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"Fired A Blank"
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interview by: Mike Alfini February 2003

Mike: How long have you guys been around for?

Tom: Since like '98. I think you were at the forming of the band at CJ and Del's house with Mikey and Gifford. I was third man in. Ken was there but he wasn't in yet.

Mike: What previous bands have all of you been in?

Tom: Ogre was in Bloody Mess and the Skabs. Me and Gifford were in Slow Children together in high school and then Antabuse and Ken was in the Bollweevils and the Feds.

Mike: What’s different about being in Callaghan than the previous bands you guys have been in?

Tom: We've always had the same drummer. Ha. Well, we all have jobs and lives and other things to do in life but we like rocking with each other and kind of get off on being different from one another. We're pretty laid back about the band. No delusions, we do it to have fun.

Mike: Besides being in the band what do each of you guys do?

Tom: Ken is a science and reading teacher and plays and coaches baseball. Gifford is the rock and roll optometrist and a muscle car enthusiast. I'm a full time union iron worker and part time pharmacist. I'm not sure what Ogre does but it must be strenuous because he's in very good shape.

Mike: Would you guys ever want to live off your band?

Tom: Probably not. I really like my job. I'm lucky. Think about the poor guy who has to make his rent sitting around writing songs to entertain the idiot masses. He'd be at the fucking 7-Eleven selling lotto if he didn't know how to play guitar. I feel for dude.

Mike: Callaghan has released some stuff on Outsider Records from Long Beach, CA how is working with them?

Tom: Cool. Some people got to hear our shit. Dave is a good guy who put us on with other bands we respect and enjoy.  Most notably the Hudson Falcons.

Mike: Your last release was released on a Chicagoland label do you guys prefer to keep it chose to home?

Tom: That's not really an issue. If someone from another city said  they wanted to do an album with us the deciding factor would probably not be location. It would be more like, do you wanna pay for the recording? Will there be plenty of blow in the studio?

Mike: Where do you guys like to play in Chicago?

Tom: Fireside, Prodigal, gotta give props to the MPshows. We play all sorts of wild shit. Straight bar punk shows. We've played Metro, Mexican restaurants. Bar-bqs, basements... tend to prefer shows with beer though.

Mike: What bands do you guys like to play with?

Tom: Whoever is nice. I would hate to start listing bands and miss someone who  I think is cool. I like the ones who are fun and don't have an inflated sense of importance just because they're in some fucking band. I think there are a lot of great bands in Chicago.

Mike: What are you favorite Chicago bands of all time and why?

Tom: Negative Element, Grab Bag Of Fathers, Screw Party, Hitmen, Alkaline Trio. All of these bands had/have great songs, were fun and remind me of cool times in my life. And of course there's the obvious Raygun, Effigies, Big Black, AOF, Out Of Order, all the 80's stuff.

Mike: What was the first punk show each of you saw?

Tom: Me and Gifford saw DOA and The Dicks at the Metro in '84 I think. That or Battalion of Saints around the same time.

Mike: Do you think the punk scene in Chicago is different now than it was 10 years ago?

Tom: No, it's just a new crop of kids who happen to have the benefit of the internet for easier networking. Every generation of kids think they're doing something revolutionary and new and that's cool. But kids tend to have fun and get excited in the same way regardless of the haircuts.

Mike: What Chicago bands today do you guy’s respect?

Tom: Aww crap. I'd hate to miss someone. How about people? I think the people that deserve respect are the people who devote their talent and hard work to the "scene" for the benefit of the bands. People like Brian Peterson, Doug Ward, Chuck Uchida. Everyone at Redline and Choke. There are plenty.

Mike: Where can people find out more about Callaghan?

Tom:   or come to a show.

Mike: Any last words?

Tom: Vote locally. Buy American. Buy Union. Be nice to old people and the differently abled.

The Bollweevils
"History Part 1"
The Bollweevils
"History Part 2"

4-Squares / Bollweevils

Bollweevils / Walker
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