Nefarious Realm: So ‘Resistance’, fucking sweet album I must say and I know it has been three years since the last record came out, what have you guys been up to in the meantime?
Jake Kolatis: Oh thank you, glad you liked it. But I don’t know, it seems to always be this thing where an album comes out, then you let people get into it for a little bit, then hit the road pretty hard. Like we’ll do a thing where we hit Europe pretty hard then hit Central America for a short tour then come to the US and then back to Europe for a summer tour. And with our singer and bassist both being Latin it definitely helps open up that whole other world that a lot of other bands can’t get to go to. And being punk rock, we’re very international, people are very into hardcore punk rock pretty much in any country. So we can just tour the whole world and it kind of has been non stop with that, we might get a month or two off and all we do is pretty much rest at home because ya know we’re not twenty-two anymore.
Nefarious Realm: So when was it decided to create ‘Resistance’? Were you writing a lot of material during the three years?
Jake: Yea a little bit, but actually The Casualties work a little bit better under pressure. So I’ll personally be touring around with riffs and certain riffs I’ll have around for a few years, but it’ll only be a verse or a chorus or something and then it’ll all kind of come together a little bit more when it’s like “Ok dudes it’s been two years we should really think about writing.” And then it’s kind of just non stop and then we’ll set a recording date and when there is a deadline is when we are very much “ok we have to do this.” That’s pretty much how it goes, and I think you have to come out with something every 2-3 years to keep people still interested, ya know. There is still that newer generation of kids who are really into the heavy stuff and if it’s not there for them to listen to or if there is nothing new happening with the band then the whole vibe gets stale. And to even remain relevant then you need to keep putting albums out there. I mean we’re certainly never going to be a reunion band.
Nefarious Realm: Yea please don’t get to that point! So The Casualties have been in the scene for awhile and continue to produce albums. Fans often worry that with age of a band the newer albums might drift from their original sound, whether getting softer or even selling out but ‘Resistance’ is true roots punk that remains aggressive and doesn’t stray from who The Casualties are. Can you talk about the creative process and influences that helped you guys create that punk feel and sound?
Jake: Well with this album, not that we have a set sound or anything, but we actually wanted to go heavier. I myself have been going to see a lot more thrash bands, it seems there is a little bit more happening in that scene right now and it’s just where that music and scene is a bit more appealing to me right now. It’s appealing because it’s fun and it’s happening right now, I’ll still go see punk rock bands too when I can but it seems that I just want more aggressive stuff. You can hear it come out too, where I don’t have to write so much traditional stuff which we’ve been doing for a long time and we’re still doing that but, it feels a little more fun to have kind of a thrash inspiration.
Nefarious Realm: You mentioned before not being twenty-two anymore, and obviously no longer having that teenage angst, would you say going to metal shows has helped bring the anger and aggression out?
Jake: Ya totally! I mean, we’re still going to those punk shows but they just aren’t happening as much, there isn’t a lot of younger generations doing that anymore. And even bands that we came up with have left the scene. Even little bands that we used to tour with have completely left the scene and it’s weird to us, it’s almost like we’re the last ones, we’re like the last of the Mohicans out here [haha].
Nefarious Realm: What do you think makes The Casualties so different having stayed around for so long compared to the rest of the bands who have quit and left the scene?
Jake: I think it’s, well I’m not going to say that we’re not paying bills off of the band because at this point we are. I mean we’re not driving around Italian cars or anything but it’s because we tour so much that ables us to pay rent and stuff like that. The amount of touring that we do and have devoted our lives to this it’s kind of like “well fuck, we can at least pay our rent off of it.” Personally if I’m not 100% into something than I’m just not going to do it at all. And I think with a lot of bands all they do is a one month tour a year or two month tour a year and I think that can also aid in breaking down a band by not having that full commitment.
Nefarious Realm: I agree. So you recently went on tour with the Nekromantix, did you get to play a lot of new material for that tour?
Jake: Yea, and actually that tour was really cool because you have two different scenes, I mean we’re all still weirdo’s, it wasn’t like oil and vinegar, but the bands did mesh very well. And what was cool was the Nekromantix brought a different element to the show where their fans might not necessarily go out of their way to go to a Casualties show and then our fans might not go see the Nekromantix. So it was cool to play for the different fans, for all of the bands even, and the fans liked it a lot. And we’ve done stuff like that before like when we played with Havok and Toxic Holocaust, it’s cool to play with such heavier bands and to have their fans enjoy us.
Nefarious Realm: Yea I actually had to chance to see you on the English Dogs tour, and being my first time seeing The Casualties live I was blown away by the energy, and bringing me to my next point actually, The Casualties are able to play on bills with metal bands or even Warped Tour type shows and still bring the brutality and get the crowd going crazy. Can we expect to see a diversity in bands for a future ‘Resistance’ promotional tour?
Jake: Yea, I mean I’m not too sure yet, but we’re looking to do something for February, again I’m not sure what it would be yet, but hopefully it’s a mix that is weird but not too weird. Like, we don’t want it to not make sense ya know? I like diversity but it still needs to make sense like when we toured with Toxic Holocaust and Nekromantix. I guess we’ll see, no bands have been decided yet.
Nefarious Realm: Ya I enjoyed seeing you guys with Havoc and Toxic Holocaust, it definitely made sense and was a killer show.
Jake: Ya totally, and we definitely tried to get it across a more version of hardcore punk since people see us do Warped Tour so much and with street punk dying out we thought well we can still do this and play with thrash bands and get in front of the younger kids who don’t necessarily like slow poppy shit but who still like something heavier and hardcore. And especially with doing Warped Tour so much I think some kids thought that maybe we were more mellow than we really are, so of course hell no we’re not poppy at all!! So why not get in front of a heavier audience because the style of hardcore punk we’re playing is more heavier. And you want to represent who you are as a band properly which also played in why we went with Season of Mist over Side One Dummy.
Nefarious Realm: Yea why did you guys split from SideOne Dummy if you don’t mind me asking?
Jake: Oh it’s ok, I think the thing is when you’re with a record label for so long and after so many releases, instead of things feeling new and exciting the label starts treating everything very like “ok we’re going to do this and we’re going to that.” It didn’t feel like anything new and exciting was happening. And with the industry how it is and new ways of promotion you want your label to enthusiastic and telling you what they are up to and you want to think “wow I never would’ve thought of that.” Rather than being upset and being like “oh why didn’t you do this?” So I think the relationship just sort of expired, it wasn’t a negative falling out or anything I just think it was time for us to go with something new. It’s like being in love, then going through a breakup, and then just finding that love again, ya know?
Nefarious Realm: Yea that’s life I suppose [haha], to backtrack a second back to ‘Resistance’, there was one song in particular that really caught my attention in kind of a humorous way, “Corazones Intoxicados”, entirely in Spanish I’ll have to have one of my SoCal chollo’s to translate. Care to comment on that song?
Jake: Yea well most of the record is kind of heavy and all and Jorge had this idea, and Jorge usually has ideas for weird songs, and so he’ll have these ideas that he’ll hash around with Rick and they work together into creating it and recording it and so they went with that idea of having a unique song and decided to do it in Spanish and it’s what came out. It definitely makes this album very diverse like there is that one song that is weird and not in English.
Nefarious Realm: Yea it’s definitely a stand out song, and again the whole album is great I really enjoyed it. That wraps it up on my end I really appreciate the interview and I look forward to seeing you guys on the road!
Jake: Oh thanks definitely and thank you, hopefully you can make it to the Scion Pomona show!
Nefarious Realm: I’ll be there! Well thanks again.
Jake: No problem thanks for your time.
Interview conducted by: Stacey Heath