Polar Bear Club - Jimmy Stadt

Polar Bear Club

Jimmy Stadt

Rise Records
By on November 23rd, 2013 at The Biltmore Cabaret – Vancouver, BC



It has been three years since we last spoke to Polar Bear Club‘s Jimmy Stadt, in that time they’ve been pretty busy. We caught up with the front man outside the Biltmore Cabaret in Vancouver halfway through their tour with Citizen, Diamond Youth and Sainthood Reps

Just like before, Stadt was an excited to talk and didn’t hold anything back as he told us about their new album, Death Chorus, and his decision to release a statement about his vocal change. Dissecting the scene and what type of lyrics work best, Stadt went into great detail about every topic we touched on and ended it all by telling the story that began with the statement:

“It was single handedly, the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me on tour.”



You guys are two weeks into this tour with Citizen, Diamond Youth and Sainthood Reps. How’s it going so far?

It’s going amazing. I was just talking to Sam from Diamonds about this; it’s such an easy going group of people. I’ve been on a lot of tours and I’ve seen a lot of different personality types on tour. There’s the guy who’s always off by himself, there’s the guy who walks into a room and is super loud and he’s like “everybody look at me! Everybody look at me!” and everyone on this tour is so even keeled, so middle of the road. It’s just so nice. At any given moment on this tour, you can just walk up to anybody and just have a nice little chat; which, for me, is nice because I like that sort of thing.

Polar Bear ClubThe shows have been awesome.  It’s funny because this tour is technically about half over but we were on tour for about three and a half weeks before this tour started.

With Taking Back Sunday right?

Yeah. So I feel like I’m at the end. But it’s nice, it’s really nice to not be opening for a huge band and just sort of playing smaller rooms for people who are there to see you play. As opposed to trying to win over a group of people who are coming to see Taking Back Sunday. Which is fun in it’s own way but it’s a good change of pace to do this as well.

I was watching an  interview you did with Scott from Alternative Press at The Fest and you were saying that at Taking Back Sunday there’s a lot of people who just go to one off concerts. Whereas at the Fest, it’s people who live and breathe it. Do you feel like when you’re doing the smaller tours, it’s more like those types of people?

Yeah, it’s more like… I mean, people who go see Taking Back Sunday, they’re more like just concert goers. They don’t really understand bands that come from a scene or a community type world. They’re just people that go to concerts because that’s a way they blow off steam every six months or whatever. Here, you’re playing more to music-cultured people. People who go to a lot of shows, they understand it a little bit more and they’re sort of more, I guess, passionate about music specifically as opposed to in general.

Which isn’t always a good thing. There’s actually good qualities and bad qualities to both. Sometimes it’s nice to play to people who just like being at a concert, they just like loud music. They’re just like “Yeah! I’m at a concert, I’m going crazy!” And you just start playing and they’re like “yeah, this rules! You rule!” Sometimes that’s kind of nice as opposed to the hardcore vinyl collector person who is very critical of you.

The sound’s a little off tonight, the guitar’s a tad muffled in the mix.

*laughs* Exactly! “It’s a little trebly, I was hoping for more of a southern lore bass driven experience.” So yeah, there’s good and bad things to both.

This tour is in support of Death Chorus which came out on Tuesday – how has the reaction been to the album so far?

It’s been good. It’s been interesting to see it sort of switch because when we first started putting songs up…. I think for once we were smart about something – for once in our career. We put up a lot of songs before the album came out. We put out Blood Balloon, we put out an official music video for Why Live When You Can Die, we put up Upstate Mosquito and then about a week before we put out the full album stream. And to see the progression – I mean it’s hard to gauge, this is loosely based off of what you read online and what you read on Twitter and Facebook or whatever; and it’s hard to tell how much of that is actual or actually reflects a reality. But based on that sort of stuff, it was interesting to see it change over the course of time. Because when the first song when up, it was a very negative reaction. Not across the board but a lot of people were angry almost. And then from there to the release date, you could see those people sort of ease into it and say like “oh, okay, I’m getting this now.  Cool.” And now since the album’s been out, it’s been almost unanimously positive; where to start it was somewhat mixed. So it’s kind of interesting to see.

Was a lot of the negativity focused towards the vocal change you had to do the open letter about?

Probably, one hundred percent of it – yeah. I think the letter sort of helped that in a way, weirdly. Which was something I was very torn about doing. I really didn’t want to do that.

