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First Virus Interview
  • Added on: July 8, 2013
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This is a copy of the first interview with The Virus from the UK streetpunk zine Kontrol!  The interview is from 1998.  Most of the hyperlinks are dead.  You can find some scans of the old Kontrol! zines on Facebook HERE

THE VIRUS

 

The Virus, Punk Rockers from Philadelphia, and about to give us their version of what’s what:
Listen and learn…



Kontrol: Alright chaps, give us the history of the band, in all the 
grusome detail you like.

Jarrod (Drums): "The band has only been around since the beginning of 
this year (1998), so we are a fairly new band.  Dave and I were in a 
band that played a lot of shows and did a lot of traveling.  We got sick 
of that band, some of the other members, some of their ideas, and we 
just weren't happy with  what we were doing.  We had been friends with 
Mike for a while and he called me up one day and said that he was 
putting a band together and wanted me to play drums. I mentioned to him 
about maybe trying out Dave because he could play guitar pretty well and 
that would add a second guitarist. In our previous band Dave was the 
singer. So in the end, Dave and I ended up being so much happier with  
the new band that we quit our old band.  The current line up is: Mike 
Virus  age 24/vocals- Chris age 20/guitar and vocals- Dave age 21/guitar 
and vocals - Jarrod age 22/drums- and the most recent addition to the 
band Mark age 25/bass."

Mike (Vocals): "I was looking to start a band, but I was looking to 
start one with the right people. People I knew were as dedicated to this 
whole punk rock thing as I was. I wanted people who wanted to portray a 
lifestyle in our music, and not just looking to portray scales on a 
guitar. All the guys in this band, I have known for years, drank with 
for years, and had a good pogo with. So I mentioned it to Jarrod, and he 
told me that Dave, who formerly sang for Bomb Squadron, played guitar, 
as well as sang, and Chris was looking to start a band again, after 
being in U.S.Expulsion. The idea I had for this band was to be a 
celebration of punk rock. Not just one facet of punk, but true punk rock 
in general. I wanted a band that represented the best in everything 
punk, because so many different types of punk influenced my life. I 
wanted a band that could pull off a great 1977 pogo song, and then the 
very next song have a total Mau Maus/Discharge influence. Also important 
to me was to have some songs that even had a bit of an American 
influence, because we all got into punk listening to those bands. Too 
often those bands get pushed under the carpet in the states, and the 
English bands are the only bands the kids will acknowledge. Punk was a 
worldwide phenomenon, and I wanted that represented in
our music. I definitely consider The Virus to be a celebration of punk 
rock. More than just a band."

Chris (Guitar): "I had been in a band for a couple years that had pretty 
much fallen apart, and we weren't really getting anywhere. Like Jarrod & 
Dave, I'm friends with Mike, and one night while we were hanging out we 
talked about starting a band. So he got in touch with Dave and Jarrod, 
then one day we all hooked up at a practice space just to throw some 
ideas around. We ended up writing 3 songs that day and everything just 
clicked. Everyone got along, we worked well together, and we shared many 
of the same views as far as punk and the world in general are concerned. 
As for ideologies, we're not subscribers to one certain way of thinking. 
Our song topics have a pretty wide range. I write a lot 
of the lyrics and I write how I feel that day. Some days I wake up 
feeling idealistic, and I'll write songs of change and so on. other days 
I'll wake up in a different mood, or I'll have a bad week or whatever, 
and I write doomsday songs. It all depends...I feel different everyday 
depending on my environment. Some days life ain't too bad, some days you 
fight the world. I think its something lots of people can identify with. 
People don't want to hear a hundred songs about the end of the world, 
and people don't want to hear the same about changing the world or 
fighting...people feel different, and I think when they read our lyrics 
they'll get a good mix."


Kontrol: So can you give us some indication on how we can expect you to 
sound? I mean what pigeon-hole are you gonna put yourself into? 

