Musicscan: How did it all got started?
Nj Bloodline: In January of 1992 I got together with Jim, Mario, and Tony. Jim and Mario
played guitar, Tony played drums. I was actually just there watching these
guys jam some cover songs, when they asked me to sing Malfunction by the
Cro-Mags. It sound pretty fucking good, so we decided that this was now a
band. We got to writing songs and practicing, then 9 months later we played
our first show on Friday the 13th of November, at Studio-One in Newark, NJ
with Biohazard, Dog Eat Dog, and Enrage.
Musicscan: How come that NJ bloodline is around since ´93 and until now never get
their asses over the Ocean?
Nj Bloodline: Well, shit, you should have sent us money for a flight in 93 if you're going
to complain about it now hahahahahahahahaha!
This band has seen it's fair share of lineup changes due to and as well as
problems with drugs, careers, the law, etc. As you may see I'm the only
original member left. The lineup now has been together longer than the
original actually, it was hard to find people who think the same way as you.
For a long time as well, we were stuck with a violent stigma which followed
us everywhere we would play. The band actually broke up in 1995, and
reformed a few (I think 7 or 8) months later. This is where the new lineup
was formed, we decided to start a new band it would be me, on vocals, Joey on
bass, Frank on guitar, and our friend Ray on drums. After a few jams we
realized the direction was along the lines of NJBL. Frank expressed that
initially he thought he would be joining NJ Bloodline. I was against it at
first but it didn't take much to change my mind. Tony had a change in career
he was a lost cause. Jim had A LOT of problems with drugs and alcohol, so he
was out of the question too. Mario was immediately down, this was our chance
to actually do it again. I hated not playing, jamming is what we did for
fun. Ray had some differences of opinion with us and eventually he left,
which brought us to recruit Ian who was 15 at the time. Mario encountered
some problems eventually and he had to part ways as well. Now the lineup is
me (Wreak) on vocals, Joey on bass, Frank on guitar, and Ian on drums.
It maybe took so long because NJBL has always stressed being tight not just
at playing the songs but with each other. That is a very difficult thing to
achieve even and especially when you have the right people, it just works
Musicscan: Explain the lyrics of the song "be afraid"?
Nj Bloodline: The actual song be afraid... is about Ted Kazcynski AKA The Unabomber. A man
who protested technology, because people refused to use it responsibly and
rather exploited the planet while going about their lives, never seeing the
harm in it. The people he killed and/or rather was planning to kill were
actually heads of companies which were renown rule benders when it came to
pollution laws and also practitioners of the exploitation of employees (i.e.,
work and health conditions, layoffs, etc.). He saw this chance to make a
difference, he held this entire country in fear and got his point across
clearly. People actually supported his cause and agreed with him even though
they didn't support his actions. He was a man who graduated from Harvard
University (the pinnacle of prestigious educational institutions in America),
that made him a very dangerous man, even though he was a recluse who lived in
the woods. A Harvard Grad is usually a person with a lot of clout and
respect, someone whom you would figure never to attempt something as insane
as he did.
The second half of the song is totally off that subject, it was initially 2
songs in one, because the second half is about the crackheads you see walking
around the city streets. It was actually called Big Glass Dick (meaning a
crack-pipe in Northern NJ slang). The song compares the use of crack to
absolutely getting fucked. The song isn't so much about the drug, but more
so about how people are willing to let it control them, or for lack of a
better word, fuck them.
Musicscan: Here in Europe NJ Bloodline is often labeled as a tough guy band, how do
you feel about that? Do you feel comfortable with that description?
