Through the distant thump of a kick drum, A Music Blog, Yea? sat down with Alex Levine (bass guitar) and Benny Horowitz (drums) at this year’s Toronto Urban Roots Festival; with their new album “Get Hurt” set for release on August 12, they gave us the low-down on the punk, the whole punk, and nothing but the punk.
AMBY: So they kind of have you guys away from the rest of the bands; their prep rooms are little closets, while you’ve got all this space. Must be pretty nice to be treated so well!
GA: This is actually way nicer than most prep places we’re used to…. You know, when you’ve been on tour for, like, three months and you’ve not been able to take a shower, or even wash your hands in running water and soap and a towel, it’s easy to take some things for granted.
AMBY: How rock and roll, living without running water. Do you feel like any of the fame or recognition that you’ve achieved is sort of “anti-punk?”
GA: Uhh, no… Well I don’t really know what “anti-punk” means. Everybody has all these crazy definitions of what punk means. I don’t know, for me punk is a way of thinking. Not so much what you’re wearing, what you’re doing, or what you have in your back pocket. It’s about how you live your life. Cause, you know, if you’re basing it off how you look and the materialistic things in your life… I mean, yeah look at this place [the RV] is it punk? No. And it doesn’t appeal to the punk in me, but you grow up and things change. We’re adults now. We have our views on life and whatever punk means to us is what it means… I’m not 14 anymore saying I have to do this and that to make sure that everybody else around me does know that I’m punk. It’s a weird thing. There’s not really anything punk rock about what we do anymore, and I’m not going to sit here and pretend to be something I’m not. You can choose to not build a career out of it and continue living that life. We chose to try and make a career out of music. You’re right, there’s nothing punk-rock about the choices we made. We come from that place, and we try to carry ourselves in a certain way because we come from that world, and there’s a certain part of this world that’s gross to someone who comes from that. But at the same time, you’re 33…I’m talking about myself, and I wanted to buy somewhere to live for my girl and my dog… I’d like to have a car, and a phone that works, and if I’m not making that money from music I’m going to have to make it doing something shitty that I hate. So I had a choice to make. Stay fucking Mr. Punk-Rock and never get this life I want through music or do I choose to walk down this path. That is, to me, more punk rock than some guys who stand on their soap-box claiming that they’re punker than everybody else. Punk is one of the most obnoxious topics. How do you really judge what is punk and what isn’t?
Thank you The Gaslight Anthem, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Emily Fox |