MIKE- The Virus has many influences in its music. Some of our songs 
sound like it could have come right out of 1977, some with a European 
influence, some with an American influence. Other songs sound like 
straight up 82 English punk, other songs have a definite 
Varukers/Discharge influence. We all have our favorite types of punk. 
Personally, I am mostly into the Killed By Death type 77 shit. Also the 
early NY punk. Chris on the other hand is heavily into Discharge and 
heavier shit. Jarrod is mostly into 82 punk, and Mark is as well. Dave 
is a total rocker, and is way too punk to pigeonhole, and to 
big of a guy for me to try, so im not gonna even fucking try. Jeff our 
old bass player was into the Titanic Soundtrack."

Dave (guitar):  "Labeling in general is really useless nowadays because 
everything is so crossed over."

Chris: "We really have no set sound. its all punk, but we mix it up. 
We'll blast out a 77 style song, then we'll do some fast shit, then 
something  heavier, whatever. We don't limit ourselves. We dont say "ok, 
we need to write some like this blah blah" or anything. Its good because 
we all have different tastes as far as punk music goes, so there's lots 
of different input, and we can all add our part."


Kontrol: Tell us a little about how you became involved with the Punk 
scene and why something so different to what's considered 'Normal' by 
Joe Average appealled to you? 

Jarrod: "When I was like around 13 yrs. old I started really getting 
into skateboarding, and I used to buy tapes of all the bands that were 
advertised in the skateboarding magazines like the Exploited, G.B.H., 
Black Flag, Germs, Dead Kennedy's, JFA, etc. I was young and didn't 
really pay attention to 
the lyrics or anything other than the fact that the music sounded good, 
but as I grew older I started
realizing that these bands were more than just music - that they had 
something important to say, that they were a part of some sort of 
movement. When I realized just what was behind the music, I knew that 
this was what I wanted to make my life.  Ever since then the scene has 
been probably the most important thing in my life for so many reasons. 
Mainly I look at the world in a whole different way now. I see how blind 
and closed - minded a lot of "normal" people are.  So many "normal" 
people claim to be intellectually skilled and educated, but what good is 
that if you're too closed minded to use that intellect to its 
potential?"

Chris: "Ever since i was younger, I've never been "normal". I've never 
been popular, or played sports, or done really well in school. My 
friend's older brother got us into the Exploited and from there it just 
progressed. Around that same time I had started playing guitar, so right 
off the bat, I knew I wanted to play in punk bands. A lot of the lyrics 
touched on things I had been feeling for years, and I really identified 
with it. I really loved the fact that I could pay 5 bucks, see like 5 
bands, meet a bunch of people, and no one was gonna hassle me, or tell 
me what to do. It really changed my life, and I know in one way or 
another, I'll be involved in it for the rest of my life."

Dave:  "I lucked out b/c where I live there were a lot of open minded 
older kids, who got me into stuff by passing me homemade compilation 
tapes and there were a lot of small clubs putting on all ages shows and 
the atmosphere at the time was that it didn't matter if you were younger 
as long as you showed the older kids respect they would help you out and 
get you into other bands etc. I learned young that the lifestyle of 
everyday people, clones, college kids, etc. wasn't for me.  Punk opened 
my eyes early on to social issues and concerns,  and I liked the idea 
that it was ok to not be a part of the carbon copy model of what you 
'should' do or be (ie. get a job, get married, settledown, etc.)  I 
don't ever want to be 50yrs. old and talk about the 'good old days', I 
always want to stay and feel as young as I possibly can. i'd rather burn 
out doing something I like than die a miserable old man."

Mike: "In my opinion, in order to be a punk you had to have been hated. 
You had to have been shit in peoples eyes. You had to have had a reason 
to rebel. Unlike a lot of the kids getting into it today, who have it 
easy, who get into punk because they heard the word mentioned on MTV in 
a Rancid interview, 
I couldnt get on with the others. I had no friends, I was beat up, I 
couldn't make it click. So just like all the other kids at the time who 
couldnt fit in, I did the only thing I could do.I bought a skateboard. 
Skateboarding for me is what changed my life. At the time, skateboarding 
and punk rock in America was one in the same. If it wasnt for that damn 
skateboard, I would have never seen my first show, which was at a 
skatepark, never heard BlackFlag, or the Circle Jerks, or any of the 
other bands I first got into. It just grew from there. Skateboarding 
changed, and became associated with rap, and rave in the states, and the 
attitude changed, so I stashed the skateboard, but punk was with me for 
life from then on."

