John and Justin did this interview in May of 1997 for a zine called We’re Not Gonna Take It, which they never finished. We ended up finally using it in 2000 for Parade Brigade #2. This interview was conducted at the basketball court down the street from the New Providence Hall during Ensign’s set. Also present were myself and one of ROTP’s friends named Lee. I think I asked one question. John and Justin handled the rest. Ronny Little and Matt Smith give answers.
Who is in the band and what do they do?
Ronny-Right now it’s me, Ronny Little, I sing. Matt Smith plays bass; Chris Ross plays Drums, Justin Phillips and DII on guitars.
When did you start as a band and what was the purpose?
Ronny-Well, I started the band in the summer of 1994 because a lot of bands today aren’t playing the style of hardcore that I want to be hearing except for Mouthpiece and a few others. I just decided that it was time for me to take a whack at this hardcore thing because I’ve done bands but I never actually wrote the music that we were playing. This time I was actually writing the music and I learned how to play guitar, so I could be in a band where I liked the music.
Did any of your other bands ever release anything?
Ronny-I was in a bunch of shitty bands that started out good but they ended up playing really lame shit and that’s why I wanted to learn how to play guitar, so we could go through the process and not write lame songs. So then, I got my shit together, and Rain On The Parade is the first band I’m completely happy with.
We know Rain On The Parade is a Half Off song, but why did you pick that song to name your band after?
Ronny-I was listening to a lot of Half Off when I was starting to write all of the songs. Actually, our original name was Glue, but we decided that a lot of bands use that, like punk bands, but that was before Justin. It was Glue when it was just me and DII and these two guys who really didn’t care about the band. So as soon as they were out DII and I were looking for new members but nothing really came together until the summer of 95 and that’s when we changed our name to Rain On The Parade.
What do you think is the worst hardcore record of all time?
Ronny-I’ll let Matt go first since he’s been silent.
Matt-This list is too long.
Ronny-Probably one of the bands I was in during high school.
Matt-Any band that played before Stand Up played; the bands that didn’t even headline over Stand Up were the worst.
Ronny-Unisound was a really shitty club in Reading PA that all the worst bands would play, but it was cool because all the worst bands would get to play with good bands like Gorilla Biscuits, Token Entry, Judge, Turning Point. I’d have to say that the Unisound bands were the worst hardcore bands around. I really want to choose someone but I can’t. It’s weird because I always knock bands left and right but when somebody asks me I can’t remember the shitty band’s names.
How about the cheesiest bands?
Ronny-Matt think back, what are some really bad records you’ve brought?
Ronny-Billingsgate, yeah! And Even Score, they got it; they are even cheesier than Victory Records shit.
This leads to our next question-Are there any Victory bands that you like?
Matt-By The Grace Of God
Ronny-Yeah, By The Grace Of God; they’re the only band I’d say I like
Do you guys like Murphy’s Law?
Both-Yeah I love Murphy’s Law!
The reason why we asked that is because a lot of people that are straight edge today are so close minded, they say, well Murphy’s Law aren’t edge so we can’t listen to them.
Matt-That’s dumb. I’m straight edge
Ok here we go with the generic style-Do you guys skate?
Matt-Yeah, I skate
Ronny-I skated in high school but I was never really good.
What was the downfall of glam rock?
Matt-Grunge. When grunge became cool and mullets weren’t. People traded in their construction boots and Ratt t-shirts for Soundgarden shirts and Docs. That was the downfall of glam rock.
Ronny-I think the downfall of glam was just how conservative the 90’s got all of a sudden. The 80’s were very wild, the styles were ugly, the crazy patterns and florescent colors. The 90’s we are seeing a lot of bands not wearing costumes on stage. I mean, Twisted Sister-look at them. You know that they don’t walk down the street like that. You know that they don’t walk in for Thanksgiving dinner like that and go HI MOM! in their makeup and big hair and plus I think that glam was just bad. People in the 90’s just woke up.
What do you think of Ebonics?
Ronny-Ebonics? I thought we were talking about hardcore?
Matt-Speak English. Ebonics is a thing people learned like five years ago. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.
Ronny-I know that, that is the way people talk in the ghetto and stuff but sometimes I hear it at a hardcore show.
Matt-I worked in Philly with mostly people from the ghetto and that is how they spoke and I refused to listen to them when they started speaking in Ebonics. I would always be saying “what?” Then they would speak white boy or something and they would explain it to me. They can speak English but they choose not to.
Ronny-I think it’s a racist thing to be honest, you know I don’t think racism is something that is reserved for white people. I’ve seen a lot of fucked up shit and I think that it’s just one more barrier that they are putting between us. I’m speaking a language that I was taught in school; they can be speaking it too. I understand that there is a lot of animosity, that’s fine, actually that’s not fine because I’m not glad it’s there. But they could make it a little easier, I’m not saying all people are like that though. When I hear it at a hardcore show I know that these kids lived in suburban homes and stuff like that. Ebonics just separates people, I don’t know why we can’t just speak the same language.
What band best represents hardcore?
Ronny-Minor Threat or SSD
Who would win in a no holds barred steel cage match, Barney or Grimace?
Ronny-Grimace has that retard strength. There is a reason why dinosaurs are extinct, they were weak. Grimace will pound his ass!
What is Grimace?
Ronny-Grimace is a facial expression, not a purple whatever the hell he is
Before you mentioned Minor Threat was the best representation of hardcore, what do you think of Embrace?
Ronny-I like Embrace
How about Fugazi?
Matt-They’re alright, I mean they never set out to be a hardcore band
What about the whole no dancing thing?
Matt-They aren’t really a danceable band. People see them as an alternative band. I mean, why would you want to dance to Fugazi anyway?
Ronny-I think they play good rock and have been consistent at it for years. Every album they have recorded has been either good or at least ok. Repeater is awesome!
What about Black Flag? What do you think of the rumors of a reunion?
Ronny-I love Black Flag! Is that reunion thing happening? I’ve been hearing about that for years. If they came around to Philly I’d definitely see them. I’d be the first one out, whipping out my credit card and getting tickets from Ticketron.
What do you think happened to Rerun?
Ronny-I think The Doobie Brothers beat his ass after he tried-
Matt-To bootleg tapes and when they saw the tape recorder fall out, they stopped the show. Then they went to Rob’s place and worked it out.
What’s up next for you guys?
Matt-We recorded nine songs and eight of them are on our 7” that is out on My War Records.
How about a full length?
Matt-It was supposed to be out as a full length but it got messed up. Most of the songs weren’t ready so we will try to do that next.
This question is kind of awkward, but if you could see any band do a cover of any band, who would it be and what song?
Ronny-I’m not really big on covers, you know what, I would like to see our band cover Rain On The Parade!
So Ronny, is that Government Issue song named after you?
Ronny-(totally clueless) Sarge?
Ronny-When Government Issue was playing I was listening to Van Halen and AC/DC so I don’t know.
Most important question of the night-Favorite Van Halen singer?
Ronny-You don’t even have to ask that. Let me make this clear, there was only one Van Halen singer and that is David Lee Roth. They were Van Hagar when David left ok?