Thursday, May 19, 2005

Interview: No Justice

Matt Smith and I did this interview with No Justice in the parking lot of Homebase Warehouse in Wilkes Barre back in January 2000. The interview was supposed to be included in a new fanzine that Smith and I were working on together that was to be called "About Face." Everything about the zine was going to have a military theme to it, which explains the silly way we asked the questions. Of course, since the zine was to have a military theme, I was naturally the Sarge. We never settled on a name for Smith. My suggestions for his pen name were Private Parts, Corporal Punishment, Captain Cock Rock, and Major Malfunction.

Four months later, my then-fiance "disengaged" me, and it sent me into a tailspin where I lost all interest in just about everything in my life, including this zine and Rain on the Parade.

I came across this interview the other night when I was going through some of my old journals. It seemed like a shame to leave the interview unpublished. Enjoy.


Name, rank and serial number?

Timmy: I sing. Steve plays guitar. Gene plays drums. John plays bass.

What’s the chain of command in No Justice? Take us to your leader.

Steve: I’d say that Timmy, Gene and I fight over who is calling the shots, and John just shows up and plays bass sometimes. Gene is the computer dude, because Timmy and I don’t have computers. Timmy and I are more into talking to people. We’re the face of the band.

Timmy: Gene is the internet kid, finding shows for us. If there’s a question to be asked that nobody in the band is comfortable asking, they’ll leave it up to Steve and I to ask it.

Who came up with the name No Justice, and why is he still in the band?

Timmy: It was basically me. Steve and I are huge Agnostic Front fans. We grew up listening to AF.

Steve: Both of us liked the name, and nobody else in the band liked it at all. John and Gene were just like “you motherfuckers have got to be kidding.” After a while, it ended up growing on everybody else and we stuck with it.

When the bullets start flying, what bands do you want in the fox hole with you?

Timmy: Kill Your Idols, definitely. Full Speed Ahead. Life’s Halt. There’s a lot of good bands coming out.

Steve: Striking Distance.

What bands would you want on the end of your bayonet?

Timmy: For the Living.

Steve: Good Clean Fun.

Tensions escalating along the border?

Timmy: (John) Hennessey doesn’t like us. Hennessey never liked us. I guess now, Hennessey has been kind of alright with us, which is cool I guess, because two bands from the same area don’t need to be competing.

Why has Hennessey declared war on No Justice?

Timmy: Old shit.

Bitterness from a prior conflict? The whole DC vs. Virginia Beach vs. Richmond rivalry? Has it gone nuclear?

Timmy: Yeah. He said something personally to me that really pissed me off, and he never apologized for it. He said some serious shit that I don’t want to get into. Some of the kids in For the Living are in Striking Distance, which we completely support. They’re one of the best DC bands. We love those guys.

Steve: We all go to shows in the DC area. We go to every show. Even the ones we’re not playing. A lot of those bands act like they’re above all of us. We never see them at shows, unless they’re playing. When they come around, they just have a “better than you” attitude. Good Clean Fun called us sloppy and said we can’t play our instruments. I’m sure we don’t sound perfect, but this is a hardcore punk band.

Timmy: We’ve been getting a really good response from our DC shows. For a while, DC Hardcore was kind of slow, and now there’s a lot of good bands popping up like Striking Distance. The DC shows we’ve been playing, we’ve been bringing out all of these punk kids, skinhead kids. The last DC show we played was at the Wilson Center. Kids were going apeshit, flying all over the place. Kids were saying “damn, I haven’t seen that many people stage diving in a really long time.” You’d think Good Clean Fun, being from that area, would be like “this is awesome,” because they’re one of the bigger drawing bands from the area. You’d think they’d be happy that other good bands are popping up and that DC is really going to get going again. All of these kids on the internet were saying that we really rocked the house at that show, and it was the craziest shit they had seen in a long time. The Good Clean Fun posts “actually, they’re not that good. They’re sloppy...” and all of this shit.

Steve: We’ve never said nothing about them. We really try to stay out of shit talking...(laughs) which obviously just ended here. This is the first time we’ve actually said anything negative. When we started this band, we thought people were going to shit talk us because we wanted to be a really straight-forward band. We really try not to talk shit, but some people are just begging us to comment on some of the things they say about us.. A lot of people have been speaking for us, defending us, which makes us happy that we don’t have to. That’s the coolest fucking feeling when people do that.

What’s something about hardcore that you would change?

Steve: The segregation between punks, skins, hardcore kids and straight edge kids. It’s like if you’re not in one group, you’re shunned. I’d like to see more bands with convictions. Bands that aren’t so joke oriented. Bands that are really into what they’re doing. There are bands out there that are a little too happy.

What’s something about hardcore that you hope always stays the same?

Timmy: Kids going off. That is such a release for me. I definitely dig the energy. When I was younger, I had a very dysfunctional family. I went to counseling. Nothing ever worked except for $5 punk rock shows. It was great to just go there and go completely insane with a bunch of other crazy kids. It was the biggest release, ever.

You mentioned the Wilson Center earlier. How do you feel about the kids who run that place. Our (ROTP) drummer’s other band, The Ultimate Warriors, just got banned from playing that place because of a song on one of their demos called “Anarchy is Gay,” which the singer wrote when he was like fourteen years old.

Steve: The people who run the Wilson Center are from Positive Force DC, and they’re really politically correct.

There’s politically correct, and then there’s PC Police brutality...

Timmy: If they (Wilson Center kids) won’t let the Ultimate Warriors play because of something like that, then they’re probably mad at us, too. The last show we played there got crazy. Some kid went to the hospital.

What? Did someone throw a cymbal or a chair into the audience or something?

Steve: (laughing, pointing at Timmy) You’ve got a lot to live up to when you play the Wilson Center.

Timmy: Me and Steve we just looking at each other, thinking “yeah, we’re playing the same place Minor Threat was playing, and this looks like a Minor Threat show, and we’re doing a Minor Threat cover. We were excited, and we just started throwing everything...

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