Interview from Neglect Fanzine #3
by James

On the day before thanksgiving, I finally got to see Apocalypse Hoboken for the first time. Although the overall show wasn't amazing, Apocalypse Hoboken put on the best set I've seen so far. I had a great time singing along, but ended up not taking any pictures because of it. I did this interview with Sean after they played, in the little bar at the Tempe Bowl,...

Neglect: Okay, so how long have you been on tour with Murder City Devils and At the Drive-In?

Sean: Well, this is just like a short tour for us,.. This is, I guess this is the fourth day, cause we did San Antonio, El Paso, Albuquerque, and tonight,.. and we're just going up to Saturday, so like three more shows.

Neglect: Are you playing tomorrow?

Sean: Yeah, in LA. On thanksgiving.

Neglect: Happy Thanksgiving. (some laughter)

Sean: Well we got friends in LA for the first time in a long time, so it might not be that bad.

Neglect: Alright, I'm not sure how much you personally know about it, but I hear you were on a Fearless comp, and yeah, I think it was a Fearless comp, were the first couple copies pressed, your song that was sent to them was fucked up somehow,...
Sean: Yeah,.. I'm not exactly sure where it happened, I don't think it was on our end, cause I like mixed it, I transferred it on to the DAT, and it seemed fine, but somewhere in the transfer to the CD master it got screwed up and played real slow,... have you heard it?

Neglect: No, I've been looking for that version of it cause I want to hear it.

Sean: I'll make you a copy of it, it's the song, but it's slowed down,... and it sounds like, like a bad metal song. (some laughs). Which is what we like border on anyway. (more laughing).

Neglect: But the people at Fearless didn't recognize that?

Sean: I don't know. I don't know what happened there,... the consensus, as far as we're concerned is, I don't think Fearless really likes us that much. There's like one person there who is really behind us, and everyone else is kind of like, "ehhh". I don't know that for certain, but we just kind of figured it.

Neglect: Yeah? Is that what it's like with Johann's Face? Is it Johann's?? (that's me checking pronunciation.)

Sean: Yeah, Johann's.

Neglect: Okay, checking. (laughs). Well what happened with them with the stuff going out of print?

Sean: Well that's a weird thing,... cause as far as I know it's still in print. Mordam still has it in the catalog. So we don't really know what's going on, and we're not home enough to really find out. But um, we've been on Johann's for awhile, and we're good friends with the guys who run the label, and we're good friends with all the bands who were on the label, and are still on the label,... you know, it's just you have a difference in opinions and stuff. And any time you have a label with a guy who's also in a band on the label, you're gonna run into a problem. I mean we were on the label, and we were paying for our recording and stuff,.. and we didn't expect to be paid back for the recording, or anything like that. But then we find out that all of our royalties are basically going to his band to record, and like Steve Albini's studio and stuff like that. And that's lame, you know what I mean? If he's going to do that, then he should do that for all of his bands. All of his bands should be paid for, not just his.

Neglect: Well what do you have released on there? Just seven inches?

Sean: Well, he put out a double 7", Date Rape Nation which is out of print now. And he put out the Easy Instructions for Complex Machinery CD which is, according to him, out of print, but I hear people are ordering it still from Mordam, so there might be a few copies left over hear and there.

Neglect: Yeah, whenever I go to look for that, it's never there.

Sean: Well we got the vinyl of that here, cause there's always a few of those laying around,.. and then he put out a CD of Date Rape Nation and a 10" that we did on Dyslexic, that is actually back in print on vinyl which we're happy about.

Neglect: So it's those two one CD?

Sean: Yeah, yeah. And that's out of print now,.. so we're trying to get all of that stuff back, and either find a new label to put it out on, or put it ourselves if we can put the money together.

Neglect: So what happened with Kung Fu Records, how'd you get on with them?

Sean: Well, I'm not exactly sure how it happened, I know that we ended up playing a show with the Vandals and the Suicide Machines in Chicago, it was when they did the tour together, and Assorted Jelly Beans were there too, and then we got added on the bill. We have the same booking agent as The Vandals and the Suicide Machines, and I think it was good for the booking agent to put us one the bill, cause she probably knew Joe had a label and would probably help us out, cause all we had was Johann's. (short pause). Which was cool, it was great, for a growing band, it was a great step,.. but distribution was only around surrounding Illinois states. And it's hard enough being a mid-west band. (laughing). You got a much better advantage on the west or east coast.(pause) Yeah, fighting upstream. I mean look at Naked Raygun. Those guys should have been huge. They'd draw like 3500, and then go to California and draw 50. That's horrible.

Neglect: (me nodding) So,.. how's Kung Fu? I hear a lot of bad stuff about them as a label. I really have no idea what that means, but then there's stuff. Like MRR not taking their ads,...

Sean: Well we got an ad in the new one.

Neglect: Oh yeah? good!

Sean: Yeah, and they reviewed us too. Not a really good one, but they don't know. (laughs) Yeah, I don't know. When Joe started the label, he had some ties with Time Bomb, which is affiliated with a major, I'm not sure which one. But it's the best situation for him since he then got some money to start out. I'm not saying it's the best thing he could have done,.. cause the guy's a lawyer, he's got money, he could have started it. But I can't second guess him, because I'm not him. But I don't think he's a bad person, I think he's a good person. They've been fair to use. I wish they'd run a few more ads for us.

