By Sarah Bennett
By Adam Lovinus
By Jena Ardell
By Nate Jackson
By Gustavo Arellano
By Nick Keppler
By Nate Jackson
By Alex Distefano
Then Palm gets philosophical. "The only way this band has been able to survive this long has been through a direct connection with our audience. And that has been accomplished through live performances, hanging out—not putting up the rock-star barrier—and being involved with things the fans are into," he says. "A lot of surfers and skaters are into the band. We all skate and surf, so we're right there with them. We're in better shape now than we've ever been."
After lunch, we're walking out to the parking lot, when Mike Palm the dicked-around, embattled punker transforms into Mike Palm the fanboy, just to be clear on something. "You know, I don't if this will have any effect or not, but I'm gonna say this anyhow," he says. "You can mold this story to any angle—it's all in your hands now. But I do want to say that it's really hard for me to do an interview and not come off bitter in some way. A lot of things have happened to this band."
But, Mike, I tell him, you have been fucked over. You have a right to be bitter.
"I have been. But you know what? To me personally, as a music fan, I wouldn't want to hear about that. I talk about it because people should know the truth—people should know what's going on and why things are the way they are and why things happen the way they do. But ultimately, from day one Agent Orange was just supposed to be a fun band—not a political band, not trying to change the world, just trying to be a high-energy, fun punk band. Fun. Remember fun? It is fun, you know.
"The heart and soul of Agent Orange is really still in just being a fun punk band," he concludes. "And someday, it's going to all get back to that. All this stuff is going to be behind me. And the CD is part of that —getting these things out, properly recorded, with the energy they deserve. Now I can move on."
AGENT ORANGE PERFORM with supa group, cell block 5 and roller AT CLUB MESA, 843 W. 19TH ST., COSTA MESA, (949) 642-6634. Sept. 8, 10 p.m. Call for cover. 21+.