This interview with Jawbreaker took place after their Reko Muse show in Olympia, WA on August 19, 1990. Not very many people were at the show, which was kind of wierd because they are or were such a great band. They played the day before in Seattle to a packed crowd at the Party Hall. Rumor had it that Jawbreaker had broken up but we now think (and our sources confirm) that they still will be called "Jawbreaker" but it will be without Chris "Smokey" Bauermeister, the bassist. Present for the interview in Hairball's corner were Stuart and James. On Jawbreaker's side were Adam (A) Blake (B) and Chris (C). Enjoyable.
HAIRBALL: Why don't you guys introduce yourselves by name, age and what you do in the band.
BLAKE: I'm Blake, I'm 78 and I play guitar and sing and I'd like to note for the record that this is being conducted in the rain...outdoors.
ADAM: This is Adam, my rank is drummer, my serial number is.. I guess I don't have one. I'm pretty old..in scene standards I guess.
HB: You've aged with the scene.
B: We would like to talk about ageism in the scene and Chris "Smokey" Bauermeister will be coming back later.
HB: Alright. How'd you guys hook up with Shredder to have "Shield Your Eyes" on the World's in Shreds comp?
A: We sent the demo to MRR for review, they ended up liking one of the songs and played it on Maximum Radio. So he heard it on the radio and inquired, then he called me up and asked if we wanted to be on the record and I called my lawyers and my people and after deciding it would be pretty beneficial financially..beneficient or benefical?
B: It was really...we went to negotiating tables and we were in there gridlocked for three or four weeks..it was really a toss up, we were thinking about releasing our own demo cassette and it was...between that and vinyl we really just didn't know what would be better for us.
A: A lot of fast food, a lot of smoky ashtrays in the conference room. We came out haggard but prevailed.
B: But in the end everyone was happy.
HB: How soon did "Whack and Blite" come out after that?
A: It came out pretty quick.
B: Yeah, it was a couple of months.
A: We did it. We just did it and put it right the fuck on out.
HB: Did you guys put that out yourselves? Like Blackball Records...
A: Blackball is Chris. Chris "Smokey" Bauermeister.
B: Chris "Blackball" Bauermeister. So anyway, Chris, introduce yourself.
CHRIS: Hi, I'm Chris Smokey Bauermeister. Smokey and Blackball and uh...
HB: Your age and occupation.
C: I'm almost 24. I'm gonna be 24 in about a month, actually a little under a month, and I... I'm the manager of Blackball Records, the owner of Jawbreaker Bauer-Tours Inc., the transportation service for the Jawbreaker tour 1990 and uh... I play bass for the band.
HB: Alright. Whose cat is on the front of "Unfun" and whose dog is on the shirts?
B: Well that's my cat Sammy.
C: We don't know whose dog it is.
B: Well, we do know whose...
C: Well yeah, I think it's... I know the photographer.
B: On the record?
C: No, no, no on the shirts.
B: Oh, on the shirts. I'm sorry...
C: On the shirts I think it's the photographer's. It's that photographer from Ohio. I don't know what his name is. I should give him credit.
B: That'd be our next lawsuit.
C: Right, exactly. (Laughter)
(Adam tries to wipe the glass off his bare feet)
HB: Are you familiar with Tower Records' Pulse magazine?
B: Yeah. Naturally.. We're like this...(Laughter)
HB: What do you think about things like that.. like the popularity that come swith being a rock-n-roll band?
B: I think it's just the kind of power that you've got to expect from a trio of this caliber. (laughter) I mean.. I was completely amazed..it's all due to Shredder Records. The guy just set it up and...
A: I got something to say. I was thinking about this. Now, man, a lot of people come up to us and they say, "What is with college radio? What do you think of college radio standings?" It's like, man, where else are you gonna hear a hardcore band on a fuckin' radio? You're not gonna hear it on a mainstream radio. What else is there?
B: Well there's like pirate radio from ships. (Laughter) That's for tru Hardcore, the true H.C.
C: That's usually metal.
B: It is, isn't it? It's like Ramones and metal.
A: There are some really good college radio stations. There really are.
B: Ramones and metal. Notice the connection? That whole like New York school of black leather..
C: Yeah, I know that there are...
A: Here's my point. Of course I think it sucks that majors are buckling down and hassling college radio and making them play their stupid shit, but then again, every once in a while, one hour out of the day..you can pretty much bank on.. there's a few stations that play great hardcore shows, or punk rock shows, or alternative shows and they'll play a lot of really good things. So, it's like, you know...
B: I got to say that the Pulse people.. the guy was really cool that we talked to. It's not as much like.. it's a Tower-produced mag, but they're pretty like, uh..outspoken, you know? They're not limited by that really. They'll fuckin' cap on a lot of shit.
A: They hate the music in the mainstream, you know..they'll dog it. As well it should get dogged.
B: But also like..I'm sorry I keep coming back to this.. I'm just like, not for us, but I'm liked psuched when any kind of "harder" band gets into a rag like that just to bump the next like, fucking Y&T; or whatever off. So it's getting that space or exposure or whatever. I mean it's cool. I wish there was a lot of our friends' bands in theire, too.
HB: How is the tour going so far?
B: It's big. It's a big tour.
HB: How long have you been on tour?
C: It's gotten big beyond belief. At this point it's starting to like sit down on our..on my shoulders at least. I don't have much..it's a great big thing.
A: Chris has a delicate constitution at this point, because this is our 43rd show.
C: We've been on the road for 60 days.
HB: Wow. Since when, what month?
C: Since June 22 we've been on the road.
HB: That's a long time. When will you be off the road?
B: September 4th.
C: Sixteen days.
A: He's been counting down.
B: Chris goes to bed every night and carves a little notch in the wall.
C: Yeah. Like I'm not going to cut right out before the 16..like I;m not going to drive home to Connecticut for a night and like come back to New York to play whatever shows we have.
B: Like, yeah man, groovy. (Laughter)
C: As if.
B: So, what's the next question?