I have noticed this band from Oklahoma long time ago when they released "Armageddon" EP. They were completely different from the bunch of unteresting american street punk bands of end of 2000's. They sounded tight, qualified and inspiring, like bands from Punkcore records. This was strange, because in Oklahoma-city, where they from, there was no punk scene at all. There were no bands to be influenced by, so guys started everything by themselves. Did they get success in it we decided to ask vocalist Dave.
Hello! How are you? How do you spend your time in Summer? Is Oklahoma good place to have fun in summer time?
I’m doing good just very busy. Summer time in the states is usually very busy for Violent Affair and many other punk rock bands. A lot of touring traveling and going to other shows.
Is Summer in Oklahoma an active time for the band or "period of sleeping"? In Russia, for example, winter and autumn is the only time when there are big shows and important gigs. Summer is a “low season” when everyone leave their towns for vacation and there are no gigs.
Summer time is a very very active time for Violent Affair and many other touring bands. There’s a lot of shows in our region.
I’ve read that in 2007 when you started a band, you were the only one punk band for miles around and there were only lame indie-rock bands. 5 years have passed. Have something changed?
Yeah, a lot of things have changed in our city. There are a lot more bands from around the area playing punk rock and oi. Bands like The Dirty Mugs, The Muck Savages, and They Stay Dead. Also in the past five years a big ska scene has erupted and theres a lot of ska bands.
You self-released an EP called “Armageddon” in 2009. How much copies have been made? Was it difficult to distribute it by yourself without any labels help?
Armageddon was limited to only a few hundred copies its a very rare find. It was our first time recording we were all very young. it wasnt too hard to distribute it by ourselves because our fans are so dedicated.
Why such name for the EP has been chosen? Do you really believe in Apocalypse?
We chose to name our first ep after our song called Armageddon. The song is about seeing all of the horrible things in the world around us come to an abrupt ending. Kind of along the lines of the old saying you have to go all the way to the bottom before you can come back up.
I’ve heard your full-length album ‘Stand Trial’ in 2010. My friend shared it with me after buying from you in mp3. He tried to pick up the CD, but he couldn’t find it. What the unclear situation happened with the release?
Stand Trial was released in Germany first on Razorblade Music and we released it here in the states on our own like we did previously with Armageddon. Later on we got picked up by Unrepentant Records who later released Stand Trial for us.
Unrepentant records is rather interesting label. They have no particular specialization, they release everything: punk77, psychobilly, hardcore punk. Haven’t you got a wish to be on more targeted label that puts up street punk only?
We actually do not work with Unrepentant anymore. They released Stand trial for us in a few hundred copies and that was pretty much the extent of our career with Unrepentant. Not too long after Unrepentant released Stand Trial for us we signed With Jailhouse Records who targets more authentic punk rock bands like The Pinkerton Thugs, Ashers, and The Scarred.
Let’s speak about your new 7’’. It’s called “A Call to Arms”. What’s the idea of EP name?
The idea behind A Call To Arms was based on our view that in this time of such extreme government control in America it is our right and our duty to take up arms against the evil oppressive system that seeks to drain our lives of every ounce of freedom and happiness. We are not necessarily talking about taking up arms as in gathering weapons but taking up arms in the sense of arming yourself with knowledge and becoming more aware of the happenings around you.
It contains song about X-mas, right? It’s about love or hate of x-mas time?
Actually our song On Christmas Day was one we wrote for the annual Cashing In On Christmas compilation. Most of the other bands wrote some happy upbeat songs about the holiday season and we wrote a song more along the lines of anti-commercialism and anti-consumerism.
I’ve heard that cover art was made by russian guy? How did you find him?
Our album art was done by our friend that goes by the name Kactus he is from moscow. we found him through some mutual friends and he was already a fan of ours. He operates a site called Dead Inside Design he is an amazing artist and we are very lucky to have him contribute to what we are doing. He is also doing the artwork for our upcoming full length album and the artwork isn't done but it already looks awesome.
You toured the States recently. I know that your van got crashed. I’m happy that all of you guys are alive and alright! Can you tell the readers more about this terrible story.
We were headed to play a few shows with our label mates The Pinkerton Thugs and we had a tire blow out the next thing we know the van swerved and rolled three times. We all climbed out and our drummer Ryan had is leg stuck underneath the van. We all had to get together and lift the van off of his leg and just a few weeks later he was back behind the drum set and ready to play!
While touring, what will you do if someone from band cannot play the show for some reason? Just imagine - someone from VA is ill or totally drunk as he even can’t stay on the stage… What are you gonna do?
Honestly we look at Violent Affair not as a band but as a well tuned machine and it takes all five of us to operate it efficiently. It is either all five of us or we don’t play. We don’t like to use fill in musicians. We want to give our fans the sound that they want to hear and it takes all five of us to deliver that sound.
Seems to me that you’re one of the few bands that still hold the banner of so called “mohawked” hardcore street punk. I mean not only the music but also how you look. You toured the States and you can analyze the situation. Is the hardcore street punk is still popular is States like it was in the end of 90-s, beginning of 00’s?
It is definitely not as popular as it was in the end of 90-s, beginning of 00’s, but to us its just who we are. This is the style of music we want to play and this is how we have always looked. Regardless of whether or not any other bands are playing the same style of music or have the same image as we do we see no reason to change. If we are one of the last few bands with this sound and this image then we will keep pushing forward!
I remember those times when bands from Punk Core recs were accused that they pay too much attention to how they look. There were rumors that they even have stylist, which dye their hair, make Mohawks and stud their jackets. Haven’t you been charged by someone in this? Have you ever received hate letters?
People have accused us of similar things, having hair dressers etc. We have been called a number of things from “Cartoon punx” to “plastic punx” and the always classic “fashion punx” but to me the image is a part of the punk rock culture. Other peoples opinions about the way we look don't matter to us. The people who make these accusations obviously don’t know us. If they wouldn’t be so closed minded and take the time to actually listen to what we say instead of judging us based on our appearance they would realize that we are tried and true!