This interview was conducted with bass player Chad Peterson shortly after their inspirational set at the London Garage back in June other members were around packing up equipment as they were leaving the country that night. Mickey Fitz (some of you may know him from UK legendary band The Business joined in the interview towards the end to add his own insights .
For anyone who doesnt know, Strife are Rick Rodney (vocals) Sidney Niesen (drums) and Andrew Kline (guitar) Franklin from shelter was also on this tour playing second guitar.
How old were you when you first signed to Victory Records?
It was about ten years ago around 1993 I was 17 years old then...
Are you pleased with the outcome of the new album?
Ok the songs in my opinion as far as structure goes were really great (I agree with that) but the production could have been 100% better to me it feels like we were rushed into pushing it out by Victory who are not as helpful anymore.
Why the reformation and complete change in lyrical direction as to the subject of global politics instead of the straightedge emphasis?
What happened was when Strife split up Sid and Rick started a band called Angermeans which also featured Franklin from Shelter when he left the guys recruited me and then we did a benefit show
But why not reform under a different name since Strife is preliminarily remembered as a straightedge hardcore band?
Like I was explaining before what happened were the guys started Angermeans when one of our crew guys (Jesse) passed away. We played a benefit show under the name of Strife because that is the way he would have wanted it, we started playing shows again with all the original Strife members in Angermeans we would constantly be requested to play Strife songs and although we are not a Straightedge band anymore we are however still Strife nothings changed.
Does Victory pay a wage?
(Chad smiles and looks to the floor) As far as being a record label they record and release your CD, depending on what band you are you might be able to twist their arms into say contributing towards a tour but mostly the bands have to do everything off their own backs. Before we split Victory were very supportive of Strife but because of that and maybe because as you may have noticed they are bringing a more diverse sound to Victory in Taking Back Sunday, and Grade thats more commercially viable, which is fine, it just means that they are not as focused on hardcore anymore, at the end of the day Tony (Brummel) Victory is a businessman.
How do you guys find touring I presume you all have families / mortgages, is it difficult to cope at times?
I dont think I could highlight any particular tour because to me the tours are good and bad for all different reasons, I enjoy touring, especially playing UK shows cause the crowds are always very receptive and into what Strife are about.
What sort of bands do you listen to?
Mainly punk rock bands Im into Gorilla Biscuits, Chain of Strength and the Business I listen to those bands a lot.
What sort of traits do you look for in people?
Anyone that can make me feel welcome is always good to be around, more than ever on tour, unity and seeing everything come together.
Which living person do you most admire?
This may sound strange but Harrison Ford because he seems like a genuine person and he makes good films. Im a big fan of genuine people, I like people who can make you feel like youre the only one in the room with them.
At this point Mickey Fitz from the Business (who needs no introduction) strolled over and asked me if he could add his thoughts to the interview and who was I to deny him this. So I told him about my site (having a fundementally straightedge theme but also it being an outlet for punk / alternative music generally) and this is what came of it Thankyou to Chad and Strife and to Mickey....
The Business were the original straightedge boy-band.
When the straightedge came out I didnt honestly know what to make of it, The Business at that time would have been around for between 5-10 years and I didnt at first understand it!
Through the years and touring a lot with Strife (hence the reason why he announced the band to the stage at tonights gig) and other bands who have promoted it I can totally appreciate it, I mean I drink and I smoke but not everyones going to be the same.
We need to break down the barriers and unite the whole scene whether it be straightedge, non-straightedge, Emo, Oi whatever it doesnt matter at the end of the day. Fuck Jim Davis (i didn't understand that bit), it doesnt matter where you are from or diversity of style, people have become too proud. We need to stop these divides, because the longer the Business and other bands like Strife can do this the better.
I've had threats made to my family and friends because of what I do and what I say in the Business, I've been doing this for twenty years and unity is the only way we can move forwards as people.