What was it, ultimately, that made you want to do the open letter?

Well, it’s complicated. I think I knew I was the only one who could do it correctly. I thought I could say it the best way it could be said. And, of course, I always think that honesty is a good approach as opposed to trying to hide something. And I’d say we’ve learned from other bands. You see bands that experience that sort of thing and, not to their discredit, but they just sort of plough ahead. They say “I don’t have to explain myself to anybody, I’m doing what I want to do and you’re in or you’re out.” We sort of started there but it was like, you know what, we’re not that type of band.

We’ve always had this very open relationship with the people who like our band. We have relationships with people who like our band on personal levels, I feel like we’re just not that type of band that just ploughs ahead and say “fuck you” if you don’t like it. We’re just more connected to the people that like our band than that. I think there is an element of if you don’t like it, that’s fine. You’re in or you’re out. But I think we can feel that a little bit more having released a statement. Having been like “well listen, there’s these factors involved, there’s more to it than what you might think, let’s get all that out there; and then we can start from that place of “you’re in or you’re out.” I didn’t fell comfortable telling people to fuck off if they didn’t like it. I didn’t feel honest, I felt more like… let’s have a conversation. Because that’s what we’ve always had with people who like our band.

But do you still find it kind of weird that you had to kind of defend yourself?

I didn’t have to. I chose to. I did not have to do that. I was against doing it for a while but I chose to do that. And I recognized that I didn’t have to do that and a lot of people, when that came out, they sort of backed me up and said “hey, you didn’t have to do that but it’s cool that you did.” So it was just sort of one of those scenarios where I didn’t have to do that but it felt right to me.

Actually, one of the guys at the record label suggested doing it early on and I was like “fuck no, we’re not doing that – you’re wrong.” And then a couple weeks later I texted him and was like “you know what, I think you were right – I think I want to do this.” The goal wasn’t to pay off, the goal was to be honest but that being said, I think it did pay off to an extent. I think it put people at ease who thought, very foolishly, that we were changing for some nefarious reason that was just not the case.

It’s the same thing that you kind of touched on with One Hit Back from Chasing Hamburg with insulting people on the internet, where you don’t know what’s going through the band’s mind. So how do you have the right to say you do? Do you still think that it’s still that bad on the internet?

You can never escape that sort of thing. There’s some people who gain some sense of identity. Some sort of sense of accomplishment by just horribly non-constructive criticism. Just insults. And we’ve been dealing with that for years, there’s nothing we can do about that.

As long as the internet’s there, it will be there.

Polar Bear Club - Jimmy StadtAmerican Steel has a song about this sort of thing and I’ve always subscribed to this theory that to respond to those people is like spitting back at rain. You’re still going to get wet no matter what.  These people just want to get your goat, they just put out negative energy.

That being said, I also think the way bands are now, the way this type of music is, we just have a different relationship with the people who like us than say Kanye West has with the people who like him, or Lady Gaga. They can just sort of do whatever they want because they’re sort of up here with their fans. We’ve set ourselves up to be level with our fans. We don’t wear costumes, we wear just what we wanna wear. We have normal conversations. We make a concerted effort to let people who like our band know that we’re just normal people. So we couldn’t do that and not release the statement. The two didn’t go hand in hand with how we’ve set up band up to be for years.

Because you kind of had to be honest with your friends – not so much your fans, but your friends.

Exactly. Because that’s how we had built our band up. I’ve been saying into the microphone for years how much we appreciate you as people, how much we appreciate you coming, how we’re just these humble people just like you who are even amazed that just one person in this room knows who our band is miles away from our hometown. I couldn’t reconcile that person with the “fuck everyone” person. I had to almost get on the microphone to the internet and say some more stuff.

We spoke about this briefly when I interviewed you back in 2010 when you were on tour with Every Time I Die and Four Year Strong. We talked about what it is that makes somebody hold onto a band so strongly that they can’t let them evolve. A band like Against Me! or Strike Anywhere, Rise Against, whatever. Even like Jawbreaker, which Punknews just compared your vocal change to the Dear You escapades.

Which I like that a lot. I think that’s so cool. *laughs*

What do you think it is that makes somebody hold onto a band so much that they can’t truly evolve?

Well, I mean it’s just that connection… People in bands don’t like that sort of thing because people in bands want to grow, but the reason we do bands is to make that connection with people. The reason we’re in music is to get people to connect with us on that level. But then we’re sort of hypocritical when we say “you can’t be upset with us, because we’re changing.”

