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A Conversation With
Matt Embree
Of RX Bandits

by
Meredith Goldberg
July 19, 2001

Mike

Meredith Goldberg: OK, first of all, how is the tour going so far?

Matt Embree: (lights a cigarette) We're playing for more people than we've ever played for.

Meredith: And you guys had a show in New Jersey yesterday..how was that? Was the crowd better or worse than it was here?

Matt: Like 4,000 people, dude, it's intense. The crowd was better here, definitely.

Meredith: So, how long have the RX Bandits been playing together?

Matt: We've been officially a band for like 4 years. I've been playing music in a band for like 6 years.

Meredith: What other bands were you in?

Matt: I was in a band called Dementia, we were a Metallica cover band. That was when I was in 8th grade. It was sick dude, I learned like all of Kirk Hammit's solos, but it didn't sound very good, but it's all right, you know how it is.

Meredith: Yeah.. So, how did you guys come up with the name RX Bandits?

Matt: I don't know..There's not really a story.. We were just stoned or something.

Meredith: What do you think about the pop-punk bands who are on MTV and going all mainstream? (i.e.i.e. A New Found Glory & SUM41)

Matt: Dude, that's fine with me. I just think that music goes in cycles. Right now, Pop is the thing. It's really fast like really quickly gratifying, like straight to the chorus.. I can't say that I would mind being on MTV and everything, but the thing is I don't think that I can do a video like lip syncing, 'cause that's bullshit. So, I think I would want to make a video like "Janie's Got A Gun", or something like a story video..I think that people just need to raise their standards of music, dude.

Meredith: What are some of your all time favorite bands?

Matt: Metallica.. Jimi Hendrix Experience is the reason I play guitar.. well, my father and Jimi Hendrix Experience. When I first started playing acoustic guitar, I was like, "This is burnt, dude" and he was like "No, dude, guitar is sick".. But yea, Metallica, Jimi Hendrix, Fugazi, and The Police, dude! I love The Police.. and Bob Marley.

Meredith: OK, what's your favorite song to play live?

Matt: I like the songs in-between the songs, because we just make them up. That's a cool thing we've been doing on this tour and we'll be doing on every tour after this album. We just make up shit in-between songs. But, ay know, I like playing any song that people sing along to.

Meredith: What's it like being a Ska band on a predominantly pop-punk label (Drive-Thru Records)?

Matt: It's great. I love being the odd mad out. I love people who talk shit too. Like people talk shit about Ska, well now there's like no Ska and all pop-punk, so people are starting to hate pop-punk, so I'm stoked.

Meredith: Is there one thing, like after RX Bandits are no longer a band, that you would like your fans to remember you by?

Matt: Yeah, for listening to music for it's value and not for it's image.

Meredith: All right, any last words before I go?

Matt: I've got to say something good...

Meredith: No pressure..

Matt: Yea, just for all the kids starting bands, just like, if you want to imitate somebody, imitate the masters, not the apprentices. Like, don't imitate us, even if you like our band a lot, because we're not masters, we're like the apprentices. If you want to be good, listen to some old school shit, like all those old rock bands and shit. Even if you are playing in an emo-core band if you listen to like Led Zeppelin, your band is bound to sound better than the rest, because you have influences that come from way back from the roots of Rock 'n Roll..That's all.

Meredith: Great, Thanks so much.

Meredith Goldberg is a staff editor. Contact her at meredith@rockzone.com.

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