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Thinking Cap SEVEN

Thinking Cap SEVEN

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Published by stephenstgermain

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Published by: stephenstgermain on Sep 27, 2011
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inspiration to write songs about escaping the working for the weekend attitude and escaping the trap

of being stuck there for life. That said I love Redding I made incredible friendships that will last a life time with people in the small punk scene when I was growing up there, i wouldn’t trade if for anything but now that I’m thirty I couldn’t live there now. What is the central reason for your frustration towards America’s TV culture as expressed in the song “False Reality”? Its kind of the same thing I touched upon in the earlier question; people not getting out of the ruts they place themselves in, they let the “glamourous” celebrities on TV live their lives for them in the sense that they are so tuned in to what people on television say or do that they don’t say or do anything themselves. Specifically reality television has gotten, in my opinion, completely out of control. My mind was blown when I found out there was a actual show call ‘Wife Swap.’ It got to a point where it was just completely ridiculous. Anyone with half a brain could tell these shows are scripted and I felt I needed to address it in a song. This is not to say I don’t enjoy television myself I just can’t handle shows that insult my intelligence. Can you explain what caused you to write the song “Bail Out”? When i wrote Bail Out I had an idea of it being a song about growing up in the suburbs (or in the middle of nowhere) and being ok with that. Hardcore and punk have always had the image of being poor or from the streets but, while my parents were by no means rich, they did alright and being from a small town I wasn’t from the “streets”. As I got further along in writing it it got a little more anti-privileged society and as I headed in that direction it got me thinking of the well-to-do people I grew up with and how not all of them were spoiled degenerates that never had to work a day in their life, though we all know those types as well and they are infuriating to no end. The song is morphed into more about the types of people that take there good fortune for granted.





We have been up all night, my friends and I, beneath mosque lamps whose brass cupolas are bright as our souls, because like them they were illuminated by the internal glow of electric hearts. And trampling underfoot our native sloth on opulent Persian carpets, we have been discussing right up to the limits of logic and scrawling the paper with demented writing. Our hearts were filled with an immense pride at feeling ourselves standing quite alone, like lighthouses or like the sentinels in an outpost, facing the army of enemy stars encamped in their celestial bivouacs. Alone with the engineers in the infernal stokeholes of great ships, alone with the black spirits which rage in the belly of rogue locomotives, alone with the drunkards beating their wings against the walls. Then we were suddenly distracted by the rumbling of huge double decker trams that went leaping by, streaked with light like the villages celebrating their festivals, which the Po in flood suddenly knocks down and uproots, and, in the rapids and eddies of a deluge, drags down to the sea. Then the silence increased. As we listened to the last faint prayer of the old canal and the crumbling of the bones of the moribund palaces with their green growth of beard, suddenly the hungry automobiles roared beneath our windows. “Come, my friends!” I said. “Let us go! At last Mythology and the mystic cult of the ideal have been left behind. We are goyou sat down ing to be present at the birth, of the centaur did you shall to communicate when emotions etc. and we want soon see the first angels fly! We must ideas, What sort of gates offeelings test the bolts and the padlocks! Let us go! Here is they very first break down the life to le? to write the lyrics for Secret Peop sunrise on earth! Nothing equals the splendor of its red sword which strikes for the first time in our millennial darkness.” write for Secret People. with the song topics and lyrics I I really had no set idea or agenda describe it. I write a lot We Its very to the three for me, which I think is the best breasts. I lay along mine like a corpse went up reactionary snorting machines to caress their way to in the moment, I’ll use of the fact that they are very of lyrics that never get used beca I had written and see if on re-read them after I’ve had some again to really think about wheel — a guillotine knife — cs its bier, but I suddenly revived time beneath the steering what which l feel. I feel most of my lyri d behind or a feeling that I stil it is an idea I can stan do to avoid becoming norms and brought us sharplywe can threatenedgeneral disdaingreat social of madness the little things back to ourselves t. Thats us and drove have a my stomach. A for sweep sounding overly defeatis s we lead, and without, I hope, complacent in the live through the streets,t steepage or general idea I have in mind with this there, unhappy lamps in the and deep, like dried up torrents. Here and band the most prominen mess



L PU T TIN G TH E SC RE W S T O S O CI A for wild beasts!” N O R M S AND C O M PL A CE N CY.

windows taught us to despise our mathematical eyes. “Smell,” I exclaimed, “smell is good enough