But there is truth to that too. When you’re so deeply connected to an artist, you think that they’re you. You think that they get you.

A little piece of you is inside them.

Right, when you connect to a band you think for the first time “fuck, someone is finally speaking to me. Someone is finally speaking for me. Someone is finally representing who I am in the world. I’ve been walking the halls of my school for years, I’ve been working this job for years with my head down – no one understanding who I am and now finally someone’s come along and understands me directly.” And then all of a sudden, they change.

Then it’s an angry feeling because then they feel lost or you lied. When in actuality – no. That stuff that you really liked, that’s still who we are. And those records are still there. But we’re also this too, and this isn’t a bad thing. And if you think it’s a bad thing, we can talk about that but this is also a part of who we are. And who you thought we were in reference to who you were – that still holds; but give us a little space to be us too.

Give us some space to grow and change our point of view based on life experience.

Right. It’s the same thing when people really love a book and it’s turned into a movie and they get mad. The book is still there. The book still exists for you and it’s still the same book you loved. You just don’t like the movie. It’s not ruined, it’s not anything negative. It’s just a movie you don’t like, move on.

One of my favourite book series is called The Sword of Truth, a fantasy series. I finally found the TV series on Netflix and I could barely get through the first episode – it was fucking atrocious. But I still love the books.

The book is still there. It’s still the same book. But you know, it’s the same exact thing. When people get deeply connected to something, it’s this really fragile thing. But conversely – that’s the reason that we do it. To get that connection. So it’s kind of this weird, tricky relationship.

Polar Bear Club - Jimmy StadtAnd it’s also how you balance it. Do you do like Pennywise, Bad Religion or NOFX? Who have stayed relatively, sonically, the same over 20, 30 years. Which route do you take?

Well there is that, but I think it just depends though. But I mean, bands like that – they have this hardline point of view. They have this specific sound. Polar Bear Club has never really had a specific sound. Even on the records that people love, song to song – to ask someone to describe Polar Bear Club is not easily done.

Convinced I’m Wrong is way different than a lot of your stuff.

The last track on Sometimes, Convinced I’m Wrong, to the first track are incredibly different songs. The thing that’s always tied us into Polar Bear Club, the thing that’s always been the unifier and the same is the lyrics – to me at least. And that was what I was trying to get at with the statement. The lyrics and the show. The live show. The energetic, honest and unwavering passionate show. And that is still exactly the same. That was what I was trying to say in that statement.  Yeah these things are different but we’ve always been a band that has done weird, different things. But the things that has always held those together are still intact, they’re still the same.

With Death Chorus, lyrically I feel that it has progressed as well. It seems to be very introspective and somewhat nostalgic, looking back at regrets and growing up. Songs like Why Live When You Can Die, Upstate Mosquito, Paper Graph Glory Days. Was that kind of intentional or did it just kind of end up that way?

It wasn’t intentional. If anything, I tried to fight that. And then I think I failed.

That’s how the title came about. I was working on a song, a song that I didn’t end up finishing and didn’t end up making the record. I was working on the lyrics and I was working on the chorus and the word death or dying was in the chorus. I already had death in the Upstate Mosquito chorus, I had Why Live When You Can Die in that chorus and I just looked at myself and was like “ah, not another death chorus. Not another chorus with death in it.” And it just sort of like stuck. It was kind of a weird little title and we started dissecting it and was like “yeah, it’s cool because of this, this, this.” And then it ended up being the album title.

But I think the sort of regret, nostalgia, whatever you wanna call it – that’s just in my nature. I couldn’t fight it. I tried, I tried to be like “don’t go too deep, you don’t need a million songs about this sort of thing” but I realized it was sort of a similar emotion plopped into different scenarios. I thought that if sonically we could make the songs different from one another, than that unifying theme can be kind of cool and okay.

You also mentioned in an interview with Blare Magazine that the album artwork was inspired by the tarot card death chorus which has a double meaning of letting the negative aspects of your life die away so you can focus on the positive. Was that something you also wanted to embed?

