Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Greg Mental interview pt. 3 ("goofy" band w/ "goofy" image)

If I'm gonna get any flack here (besides the inherent flack of re-packaging old paper-zine content to html plastic), it's likely for running a little too dorky here, potentially assigning too much importance to LOC. Whatever. Hardcore was absolutely the center of my universe then and it reflects in the stupid things I asked. It's all I talked about with my friends and a lot of my friends HATED Lockin Out.  What's hardcore if not for nerding out over it anyway? Plus, this portion of the interview yielded the impetus for the lil character below. Well, that and Onslaught's Power from Hell. (Keen observer will note: my LOC and diet soda splatter replace Power From Hell's pentagram and phantasmic plumes).
(I think he's actually a bad guy from Ninja Turtles in spirit.) My favorite bit of content here was talking about blood splatter tees and the WNYU tapes. 


Power from Diet Soda + Protein Powder

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3:

Tell me about Boston. It seems like it's a big component of Lockin Out's identity.
Boston rules man. There was a tight crew of dudes around me and we had some incredible times. There were a few apartments just packed with crucial dudes who loved nothing but diet soda, protein powder, dead lifting, moshing and listening to Breakdown. A lot of them are still around, and have the same ideas and I guess I'm one of them. At the time, we were super young and didn't have much responsibility so everyone hung out a lot more. I'm not around quite as much because of my job and a lot of the dudes have moved on to becoming adults. It's just how it goes. I'm still tight with a lot of the people I used to roll with, we just don't get to chill much as a crew anymore... 

There was definitely an undercurrent of people who seemed miffed that Lockin Out bands weren't "serious" the way that hardcore was at the time. I can understand people not liking that "style" of hardcore, but looking at it logically, it would seem that you guys took it very seriously. Seriously enough to tour and release records.
Yeah, I can really only speak for Mental here, but we definitely played anywhere we could every weekend. Once we got our shit tight, it was always tight. We always changed up our cover songs, we always practiced. The band was never a joke to us. That's not even a question. We busted our asses. Plus, bands like Righteous Jams are just dope bands. Why wouldn't they do well on tour? I just think the "image" of hardcore was WAY too serious at the time.

That's what made Lockin Out so refreshing for me. It wasn't presented as "tough" or "sincere" like a lot of hardcore at that time. It was lighter and kind of refreshing.
It's like this: how many bands have guns or knives or knuckles on their shirts? No disrespect to the ones who actually use them, but what percentage of those bands ACTUALLY would? I didn't want Mental to have that fake image, so if we were the "goofy" band with a "goofy" image that's fine with me. I'm a light-hearted dude so that fits me more than having some blood splatter or knives on our tees. I really just liked the image of old school hardcore bands. Those bands had the same attitude that I have now. You listen to old tapes, bands were always crackin' wise and having a good time. To me, that's what it was all about. Having fun and letting off some steam.

WNYU tapes come to mind. It sounds like bands are hanging out with each other. I've heard you're like a connoisseur of those WNYU tapes...
When I got into hardcore I used to go to this record store in Hyannis and the dude working there got me heavily into NYHC. I got most of my WNYU tapes from an older head from Connecticut. I started collecting all the rare shit once I started traveling more with Mental and making connections with people who had good collections of stuff to dub for me. I love those WNYU tapes man. Supertouch doin' it live on St. Patty's day! Shit is dope.


Funky fresh



I think the "Live on WERS" tapes are the closest I'll ever get to having my own cache of  WNYU tapes. Can you tell me anything about Mental's session?
It was recorded live and in one take! That's why I couldn't really swear and stuff. That was a lot of fun and we had so many people in that studio. WERS is awesome. 


I've always loved the Sweet Vision comp. It's just one of those great "moment in time" comps. Do you think there will ever be another LOC comp?
I'd LOVE to do another comp, but...Sweet Vision was all recorded at the same studio. If I did it again, I'd follow the same blueprint. I think it makes for a very cool record that way, but It's just nearly impossible to get all those bands to get all their shit together and into a studio. Like super hard.


Plus, Lockin Out's "family" is a lot more spread out now. It must've been so cool when Lockin Out started expanding beyond strictly "Boston" area bands. Were these relationships all built off Mental tours?
Just friends of mine from out of town you know? When Mental would tour, I'd see tons of different bands and meet different people. If I dug it and they were down I'd fuck with them like that. That's what I love about touring. You get the chance to meet a lot of people that you'll be friends with for a long time that you wouldn't normally meet. Iron AgeJusticeCold World...those guys all blew up which is a great thing. I love helping my friends out. It makes me really happy to be able to do that.


MINI SUMMER SLAM


Since you're not touring now, how are you finding new bands to work with?
I'm not really scouting hard for bands. It's not a priority. Like I said, the label is just a hobby. I'm not out there pounding the pavement trying to find the next new thing.

Do bands send you their stuff much? Wanting to put stuff out on LOC?
Bands get in touch with me all the time, but I usually don't even listen to the demos.


Maybe it was that Nike shirt designs, but what's your take on the "jock hardcore" accusations?There's always that weird thing about sports and punk and all that shit. What's your take?
The first band I sang in back in high school had a song called "white hat trash fuck off!" I didn't write it, but believe me, I fucking hated jocks in high school.

So you didn't play sports in high school?
No I didn't. I played tennis for a year, but fucked up my ankle skateboarding. I'm still dope at tennis but only play when it's nice out with my roommates or whatever chick is hanging out. I haven't had any good competition since high school, but I think I'm a better athlete now than I was then.


Be true to yer school





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