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Rise Against interview

Every time Rise Against drops a new album, you know you're in for a treat. And that's once again no different with their new album "Endgame". Sure, they've changed their sound over the years but they did it without giving up what they stood for and the tunes may be different but they're still ridiculously good. Read on to see what bassist Joe Principe had to tell us. (photo credit : Evan Hunt)

PRT: You’ve just released a new album called “Endgame”. Not only does it come with a very current title if you look at the situation in Japan, it is once again an amazing album. Congratulations!
Joe: Thank you so much. Yeah, the japan situation is heart breaking to say the least.

PRT: Spin Magazine reported that the new album would be a concept album that was largely influenced by the Dixie Chicks, which had me scared for a spell. Where the hell did they get that from?
Joe: That was the result of the spin interviewer twisting a comment made by Tim.

PRT: If you hold “Endgame” next to your first two albums on Fat Wreck, there are a few differences. How do you feel about “The Unraveling” and “Revolutions Per Minute” looking back on them now?
Joe: I think of every record as a page in the rise against history book. I’m extremely proud of everything we’ve done but always look forward to progress in respect to songwriting.

PRT: “Siren Song Of The Counter Culture” was a new beginning for you guys, it being your first album on a major label. Did the whole being on a major change anything for you on a personal level?
Joe: Well, that was our first major label release and with change comes a bit of uneasiness. We were so used to working with Fat Mike. If you needed anything you could just call him on the phone and get it done. A major label has a whole process and team of people to get anything done so it can be a but frustrating. A big part of our deal with Geffen was complete creative control and they have always held up their part of the deal.

PRT: What I’ve always wanted to ask and I don’t mean this in a bad way… does signing with a major label come with some kind of pressure to write more accessible songs or did that just come about naturally?
Joe: For us…….not at all. We’ve never written with that in mind. It always comes from the heart or else we wouldn’t do it. I think it would sound incredibly forced if that was the case.

PRT: You’ve worked with Bill Stevenson and Jason Livermore on most of your albums… are they the producers who ‘get’ punkrock the most? How big of an influence would you say they have on your music?
Joe: They have an immense impact on the end result of our records. They truly get hardcore punk, pop, rock, etc…..It’s extrememly important for producers to get the roots of the band they’re working with or else you get a record that sounds like the producers influences, not the bands

PRT: There’s been a lot of other punkrock bands who went from indie labels to majors but you’re one of the few who have made the transition successfully. Why do you think that is?
Joe: I think its maintaining creative control. Our records would sound the way they do regardless of what label we’re on.

PRT: While your sound has changed over the years, your ideals and beliefs have always remained the same which is commendable to say the least. Do you ever get tired though of fighting the good fight?
Joe: Not at all. Its in our DNA to sing about the things we do. It just comes natural to us.

PRT: With as many fans as you have, there’s bound to be a few of them who don’t get much further than saying that so or so is a badass song. Does it on any level bother you that they don’t get more out of your lyrics or support the causes you help out? Or is it already more than enough for you that people think you write badass songs?
Joe: Yeah, its unrealistic to think you’ll reach each and every fan on that level. And that’s ok. Everybody takes different things from music.

PRT: “Endgame” deals with the end of humankind as we know it and the idea that things could very well be better at the end of this transition we’re going through. Do you think things need to get worse before they can get better?
Joe: Seems like that’s a necessary. The bad inspires change. Its human nature unfortunately.

PRT: What else can people expect from Rise Against in 2011? Lots and lots of touring?
Joe: We’ll keep doing what we do. Playing to as many people as we can. I’d like to thank all of our fans here in Belgium for their support!

Tumbledown – Empty Bottle

“Empty Bottle” could not only be a very boring drinking game, it’s also the name of the new Tumbledown album. While Mike Herrera will always be best known for his work with MxPx, he’s equally productive with his country side-project. After two EPs, two 7”, there is now already full-length number two. In just three years.