Yeah, the tarot card thing actually came from our manager Tim. He was just into that imagery at the time. He was like “this is cool, we should send this to Richard.” He’s the guy who does all of our artwork, Richard Minino. “We should send this to Richard as a reference.” And then Richard sent back the Death Chorus cover and we were just like “wow.” It was amazing and it fits in exactly for those reasons. Because if you know anything about tarot cards, and I don’t know much but I do know just from old clichés, is that the death card isn’t a bad card. It doesn’t mean death in the way  you think it means. It means a rebirth. And Why Live When  You Can Die is a direct reference to that sort of thing.

I remember hearing years ago when I was in college that Japanese actors, before they take the stage, whereas in America we say something like “break a leg” or “good luck”, in Japan they say “I hope you die.” And what they mean by that is “I hope that the mundane trappings of your everyday life fade away and you are reborn as something exceptional on the stage.” So that’s a part of it, definitely.

The other stuff might be a part of it too. The negative might be a part of it as well. They’re sort of side by side.

I read that you turned 28 in February, I just turned 26 last weekI feel that we’re at age where we’re looking back but also looking forward trying to figure out what the hell it is you’re going do with yourself – which I find to be an interesting contradiction. Was that something you were sort of dealing with?

One hundred percent. I mean I’m just at a point in my life where I’m just constantly wondering if I’ve made the right choices or if I’m fucked or if I have a chance at redemption or if I’m over thinking the whole thing too much and I just need to go and do and do and be. I’m so introspective and navel gazey right now. That’s what a lot of the record is about, being trapped in that and it just fucking driving you insane. Because it’s so pointless to an extent, so incredibly pointless.

It’s like the NOFX line from Oops I Od’d – “Hate regrets more than apologies.” But you sometimes get trapped in that mindset.

Yeah, yeah, but you’re just sitting there wondering what to do about it because you’re raised to follow your heart and to be honest with yourself and others but it’s almost like the only way out of this weird reflectiveness is to lie to yourself. Just blinders on and blaze ahead. So that’s like where I am right now – like “what do I fucking do?”

It’s like Straylight Run – “I lie to myself and say it’s for the best.”

*laughs* Very much so, yeah. Mosquito’s a lot about that sort of thing. But it was like I couldn’t escape it. And that’s the other thing too – when you’re writing, you have to write what’s in your heart. I was never one of those people who would set out to write something almost like a journalist. Like “oh, this really intrigues me, I’m going to write about this.” I’ve always just been writing from my gut and what’s going on in my head. And it just so happens that it’s all bad at this time. I hope it’s done soon though *laughs* I think it will be; but you know, it’s just one of those fucking things man. I know it’s like weird and whiny, but I have a sense of humor about it and I hope that that comes across.

You also said recently that a lot of the shows you’re playing to are with people who are 19, 20, stuff like that. Do you find that’s consistent all over?

Sometimes. I mean, it’s like people our age don’t go to shows that much. I don’t go to shows that much anymore. Differently, I’m always at shows so when I’m at home, I kind of want to chill. But yeah, I’ve noticed a lot of younger people are coming to shows now. And it is strange because when we first started touring, it was like I was playing to my peers. I was playing to people at similar spots in their lives with sort of a similar life experiences. And I knew how to play to those people.

Polar Bear ClubI’m constantly wrestling with that, do I know how to talk to these people? Do I know what to say to these people? We have completely different frames of reference. Now that sort of shoe-gazing, sort of nineties, dirty, grunge rock is kind of big right now and it’s great – I love that sort of stuff; but we’re not that. We’re not that type of band. We’re a high energy, raw, punk band; and sometimes I feel like people are put off by how much we move around on stage. It’s so crazy to me because when we were coming, it was like you go fucking crazy when you play.

You want energy.

Yeah! But now I feel like some people are weirder out like “wow, these guys need to chill out.” We will never fucking chill out *laughs* That’s one of the disconnects I sort of see, I think people expect this sort of moodier experience at a show now. Where we’re a more, not aggressive, but just active. Not very moody. It’s pointed, it has a goal. It’s almost like the physical personification of everything that we were just talking about, that I wished that I was and I can’t be. Blaze ahead and go, go,go,go,go.

Sometimes I think that people are shaken by that at first; but generally it comes from a place of positivity and compassion and honesty and those things are timeless, those are forever; and I think people eventually get to that spot. Where they’re like “okay, these guys are going crazy. It’s okay, it’s not weird, it’s cool. They’re being honest with us. They’re not putting on this moody front.”  I’m not saying the aforementioned hip, now bands do that. But if we were to do that, it would be a front.

Yeah, it would be forced.

