donderdag 1 november 2012

Interview with Mike and Twig from Hoods (US)

This interview was done in Ghent and although it was already the middle of October, it actually felt like a late summer evening. When I asked Mike if he would be up to doing a small interview, he went to get Twig, the tourmanager and his Belgian mates. "Don't move, stay here!", he said. After two minutes of waiting, we were pulled into the closest bar and beer was served.
I must say that the answers to this interview are funny and sometimes completely absurd. Most important of all is that those guys are as honest as Jesus used to be back in the days.
This is pretty much how it goes:

How is the tour going until now?
Twig: It was fine, but unfortunately we had a few cancellations in germany.
Mike: There have been a couple of technical difficulties, but… Fuck it. Next question.

Could you maybe specify the diffulties for us?
Mike: There has not been enough weed, beer and he (points at Twigg) lost cocaine. Yeah, nooooo.

Do you remember the very first moment this line came to your mind: “I want to be in a band!”.
Mike: I was listening to ‘Catch Scratch Fever’ from Ted Nugent and it was 1980. What year were you born anyway? You wouldn’t even know.

Twig: I had friends that were in a band when I was in sixth grade, around 1986 and that was my motivation to be in a band.

Why is the band called Hoods?
Mike: Hoods is Californian and means we are fucking weird. Actually ‘Hood’ is an American hooligan. But I’m not such a hooligan.

But you look like one.

(Mike looks mad at me and after a short silence the table laughs)

It’s just the footballshirt you are wearing…
Mike: Let me see your glasses.

(I hand over my glassed and Mike puts them on.)

Mike: Do I look sophisticated? I would vote for me. You look taller now by the way.

Where does your inspiration come from?
Mike: My cats. You think I am kidding? I can't explain my love for cats. (takes his phone)
This is Romeo and this is Bella. I’ll show you cats for one week, just a moment. This is Bella, my cat wife. Bella in Italian means good looking chick or beautiful. You want to keep going? (doesn’t leave any time to answer). This is Friendly Beast and here is Chum Chum.

Twig, where does… (Mike starts pulling my arm to watch another thousand of catpictures)

Why is your band about cats?
Mike: Look at this! There is Chum Chum!

After a while…

So Twig, where does your inspiration come from?
Twig: I must say I’m inspired by Mike’s phone. Haha no, actually early 80’s hardcore is an important influence. Also no politics are involved into our music and since we are not straight edge there is alcohol involved.

Mike (Yelling from the background): Knuckledust is the best band in Europe, fuck off!

What is your favourite song of Hoods?
Twig: I don’t have a favourite song… See, he took his fucking phone out and now you are not going to get any answer anymore.

Mike: For me it’s that one song that goes like: "Don'tfuckingfightlet'spartytonightandifyou'restraightedgedon'tworryibuyyouaspriteLOOKATMYCATS".

What about your future plans?
Mike: Never to come back to Belgium.

Twig: We have a new CD coming out in about 6 months containing like 10 songs. Until now we still don't have a name for it.

Mike: The title of the new album is Chum Chum Beast.

Say Mike, where do your cats sleep at night?
Mike: They sleep in my bed. By the way, I went to my very first show was in 1987. What year were you born?

Glenn (Brutality’s promoguy): 1988!

Mike: you weren't even born! I was at my first show when you were not even born. Seven Seconds were playing.

(Twig whispers another question into my ear.)

Can I…?
Twig (laughs): Of course, go ahead!

Mike, have you ever been diagonized with mental disorders?
Mike: Are you asking Mike Hood of Mike Mraz?

Do you remember the very first Hoods show?
Mike: It was in January 1995 with Earth Crisis and Will Haven.
How long do I have planned be in Hoods? I can't fucking quit it, I hate Hoods!

What was your first show in Belgium like?
Mike: It was Ieperfest in 2004… and I beat up the soundman.

Mike: he called me an asshole. So I showed him what an asshole was and kicked his fucking ass. After that we did not play the festival for five years because the organisation did not book us. But after that we played almost every year because the people love us. 

So in the end, the organisation punished you for it…?
Mike: Hey, they did not punish me, they punished themselves. That is because any other band that gets on stage and says bullshit like 'I believe in unity, I like you, make friends with everyone'. I don't want to be fucking friend with everybody, only with the people I love and care about. I'm not a big motherfucker, but when I'm on stage and see things I don't like I'm going to say it. Wheather it's politically correct or not, racist, love, hate. I'm going to tell you exactly what I think, also if I don't like you. I just tell the truth.
Those other bands are all pussies, nobody says the truth. If you got a problem, then speak up. All the hardcorebands now want everybody to love everyone else, but fuck that. It's never been like that. It started with people like us that were the outcasts and now everyone is the popular kid, doing interviews in pubs and wearing beautiful glasses and a having a nice skin. Cheers! (everyone raises their glasses)
Nobody speaks their fucking mind. I am always honest.  People say bad things about me, but what they never want to know is that I love cats.

What is your opinion on straight edge?
Mike: I was straight edge for almost nine years. Because I was a drug addict and an alcoholic. I didn't do it because it was fucking popular. I did it because I needed it. These kids now are straight edge because they think it's a crew because those guys look though just because they are straight edge. Fuck those motherfuckers. If you live in the street and have a hard time, you come up like a hardcore punk like I did; that was a fucking struggle. We fought every fucking minute. When we were in high school everybody was pointing at us because we were different. Now everyone is the fucking same. I am not the same. I am not like those kids at the show tonight. That would be nice, but I'm not a fucking hardcore kid no more. I am not part of this shit. I am distant. I am the real hardcore kid. Now it's popular and everybody thinks it's cool. You know when we were young kids, when you were into hardcore punk or a skinhead, then you were the weirdo. I love hardcore very much, but it's a lot different now.
When we were kids nobody liked us, nobody wanted to be us. But there were ten of us, twenty of us, thirty of us. And then we had a crew, then we became strong. Nobody would say something because we will kick your fucking face.
Now it's like: 'hardcore, whiiiiii!'

Twig: In the 80's hardcore was different. Back then you were the outcast and now it's a cool thing to do. Same with being straight edge or vegan. People are so stupid, it became too cool. Look at Bernie (Hoods' tourmanager), he is into hardcore because he thinks it's cool.
It's not the same as it used to be in the days. And it never will be. We can pretty much give that up. You cannot make it what it was, but you can teach the people now about the past. And make them respect the way it was and bringing some respect into the future of the scene.  It’s important for the nowadays for the scene and the kids to know where bands like Hoods get their input from (think about Agnostic Front for example), because most of them don’t know.

Tell us something about the European fans.
Twig: The German fans obviously need to smoke more weed. The Berlin crowd is boring, it always has been boring there actually, no idea why. But our last show in Germany was very good actually, it was in Aachen.
Belgium is the best fucking country ever. We will be moving here and live in Bernie’s garage!
Belgium is amazing, Poland is amazing, Austria is amazing, Denmark is amazing, Switserland is amazing. Every country around Germany is pretty amazing. It also depends from town to town.
Germany is kind of weird for hardcore. They are very political and take it too extreme. At some point they are not having fun anymore. They are doing music for political reasons instead of doing music to forget about political reasons. It’s a fine line in this. The music and the message is great about their music, but the thin line in this... The Germans are getting there, it’s going better and better but they need some more time.

Special thanks to Twig.

Video from the night the interview was done.

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