this is total Annihilation with my pal jimi check it out!
1 introduce yourself and your bands style
First of all I’d like to say thank you for the interview. A lot of people assume bullshit or spread misleading gossip about us without ever talking to me or asking for clarification on any of the rumors about us so it’s nice to get a chance to clarify some stuff.
Jimi on vocals (I’m doing the interview), James is the drummer, Chris on bass and Alex is our newest member who joined last summer on guitar.
We’re basically on Oi! band with various other influences. I hear us compared to 80’s Oi! a lot which is fine although I never set out for that sound in particular. Just aim to be an aggressive sounding band with lyrics to match.
We actually have been around over a decade in many different forms (different bands really just the same name because I wasn’t creative enough to come up with a new one every time we went through a stylistic and/or member change haha). I started the band with James and some friends when we were still in high school. It was really fucking bad to begin with for years. We went from basically shitty left wing gutter punk through a buncha other styles and a lot of member changes. We became a somewhat less shitty sounding streetpunk band around 2001. The only stuff really worth mentioning though is when we became an Oi! band around 2005. Since then I’ve been fairly proud of the stuff we’ve put out.
2 what seperates your music from the stereotypical oi?
Well, again, we get compared to 80’s Oi! a lot. Other than that we definitely aren’t a feel good band. I don’t write lyrics that are all ‘happy happy fun Oi!’ like a lot of garbage. Along these same lines we don’t have a lot of sing along type stuff. Most of our vocal content is just me on lead with little backing vocals although I’d like to branch out from this a little bit also at live shows Chris does a lot of good backing vocals that aren’t always on the studio versions of the songs. My view is that punk and Oi! came about as an aggressive and often violent reaction to being marginalized by mainstream society so it shouldn’t come from a ‘positive’ (at least not a naïve and ridiculously overly optimistic) outlook but rather a pissed off response. I mean, life in general is no walk in the park so I don’t understand what some of these jackasses are so disgustingly happy about in their music and lyrical content.
I also take aim at PC bullshit in a lot of my lyrical content. PC ain’t punk and it sure as hell ain’t Oi! It’s really just a way for idiots who argue from weak emotions can shut down logical discourse if and when the truth gets a little too much for them to handle and it always does.
Also at the risk of sounding arrogant I try to write about more engaging topics and try to use more clever tongue in cheek type lyrics and wordplay than the straight forward and blunt approach from a lot of run of the mill shit on our side of the fence. The “Oi! we’re nationalist and American and don’t have much more intelligent to say that that, but, uh, yeah we’re proud and shit” type of garbage that coincidentally typically comes with equally shallow and shitty musical quality. I appreciate support for my political outlook but some of you guys really aren’t doing the movement any favors by looking, talking, and acting like stereotypes. It doesn’t take a trust fund and an Ivy-League scholarship to educate oneself, just bus fare and a library card (which is usually free). Or better yet just take some time away from being an internet kiss-ass and cheerleader to those you deem ‘important’ in the scene and look up some fucking history, literature, culture and politics right here online.
3 what's your favorite bands and how they effected your music
Too many to name really. The band that really got me into Oi! and skinhead culture in general was a local Denver band called Hardsole. They were around when I first started TA and were cool to me when a lot of folks in the Denver scene were dickheads to me because I was one of the few streetpunks around. I ended up becoming good friends with them so it was really just a matter of time before I became a skin from that point on. They were patriotic but not out and out political like a lot of the shit I do these days. I’m still friends with the core of that band. They don’t agree with my politics these days but we all put friendship before politics (just wanted to mention that so as not to insinuate that they were a nationalist band, just plain skinhead). We cover their most popular song “Bring it Back” as a tribute to them on our 2008 release. The lyrics are at times contrary to my own views of skinhead life but, again, I like to put friendship before politics whenever possible and it is a good and catchy tune.
Skrewdriver has always been a huge influence on me personally. Condemned 84 is another big influence (I am very honored to not only share a release (the PE/TA split 12”) with but also be able to call Cliff Warby a friend, the original drummer and songwriter for some of Condemned 84’s best tracks). I always liked that they had a down to earth cynical and realist outlook. It has been an influence on my lyrical style. Again, as I mentioned previously, that I write a lot of negative but realistic lyrics. I’m writing about getting in streetfights, getting fucked with by law enforcement and the state, being slandered by PC pussies, constantly being sold out by socialist and/or capitalist politicians (they all play the same game) etc…..
Not that it’s gonna help my already fucked up reputation haha but I suppose but my current favorite band would have to be Bound For Glory. I’m personal friends with Big Ed (guitar and main song writer) and several of the members. I’m hard pressed to think of another band that has done even close to as much for American RAC as BFG has. They also are one of the most slandered bands and their reputation in the scene is largely a lot of bull shit. Oh, I suppose I should mention that I’m of Japanese racial decent for those who didn’t already know and no, that has not been a problem or issue with our mutual friendship (*PC minds blown*). What has always struck me about BFG is both their musical talent which is well above most Oi! or RAC bands as well as their well thought out lyrical content. I like that they have more intelligent things to say than just a bunch of slurs and shock value content (although I do admittedly get a laugh out of that kinda stuff at times in a lot of bands). At the risk of contradicting some of my earlier comments I like that their message tends to be largely positive rather than just hate and negativity.
