Interviewed by: Jillian Abbene Richmond VA/Wash DC

This interview ended up being an extended interview…I had the pleasure to chat with Bones in Richmond last July and also this past winter about the upcoming album, touring, and their new DVD, “This is Real.”  I will say that Lower Class Brats have such a solid following, it is impossible to not know anyone here, or overseas that doesn’t know at least one 0f their songs.  This is a good sign that ’77 punk in snotty fashion hasn’t gone out of style.  With the attitude that the LCB’s carry, it is who I want others to know about. Here is the interview:

1. Obviously, this is not the original LCB line-up.  Johnny-O Negative is the new bassist…How did that come about?

Johnny-O had filled in on bass at some of our shows.  Johnny had been living in Las Vegas, then in Raleigh, NC playing with the band, No Revolution.

2. This was after Johnny-O’s former band defunct—Cheap Sex right?

Yeah, but we snagged him.  It made complete sense.  Then Joey imploded – he’s been in the band over a year now – it was exciting for him, which is cool.  Actually, it was Marty that found him by word of mouth.  He was living in Austin.  We had tried 3 other drummers, but Joey not only has 3 LCB tatts on his arm, he knew everything we wrote.  It’s been a good fit.

3.   What bands of yesterday and today influence LCB’s sound?

The Jones, Gen-x [they have their place], The Sweet, Slade, Mott the Hoople – old glam rock and early punk, and Balls and the Great White Idiot from Germany.  Also Discharge and The Dead Kennedys – man, I’ve been a big fan since I was like 13 years old in 1983…My mom let me go.  That’s where I learned about words.  It was more of an education, really, that kind of formed my life.  More than what I got in class!

LCB - live and intense

4. What subject matters interest you in your writing?

Well, we don’t write about politics.  We write about everyday life.  We’ve grown as a band, so we’re not sophomoric anymore.  We’re adults, so it’s more complex.  Our perspective has grown on subject matter, and I think we’ve grown into our own genuine sound.  When I was younger, I would write about what I would THINK I know.  Now I just write what I really know.There is this song that we do -That in the beginning I shout, ‘Fuck you! Fuck politics!’
[i.e. ‘Psycho’]  We’re not into government anarchy and need to shout it.  I think that’s a personal thing.  Everyone is different.

5. In your songs, what subjects do you try to capture, or is it more free-flow?

Sometimes things just hit me.  Sometimes it’s free-flowing and we figure it out afterwards.  Songs like, 'Don’t Care About Me,' and “New Seditionaries,” were completely written about something else, and realized I had written it about something altogether different—after the fact.  Punks can relate to it in their own way. You know, it doesn’t have to be specific when writing lyrics.  Not like the song, 'Who Writes The Rules,' – when writing our own music, we know that there is going to be a different interpretation of it from the listener. It’s art and it’s subjective to the way I feel.  I don’t think the lyrics to, 'I’m A Mess,' could have been to any other music.

6. Now that you are settling down with your fiancé, do you tire of touring?  I presume that could be a Catch-22.

Sometimes.  I get torn — touring is draining.  Last year we toured our asses off.  It’s so hard until we have a break to write a record.  When I’m home, I want to tour, and when I’m touring, I want to be home with my fiancé.  It’s a restless undercurrent.  Tired on the road…whatever! Once I hit the stage, it’s ON!  Everything has gone out of my mind.  45 minutes seems like 10 minutes.

7. Does everyone have day jobs? I always wonder that…

Most of us do. I work as a manager of a sub shop.  Nope, no corporate jobs.  If you do get a job, you have to be able to tour—that’s a rule.  I get the best of both worlds, you know?  I consider myself lucky, as I have worked for this sub shop for 7 years.  I mean, come on, [laughing] we’re not going to find someone at a truck stop and give blowjobs. We are both laughing now.  Apparently this is an inside band joke.

8. What is your most memorable gig to date?

There are 2 shows.  The first show was at the, ‘Holidays In The Sun,’ 2001/2002 with The Unseen.  But there was also this bizarre show in Seattle a couple of years back.  There were these kids who were like, ‘The Kings of the Pit,” per se. You know--with faux Mohawks…but these guys were also wearing Daisy Dukes, with pockets pulled inside out.  They were crunching everyone in the crowd.  Yeah, it was hilarious!

9. Do you remember your first gig then?

Our first gig was at the Austin State School opening for The Varukers.  We were playing for mentally retarded kids.  They served juice, and the kids loved it. They were jumping up and down.  It was very cool.  More recently, the most memorable gig would have to be with Poison Idea at The Vault 350 in Long Beach.  That was awesome.  We headlined over Poison Idea – which was crazy that it wasn’t the other way around.  It was great hanging out with Jerry A. I want to know what the fans think.  I want people to know that we are approachable.  Although we play music for ourselves, but also play for our fans.  It gives us a barometer.  I really enjoy talking to the kids. I was a fan…hell, I’m still a fan.  I was beside myself meeting Jerry A.  I suppose I still see myself as one of the kids.

10. What valuable advice would you pass on to the newer generation of punks today?

The punk scene in the 80’s was totally different than today.  It was a lot tougher back then.  If you were not a punk rocker, you were a fuckin’ poser.  Back then, there was no Hot Topic…there was no computer…you had to really prove you were a punk rocker.  It definitely was a “Us vs. Them,” mentality, and that meant there were fewer punks. I still think it should be the same today—that you have to prove yourself.  Don’t ride on someone else’s coat tails and be yourself, be open minded and fuck everybody else telling you different.

11. If there was a band that you would like to play with, who would that be?

The Sweet, maybe.  Sex Pistols, yeah.  Cocksparrer would be cool, DOA, TSOL – which is one my favorites. 

12. So what you are your plans for the rest of this year? [2009] What’s up with the new cd?

We are in the middle of rehearsing and recording a new CD.  Johnny writes some of the songs too.  No one “does it all,” but this new CD will still be angsty.  The CD should come out this summer.

I presume then you are touring…

Yeah, we will once the new record is out.  A big show is that we are playing with COCKSPARRER, March 23rd in Austin, TX at The White Rabbit.  Don’t worry, we will hit Richmond, VA again. 

And of course you have your DVD out, 'This is Real,' which I have viewed and it’s def the real thing.

I think the label did a great job in showing the day in the life of a LCB member.  Our friend Paco was the one with the video camera. I’m happy with it. You can get it through, also on, and at one of our shows. 

13. Last Standing comments?

Things are going good—I’m happy with this line up. The songs are the same—
The sound will be the same - The sound will always sound like The ‘Brats.

Well said.  Well Bones…you just got your wish. Opening for Cocksparrer May 23rd will make a killer show!

[When I interviewed Bones, there was nothing in the works for a Cocksparrer show, so what a coincidence!  Thanks Bones, for taking the time out of rehearsing and recording for this interview. I had a lot of fun.  Always keep that young state of mind and come back to Richmond, VA and hit Baltimore MD while you’re at it.]