How did you get into punk/hardcore music? First Show? Best Show? I got into punk in early middle school when I heard "Salvation" by Rancid. Then toward the end of middle school I was watching Headbanger's Ball and saw the video for "Step Down." I thought it was the coolest thing. Right around that time too, Set Your Goals came out too. I had also seen the video for "TV Party" and ran out and bought Damaged used at a local record store. So basically MTV got me into hardcore. My first concert was Helmet and Primus. The first hardcore band I saw was H2O. They opened up for the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I've gotten to see so many great shows, but recently the best show I've seen is Killing Time, Have Heart and Verse at the Church. Is it different now then when you first got into it? There are a lot more shows. When I was younger it seemed like shows only came around during the summer or during school breaks. Now bands are touring all year round, so somebody is always playing. And there aren't hardcore shows at the Troc anymore. I'd much rather see Sick Of It All or H20 at the Church. What Inspires you lyrically? Just basic day to day life. A lot of Dying To Live is about coming to terms with adulthood. Working 70 hours a week and paying bills sucks. But at the same time it's the life I chose. The Crumbler lyrics were basically about the crazy shit that went through my head during the course of my day. Aneurysm Rats' lyrics are a lot more personal. What do you think about the current state of the hardcore scene? Any current bands you think people should know about? I don't think there is anything wrong with hardcore right now. There are shows going on constantly that I wish I could go to more often. I haven't seen a fight in a long time. As far as bands, I think there is a great mix of sounds out there. All the current bands I know about, everyone else probably knows about. The new Lighten Up record is amazing which should be out soon. Trappend Under Ice's "Stay Cold" is incredible. I still listen to "Heavier Than Heaven, Lonier Than God" daily. Not only is the new Have Heart amazing, but in my opinion the best live band out there. Top 3 Records Ever? Hardcore/Non Hardcore Hardcore Lifetime- Jersey's Best Dancers(this week anyway, sometimes it's Hello Bastards) Cro-Mags- Age Of Quarrel Black Flag- Damaged Non Hardcore Rancid- And Out Come The Wolves Belle and Sebastian- If You're Feeling Sinister The Blacktop Cadence- Chemistry For Changing Times
What are your thoughts on the upcoming election? I have no thoughts about the upcoming election. Lately, it seems like a dog and pony show. I am a democrat, so that's how I'll vote.
If you could see any band any line up past or present who would it be? Christ and Ink and Dagger doing a Halloween show at the Stalag would be incredible.
Any last words? Thanks a lot for the interview, Matt. Check the Rats out on myspace.com/aneurysmrats. Our record, Dying To Live, will be out November 11th on Flight Plan Records. Pick it up, download it illegally, whatever, just give it a listen.