Mike Hartsfield and Andrew with Strife in 1994, Photo courtesy of: Mike Hartsfield
What's the dynamic within the band at this point? Has there been any drama, or have you guys always remained close?
Chad: We are really tight. Things feel better now than they have ever been. I think alleviating a lot of the pressures and really just doing what we want to do on our own terms has helped us a great deal. We found the fun in doing this band again. The other night I was picking up Rick to head over to practice and we were talking on the way. He says to me “I’m so excited” talking about this upcoming run. I love those moments.
Knowing that being away from home or work isn’t as much of a burden on anyone in the band anymore and something we are looking so forward to is great. Just getting back out there and playing again. Those are the moments that make me happy. I love seeing my bandmates happy, excited and looking forward to what lies ahead. I also love not knowing or caring about what lies ahead. We do this because we want to. It’s the time that we as friends get to come back together and do what we love.
Sid and Andrew with Strife, Photo: Dan Rawe
Andrew: Everyone in the band has remained friends and has stayed in touch. More than anything, this is what gets us together. We all lead pretty busy lives, and playing a show forces us to set up time to hang out, practice, and play.
Obviously we have had our ups and downs, but we are close friends. We definitely wouldn’t be playing shows together if we weren’t. We don’t have the pressure of being in a full time touring band, and relying upon our band as our sole source of income. That’s really what made us stop playing in the first place. It stopped being fun and became a job. We all had rent and bills to pay, and we were touring consistently. On top of that we were getting slack for our guarantees, which weren’t even that high. I think it’s easy to talk shit about things when you are on the outside looking in, but we sacrificed a lot to do what we did as a band. It took years of hard work and commitment, and I respect all bands that are out there doing what they love.
Chad pounds the 4 strings with Strife, Photo: Dan Rawe
Give us a run down on all the places Strife has played, which have been your favorites and why? Where would you still like to travel to?
Chad: Well, The U.S. & Eastern–Mid Canada, Hawaii twice, Japan, Australia, all over Europe & the UK. Crazy to think of how many places we’ve been. We’re supposed to be getting back to Japan early next year and South America finally. I’d like to get to Russia, South East Asia and back to Australia.
My all time favorites have been Paris, Prague, London, and we did a tour with Sick Of It All that took us into some really cool looking parts of (French) Canada. Honestly though man, I just love to travel. If it weren’t for this band I never would have had a chance to see so much of the world. Even though I am fond of those places it’s really hard to name a best. I’m kind of an architecture fanatic and I love old things. I love L.A. but the history only goes back so far. It’s a trip to go somewhere and stand in a street that existed in the 1800s and just think about what it has seen.
Andrew: We toured a lot of the years, and this band has definitely taken us to places that a lot of people haven’t had the chance to see. Japan and Australia were two of my favorite places for sure. Japan for how different it was from the U.S. and Australia for how similar it was!
Other cool places were Prague, Budapest, and Scandanavia. I love to travel, and I am thankful that we continue to have an opportunity to do so. We flew out to Paris back in March to play the Extreme Music Festival with Agnostic Front and Skarhead. I stayed in Paris for about a week and then flew to Prague to hang out with Matt Enright from 1134 and Travis from Outspoken/Mean Season. It was nice to actually spend time in a city. Touring is great, but most of the time all you get to see is the inside of the venue and the countryside as you drive to the next show.
Rick on his Burn shirt tear, Photo: Dan Rawe
What would you cite as the main 5 collective musical influences on Strife if you had to?
Chad: Us. We’re 5 people and we all have pretty diverse musical tastes. Also, I would say early on it was Cro-Mags, Judge, some of our breakdowns fare more on the hip hop side of things. We all love old rap. I’m more east coast on that though. We would go see Chain play all the time, Outspoken, Sick Of It All (I think I saw them 3 or 4 times on the Just Look Around Tour alone). We would watch old hardcore videos at home that Mandel would have copies of or kids like Justin Moulder, Dan Rawe or Tim Mouthpiece sent over. I mean, overall, although we loved a lot of bands in this scene, the influence was hardcore.
Andrew: We are all fans of all types of music, but when we started this band we really wanted to be a band that represented everything that we loved about hardcore. Stage dives, sing alongs, audience participation. Stage presence was equally as important as the music, because that is what we liked to see when we went to shows. We started in 1990, and that was the year that many of our favorite bands broke up. We wanted to carry on that tradition, and keep that spirit alive.
Chad pretty much nailed it with the bands though:
Sick Of It All
Chain Of Strength
Chad and Andrew at the Roxy in Hollywood, CA, Photo: Dave Mandel
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Posted by DOUBLE CROSS at 9:20 PM