First, thank you for doing this with me.
Hey what’s up? Glad to be here.
Awesome. So you got time to answer a few questions?
Sure thing dude.
Very cool. Well I just sorta want to start out and ask what you have been up to lately, I heard you were in a new band, is that true?
Yep, I am in a band called One Track Mind I also have been volunteering at a program called Stand Up for Kids, where we help homeless and street youth, and I teach music at two nonprofit programs one is called street of dreams we teach kids in trouble with the law.
I heard about that project. It’s a great program. So, how is One Track Mind doing?
We are finishing the art work for our EP, it’s called: The Endless Bummer, it will be for sale on our site around Jan 19th, this is some pretty shameless self promotion. I sound like an infomercial. We are doing good though, we are starting to get some good shows down here in San Diego.
Haha, awesome. I will have to come check one of those out next time I see you guys are playing.
Okay, are you in the So Cal region?
Yah, I go to the University of Redlands … in Redlands, CA. Do you know kinda where that is?
No I don’t really know where. Are there redwoods there?
Not really .. it’s a little place, kinda stuck between San Bernardino .. and Riverside.
Cool maybe we will get up in your neck of the woods.
That would be killer. You were playing guitar with Death on Wednesday for a while were you not? But now you are back to drums with the new band, correct?
Yes I was playing guitar with them, but now I am back on the drums.
Extremely musically talented aren’t ya –so do you like the drums better?
I like the drums better because you can’t really beat up a guitar like you can the drums .
Amen to that. – Music in my opinion is one of the best ways to deal with emotions.
Definitely, for me its the drums
So, you currently have a girlfriend?
Yep, of three years.
Now, there isn’t a single soul on this planet that would forgive me if I didn’t ask this. Is there any insight you can give us on the rumors for your no longer playing with Blink-182? People like to talk, and no one has ever really mentioned it. I have always been confused with the whole situation, and very curious about it. Because when I first discovered Blink, you were in the band, and that lineup, and that band, crafted my whole life in a sense … it got me into music.
I am grateful to hear that something I helped create, inspired you to get into music. Because that’s what it’s all about — that makes me very happy. It’s hard to describe 6 years of being in blink and why it ended for me in a summed up kind of way. It also is impossible to describe without getting personal on both sides. The best way for me to put it is that everything got kinda haywire in my personal life, and in the band, and with Mark and Tom. They wanted different things than me and at the same time our friendship was put to the test.
So .. it is safe to say that you would still consider yourself friends with the both of them?
No, our friendship was put to the test and it kinda failed … but we went down our different paths which to me was the right one. They are doing things that they wanted to, that I wouldn’t have done, and vice versa. Does that make any sense? or do you need specifics?
I don’t want to pry .. so that does make sense.. I understand what you’re saying. As you sit back now .. and look at the huge Blink craze that took the nation by storm in the last few years.. do you regret not being there?
I do and I don’t, I am a musician and I want to be successful at it, but not the kind of success that they have. Ya know?
The millions of girls humming along, “All the Small Things?” I know exactly what you’re saying, or at least I see where you are coming from. Was the idea of getting too big one of the reasons for your departure?
No, I have no problem with success on that level just not in that way. Music turned into music business, and I wasn’t ready to deal with the game. And I was always the one saying, “let go this way” and they wanted to go “that way,” and so did everyone else surrounding the band. So guess who got kicked, “overboard?”
Overboard? Do I sense an allusion to a song?
Of course not.
Where did you want to take the band?
I don’t really know, I just enjoyed the times when we were all in a van and loading our own gear and sweating and stinking and all that. That’s where I feel most comfortable and I think I was uncomfortable moving into the, “other world.” I didn’t like doing encores and stuff it seemed, “fake,” to me. But everyone says that’s part of being an entertainer, but to me music isn’t just entertainment. It is life blood, and a force that can change the world for the better. Is that melodramatic or what? But I am serious.
I know exactly what you are saying when you say that. Music has meant more to my life than anything. I could honestly say it is the reason that I am alive today.
Yeah music saved me on several occasions, Iggy Pop, Bad Religion. When I felt I had nothing I had a friend in those people. That’s what I miss. I want to play and inspire and give my all to a good thing like music.
So, do you still listen to Blink?
I don’t listen to new Blink, but I can’t say they aren’t talented, cause they are.
Man, this is intense for me. I have like a million questions coming out, and I’m star struck to have the chance to talk to you. I just wanted you to know how much some of the music you have helped create has meant to me.
Thanks a lot, you are asking some good questions. And it helps me put it into perspective as well, because I myself am still trying to figure out what all happened.
Well, thank you for that, so how bout “old” Blink? Do you listen to that?
I do, and I wish I had the really old stuff like Flyswatter and before, but I lost it along the way. I don’t have any Blink CDs right now, ’cause I loaned them to my boss. She asked me to play in her band and she needed to hear what I have done, her band is called TrailerPark Queen. It’s cool.
Wow, what a killer story though,”what do you sound like?” … and in response you are able to hand her a Blink CD. That’s cool.
