we’re trying to do is put on a respectful Vampira exhibition.

This seems to showcase the character that is Vampira but there are also photos of her dressed down self, Maila Nurmi.
The image of Vampira and who she was as a person adds to the character because it was her character that she developed herself, it was her style, she was a true rebel long before it was cool to be a rebel. If you look at these photos from 1955 you’ll see her with a shaved head and stuff, this was still totally not “cool” to have or to do that kind of stuff or have that kind of confidence. It’s such a solid idea. It was all very unique, especially for the time. She made and designed her own jewelry too.

 It’s like she had a D.I.Y. ethic…
Oh yeah! Most definitely! Totally, she designed her original dress. Eventually she worked with Liberace; he helped her when she was starting to get her career going again, just like he helped Elvis with the sparkle jumpsuit.

If you look at these pieces over here, this is real early on the set of the Vampira show, you can see how she did her dress herself, she modified it, she actually wore a dress backwards because they didn’t have low plunging dress back then, so she flipped it around and shredded it, she knew how to work it, it’s really cool how she did everything..

She was very fashionably original…
She had an idea of the image she wanted to have as a character, she had a full idea. She’d take notes and make drawings of how she wanted things to be and how things should look; she didn’t take any shit at all.

Can you tell us about the opening night of Viva Vampira?
Sure! It was a full night! We have a capacity of 110 people in here at a time, we kept letting em in! The line was wrapped around the building all night, it was totally packed! We had a live stream camera where we did interviews in here for Vampira fans online, we had 110,000 viewers, it was our biggest show ever. This is actually only our 3rd show ever too. Viva Vampira runs till Halloween, and we are open everyday. Our next show opens on Dia De Los Muertos.

Would you say that the casual Vampira fan to the most obsessive fan would get a kick out of this show?
Oh most definitely! Vampira’s niece and her family came down and she was beside herself. She said it was the most respectful exhibition for Maila and she wishes she could be alive to see this, she said this is how it should be done and that nothing like this had ever been done before for Maila. So hearing that from the family really meant a lot to me because we worked really hard on this and presenting it in a truthful respectful way where it wouldn’t come off as just camp. Sure there is camp, but there are levels of camp, like there is Divine eating dog shit, and then there is Vampira, two totally separate levels of camp. This is way beyond any of that, Vampira got in trouble for some of the things she would say, she’d go off script on set and say things into the camera like “Hey kiddies, go kill your parents!”

That’s pretty fucking morbid!
Yeah! And she was the first one to ever do anything like that, the first horror hostess.

We heard from a reliable source that the family of Bela Lugosi were in attendance and have checked out the show. Is there truth to the rumor?
Yeah they were! The Lugosi family! They were really cool, they loved the show! In fact they are interested in doing a show here. I did a card set for the Viva Vampira show and I’m probably going to do a card show for them as well.

There are postcards made from collections of the show, all limited edition in sets of 8. Just like the photos hanging in the gallery they will be available online very soon, and once they’re gone they’re gone! Everything here except for the bat sunglasses are for sale, we even sale the photos with our custom frames or without.

There are vintage televisions under the photos. Maila’s niece said that she used to watch Vampira on the same kind of TV back when she was younger. It’s all part of the vibe since she was more than just a photographic image.

(The Televisions play non stop static lending an eeriness appropriate for such a spooky show)
You’ll notice we even have photos of her dressed out of costume on display as well. She used to do beauty shots too. We have a shot from her life magazine shoot; it’s one of my favorites. She and James Dean were friends and they hung out together, they were part of the same crew when they were all coming up as actors. We have a page from one of her diaries where she mentions how much she loves James Dean. Right next to it is a drawing of Maila with her shaved head done on a napkin by James Dean at their favorite coffee shop Googies.

You and your wife both work here at Wonderland; can you tell us how all the pieces fell into place in order for the Viva Vampira show to open?
Johnny Coffin first contacted the gallery because there was a movie that was made called “Vampira and Me” and he wanted to have a collaboration, like a Vampira weekend where they’d open the film on one day and we’d open the exhibit the next day. Kat loved the idea so it really started as that. The curator who was in charge at the time had moved on, and it was kind of up for grabs, so I stepped in and ran with it, Kat said she couldn’t think of anyone better for this.

Would it be fair to assume that Kat is influenced by Vampira’s style, she too has black hair, pale skin and wears a lot of dark clothing, sort of vampy in a way…
Oh yes she loves Vampira and is a big fan, in fact she told me “You can do this exhibit, but don’t fuck it up because she (Vampira) means a lot to me!”
Her knowledge of Vampira is very deep; she has lots of really cool interests and allows this all to happen here, it makes this all better with her support. It’s all very natural when you have a boss who you don’t have to go against. She wants people to be exposed to and know about Vampira and her legacy, her influence is long lasting and important.

A lot of this has never been seen before so it’s very cool that we get to put this on display for free for fans. As a fan I’m seeing a lot of these for the first time too.

Big Wheel would like to thank Sam and Lacy Soto for their time and personal tour of the very impressive gallery exhibit.

