Lagwagon - Lagwagon - Interview


Lagwagon - Interview

Nicht nur mit den Mad Caddies haben wir bei der Deconstruction Tour ein Interview geführt, sondern auch mit Lagwagon, die man eigentlich nicht weiter vorzustellen braucht.

Melanie Helmstetter, Tobias Eichorn, Folke Klewitz, Sven Kräuter interviewten den Sänger Joey.

Folke: Let me introduce ourselves. this is Melanie, Tobias, Sven, and Folke.

Joey: Hey Melanie! Hi Tobias! Sven and Volken (grinzt)
Ok.. I didn't say that one right but I got all the other ones J

Us: Ok first of all, how do you feel being here in Germany?

Joey: I feel good, yeah. I'm a little tired today but you know.

Us: Have you played on the tour already?

Joey: Yeah. this is the sixths show, or the seventh. We've been here a little over a week.

Us: Where have you been to?

Joey: In Germany we've played Berlin already, tomorrow we play Düsseldorf and we've played yesterday in Timberg and you know in the Netherlands. We´ve played in Bolognia and in Switzerland we've played Winterthur.

Us: Wow that's allot!

Joey: yeah!..and there's one other one..let me think..oh yeah Austria. and we've played Prag as well. ?we played Wien and then Prague. So I don't know how many shows we played…I can't count them all J (lacht)

Us: How do you manage to play every day?

Joey: It's not hard, because you we just sit around. I mean what's hard is doing nothing, all day. Every day. Drinking coffee J

Us: Yeah and then giving interviews J

Joey: This is actually the best time, or one of the better things in the day, you get something to do, you know. you can talk J the rest of the time its just the band sitting around and talking among themselves about nothing. Like: " Did you eat some cheese today?" " Yeah I had some Cheese today" (alle lachen)

Us: Small Talk

Joey: Yeah! Small Talk exactly, but it's ok.

Us: So do you know any German Bands?

Joey: Sure, yeah, generations of German bands…….Now you want me to name them I'm sure J let's see oohm?? The Toten Hosen, Donots,..??.. Fuck I don't know you know bands that we've met and are friends with, like Terrorgruppe. They're actually really really good friends of ours, and you know we've played with so many German bands, its hard to remember all.
Us: One thing I've wondered is, last year at the Deconstruction- Tour you didn't play in every show, you just played in some cities but not in all of them? How come?

Joey: What?

Us: Last year at the deconstruction tour?

Joey: Us?

Us: yeah you!! J

Joey: (lacht) Who Me??? J
yeah we just played in like three shows or so last year. That was pretty fun though. I remember that we played in London and Amsterdam and cologne…and there was one other one, but I can't remember what it was..(?)

Us: But why did you just play those shows and not all of them?

Joey: ohm? I think because it was coinciding with some other touring we did at the time, I think we've mite have been part of that time in south America (or so) Brazil. It was just schedual conflicts.

Us: Isn't it really stressy just flying around all the time, being here one day and there an other?

Joey: Naa, you just get a little tired that's all, but that's why they maid coffee J (und hebt die tasse)
No, I mean it was something like that. I could actually be wrong, but for some reason we just couldn't play all the shows, and I also think that they didn't really need us you know. They had Pennywise. So it kind of balanced out. I don't know'? It was pretty strange.

Us: O.K. then we have some questions about the band.
When did you found?

Joey: ohm, in 1988

Us: And about the name. How did you get Lagwagon and what does it mean?

Joey: Well we where called section8 and what happened was that we where doing some touring before we had our first record out. And for whatever reason there was a number of other bands with the same name. So we would go to different towns touring, and people would step up to us saying stuff like :
"Oh yeah, you got that song "fat drunk and stupid" ! I love you guys!!"
(alles lacht)
and we'd be like:
"Nope sorry that's not us!"
and so we kept running in to this confusion and so from day one on it was like: "ok I really like you're band, but I don't really like your name."
but we just said: "fuck off!" you know, we just didn't want to change our name. But after a while the band realized that it just couldn't be named section8 anymore. So we made this BIG list and everybody brought ALLOT of names. so I think at the end we had like 200 songs on the list at the end. Just this endless amount of names, so we did this real democratic thing and voted, and brought it down to like 5 or 10 names and Lagwagon was one of them.
So Lagwagon originated with me brother and myself when we where kids, and our Mom used to drive us to school or pick us up and drive us around somewhere.
She drove this station wagon and she was ALWAYS late wherever she came to pick us up. She was NEVER, EVER on time. so my brother actually would point out the phrase: "Where's the conductor of the Lagwagon?"
He called my mom the conductor and the car the Lagwagon.
So I don't know, I just thought it sounded neat so I picked it as a name.
eventually in early days we called our old van that we toured in the Lagwagon, because it was always breaking down. so I started calling it the Lagwagon. And then everybody called it the Lagwagon.
So anyway….We put it on the list. So one day fat Mike came to one of our band rehearsals and just said: "Wow that's a great name for a band!" so we just kind of said all right, and stuck to that.
Us: OOOOOO.kkk. (grinzt)
About the Song writing, do you have a main song writer?

