I really like Beware and have been thinking about doing something with Bob for a while.
I finally got in contact with him and this is how it went.
We also talk about Bob’s other bands he has and is involved with you might of heard of – Let Down and Mother Of Mercy.
DR – Yo Bob Hows things? What have you been up to?
I was in a hit and run last Friday which was great and then my alternator went on my car, and I’ve been sick as fuck for a week now. Other than that it’s 70 degrees in florida and literally 5 degrees back home in philly so I can’t complain too much.
DR – Lets go right back, When did Let Down first start as a band?
Spring 2004, our first show was June of that year in Pittsburgh for some reason at the “house of hardcore” with cdc and on course . Our second show was this girl Debbie steins birthday party I think
DR – How many Release’s did you put out in the end?
We put out :
-I hate my life demo
-s/t 7 inch on doppelgänger records
-crossed off 7 inch on dead by 23
-sacrifice me 7 inch on six feet under
-bonus sacrifice(4 cover songs) on sfu
-we’re in this alone LP on sfu
DR – How far did you go tour wise with LD?
I remember it was a huge deal to us to make it to the west coast. We ended up going to Mexico/Canada/Europe and back and forth across the country numerous times. We were lucky enough to get to do weekends or multiple shows on tour or tours with Iron Age, blacklisted, paint it black, have heart, ceremony, and countless others. I can’t thank Blacklisted specifically enough for always getting us on cool tours because that’s a band that I have always respected and loved everything they’ve done, so to have a band like that kind of put on for us like they did meant a lot .
DR – So when did LD finish and MOM begin?
MOM started spring 07, LD stopped this is hardcore 2009 after realizing there was no reason for us to keep going as we had done insane tours and the world didn’t need another record from us. The first mom show we didn’t have a name but for some reason we ended up opening for that band I am the Avalanche and our friends just moshed on all the pop punkers there
DR – Is MOM pretty much LD or is there a bit of a rosta change there?
Na I didn’t want to just start a band with all the same people that would have been redundant. The OG lineup was me, Vince Leonardo, pelle, and Kyle kimball. After convincing the rest of them it would be a good idea we got Joe Kane to be in it which was the best idea ever because without him we would have lasted maybe three shows . Eventually pelle had real world things come up and we got drew from let down to come play bass.
DR – MOM is kind of a deal now right..? signed up to Bridge 9 and stuff, where have you toured so far with the band?
I don’t think we were ever a big deal haha. I’m proud of what we were and how we didn’t really wanna sound like anyone else at the time but I don’t think we were ever a super popular band that could draw 100 kids by ourselves. We did a lot of touring, our first big one was supporting comeback kid that was a lot of fun. We definitely went through a “let’s just tour with awful metalcore bands” phase which never really happened and I’m glad we didn’t have to go out with like whitechapel and pretend like it wasn’t dog shit.
DR – you Toured with SOIA right? how was that?
We somehow became the “hey open for this nyhc band” band and while it was cool doing that and the AF tour, it didn’t really do any favors for us. We would play, not many hardcore kids would come since the tickets were expensive so our set would be awkward, you would get the 40 year old drunk guy crowd coming up and asking if you had a cd and you reminded him of some garbage band he saw on warped tour in 1998 or something. The shows would be whatever until SOIA or AF played then 400 people would come out of nowhere haha. I can say Craig ahead is one of the coolest most down to earth guys I’ve ever met in a huge band and it was cool to tour with a band that played one of my first real big shows I went to when I was 15 or so. Roger and the AF guys were all cool too and roger specifically had awesome stories
DR – You have played TIHC a few times right? Is that an epic show for you?
Yeah I played in every tihc up until last year, which was also the first year I didn’t go which made me borderline suicidal. Joe went out of his way to hook up let down with a good spot on the fest early on and kinda trick people into thinking we were a big deal haha. Then at a certain point the first band on Friday became the “Bob Wilson slot ” which is the shit. Joe really puts everything he has into the fest and I’m glad over the years we’ve grown closer and I’ve gotten to see everything he does for it.
DR – So what made you start Beware? And who’s in that band?
Basically I missed being in an edge band, there had been a ton of sell outs at the time and pretty much all the generation below me and my friends had dropped out to become indie rockers or get into the bar scene. Both those things suck and I was genuinely disgusted and bummed out because a lot of those kids I had helped out their bands, gotten them on cool shows, vouched for them, and I was offended. So me and some guys got together and started “stolen mind” our first show was gonna be the winter jam joe Hc was doing but then MOM got offered the sick of it all tour and by the time I got back the drummer had broken edge. So we started from scratch under the name Beware and got a demo together .
DR – How much material does Beware have out now?
-won’t get the best of me 7 inch
-what we were tape
-live set from charm city that Anton put out on mass movement
DR – I see Beware on a few flyers and stuff again now but I felt you went a bit quiet?
Yeah those shows I booked because I was going to be home for Christmas and figured I might as well get some shows in when I could due to everyone in the band being real busy. Austin from anchors up asked us to play the cro mags show there and I put together the philly show with bands I love that I hadn’t been able to see in awhile. It’s always a pain in the ass to organize things and then we play and I get siked on the band again and wanna do a new record, until everyone kinda loses interest the next week which is a bummer. We have no other shows planned at this point but you never know I guess.