It would be forced. I think people realize that a little bit into the set; they’re like “Oh, they’re not that type of band. They’re just type of band.”

It’s also weird, I think, when you sing songs like When We Were College Kids to current college kids.

Or high school kids? Yeah, totally. I knew that writing that song – like this is going to be fucking silly to some people. Because some people who come to our shows are fifteen or sixteen, or whatever. But I have that attitude about presenting myself to our listeners that if I am myself, if I go for it, then they’ll be on board. Because being in college isn’t the emotion of that song. The emotion of that song is the nostalgia.

The old friendships, the old adventures.

Exactly. And that’s something I think anybody can understand, even younger people.

Even in high school, you still think back to junior high.

Exactly! You think like “what happened to my middle school friends?” I remember when I was in ninth grade and all of a sudden I wasn’t hanging out with the same people from eighth grade anymore. It’s the same wheelhouse of emotions; and I think if you present it in a way that’s honest with yourself – that’s the thing being will hold onto. The honesty, not the specificity of the experience.

I mean, I’ve never experienced something as intense as slavery but I very much enjoyed the film 12 Years A Slave because of the universal emotions. I could relate to some of those emotions, maybe not on the same level of intensity, but I understood there was an honesty in the telling of it and that was the thing that was beautiful to me. Hopefully that’s what people will see in a song like that.

It pulls from the global and universal attributes rather than the specific details.

A lot of people come up to us when we’re doing support tours and say this, or some sort of this sentence: I don’t like the type of music you play, but I really like your band. Meaning I don’t listen to bands like you, or what they think bands like us are, but I like you guys. And to me, that’s why – because those things are in check and people everywhere respond to those things.

Just a few more questions. Speaking about the continual growth of Polar Bear Club, with each of your albums you guys have always had a different producer. With this one you went with Will Yip at Studio 4 – what made you go with him?

Well, we demoed a song with him just to try it out and it was fantastic. It was a really good experience, so just naturally we tried him out and liked it and went with it. I think the reason we went him to try him out was he was getting really good sounds out of bands.  People know his work from Title Fight and Balance and Circa Survive and what have you. But the record that I heard that really blew me away was that band Gypsy. This hardcore band, sort of like a hardcore version of Jawbreaker band. The way that record sounded just blew me away utterly.  It was just a really hard, heavy and loud record. We wanted that. We knew we had these sort of more upbeat songs but we wanted them to be hard, we wanted them to be heavy and loud. That was the terminology we were throwing around the whole time we were doing the session.

On October 8th, he just released the compilation Off The Board: A Studio 4 Family.

Which I named.

Oh, how’d you come up with that name?

Polar Bear ClubWell, I half named it. It’s called Off The Board: A Studio 4 Family Compilation. Erik Petersen from Balance & Composure. His idea was to call it A Studio 4 Family Compilation and my idea was to call it Off The Board and Will was like “boom” and put them together. So Off The Board comes from when you go to Will’s studio – I don’t know if you’ve seen the Sound City documentary?

No but I’ve heard about it.

So that documentary’s about the Neve console soundboard that they had at Sound City that’s like one of eleven or something. Will works on one of those boards and they just have really good tones – just mic to board. No presets, no reverbs, no nothing. Nothing on it, just the microphone to the soundboard to the speaker. Something about that board sounds amazing. So Will, he’s always saying “man, just listen to this! Just off the board man! Just off the board! The sound board, it sounds so good.” So naturally I was like “you gotta call the comp Off The Board, you’re just always saying it.”

It once again comes back to the family, as it’s the studio’s catchphrase.

In a way but it’s also just what that studio stands for. The simplest, rawest tone, that’s going to be what sounds big. We’re not going to be able to put these effects on all this shit and make it sound big. We go simple.

Your song on it is New Hollywood which I’m guessing is a b-side from Death Chorus, why’d it get the axe?

We wrestled with it for a while. I actually really wanted to put it on the record and then we were going to put Sawblade on the comp – the song that is the iTunes bside. But we just sort of were like “we have this tight album without New Hollywood.” New Hollywood is this new type of vibe and it didn’t really fit the record, it just was a lot groovier whereas more of the record was upbeat. Also, just loosely what the song was about fit in really well with what the comp was about. And it was just a natural fit. I was the last one who said “I think we should put it on the record” and then finally was like “no, lets not do it” and it was totally the right decision.