Joey: Yeah! That's me J

Us: Is there anybody in the band in the band who has any ideas for songs?

Joey: Everyone! Generally what we do is this: I sort of do this folk kind of based song writing you know? I'm at home with an acoustic I write some kind of song and come to the band, and sometimes I demo these things; sometimes I even put drums or even other instruments on them. Sometimes I just do acoustic and Vocal, most of the time I do acoustic and Vocals, and then I give tapes to the band or play it to them and they go and tare it all down and build it back up, and in the end it becomes a Lagwagon song J
Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst.
In the early days we had this other guy named Shawn in the band, he was the guitar player, and he wrote allot of our music So the first album was almost 50 / 50 I think. The second album was pretty mixed, and then I wrote more and more cause he ended up smoking more and more pot , and not coming to practices and stuff. But he was a great song writer. He's still a good song writer. Shawn's a great guy.
But after he left the band, there was a while when I was writing everything. Which wasn't very much fun, but now we collaborate more.

Us: Do you ever write any songs on tour? Or just at home where you can relax?

Joey: I've written allot of songs on tour. But I write most of them at Home. I'm trying to write the rest of our new record on this tour actually.

Us: Oh WOW!
Joey: you know then we do the warp tour after this one. We have already recorded allot of the record, but we'll go back in November and record the rest of it. I've got all these tours to do, and its weird …..tour is a strange place cause…..I don't know if you know this word lethargic?…You end up in this very dull state and mentally I think you become a little …(?)…(???)…(?)..dumb(???)..on tour, because there s not a lot of stimulation. So you're mind kind of gets tired. So I find myself, like earlier today. I went into the bus for about 2 hours, and I came up with this LITTLE part for one song, that I'm not even sure its good. So it's just difficult to write on tour. I can get much more focused at home.

Us: So what do you like better? being on tour? or being at home in the studio recording?

Joey: Being at homeJ Yeah!!…
I've got three dogs, My girlfriends there we live together..and….Life's just great J

Us: What kind of dogs do you have?

Joey: I've got 2 Border collies and a cattle dog. Very active dogsJ got to go for allot of walks….looooong walks ;)

Us: Do you go look at the country side or go sight seeing when you're in other countries on tour?

Joey: You know… I used to go allot more sightseeing on tour, but now a days I don't go that much. I've been in so many places soo often. I've spent so much time in Europe that…its not really that much of a pleasure if you don't share it with someone else. My girlfriends gonna be hear in a couple of days. She's gonna finish the tour with us, and I'm sure her and I will go do all kinds of the "romantic" sightseeing but if I would be going by myself it would like:….. Hey there's some old stuff……look at that castle…..jup….its really old..!!!.
not to belittle the architecture or the sightseeing. I think there's a lot of interesting beautiful stuff to see. and I think its important to take in a little History, but I've been coming here for about 10 years. In the beginning We would arrive in a town, and id be like….wow where's my backpack….but now its just like….(?)..old and jaded… .!!

Us: Do you have any hobbies except for playing in Lagwagon?

Joey: I surf allot at home, so when there is time and waves I surf. otherwise I really do allot of song writing. I play in 3 bands ….sooo..I'm busy with that…and then I have a record label too. I got a partner that runs the label. but we don't do allot.

Us: How's your label called?

Joey: It's called "my records" ….yeah!!…for lack of a better title J
It was a friend of mine saying I should just call it my records. so we just stuck with that. It hasn't helped us much but I'm actually very busy. I spend allot of time in the recording studio. That's my main thing.

Us: So there's the soccer world cup going on at the moment. do you play any soccer?

Joey: I was!! I grew up playing soccer. The first half of my life was devoted to it. My father was a couch and he'd used to play with me when I was like….four years old. I was really in to it. But in America it's just one of these sports that just never caught on. You get to a certain age, where you'd have to leave the country if you really wanted to play seriously.
Trying to raise a soccer team in America (in your community) is very difficult. There aren't many people that want to play. the community games are like softball. But soccer is definitely one of the greatest sports. and definitely the most famous sports on the planet. but what happened with America is, they kind of got hocked in to these extreme sports like football. It's pretty violent and crazy, just non stop action.

Us: You know Frankfurt Galaxy? The German football team?

Joey: I've heard about that…..

Us: I often hear from Americans that soccer is a very boring game, there are only two or so goals per game, and in football its just boom boom boom and 100 points.