It has a shitload of songs about drinking that made my liver cringe just listening to them and while decidedly country (“Great Big World”, “Drink To Forget”), there are still plenty of punkrock influences to be found throughout the album with some rockabilly sounds. The mighty Social D is never far away in songs like opener “Places In This Town” or “Arrested In El Paso Blues” and one can hardly call that a bad thing.

If you’re into the whole country meets punkrock thing, Tumbledown is a name you most definitely will want to check out.
Score: 7 out of 10

The Vaccines – What Did You Expect From The Vaccines?

If you should believe the press in the UK, there are nothing but great new bands releasing instant classics, all of which are equally worthy of being hyped like they’re the best new thing since bread came sliced. Occasionally it’s okay though to buy into the hype. Take The Vaccines for example… all it took was the 82-second single “Wreckin’ Bar (Ra Ra Ra)” to make all the UK music journalists cum in their pants. So can they live up to the expectations with their debut full-length?

Sure, they can. “What Did You Expect From The Vaccines” is a glossy indiepop/rock album that never bores even though the band itself wants to sound bored. And yes, you’ve heard The Strokes and James (does anyone remember those guys?) have done the same thing, there’s nothing wrong with another band using the same three chords again as long as they are the right chords. And while it is slightly unnerving to hear vocalist Justin Young sing about a 17-year-old girl who’s probably not ready, there’s no arguing that all of the songs on here are catchy as fuck. And that’s what matters, right? Fuck Funeral Party, check out The Vaccines instead.
Score: 7 out of 10

Funeral Party – The Golden Age Of Knowhere

Armed with post-punk riffs, disco rhythms and a wailing vocalist who can’t seem to figure out whether he’s here to entertain or feel bored, LA’s Funeral Party do a pretty decent job on their debut album. You won’t hear anything on “The Golden Age Of Knowhere” that you haven’t heard before on an album by The Strokes or The Rapture, but these guys do know how to keep things moving along at a fast pace and while songs do tend to become a blur as you work your way down the tracklisting, it’s tracks like “New York City Moves To The Sound Of LA” and “Just Because” that save this album from being a complete dud.

If you’re into reverb and a snotty attitude, then Funeral Party will no doubt suit your every need. Check them out at a hip club or trendy festival near you before – like their influences - they are no longer relevant.
Score: 5.5 out of 10

The Haunted Continents – The Loudest Year Ever

The Haunted Continents is a two-man act consisting of drummer Matt Cascella who clears the way of all obstacles for James Downes, who not only handles the vocals but also plays all the guitars and keyboards on “The Loudest Year Ever”.

So what do they sound like? Shit if I know… it’s kind of a mix of 50s rock, pop, psychedelic, folk and a whole bunch of stories everybody can relate to. My favorites would have to be opener “2nd Avenue Blues” which sounds like vintage Weezer with a twist and “Way Down”, a song that sounds like it could’ve been written by Downes’ grandfather but which now got spruced up with some distorted guitars. The second half of “The Loudest Year Ever” is surprisingly un-loud but fuck it, it still sounds like a lot more fun than your mom last night.

Spring is not that far off… I think I just found one of my soundtracks. If you like your powerpop with a retro twist, then The Haunted Continents will suit your every need.
Score: 7.5 out of 10
no label

Carpenter – Sea To Sky

While you can clearly hear these Cannucks’ punk and hardcore origins throughout “Sea To Sky”, the band’s MySpace page is an equally clear indication of where their heart is at. is a not so subtle reference to Mr. Mellencamp. Fuck the Canadian health care system, these guys want to be US citizens and play the kind of rock that reigns the heartlands of America.

The result is an album that somehow disappoints slightly at first. Give it a couple more spins though and you’ll find yourself hooked and willing. Just check out the ballad-like “Joan” and get your hanky ready before clenching it in your fist as you’re belting along with the band at the end of “Long Hard Day” or “You Might Be Right”.