Mark (bass): "Ten years ago, when I got into the scene it was for the 
music, and I progressed from there."


Kontrol: What do you make of the way Punk Rock has spread across the 
globe - and translates across hundreds of languages and hundreds of 
cultures? 

Chris: "I think punk has spread world wide because it isn't a local 
culture type thing...sure bands from certain areas sing about local 
events, governments, etc...but the ideas in general are really global 
issues. Rebellion, wanting to be free, things like that know no 
boundaries."

Jarrod: "People all over the world are different in their cultures and 
backgrounds, but despite that I definitely think that people experience 
the same kinds of struggles and problems.  Especially in countries that 
are constantly in some of state of war, people are wanting the same 
types of things that punk bands have been singing about for years now- 
freedom to live as you want, to be treated fairly, etc. I think the 
basic drive of wanting what is fair and wanting to be free from control 
are natural human 
desires despite your culture,  where your from, or your background.  I 
think that punk music has always been driven by such motives, and that's 
why no matter where in the world you can almost always find the music.  
Sure it sometimes has a different sound, but the basic form is almost 
always the same."

Dave: "I think it has translated over the world well b/c everyone has 
problems and is looking for an escape which punk offers.  If you strip 
it down, punk means that no matter who you are, you count for being 
somebody."

Mike: "I think punk is a universal language. I can listen to a fucking 
band from Sweden, not understand a god damn thing they are saying, and 
completely relate to that band. I can hear the emotion and the honesty 
and desperation in the vocals and the music, and I can relate to that 
band. That is when 
you know a band is real. If you can feel the anger, if you can feel the 
emotion, and the frustration and the hate, the band is good. If the band 
makes you want to go out and kill every fucker who has held ya down, the 
band is good. If the band makes you just feel content, and is just 
background music, and 
doesn't really stir something up in you, you know they are bad."


(Checkout the Main Street Saints interview this issue in which we go a 
bit deeper on this question with bassist, Tim Nord. Unfortunately, we 
didn't have time to get back to The Virus to ask them to digress on some 
of their answers.) 

Mark: "Punk is something that in everyone in every country has at one 
point or another been able to relate to politically or socially."


Kontrol: So tell us a little about some of your live experiences? 


Jarrod: "The live shows have been great so far.  We got a chance to play 
with Special Duties on their recent tour of the USA.  That show was 
incredible.  I think our best show was when we played at Coney Island 
High in N.Y.C at the Casualties second LP release show. The show was so 
packed, and we got a great crowd response so we were happy. To date we 
have a split 7" coming out on Blackhole Records with the Manix from 
N.Y.C. The split should be out by the end of November 1998. It will be 
$4 postpaid in the U.S.A. and $5 postpaid Rest Of World, and $3 from us 
at shows."

Dave: "Shows have been a blast for us so far. At the Special Duties in 
Philly Mike got his head smashed open from the boot of a stagediver and 
had to go to the hospital. Then we got harassed by cops on horses for 
hanging out in front of the club.  We got stuck playing a show to only a 
handful of kids but 
we still had a blast."


Kontrol: What do you think it is that keeps Punk going? 

Mike: "What keeps punk going in my opinion, unfortunately, is the 
nostalgia. I'd like to say its the newer bands, but in my opinion it is 
not. That would explain why 90% of the time when you see a punk rock 
kid, he is covered in logos of bands that are 15 or 20 years old. There 
are not many new bands
coming out today that I feel have the heart in their music like the 
older bands. I know people will disagree with that, but that is my 
opinion. I also know a lot of people will say that a lot of those bands 
sold out, and I agree with that. I am only talking about as far as their 
music goes, and the heart felt emotion in the lyrics. You hear that very 
rarely these days. Unfortunately what I think keeps punk going are the 
older bands, and the few bands out there that can emulate them."

