Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jon Roa - Addiction / End To End

This picks up where the first part of our interview with Jon Roa left off. To read the first part click here:

Thanks again to Roa - enjoy!


How did it come about for Foundation Records to release the End To End EP? Obviously I know that Dan/Ryan were your friends, but I am also sure you must have had other label interest, no?

We heard things regarding other labels but no one came forward. We were only together for six months or so. This was in the age of snail mail only so getting in touch with someone was a commitment and we all know that a lot HC kids are pretty bad with that type of thing NOW, let alone in those medieval times. By the time anyone thought about actually contacting us, we were done as a band.

I liked Draw Blank as an option but in the end Ryan wanted to start a label and that settled it. I was loyal to the area and to those people. I wanted to get something going and for a while we did. I know a lot of people did not get their records from Foundation and I am sorry about I had nothing to do with that process. I did not know. I still talk to Dan and he is super nice.

Who designed the End To End shirts? Seemingly pretty rare, do you
remember how many were printed, when/where they were sold, and if there were multiple designs or colors?

The interesting thing about that shirt is that Chris Ortiz, esteemed photographer for both Thrasher and Transworld Skateboard magazines took that photo. I designed the shirt (I think my lack of artistic talent showed). Red and a royal blue were the colors. I remember twelve of each color and besides one each for the band members, they were sold and they were ten dollars each. We sold out our first show and then struggled with other problems so that we never made any more. I think what helped make it popular is the video for the Mouthpiece song "Cinder."

A few years earlier you sang for Justice League. Did singing in Addiction/End To End seem like a world apart from your experience in Justice League as far as the California scene and you as a person? Or did you just feel like you were a couple years older and singing in a hardcore band?

Good question. I adapted pretty quickly but the only real difference I could see about California was a big one. In the End To End time, people and bands were generally ultra-competitive and spiteful (the exception of Insted); whereas in the Justice League time people and bands generally helped each other. Vic Bondi tells a story about Articles of Faith being given 500 hundred dollars by Dead Kennedys upon being told that their amp was dropped out of a second story
window and smashed. You tell me, would a band do that nowadays?

Also, Justice League tours were pretty awesome as not too many bands toured in those days. If a band went out on the road it was a sign that they had it together. There were lots of great bands of the early 80s that never toured. As a result when we toured we would have big shows - one night with 7 Seconds, the next night with Stalag 13 and the next night with Corrosion of Conformity. By the time End to End was out playing, everyone toured, there were multiple venues and as a result bands got less respect from everyone including themselves.

That said, some of the best bands came out of that era and made the older bands look timid: Infest, Downcast, Chain, Gorilla Biscuits…those bands alone made bands like Dag Nasty or Adolescents seem weak and dated.

Does one Addiction/End To End show stick out to you amongst all others? If so, why?

End To End at The Country Club with Chain of Strength. Ryan and Frosty came up to us and in a 100% good-natured competition from one friend to another said something like, "You think you good and tight? We will see, we'll see." After the show, Frosty said we were super tight and definitely got the Best Band Of the Night Award. Addiction shows were interesting only because a lot of people asked for a free shirt!

Another was in a garage in Los Cerritos because it was outdoors in the
day. I thought it was always exciting to play outdoors and have done so in almost every band in which I sang. In the day made it pretty cool as it was the first and last time I ever did that.

Had End To End continued with a stable and capable line-up, what do you think the vibe of the band and the sound of the material would have been into 1990? Were you still wanting to sing in a fast and heavy hardcore band?

I am not sure what the future would have held but I eventually put a
band together called Five Elapsed (terrible name even if temporary) with Chris Bratton and Ted from Justice League. When that went nowhere (a few practices during a super hot summer) I hung it up for a while and eventually graduated from the University of Southern California.

I went on to sing in the almighty EYELID but that is another story (as is when a certain singer from OC backed down when Ryan Hoffman challenged him to a fight). I think I will save that one for you guys later...