Saturday, 26 July 2008

New DESPISE YOU interview...

Here is an interview I recently did with the reformed DESPISE YOU via email. As you'd expect for a band so steeped in mythology and rumour, despite now playing live (which they never did during their original existence) they don't give much away and mostly give fairly short answers. Still, they are/were easily the best 2nd wave power violence band to come out of the mid 90s, and I'm thankful to them for getting back to me as in general they don't do many interviews. I'm excited about hearing their new recordings as you all should be too.

Q 1. First introduce yourself, and say where you are right now...

DY: Inglewood, South Los Angeles. 310. Always and forever.

Q 2. You've not done many interviews, even less in your original come? Did the band attempt to keep a mystery around them originally?

DY: Naw, we never really got hit up to do interviews, and if we did, it was in some small fanzines that no one has ever seen.

Q 3. How come you never vouched to play live in your original inception? Was EXCRUCIATING TERROR the primary band to some of the members?

DY: Yea, everyone that was in the band originally (all the "West Side Horizons" recordings) were in other bands so we didnt have a lot of time to even practice that much, let alone play live.

Q 4. On a similar topic, how come you never printed your real names on the original DESPISE YOU records? Or appeared in many photos? Did you get a kick out the fact that some people thought you were members of a notorious gang?

DY: We didnt want to be "members of....bla bla bla", so we didnt print the names. There was plenty of "non-music" related shit going on with us then, though. haha

Q 5. Who chose the whole aesthetic of DESPISE YOU for the original records (gangland photos, starving children etc, bleak imagery all round)

DY: I guess that's just the vibe we wanted from where we were at around that time. It's kinda the same thing now.

Q 6. What bands were DESPISE YOU members also involved in during your original inception?


Q 7. How have the live shows been over the last year or so? What's been the best, and worst, experience so far?

DY: All the shows have been good. Playing 6th street/L.A. was good. A lot of our "friends" were there to dance and help break up fights.

Q 8. How did it come about that Chris Dodge would play bass?

DY: We needed a bass player and since he used to play in STIKKY, we thought he'd be good. Actually, he lit a fire under us to get back together and see what happens. Thanks Chris.

Q 9. When did you first get into hardcore punk? Can you remember the first record you heard, or band you saw live?

DY: For me it was BLACK FLAG "Jealous Again". The first band I saw was a local Inglewood or Lennox band called POLICIA PUTA or something like that, in a garage.

Q 10. Another question I like to ask, what did your parents or family think about you getting into punk/hardcore & metal?

DY: I was skating all the time, the punk rock was just a part of it. My folks didn't give a fuck either way, as long as I stayed out of jail and kept the trespassing tickets to a minimum.

Q 11. What was the scene in Inglewood like in the 90s, around the time DESPISE YOU started?

DY: No punk stuff, there was a couple death metal bands. NECROSIS was a CARCASS-style grind band in like '92. Just gangs, and people with anger management "problems". Inglewood Skate Rats etc. Perfect.

Q 12. How has the area changed over the years? What keeps you in LA?

DY: Things just got more crowded and expensive. Demographics in L.A. neighborhoods seem to be changing a lot recently. All my family and shit is here. I'll be here for a while.

Q 13. What were your favourite power violence bands in the early to mid 90s? Choose a favourite: CROSSED OUT 7", NO COMMENT: Downsided or NEANDERTHAL: Fighting Music, and explain why...

DY: All those are good. The MAN IS THE BASTARD/CROSSED OUT 7" too. The NO COMMENT "Downsided" is my favorite 7" ever. Beginning to end. Everything about that record is perfect. Birth to death in like 6 or 7 minutes. Beautiful.

Q 14. How close do you see skating in terms of a relationship to hardcore? How do you think it's changed over the years? Do you all still skate?

DY: Skating and punk rock. They go hand in hand, you weren't into one and not the other. If you listened to DIO or PINK FLOYD you rode some stupid BMX bike and brushed your hair all day. Stupid. I still feel the same today about it as i did "way back then". I see a lot of hip hop in skating now. Not sure what hip hop and skating have in common though. I guess you can buy both of them at Walmart or something.

Q 15. Who is currently providing female vocals at live shows, still Cynthia from GASP? What happended to Leticia, aka Lulu, the original singer?