Mark: "There is still a need for something that goes against the grain. 
I think punk means freedom to express yourself anyway possible. The best 
thing it provides is an outlet for people who want something different. 
The worst thing is people who do not really have their heart in it."

Chris: "Well, take a look at the state of the world in the late 70's, 
and take a look now...nothings changed. On the music end, "big" bands 
are still stupid, tired, rock star cunts. There's still people who hate 
that shit. Politically, same thing...kids and youth still have no say. 
The generations before us have still made mistakes. the future of kids 
today is still totally up in the air. Its hard to get a job, etc etc. 
What punk means to me? Well, I hate to sound cliche here, but "havin' a 
laugh, and havin' a say"...its great that you can start a band, play 
songs you love, travel all over, meet new people and have a great time, 
all while sharing ideas, and getting your message out. The worst things 
in my eyes are the divisions in cults, and the recent trend in being "a-
political". (I feel a rant from my own heart coming on!! - 
Ed.) I think these bastards who think its ok to listen to 
racist bands just for the music need to be smashed in the street along 
with the nazis. The a-political people are afraid. They're afraid to 
speak out on what's right... afraid to pick a side. If it means losing a 
few friends, I don't care. When you feel strongly about something, you 
stand up for it. I'm not saying you have to be out at every protest and 
be some ultra-politcal person, but you should at least know what's 
right, and pick that side." 


Kontrol: Couldn't have said it better myself, old chap. Spot on!! 


Jarrod: I think that people are attracted to the ideas and the sound of  
the music.  It's such a powerful and emotional mix when you match the 
ideas to such a driving style of music.  From 77 style stuff like the 
Clash to Discharge/Varukers type stuff, the sound is different but the 
music is all played with the same degree of emotion, and that's what I 
think keeps it going.  Personally the music is my life. From the time I 
wake I'm either listening to it, talking about it, reading about it, 
etc.  It is "a way of life" I guess.  As a band I see punk as being a 
means that I can express my ideas and be around others who share the 
same kinds of thoughts. I think the best thing to come out of punk is 
that it offers the ability for so many people to express their ideas.  
Like everyone who wants to form a band 
and sing about their ideas can. That and the ideas that are involved 
with it. The worst thing about it is, since it is open to all that it 
also allows for a lot of scumbags to get into the scene.  People who 
want to take advantage of the scene either for popularity purposes or to 
make a profit."

Dave: "Punk keeps going and surviving b/c it's the only movement where 
the kids can be a part of it and have nothing to lose.  Everyday more 
and more kids are getting involved. The scene as a whole may have it's 
ups and downs, but it has left a mark in history that cannot be denied.  
Punk means to me that I can do whatever I want and I don't have to 
answer to anyone. I like the idea that if I want to have an intelligent 
conversation with someone and learn something that I can do that, while 
at the same time if someone crosses me or rips me off I can throw a 
bottle at them and that is ok too.  I think the best thing to come out 
of punk is all the different styles. I could listen to bands like 
Varukers, Hellkrusher to bands like the Ramones. The worst thing is the 
'fly by nighters', or kids who are into it for a week, then you see them 
with later and they want nothing to do with punk."


Kontrol: So how did you get involved with this Internet business and 
what's it done for you? 

Chris: "I started using the internet a few years ago out of pure 
boredom. In my old band, having a webpage was a great way to get our 
message out to people who would have otherwise never even heard of us. 
It helped us meet people and bands, get shows, etc. I think it'll be the 
same way for this band."

Mike: "I think the internet has done a tremendous service for punk 
bands, as well as punk rock in general. It gives people access to bands 
that they might not have otherwise know existed. I think that is great. 
Also as far as record collecting goes, it is great because you can find 
shit much easier. All 
in all I think it has done good for punk. Already it has helped us as a 
band, because people who have not seen us play, can get a taste of what 
we are about from looking at our website, and can order our merchandise. 
Hopefully some chicks will check it out as well, and will send us naked 
pictures and shit."