If you can imagine what it would sound like if Polar Bear Club played a cover version of “Pink Houses”, then you can probably imagine what Carpenter is very good at.
Score: 7 out of 10

Cobra Skulls interview

Things have been going pretty fast for Cobra Skulls. And it doesn't look like they'll be slowing down anytime soon with them signing to Fat Wreck and having just released another EP called "Bringing The War Home". It's out now on Fat Wreck and you should own a copy!

PRT: Could you please introduce yourself in ten words and four numbers?
Devin: Haha! Really!?...... "My name is Devin. I play bass and sing okay. 1 2 3 4! "

PRT: You just released a brand new and very awesome EP. What would you like to tell us about it?
Devin: Thanks for the "awesome". It's 4 new songs and the Bad Religion cover we did for their tribute album. It's the first recording with our new drummer, Luke. We did songs that I had been sitting on for a while, so the EP doesn't really stray too far from our previous stuff, but I do think that the EP has a little more pep than our other stuff.

PRT: Of course, the tile, "Bringing the War Home", suggests some kind of political statement. Could you elaborate on this? I know there is a book with that title about The Weather Underground and the Red Army Faction...
Devin: Right, and I touch upon the Weather Underground and Black Panthers etc in the song. It's sort of a song about how our war is still going on, but could you really tell? Not really. There's no draft to get the middle to upper class out on the street to demonstrate, but as we learned as a country during Vietnam and the months leading up to the current wars we started after 9/11....we can demonstrate all we want, but our elected officials won't give a shit. That's the message that we have been taught by our government - that we don't matter. And the saddest part about it is that we have come to accept that.

PRT: It seems as if the songwriting has become more elaborate compared to "American Rubicon", there's more to the songs than just being punkrock. Was that a goal when you started writing the EP, to challenge yourself and the listeners a little more?
Devin: I always try to challenge myself a little, but hey, it's just punk/rock music and usually the simplest songs end up being the most popular, but I definitely try to write songs that are different from the previous ones.

PRT: Why just an EP? It's been since 2009 that you released a full length. Isn't it about time for some more songs?
Devin: Yes, but time and scheduling was the main problem. I actually wanted to have another original on the EP, but we only had a short window between tours last summer to record. We had a week to rehearse and then a week to record. It was the only time we had to do the Bad Religion tribute song for Epitaph, too.

PRT: The EP is your first on Fat Wreck. How do you guys feel about being on that label?
Devin: Great! Mike is a really laid back guy. So far it's been all support and no pressure which is good for me because I usually stress out about shit enough on my own.

PRT: You probably have the whitest teeth in punkrock. What's your secret?
Devin: I use copper wire dental floss and snow leopard urine for mouth wash. It's pricey, but it's really improved my social life!

PRT: A new guitar player in 2008, a new drummer in 2010... Is it hard to keep a band together when you work and tour this hard?
Devin: Yes. Our line up was the same for the first two years, but Chad and Charlie had other things they wanted to do after college. We are still friends, though so there was no hard feelings. We may have toured too hard a couple years ago. I know some bands can tour for a whole year or even two, but after we did 5 months straight we felt like that was bit too much. I love to tour, though, so I have no problem with being on the road for months and months. Luke has toured in bands for years as well, so it was nothing new to hime when I called him up and asked if he would be willing to tour 3 months straight with us last year.

PRT: Actually, for just being a band for only five years, there's already been quite some output. Two EP's, two albums and some singles and split 7 inches. Are you afraid of running out of inspiration at some point?
Devin: I don't think I'll ever run out of inspiration, but I don't want to jinx myself as I'm writing for our upcoming album right now. In the past I've just written songs when they came to me and put them aside for recording time, but now I feel like I actually have a deadline or something with I don't like so I'm trying to ignore taht deadline without procrastinating. I have a bunch I'm sitting on right now, too, but I'd really like to just do a bunch of fresher newer ones. We'll see...

