Craig: Can you
please give us a brief history of the band and members previous
Spitalfield started playing together in early
1998, with the original four members all being freshman in high
school. The band was started as a side project to the current
hardcore bands that we all played in. Mark (vocals/guitar) and
Blake (guitar) were both in the three piece Landmine, and JD (drummer)
was in Strength In Numbers. A few line-up changed occurred over
the years, and now we have Daniel on second guitar, who played
bass for Dont Worry About It, and TJ on bass, who has played
in many bands, including Kill The Slavemaster and Knockout.
have you released?
We just recently released "The Cloak &
Dagger Club EP" on Sinister Label in October. Before that
we did a split label release for our first full length "Faster
Crashes Harder" on Walk In Cold Records / Sinister Label.
Previous to that, we had our first release, a split 12" record
with our pals Dont Worry About It on Walk In Cold Records.
Before that, we only released a few demo cds.
guys have a new bass player, can you talk about that and how TJ
came to be in the band.
Through the release of "The Cloak &
Dagger Club EP" at the Metro this past September, our bass
player had always been Terry Hahin. He was with us for over five
years. The change from Terry to TJ came about slowly but surely
over the previous spring and summer. Terry studies film at Columbia
College in Chicago, and found himself out with the band every
weekend playing shows, both near and far from home, and practicing
with us a couple times a week, and not dedicating any time to
his dream of film making at school (which was fine for a while,
but an expensive dream to be studying). So we mutually decided
that after the summer touring & the release of the last record
we worked on together, that Terry would leave the band. This is
when TJ stepped up to bat. We had seen TJ play a few times when
we played with Knockout. He was a super nice guy, and we seemed
to share many musical interests and views. When we heard about
him leaving Knockout, we all got a little more serious about finding
out more about him. And since he rules, it didnt take much
before we asked him to fill the shoes of Terry. And everything
has been going super well thus far, and I can only see it getting
Being in a band is like a relationship. The
band becomes one person with many different working parts. Everyone
can have their own opinions, needs, beliefs, desires, and habits,
while everyone needs to be on the same page in the grand scheme
of things. I think were a very close band.
only two original members in the band, how do you see this line
up as opposed to others?
The difference between the current line up we
have, and any other combination of line ups we have had is the
over all level of heart were putting in to what were
doing. The commitment is there in full form from everybody. We
had never had full force from every angle of the band. Also, with
the addition of TJ came the addition of another voice at the microphone,
which takes some pressure off of Mark, and adds some cool harmonies
that we couldnt otherwise do live. We all feel very positively
about the direction things are heading.
guys could potentially fit into the whole pop/blink 182/Atticus
debacle. What do you think of this consumerist phenomenon?
I dont know what debacle means. Haha.
But I can assume where youre coming from with this
I think, like anything else, it has pros and
cons. We just like to make music that we love playing live and
recording. We have influences all across the board, and if kids
tap into that, and like what were doing, who cares who they
are? Sure, there is something creepy about the complete commercialization
of punk rock, but it will come and go. The music, and the scene
in Chicago, will always be around, and will always be evolving.
We plan to stick this out, and push as hard as we can to see where
this can take us.
As long as we continue to make music that is
fresh to us, well let the cards fall where they will. Classification
isnt important and only limits your growth as a band as
musicians and people. We just want to have fun and rock out.
that same note, 5 years ago some of the bands around today would
be considered sellouts, the Lawrence Arms having a Video on M2
while the singer once sang a song called "fuck you alternative
radio". Do you think it is a progression of openness to commercial
success or that bands are conditioning their fans to accept the
fact that it is ok to do things that were totally unacceptable
5 years ago.
Its kind of a tough thing to reach a complete
conclusion on. In one aspect, I think it is super cool and exciting
for bands from the scene to gain so much speed and support that
they can even do something like M2 and be on commercial radio.
But then there is the obvious down sides, where somebody in an
office thinks they can make a lot of money, and the music becomes
the 2nd most important thing. I could care less how big a band
gets if they write good music. I dont think its about
"selling out" anymore, its about "quality
as a band" and "making a living", which can mostly
be based on live show and the records put the band puts out.
punk bands glorify drug abuse and that sort of lifestyle, how
does Spitalfield as a band feel about that type of aesthetic that
is actively installed into bands messages and meaning.
Since Mark writes the majority of the lyrics,
he generally has the control over the message being sent out through
our music. Of course, the live show is the four of us together,
where we can all make impressions and send out vibes. In general,
our lyrics are personal, about relationships with friends, family,
and of course significant others, and while we dont often
tackle anything political, the lyrics are usually universal enough
that the listeners can relate in some way to the message and thoughts
of the songs. There examples that lean other directions as well,
but that is just an overall outlook. Having fun is he most important
thing to us, and putting on a fun live show is equally important
to all of us. When kids take the time to drive out and see us
play, we want to make it worth there while. Thats what we
all look for when we go to see bands play, so why wouldnt
we carry that same standard to our own band when we perform?
Bowl now has rules and policies and regularly charges more, being
a staple in punk rock for so long how does a band that plays there
feel about these changes?
