First of all, everyone of course wants to know, how are you doing with your illness?
I mean, I feel pretty good. I feel pretty good today but I definitely have some days where I don’t feel that good. I mean, I feel pretty good and I’m trying to keep my head in a good spot and eat healthy, you know. I just can’t let anything stop me.
I heard that you recently had a relapse? You were supposed to be playing in Los Angeles tonight.
Oh, tonight was the LA date? Man, what a fucking bumout. Way to ruin my day. Yeah, I guess we were supposed to play. We cancelled a bunch of shows, I did have a relapse. I don’t know why it happens, but we had to cancel some shows. I’m going to go out in like maybe two weeks and do this Glassjaw tour and then some more stuff with Head Automatica and more after that.
Do you know what the doctor’s diagnosis is on the disease?
Well, there’s no cure for it. It’s a disease that I was born with, so I don’t really know what’s going to happen. The bottom line is, there’s got to be reasons why my body does what it does and, the symptoms, I guess, show themselves by like, I bleed internally. I hemorrhage a little bit. Well, a lot, not a little bit. It happens a lot. I mean a lot not like a frequent amount of times but like a lot like a lot happens inside of me and I don’t really know why it happens and we can’t really figure it out as of right now, but I’m sure in the near future, we’ll figure out this problem. I’m trying, I don’t know. It’s like my whole life is centered around my health right now and all I want to do is fucking playing shows and it’s hard to do that if all I keep on doing is getting sick.
What are the inspirations for your lyrics?
The inspirations for my lyrics? I don’t know. I used to get a lot of inspiration from when I was around 19 or so. It’s kind of situational; I guess I just write a lot about my everyday stuff in life now. It’s not like there’s deep rooted dark thing at this point with Head Automatica, it’s pretty much day to day situations which I write out.
When you write your lyrics, do you just write them and then decide which band the lyrics should go towards or is there a specific writing process for each band?
I kind of purposely kept away from writing heavy music for a while now because that isn’t what’s naturally coming out of me. When I do sit down and start writing, sometimes I write stuff which I know definitely is going to be sort of Glassjaw-oriented, Glassjaw-oriented songs, but for the most part, I’ve been writing for just Head Automatica and when the time comes, when I start pushing out heavier stuff, I’ll know it’s for Glassjaw.
The thing is, your persona with Glassjaw seems to be very emotional, it seems like everything comes from the gut, while with Head Automatica, it’s more of a rock star kind of persona. Which of the two do you relate to more?
It’s me. It’s not like I put on a costume for one. They’re both me. It’s the same with you. When you go to work and you’re in a miserable mood, you’re in a bad mood that day. But when you go to work and you’re in a good mood, you’re in a good mood that day. It’s not that any one of them is more you, but you’re responding to your surroundings and they’re both you, just different sides of you.
Is Head Automatica doing what you originally envisioned it to be doing?
Yeah. Beyond what I originally envisioned. I mean, I had the musical ideal that I wanted to do, but the band that we have now is far fucking beyond what I had ever dreamed of having. I didn’t even know if we were even going to have a band. At first, it was just a couple of us.
Well, what was your original plan for Head Automatica?
My original plan? I don’t know. I didn’t really have a plan. I had a lot of music written and I wanted to put some out for Warner Brothers. I mean, obviously, they own my soul so I guess I had to put it out. So there was no plan, it was just us making a record. I came upon an old friend who played bass and I met these other dudes along the way.
I know that the Head Automatica singles were released in the UK. Are they going to be released in America anytime soon?
Yeah, the single is out in Europe and it’s coming out in America soon. There’s going to be a “Beating Heart Baby” single with a bunch of remixes on there. I know the single, the video is out here in America, and I think that the single came out on radio soon too.
What was the idea behind the video you just recently made for “Beating Heart Baby”?
I don’t know, I guess. We were playing, and people were there, and it was like spontaneous combustion. We just fucking played, and it turned to gold, I guess. It’s a cute video, I think. It’s cute, and we wanted to make a flashy video and we’re happy with it. It’s a feel-good video.
What are your plans for the immediate future?
Well, I’m going to do about three weeks with Glassjaw. In two weeks, we’re going to be doing a Glassjaw and The Used tour; we’ll be touring for a little while. And then after that, Head Automatica is going to be going out and then, maybe one or two other Head Automatica tours, and then I’d like to start recording the second album.
What’s the difference between playing a Head Automatica show and a Glassjaw show, for you?
Well, same thing as the other question you asked. It’s like apples and oranges, two different things. They’re both just sides of me and as with Glassjaw is concentrated more on showing you emotion, Head Automatica is more concerned with giving you a show, a rock show. We’re a rock band in the truest sense of the phrase, I guess, and we give you a show. We take our live show very seriously and we are a live band by nature. With Glassjaw, it’s more like an aggressive band and we’re like, “Look, this is our emotion.” We like to show our wheels turning while with Head Automatica, we just want to play the songs you came to see.
Are either of them more fun to play than the other?