DR – How do you approach the writing for Beware?
I keep it pretty simple, I don’t want to just recycle let down lyrics or something so I try to at least take a little bit of a different viewpoint on things . It starts with an idea about someone bumming me out or pissing me off and it goes from there
DR – And what’s some favourite topics of yours to write about?
The coolest things to talk about in songs are always some type of revenge, straight edge, and hatred of something or another . Porter said he just writes about fighting and being straight edge and that’s the coolest thing in the world to me.
DR – How far do you think you will go with Beware?
I would like to do an LP but I feel like that’s out of the question now which sucks. I really wanted to go to Japan with them but that’s another thing I can’t see happening anymore. So I guess the most I can hope for is a weekend here or there and go from there. I have a lot of shit I want to get off my chest so hopefully something works out
DR – What other stuff do you get up to I heard you really like getting food haha- same here man, where’s some of your favourite spots?
I feel like I should be offended by that but I do love food so my favorite spots-
-Steve’s and “Joseph’s(formerly chinks) best cheese steaks in the country
-Lazzaros, santuccis, renzis have the best pizza
-Dinics for roast pork
-There’s this place down near me in Alabama called Lamberts which is just awesome southern food
DR – I read an interview with you by Jeff Lasich where you said something like “I hate the way Porcell pretends to be Straight Edge when he’s obviously not” where did that come from? I can’t remember the exact question or topic haha.
– yeah I forget the context but Cmon man you’ve claimed and unclaimed 5 times probably more, you’re not fooling anyone . This shit isn’t AA just because you stopped drinking again doesn’t mean you’re straight edge. You get one chance, no second round garbage that’s cool if you consider yourself edge but in my opinion, which again who gives a shit what I think but the way I’ve always looked at it is you either are or you’re not, there’s no in between. That’s as corny as the kids in high school who would be like “haha yeah…I’m straight edge during the week but on the weeknds I take a straight edge vacation!”
DR – I guess you love how Chain still put out the Xed up shirts,stickers and everything else then when all bar one are not Edge haha? Don’t get me wrong I have tons of that shit I’m a total nerd and they are my joint favourite band with YOT but it is a bit rich.
I love chain and I definitely take them with a grain of salt. You know what you’re getting into when you see them, everyone knows the deal. The thing that annoys me about bands like that who try to re write history and claim a song is about something “more” than about being straight edge. Just fucking be straight up and say “at the time I wrote this i felt this way, it’s been 25 years I no longer feel this way” and I would be fine with it . Having some half assed explanation about a deeper meaning to try and convince people otherwise is corny as fuck to me.
DR – So how do you feel about all the old bands doing tons of reunion shows in general?
There’s good and there’s bad with all of it. It doesn’t mean I wasn’t unbelievably excited to see a band like Judge who have been one of my favorite bands forever and to see those songs live was incredible. If a band is tight and sounds good, doesn’t embarrass themselves with some stupid speeches onstage about how much Hardcore means to them when they haven’t been to a show in two decades, I can suspend disbelief and enjoy it. Negative approach is definitely the one reunion band that plays a lot that puts everyone else to shame. Brannon sounds like the God damn devil and it’s great. Bands like supertouch and quicksand I’m real glad to be able to catch because I never thought I would be able to. The money stuff doesn’t bother me at all, if people are willing to pay for it so be it its not like 20 grand is coming directly out of your pocket
DR – Ok bro thanks for discussing some different off topics. Anything more you want to say or issues in our scene you want to raise?
I’m 29 years old, have been going to shows for 15 years, and have never ever in my life felt like the jaded guy. I always check out new bands, book younger bands, help out people whenever I can, etc. However it’s increasingly more apparent that people just want to go up there, thank the promoter, say they have Merch for sale in the back, have no personality, and just go through the motions as to not Rock the boat and risk losing fans or stirring shit up. The days of people like Hoodrack, Joe Hc, George BL, etc are increasingly looking to be a thing of the past and it’s honestly such bullshit to me. I got into punk and hardcore because I was an angry kid and it’s the one place I felt like I could say what I wanted for better or worse and it was understandable because why else would someone start a band if they didn’t have some shit they actually wanted to say? I recently said some shit people didn’t agree with and was basically told to not have an opinion on something that directly impacted my life, and that I should keep my personal business away from shows. There were people who got what I was saying and an even larger amount of people who thought I was some piece of shit for talking directly about things and not beating around the bush. If that’s what people want out of hardcore in 2015, I’ll be the jaded almost 30 year old dickhead that fights against everything being said. My whole life I’ve been swimming upstream against what’s generally accepted as being truth or ok and I’ll continue to do that. I just really hope people realize there’s more to hardcore then kissing ass to get on tours, selling Merch, making friends, increasing your Instagram followers, banging girls, etc. Even if what you say is unpopular or against the grain, that’s way better then being a voiceless coward just going through the motions until your time is up and you move on to the next thing you’re into.