When I went to see Jawbreaker at the trocadaro in philly, I had no intention of interviewing them. I was more worried about getting tickets, since I had failed to order them ahead of time. I stood in the cold at the front door of the venue, waiting with 8 or 9 other dedicated fans, when Jawbreaker's white tour van pulled up to the front door to ask for directions. Blake popped out of the van, pointed to a black marker scrawl on a wooden barracade made by a disappointed fan of some indie rock goddess and commented to no one in particular, "That's the best graffiti I've ever seen." Thus began my four hour odyssey to get an interview with America's new million dollar major label media darlings: Jawbreaker.
The first trouble I had was in finding a way to capture the interview so that it could be preserved for a future reading audience. I had made the mistake of leaving my tape recorder at home. Luckily, a friendly bum named Harold was willing to act as my tour guide around Philly.
Harold had promised to "watch" our car for a dollar, but later we returned to find that he was nowhere to be seen, breaking his promise and leaving our car unprotected. I speculated that he might be in one of the nearby buildings, acting as a sniper, with another partner on the grassy knoll. Perhaps they were conducting hidden surveilance on any unlucky hoodlums that thought my car was an easy mark. Even if he didn't watch my car, he sure earned his dollar as a tour guide.
He first took me to a chinese electronics store. I tried to swing a deal with the owner on a $19.95 piece of crap recorder. He offered to throw in a tape and batteries. Harold helped with the bargaining, and he was very persuasive. But alas, I had no more then $10, and I just wanted to rent it for the night anyway. So it was no deal.
I eventually went to another chinese store that sold stationary. I recorded the interview with a 99 cents pad of paper and a run-of-the-mill ballpoint ink pen. Hardly the top of the line equipment for an aspiring newspaper man like myself. I convinced myself that i was going "back to the basics" and "finding my roots."
The show itself was a wonderfully kinetic and fun night out, aside from the occasional jackass in the crowd (what am I talking about, everyone in the crowd was the occasional jackass, if anything, it was rare to find someone who wasn't a jackass). Anyway, the band did a good job and played all their hits, even deviating from their set-list to play "Chesterfield Kings" at the request of the crowd.
Then the big moment arrived: it was time to get my interview! I had tried to sneak backstage during the show but some big bruiser of a bodyguard politely informed me that Blake didn't want to see anybody without a backstage pass. I was still seething about that denial while I lingered at the backdoor waiting for the band to board their van.
I was forced to stand a good ten feet from the door as rough and tough bodyguards stood in my way. A few lucky jerks got to sit in the van and talk to the bass player (Chris Baurmeister) because they had a press pass. Obviously my zine is inferior. Oh well. Since I couldn't talk to the super cool corporate bass player, I decided to talk to Jawbreaker's tour manager, who happened to be driving the van. I stood there and asked him various stupid questions. He was polite and answered most of them. Then he pointed around the corner of the Troc and said, "There's Blake. Why don't you ask him some questions?" And sure enough, Blake was standing there, signing autographs for a Chinese man (I saw lots of Chinese people that night). I hurried over and managed to ask him a few questions before he moved on to greener pastures (the assholes who had press passes). Here's the interview:
Do you read Sassy magazine?
No, I'm not Sassy enough.
If not Sassy, then what?
New York Magazine.
Who was the first girl you ever kissed, and how was it?
Her name was Brigitte, she had braces.
So it wasn't any good?
No, it was good because of that!
If you could bring anyone back to life, who would it be, and why?
My grandfather, because I want to apologize for stepping on his glass eye.