Joey: yeah!! That's what happened, In amerikan culture theire used to this constant action. In the old days the sports where much more about the actuall sports. I think people where more aducated about it then now a days.
Now! sports is just this thing you turn on and have a beer. Or you have a BBQ and they just want to see the action. so it's a weired thing in amerika, I gave up on sports when I was about 15. Started surfing, and that was just much better.
So I', not really in to the world cup. But some of the guys on the band and with the band are. Like our road manager. Hes from Brazil. Hes a maniac. Hell be like:
OHH NOOO the soccer cup is starting…where am I gonna watch it? I can't watch it in the bus..!!!…

Us: Did you watch the game today?

Joey: I watched a little bit of it, wasn't is saudi arabia against….(?) Germany???

Us: Yeah!!..That game was action.. J

Joey: Was it good…?

Us: Yeah…0 : 8 for germany

Joey: So cool Germany had a good day…
Well like I said I'm not o big on that sport. but I was actually a big bascetball Fan.. there was a time in the 80's when I knew every player in the NBA by name.

Us: Did you collect Bascetball cards?

Joey: NOO!!…I wasn't that bad..J I was very devoted. But not THAT bad..anyway now IM not really to much into sports.

Us: Soooo…ok lets see…(?)….
I s there anything really different about german fans? Than amerikan fans?

Joey: It's difficult couse everywhere you go it's the same. A show is a show. Enywhere you go you have the same Dynamic. Theres you, the stage, and them. But theres definatly a huge difference in the culture and the audience. And how the Audience reflecs that culture in Germany and Amerika. I think that the kids here are much less apethetic. With the kids in amerika its like….you do a good show, and youll still get all this apathi kind of thing. German kids you can pretty much depend in them beeing into the show. Theire there, there getting there moneys worth you know….

ON THE other hand, I have reseived more insults from the German fans then anywhere else in the world. They LOOOOOVE to tell you how it is,
thell come up to you and ask you stuff like: How come You are so bad now???youre first record was so good. youre last record was so scheisse (mit einem süßen englischen axcent..höhö)
So I kind of do this thing…I turn and say to them: " Yeah so you've noticed that to? well the thing is this, you've got to play allong now cause youre in on our big just have to pretend that the musik is good, couse that's what we are doing you know.? We just play the new stuff and keep bringing out theese bad records.. Your in on our Big secret now.
Ive actually done that with a fan bevor, and he was like …aaahhh…OK..shure ..I got it.
But no…The Germans are alsow very devoted fans, and theire very cool. There just honest. Theres a language barier as well you know. Ollot of times when Germans talk to us and theire so brutaly honest., I'ts just a language thing. I'ts just that they don't nessecarely know how we would say something. You know?…Theres a nice way of telling somebody you don't like there record.

Us: Yeah!!.They just talk more agresivly. couse over hear every where you go its like buissnes. Everything is so formal over here.

Joey: axcactly and you know when you've come here as often as we did and youre a little bit inteligent you figure these things out. Some of my best friends are germans. Its just a total different level to communicate.
But other then that…What can I say about Germany?? Germany is the first place in europe that we had any popularity. The original Fan base that we had in europe where German. Theve hung on for all those years and we love that, how can you not. I'ts great. We are very lucky.

Us: Well when you hear stuff like that, that youre last record sucks, doesn't it take the inspiration?

Joey: No you just have to understand that stuff that I know beeing an insider is at some level you have a different sence. Part of it is that everytime something in new, you can't excpekt people to hear what you hear. I'ts art. Youre making art. So you got to understand that they wont get it right away, or they may never get it. Alsow when people are introduced to something, change is a very big thing to them. They sort of want to hear the same thing, but the missing elemets in thire minds are that theire not in touch with the idea that familiarity is what makes things great. If you've owend a record for 10 or 5 years, that records like a part of you. You get a new record, it could be like the same fucking record. We could wright the same somgs and I could change the lyrics. Maybe change the keys. But basically put out the same record, and I guarenty That the same kid that was saying youre record sucks is gonna say…: Its so different its so bad, I'ts just not the same.

Its just a matter of time. Maybe some day I'l loock back on our records and I'll go : AH that was the good record. Theres gonna be one that you love for life. that got the quality. That got the Hipe. I'm pretty shure that's gonny be "HOSS". But what can you do……
Alsow another thing that you get in touch with, the idea that you can't excpekt everything you do to be the best.. You just kind of do is. you can't excpekt anything. Bands always have a prime. They always have that. That's just the way it is. I don't know about any band in History that didn't make ONE great record. If they made any. So I'm shure that that will be oure fate as well….You just have to love what you do…and we still like it so……

(Stille) (getuschel unter uns)
You guys are like: GOD we have to type all of this??..are we even gonna ask him another question? He'will talk for half an hour.
Us: (Alle Lachen) No No I could sit here all day and just talk..