Kontrol: Just remeber to pass a copy on here then, Mike. OK. Ho! Ho! 
That's it - a thousand letters of protestation will be on their way here 
now!! Damn! 

Mark: "It helps punk bands more than people care to admit."

Jarrod: "I totally agree that the internet is a great source of 
communication. (and porno pictures? Sorry. Ed.) Anything that allows 
people to access information and knowledge is essential. I got into it 
because I heard that there were a lot of people selling records etc on 
the internet and I am really into collecting records, so I got internet 
access so that I could trade and buy records from others.  i soon 
realized that there was so much information that I could access through 
the internet.There are so many bands, labels, etc that have websites 
where you can get information that is sometimes otherwise in accessible.  
Plus it is very DIY, because it is so open and almost unregulated.  It 
is truly one of the last uncontrolled or "free" forms of communication 
available.  We just set up a website for the band a few days ago and we 
have already had approximately 200 people visit it.  So the internet 
will definitely help our band by 
allowing people to contact us and find out information about the band."

Dave: "I don't like to deal with the cyber-god.  Technology scares me."


Kontrol: With your selection of one line answers, Dave, we'd never have 
guessed. OK, Sex, Society, Drugs, Death and Politics are all valid 
subjects for songs - but is there more to life than just complaining 
about what a shit world it is? 

Mike: "As far as I am concerned these topics are covered too much in the 
wrong way. I like to write about how I feel, but I dont want to sing 
about the kids on the street always sniffin glue. If I have something to 
say about how I feel, and alcohol or drug abuse has something to do with 
it, its going in my lyrics. We try to write lyrics however that are 
intelligent and not without thought. As far as society goes we are a 
punk band, society is our enemy of course that is going to be reflected 
in out lyrics. Politics yes, but I would not say we are a political band 
as compared to bands like Aus Rotten or a band like that. I like to have 
a happy medium. Nowadays, no street band bands have anything political 
to say. I dont like that I find it strange as well, because most of the 
bands the street punk kids listen to definitely had political messages."

Mark: "Our lyrics deal with social issues we believe in, not necessarily 
what everyone else believes."

Jarrod: "I draw the line when it gets to the point that you are telling  
people how they should think.  So many bands tell people how to think, 
and if people don't think that way or if they have different views on 
the subject, then they don't want to deal with them.  That only 
alienates people and turns them 
off to what you are saying.  If you run around saying "this is what you 
should do...this is right that is wrong" etc., then you will only turn 
people off to the point that you're trying to make. It is better to 
present people with a point of view, or provide them with information 
about a subject.  That allows them to listen to what you're saying and 
think about it.  If you TELL people what to do no one will listen to 
what you have to say. I won't cover songs about beer, drinking, sex etc.  
They are all things that I do but I would rather use my music to express 
ideas etc. about more important topics. Not that I don't enjoy bands 
that sing about those things, but in my music they are not topics that I 
want to sing about."

Chris: "Like jarrod, I wont sing about beer, shit like that. I wont sing 
love songs, about my hair or how I dress, and most importantly, I won't 
go to extremes politically. When you go too far, people can't relate and 
feel alienated. When you present ideas in a regular way, people can 
understand better, and don't feel on the defense about your lyrics."

Dave: "I'm proud of the fact that we can write about topics that scare 
us and concern us. I won't do songs with Oi! chants, or songs about 
girls- shit like that."


Kontrol: OK, tell us a bit about your local scene and how you feel it 
compares to the rest of the States, Europe, Etc. 

Mike:  The Philadelphia scene is the scene I was brought up in. Its the 
only scene I really know. Sure I go to New York, for shows, have friends 
from other states and shit, have been to shows in other cities, but this 
is my home. Just like everyone hates their own scene most of the time, 
so do I, but also there are things I honestly like about it. This is 
where my friends area lot of them, and this is also where my enemies 
are. I like that. I know where everything stands that way. The 
Philadelphia scene when I was younger, actually was huge. I remember it 
very well. Its smaller now, and a lot of those people are gone, but on a 
small scale level , I still like it. I just wish we were actually able 
to play here."

