SZ: How long have you guys been together?
JC: About seven and a half years, something like that. I'm not really sure.
SZ: Are all the current members, the original members?
JC: The drummer that plays for the Ataris is the drummer that played on our first three records- Duh, Trashed, and Hoss.
SZ: Did he leave or...
JC: Yeah, we got a new drummer-this guy Dave.
SZ: How long is this tour going?
JC: It was about six weeks, we only have about six more shows.
SZ: Has it just been in the U.S.?
JC: Yeah, just a U.S. thing. We also did part of the Warped Tour, like half of that.
SZ: Are you getting sick of the touring?
JC: No, no, not at all. Touring's great. I like touring. All the time. Any of you guys have a light by any chance?
B: I'll get one, dude.
(Brian gets up and leaves)
JC: Is he like going on a mission? Poor guy. I'm sorry.
SZ: What are your main influences, like musically or whatever?
JC: Bad break-ups with girlfriends, no I don't know. Musically, all kinds of stuff. I mean so much, I don't even know where to start. I listen to anything that comes into my way of hearing, you know? I'm big on melody. If I like the melody of something and the song moves me, then I like it.
SZ: What do you consider your music to be?
JC: I'm not really good with classifying our band because I like to think that we're a littlemore diverse...
(Brian returns with alight for Joey)
JC: Thanks a lot. I like to think that we're a little more diversified than just like, punk rock, you know? I also think it's a little irresponsible to call a band doing stuff like we're doing a punk band, because, there are a lot of different types of punk of course, but roots wise, most of the punk that I listened to is quite different than Lagwagon.
SZ: What do you think of the scene getting bigger?
JC: I don't think it's getting bigger. I sort of think it topped off last year. I think maybe we, Lagwagon, are getting a bit more popular. I think that our scene, if there is one, the bands that we're associated with, like the SoCal, Epitaph/Fat bands, it seems to me that a lot of that already peaked out it's kinda going down. I mean it's natural, bands get older, kids that are buying records get older and buy less records because they have to pay rent and stuff like that, so then the younger kids just get into whatever's new or different.
SZ: Do you guys all write the songs together?
JC: Well, I mean, I write the music and lyrics usually, but it works out a lot better to have everyone
collaborate and give their input. Like, we put together a whole bunch of songs for an album, but if even one guy doesn't like a song, we drop it. And it's working out well for us. I think that our new album is a little more versatile because of that.
SZ: So you do play instruments, just not in Lagwagon?
JC: Yeah, I play guitar, a little bit of drums, but not in Lagwagon, no.
SZ: You play guitar in Me First and the Gimme Gimmes right?
JC: Yeah. Well, kind of. I mean, the songs are a joke. They're all like three chords. It's really easy.
SZ: Are you really a podiatrist?
JC: A podiatrist? No.
SZ: Damn! The guy that answers the e-mail at Fat Wreck Chords said you were.
JC: Well, it'd be cool, I'd probably make a lot of money. Yeah, Brian's the e-mail guy. He's got a good sense of humor. I should've said yes. Sorry Brian, I blew your joke.
SZ: If you guys were a T.V. show, would you be a sitcom, a drama, an after school special?
JC: Probably a half an hour sitcom. Or a soap opera, but it would be a mockery of a soap opera.
SZ: Did you guys all go to college or anything?
JC: Our bass player Jesse went to college for a little while. He joined the band when he was sixteen, and he was already in college. Then he dropped out. He's one of those prodigy, little boy geniuses. I went to college for six years. I'm an old man. I went to a couple junior colleges in California, like in Santa Barbara. And a bunch of state colleges, like in San Louis Obispo, and then I went to an engineering school, and a music theory type school.
SZ: How old are you now?
JC: Thirty. I'm the old guy in the band.
SZ: Are you married?
JC: Recently divorced. I'm close enough to being married.
JC: I was, but now I'm not. I'm single. Hi.
SZ: Do your parents like your music?
JC: Yeah, actually my parents are really cool about it. I mean, they weren't always really supportive of it when I was younger, because it was like the demise of my education and schooling. They've always been supportive of it on an artistic level. But when I could start supporting myself because of my band, which was a while back actually, they were all for it. I moved out when I was 17. They buy all the records, read the lyrics and they're always really complementary about it.
SZ: Do you like your deal with Fat Wreck Chords? Do you plan on staying with them?
JC: Oh yeah. Definitely. If we were gonna leave we would've left awhile ago. As long as we stay together and Fat does to, I imagine we'll be on Fat.
SZ: I have a question about the lyrics. In the song "Making Friends," when you say "it's so small" are you talking about your penis?
JC: Good question. No. I'm not one to talk about those kind of things. It's just talking about situations. Being small in comparison to other things. I mean, people make such a huge ordeal about the dynamics of their friends and what it means to tem and their future and their entire world. I think I'm just trying to say, "Hey, it's so small. It means nothing. Get over it."
SZ: Do you subscribe to any magazines?
JC: Yeah. I'm trying to think of which ones. I have a subscription to a magazine called Biography from A&E. I like the show a lot, but I miss it a lot. I like the magazine.
SZ: Off topic question: Do you masturbate?
JC: Of course.
SZ: Even now?
JC: Even now? Yeah! Not as frequently as I used to. How old are you?
SZ: I'm sixteen.
JC: When I was sixteen I was out of hand.
J : So to speak!
JC: I was crazy.
SZ: Is there any one person who you respect the most?
JC: Well, of my close friends, there are a few. You know sort of nameless. No one you would know. I guess, Fat Mike. He's a super guy. He's a great diplomat. An obscure poet would be someone such as Eliot Smith. My dad. My brother. This sounds so corny.
SZ: See, now this is interesting. This guy (points to Jack) wrote a song about his dad and called it
JC: Awesome. My dad and I have a weird relationship. He left my family when I was like six. Lately I started to get to know him when I was 15 or 16. We're really just friends. We have that loving father-son bond, but we're great friends. We have great discussions. I love the guy. He's so great. He's such a good guy to talk to about things in your life, because being from a different generation he has an interesting perspective on things.
SZ: Is it by coincidence that NUFAN has an album called "Making Friends" and you have a song called "Making Friends?"
JC: Well, I don't know if you have any joke things you say while in circles of friends, but on of ours is "making friends" and it's sort of a fecicious remark, like if your having a problem with something, you say "Making Friends." (in a cool, almost sufurish, laid-back voice) So it's been an on going joke in our band. And NUFAN picked up on it. They called us and said they were thinking about calling our new album "Making Friends," is that cool with you. And I was like, of course I don't care, but we do have a song called "Making Friends" coming out on our new album. So they almost didn't call the album that, but they couldn't think of another name, so...
B: What do you guys consider your best album?
JC: I don't know. It's hard to be objective, when you've heard so much of your records. My personal favorite is the new one. I mean, I'm bored with the old songs. I'm still fairly happy with the new album. I think a lot of people aren't always quite satisfied with the albums that they put out, but I really like our new record.
SZ: Are you gonna play new or old songs tonight?
JC: I think we're gonna play a pretty good mix. I think like 4 new ones, and most of the songs off Hoss and Trashed and a couple off the first record.
SZ: Are you gonna play "Angry Days?"
J: Are you playing "Secret?"
JC: Which one?
J: (in embarrassment) Shit, wrong band! I'm such an asshole.
JC: That happens all the time. People are always yelling out songs by other bands and it's like I used to think that they were giving us shit, but I realized after a while that, they just don't know, and that's okay.
J: Oh, I'm such an asshole!
JC: It's okay, man, really. (Puts his hand on Jack's shoulder) Forget about it.