Nj Bloodline: The phrase tough-guy is actually pretty silly. What it makes me think of is
a band or a scene which only cares about how bad-ass people think they are
and not the music. People gave that name to bands which have slam parts or
angry vocals in their songs, I don't know why. I'll tell you what, we don't
need to make ourselves come off as thugs or killers through our music or some
image, we're just trying to get a few points across while writing the best
material we can. I think all that angst-hype should be either released in
the pit (where no one should catch feelings) or reserved for when a real
threat appears. I've always been against HC-kids, skins, and punks fighting
each other at shows because it ruins the venue and weakens the scene. That
whole tough guy ambiance kind-of makes me sick sometimes. You see who people
usually call tough-guys are kids who only fight at shows and at no other
time, how stupid is that? I used to hate it when some mullet would show up
at a Fury of Five show and all of a sudden he was some kind of gangster,
beating on little kids and pushing people around until he ran into the wrong
guy and would either get beaten to a pulp (with good reason) or cease his
actions, kiss ass, and apologize when he realized that there's a bunch of
real gang members already there. I don't feel that I've ever needed to do
that, I go to shows, relax, enjoy it, and escape the neighborhood I live in
which is just straight up ghetto. I see people doing fucked up things
everyday, but they do those things to survive and feed their family. Once
some guy robbed the store next door to my house with a sawed-off shotgun and
was running down the street with it until he got to a house and tried fending
off the cops until he ran out of ammo, it was ringing bullets for an hour. I
have enough to worry about just walking to the train station to go and see a
show without getting robbed, why would I get into a fight there. Fights are
inevitable, they happen, but I'd rather watch real fights not some
unsuspecting patron getting picked out of the crowd for no reason. I'll
admit I've sliced a few people at shows for trying to pick me out and jump me
like that, but that was years ago when I was a lot smaller and expected that
getting picked out and beaten up was just part of it. Fight some guy trying
to rob you outside or even better go shoot a cop in the face, don't start
shit with some kid who's supporting the same band you came to see.
Musicscan: In Germany there´s a lot of trouble going on with Nazis and right-wing
people. Is it the same in the USA (regarding the Oklahoma Bombing , etc.)?
Nj Bloodline: They are always around, just that they somewhat have their own scene where we
live. We've had Nazi's come to see us a few times. Whenever I got the
chance I would make sure to ask them to leave their politics outside and
everything would be cool. After all they are just coming to see a show.
There are certain crews of White Power kids who simply do come out to start
shit, like snickering little rats. They usually get beaten or stabbed. One
well renown Nazi gang fro NJ even did a drive by at show in Philadelphia one
night, trying to take out a few of my friends. Lately I've noticed that a
lot of the people who call themselves Nazi-skinheads are actually metal heads
with too much time on their hands, I probably have a larger collection of
racist oi than most of them do. Either that or they live in the desert and
have never seen a black or asian person in their entire life. A lot of them
are just plain angry and confused, and by watching they ways they are and
carry themselves, they don't act like skins, least of all like Nazi skins.
You'll see those kids at Pantera shows, or going to see Tool, hahahahaha.
People in our area really aren't that dumb though. You don't really find
those people in cities at all anymore. I don't really consider Nazis a
problem at all.
Musicscan: How does a normal live-show of NJ Bloodline look like and what sort of
bands do you prefer to play with?
Nj Bloodline: We have fun with the surroundings whenever we play. We try to be lively and
athletic, but without orchestrating/choreographing any moves (hahahahaha).
One thing though me and Joey ram into and kick each other all of the time
trying to catch the other off guard.
We prefer to play with bands that sound different than us altogether. I love
playing HC shows, but lately a lot of the bands sound the same. The scene is
quite divided right about now and even though there are various crowds within
the scene, all of the bands in each clique sound similar. I'd actually enjoy
playing some emo or maybe some punk/ska shows if possible, just for maybe a
change of pace. We've made attempts at playing the Death Metal scene but
those heads in our area are very anti-hardcore even though their music is
basically old school hardcore just with growling vocals. Maybe it's because
a lot of the kids on the Death Metal scene as of late are closet Nazis. We
love playing with all types of bands though.
Musicscan: Future plans and last words...
Nj Bloodline: Well, less than a week we'll be over in Europe. We come back to the States
on July 11th, and we'll be home for two weeks before Settle the Score flies
over to meet us for a US tour out to the West Coast and back. We have some
blueprints for new material which we intend to work on in the fall. We each
also do our own thing on the side from time to time, Joey has a Ska 3-piece
which he plans to record with, and I'm always either writing poetry or
freestyling with friends in order to keep my skills up, Ian and Frank have
been talking about some acoustic endeavors I believe. You never know, all of
these side pieces may actually spawn the next NJBL record, since we've never
really had a set writing style.
I want to thank Felix for the interview, and I also wish to thank everyone
who's helped us out in Europe up to this point: Alain and RPP, Oli Jung,
Chris plus Rykers and King Fisher, MAD and MAD-Mob, Pete and Settle the
Score, Jean Marc and Inner Rage, Koen not to mention Jay and Full Court
Press, Marcel and Drift, anyone I may have forgotten this time around. Check
out and contact us via our new web-site www.njbloodline.com. See you soon,
and as always be afraid, be very afraid!!!