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Operatic: "we've done the music in parts for Chris Senn, Tom Penny, Jeremy Wray, Darren Navarrette and like 20 others …"

AFTER ENJOYING THEIR MUSIC back home in Blighty, I got ahold of some more of their charged sounds, provoking misty-eyed reminiscences of Killing Joke and Gang of Four for this old codger. I'm looking forward to seeing them in concert, as long as they're not on too late or too loud. In fact, I liked them so much that I've named my first born after their lead singer.

What is Operatic and how did the name come about?

Jesse Fritsch: It's a horrible kind of music sang by primarily fat women. Or it's the name of our band. My roommate Dove came up with the name, not sure why we didn't consider the meaning.

Last band that you saw that you were stoked on?

I just saw the Hot Snakes here in San Diego. I'm a big Drive Like Jehu fan so it was fucking great to see those guys.

How come there are no chicks in the band?

Why would chicks want to hang around us?

Favorite San Diego band of all time?

Drive Like Jehu.

How come the San Diego music scene sucks so badly?

The music scene here is good; there are just so many bands that don't play anything original. Everyone wants to sound like Thursday or Story of the Year. If you think about it, though, there are tons of good bands like Counterfit (RIP),

Pinback, Hot Snakes, Controlling the Famous.

Why does LA just plain suck?

Traffic, traffic, traffic.

Has anyone in the band seen Slayer before? If not, would they?

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No one has, everyone wants to though.

If your band had to do a 1980's hardcore cover song, what would it be?

I thought there was only hair metal in the '80s.

What about a 1970's rock band cover?

Pink Floyd, "Comfortably Numb."

Operatic was just on tour a few months ago. Where did you play and who were you opening for?

We did the South and East Coast with Face to Face and My Chemical Romance.

How was the response from the crowds watching and listening to your music?

It was really good. No one knew the songs at all, so for most of the set people would just sort of stare at us and try and figure out if they liked it. Usually by the end of the show kids were moving around and would then come get a CD.

Who in the band skates?

Just me and Andrew, though Josh can take us out in SKATE sometimes.

Is anyone in the band a junkie yet?

Ted is a shroom junkie and Andrew, I think, abuses his Viagra.

I heard you've done some music for some skateboard videos.

Yeah. Josh and I started making music for videos once skating started getting big enough for bands and labels to sue for music rights. Manzoori was the first to really hook us up. That was like four years ago. Since then we've done the music in parts for Chris Senn, Tom Penny, Jeremy Wray, Darren Navarrette and like 20 others. It's the best feeling to know that in a way Penny skated to our music.

What's the deal with skate videos? Are companies allowed to use whatever music or do they have to have rights to them?

They are supposed to get rights, but I know a lot of them don't.

That costs a lot of money usually. What about having a band like yours cover a song, does that work?

We haven't really covered songs. We made stuff that have the same feel or whatever, but it's against the law for us to get paid for a cover I think. Depending on the song it's way cheaper to pay us than to pay a band and label.

Since you are in a band playing live shows are your pants getting tighter? Mike Sinclair said they were.

Just because Mike ate so much Del Taco that his pants are tight it doesn't mean mine are. Well maybe a little.

What about groupie chicks with the band, who pulls the most wool in the group?

Ted, but I'm not sure if the girls are old enough to have "wool."

In skateboarding there are ways to get product for free. What are your hookups in the music industry?

Fender hooks us up tons. Thanks Alex!

What's the rumor about Neil Mims being a roadie for your band? Do you pay him beers instead of money?

That's the first I heard of it. I wish we had the money to pay Mims.

Have you played a show with Danny Way's band Backlip yet? Anytime soon?

We played with them in Arizona at this Fender thing. It was cool. Not quite the metal I expected from Danny, but it was good.

What's your connection to Radiohead?

I met this guy who dated this girl whose older sister went to college with an exchange student from Germany who once saw Radiohead in a coffee shop in London. Or my cousin Molly is married to Colin.

Minimal money or free beer; which does the band prefer?

Minimal money. Just gotta make it to the next show.--Rhino

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