Mark: "Our scene hasnt changed much, but there is a lot less of us. As 
compared to NYC we have a pretty good scene. The European scene is much 
stronger than ours."

Chris: "I grew up in Philadelphia and recently moved to New Jersey. The 
Philly scene has definitely changed for the worst. It was once a strong, 
punk oriented scene with shows every weekend and so on. but like always, 
people move on, give up, or lose touch. Its been a steady decline over 
the last couple years. Now there's pretty much no room for punk in 
Philadelphia. With exceptions, there are basically no punks in 
Philadelphia. I'm not trying to be the judge on who's punk, but its just 
fact. The kids are either into heavy metal, grindcore, emo, ska, or 
hardcore. No one cares about punk anymore, and they look down on the few 
punks that are left. Its pretty sad that I can go to a punk show in this 
city, and get 
comments about my hair and shit. The sad thing is, some of the younger 
kids who are into punk will move on soon, because there's nothing for 
them. There's no punk bands, no punk shows, no good record stores, 
nothing. Its sad that for a major American city, Philadelphia has got to 
be the worst as far as punk is concerned. As far as other places, New 
Jersey has a pretty weak scene. New York is pretty good, but it used to 
be a lot better. People in America like to make a big deal out of the 
east coast punk scene, but in actuality, its pretty much nothing. If 
you're into good, old fashioned, PUNK (not emo, not 
metal, not hardcore, just punk), America in general is a pretty sad 
place. From what I've heard of Europe (including the UK) and Japan, 
punks seem to have a real presence and it sounds more like a community. 
I would love to live somewherewhere you could go see punks hanging out 
on the street corners any given day. America will never be like that. 
(Don't believe everything you read! - Ed.)

Jarrod: "We're a Philadelphia, PA based band, but actually Mike and Mark 
are the only members who actually live there. I been to a lot of 
different cities playing and going to shows and I can say that 
Philadelphia is seriously one of the worst.  I can say that with a clear 
conscience because I don't live 
there. But as a whole I see the philly scene as back very hypocritical 
and counterproductive.  Plus it is one big clique.  If you don't kiss 
ass and play by other's rules then you're fucked. The funny thing is, is 
that the same people who will talk shit about you are the first people 
to come and ask you for help when things go wrong.  I don't know too 
much about scenes in other countries from first hand experience becasue 
I have never been outside of the USA before, but from what I hear and 
the records that buy I think that there are a lot of really great scenes 
out there.  Especially in Japan.  I keep seeing new Japanese bands 
popping up all the time, and I keep hearing about how good of a scene 
they have over there.  I heard that about Germany too. I think America 
has a decent scene but it is so spread out."


Kontrol: Where do you stand on all this 'Sell-out' business? 

Mike: "The way I feel about the sell out business is this: If a band is 
real fucking vocalagainst corporate labels and whatnot and then does it 
when the opportunity comes knockin at the door, then fuck them, they are 
hypocrites. And then that would make you a sell out. If a band never 
claimed to be against that shit, and that is what they choose to do, 
then fine. That was the choice they made and thats cool. They are not 
selling out because they never claimed to be against it in the first 
place."

Mark: "It seems that if there are more than ten kids wearing your shirt, 
you are considered a sell out. I feel as long as you dont become 
hypocritical in your music it is not selling out. The best way to 
progress is to put out as much music as possible."

Chris: "I think that as soon as you label yourself a punk band, you 
automatically become against major labels, MTV, etc. I don't care 
whether you confront the topic in your lyrics or not...if you play the 
Warped Tour, sign with a big label, have a video, whatever...you're just 
not a punk band anymore. You may continue to play punk style music, but 
you aren't punks, and never will be again. When you do things like that 
you go against the very reasons punk was started. I don't want any 
exposure...i just want to play for punks, make records for punks. I know 
I'll never make money, I'll never be on the radio or MTV, but that's not 
why I'm in this. I'm in this cause its what I believe, and its my life."