PRT: Do you have a certain working regime... Like: get up at 7.30, start writing songs at 9 until noon...?
Devin: Like get up at 11 or 12 and pee, make coffee and read for a bit, walk the dog, write songs and then pee again. After that it's up in the air, but I might go get pizza or mexican food, read and write more and then get some drinks with friends and pee again.

PRT: I predicted in the review of "Bringing the War Home" that your next full length album is going to be the one that takes the band to the next level.What's your opinion? And do you actually want to reach a next level... Like for example Against Me!?
Devin: I feel like you set me up to make a joke about them, but I'm taking the high road, here, Thomás! In all reality, this band has always been and still is very momentary. We are a day by day band and we've never signed a contract with anyone, so your guess is probably better than mine, but as far as "next level"? It would be nice to live off of making music and touring for a little while, but I don't think you'll ever see a band called Cobra Skulls on any top 40 list and that's totally cool with me.

PRT: Do you have any last words?
Devin: Haha! I always like it when I'm asked that, but sorry, no, I have no fantastic parting words. Thanks!


Tina Sparkle – Welcome To The No Fun House

Besides a company selling 100% cashmere shawls, Tina Sparkle is also a band around the brother/sister duo of Marsha and Atomic Satterfield who have also been active in bands such as The Forecast, Scouts Honor and The Amazing Kill-O-Watts among others. “Welcome To The No Fun House” is the band’s latest album and it’s filled with the no-frills rock antics that bands in the nineties seemed to have down pat, albeit with the necessary pop leanings.

Think Veruca Salt and the likes and you’re not too far off the mark. Combine that sound with Satterfield’s slightly unsettling lyrics (‘I sit and listen to my grandma talk / Please God don’t let me live that long’) and shit, you’ve got yourself a band that can rename my place the no fun house any day of the week.
Score: 7 out of 10

Man Overboard – Real Talk

Things have been going pretty fast for New Jersey’s Man Overboard and they owe it all to themselves. Still flying the ‘defend pop punk’ banner with pride, they recently released their debut full-length to follow up a bunch of EPs and a whole bunch of shows. And it’s a winner… okay, the lyrics are a bit too cute at times but other than that there’s really not a whole lot to bitch about.

This being a pop-punk album, the songs are all about girls and relationships (falling apart mostly) and come with just the right amount of unadulterated energy and bigass hooks. These guys stick to the formula and show everyone that it still works. It’s hard to pick a favorite come to think about it… “Real Talk” is just solid all over the board and takes you right back to the glory days of pop-punk.
Score: 9 out of 10

The Bellrays – Black Lightning

20 Years into their existence, The Bellrays are still around making a glorious mess of punk-paced rock n roll and soul. Their latest offering “Black Lightning” starts off with the title track on which they sound more energized than most new bands fresh out of the basement.

While the opening track sets the bar very high, maybe even too high for the rest of the album, “Black Lightning” is definitely no slouch. Lisa Kekaula’s voice can still withstand the comparison to Aretha Franklin while the rest of the band has no problem whatsoever with keeping up with her. Personally I think they are at their best when they lose sight of the brakes in songs like “On Top”, “Power To Burn” and “Living A Lie”, the soul-drenched antics of “Sun Comes Down” wouldn’t look too shabby on a Motown compilation either.

With ten songs in barely 30 minutes, this is an hook-filled album that doesn’t outstay its welcome. And once it comes to an end, you can easily press that play button again to start over.
Score: 8 out of 10

Old Man Markley – Guts N Teeth

Just when you think you’ve got the Fat Wreck sound all figured out, Fat Mike goes ahead and signs a band like Old Man Markley who describe themselves as punk bluegrass. It’s a pretty fit description though because that’s exactly what these guys bring on their debut, “Guts N Teeth”.

3 Vocalists, 8 musicians and more instruments than you can shake a stick at make for an interesting whole and whether they’re going at it fast (“For Better For Worse”, “Struggle”) or slowing things down (“Guts N Teeth”, “Song Songs”), it always ends up sounding like a whole lot of fun.

