((((INTERVIEW BY MIKE LONG AND ZACH FELDBERG)))) ((((BUT BECAUSE MIKE WOULDN'T LET ZACH SPEAK)))) ((((IT'S MOSTLY BY HIM WITH JUST A FEW WORDS)))) ((((FROM ANYONE ELSE. ZACH TOOK THE PICTURES))))
MIKE: OKAY, I’M NOT PISSED OR ANYTHING, BUT I’M WONDERING ABOUT THE NEW RECORD, LIKE, IS IT DIFFERENT BECAUSE OF THE PRODUCERS? OR THE WRITERS? Civ: Well, the writers are different. I mean, Sammy and Charlie and I wrote this whole thing, like, without Walter, and Walter did a lot of the first record with us, and we also didn’t want to write the same record twice. This is the same reason why the Gorilla Biscuits broke up, like, just stuck to one album and stuff, because, we’re not really into doing the same thing twice. We have a sound, and we have an ideology with the band, but I didn’t want a formula. And I mean, hardcore’s got a definite formula to it, and we stick to it to some degree, but with this record we wanted to just branch out a little bit more. I wanted a record that we could really play live. Like, we’ll play it live and just go crazy, but when you go home you can realize that there’s some stuff goin’ on with them. They’re produced a little differently... or whatever, y’know? Our first record (“Set Your Goals”) was just kind of a straight-up guitar/bass/vocals record, y’know what I mean? Here we tried to work the dynamics a little bit more, y’know? MIKE: BUT DURING YOUR SET, Y’KNOW IT’S LIKE THERE ARE A COUPLE OF YOUR HARDCORE SONGS IN THERE. ARE THEY ON THERE SO YOU CAN SAY “OKAY, HERE ARE YOUR HARDCORE SONGS”? I mean, we all come from fuckin’ hardcore backgrounds. To not play those songs would just suck, y’know? If we just got up there and played “Every Day” and like, uh, “Little Men” it would be boring for us and for the people watching. Which is why we try and write songs that you can play live, and songs that you just kinda listen to at home. We played like, six or seven new songs, and it’s alright, I mean people just stood there and rocked out. And that’s really alright! If they’re just listening to the music, that’s really alright. I mean, when I go see bands, there are very few bands that motivate me enough to just go totally crazy, like go nuts. Most of the time, I’ll hang out and watch. If they’re good they’re good, and I’ll hang out and buy the record. I’ll go home and listen to a Foo Fighter’s record, and I won’t, like, dance around my house, but I’ll see ‘em live and they rock. I wanted these songs that people could listen to and appreciate for their song structure. Y’know, you come see us live and we’ll go “boom boom” and hit you with the hard shit. ZACH: HEY, DO YOU GET THOSE G-SHOCK WATCHES FREE WHEN YOU’RE ON WARPED TOUR? Actually, I was a jackass and I bought one in Japan. Then I came here and got one for free. MIKE: SO ARE YOU STRAIGHTEDGE? Yup. I’m the only one, though. (In the band). For thirteen years, actually. MIKE: SO WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THOSE VEGAN PEOPLE WHO GO AROUND LOOKING FOR PEOPLE SMELLING DOPE AND JUST BEATING THEM UP? Smelling dope? MIKE: LIKE, FINDING PEOPLE WHO ARE DOING POT AND BEATING THEM UP. Oh my God, I’d have to fight my whole band and half my friends. It’s a personal thing. Straightedge and vegetarianism has nothing to do with hardcore. Nothing to do with punk rock. They’re definitely things that are in there, in scenes and all that, but personal choices like that don’t have anything to do with punk. Punk is centred around socio-political beliefs. What you’re gonna do with your personal life is your personal decision. People always say, y’know, “You have to be a vegetarian if you’re straightedge” or whatever, or “You have to be Hare Krishna...” I mean, they’re two different things. I mean, one of my favorite people to hang out with is Jimmy Gestapo (Murphy’s Law), who is like, the biggest Pro-Pot-Drug-Beer guy out there, y’know? One of the greatest guys in the world, nicest people you’ll ever meet. I don’t care if he gets fuckin’ drunk every