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A Conversation With Johnny, Darius, and Spike
by
Samuel Barker
May 19, 2001

Johnny

Samuel Barker: What are your names and what do you do?

Johnny: I'm Johnny, lead vocalist.

Spike: I'm Spike, I play the bass.

Darius: Darius, I play guitar.

Samuel: So what was the deal with tonight, I know things went down a lot earlier than planned.

Johnny: I dunno, the doors opened a lot later than they were supposed to. I know Reach The Sky's fans got screwed. There are a lot of hardcore kids in Houston that like Reach The Sky. I think they were the only ones who got the brunt of it.

Samuel: How's the tour been going so far?

Johnny: Really good. The Dropkicks have been great. The bill is a great lineup. Every show has been sold out, if not, close to being sold out.

Samuel: I notice a lot of country influence in your songs, who were some of the artists to influence that part of your music?

Johnny: A lot of early country stuff we're fans of, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Roger Miller. Then there are the Pogues who have that Irish feel. We have a lot of influence, too many to list, but for the country part, it's the old country records that inspire us the most.

Samuel: Do you guys like adding the sounds to mix things up?

Johnny: Yeah, variety is always good to have on an album.

Samuel: Spike, are you looking forward to heading out on the road on Warped Tour with Me First And The Gimme Gimmes?

Spike: Yeah, my girlfriend is doing a wrestling show on the tour. They're doing the whole tour. I get to be with my girlfriend for 7 weeks instead of being alone. I like it that way.

Samuel: Has it been hard juggling the two?

Spike: No, one is just covers, so it doesn't require effort or any creativity, initiative, intellegence, or anything. They don't tour either, the Swingin' Utters tour and when they're ready, so am I.

Samuel: What are the rest of you guys going to do this summer? Will it be more of a rest period?

Johnny: Well, Darius is having a kid in July. So it's good to have a break. Me and Darius also have a side project called A Filthy, Thieving Bastards. We may try to play some shows.

Spike: But I'm supposed to be the bass player!

Johnny: Oh yeah, nevermind.

Spike: No, it's alright.

Spike

Samuel: So are you happy this is coming up when it is, so you have time to enjoy the new baby?

Darius: Yeah, it works out pretty well, we got lucky.

Spike: Well, touring during the summer is bullshit anyways.

Samuel: Yeah, especially with the heat in the south.

Spike: No, I don't mean the weather so much. It's just that everybody is out. You pretty much have to be on a package tour to get people to see you during the summer. It's kinda sad, but that's the way it is.

Samuel: This is a big tour in itself. There are a lot of good bands here.

Spike: Yeah, I don't think it's the bands as much as the bills. These days people want more value for their money. People are now asking kids to spend a lot more money than they used to.

Samuel: Yeah, I know the covers here have gone up considerable.

Spike: Yeah, and peoples' paychecks haven't. So if you're asking for more money you have to give people more bands that they like. It's simple economics.

Samuel: Anything you guys like to add?

Johnny: I'm really tired, I'm sorry, but I'm very tired.

Spike: The last time we played here was Warped Tour. That was the best show I ever played with these guys. I've only played with them for 3 years. It's was probably the best response we've ever gotten.

Samuel: Yeah, how do you guys feel about the response to band? With the song on Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 and all. Kinda neat to have your music in everyone's hands.

Spike: What is it on the video game?

Samuel: Yeah, it was on the demo too, it was the only song on the demo.

Darius: What song is it?

Samuel: Five Lessons Learned.

Spike: Wow, that's news to me.

Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at suma@rockzone.com.

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