Think of this as Flogging Molly but trade in the Irish folk influences for tried and true American bluegrass sounds and you’ve got that shit covered. Go see them at the Groezrock festival in April… you’ll know they’re playing when you see the party.
Score: 7.5 out of 10

Glamour Of The Kill – The Summoning

Glamour Of The Kill is a UK-based band that has been around since 2007 and who released two EPs in 2008, before taking on the world with “The Summoning”, their first full-length.

Next to spending a lot of time in the tattoo parlor and with their hairdresser, they sometimes write songs as well. What that sounds like? A whole lot like Bullet For My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold actually. And while they definitely know how to play their instruments, I do like bands to show at least a shred of an identity of their own as much as I like them not to sound like Bullet For My Valentine and Avenged Sevenfold wannabes.
Score: 4.5 out of 10

No Friends interview

No Friends might not be the most inviting band name, but the guys in the band are actually pretty cool dudes and they do happen to write some friggin’ great songs. Not just in No Friends, but in VRGNS, Gatorface and Municipal Waste as well. They’re coming over to Europe in a bit for their first tour here ever, a tour that includes a stop at the Groezrock festival. Check them out there and read here to see what vocalist Tony had to tell us.

PRT: Who are you and what would you like to tell us about yourself?
Tony: My name is Tony. I am a binge drinker and I like to collect shot glasses, records and weird paintings.

PRT: You quite recently released an impressive new EP with your side-project, No Friends. Anything particular you'd like to share about that?
Tony: I don’t really like to call it my side project. I mean the other guys all have bands too and I never hear them call this a side project. I’d rather it be just my other band. I mean NF tours twice a year and releases something once a year. I’d say that’s busier than a lot of “full time” bands going out there. Haha ok maybe not. But we do like to stay pretty productive.

PRT: The main influences of No Friends are, obviously, the early 80s DC-stuff and the early 80s hardcore punk from the West-Coast. With Municipal Waste already being rooted in 80's crossover thrash, why would you think about starting another band that draws inspiration from the 80's? What was so good about punk and metal from the 80's?
Tony: That’s a good question. I think it’s because that was the most influential time musically me for me and my friends in our lives. I’m
34 years old. Mostly all of my favorite types of music really kicked off in the 80’s. Whether you’re talking about hardcore punk or crossover metal. I do love that stuff very much but have always tried not to impersonate that style but rather use that as an influence and add my own thing to it. No Friends is still getting used to writing together so I think with the next stuff we write that it will progress even further.

PRT: And what else was good about the 80's apart from the A-Team, Knight Rider, Miami Vice, big hair, Madonna and dudes wearing really short shorts and a mustache and still not being gay... Like Magnum P.I.?
Tony: I liked Police Academy, Break Dancing, Fanny Packs, The 2 Live Crew, The 85 Chicago Bears and those Wendys comercials.

PRT: All kidding aside, what 80's records are, for you personally, the epitome of how loud and intense music such as punk, hardcore or metal should sound?
Tony: Hmmm, I can name a few. The Void/Faith split (that’s a big No Friends favorite we all love that one), The Accused “Return of Martha Splatterhead”, Corrosion of Conformity “Technocracy”, Attitude Adjustment “American Paranoia” and anything by Poison Idea at that time

PRT: With you being from Richmond, Virginia, and the other guys being from Florida, and No Friends being a side project, how hard is it to keep in touch, to keep focused and to keep working on No Friends?
Tony: It’s not as hard as you may think. I spend a lot of time in Florida. My family all lives not too far from Orlando so usually after a Waste tour I just fly down to Orlando and rehearse with them and spend time with my family. It’s a 12 hour drive apart but Jet Blue usually has pretty reasonable plane flights from RVA to Orlando so it’s not super expensive to fly back and forth and the flight is only an hour and a half. We’re also really good at keeping in touch and it’s pretty easy to write songs with these guys. All it takes is a couple emails back and forth. It’s a lot simpler to do a band like this nowadays as opposed to say 10 years ago.

