Seems as if Michael Todd, Coheed and Cambria‘s bassist, felt it necessary to rob a Walgreens of some Oxycotin the other night right before a show. Apparently he showed the pharmacist a note on his phone saying he had a bomb, stole 6 bottles and then fled the scene in a taxi that dropped him off at the venue the band was playing at.
There are a few aspects to this event that just have me scratching my head:
First, you are a rock star, don’t tell me that no one could score you a mind altering drug at the venue.
Second, you are a rock star… Who the hell in their right mind robs a Walgreens, mind you, the day of a show that you are more than likely getting paid a pretty penny for?
Third, a cellphone note? Really? Wow dude. I guess it’s better than a machete.
Coheed and Cambria posted a statement on their Tumblr page:
Michael Todd was arrested today on what we consider very serious charges and therefore he will not be finishing up the current tour. Wes Styles, long time member of the Coheed family will take on bass duties starting tomorrow for the remaining dates. No shows will be canceled.
We are surprised to say the least and will address the situation with Michael after the tour. For now, we just want to have a great time out here and finish with some killer shows in Boston, Poughkeepsie, Quebec City and Halifax.
I’m glad the band was able to continue and I hope that when they say “address the situation” it means “kick him out of the band”. Millions of kids look up to you, way to be awesome about it Michael Todd. Hope it was worth it… Dumb ass.
Royer is most known as the front man of D.I. as well as was the original drummer for a little band called Social Distortion.
A few years ago I was lucky enough to interview Royer for Blogcritics.org. No, we did not share needles….
It’s actually kind of sad as he stated in the interview I did with him that he “wised up” when I asked about drug addiction. Read on if you would like, I really enjoyed interviewing this guy. He has a ton to say and held nothing back. I hope he gets out of his funk.
Remember when punk was not glorified and when the scene was almost forbidden?
I know it may come to you as quite a surprise, but punk has come a long way over the past 20 years. A lot of bands today credit the founders of the genre many feared when first created. D.I. was there when punk was growing. You may have never heard of them but I can tell you this, they are punk.
I had the opportunity to chat with Casey Royer, the founder of the punk band D.I. and also the only remaining member of the twenty something year old band. He was also once of the original members of Social Distortion, bet you did not know that. (If you did, props to you.)
Here lead vocalist Casey Royer takes some time to give me some excellent answers to some questions I have been pondering since I first put D.I.’s latest release On The Western Front into my CD player.
Where have you guys been? And what have you been doing to keep occupied throughout the years?
We haven’t toured internationally since the mid ’90s so, never breaking up, we’ve been playing west coast shows solely. All the members, past and present of D.I. are still based in Orange County [California]. To keep occupied, I surf, play music, and try to set a good example in this confused world.
We also did a Monster Garage episode with the awesome Jessie James; whose favorite band is D.I. We played the Song “O.C. Life” while Jessie Built a Flying Car. As well as [featuring a song in] Tony Hawks Skate Video 2.
You’re one of the pioneers of the 80’s punk rock movement, what obstacles got in your way throughout the years?
Early on, our parents and teachers thought we were freaks, a dangerous sub-culture that was consuming the children, us. Then, the police battling punk by arresting as many people as they could for any violation they could think of. Then the pop-punk movement that ignored the old school punk style with punk looks but soft musical context.
I know Mike Ness [Social Distortion] suffered with a drug addiction that almost
ended his career; did you incur any experiences like this?
When Mike and I made up Social Distortion in 1976/77, in my bedroom at my parent’s house, pretty much all of us were experimenting with drugs. Luckily, I didn’t hit rock bottom before I wised up. My advice… hard drugs will ruin you and your music, unless you live in Amsterdam. Then you will write good music, but die young.
What brought you to disband Social Distortion? Was it really because of original guitarist Dennis Danell’s inability to play?
Mike and I were jamming for a couple years with bass player, Mark Garrett (RIP), with Rikk Agnew on guitar, and Tom Corvin singing. With a couple personnel changes, Mike wanted Dennis to play guitar. Dennis didn’t know how to play guitar, Rikk and I played well and were ready to play gigs, so we joined the Adolescents when Tony Adolescent asked.
So did you leave Social Distortion to pursue the Adolescents?
