Show Preview and Interview: Reagan Youth – DFL – Decry – STALAG 13 – SideKick – Skaal – Tartar Control – and Rockous – at The Observatory – Santa Ana, CA – October 4, 2014
September 25, 2014
Reagan Youth will be playing a matinee show at The Observatory in Santa Ana, Saturday October 4th along with stellar line up of Punk bands including DFL., Decry, STALAG 13, SideKick, Skaal, Tartar Control and Rockous. Matinee shows start at noon, what a great excuse to day drink!
Big Wheel Magazine recently conducted an exclusive interview with Reagan Youth. Here are answers to 15 burning questions that will give you insight to the band's past, present and future.
BW - Paul you’ve been with Reagan Youth since the beginning, during the band’s long and colorful history what is your absolute favorite memory of being with the band?
Paul Cripple- Locking in with a tight rhythm section and being on stage as Dave Insurgent, the best singer, takes over as if he's some big time preacher and we're just the gospel band, but instead of religion, Dave Insurgent was spreading the message of Anarchy, how no one individual(s) should ever hold any authority over another. Any of those gigs where it clicked like that, and there were a bunch, would be my favorite. Cannot pick one in particular but playing again has made me a bit giddy at times and I thank the band I have these days for that ability.
BW - Reagan Youth became very popular for its extreme political lyrics and anarchist ideologies, do all of the current band members still hold the same anarchist beliefs as the original Reagan Youth did?
Paul Cripple - I'm not absolutely sure of the beliefs of each band member, what exactly their beliefs system are, but one thing I know with no uncertainty and that's one thing for sure; THEY HATE HATE. And if you take all of the band's anarchist ideologies and extreme political lyrics and mixed them all together in a giant pot, one thing would rise like the cream to the top and that's "I HATE HATE". When I started playing again in 2006 it became painfully clear that even a band mate from the 80's hadn't a clue about the band's stance. And every new singer I brought in would say "But Paul, I'm just not political" and I'd be like "Yeah, that's probably true but do you really have to be a douche bag of a band mate?" and the answer every time was that they did, couldn't help themselves and if they could, they still wouldn't. So I got rid of the rhythm section guys I had recorded and performed with during the 80's along with a singer that kept pushing me to play "His" other band's songs in our set, so I got rid of the lot of them, searched around, didn't give up and glad I didn't because Tibbie X, Trey and Greg got it and it's not just nice, but nicest!
Tibbie X- I think anarchist beliefs can be translated in many different ways but we are all freedom fighters and rebellious by nature and that bonds us together. Politically it’s safe to say none of us are right wing and we all have the same sentiment of the peace punk message easily summed up in the song "I Hate Hate".
BW - Being a huge fan of the band I feel obligated to ask, how close is the band to releasing its new album?
Tibbie X- It’s going to be awhile we are touring a lot but we have a great studio to go to and Paul has the songs all planned out. It will happen, probably in about one year from now.
BW - Who are the band’s biggest influences?
Paul Cripple- Dave Insurgent and I listened to 70's rock before Punk Rock appeared, so Black Sabbath were so huge with their basic guitar, bass, drums and Ozzy sounding the way he did when he sung, very punk rock in a way. When Punk entered the fray we liked Generation X and The Ramones, didn't really dabble in metal except for Motorhead but later on Crass was very important politically ( or should I say apolitically ). We then went retro and starting listening to all the old stuff such as Zeppelin and Hendrix, and why not listen to the best. These days I've been listening to Wire, I consider them a really good Joy Division with Pink Floyd overtones and I'm literally crazy about Uriah Heep. They have so many great songs and Demons And Wizards is as great as any rock album from that period. David Byron is such an underrated vocalist, r.i.p., and they're still playing, huge shows at festivals and arenas in Eastern and Central Europe with only one original member: Guitarist Mick Box. When we finally grew up, ceased being 'youths', we went back to the music from the past and it was pretty obvious that there was a lot of great stuff to listen on. Soon you realize there are only two types of music and it ain't country or western, rap or hip hop, speed metal or death metal. NOPE, there's only two types of music, and it's either Good or Bad. Sure some are better than others and that's great, like "Phoenix" by Wishbone Ash which is simply incredible while there is a whole lotta unlistenable shit out there, and when you're like "These guys are still playing that same lame set, the same one, 10 years running?" and wonder why they haven't developed a scene around their shows, that's inexcusable.... SO SAYETH REAGAN YOUTH. Yeah, so if it's good, like Emerson, Lake and Palmer's Tarkus, then obviously that's a big influence on Reagan Youth. In junior high school Dave Insurgent made a paper mache TARKUS, which is an Amardillo/Tank, during shop class, and really what else was there better to make than that for a kid back then. And if it sounds like 99% of the hardcore bands out there that just don't care about