In the song “Side Effects May Include..” you seem to be referencing the quick fix tendency of our modern society. Can you elaborate on this view? Side Effects is definitely about the “quick fix”. Its about temporary solutions that won’t address the real problems people face. In the song itself I use two examples that are general problems people face and drugs are the quick fix, I personally wanted to use drugs as the temporary solution because I see a lot of people in the area I live in that follow that path and end up worse off than they ever were in the first place. I know its a topic that been addressed before, especially in the hardcore scene, but its so plain to see that this is what people do and I think even more so are trained to do at a young age. I know so many kids I grew up with that were on one medication or another to keep them under control. Thats a lesson I’ve personally seen passed down from one generation to another. I’m sure there are instances where medication is needed to treat some people, but where do you draw the line, and thats where it becomes a thoughtless way to fix problems Several of your songs seem to express your distain for the world you see around. As you’ve grown up in the punk/hardcore scene how have your ideas of your place in the world changed or developed? I consider my self a pretty… I hate to say positive cause it will tend to have people pigeon hole you… so l’ll say glass half full type of guy. This doesn’t mean I love everything about the world, as we all know it can be a bummer from time to time. A lot of the subjects I write about are pretty specific with the problems I see and how I feel about it, most of which are addressing the hardcore or punk scene directly because thats where I feel I can have an immediate impact. I know there are bigger problems worldwide but, I feel I can effect people around me and set examples with the way I live and with the small problems I address can lead to bigger social change. I know it can i where i grew up if i hadn’t gotten exposed to punk and hardcore I cant say for sure but i may have ended much more complacent than I am now. If it hadn’t been for punk and hardcore i might still be living in my conservative hometown and not be exposed to the things I’ve seen and experiences I’ve had through the scene. In the song “Consider This” you say “I haven’t got the answers in the words I say.” What makes your want to sing and express yourself in a band even when you feel you don’t have the answers to the problems you see? That line in that song is basically an elaborate way of saying think for yourself, as cliche as it is in the hardcore punk scene it seems people really do not. Its saying just because i’m up here with a mic in my hand doesn’t mean i know shit about anything really. I feel a lot of time people just go through the motions, I could be up on stage preaching about beating up homeless people cause they’re a leech on society and people would mindlessly clap not think twice about that statement, maybe not everyone but there are some who would. What was the inspiration behind the song “Chewed Up Spit Out”? It’s fully about bands that use the word hardcore or punk or worse yet use the scene to gain notoriety. Im not down at all, if you want be a huge rock band that tours the world

make a bit of money and gets signed to a major label, have at it, just don’t use our scene as a stepping stone. Its not for you to use and abuse at your convenience. What was the inspiration behind the song “Chewed Up Spit Out”? It’s fully about bands that use the word hardcore or punk or worse yet use the scene to gain notoriety. Im not down at all, if you want be a huge rock band that tours the world make a bit of money and gets signed to a major label, have at it, just don,t use our scene as a stepping stone. Its not for you to use and abuse at your convenience. A line in “Time To Kill” says “we got the time, we know what to do.” Are you saying, in a sense, that you have faith that people in general will find their way in life? My intent with that line was to convey that overall the hardcore scene and my friends are still relatively young, and with time we can achieve what we want within the scene and outside of it as well. That particular song is probably the most all around positive message I have written. In a sense I guess it does have a vibe of people eventually finding there way in life, although we know that that is always easier said than done. What inspires you to write music and play in a band? Friends, family, work, life in general and other bands. I would go to shows and see killer bands in the mid 90’s all the way up until today and used to think that starting a band was a hard thing to do, until I got a bit older and realized anyone can do this. At one point I thought I have some thing I need to get off my chest and going to shows and seeing bands made me want to use music as a vehicle to voice my opinion. I’ve been in three bands now SECRET PEOPLE being the third, and after the first two i figured i’d said what i wanted and i was done, but after the band would break up I would get that urge or see another great local band and think o.k. I got more left in me. I still see things in this world that anger me to enough of an extent to write about it, fortunately being in a band is also fun so its a weird juxtaposition of angry lyrics and music, but also a real good time to be up on a stage for 20 minutes letting it all out. How do you think growing up in California and specifically the Bay Area has influenced you as a person and influenced the vision you have for the Secret People? I actually spent my formative years in a town called Redding, its about a three hour drive north of the bay area. It was actually a really good area for hardcore and punk being situated between the bay area and Portland it made for a good place for bands to stop along I-5. On top of that there were a surprising amount of local band that would play free house shows, there was also a stage in the park next to my school where bands would play right after school so I got to see a lot of the older punk bands in the area. Redding is also a pretty conservative area of California so there was a a lot to rebel against in my youth. As far as it affecting me song writing, redding is a pretty hum-drum place to live if your a young adult, a lot of people who live there really don’t seem to get out all that much so i feel i take that as some type of



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