PRT: How different is it to work on a band like this, compared to your other source of income, being The Waste? Which one is more challenging, especially vocally?
Tony: Vocally I would say No Friends because I take it a bit out of my comfort zone and try things that I normally couldn’t pull off in The Waste. I think MW is a more challenging band all together due to the insane touring schedules we sometimes do.

PRT: Is it weird to play in a little lesser-known band again, in smaller venues for smaller crowds who don't sing along to all the songs yet?
Tony: It’s not really weird, it just makes it more challenging. It’s like starting all over again. I think that’s a fun part of being in a band.
You never know what to expect from people when you start with something new. I also like the feeling of excitement like when we got our first shirts or when the first record came out. It’s a good feeling of accomplishing something new.

PRT: Your first European tour is coming up. Well, at least with No Friends. How do you feel about that? Are you nervous to do this for the first time with a different band?
Tony: I’m more excited than anything. I have a lot of fun touring with these guys and we’ve never left the country together so I think there are a lot of ridiculous adventures to be had. One of the gigs is the Groezrock festival with the Descendents, CIV, NOFX and tons of other great bands. I’m really stoked to be on that bill.

PRT: Which show are you most looking forward to? The smaller ones, or the huge festival with Descendents and tons of other awesome bands?
Tony: Hmmm, I’m really looking forward to Groezrock from a fan’s perspective but I think with No Friends our gigs are way better when it’s in a small place and everything is in your up in your face. I know the London gig will be nuts as well as Bristol. I know because they are at small rowdy venues.

PRT: Is there any ambition with No Friends? Are there goals you would like to reach? What seems to be a priority for the other guys, who have some great bands going with Gatorface and VRGNS?
Tony: I think our main goal is to keep steadily releasing good punk records and to be able to tour a few times out of the year. Nothing too crazy.
We’re definitely not trying to get rich with this band or make a living off of it. This is something we do for the love of the music and for fun. Although I do make a very modest living off the Waste, I still wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t fun as hell. I think we feel that way about our other bands too. On a side note: Sam also recently joined Dead to Me. So that should be keeping him busy for a long while.

PRT: Imagine No Friends would take off and become bigger than expected, would you or the other guys consider putting the main bands on hold for a while?
Tony: I doubt it. We may tour a little bit more if there was a huge demand for it but I don’t think that’s really where we want to take it as a band.

PRT: The latest EP is titled "Traditional Failures". What would you consider a "traditional failure"? Is - as is the case with me – being 30, single, unemployed, playing in sketchy hardcorebands, asking people in different bands dumb questions somewhat of a 'traditional failure'?
Tony: Haha I think you nailed it on the head. I feel it’s weird because a lot of people are raised to maybe see you as a failure for living like that. But you’re doing what you love right? You’re living the way you want to and you’re setting your own path. If you’re happy and doing what you want to do than how is that being a failure? Some folks just look at success as being who can own the most things and make the most money. But inside they’re just fucking a miserable ball of loneliness and stress. I don’t want to live like that. I’d rather be a loser in their eyes and live a happy life. People are strange.

PRT: What kind of advice would you give to those kind of people, such as myself?
Tony: Keep failing!

PRT: That's about it. Do you have any last words?
Tony: Thanks a ton for your interest in our band. Looking forward to getting over there. See you soon!


Most Precious Blood interview

When Most Precious Blood dropped from the face of the earth back in late 2006, nobody seemed to know what was going on. Luckily, they resurfaced and are going at it again in their trademark remorseless style with a new album called "Do No Resuscitate" (out now on Bullet Tooth). Reason enough to do an email interview with Rob Fusco. While it won't make you any wiser, it's definitely a fun read.

