Interview mit Good Riddance (Juni 2003)

Mit “Bound by ties of blood and Affection” haben GOOD RIDDANCE diese Tage einen weiteren Meilenstein ihrer Karriere veröffentlicht und Sänger Russ stand uns freundlicherweise für ein paar Fragen zur Verfügung.

„Bound by ties of blood and affection“ is your sixth longplayer on „Fat Wreck“. How would you describe your stilistic changes troughout these years ?

I think that, while on our earlier records we may have clashed too drastically in styles, we’ve been able, on our latest two releases („Symptoms of a Leveling Spirit“ and „Bound…“), to keep the album’s sound consisitent throughout the CD.

Listening to your new record, I have had the impression that the songs seem to be carefully developed concerning the music ?

Hopefully that’s always the case with us. Nothing really happens by accident on a G.R. record. Every song is meticulously torn apart and reconstructed under the vigilance of our producers Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore. With each album I think we’ve grown and learned about song structure and the finer, aesthetic points of writing.

Also, it seems that the lyrics refer to personal experiences. Do you think so, too ?

With a few exceptions, yes. The way I view my life and the world around me is the principle springboard for my lyrical notions. On this album there was the ending of a serious relationship and the uncertain future of the world and it’s social/political instabilitis which served to indelibly color the lyrics I came up with.

Did you during your time on „Fat Wreck“ experienced any relevant changes in society and music buisness ?

The advent of online music trading has seriously crippled the independent music business and is especially hurtful to smaller bands like us so we’ve got that going on but being a part of the FAT records family has been an amazing experience and we consider ourselves extremely fortunate to be a part of it all.

Good riddance is permenantly on tour. What are you doing to relax after touring ?

G.R.’s touring days are definately slowing down with the member’s various lives (school,families,etc.) but I know that when I get home from touring I love to skateboard, go to the beach (if it’s good weather) and/or watch a ton of hockey games(if it’s not good weather).

Who is responsible for deciding for the movie segments that appeal in the beginning of many of your songs, e.g. „Breakfast Club“ on the track „Bobby Baun“ ?

That would be me…the guys give me alot of leeway in that department for which I’m eternally grateful. I watch alot of movies and am always on the lookout for a cool quote or two.

Whose idea was the spoken word hidden track ?

That was my idea. I love using aspects of Americana (the whole „infomercial“ concept and the over-the-top patriotic music) completely out of context. I wanted that track to start the album but I was outvoted!

Is satire for you an effective weapon to criticize the „socially higher placed“ ?

Definately. I think I picked it up from the Dead Kennedys who were, for me, a hugely influential band and I was always attracted to Jello Biafra’s sarcastic wit.

In which way do you think the ideals of Punk-Rock have changed throughout the years, especially since the commercial clearance sell of bands like Green Day, Blink 182 or The Offspring has been destroying basic ideas of independent music ?

You pretty much nailed it. I just try to stay far away and hopefully none of it will stick to me.

How come that you as a „straight-edge“ person have been inspired by the genius boozehound Charles Bukowski for the song „More DePalma, Less Fellini“ ?

I am and have been inspired by many non-straight edge bands and/or people throughout the years so it’s not that unusual for me. If I only associated and listened to or read with straight edge people I feel I ‚d be making my world very, very small. Plus, I’m an ex-boozehound too.

Are you planning to come back to europe again?

We are hoping to come in August and play some festivals.

And last but not least – the almost obligatory question with regard to your opinion of your war-poking president George W. Bush ?

I didn’t vote for him so I just keep telling myself that he’s not my president. I think he’s a walking, talking idiot with a big hard-on for war. I hope that people in other countries will forgive us for letting him somehow be elected and understand that there are alot of Americans who feel the same way.

Photos by BJ Papas

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