Kat Von D’s Wonderland Gallery is located just south of Sunset Blvd at -
1257 N. La Brea Blvd, West Hollywood, CA.
(Corner of La Brea and Fountain Ave)

As a horror movie fan, especially of Vampira, I was blown away by the amount of cool photos and priceless memorabilia on display. The good people over at Wonderland have really paid the ultimate respect to Vampira and it must be noted that what they are doing is nothing short of honest and admirable.

Do yourself a favor and pay a visit before the show wraps up on Halloween. Make sure to say hello to Sam, he is the pale punk rocker behind the counter!





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Interview with Jeff Roffredo of The Aggrolites

June 25, 2012

Interview with Jeff Roffredo of The AggrolitesInterview by: Gio Van Dam
Big Wheel Staff Reporter

Los Angeles based and hometown heroes The Aggrolites have been a juggernaut in the musical world for sometime now, showcasing their unique style and non stop energy to fans all across the world. Recently Big Wheel had an opportunity to sit and chat with Jeff Roffredo of The Aggrolites, Taking time out of his hectic schedule to talk tour, mexican food and of course "Dirty Reggae".Sit back and enjoy.

Big Wheel: The Aggrolites being natives of Los Angeles, What are a few things you look forward to when coming back home or playing to a home town crowd ?

Like the saying goes, "there's no place like home", and being out on tour more than we are home makes coming back all that more special for us. First off, it's always great to catch up and spend time with family and friends, hitting our favorite local spots and restaurants. I think any Southern Californian, regardless of their background, will tell you that they go through Mexican food withdrawals after any length of time abroad. Also, being that LA has a great music scene, you can check out live bands as well as DJ nights where they spin classic reggae and soul. And of course, the weather. Spending so much time around the world in all seasons we see all the extremes, from desert heat to Alpine snow, and it's hard to complain when home means 75 degrees with a breeze through the palm trees.

Being a product of Los Angles and incorporating athletes such as Matt Kemp in your lyrics How excited are you for the Los angeles sports scene?

As individuals we each have our own likes and interests, including varying levels of appreciation for sports, up to straight up fanaticism! We definitely all root for our home teams. We like to catch games when we're out on the road if they are being shown, and another nice part of coming home is getting to go to some games. We have two reigning champs in the Galaxy and the Kings, and with Magic's involvement with the Dodgers I think the whole city has a renewed excitement in them, if they keep playing the way they are playing they have a good shot at the first championship in almost a quarter of a century!

Pioneering the "Dirty Reggae" Sound, what do you think about being major influences on the budding, young ska core sound we see coming out of the San Fernando Valley and East Los Angeles areas incorporating that "Dirty Reggae" energy and tribute to their roots?

The "Dirty Reggae" sound definitely pays tribute to a lot of the masters of reggae and soul. Being fans of traditional music, it's always nice to see young bands that have a real interest in it too, and showing it in their music. You can always dig deeper and deeper into the past to find all kinds of musical gems, but it's exciting to see young bands creating music in the here and now that shows a true appreciation for the old school stuff we grew up with and still love. Right now there seems to be a surge in LA of these kinds of bands, and we hope that it only continues to grow, looking forward to see what's next!

With Fathers Day just passed, How large of a musical influence were the fathers in your lives?

Many of us are from musical backgrounds, Roger's father has been a keyboardist for legendary LA band Tierra, and he continues to play live shows with various groups. Jesse's father played guitar in bands inspired by the great soul artists of the 60's and 70's, they made a father-son ukelele duet you can see online. My father played bass and guitar in bands too, and growing up he was usually singing something, making up little tunes, or messing around on the guitar or piano, which he still does at home. So, to answer the question more directly, the influence was extra large. Thanks, pops!!

The upcoming 2012 "Unity Tour" Featuring SOJA, The Aggrolites, Slightly Stoopid and 311 is one of the highest sought after tickets around with anticipation to match, What are your expectations for this tour?

We can only expect the unexpected! We did some shows in support of 311 a few years ago, and Slightly Stoopid has taken us out on tour with them a number of times now. Aside from their musicianship and the energy they produce live, they are without a doubt some of the coolest and most generous people we've met in music, hands down. So we know that the vibes will be great for the summer all around, on stage and off.

Do you have any rituals on the road? if so do you ever find them spilling over into your personal lives?

I sometimes find myself driving hundreds of miles before I even realize what I'm doing. Not really.

The Osheaga  Festival is another show with a wide and deep pool of talented artists and acts from across the spectrum of the music world. When playing to these types of mixed audiences, does anything change as far as preparation or tunes you decide to play?

Often in these festival shows we get a set length that is more limited than we would do at our own club shows, and we also understand that we will be playing for people who have never seen us, so we know that we have to try to pack in everything we can in a more limited amount of time, and  show any first timers what we're all about.

What kind of reception do The Aggrolites get on the road in other countries? Any must see venues or bars for fans traveling abroad?

We go to Europe often and we've had the opportunity to play many big festivals there, as well as Fuji Rock in Japan. We always have a great time in Europe. We've also been to Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Reunion Island (off of the east coast of Africa) , and even Canada!! Everywhere we go we have a positive experience, we hope to be able to get out and play in as many new places as we can. It's great to have the opportunity to travel, see new places, meet new people and bring them what we all love, music.