PRT: Late 2006 you had been spending the better part of two years on the road supporting “Merciless”. How did you guys keep up at the time?
Rob: Keep up? Like, stay awake? Well, let me tell you, sometimes that was a challenge because some of the the rides were so long and monotonous that you just get lulled to sleep really easily. Over the years we've employed various tactics to help keep the eyes open and alert. Let me share a few with you:
Caffeine - Unfathomable amounts of coffee and red bull™ on overnight or cross-country drives were consumed to stave off the sandman fairly regularly. Though there was the subsequent crash coming down from all that stimulant, we had found a fail-safe solution to that problem: more caffeine. So simple.
Cold breeze - nothing wakes one up quite like a wind chill factor of -10˚F, so next time you're on a chilly night's drive and the lids start to shut, open all the windows! You'll hear a lot of groaning and complaining from the individuals in the back, but look at it this way: better to endure the cavil of a few chilly bandmates whilst staying awake than to nod off at the wheel and end up crashing into oncoming traffic.
Sing-along songs - When has ANYONE ever fallen asleep during Guns 'N' Roses' Appetite For Destruction? That's fucking right. NO ONE.
Handjobs - ask Matt Miller about that one.

PRT: After that you disappeared off the radar without any further notice. There was just the rather cryptic message that said you wanted to “bow out of the mass appeal madness” and that you wanted nothing to do with the “glossy culture”. What was that about exactly?
Rob: We had secretly been researching and studying stealth technology long before anyone suspected this of us. Though it would be unprofessional of us to reveal our training sources, we will say that F**** Z**** and T******** M*** were very helpful in opening our eyes to the beauty of effortless invisibility. You are wrong if you cling to the common misconception that no ship that small has a cloaking device.
Also, we keep our messages cryptic because we are (most of us, at least) amateur code breakers (cryptographers). There's an excellent book called THE CODE BOOK by Simon Singh…holy crap. Great book. It really got us going down that rabbit hole of keys and ciphers. I'll be right back.
[imagine the Jeopardy™ theme playing for EXACTLY fourteen seconds]
okay, I'm back.
By "mass appeal madness" we mean, like, Beatle-mania. It was starting to get a little ridiculous. We weren't prepared to have EVERY SINGLE ITEM on our contract rider delivered as requested, or have our water chilled to artist's "discretion" [sic], nor did we ever dare to dream that we could possibly get a towel for each band member for the stage, and it all felt really overwhelming. We just had to take a quick breather lest this pampering and coddling overtake our sense of humility and punk ethos.
By "glossy" we mean "glazed" kind of like, you know, a good donut or some kind of money shot. I digress. So all this glaze, we had no desire for it. We're all about the plain donuts. They don't get your fingers all sticky afterwards. Hey, you ever think that a glazed donut's quiet revenge is how sticky your fingers get afterwards? ALSO, while you're bringing up sore subjects, why the hell did they discontinue the Dunkin Donut™ itself? You know, that one plain donut with the tiny penis on it or whatever you call it…that thing you hung on to so as not to wet one's fingers with scalding coffee. That was fucking brilliant.

PRT: Was it already the plan back then to lay low a longer period of time?
Rob: Listen, I once knew a guy who was stuck in a 'Nam bunker, surrounded by his enemies, with no food and little water, crowded by the rest of his squad who were all blown to hell and dead as Ghandi. He was pinned down for 6 fucking days until the tanks rolled in to get him the fuck out of there - the only survivor of his squad. Did he plan to lay low for that long? Nope. Shit just worked out that way.

PRT: At the same time there were a lot of rumors that popped up. What was the craziest rumor you heard about Most Precious Blood during that period?
Rob: You mean besides that whole famous DisneyWorld™ pooping in the fountain debacle that cost the band about a thousand dollars to bail me out? Yeah, that…that's a rumor. Or the time when I walked in on Brandan Schieppati shirtless making out with the local club sound guy in Denmark? Boy, you should have seen his face. Yeah, that was kind of a rumor too for a little while even though he made me promise not to tell anyone. I wonder if now I'll have to give him back those 50 Euros. I already spent it on stroopwafels anyway.
Oh, but remember when you were in school and that ubiquitous rumor spread like wildfire about the girl who "experimented" with a chap stick and the cap came off at an "inopportune time," requiring medical attention for extraction of said cap? Yeah, I hadn't heard that rumor about us, but the way Matt Miller is, you never fucking know. You know? Oh, or what about the one about the two kids with braces who were making out and their braces got stuck together? You ever hear that one about us? Me neither.
Oh, yeah, also…don't tell Brandan about the whole gay makeout thing because I don't want to have to give him any money back.