The benefit to the Fireside becoming more strict
and serious is that the shows seem to run more smoothly, and bands
have more of a commitment when playing there to try and be there
on time, and keep there sets to a set time. It just seems more
organized. But on the flipside, there was something to be said
for $5 shows that started whenever they started, with little to
zero consequences for anything happening. Because the Fireside
was the slightly more punk rock alternative to the Metro, where
touring bands good play with a stage, sound system, and a crowd
(if the show was promoted well or at all). But even still, it
is still one of our favorite places to play, and especially lately,
we have found ourselves on some excellent bills there, including
The Exit, The Casket Lottery, and The Stereo. And its almost
scary to think that over the years, we have all been there hundreds
of times to see hundreds of bands. The Fireside will always be
memorable show, biggest show, worst show?
I think as a whole, our most memorable show
was a toss up between the first time we played the Metro, which
is an experience in that of itself, and our release show for "Faster
Crashes Harder" at a small venue (that is now gone) called
the Velvet our in the suburbs.
Our biggest show would be the insane show that
we got to play at in St. Louis at Washington Universitys
Spring Wild put on by the school. We shared the stage with Jurassic
5 and The Black Eyed Peas, as well as a local punk band from out
there which we have now become friends with, Form Follows Failure.
There were 30 kegs, and over 9,000 people spread out on the crowd.
That was big. That was crazy. There was also a tornado, and a
beer riot in the middle of the field the show was in. JD also
lived out Motley Crue-esque fantasys in the fake back stage
area of the Black Eyes Peas room (which was way better than the
mini-room they gave us with the big picture of Mark McGwire.
The worst show ever goes to Lincoln, Nebraska
this past summer while we were on tour with Fall Out Boy. We played
to the sound guy, and three girlfriends from the local band. We
couldnt hear anything in the monitors, the bass amp was
exploding, we had our roadie play drums, and terrys pants
ended up around his ankles. Oh yeah, there was also the "slayer
intro" given to us by our roadie who had been drinking since
noon at a local bar, the show started at 9pm. Then we had a 9
hour drive to Fort Collins, CO straight the night.
There was also a non-existent show in a big
field in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where we were paid $.85 cents to take
us to take us to our next stop Houston, Texas. In between Tulsa
and Houston = tattoos, a land locked hurricane, and a broken trailer.
But it also involved 100 hot wings from Hooters and a pregnant
for the future?
The one thing we can all agree on is that we
want to tour full time. The support weve been receiving
around and about Chicago-land has been wonderful. And after touring
this past summer, we would love to take it to the next level,
and forget about other commitments, and just go out and do it.
is it working with the Sinister Label? I hear Craig is this alcoholic
cut throat power monger, is this true?
Sinister Label is like putting out records with
your best friends label, who just happen to be really good
at what they do. We got lucky with them, because they havent
just put out the records, they have helped promote them all over
the place, from record stores across the country, to zines and
distros. Not only that, but they are always looking out for us,
and helping us to get shows, and interviews, and all that sort
of stuff. And the best part is that they still come out to see
us play, even though they have to be extremely sick of us by now.
Craig isnt as much a power monger as he
is a power lifter.
The thing about Craig is he has this attitude
of "Dont be fooled by the rocks that Ive got,
Im still Jenny from the blocks".
And have you heard about the Ben Affleck thing?
Its all the rage!
would win in a grudge match Mike Alfini of the 4 Squares/Quincy
Shanks or Mike Bachta of Sinister Label?
Mark: I think
Alfini would win solely due to the help he would receive from
Kirk Cameron. Sure, Bachta has bigger weapons and more coffee,
but Kirk Cameron has the entire cast from Growing Pains to back
him up. However, the more I think about this, the more even of
a match is becomes. Bachta has the Cobra on his side. The Cobra!
I dont think Alfini would be able to handle to many Cobra
chops. Ill think about this some more next time I am in
Daniel: I think
Alfini would just groan, and it would be at such a low frequency
of pitch, like whales communicate, it would simply explode Bachtas
head. However Bachta could fight back by drinking numerous pots
of coffee eating at least sixty 98% fat free blueberry muffins.
How would you feel if one of your fans told you that you and the
Blue Meanies changed his life from being a gothic kid that made
jewelry to a crusty punk that makes his own punk rock patches?
I would feel great, and then go to Hooters
for some hot wings.
bands would each of you want to play with for the awesomest show
Weve thought about this before
goes like this
We open for the following bill:
This list combines that we can all agree that
we love from the past and present. It would be the awesomest show
bands you enjoy playing with? Local bands that most impress you?
Marks favorite local band at the moment
is The Moped Band out of Naperville. Dans favorite is Chicagos
very own Owls. JDs favorite local band is White Castle,
and TJ is from Canada, so he likes Avril Lavigne.
five records currently listening to for each member.
1) The Stryder "Jungle City Twitch"
2) Hey Mercedes "Everynight Fireworks"
3) Motion City Soundtrack "I am the movie"
4) AFI "the art of drowning"
5) Glassjaw "worship and tribute"
1) The Used
2) Brand New "your favorite weapon"
3) Glassjaw "worship and tribute"
4) Lawrence Arms "Apethy and Exhaustion"
5) Hey Mercedes "Everynight Fireworks"
1) Pele mix cd
2) Interpol "turn on the bright lights"
3) Pavement "wowee zowee"
4) Owen "no good for nobody now"
5) The Supertones - ALL
for more info on Spitalfield please visit: www.spitalfield.net