Originally in Parade Brigade #3. Interview done with Matt Smith by me (although John supplied all of the questions as far as I remember)
When the band started did you ever think of putting something out on Contention Records?
Contention Records went under like four years ago. I was always kind of bad with the mail order, so the idea of putting it out under that name never really came up. Matt Summers always did a better job with his label, plus he had money to put it out right away, so we decided to put it out on My War Records. Originally this was just a project band for me and Summers. I was still in Rain On The Parade but I wanted to do something a bit simpler, rawer, and harder like Negative Approach, Antidote, Last Rights. We wrote songs and decided to record them as a super limited 7″. We figured 200 records would be plenty! Ha! We got Fat Rich in the band, and eventually Zach from Intention, and we started practicing a bunch. When Rain On The Parade decided to call it quits after five years, Matt and I decided to take Shark Attack a little more seriously. We never saw things taking off as quickly as things did.
Others may have asked you this, but you have chosen to cover an Antidote song that may cause some controversy. Does stuff like that matter to you?
Honestly, we don’t really care what people think about that. We wanted to cover an Antidote song. Being that we have a drummer whose not even a US citizen (Rich is from Ireland and living here on a green card) we thought it’d be funny to play that song and send it out to him and English Robbie (another immigrant who often roadies for us). We don’t really hate immigrants or anything. Plus the mosh on that song, intense!
Who doesn’t have a copy of Sex Drive in your band?
Me and Zach don’t have that record. I have the Sex Drive bootleg, but not the original one. Rich and Summers both have that record. Oh well, Summers still doesn’t have a Fix Jan’s Room 7″. I have it and that’s a much better record musically anyway.
Why do you think hardcore kids are so bad with mail order? I seem to hear at least once a week about some sort of mail order nightmare.
I think most hardcore kids are just disorganized or something. When you’re running a label out of your house, I’d guess it’s not a full time thing, so when mail starts to pour in, it takes a little while to get it all done.
How does it feel for Shark Attack to become a “hype” band and take off so quickly as it has?
Well, I was really shocked at how many people were into us. I really didn’t think it’d go over this well. I’m psyched that kids are into it. As far as “hype” goes, that can really work against a band. The more people that like a band in a short amount of time, the more there will be resentment towards that band from other people. I hope we don’t fall into that trap, but I’m sure we will to some degree.
What do you think of the whole thrash/82′ hardcore revival? Do you guys think you belong to that whole movement?
While we do have a total early eighties influence (from the bands we listen to) I don’t really think we come off sounding like an early eighties band. That was originally what we were going for, but I think now we just sound like a straightforward hardcore band. I think there are a lot of good bands playing that early eighties style right now. The Gatecrashers, Fit For Abuse, Cops & Robbers, Last In Line, Insurance Risk, and Out Cold all play really good early eighties sounding hardcore. As far as “thrash” goes, I like some of the bands that I have heard. I think it’s a little weird though. All these bands are popping up and claiming to be thrash just because they wear hats with the visors pushed up, and bandannas. But when it comes down to it, they’re really playing grindcore. I haven’t really heard any bands that sound like old Suicidal Tendencies or DRI. Don’t get me wrong, I like What Happens Next and Life’s Halt a lot, but I don’t know if I really call it thrash. To me, it’s all hardcore.
And the final question… Negative Approach or Antidote?
Hmm, that’s a tough one. Those are two of my favorite 7″. I’m going to have to go with Negative Approach but just by a hair. The Antidote 7″ is right up there… at times I may even like the Antidote 7″ a little better. This week I’d say Negative Approach.