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Right Now It Is Totally The Thing To Like The Lashes.
Hey Ben, what's up?
I just got a pack of cigarettes and I feel like I'm prepared for an interview.
How do you know you're prepared?
About an hour after I wake up is a good time. 3 pm is when I'm just starting to be in prime form, a little bit out of my mind and not asleep.
So what's your schedule like? Wake up 2pm. Interview 3pm. What time do you get to bed?
My schedule? Usually it is to watch full house till 5 in the morning
Why Full House? Of all sitcoms to stay up for
I feel like it is going to be known as the worst show ever. Worse than any other show in the best way possible. Enough time has passed that we know all the dirt on the show. We know that Alanis Morissette was giving Uncle Joey blowjobs and that the Olsen twins are having sex with everyone from That 70's Show. And it is great because we know this wholesome cast is not really as wholesome as they look on TV.
How was growing up in Spokane? How did your growing up life compare with the Full House style of growing up?
I was fine with it. I spent a lot of my time watching Full House the first time it was on.
When did you start playing music?
I was 16 when I started my first band. I started a band called The Stoics and I loved it. I started a band without knowing how to play anything and how to do things. My dad actually helped us with a lot of stuff back then.
What kind of music did you dad play around the house when you were growing up?
Beatles first and foremost, and from the first time I can remember hearing music and having hair long enough to cut, my mom would give me the George Harrison haircut.
Was George your favorite?
No. Paul was my favorite. But really I respect them all. I'm a big believer in the gang.
What do you mean by gang? What does it mean to be in a gang?
You have to have guns. We don't have guns. If people found out we had guns than someone like Good Charlotte might front on us and I hear they have guns.
What kind of guns does Good Charlotte have?
Big guns. I heard they have uzis.
Do they really, really have guns?
Maybe. But I really feel that every great rock and roll band is like that. A gang. And everyone has got each other's backs and it feels like they are a group of guys that are supposed to be in a group together. For example, if it is a rock band, no one is wearing a Hawaiian shirt and sandals.
That's funny. I know this rocker guy who plays in Hawaiian shirts and sandals.
I didn't know you were friends with Reel Big Fish.
(laugh) You're not a Reel Big Fish fan?
No, I like Reel Big Fish. Reel Big Fish could be as unpopular as ever and I would still get their backs. When I met them they were the nicest guys ever. They're in my gang. My gang is Reel Big Fish, The Lashes and Good Charlotte and no one will ever remember that.
Reel Big Fish and Good Charlotte aside, who are the big influences on your band?
All the bands we grew up with were getting into garage rock stuff, and this was way before bands in New York were doing it. 60's bands like the Sonics and the Remains and way more badass bands that brought the party when they played — and they were tough guys. They were a gang. You fucked with one of the guy's gear and you would get your ass kicked. We rarely have to kick anybody's ass.
Here's a question: if The Lashes had to kick somebody's ass, alive or dead, who would it be?
This is the sort of question that could get me in trouble. I guess we would kick Hitler's ass. No matter what they say about Hitler. It would be him. How can you hate us now? We're in it for the right reasons: to kick Hitler's ass.
Okay. Serious question. Why jump from Lookout! records, a smaller indie label, to Columbia?
We just got big heads we were way too cool to be on that label and we needed more money. (laughs) No not really. It was a natural thing. We put out the EP and we toured and did SXSW and we went into the studio to go in and record the full length. At that point, we were recording it for Lookout and over the course of a month while we were recording more interest started happening. And that supposed interest developed into a buzz and it became this crazy thing where nobody liked you and then everyone liked you because they thought that they should.
So, how has it been since you switched over to the dark side?
It is all that and a bag of chips and a roller coaster ride. It has kind of been what I've expected based on my reading of rock and roll magazines as a kid and hearing stories from people who have been here before. I don't think you can really get it until you're in the thick of it, but I am happy and in the course of all the changes we've made we've gotten much better and confident and less apt to care.
Has much has changed aside from their being a different label putting out your records?
We've done the west coast 13 times in the last year and we've been writing a lot and gotten more confident and confident in the band. It makes a difference having a label that supports you. Going from the position of having to take jobs where you can get the night off for shows to having a major corporation put their stamp on you and giving you a paycheck. It is nice knowing you can have the confidence that someone has your back. It is like having the Asian mafia behind you.
So now you've got this buzz going and everyone likes you all of a sudden. Why are people going to keep liking you?
Because no matter what record label we're on, what city we're from or how black the clothes are, we are cool because we play in a band that we believe in and we are getting to go tour the country and put out songs and it is our dream come true and we are the last ones who are going to be assholes about that. The backlash can start in a year. Right now it is totally the thing to like The Lashes.
The Lashes will be performing at The Belmont in Fresno on 1/23 with Amber Pacific and their new album, "Get It", will be released 2/21 by Columbia Records. Seriously, check it out as these guys are going to be big.