learning songs or how to play an instrument and all they think is about how cool they look, how expensive their equipment, which they'll never share, is. Acting like the merch is what's important, and being scensters, kissing ass to get gigs, or just actually starting a Hardcore Punk band so they can make it mainstream, making enough money so hopefully one day they can pay the government taxes for their "Hardcore Punkrock", NO! Bands like that have the balls to make jokes after a half hearted cover of Black Sabbath's "Paranoid" like that song is a joke. Fuck that, that band's a joke, not the song "Paranoid" which is a stone cold classic. So that is an influence for us as well, an influence NOT TO SUCK. Well hope I explained things well enough, and now I gots to go listen to some Conway Twitty because it's just all too beautiful, and no, I ain't joking. Serious as a heart attack. And Reagan Youth can play "Eastern Music" ( Hindu, Arabic, throw some Syrian scales in there ) as well as thrash. It's important to rip some nice country guitar solos for our thrash breakdowns. And we do that because America encompasses so many different influences from all the people all over this great planet of ours who have come to the U.S.@. searching for a better way of life. Those are sounds we'd want to embrace, and why not embrace their sounds,........ but only if they sound cool and don't sound like some atonal crap. I love music, it's an essential such as the air that we breathe or the water we drink.
Trey Oswald- Off the top the Rolling Stones. Keith Richards is my second influence behind Paul Cripple. Iggy Pop showed my I could front a good band. Stiv Bators convinced me I should.
BW - Being one of the biggest and most influential hardcore punk bands to come out of the east coast, what do you think of the west coast punk scene of today?
Tibbie X- I think the scene East/West..worldwide is more united than it was in the past. We've toured with Angry Samoans and had a blast and are returning to California twice this year because the shows were so much fun. I’m psyched to get to Portland and Seattle this year also and we have Hawaii in the works where we plan on playing with "The Quintessentials" a Satanic Surf Punk band with members from The Queers. East Coast is a lot of fun in the summer but those long months of snow storms make it difficult to get out and about so we love to have the opportunity to tour and meet people all over the country.
BW - What is the weirdest thing you've seen while on tour?
Tibbie X- Well it’s not really THAT weird and more awesome but we walked out of the place we were staying in Germany and ran into an awesome Punk girl named Aylin who was walking a pet skunk. We all got to cuddle with the skunk, I was in love. I was holding him and he was sniffing my face, lightly bit my finger and curled up on my back.
BW - Seeing as the band’s name is a mocking nod to our former president Reagan and his faults, what are your thoughts on President Obama?
Paul Cripple- He's an Obamination ( nuff said, don't ya' think? )
Tibbie X-- I am disappointed in President Obamas actions although not surprised as the corruption and stupidity of religion infiltrates ever major political move. Government is big business , money and Christianity go hand in hand and are the basis for all major political decisions , greed and can never lead to a positive outcome. Obama in a very passive aggressive manner sent the "OK" for Christian companies to deny female workers contraceptive coverage instead of clearly stating separation between church and state. Google it, its too detailed to answer but its more men making decisions about women’s bodies based on delusional religious "respect" as it has ALWAYS been. His war mongering solution to problems in the middle east , more of the same. No politics will ever be able to ensure absolute freedom as it attracts power control type people who want to dominate and conquer, same as police same as every cooperate position of power. Until people are ready to intelligently govern themselves, drop false believes in manifested imaginary "friends" that cause wars and begin to evolve mentally and physically for a higher purpose of living we will always be enslaved by our rulers.
BW - You hear many people nowadays (myself excluded of course) claiming that punk is dead, how in your opinion, has this claim affected the punk scene of today?
Tibbie X-- I think some punks enjoy the nihilism of that statement and maybe grow older and miss the "good ol days" if they don’t allow themselves to evolve and grow with changing times. It could very well seem dead to someone who’s been going to the same bar for 25 years expecting it to be the same as it used to be. Punk is a humungous world wide movement, very organized activists in some parts of the world and personally speaking, playing shows in my all time favorite bands for hundreds of people hardly feels "dead. On a less grandiose scale I am genuinely moved when I can travel somewhere I’ve never been before and meet up with a stranger on the street and we have those common beliefs and interests and can hang out. As long as there is oppression there will be punk.
BW - What is a day in the life like for the band members of Reagan Youth?
Trey Oswald- On tour or in our daily lives? Tour, to leave out all the specifics, allows me to explore and understand the world. I am able to meet people and visit places I would otherwise be denied. In my civilian life I am a lover, brother, son, worker, writer, etc…..
