Sunday, October 12, 2008

Interview w/ Rival Mob

First off, the stock interview question, What got you into hardcore. What was your first memory of hardcore changing your life?

-My brother. I don't think it has. Stock answer for a stock question, sorry man.

How have your feelings on hardcore changed as you've gotten older and wiser?

-I mean, yeah, they have changed as a result of aging. I used to get really worked up about trivial shit, as we all do when we're young, and looking back it seems laughable. Some of those feeling are still there, but for the most part it's just a matter of putting things in perspective, and not to sound like a hack, but when you care less you tend to enjoy it a bit more. Then again, letting things irritate you more than they should tends to be what puts the hard back in this core, so who knows. Also: getting laid.

Hardcore goes in and out of several phases. What was the worst and the best in your opinion?

-Shit...I would say without a doubt that the best show-attending experiences of my life - and by that I mean being adamantly into just about every band on a bill, moshing for everything, being there weekly and all that shit - were gigs at the Elks Lodge in Cambridge circa 2003. Regular bills from this period: the A-team, Think I Care, So Be It, Mental, Say Goodbye, XfilesX and so forth. That was my Woodstock I guess. I won't comment specifically on the worst, but I think there's been a fair amount to not give a fuck about since.

What influences your writing, both musically and lyrically? How do outside influences (books, media, location) affect the writing process?

-Since I don't write the lyrics, I'll give you a largely one-sided answer. NYHC of yore influences my songwriting a bit. I don't care much for outside influences, but rats off to anyone who can pull it off halfway earnestly.

What is being in a hardcore band from boston like? Do you think it is easier to be from a place where hardcore is more accessible than say a place with a not so well known or respected hardcore scene? Are there any downsides to boston hardcore as a whole?

-Boston used to be a city with a scene that had three clearly identifiable parts: an in-crowd, those on the margins of that crowd that wished they were more to the center, and those who didn't give a fuck. That's the Boston I grew up with, and I had as many beefs with it as I was into it. Ever since Lockin' Out - sort of the last bastion of that scene - fell from favor, bands from outside the city like Have Heart and Guns Up took the reigns and made BHC a lot less insular and more of a state-wide type thing, relatively speaking. Even though most of those dudes now reside in the city, I never really associate(d) them with Boston. They were doing their own thing and that became big, and they got what they earned, but most of that shit went on outside of the city and it never had the feel that other eras of BHC did. What we've got now in the city proper is a little thing called the "new scene" (nu scene is also acceptable). Gig and followers are few and far between, but I'm into it. I'm also not into knocking the bigger bands and gigs. I'd like to think the Mob kinda straddles the two.

Ultimately Boston is a college town, and hardcore being a fleeting expression of youth, you're getting a lot of assholes from exotic locales like New Jersey and California moving here, getting into Allston, then getting over the core and shitting on it. Looking beyond that shit, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.

Why do you think there is a such a division with kids who like different styles of hardcore and punk?

-Because rivalry is king. Fuck anyone who thinks HC is anything different than what you make of it.

If you weren't involved in punk or hardcore, what direction do you think your life would have taken. A turn for the better/worse/indifferent?

-I don't think it would have. A life where I'm not attracted to extreme music is one I don't understand.

I understand it's a straight to the point question without a simple answer, but what are you feelings about the current state of America?

-You just gotta smile.

Anything you'd like to add? Shout-outs?

-Shouts outs to Rampage, New Lows, Have Heart, Step Forward, Scapegoat, Waste Management, Sam & Gil, the 29 and the (ever dwindling) Boston straight edge.

Thank you so much for your time, guys.

-And you.

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