I mean, I guess by the nature of what Head Automatica is, it’s more quote unquote “fun”. Glassjaw is a little more painful to play. I don’t mean that in a bad way, it’s just that I was singing about things that I didn’t want to think about, like getting angry, and I’m not really an angry person. It was getting to the point where I was near death every night. So I guess I get to relax more and have a little bit of fun with Head Automatica, but for what Head Automatica and Glassjaw are, I enjoy them both very much.
What’s the progress on the new Glassjaw record?
None. There’s no progress. We have about two songs. I mean, Glassjaw hasn’t really been a functioning unit in about two years, and so there hasn’t been a lot of progress made with the exception of one song that we played over two years ago and we have another one ready for the tour, but as far as, well, there was no Glassjaw for a long time.
Is there a future for Glassjaw?
I don’t even know. Maybe. I guess, it depends on all of our schedules. The four of us do very different things and, in a way, we grew up together and we’ve known each other for so long that it’s kind of like, if it’s going to fall into place, it’ll fall into place. I’m not going to push it. The guitar player, he runs a business, and I have Head Automatica, and the bass player plays with other bands, and the drummer plays with other bands. We’ll see what happens. I’m not really, it’s not really where my head is at right now, I’d rather do business with Head Automatica now.
So Head Automatica is totally your main focus now.
It’s consumed my life, it’s the way I am.
Off of [Head Automatica’s] Decadence, what’s your favorite song to play live?
Favorite song to play live? Probably “The Razor”. “The Razor” is probably my favorite, we enjoy that one a lot. Oh, and a new song called “Continental Divide.” Definitely that one.
You’ve started to play that live more often?
Yeah, we play it every night.
Obviously, we ask a lot of our fans to ask questions, and a lot of them wanted to know about your decision to quote unquote “break edge” a while ago.
My decision to break edge? I don’t know. I wasn’t really thinking about it. I was straight edge for over ten years and, I don’t know. I was straight edge through the years of my life where I think they mattered and then I got to a point where one day, well, not one day, but I wasn’t thinking about it, and I just don’t go to hardcore shows anymore. I just don’t. I’m not at the point where I buy magazines like that, I’m not on the internet on hardcore chat rooms or message boards, so hardcore, as a thing, was just not a big thing in my life, and what I was doing, which was touring and playing music, that became everything and just through that, I just stopped thinking about being straight edge, being hardcore, looking hardcore, jumping around hardcore. One day, I just realized that there were things in my life that I wanted to experience, there was shit in my life that I just never got to do. I happened to grow up in fan zines and magazines and on the internet and everybody got to watch me be straight edge and stuff. I know, I look silly, being the poster child for straight edge and now not being it, but it happens. You grow up. That’s what happens, you grow up. I think this makes me look even sillier, but that’s what happened. I think that one day, a lot of them will grow up and a lot of them will probably look back and think “This isn’t really my thing now.” Well, either that or they’ll kick my ass.
You said that you’re moving away from the hardcore scene, so what kind of stuff are you listening to nowadays?
I listen to whatever, because good music is good music. I don’t really listen to anything that’s around now, I’m not really a contemporary music fan. I don’t go looking for new bands and buying new records. I gave up on that. If I hear a band that blows my mind, I’ll listen to it, but I listen to everything. Dance music, hip hop, fucking rock music, I mean, if there’s a hardcore band that blows my mind, I’ll listen to it. I don’t know. Hardcore was almost like a time and place for us, we were very dedicated to it, but it’s not the first type of music that I listen to alone, in my bedroom.
Are there any bands or artists lately that have caught your attention or you’ve been enjoying a lot?
Yeah, actually, I just saw this band on MTV2 and I don’t really watch it normally but we had it on in the hotel room, and they’re called Dungen.
Dungen? Yeah, they’re really good, they’re a Swedish band.
You’ve heard of them?
Yeah, they have that “Panda” song which is great.
“Panda”! Yeah, that’s it, that’s the fucking song. This band, they blew my mind like nothing I’ve ever seen. Oh my God, I can’t believe you know about them. Tell me about them.
Well, to be honest, I don’t know that much about them. I have their album, I don’t even know how to pronounce it [Ta Det Lugnt] because it’s in Swedish. It’s really crazy shit; they are just amazing.
Dude, it’s been like seriously so long since I sat down and had my jaw on my floor. I mean, I’m into music and I play music and stuff, so if you say a band will blow my mind, I’m just like, “Whatever, dude”, and turn on the AC/DC, but like, with this band, it just fucking blew me away. It just blew me away.
Someone wanted to know, how many tattoos do you have?
Like a million. I have tattoos everywhere.
Are there any that are particularly close to your heart? And I mean that figuratively.
Yeah, I let my friends sign my legs and I tattooed their names on my legs.
So what’s the weirdest thing that people have thrown up at you onto the stage?
Godzilla movies. Totally random.
Random questions now. Favorite pizza topping?
I never hear that one.
That’s a shame. It’s a great topping.
Coke or Pepsi?
I don’t really drink soda, but I like soda and I miss it, and if I still drank it, I’d say Coca-Cola.
So what do you normally drink?
Boxers or briefs?
Little tiny underpants.
Showers or baths?
Ok, that’s it.