DY: Lourdes "Lulu" Hernandez did all the vocals on the "West Side Horizons" stuff. She was in high school at the time. Not sure where she is now. She used Leticia cuz of her sister or something. Cynthia from GASP is doing the vocals for us now. We've all known her a long time, and she "brings it". Plus she's a 310 veteran. Those are always good.

Q 16. What were some of the key hardcore bands that influenced DESPISE YOU?

DY: DRI, LEEWAY, MINOR THREAT, AGNOSTIC FRONT, all the "standards" I guess.

Q 17. Who is your favourite hardcore frontman ever and why?

DY: Probably Rollins, cuz "Damaged" is my favorite punk/hardcore record.

Q 18. Obviously good metal bands were a big influence on DESPISE YOU too. Who are some of your favourite metal bands?

DY: All the L.A. shit. SLAYER, DARK ANGEL, OMEN, BLOODCUM. Then there's POSSESSED, VENOM, CELTIC FROST... all that stuff.

Q 19. What do you think are the main things that seperates heavy metal from hardcore?

DY: Maybe the metal bands try to be more musical? I don't know. Lyrical content is more "fantasy" related with the heavy metal people.

Q 20. What new records do you have in the works? I hear talks of AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED and CAPITALIST CASUALTIES splits?

DY: We're doing a split LP/CD with AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED called "And On, And On......", 23 or so new songs. It's all recorded except vocals. We hope to do a split with CAPITALIST CASUALTIES also.

Q 21. How did the MAN IS THE BASTARD split LP that was never released come about? Were/are you friends with any of those guys?

DY: MAN IS THE BASTARD asked us if we'd do it and we wanted to. We recorded like 16 songs for it. They recorded their songs, but got side tracked with some stuff, and never put vocals on it. So we put our songs with all our other out of print shit, and that's the "West Side Horizons" CD.

Q 22. What do you think was the best line up for a show you attended in the early/mid 90s?

DY: Probably the Fiesta Grande shows. DIVISIA, EXCRUCIATING TERROR, CAVITY, CROM, I think it was in west L.A. It was a good show too. There were a lot in A.A. that I can't remember the specifics on now. LACK OF INTEREST and RORSCHACH out in the valley was rad.

Q 23. What do you think of new bands taking influence from, and covering DESPISE YOU (HATRED SURGE, IN DISGUST etc). Are you surprised by the interest and influence the band has had?

DY: Yea, we're always stoked to see bands covering our songs. Sometimes they do it better than we do. ha

Q 24. Did you ever get to see INFEST? Write a little about why they're so good...

DY: Yea at the Chapalita. Well they were like the first band doing that stripped down "powerviolence" type stuff!

Q 25. What's your favourite DRI record and why? Did you ever get to see them, in any form? Do you even like their later crossover records (ie THRASH ZONE)?

DY: I like "Dealing With It" the most. I've seen them a few times. Nursing Home Blues...

Q 26. Any last words?

DY: Thanks for the support.


RobxT said...

All you DESPISE YOU fans, the female vocals: yay or nay? Divides opinion

mack said...

i dig the female vocals. Hatred Surge are doing a good job at getting a similar sound going too. This blog is fucking mint.

RobxT said...

thanks mack! I'm actually working on a hatred surge interview too

robxt sucks said...

no one really digs the female vocals. they're just easier to ignore cos of the hard as shit male vocals. infact, saying you like the female vocals on DY songs is like saying you're into salad days era minor threat - sure you can listen to them at the end of the discography, but only because you've just heard some good shit before hand. i know tyers is in 100% agreement with me on this.

Anonymous said...

Dude the female vocals own. I don't get people hating on female stuff in punk Nausea, Antischism, Divisia, Detestation... its all beautiful.
I like the vocals especially on the song My West Side Horizon.

cal said...

I really like the female vocals, I agree with mack in that Hatred Surge do it well too.

Anonymous said...

all of you hating on the female vocals are on some bunk crack..the female vocals are rad. who says you gotta automatically like the male vocals and the female vocals are just a "gimmick" if theyre there? theres a fuck ton of good bands with girl singers,always will wtf?

sur gate thrasher said...

this is why i hate the internet all these little posers talking shit either listen or dont. fucken posers go watch american idol.

Anonymous said...

fuck all of you despise you is the one of the best punk bands in the last 15 years the vocals are bad ass go back to orange county and watch american idol south los angeles thrash forever.