American Heartbreak (2001)

AMERICAN HEARTBREAK in Europe ? When I’ve heard about that, I immediately emailed a friend who is part of a collective organizing shows to know if we could co-produce the concert together. That was ok, so on the concert day, after a killer show we couldn’t miss the opportunity to ask them a few questions for Veglam zine. It took place in the hotel at 3:00 AM !! Many thanks for being so nice, guys! Don’t miss them when they’ll be back in Europe !

How do you feel about the tour so far ?
Billy : That’s been great. We played almost every night and the crowds and the shows have been great. It’s been some long drives but the shows have been goin’ well.

What’s the main difference between Europe and the United States ?
People get way more into it overhere but it’s hard to compare. In America, people are very reserved.

Michael : there’s not a lot of rock fans, they’re mostly into KORN or LIMP BIZKIT. Some of them are into NO FX and The OFFSPRING.

What kind of bands do you play with there ?
We play with every kind of bands.

Billy : we’ve played with bands like WARRANT to The DICKIES. What is great about our trip over here is that people know our songs, they know the words.

I was about to ask you this question when I saw this German punk guy who knew all of your lyrics tonight…
Yeah ! And it’s been like that on many shows. That’s pretty good. We came this far, not expecting very much but that happened.

Are you gonna tour in Japan ?
Yeah, we plan. Michael and I went over there with our previous bands (JETBOY and EXODUS), it’s a fantasy island (laughs.) It should be fine to play in the clubs there with this band. We have some hardcore fans and a website in Japan. We cross our fingers. We hope to tour Japan with our friends BLACK HALOS.

What bands do you like nowadays ?
Adam : I like SUPERSUCKERS for a long time.

Billy : there’s a lot you know. BACKYARD BABIES, TSAR. But there’s not a lot of rock bands in America , the only one that’s known is maybe BUCKCHERRY. The US “rock” scene is pretty bleak.

Michael : yeah, LIMP BIZKIT…

Billy : and they call that rock’n’roll. We’ve seen that they’re really big over here too.

Michael : in America it’s either LIMP BIZKIT or Britney Spears…

It’s strange because we often see images of American kids looking very rock’n’roll, we thought that it was still big…

Billy : it was, yeah, but now it’s underground. It’s more like a club.

Michael : bands like us are now like punk rock because it’s so underground. The punk rock bands became…whatever, but now we’re the punk rock. What used to be mainstream is now underground.

Billy : punk rock bands such as GREEN DAY, RANCID and even NO FX are huge. They’re like mainstream today.

About Britney Spears, you have a T-shirt with her on it, haven’t you ?
Michael : we love Britney (laughs.)

Billy : every guy loves Britney (laughs.) Mike got the idea.

Michael : we have a Traci Lords one too.

Billy : T-shirts are selling good over here. Back home, it doesn’t happen much.

Adam : when we play at home, people in the audience would look at each other to see if their friends like it.

A few hours ago, we talked about the L.A scene…
Adam : rock’n’roll is pretty big in L.A. still.

Billy : yeah, there’s some good rock bands. COYOTE SHIVERS is great.

Adam : Richard Hell.

Michael : TSAR…

Is there still many clubs ?
Billy : in L.A there are, but there’s not too many in San Francisco. Now it’s more a “.com” computer world. But we can drive down to L.A for a day to do a show, this is quite close. The best part is maybe the weather, girls walking down the streets (laughs.)

Adam : but we’d rather concentrate on touring rather than to be the king of one city.

Billy : coming over here is a proof of that. This is the first serious tour that we’ve done and I think this is a place to come back. Build and build up to a bigger level, you know… as well as Japan. BACKYARD BABIES do it quite well. We’ve played with them in America, so… bands like BUCKCHERRY do better because they have big bucks behind them, they’re on a major label.

Michael : yeah, but if this record doesn’t sell, they’ re not gonna be big anymore.

Billy : they were pretty lucky, they had the right people behind them. Hopefully, if this record or the new BACKYARD BABIES does well, this will help out bands like us. One band can open the door for everybody else. It’s just like KORN and LIMP BIZKIT, it’s the same thing. The last thing was NIRVANA and SOUNDGARDEN ans the seattle scene.

Do you think you could be the band opening the door for the others ?
Billy : it would be nice.

Michael : if we guys were on a major label, we might be able to do it.

And what about the media like MTV or the radios ?
Billy : MTV in America is like game shows, you know… it’s pretty pathetic.

Michael : and radios always play the same music…

Billy : America is in a strange state right now with music (laughs.) It’s pretty scary. Now that we have a shithead for president, maybe rock’n’roll will become big again. That’s the only good thing about the idiot (laughs.)

Michael : yeah, people need something to rebel against. So nobody likes George Bush out there, did they like Bill Clinton ?

Yeah, Bush isn’t popular. People had quite a good opinion about Clinton. You should see George Bush on a TV puppet show here, that’s funny.
Billy : (laughs) I would love to see that.

Michael : he looks like the guy from Mad magazine.

Billy : I’m sure that people over here look at America in a very comical way in a sense.

It’s really strange that such a guy came to power…
Michael : We would like to apologize for that (laughs.)

OK. Let’s come back to music. I suppose that The RAMONES had had a big influence on you…How do you feel about Joey Ramone’s death ?
Billy : Yes, they had a big influence on everybody…that’s a sad story, he was just about to turn 50.

Adam : especially in Europe, every one seems to like MOTORHEAD and The RAMONES.

Michael : Joey used to support all the local bands in New York.

Do you think you’ll do a cover song , a tribute or something ?
Michael : there’s so many bands doing tributes… Joey doesn’t need us to do it.

Billy : I mean, if we were asked, I’m sure we would do it.

Adam : we have a DEAD BOYS song that is supposed to come out.

You also told me about a ROSE TATOO tribute ?
Michael : we played me, Billy and the drummer with a different singer.

Adam : it’s available here cause we saw it in Belgium.

They’ll be on tour soon.
Billy : they’ re like one of my favourite bands and I’ve never seen them…

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