Julian again took time to do me a huge favour and meet with Rob of Strung Out for a quickie before their show at Phoenix with Rufio! WHUT WHUT!
Thanks again to Rob and Melanie Kaye for hooking this up, and especially Julian for being awesome and helping me out!
so it's been almost 20 years now how do you keep it up, did you ever imagine it would last this long?
ROB: you know we never really thought about that in the beginning we just kind of went with the flow and uh everyone has their ups and downs and we kind of just always stayed true to the music and that's the only thing that really mattered with anything, with everyones personal problems or whatever anyone may have, it's always just been the music and we've kept it the priority, try to make the best music we can you know?
right on, do you think you'll ever get tired of living the band life?
R: ummmm I could say for sure at one point you know *laughs*, maybe after another… i mean i'm not ready, there's no way in my near future i'm going to stop so i could see me personally being a touring musician for another ten/fifteen years… that'll put me into my well 50's *laughs*
what's life outside of strung out like for you? like you all sound like you have a lot of other shit going on in your lives besides the band..
R: yeah i have another career that i do i work in the movie industry doing lighting so i'm in a union out there and stuff, and we pretty much do a lot of commercials, television, features… right now i do a lot of commercials here and there…it's something good to fall back on if i need it, if i need extra money it's pretty available to work..
oh yeah i'm in like the ACTRA, Toronto, I do background work..
R: Yeah I've been doing that since right out of high school! I got in the union.. I used to do more long term television shows and stuff like that and then juggle back and forth, go on tour then come back have a few days and go right to work on a tv series or something like that… I worked on Ally McBeal for like 5 years…so ever since that ended i've pretty much started taking the band a little bit more full time.. cause it was kind of holding back the band a little bit too..
yeah well it's a pretty good industry for taking off and going on tour and coming back to a job…
R: there's been some times when i couldn't go on tour and it kind of held the band back on certain things… other times i actually was able to make it happen because i actually worked for a group of people that were able to let me go and come back no problem so.. most of my career in that was pretty flexible, so it's very very unusual and very awesome to have.
*BURPS* excuse me!
haha, so who are you listening to these days?
R: now adays it's funny because i listen to uhhhhhhhhhhh a little more… like i like phoenix a lot… *laughs* like i still listen to bad religion, they're one of my favourite bands um i actually like arcade fire now, which is kind of dark and kind of interesting….
have you heard their new record yet?
R: huh I think, what's it called?
uhh, i can't remember what it's called
R: i only have one record of theirs.. they have quite a few records out, i have one it might have been an '08 release or something… they have a new one out, i'd like to hear that. and as far as like hardcore bands i haven't really been listening to too much hardcore or punk rock that much, newer stuff, it's kind of hard for me to find stuff that i like and that i'm interested in
yeah that's fair, all of the new punk rock i find is kind of like Ramones'y rip-off stuff
R: yeah man, I'm actually listening to a lot of old music!
keeping it real?
R: oh yeah! and i like a lot of classical music
right on, who's your favourite composer?
R: uh, i like paul mccartney
badass! are you excited to get to play your own song on guitar hero? and kick everyones ass at it all the time?
R: oh yeah! i mean i'm not very good at guitar hero, i've tried playing it.. i mean when i first tried playing it i was like 'this is unbelievably hard, it's nothing like playing guitar' and it's just more like memory, colour and memory.. so it's pretty hard for me. i haven't really ventured too much into that game to be honest, so yeah but i'm really excited to play my own song on there, that'll be awesome to hear!
blue yellow blue blue green yellow!
R: yeah exactly!
why'd you guys take a less political and a little more metal approach to your latest record?
R: umm I'd say the metal approach has been coming in the last 3 or 4 records, not just the newest record, i mean i think it's a little less metal than the previous 2 records, i would think… in my eyes… but uh the political thing i think it fell out years ago for us, and it was more so of our old bass player jim who was more political and wrote the more political lyrics, so jason hasn't been too political as far as his writing and his lyrics and stuff, but yeah we kind of like to feel like whatever, as far as… i can't really speak too much as far as vocals, as far as lyrics, except for that he just writes what he's feeling at the time
how has fat wreck treated you as far as all this label shit that's happened the last few years?
R: Ummmmm I guess fat has always been there for us if we really needed them and luckily we haven't needed them too often so it's not like we've ever needed too much help from them and as far as them just putting out our music it's always been the same throughout the whole thing and never gotten any better, they never put more into it they never put less into it, so i kind of wish they'd do more for us but you always think that, you always want that out of your label, like to do more and hope that they're going to do more but yeah it's been pretty consistent the whole time, yeah
i hear you guys didn't think you guys would make another record back before blackhawks came out, did you ever imagine yet another one coming out after that and imagine still touring?
R: i've always imagined that, and whoever's told you that before or wherever you've heard that before has pretty much kept it within themselves and i've never really heard that before.. as far as for me being in the band i've never really seriously talked to anybody else in this band who's ever wanted to not do another record… so as far as i'm looking we're going forward and always going to be putting out records, and i hope everyone else really feels that same way! *laughs* we're a band that when we start writing records we just kind of have songs and are like 'oh yeah let's start jamming let's get this thing going' and let's get this thing going… usually everyone just has to be in the right frame of mind… i've never heard anything that we're not going to do records so i'm ready! *laughs*
sweet! do you think the punk scene has regained itself yet?
R: I don't. i don't know, i really don't. i think it's kind of dropped off a lot as far as our attendance and album sales, it's kind of dropped off a little and i think uh now adays you just have to have a strong touring package to pull a good sized crowd like we used to you know so it's kind of dropped off.
why do you think that is?
R: i don't know… it's just not as popular of music right now? it's just pfft kind of, you know.. and punk rock's changed, it's not really punk anymore *laughs* i mean there's a lot of really fast punk rock bands and i consider a lot of the punker bands like more fast these days like you know the kind of screamo or hardcore punk you know but it seems like it's definitely not so popular these days, the last few years it's dropped for us for sure.
now jordan burns was nominated the best punk drummer in drum magazine, what do you think about that?
R: i think that's awesome! he's very stoked about that, he's really proud of it and i think it's good for him!
and finally what's with so few guitar solo's on the newest album, what's your deal!
R: *laughs* well we've always been a band who likes to do the guitar solo's to cater to a song and we don't want to just be like 'hey we need a guitar solo' .. if it happens it happens and if it doesn't it doesn't, and that's just, we've always been that way, whatever's best for the song and uh you know we're lucky we even got as many as we did on this one! *laughs* some songs just don't need it and some do so yeah we've always just tried to only compliment the song, that's about it!