I interviewed Clevo from the band Ten Yard Fight in May of 1998 for my old fanzine Broken Behind This Wall.
How did you end up in Ten Yard Fight?
That’s a good question. It all started in the summer of 1995. I had gotten out of the Army the summer before and my life just kind of sucked. I had a lot of personal problems and I needed a change. I got back into Straight Edge when I got out of the Army and I started going to shows again now that I had a lot more freedom to do what I wanted. Well, in the spring of 95, my mother was getting transferred to Boston and, like I said, I needed a change in my life so she was like, I could move to Boston with her and live rent free and to go to school up here. So I figured I had nothing to lose, plus I always remembered Boston having a good scene with Slapshot and Wrecking Crew, so I did it. The thing was, while I was in the Army, I kept listening to the hardcore that I loved like Youth Of Today, Judge, Gorilla Biscuits, and stuff like that. When I got home nobody was really playing that anymore. I ended up meeting Rama at school and he told me about Ten Yard Fight being like all the bands that I loved, and through him I met Anthony P. and Sweet Pete, and then I went to a party at the 38 house and met Lacroix and Wrench. So I was hanging out with Lacroix, helping him with Extent, and going to a few shows around here with them, using my mom’s car to take equipment, and selling merch. Then on my twenty forth birthday I went on a road trip to New Jersey with Ten Yard Fight and got to hang out with all of them and I told them that I wanted to go on tour with them, even though they weren’t planning on taking anyone. I went on the first tour, took care of the money and merch, and carried equipment. After we got back I just kept doing that and started handling booking and keeping that shit in order. When John broke his hand last year I filled in on bass for two shows. By the time the summer tour was rolling around we still didn’t have a steady lineup, and the tour was a month away. I was going on the tour anyways, so they decided that John would try out to play guitar and I would have a try out at bass. We already knew that we could all get along, it was just to see if either of us could play. We decided that we would do it with the lineup of me on bass and John on guitar for at least the tour, and when we got back we just kept it.
How long were you in the Army for?
I was in the Army for four years.
What made you go into the Army? Was it a good experience for you?
My senior year in high school I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, and my best friend had already joined. I asked him about it and he set up an interview with a recruiter for me. The recruiter came to my house and told me all about the benefits and I kinda just joined. About three months later I left for basic training and this was during the whole Iraq thing. I finished basic training and went on to advanced training where you learn your job. I worked in communications and while I was at advanced training the bombing of Iraq started. I had orders to go over there, but the war was over so fast I never had to go. After that, I was sent to Germany for two years which was really cool. I was nineteen years old, right out of high school, and I got to go all around Europe. After that I went to Colorado for the rest of my time in the Army. I got to see a lot of awesome stuff the whole time I was in and I had a lot of fun. It definitely isn’t a life for everyone, and sometimes I’m surprised that I made it through as easily as I did, but it was a really good experience for me.
What is going on with Ten Yard Fight right now?
Well we recently got a new guitar player. His name is Tim and he moved to Boston from Maine just to be in the band. He was the first kid we tried out, and then we went to Europe, and when we got back he was still available. We figured that since he could play the songs and hang out and get along with us he was our man. The sad thing is that not too many people expressed interest in trying out or if they did, they lived a million miles away. It would be hard enough to just pick up and move, but these kids don’t think about a place to live or jobs or anything. Plus they have to come here to try out first and then we’d have to think about it. But Tim is in; he’s working out really well. We weren’t going to play any shows until the end of April but he’s working out so well that we got asked to play at the end of March and we’re doing it. So basically we are just practicing a lot and trying to write new songs. We have a new one we’re gonna play at our next show. We are also trying to get our summer tour plans together for a full US tour and hopefully when we get back we’ll record a seven inch for Equal Vision.
Where do you go to school?
I went to Northeastern University majoring in music industry. I stopped going after the last quarter, it just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. I may go back later on, but Northeastern i so expensive, I really can’t afford it anymore, and a lot of the classes I was taking were not teaching me anything I haven’t learned from being in and around bands.
Recently, this has been on my mind a lot. What do you think of people who talk shit under fake names on the internet? A lot of people talk shit about people like Tim McMahon, Susan Wills, um…me, and occasionally I see it about Ten Yard Fight too.
I’m really glad you asked about that. That is by far the lamest thing you could possibly do, pretend to be someone and try to bring that person down by spreading lies. It is no different than telling lies to anyone within earshot or lying in a fanzine. Actually, it is worse because I think it is easier to access the message boards than it is to get a little fanzine of about one hundred copies. Kids from all around the world can read this shit. I think the internet is an important tool when it is used for its intended purpose: to get information out to a lot of people. But when these fakes use it to gain a little fame from their friends, it is such bullshit. If you go on and say you are Lacroix, or Tim, or little Jimmy Straight Edge and talk trash about bands or spread lies, you are such a fucking coward. Didn’t those Youth Of Today lyrics you learned so you could impress your friends by showing them how “old school” you are when the Youth Of Today covers get played at the shows. Take a fucking stand. Speak up! Stand up and say what you got to say, don’t hide behind some lame pseudonym or even worse-someone else’s name. I know, I always put posts as The Clevo, but you’ll always see my email address on the EVR board. If I say something that pisses someone off, I expect to hear about it, and will accept the full consequences of my actions if I am called on my shit.