One thing that has always bothered me is that with the “new Blink,” if you will, is that with all their “biographies, DVDs, and books” it seems that you are at times looked over, and that they only start as a band when Travis joined. I know a lot of us older fans get really annoyed by that whole situation. What are your feelings on that?
Yah, that’s one of my big heart aches over the whole thing. I put six years into something I loved and not only is it stolen from me by people I thought were my friends, but I am left behind in the dust. I started that band with Tom. They even made some story about how Tom and Mark met and then recruited me, they are rewriting the books, it’s weird.
Did you attend Poway High School with Tom? I had only heard rumors that Tom and you actually started the band … but you’re saying that is how it happened … right?
That’s what I am saying. I was in a band with my friend Paul Scott, but he had to move. I was a freshmen at Poway when Tom was a senior. Paul knew Tom needed a drummer, so (before we moved) we went to this party where Tom was gonna be and I met Tom. We started playing, and then there was a guy named Derek that played guitar for a while, and we tried out a couple bass players. Then we met Mark. Then Mark quit and then he came back.
The period where Mark quit was due to his girlfriend — but then he came back — right?
You got it.
Is there anything you want to say to all the fans that have been fans of blink back when you were right there busting out all the music we grew to love?
Just thank you to the fans, thank you so much.
Did you ever go back to college?
Not yet, but I start in January .. if One Track Mind doesn’t go on tour or something.
Nice. Now, for my own clarification, did you leave the band? or were you asked to leave?
I was contacted over the phone and asked to quit drinking. I asked for the weekend to think about it, I came back and agreed. They said, “too bad,” and I don’t really know why.
That sounds incredibly harsh.
Yep, it was pretty dastardly done.
I would agree. So did you ever get to meet with the band again and talk about it? Or was it just .. poof over? That really seems just plain mean.
Well it was rude to do it over the phone so I went to one of their shows just to show my face.
Wow, what did they do when you went to the show?
Tom asked how I was and I think Mark was scared I was going to flip out. I just wanted to show my face, and that’s all I did, and then I left.
You have handled this better than I would have. I would’ve been pretty pissed off. It just doesn’t seem right, it’s almost like.. hmm .. I don’t know …
I am not by any means a perfect person and I have hurt people before. But what they did was messed up. I believe in the love your enemy philosophy.
In this circumstance … that is what you have to do.
It’s like getting snaked on a really good wave that you have been waiting outside for … for an hour.
I agree with you man. It just seems so weird that right before the band goes insanely big, that you are asked to leave. Like there was some other reason for it. You agreed to what they wanted you to do … but yet they say, “too bad?” Wow.
I feel they ruined a lot of hard work and cashed in on a good thing.
What do you mean by “good thing”?
It’s weird, but I think that Blink could have been better, or could have been about better things.
Can you expand on that at all?
I guess I am just being judgmental and I have to admit that I don’t know a lot about Blink and their message anymore, and “Adam’s Song” is a damn good song, but some of it just seems kinda fluffy, like I saw an article on Teen Cosmo or something that said, “talk dirty with Blink-182.” It’s not exactly what I had in mind. Or like Metallica making toy dolls of themselves, it bums me out. But I still say, “I pity the foo who talks bad about Metallica!”
Haha. Well, I think your feelings are exactly what a lot of the fans that were there at the beginning are feeling as well. It was like a manager or something got a hold of them, and made them something marketable to the teenage mass market, and some of us are sitting here going, “why?” I think the word you used, “fluffy” is perfect.
But that’s the path they chose. I didn’t want that, and so there was conflict.
You walked down the other path. Not the “wrong” path … just a different path. There is nothing wrong with it. Could you see yourself on the cover of, Teen People or running around naked?
No, I wouldn’t have gone that far. But money did become attractive, but I can use that money for good things now, I don’t have many material possessions and the ones I do have are tools for education.
Do you like teaching?
Yes, but I am shy, so it’s a battle. I love to encourage and excite people toward self respect and teach about the importance of the respect for life, and social justice. I don’t like greed … it kills, and if you doubt me you can ask the dead bodies of streets kids who can’t get help from our f-ed up culture.
”Money became attractive” — what exactly does that mean?
I had never in my life seen the kind of money that starts getting thrown around on that level. And it was exciting to see your bank account grow … it became like an addiction … so you start to do shows that aren’t exactly fun, or cool but you’re getting paid.
Wow. And is that when you started feeling down about the whole thing?
I have a friend who is a big wheel at a major corporation and her philosophy is that she doesn’t give a damn about teenagers. She just wants them to buy and that makes me scared for the kids of our generation.
Wow … and you wanted to make the music for the teenagers. Not just get them to buy an album, right?
Right, I didn’t want to become a product.
Exactly. I just want you to know that I can’t begin to describe how much this interview has meant to me, I just want to tell you thank you. Being able to talk with you has honestly been a dream come true. I know you will always be out there making killer music, and doing what you gotta do. I wish you the best of luck in everything. Thank you again, for everything. Keep rocking. I wish I could put into words everything I actually want to say, but, I can’t, so a simple: “thank you” will have to do.
I feel the same, thank you. Peace.