I also have been heavily influenced by Japanese skinhead bands starting with the 3rd wave of Japanese skinhead culture around the early nineties when the scene became a lot more nationalist and rather than trying to adopt foreign cultures and singing in English they embraced Japanese culture and traditions, mixed that with skinhead culture and sang largely in Japanese. Sledgehammer is my favorite band that started in that era and I’m glad they are still around and making music. I like a lot of the current Japanese bands as well. I particularly like and support the bands affiliated with the YellowSide 28 record label and crew. Aggro Knuckle is probably the most well known of these bands, although they did start back in the nineties. Beyond Hate is another good band from YS28 that has more of a hardcore sound.
A more recent, or rather very recent influence is Para Elite. Not just because we had the honor of sharing a split 7” with them but they have a great and very unique sound that has been really catchy for me personally. I find their songs stuck in my head on a routine basis. They are often described as an American version of Skullhead (another band that has been very influential on me personally). Honestly, I really can’t speak highly enough of these guys. Sean Cooper (Coop to me) the vocalist is a great friend and we had played with his previous band White Flag Down before. A really good band but I gotta say he took it to another level with Para Elite. Drummer on the record and now honorary lifetime member, Cliff Warby as I mentioned previously was an original member and songwriter for Condemned 84 is a great guy and great friend too. Also my Y.E.A.R. brother Jason is now on guitar for them so I’m very happy about that. I’ve really enjoyed working with all the members of Para Elite as well as playing live with them. I really can’t pick a personal favorite song from these guys. It really depends what mood I’m in because it is all fucking top notch.
Some other bands that have been big influences on me growing up are Cocksparrer, Angelic Upstarts (I hate Mensi’s commie politics but musically they were an influence on me as a teenager), The Templars, Blood for Blood (had an epic revenge beatdown at one of their shows haha) Arresting Officersas well as punk bands like One Way System, The Partisans (first LP I owned as a teenager) Chaos UKand Resistance 77.
How about what's year ?
Y.E.A.R. is Yellow East Asian Resistance. It's sorta a crew i'm affiliated with that my bro Yang started up for nationalist skins of East Asian racial decent. He would probably want me to clarify that what we mean by East Asian is much more exclusive than what the average American views as Asian (i.e. not Philipinos, Indians, Indonesian, Malaysian etc... these are not considered East Asian)
Yellowside (abreviated as YS28) is a nationalist skinhead record label and skinhead crew in Japan. I have several close friends who are very active members of YS28 both in bands and doing the promotion and label work. They have done a whole lot to build the Japanese skinhead scene and to spread its popularity internationally.
4 how bigs the scene around Colorado?
.Well depends what you mean. As far as the skinhead scene it always fluctuates. It’s decent sized right now but not united by style, politics or anything else really. The punk scene is fairly big these days. We have a pretty decent sized streetpunk scene of course the downside is you get the whole quantity over quality problem as far as a lot of followers and morons just going through the motions. I run into a lot of so called skinheads when bigger bands come through town but there aren’t really a whole lot that really live the lifestyle and contribute to the scene.
I’m not too big into reggae (I have a few records but my vinyl collection is mostly Oi!, RAC and Metal) but some of my friend who are more reggae-type skins have put together a decent thing with the Denver Vintage Reggae Society over the years. I support them and respect what they’ve done with what started as just a monthly reggae night and now is practically a weekly thing but it also tends to attract lefties and PC morons who like to whitewash skinhead history to make it PC and acceptable to the mainstream. Some of whom go around calling me a ‘nazi’ or ‘racist’ (one of the most loaded and etymologically twisted terms in the PC spin artists’ arsenal) behind my back but don’t dare say shit when I’m around them in public so I don’t really take part in that on a regular basis. Also I don’t fucking dance.
On the flip side there are a handful of folks who claim to be white nationalist ‘skins’ but don’t do anything but tarnish the image of all of these concepts by doing/selling drugs and acting like ignorant asses. If someone wants to be a skin it should be because they understand the history and love the subculture itself not because they think it’s just what people of their political persuasion are supposed to do.
I am happy to see some younger Oi! skins around these days and a handful of the streetpunks are really close to skinhead as far as ethic, attitude, morals and lifestyle so I hope to see some of them make it official in the future and become real skinheads.
5 feelings on skrewdriver
One of the my favorite bands. Nothing but respect for Ian Stuart (R.I.P.)
6 what's your favorite song to play live? How about in general?