You have to understand, no one really was famous or trying to achieve rock and roll fame, so the decisions we made were pretty off the wall. A total disconnected new world that we ruled. Mike and I split up and I became the singer of S.D. for about a year with some early D.I. guys in 78. Even though Mike and I were the first S.D. I did make up the name so I went with it. I broke up S.D. and formed the Adolescents with Rikk Agnew. A new S.D. with Dennis Dannel (RIP), Brent Lyles RIP, (replaced by John Mauer) came about in 79; Social Distortion II… A whole new chapter.
What was it like growing up in the OC [Orange County, California] when punk rock was just starting to rise?
I was a junior in high school and it was the coolest movement you could ever imagine. A bunch of creative, upper-middle class, wasted youth terrorizing southern California. All of our parents had good jobs, living the American Dream, a perfect medium to facilitate a bunch of wild kids to do their thing. Hiding behind the middle-class facade with our parents in denial.
How was D.I. conceived?
A friend of mine, Steve Roberts and I jammed the first D.I. music at a place called Brea Beach in 1980. It didn’t re-surface for a few years after, when we practiced behind the pawn shop.
Have you worked with any other bands over the years?
Yea, I played in Agent Orange for a summer at the Hong Kong Café in Chinatown, Los Angeles. Also, Slayer covered a couple songs I wrote, “Richard Hung Himself” and “Spiritual Law”.
What kind of music are you most into?
Classic punk and a little classic rock.
How did you hook up with Suburban Noize records?
I’ve known Brad X and Lou-Dogg since the late 70’s when they were in a punk band called Doggeystyle. We have run into each other periodically throughout the years. When Daddy X heard that we had a new CD available, he immediately came to us with a deal. Knowing Brad personally, like a brother, I felt that it was our duty to join the ranks of Suburban Noize. I feel, even though we have different styles of music, we both
have the same beliefs and convey the same concepts.
You’ve done a couple of songs with the Kottonmouth Kings in the past, any plans on collaborating with KMK again?
We did some tracks on their recent release, Cloud Nine. The future… ? Who knows the sky’s the limit
Any plans for a tour in support for the new release?
Yes, of course. We plan to tour the US, Europe, or anywhere else they’d let us play. We’ve toured Europe a few times before, and have always received great response.
What’s it like being in the scene for over 20 years? How do you feel about the punk scene today?
It’s kind of weird, punk used to be fresh, dangerous, and violent, then it turned trendy and fashionable with watered down music and lyrics. The true old-school hard core still lingered underground in a non-popular, powerful way only to re-surface 20 years later. Weird.
In the 80’s punk movie Suburbia, you played “Richard Hung Himself” an Adolescent cover. Who’s idea was it for you guys to cover that song?
First of all, “Richard Hung Himself” is and always will be a D.I. song. I wrote the song while I was playing drums for the Adolescents. We never played it live and it wasn’t released on vinyl until 2006. Let me put it this way, in the Adolescents, we played the song for 20 minutes, twice. D.I. has played it for 20 years.
What was it like being behind the camera? Was it more improv or a live show? Was there a lot of takes of your performance during filming?
It was easy being behind camera because they told us all to just be ourselves. There was a script for all the parts in the movie, but all actors and band members fell victim to improv. They shot our performance about 2 or 3 times during filming.
What’s it like to play the movie at home and see yourself on screen as a young punker?
The same as it was when I saw it for the first time. I feel I have never had the chance to grow up and look at myself as old. Being a punk rock singer has locked me into a 20-25 year age bracket, and I can’t get out.
On you latest release On The Western Front, is the song “Punk Rock Suicide” about anyone in particular?
The song is about all the musicians who have given their lives to their musical scene with no regard to their social stature or political persecution. When we lost the Ramones, Joe Strummer, Sid Vicious, Dennis Danell, Brent Lyles, and so many other great artists of the underground, it makes one realize that we don’t seem to appreciate true dedication.
They will be missed but never forgotten.
How long did it take you and crew to record On The Western
About a year. We hop-scotched all over Los Angeles and Orange County, drum tracks in one studio, guitar tracks in a different studio, vocals, mixing, I’ve gone cross-eyed.
Will D.I. continue to put out new material?
