Very recently I was listening to a promo compilation disc from the US to discover more US punk bands, then a track came on and I just needed to google them right away, turns out they’re from Perth here in Australia… So I did a punk jump right into my inbox and started hooking shit up with a handline and BAM! Some mullet! So here is an interview from Perth Skater Punk band The Decline, Nate Dawg (guitar/creator of Ab Running) answered my questions before doing some exercises onstage in support of 28 Days. Stoked!
Hey guys, so you just finished your “Are You Eating That” tour, what’s next?
The tour for “Are You Gonna Eat That?” was great fun, although there wasn’t much time for partying in-between unfortunately. We have a little something planned for the near future but we can’t say too much yet! Any imbred imbecile with a fax machine can jpg our manager a twitter about our upcoming shows and events.
How long have you guys been playing as The Decline and how did you meet?
Dan and Pat have been playing together since high-school, I joined up in 2008 and Harry “new guy” Drummer joined just after our old drummer left, I think in early 2010. He has two Star Wars tattoos and a beard. Great job Harry!
Why the name, what does it mean? Is it taken from the NoFx EP The Decline?
Like, I’m on pre-paid mobile right, and I always run out of credit and have to drive somewhere to go buy more and when I go to get out of the car or drive there I just, It’s really hard and it’s just to run out of credit again and have to get back in my car and it just seems like so much effort…. ps who’s NOFX?
How would you say the 90′s punk rock scene influenced you?
I was introduced to punk when I was like 12, when I watched the extreme sports punk rock DVD Eargasm. That was in 2002 i think, So I wasn’t really old enough to be part of the scene in the 90′s.
…and what bands shaped your sound?
If I was never introduced to 90′s skate punk I would probably be a very wealthy and successful individual, like an astronaut or something. I think our band has a similar sound to lots of the old EpiFat bands from the 90′s. Well I would like to think that because I really really like that music a lot coz it’s real good. Influence wise i’d have to say, at least for me, bands like Strung Out, Lagwagon, No Fun At All, Bad Religion, Wiseheimer, NOFX, Guttermouth, Good Riddance, Pennywise, Millencolin etc have probably had the biggest influence. I also really like Pour Habit, I think they’re one of the only new fat bands that sound like an old fat band. They’re really fantastic people too. Mute from Canada are fucking awesome too.
Do you think that skater punk bands are fading or stronger than ever?
This is a tricky question to answer, It does feel like less and less people are forming skate punk bands, these days everyone’s buying an 8-string guitar and tuning it to drop Z or listening to LMFAO with their ipads and their ipods and their macbook pros. Having said that, and being a fan of Apple computers myself, so many local bands who do play skate punk are really fricken’ awesome. One band that comes to mind are our good friends Local Resident Failure from Newcastle. They look so good onstage that we even made a T-shirt with their guitarists face on it. Kye O’Sullivan is one of the most beautiful souls I’ve ever met. And their drummer Kye Smith is a machine and everyone should go check out his drum covers on youtube. Now.
Who is you’re favourite band you’ve shared the stage with, so far?
I think sharing the stage with No Fun At All in 2010 was probably the best gig of my life. Not because we played, but because I got to see No Fun At All, for the first and probably last time. Playing was fun too, but the crowd went off for them. We even almost got paid for that gig!!!! My favourite local skate punk band to play with are Silver Lizard from Bunbury, they are probably right up there as one of my favourite bands ever. We’re actually playing with them tomorrow night! I’m uber excited.
Got just one good story you care to share from your recent tour?
We played a wicked show in Melbourne with lots of bands, including our friends in Hightime and The Bennies, it was just such an awesome show and at the end of it we discovered that our hire car had had 2 of its tyres slashed and we also got a parking ticket. Because there were 2 slashed tyres we couldn’t pop on a spare or nuthin!!!!!! It was after 2am I think and it was cold and raining and we didn’t know what to do. Anyway to cut a long story short Harry was the hero of the day, staying up all night sorting out transport, calling Europcar (who tried to classify this incident as a ‘crash’ and charge us over 700 bucks, cunts) calling a nearby tyre place to get 2 replacement tyres for $350 (fuck you Europcar), walking them back to the car with Pat and putting them on and loads of other great things. Luckily we made enough money from the show to cover the cost of this incident, thanks to the wonderful people who come to the shows and buy our merch, we can’t thank you enough! Also, Craig from The Bennies was kind enough to offer Dan and I shelter at his place, so we could enjoy a comfortable sleep, eat and shower while Harry and Pat spent their night hating their lives in the cold rain.
What about an embarrassing one?
We made some Decline Mousepads as merch, with a hilarious photo of our manager cutting a cake on them. We didn’t tell him and he didn’t find out until our show in Sydney. So I guess that was embarrassing for him. Later that night, the Mousepads mysteriously vanished. Luckily I got a hold of one before they disappeared. I’m using it now. anywy lyk this 1 tym i went 2 tha bigdayout and i herd 4 year strong and they wer playin’ a song i herd on my friends radio this 1 tym… and i was absolutely lovin it.
For the people that don’t know, what do you guys mainly sing about?
Here’s my understanding of what we’re singing about on each song off the new album, “Are you gonna eat that?”:
1. Early last year Pat was out flying a small plane under instruction, as part of his training to become a pilot, and unfortunately he crashed it in the Gibson Desert. Him and his buddy, Chuckles, had little water and no food, but they made a pact that they would never give up hope. That they would ‘search the deserts and the skies for supplies until they died’. Luckily for Pat, Chuckles had sent out a distress signal minutes before the plane crashed into the desert, and a rescue team was able to locate and bring Pat to safety. I wish I could say the same for Chuckles but unfortunately, thanks to the long time spent in the hot sun, his hunger had elevated to a level so great, he ate some bad fungi out of total desperation and his liver called it quits.
3. Animal testing
4. Money and corruption
5. Animal cruelty
6. Sarah Dirstein
7. Asylum seekers
9. Sweatshops and child labour
10. Ceilings and roofing (plus Insulation)
11. A friend of ours
12. The daughter of a guy who’s not a friend of ours
It’s funny how we don’t have any songs about religion on this one. On our last record we had quite a few songs about how stupid and damaging religion can be.
Is anyone in any other bands, or is The Decline your #1 priority?
We’ll a few weeks ago I uploaded a video to youtube called “Ab Running” and in just 15 minutes it got over a billion views and got me an interview on TV, so I’m shifting my focus on becoming a full time bodybuilder with this amazing new workout routine. You should look up the video and subscribe to me! If you want. Pat Dolin plays in a ska cover band called Ants In The Picnic, Harry plays in his main band Chilling Winston, Dan Cribb plays backup guitar in his other band Green Day, and Tom Watts is a part time professional windsurfer with a passion for geology and a wild knowledge of hummers.
Give us your top 7 albums of all time?
I can’t really get it down to seven, but i’ll put down my favourite albums from a few bands I love.
Ribbed/White Trash/Punk In Drublic – NOFX
No Control/Empire Strikes – Bad Religion
Sally was a Big ol’ Girl – Waylon Jennings
Twisted by Design – Strung Out
Musical Monkey – Guttermouth
Sans Souci – Frenzal Rhomb
Let’s talk about feelings – Lagwagon
Got any shout outs you want to give?
Beavis and Butt-Head is the greatest TV show ever and Metal Gear Solid (PSX) is the greatest game ever. Dr Pepper is the greatest drink ever. Skateboards are cool.