Tibbie X-- I wake up at 6:30 am and meet up with my trainer Joe DiBianca and work out at the local gym 5 days a week. Then I come home and have breakfast with my 4 year old son and I either bring him to school or we go to the playground together. My husband often works from home so we convince him to drop work and come play with us as often as possible. In the evenings sometimes I have band practice with GASH, sometimes I go to local shows in philly, but mostly I like to smoke weed play some bass and watch old horror movies in bed with my husband. Very occasionally I like to go out dancing if there’s some retro punk night or a fetish event but it interferes with my early morning schedule. Mostly I see friends and catch new bands on tour and we tour frequently so my time off is all about my family.
BW - Trey, coming from a Reagan youth cover band yourself, how does it feel to be at the head of this iconic punk group?
Trey Oswald- Flattering. The role also comes with a sense of responsibility. Some how, through a strange series of events, was asked to sing in my favorite band. Paul, Tibbie, and I all agree that the band will not continue without either of us. As agreed until I can no longer physically play, I am in it for the long haul. We cannot let the music or the message down. We respect it too much.
BW - Are any of the current band members involved in any side projects? If so, what are they?
Tibbie X-- I sing for a Satanic S/M themed Sleaze Punk band from South Philadelphia called GASH. Our music is online for free HERE. I am documenting a project I am doing with the band where I am publicly submissive involving the audience as DOM so we are all united in S/M play during our sets- photos and writing about that http://gashuniverse.tumblr.com/
BW - What is the most fun you’ve had on your current tour?
Trey Oswald- Germany, England, both US coasts, Canada, the Midwest, and New England are places the band has taken me. I will share this with you ‘cuz it is a great story. While living in Austin, Texas I sang with New Aryans in 2009. After joining Reagan Youth I did my first tour in the Lone Star State. The bands in Austin contained NA members. I somehow completed the full circle and pulled the Judas Priest story on everyone.
Tibbie X- This is so basic and we have had many many wild party type nights but there was one day in Canada where we all went out for breakfast together and had these croissants and coffee. Some girl was selling all these cool clothes on the side of the road real cheap and Paul found a leather skirt for me for 50 cents. Either Paul or Trey found a joint on the side of the street which was magical. We were just walking around chatting and I know this may seem like a boring answer but I really love my bandmates and the time we get to just hang out and chill. Off the top of my head some other memories would be staying with Bill Vockeroth drummer for the Angry Samoans and his wife cooked breakfast for us and the band 13 Scars we were touring with. In Canada I was psyched to meet and stay with the girls from PantyChrist who smoked us out and gave us tons of food. In Texas I went out dancing after the show to a gay bar with the worlds most fabulous Santiago and we did catwalk runway moves all over the motel then when we left we ran into both bands we were on tour with Sober Daze and Before Dishoner. This is like 3 am a huge group of us all crashed the Alamo and then scattered all over town when the cops came to break it up.
BW - Reagan Youth has been through it all, do you guys have any advice for the youth of today entering the punk scene?
Tibbie X- I would say be true to yourself and don’t be pressured to conform to any commercialized punk ideal or uniform. Stay away from heavy drugs no matter what stupid band glorifies them. Drugs are awesome but keep it light.. weed and beer, once you have an addiction your life is enslaved forever. Women, learn how to play an instrument and fucking own it you don't have to be a groupie to hang out with the band, you can BE the band. Speak your truth and never let anyone's judgement control you.
BW - If you guys could cover any song from any band, what would it be and why?
Trey Oswald- Right now we are covering Class War by The Exploited. The line “Mein Kampf keep out” made this a great song to play while in Germany. Right now I am pushing for Fairies Wear Boots by Black Sabbath you gotta believe me!
Tibbie X- HOUSE OF GOD Dave insurgent and Paul's second band. I pretty much begged Paul to do those songs and we are just getting into them. They are beautiful and they didn't get to exist as Dave's life was cut short.
BW - Are all of the new band members involved in the writing process for the newest album? If so, should we expect a completely different kind of sound from Reagan Youth?
Tibbie X- No, Paul wrote all the music although he sometimes suggests that he wants us involved in the writing process. Trey has been writing some lyrics. I am here to support Paul’s vision and carry on the message and spirit of Dave Insurgent and not to distract from that. In the past we had band members who's egos were completely out of control and they wanted to be big rock stars and change everything around for some attention driven agenda. As a Reagan youth fan first I'm just honored to help bring these songs to life and provide the backdrop for Paul’s work to shine. Give and play with Love for all XX !
Interview by: W.Wallace
Big Wheel Contributor
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