PRT: Then came word that you were working on a new album that would have the title “Do Not Resuscitate”. How come you already had the title before any of the songs?
Rob: You know how some parents name their kids before they're born? That's kind of the same thing, I think. It just turns out that our kid was born severely developmentally disabled. I mean, like, bad… like, windowlicker retarded. We still love it just the same, mind you, but trying to get it to not shit on the dog is a whole different ball game.

PRT: Is that title a way of saying this will be the last Most Precious Blood album? Or is it more of a statement about the glossy culture you talked about in that statement?
Rob: Not to get off topic, but you really aren't planning on telling Brandan anything, are you?

PRT: In early 2009 there was a picture on your site of someone holding a CD that said final mixes. How come it took two more years for the album to finally come out?
Rob: Let's briefly return to the retarded child metaphor, shall we? Very cool.
So you know how some moms just shit their kids right out in like a matter of a few hours - labor is easy and fast and there's not a lot of sweating and crying and no one looks at you with Satan's eyes while pulling your hair from your scalp screaming "YOU DID THIS TO ME!"? Well, the birth of this future special-olympian of an album was not such a smooth experience as that.

PRT: Since the last tour some of you became parents, moved away from New York, started a label and even pursued a career in local politics. How will this affect the band in the future?
Rob: I wish I could tell the future. How cool would that be? Just think of it! I could make SO much fucking money betting on horses and shit…kind of like in Back To The Future II, Electric Boogaloo where Biff has that old horse racing book from the future and just bets a shit-ton of money on the guaranteed winners and just gets really wealthy and fucks up Hill Valley really bad. Like that. I was thinking about what I would do with all that money. I'd probably blow a lot of it on dumb shit like food made of gold leaf and I'd hire a stenographer, a photographer, Coach Rob "Maximus" MacDonald of Gym Jones (to continually remind me of my place in the food chain), and a lawyer (for legal advice) to follow me everywhere I went. How much does Ice-T charge to come hang out with you? I'd probably pay Ice-T to come hang out with me and talk about the old days of gangsta rap™. I hope he'd get along with Maximus.

PRT: How does it feel to go back at it and start playing shows again? Is it like picking up where you left off or does it feel partly like starting over again?
Rob: The best way for me to describe it is to try to think of a film you've seen about seven thousand times like Spies Like Us or something along those lines… if you watch it every day for years and years, you develop a deep relationship with the film, memorizing lines and humming along to the soundtrack, shit like that. But after a while, the jokes and the part where Austin Milbarge and Emmett Fitz-Hume get dumped off that tower in that fake plane and get smashed all to fucking oblivion in the accelerated training montage…they aren't quite as funny anymore. BUT…if you take a couple years off from watching Spies Like Us and then go back and watch it again you find that your degree of comfortable familiarity with the comedic timing, the characters, the plot line - these all remain intact and it gives you a good feeling, but then you begin to find the funny parts actually funny once more and you can laugh out loud at the movie again, and express a renewed appreciation for that one scene in Russia when Vanessa Angel comes out of her tent in her bra.

PRT: With the new album out, a ‘do not resuscitate’ order seems to be the last thing on anybody’s mind. What can we expect from you in the next couple of months?
Rob: I can't really say what I'll be up to in the near future. Again, my powers of divination are weak. The force is not strong with this one. Whatever it is, though, I'll be doing it with a bright, clean smile on my face. See, I just came back from the dentist. My teeth look fucking fantastic.