I Will Testify

SKIE BENDER

lead singer, the Fireants

The Fireants are not an angry band, and I am not an angry performer. I am so overwhelmed by living that often, my cathartic awe is mistaken for anger. When I perform, any negative energy I contain is channelled into artistic expression. I find it a ridiculous parody when bands are angry just for the sake of being angry. How petty. How cliché. How "punk," to be pissed off at the same things that have been said hundereds of times before: "F authority, F the government, F my job, F society, F the cops." If you're angry, put some thought into why you're angry. Then possibly, some insight will be revealed, and in turn, your art will provoke. Though I'm not an angry person, what does anger me is that we're all here for a flash, and instead of having gratitude, openness and embracing all we can in this short life span, we close up. We don't like what we don't know.

—as told to Rich Kane

CHRIS GAFFNEY

singer/songwriter

Harmonica players that go too long. Although it becomes beauty for me because when I realize I've got one that goes too long, I'll make him play until I'm done with him. And also Tuna Helper with corn mixed into it. I'd attack rockabilly stuff, but I can't because the chicks are too beautiful. Okay, and how about what my goddamned dogs did to my yard just now? I thought I'd been robbed. They took every freaking plant I had back there and worked it. Was I in the OC Weekly Best Of? I guess you guys have written enough about me. Oh, also people shaking my hand and snapping their fingers while they're doing it. I don't know how they do that. I never heard of such a thing. I think it began with Billy Bacon's drummer. I don't know what that's all about. Can we get into TV? There's too much fucking golf on TV. I bought all these sports channels, and they're showing me nothing but golf. I wanna see guys getting the shit beat out of 'em, guys with helmets on beating the shit out of one another, or even a good, old-fashioned track meet. But not golf.

—as told to Buddy Seigal

PAUL McADAMS

singer of paul&lara

ME: Okay, which would make you more angry— getting shocked by a microphone, or if a bunch of people came up to you and started saying that you look so much like someone else? McADAMS: Yeah, that would make me angry. ME: There's more. Wait—that alone would make you angry? McADAMS: It might, but you can go on. ME: Well, not only are they saying this, but then you see the person they think you resemble, and he's butt-ugly. McADAMS: (laughs) I'll tell you what makes me really angry. We're playing a song, and we stop and go into the next one. I'm trying to introduce it, but everyone's clapping and screaming for us, so I can't even think, and we can't hear ourselves playing, and girls are throwing their T-shirts at us. That makes me angry. ME: Girls throwing their T-shirts at you? Was that the PG version? McADAMS: That was pretty bad, wasn't it? Can that not go in the interview? Please? ME: Okay, what do you want them to be throwing at you? Socks? McADAMS: Themselves. ME: Okay, that's good.

–as told to Alison M. Rosen

JOEY RACANO

singer/guitarist; environmental/animal-rights activist

What pisses me off is politicians at the local level who don't think globally. Like the people in Huntington Beach who allow upstream governments to dump 240 million gallons of partially treated sewage into the ocean. Yeah, that pisses me off pretty good. Another thing that pisses me off is people in Congress who tie the president's hands behind his back when he's trying to get some environmental legislation passed. That pisses me off. Trent Lott and Orrin Hatch—those two dildos. It pisses me off that someone like (Huntington Beach City Councilwoman) Shirley Detloff is being nominated for an environmental award by the Red Cross. She's on the Coastal Commission, and I guarantee you when they take a vote next month, which is the last chance for the Bolsa Chica mesa to be saved, you she's gonna vote to build. That pisses me off royal.

—as told to Buddy Seigal

J.R. GRIFFIN

editor, Mean Street Magazine

ME: Which makes you more angry? A typo on the cover of the magazine—like instead of saying Rage Against the Machine, it says Rag Against the Machine—or when a publicist won't take your call, and the person who answers the phone and says, "Yes, may I tell her who's calling?," and you say "J.R. from Mean Street," and then she says, "Oh, I'm sorry, she's on another call right now. Would you like her voice mail?" but you know she's just not taking your fucking call? GRIFFIN: That's okay because I don't want to talk to them anyway. ME: What if you need them? GRIFFIN: I would never need them that bad. ME: Really? GRIFFIN: Yeah. ME: You really don't need publicists? GRIFFIN: (vanquished, crestfallen, resigned) Yes, I do. (pause) I don't like it when I don't get enough chili on my chili-cheese fries. That pisses me off more than anything. Dry chili-cheese fries! I also hate big chunks of onion. ME: Don't you think there are people who like those big onions, though? GRIFFIN: And I don't like those people who like those big onions. That's what's important here. ME: Which makes you more angry? Being interviewed, or big onions? GRIFFIN: Being interviewed.

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