Jarrtod: "I have a real problem with bands that say they are against 
making money, fame, etc. and then end up getting into those very same 
things.  The excuse that they just want to express their ideas to a 
larger crowd is fucking garbage too.  In America we have what is called 
the Warped tour where it 
is bands like Rancid, Greenday, etc that go and play this huge tour 
sponsored by like Pepsi and all these people who want nothing more to do 
with punk then to make money.  Do you really think Pepsi would have 
anything to do with punk ideals if there wasn't money involved? So 
anyway, at each stop on the 
tour there is always opening for local bands to play etc.   And these 
bands basically sell their soul and make compromises in order to play.  
Afterward they use the excuse "We just wanted to get our ideas out to a 
larger crowd", but that is garbage because most of the people there 
don't care about  ideas.
When you take something that was meant to be raw and sincere, then match 
it with money, profit, fame, etc. it takes away a lot of the sincerity. 
Plus a lot of bands let it go to their head.  After eventually realizing 
that you won't get rich off of playing underground clubs, halls, 
basements, etc. for like 200-300 people, and then they play a big show 
like the warped tour for like 1000- 2000 kids, and they see that they 
can make money, then money becomes the motive instead of the ideas. So 
then they start making 
excuses in order to find away for them to justify to themselves that it 
is ok to abandon their ideas in order to increase their fame and income.  
There is nothing wrong with making money, and there are a lot of 
underground bands that do that without having to compromise. In my eyes, 
"selling out" is abandoning your ideas and beliefs in order to gain 
popularity. And with the warped tour, sure maybe you can still play your 
songs they way you always have, but look who is profiting form your 
performance? Pepsi? And all the other stands that set up selling 'Punk' 
merchandise? I just have a real problem with people making money off of 
my sincere ideas and beliefs just for the purpose of increasing profits.

Dave: "I don't care about progression as far as coverage, selling 
records, being on TV, having my fucking face on a T- Shirt.  Progression 
happens for me with my music.  I play it and do it for myself.  I don't 
care about getting paid for it, or getting chicks for it."


Kontrol: Sorry, did you say chicks or cheques there? :) Anyhow, what do 
you make of the European fascination of festivals? 

Mike: "We do not have anything compared to Holidays in the Sun over 
here. We do have cock rock festivals though with such inspiring acts as 
Bad Religion, Rancid, Cherry Poppin Daddys and No Doubt. Nothin like 
Holidays though. I think it is a great thing. Would I be concerned that 
its expensive? Not at all. It's not cheap to put on event like that, and 
you are basically watching history repeat itself.to me thats worth 
something. And also those bands should make some money for doing that. 
Think about the number of people they influenced! Why shouldn't they 
make a couple bucks for that fuckin show, 
or do a tour and make some of the money they deserve? More power to em! 
Why should a band like No Doubt make money but a band like Vice Squad 
who played Holidays not? Fuckin right they have a right to get paid."

Mark: "Yes, we have events like that, they are also too expensive, and 
they don't promote local or even real punk bands. I went to Anarchy in 
the UK in London in 1994,and it was a great time."

Chris: "I think the festival thing is great, I would love to play one, 
or even go see one. I think its great to see the old bands, but I 
question some of their motives. Bands like the Special Duties, The 
Varukers, Instant Agony, etc etc...sure they've reformed, but they're 
picking up exactly where they left off, and they're not doing it to make 
money. Do you think The Varukers or Special Duties make a dime when they 
come tour over here, playing small clubs and holes in the wall, to 2-300 
people tops? Hell no. They barley break even. Do you think Instant Agony 
will make money on the self-released EP they 
just put out? No way. They're just doing what they love...and bands like 
The Exploited, and GBH have not broken up...although they've changed 
sounds a bit, they're still there, and are still punk, and hold so much 
respect in my eyes. I won't name names, (Arhh! Always name names 
if you're gonna make accusations!! You mean Stiff Little Fingers, The 
Damned, X-Ray Spex, etc... -Ed.) but I think a good number of 
the reunited bands do it for money reasons, and if I suspect it I won't 
support them. It would be great to see more newer bands at these 
festivals, but sadly, there aren't many new bands that could hold up 
well with bands of such caliber. (Bull!! What makes old bands 
any better than new? It's just a matter of attitude and confidence. 
Craft your songs a bit decent, practice a lot and you'll blow away the 
best of 'em!! - Ed.) Maybe the future will see differently, but 
for now, that's the way I see it."