night. Everybody on the tour drinks, y’know, I just sit by myself on the bus. MIKE: HOW WAS THE NO DOUBT TOUR? I used to be on a label with them, so I can’t say anything negative. Uh, I met them ten years ago like, when I was with Gorilla Biscuits. They’ve paid their fuckin’ dues. They’ve been playing forever. They really fuckin’ look out because nobody who plays 20,000 seat arenas is gonna bring like, Civ and The Vandals. No Doubt’s really cool. It was fuckin’ cool to play in front of like, 20,000 people every night. The crowds were cool, too. Very responsive. Hey we got offered an AC/DC tour in Europe, but we turned it down. Ozzy tour; turned it down. I couldn’t do it every night, but I wanted to do it. I couldn’t take the bottles being thrown at me every night being called like, a hick. MIKE: DOES IT REALLY MATTER IF A BAND’S ON A MAJOR? I just think that if a band’s good, like, if they write good songs, and they’re saying something good, then I’ll back ‘em, major label or not. I mean, some bands can do fine without. Like Fugazi have been doing great with that. MIKE: FUGAZI COULD SIGN TO ANY LABEL THEY WANT TO. That’s exactly it, but they’ve been turning shit down for years. Same with NOFX. These bands built scenes around not signing to a major label. MIKE: EVEN THOUGH EPITAPH IS A MAJOR IN MANY PEOPLE’S MINDS. Of course! People love to cast stones, just because it blew up. In punk and hardcore, people see it as “their thing”. No one else is supposed to know about it. It’s like a private club. And when a mass audience gets into it, it changes. I saw the Cro-mags on MTV when it first started out, and there was like this report on what shoes to wear when you’re slam-dancing. I almost had a fucking heart attack! People get mad if Epitaph’s getting big... well, if something grows, you either grow with it, or you quit! It’s up to you. Why are we bands? We’re bands because we want to get our stuff out there. You don’t get into a band and say “I only want to sell 500 records.” WARNER MUSIC CANADA REP. APPROACHES Ken Green (Warner Music Rep): Hi. Civ? Yeah. Are you running the show here? Ken: Me? Uh, no. I’m Ken Green from Warner Music Canada. CFNY The Edge, the alternative station in town, big station, 600,000 listeners, they wanna talk to you. Can you do like, five minutes with them? Yeah, as soon as I’m done man, but I’m doing an interview here. MIKE: YOU ARE THE COOLEST GUY I HAVE EVER MET. ZACH: YEAH, THANKS A LOT, THAT WAS REALLY NICE OF YOU. No problem, man. MIKE: HEY, WHEN CFNY IS TALKING TO YOU, CAN YOU ASK THEM WHY THEY NEVER PLAY YOUR MUSIC? MY FRIEND LISTENS TO IT AT HIS WORK FOR LIKE, 8 HOURS A DAY BECAUSE THAT’S ALL THEY CAN LISTEN TO, AND HE’S HEARD RANCID FIVE TIMES, BAD RELIGION A COUPLE TIMES, YET NEVER CIV. THIS STATION IS PROMOTING IT, GIVING AWAY 1000 TICKETS A DAY TO IT, YET NOT PLAYING LIKE, ANY OF THE BANDS. Let me explain the politics of major labels and radio. There’s a whole thing that goes on behind the scenes. You get on a major label, and they push your first record really hard. They just signed you, they’re trying to prove something, they wanna break your band. When they push it, and they make a video for you, and you’ve got a single ready to go to radio, radio says “how many records do they sell in a week?” And the label says “We don’t know, ‘cause we can’t get ‘em on the radio.” And how do they get you on MTV? By getting you on the radio. And radio says “Until you get ‘em on MTV, and see how much they’re soundscanning, how much they’re selling, we’re not gonna play ‘em.” Then MTV goes “How much radio play are they getting?” So there’s like a triangle. Everybody’s gotta come together at once and be on it. And that’s why we’re on a major label. When you’re in a band, you can’t make a crack live on the air like “Why don’t you play my song?” They’ll be like, “Oh, what a bitter jackass!”. KEN GREEN APPROACHES. MIKE: HE’S GONNA KICK OUR ASS NOW, ISN’T HE? ZACH: WE’D BETTER GO... Thanks a lot! You guys are awesome. ¤