Now what all the fans and our readers our just dying to know, What Do the Aggrolites have in store for their fans?

Glad you asked. After this summer tour with 311 and Slightly Stoopid we will get back on the road, most likely some international touring.
We have been working hard on new material and are planning to get into the studio soon, so be on the lookout for some brand new music in the near future! It's been a while since we've had the opportunity to record new songs, so we are really excited. We've also been putting a lot of time into creating the new songs, so we are able to fine tune and add new ideas as we go. So stay tuned, big things coming soon!




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Interview with Bennet Mains from Holding Onto Sound

May 11, 2012

Interview with HOTSInterview by: J.Moncrief
Big Wheel Staff Reporter

Punk Rock Bowling has lined up some great bands to open up the festivals shows this year. One of those bands is Las Vegas' very own Holding Onto Sound aka HOTS. They took a few minutes out of their busy schedule to give our viewers some insight  on their band and some cool shit to do in between wrecking your liver at PRB this year.

How and when did you guys all meet/ come together to Form HOTS and how did Bob come to join the band? 
Zabi and I met through a mutual friend. We started jammin and hit it off pretty early on. We went through a couple drummers/guitar players before we met Vanessa through an online musician machine and settled on being a 3 piece. Once the 3 of us settled in together we didn't want it any other way. Bob had been my close friend for about 8 years before he joined the band. We weren't necessarily looking for another guitar player but once he was free from his other project we figured we should give it a shot. He came down and practiced and the rest is history.

What bands do you feel have inspired influenced HOTS sound?
We have ALOT of influences. All of us come from different musical back grounds. When we first got together though, we all agreed on RX Bandits, Choking Victim, Sublime, NOFX, a lot of punk and reggae stuff. But we're big into Mastodon and Mars Volta as well as Johnny Cash, the Clash and Atmosphere. So we're pulling from everywhere. Too many influences to list.

How was it opening up for NOFX on New years and how stoked are you to be sharing the stage with them at Punk Rock Bowling this year?
It's awesome. They're wouldn't be a HOTS without NOFX. Simple as that. Meeting the Stern brothers and them being so generous towards us and our town has also been huge. Mark and Shawn are letting us bring in Nevada Homeless Alliance to set up a booth at PRB and we are grateful for that and for the opportunity to play with bands that we love, like NOFX, Rancid and the mighty Hot Water Music. Very stoked to answer that question.

Your music is versatile in the way that it can be categorized in many different genres of Punk. If you had to describe your sound, which category do you feel like you would most likely fall under?
I got nothing. I'd say Punk in attitude. We're definetly DIY, but you have to be in this day and age. But calling yourself punk isn't very punk is it? I don't know what we are. Aggressively-smooth.

Being from the Las Vegas punk scene, how do you feel it differs from LA ? 
No clue. Haven't been a part of the LA scene. I will tell you we're different than every scene. Nowhere is like vegas. You gotta fight to be heard here. There are so many great bands. The Core, The Quitters, Nothing With Numbers, Deadhand. I could go on and on. The thing is I feel like if our scene was anywhere else we'd all be "blowing up" so to speak, but we literally live in a city that doesn't want to see us go anywhere. Nothing to distract from our casinos. Venues open and close faster than you can say...oh shit, another venue just closed.

Do you have any cool, hole in the wall, local spots(record stores,restaurants, dive bars etc..) you would recommend to all the out of town festival goers to check out while they are in Vegas this year for punk rock bowling?
Zia records, Alternate Reality (for the comic book lovers like myself) The Bunkhouse is a bar we play at pretty often and we see some great bands play there. During PRB there will be some great shows there. There's a sweet little spot downtown called the Emergency Arts center, It's a little coffee shop with a cool small record store and a few great comics. They also have an awesome open mic on Monday Nights. The whole downtown Las Vegas art scene (not the fucking strip) is pretty rad. We've had a real rejuvenation downtown and I love it personally, we're becoming a real town!!! YAY!!

Can we expect HOTS to play any of their old songs in the set at Punk Rock Bowling, or will you be showcasing mostly new material?
It's going to be a lot of new stuff because that's what we have the most fun playing, but I'm sure we'll find some room for an oldie or two.

You guys recently released a 7". I heard that there is a cool story with how it was made, can you tell our readers all about it?
Brick Gun Records approached our boy Shahab at GC Records who approached us about doing the 7". They went in together on the cost of pressing it up and we did the recording. We are very grateful to everyone involved. his tour I am facing him on stage and that's a great way for us to integrate together very tightly. It’s a joy to play with him!

Do you guys have any plans for upcoming tours in 2012?
Yep. But nothing solid yet. Just keep your eyes on the horizon and soon enough you'll see us coming over it. On horse back of course. We are still cowboys at the end of the day. Desert Rats from Las Vegas.

You can also catch a special performance from HOTS to benefit Nevada Homeless Alliance at Yayo Taco, 4632 S. Maryland Pkwy, Las Vegas NV 89119 on May 25th!




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