Neglect: Well why MRR wasn't taking the ads?

Sean: Well Maximum wasn't taking them because of a guy named Dave Liberation who put up a big stake about Kung Fu having a tie to a major. His big beef was that Joe lied about it at first. he said "no no, no major label ties", and then it was found that, yes he did. So he was singled out by Dave and Liberation Records and magazine, as being a liar and all of this bad stuff. And I don't know if it's true or not, but if it is, Joe should have told the truth to begin with. But that's why. MRR won't most labels with ties. They won't take anything major label. But if you have tie, they really won't. Unless you're Less Than Jake and you release a 7" on a small label. (laughs again). Which is fine. I love Less Than Jake, and we're good friends with those guys. (I laugh again).

Neglect: But would that have determined wether or not you'd go with Joe?

Sean: Well, we did some heavy thinking about it to tell you the truth. We just figured, well there were other labels we probably would have preferred to go with, just no one was interested with us.

Neglect: I don't see why though.

Sean: Yeah, neither do I. (laughing). I mean we talked to Nitro, and there was some limited stuff, like with Fat, although it was very minimal.

Neglect: Yeah. I don't know. I think you guys are heavy for Fat, but now it doesn't even matter.

Sean: Yeah, look what they're taking now. Same with Nitro. They're going all over the place. Taking hard core and stuff,... and Epitaph. I would have loved to gone on Epitaph, although I don't know about now.

Neglect: Well yeah. But they do have that whole rock and roll/garage thing phase in effect and stuff.

Sean: Yeah, they're doing some hardcore with bands like Straight Faced now. (pause) Which is great. I think it's important for these labels to expand their sound, band with, or whatever you would call it,.. so they're not just like "oh, that's a FAT band" "or that's a Epitaph sound, it sounds like Bad Religion". Which is cool, but horrible for us. You know, the first band to sign on Epitaph, they've never toured before, but they'll go out to Chicago and draw 200 people because they are on Epitaph. I don't know.

Neglect: Well who else would you have been interested in. How bout Crypt? Are they even still around?

Sean: I don't know, but I would have loved to talk to them. I don't know if we're exactly they're thing.

Neglect: Well I don't know. I can see there's lot's or rock and roll influence in there sometimes.

Sean: Oh yeah. Yeah. There's a lot more going on than just your straight ahead punk rock band. I don't know. We talked to BYO briefly. Some California labels, but I really think you need to be out there and be beating on their doors, while we're in Chicago.

Neglect: Well what about self releasing stuff?

Sean: Well we've done that for awhile. The first two seven inches came out on our label, which is Dick records, and then we did a CD, came out as a Dick and a Dyslexic release cause we split the cost with them. And then when this new CD was taking too long to come out, so we put out a promo 7", on Dick Records.

Neglect: Well you were done with the new CD before you were signed?

Sean: Oh yeah. The record was almost done when we signed with Kung Fu. But yeah, we're not going to just sit around. I mean we're a pretty busy band. I mean, we've got a whole new album recorded already. Well no, written not recorded, but we played a few new ones tonight. We just got to keep putting stuff out. I just wish we had enough outlets. I know with Joe and Kung Fu, we can do 7"s with other labels, but it's limited to a certain amount. It's a contract, but we haven't signed it. (some laughing) So we'll see how far we can push that envelope.

Neglect: Well are there any things planned for soon?

Sean: Well, we got a lot planned. Like we still want to do a split with the Blue Meanies. I don't know if you've ever heard them.

Neglect: Oh yeah, from your area.

Sean: Yeah, they're a Chicago band. We've been wanting to do that for awhile, and as soon as they are ready, we'll record our songs.

Neglect: Alright, well I guess that's it. Murder City's starting.

Sean: Yeah. Have you seen them?

Neglect: Nope, this'll be my first time.

Sean: They're really great.

Neglect: Alright, any thing else you want to say?

Sean: I guess,...just come check us out, cause we're playing all the time.

Neglect: After this tour, well how many more days are left?

Sean: We're going to be going up through Dec. 2. Our last date's in Denver. Then we're going to be home for the holidays. And we'll go out again in January, probably east coast. Might go to Europe. I don't know, everything's day to day for me right now,.. I don't want to get my hopes up too much.

Neglect: Alright, thanks.

Sean: Cool man, thanks.

I talked to Sean for a little while after the interview was done. I brought up how much I love Teengenerate and old New Bomb Turks,.. talked about that. He says that he just read something in Flipside about Teengenerate, and that he didn't think they've broken up. Hey! Wether that's true or not, that's great, it gives me hope that I might see them. Being that not too many kids know them,.. and they're from Japan, there's no way for me to see right away, but for months I've been under the assumption that they weren't around anymore. That's good news for me. Anyway, if you here about a show Apocalypse Hoboken is playing by you, I really urge you to see these guys. They were nothing short of amazing. Thanks again to Sean, cause the interview wasn't even planned,.. just a last minute thing.