I was going to talk about Rise a bit but we’ve talked enough, so I’ll just jump ahead to one final question. I know when Steve was filling in for Brooks on the Bad Religion tour, Brian Baker took you guys to the Minor Threat house and introduced you to Ian MacKaye. Can you tell us about that?

It was single handedly, the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me on tour.

Steve, our drummer, was filling in for Bad Religion and Brian Baker from Bad Religion, he said “you know what, we can’t thank you guys enough. You saved the tour, let me take you to Ian’s house in DC.” We were like “okay…” thinking it would never really happen. And it did. So there we were, just walking up to the Minor Threat house. The house where Minor Threat practiced. The house of the famous photo.

The house is completely unchanged. If you look at the photo, you may notice there’s this rickety little lawn mower. There’s this mannequin leg sticking up against the porch. That stuff is still there. Thirty years later. Those things are still there. Ian MacKaye is such a cataloguist and his parents were librarians. So when you go into the house, it’s completely unchanged but it’s not dirty or messy. It’s completely organized but unchanged for thirty years.

So there’s still all these old flyers on the wall. He uses that spot for his office for Dischord. Then across the street is more Dischord offices and the Dischord warehouse. So we go in and there he is. It’s Ian MacKaye. Brian Baker’s there as well and introduces us and Ian just proceeds to give us this tour. So graciously and he’s done this a million times and he’s told these stories a million times but he’s such a cataloguist that he almost has this sense of duty that he’s not telling a story but he’s passing the story on to us. He’s preserving a piece of history in a way.

So he’s showing us around, we go into the basement and we can see where Minor Threat used to practice. The Evens still practice there. He’s telling us all these stories. He’s showing us… like the Minor Threat black sheep logo. Like the original drawing of it. Shit like that.

The Out Of Step one?

Yeah, the Out Of Step logo. The first pencil drawing of that, he’s got it in a drawer. He’s got uncut first pressings of 13 Songs Fugazi LP jackets that just never got used. All shit like that that is just stuff you’d never in a million years imagine seeing and he’s right there going “isn’t this cool?” And we’re just like “this is insane!”

Polar Bear ClubBut then the piece that really blew my mind was… I’m a huge fan of Embrace. They’re such an instrumental band in Polar Bear Club and my life. The band in between Minor Threat and Fugazi, not only historically but also almost sonically in between the two bands and such a style that I align with Polar Bear Club. And there’s a song that Embrace has about this clock that makes a weird noise. And he reaches into this box and he’s like “Do you guys like Embrace?” And I’m like “yeah.” “Well, you know that song about the clock that makes the noise? Well this is it, this is the clock.” And my mind is just melting. And he can see it on my face. He can see that I’m kind of freaking out but holding it in and he’s starting to find it funny.

And he’s like – “well, lets see if it still makes the noise.” He plugs it in and it starts making this weird grinding noise. There I am, listening to this clock make this noise that I’ve guessed about what it could have been from a song. For years I’ve been listening to this song, just sort of unconsciously thinking “man, I wonder what noise that clock made” and now hear I am, with the guy, with the clock, hearing the noise. It was just a moment I couldn’t even begin to comprehend in that space and time.

It was the coolest thing that’s ever happened to me. For sure.

It once again comes back to the scene being family and friends, not so much on a pedestal.

Exactly! That was exactly his vibe. We were nervous to ask him if we could take the steps photo with him in it. Then he went there. He suggested taking that photo. It wasn’t us. He was like “do you guys wanna go take that photo now?” We didn’t even say anything. We were like “yeah! Let’s do it!” He was so gracious and was like “let’s do another one, one with you and you and you!” Everything you thought he would be, he was. Not bad, just everything positive.

It was incredible. I’ve only heard of a couple of bands who got to do that. I know Rise Against got to do that and they thought that was really cool. And, of course, they got that through Bad Religion as well. Rise Against going to do it was more like a right of passage. Ian MacKaye was… Tim from Rise Against was telling me that he pulled him aside and was like “hey, I like what you guys do” And Tim was like “wow, we made it.” Brian Baker was more like pulling a favour. It’s not nlike Ian MacKaye listens to Polar Bear Club. I have no allusions about that, but it was still an amazing experience. I will never, ever forget that.

That’s awesome. Thanks a lot. Do you have any final thoughts you’d to add?

God, I don’t think I could possibly talk anymore. I talked your ear off. I think we covered it.