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Nj Bloodline

Interview von: Felix mit Wreak, am: 17.05.2001 ]

NJ Bloodline gibt´s schon seit Ewigkeiten, aber das Quartett aus New Jersey hat es bis vor ca. einem Jahr nie geschafft über die Grenzen ihres Bundesstaates hinaus Bekanntheit zu erlangen.
Seitdem sie aber ein Demo, eine Mini CD auf RPP Rec. sowie eine split 7" mit One4One veröffentlicht haben, ist die Band in aller Munde. Grund genug Sänger Wreak einige Fragen zu stellen.
Seine Antwort zum Thema Nazis in den USA fand ich mehr als strange, denn alle us-amerikanischen Neonazis als bekloppte Idioten darzustellen von denen keinerlei ernste Gefahr zu erwarten sei, verharmlost das Thema zutiefst. Sogar hier in Deutschland ist bekannt, daß es verschiedenste neonazistische bzw. rechtsradikale militante Organisationen in den USA gibt. Aber egal, bildet euch am besten selbst ein Urteil...


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 that way.

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!!!

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