Yes and a lot of it. We already working on the next CDand we’re having the best times of our lives. With Clinton Calton, guitar; Eddie Tatar, bass; Joe Tatar, drums; and Chicken on guitar, I feel we have the potential to go further than any punk band has gone before. And with Suburban Noize behind us, nothing can stop us. Check it out… www.diunderground.com.
Being an Irishman myself I have to confess that St. Patrick’s Day is my favorite time of the year. Forget the winter holidays, the turkey dinner, or the fireworks. I like my day to be green and I am not talking about Earth Day.
I remember the days when I would drink the day away with my brother and friends. We would start the day early, 4am early, and pretty much try to destroy our livers. I would sing, ok attempt to sing, Irish songs while spending ridiculous amounts of money on liquids that would guarantee in a disturbing hangover. Boondock Saints would be played on repeat as we took naps to try and sober up for the rest of the evening for another round of debauchery. One might think it is stupid and a waste but some of the best days I ever had were with my friends just being stupid.
As the years pass by though I am not the drinking machine I used to be and the thought of green beer does nothing for my taste buds. Kegs and eggs is something of my past and I feel old admitting it. Pour me a pint of Guinness just like any other day for me and I am perfectly contempt.
I still love the day and I always will. I love everything about being Irish and I especially love my Irish punk rock music.
To help celebrate the big day I have decided to post some videos that the Dropkick Murphys have been posting around the interwebs. Almost makes me want to relocate to Boston…
If you are wondering where some of this footage came from I might as will let you know that today, March 16th, the Dropkick Murphys released a live CD/DVD for all to see.
Six shows in seven days were thrown into the release that is more like a party like none other. That is what Live On Lansdowne, Boston MA is all about, fun. If you like all that you saw on here you should make sure you pick up this ultimate St. Patrick’s Day party favor – after all every day is St. Patty’s Day. Pint glasses not included and aspirin highly suggested.
Ok, so are you scratching your head? I was too when I first saw this.
Apparently people out there, very bored people I would imagine, came up with the idea that Andrew WK is involved in a brainwashing scheme of sorts. Basically some people out there find it hard to believe that someone can make it big with passion alone. These people have come to the conclusion that Andrew WK is part of a conspiracy or a victim of a huge spider’s web of corporate entertainment plots.
So wait, Andrew WK is a super spy? Now I got myself all confused.
Maybe it would be best to have Andrew WK himself talk about what nonsense is going on. The following came direct from his website:
Since 2001, I have been accused of being part of a conspiracy in which I knowingly entered into a contract with creative directors called Steev Mike, who proceeded to invent a new identity for me to perform under. I’m here to say this is simply not true and a gross exaggeration of easily explainable and common-place music industry practices. Of course I work with people who choose not to include their whole names or real names in the credits, or who aren’t on stage with me during my shows – but taking advice and guidance from other people doesn’t mean I’m a victim of mind-control. That’s like science fiction! Andrew W.K. is about partying and doing what you want! We want fun, and that really is what I am about.
These lies have unfortunately been with me since my career started – critics were saying I had to be a fake puppet for the record industry because I appeared over night. These simple untrue allegations have grown over the years to the point now where I have to defend myself. I have done many interviews and talks where I have explained the nature of how I got into music, and I admitted that I did work with people. But people have still taken what I said and tried to call me a liar and a fake. What alarms me most about these accusations is that they remind me of witch trials: The kind of people who accuse me of being a talking head for some secret conspiracy to corrupt people’s morals are the same people who claim MTV and Cartoon Network are owned by secret rulers of the world out to poison kid’s brains, or that pop stars like Beyonce or Lady Gaga are part of some occult society, or that companies like McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, or Hollywood are secretly promoting hidden plans. Or that the President of the USA is just a figure head and reading a script given to him by a secret world power. Come on!
We’re working in a business where there are different ends and different means. No one controlled Frank Sinatra or told him how to sing. No secret group of managers has been telling someone like Jay-Z what to do or how to look. And no one tells me what to do, except me and the people who believe in me. I am a real person who thinks for himself and am not the victim of anyone or group of people trying to influence my career or life. I take responsibility for everything in my life, including who I work for and what happens to me because of it. Just because a person has mentors or advisers doesn’t mean they don’t have their own brain and soul. And just because I work with other people who advise me doesn’t mean that I am a puppet for an evil cult or a have some sort of master plan. I make party music – plain and simple. In fact, it is me who is the innocent victim of a conspiracy of critics and haters who don’t believe in the power of music and pure true fun. It is us artists who are the victims. It’s crazy that still today, brand new artists like Lady Gaga have already been dealing with the same sort of paranoid allegations that I’ve has been dealing with since 2001. It just doesn’t stop! We are not puppets, we are human beings.