Joey: come on then I'm about to light another cigarette, lets keep on going. J *smile*

Us: Can I ask you a question about a other American band?

Joey: What's that?

Us: Do you know the new Weezer Album?

Joey: Yeah…!!

Us: Do you like it?

Joey: You know its funny I didn't hear it until two days ago. because I don't really buy any new records. Just because I usually just end up getting them…..Someone'll play it or whatever and I've only heard the single in America which was the whooo whooo whooo and I just didn't like it to tell you the truth, I just didn't think it was a very good song but we listened to it the other night and I think pretty good. I like it much better then the last record, I think it's cool.

Us: You're talking about the green record? The last one?

Joey: Yeah!!! I think the new one is pretty cool.

Us: Yeah! We waited after the Pinkerton for a new album. It's not very deep. Not very touching I guess.

Joey: Yeah! I read that rivers kind of have the idea that they would sort of go back to the blue record, because the Pinkerton record was a record that they wanted to make but the fans like the blue record.
So I think he just said I'm gonna write a hole bunch of fucking songs.

Us: the new record though is more like Pinkerton, I guess.

Joey: Well that s what there doing, they're repeating History which is cool in a way.

Us: Yeah! They'll go one blue, one Pinkerton one blue, one Pinkerton....and so on....

Joey: Yeah! Something like that. I don't know I still think Weezer are one just a really good band, I mean rivers got something, that other people don't have. There's some originality to it.

Us: Yeah! The album right now is just not really my taste, but I definitely have the respect to wait for the next album.

Joey: Yeah! Me too isn't that funny?? U guess that's just the way it is. A band makes one record you just really identify with and you're loyal. You just hang on. You just keep waiting. But I think they're new record is pretty good.

Us: It's a little bit like Pinkerton. Because there experimenting a little bit with they're voices and instruments.

Joey: A little more progressive and very cool.

Us: Well what's with at home? Do you just listen to punk and stuff like that?

Joey: I don't listen to any punk really! If I listen to punk at home it would be something really old, like from the 70's or so and I think it's because the lifestyle I've lived for the last 15 years of my life has involved so much punk rock I cant be that one dimensional you know? I need a break I listen to bands that you probably never even heard of. To be honest. I really still kind of try to listen to bands that aren't really that famous I only make that effort not because I have anything about fans, or our fans, but it's just a little bit more interesting to discover bands. But its different cause on this punk rock level, there's this whole platform for the seeker. There are allot of independent labels for punk rock. Where as like when you're looking for something a little different or something a little bit more interesting. You have to look. But I fortunately have allot of musicians as friends. So people hand me records all the time. The more obscure it is the more likely I am to through it in and actually listen to it I've been listening to allot of "Bad Taste" - records. Are you guys familiar with that label from Sweden?

US: How was the name?

Joey: It's called "Bad Taste". Bad taste records in Sweden and they were akind of hard rock label for years, but now they have newer bands, like "Last Days In April" or "L.O.G.". They're great bands and they are REALLY slow and REALLY mellow and they gotta like taking a lot of drugs.

Us: To talk about metal-stuff - do you know the new "Deftones"-album?

Joey: The metal thing is something that is reserved to certain guys in my band. Chris Flippin, our guitar player, is a preserving metal-head since our foundation, he's holding up the metal-flag J.
When we were kids we used to listen to Judas Priest and iron Maiden and the whole metal-stuff. He's the guy I can count on if I need some little metal in my diet. So when the new Deftones-album is coming up I can be sure that it will take just a few hours since Chris will have it and show it to me.

Us: What are you going to play this night?

Joey: I'm not sure because we got bored. Before the tour we made our setlist and said "OK; this is our setlist, let's stick to it. This is what we're playing every night!" But three days go by and we're pretty bored of this. So we spice it up and change it a little bit.
Us: Do you actually realize the reactions of the audience on your music during the show?

Joey: Yeah! But you have to be careful of how much attention you pay to the audience. Obviously we pay much attention because we want to make them happy. But if it's a bad night and the audience is down you have to get introverted quickly because they can't make you happy then. So this is a dynamic therapy, for sure.

Us: What do you think of fans that are going crazy and become aggressive the same way whether you play a slow song or a fast song?

Joey: I don't know! There are some people who when the music starts they don't think much about what they do.

Us: Last comment?

Joey: Aahhhm ... I don't have one!!!


Weitere Cd-Besprechungen und Stories
Lagwagon - I Think My Older Brother Used To Listen Lagwagon [Cd] Lagwagon - Resolve [Cd] Lagwagon [Tourdaten] Lagwagon - Live In A Dive [Cd] Lagwagon - Blaze [Cd]


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