Stomp the Crust is a crowd favorite and has sorta been our ‘flagship song’ for quite some time now however after our most recent release, the ‘Battle On’ split 12” with Para Elite on Skinflint Music, I think In Bed with the Reds is quickly becoming the crowd favorite. It is also my favorite song on our side of that release. It’s a song about PC hypocrisy, in particular those who claim allegiance to Anti Fascist Action, a group that is just a front for pushing cultural communist politics under a safer but inaccurate label of ‘anti-racism’ and ‘anti-fascism’ so as to appeal to a broader audience than if they just used an accurate label like Communist Action, which is what they really are. The song ultimately isn’t even that political it just calls them out on their own hypocrisy. The fact that they claim to be ‘anti-racist’ but what they mean by that is that racism by whites is the worst thing in the world while racism that targets whites doesn’t bother them in the least.
We also cover the ’86 version of Skrewdriver’s song Streetfight which is always a blast to play. One of my very favorite, if not hands down favorite, of Skrewdriver’s songs and it always has a lot of the crowd getting rowdy and singing along. Also it pisses off PC homos so that makes it even more fun haha.
7 is there any bands that you want to do a concert with?
Again, too many to name. We have already had the honor of sharing the stage with some big name bands but more importantly some of the lesser known bands that are quality people. One of the best shows we’ve ever played was last June in Huntington Beach, CA with our brothers Para Elite as well as great bands like Evil Inside (Roy from Final War and Wit’s Dead End’s band), our good friends from Chicago The Wellington Arms as well as The Skrewz and Barking Irons, who also have a release on Skinflint Music(now Never Surrender Records).
We also did a gig with Troll Front a few months ago in Missouri. That was a really good time as well. The Wellington Arms and Major Disappointment also played that one.
Brassic from California is another band that I’d really like to play with someday. I really love their musical and lyrical style and enjoy their live show a lot.
As far as Europe goes, I’d love to play with the Scottish band Baker’s Dozen. I’ve been a fan for years and I’ve been lucky enough to see them live. Also bands like No Quarter and Queensbury Rules. I was really impressed with both of these bands when I first heard their music. They really embody what I think Oi! and skinhead music should be about. Aggressive, hard hitting and don’t give a fuck about the PC and soft crowds.
I’d really like to play in Japan as well as Europe. If I’m able to accomplish that with TA or any other band I do then I can die happy. I would love to play with any of the Yellowside28 bands in Japan or in America, especially Aggro Knuckle and the Hawks.
In Colorado my favorite bands to play with are The Kaotix, a somewhat new streetpunk band that in my opinion is the future of CO streetpunk (seriously, anyone into streeetpunk should look forward to these guys blowing up soon. Their shit is fucking good, hard hitting streetpunk the way it was meant to be), as well as 99 Bottles, an Oi! band from Colorado Springs that just plays good traditional Oi! without the somewhat ‘dodgy’ politics that are associated with TA. Also my guitarist Alex’ relatively new band Justice Blocc, a good aggressive sounding Oi! band that has been doing a lot to put CO Oi! on the map as of late.
Anyway, like I said there are too many to name and since the band is going strong again and I have no intentions of slowing down anytime soon hopefully playing with a decent amount of the bands I’d like to will be a very real possibility in the future.
Other than that a lot of gigs I’d like to do aren’t really possible due to scene political crap whether it be blacklisting from the PC side or, conversely, flak from some of, what in my humble opinion, are the more backwards elements of the RAC and nationalist scene.
8 what's all your albums and eps and how can we get them?
Our first actual release that wasn’t some kind of shitty demo was our CD ‘The Great Patriotic War’ on 4Subculture Records from the Czech Republic in 2008. I really appreciated the label getting ahold of us and releasing that one. I’ve been all out of copies of that one for years now. I’m not sure if the label has any copies left but I have seen some available from various labels and distros online as well as on sites like Ebay and such. http://www.4subculture.com/
After that we were on hiatus for awhile when I went back to school for a few years so the next release was our ‘Colorado Oi!’ split 7” with 99 Bottles on Rebel Sound. My friend Sebastian really did all the set up work on that one. Our tracks were actually recorded back in 2008 and were intended for a split that ended up falling through so I’m glad they were eventually released. To be honest, I found out after the fact that I really am basically at odds with this particular label’s political and scene outlook but I’m not gonna talk shit about them as they put out a release for us and I don’t’ have any personal beefs plus they did a great job on the release and even had patches made for it. I only mention it because I’ve been asked about it a lot by people. Anyway, this one is also available on various labels and distros online and last I heard it is not sold out from the label Rebel Sound or their affiliated store Skeletone Records. http://skele-tone.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=65_70_117&products_id=1146
Last but certainly not least is our split 12” with Para Elite on Skinflint Music. This one is still available as of now, although likely to sell out very soon, from the label as well as a few other labels and distros that our label cooperates with. Get it quick as the first pressing comes with a patch and CD of the release. There are also package deals available with shirts of the bands and the release. I really couldn’t be more proud of this one or the work that Dave Ellis at the label did as well as my Y.E.A.R. brother Jason who did a fucking amazing job on the album artwork and layout. As I mentioned earlier he is also now the guitarist of Para Elite so kinda cool that there are now two active bands that feature members of Y.E.A.R. Hopefully even more in the future. Folks can get this one at www.neversurrenderrecords.com