Musicians are not acting, we are real people. We are not part of a conspiracy! It’s really intense when people are telling you who you are, so I’m going to tell them who THEY are! On behalf of all musicians, the entertainment industry, and everyone else who’s ever been falsely accused, YOU ARE NOT HURTING US AND YOU ARE NOT STOPPING THIS. The party will continue! We will endure! It has become too common for musical artists and performers to be labeled as part of some global scam to control the world, or that we’re puppets for a larger agenda designed to hurt people. That’s why I’m speaking out and loudly declaring: I am not evil and neither are any of my other fellow members of showbusiness. We are here to bring fun and light into the world, not doubt and darkness. I have been accused of having people design my image, tell me what to say in interviews, design my clothes, the way I look and talk, and of course my music. It’s true I do work with people, but not to accomplish anything bad, just the basics that any person does in this business and with this opportunity to live out my dreams.
I have always admitted that I worked with people and I have confessed that time and time again, even if the critics twisted what I said. I did this hoping it would quiet people up and put an end to all the speculation and exaggeration. I was never an actor and the partnerships I made with friends, family, and the companies I’ve worked with have all been to promote entertainment, excitement, and fun – to give people something fun to focus on and to occupy our thoughts, instead of a bunch of fear or negativity.
I will always keep my focus where it matters most:
1) On being grateful for the incredible people who believe in the feeling I work to create
2) And on that magical feeling itself: BEING ALIVE!
Long live music and long live life. PARTY HARD!”
– Andrew W.K.
With all these questions and allegations going on Andrew WK has decided to set the record straight and hold a town hall meeting style conference at the Santos Party House in Manhattan, NY where he will answer all questions shot at him in regards to his career.
Is this a publicity stunt? That remains to be seen but I can tell you that Andrew WK is an artist and not a puppet as some of these bored folk out there think. For that I put this blog in “The Dumb” category.
Still though I wonder about this actual “Night Of Questions” seeing on how 02/23/2010 is the release date for Andrew WK’s lost third album Close Calls With Brick Walls as well as the rare and unreleased collection titled Mother Of Mankind.
Pearl Jam bassist Jeff Ament was the victim of a violent robbery outside Southern Tracks Recording studios in Atlanta, where the band is recording their ninth studio album with producer Brendan O’Brien. According to a police report, Ament and a band employee pulled up to the rear of the studio on the afternoon of April 27th when three assailants brandishing knives emerged from the woods wearing black masks, gloves and pants. The robbers smashed the windows of a rented Jeep and grabbed a BlackBerry before demanding more money. In total, Ament was robbed of $3,000 in cash and $4,320 worth of goods.
The bassist was chased and knocked to the ground, sustaining a head laceration which was treated by EMS. The attackers – who also stole Ament’s passport – escaped into a waiting black Nissan Maxima. The incident was captured on a surveillance camera, but no arrests have been made. Pearl Jam declined to comment on the incident.
In February, Rolling Stone confirmed Pearl Jam were hitting the studio to work on an album they plan to self-release in the States. “The new record feels good so far — really strong and uptempo, stuff we can sink our teeth into,” Eddie Vedder told us. It’s the band’s first album with O’Brien behind the boards since 1998’s Yield.
Pearl Jam are booked to headline both the Outside Lands and Austin City Limits festivals alongside the Beastie Boys and Dave Matthews Band. The band has also confirmed two late-August gigs, one in Toronto and one in Chicago.
I almost wish it were a different band involved with a different outcome. How random would it to hear that Mastodon beat the hell out of three assailants who attempted to rob them?
Seriously, why do people need to rob people… Proves to show you that rockstars are people too.
Still I feel bad for Jeff Ament and his wallet ($3000 cash?). I hope he makes a full recovery and can put this past him. Sadly there are just pathetic people out there in the world who think it is best to rob others to make a living.
I hope they are caught and Mastodon agrees to kick the crap out of them.