Jarrod: "We have nothing like that here in the USA. Not what I would 
call a 'real' punk festival anyway.  I would love to go to see like 
Holidays in the Sun or something. I've seen the videos and I would kill 
to see that many good bands all at the me festival.  Sometimes here in 
the USA, when a touring band comes through a city, sometimes people who 
set up the shows don't add any local or new bands to the bill.  All 
bands should get at least one shot a playing a show. Personally I like 
it when a show is set up to include older bands and newer bands.  I 
think that if you're setting up a 'festival' or something along those 
lines, that you should definitely allow newer bands to play. Mix it up 
among older and newer bands.But like I said I don't know much about 
those festivals because I don't really have any first hand 
experience."


Kontrol: OK. The Limeys revenge!! Why are the US so bad at Football 
(Soccer)? 

Jarrod: "I don't know how it is in the UK, but in the USA all the people 
involved with sports like soccer, American football, baseball, etc, from 
the players to the fans- none of them would want anything to do with, 
nor would they want any kind of punks or skinheads or anyone from the 
scene involved with their sports.  When you are growing up in school, in 
America that is, all the kids who are into sports would go out of their 
way to make fun of and harass punks and skinheads, and whoever.  So here 
no one from the scene wants anything to do with any kind of sports. 
That's why I never understood why a lot of the bands etc. from the UK 
are into Football, or as it is called here- Soccer, because in America 
Punks have nothing to do with sports and vice versa. So I really don't 
know too much about any sports, or teams etc. I didn't even know the USA 
had a soccer team!"


Kontrol: Let's just say Football used to be a working class pastime, 
both watching and playing. However, nowadays, to get into a Premier 
league match it costs around twenty pounds (forty dollars?) so in effect 
by putting up the prices they keep out the 'poor' trouble makers whom UK 
football is renowned for. Right? Wrong. 'Cos all the real football 
hooligans are loaded so the only people who are ommited are the 'poor'. 
Premier league football is a middle class playground now - the lower 
league's have a little more honesty. But as with Punk Rock - the best 
football to be found is played by the 'part-timers' in park on a Sunday 
morning, and it's free to watch!! Beerguts, punch-ups and broken legs 
galore!! I take the piss out of US Soccer, though the US national team 
did actually beat England not long ago - though by our current standard, 
that's no big deal. 

Chris: "I could care less about sports. The only difference I see 
between UK soccer teams and American soccer teams is that some are 
people kicking a ball from England, and some are people kicking a ball 
from America. Like Jarrod said, sports and punk don't go together in 
America."

Dave: "I hate sports but until the UK makes a sport of drinking a case 
of beer and driving a race car, don't ask why the USA is bad at 
anything....just kidding...actually I don't follow any sports."


Kontrol: Hey, Dave. A two line answer!!!! Just kidding. 

Mike: "I'll agree with Jarrod on this one. I didn't even know we had a 
soccer team."

Mark: "The reason why our team is so bad, is that in the US, there is no 
money in the media for soccer, so there is no crowd support."


Kontrol: There you go! Correct answer. What better reason do you need to 
adopt the sport - neglected by the Media because it's not trendy: Sound 
familiar???? 
THE VIRUS can be contacted at:

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Apt. 503
Philadelphia, PA. 19103
U.S.A

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E-mail Kontrol! Box 999, 26a Hooks Hall Drive, Dagenham, Essex, RM10 7BL. UK.
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