Interview with The Epoxies done by: Gen X.

Before we can go any further, there needs to be a mutual appreciation of, and understanding that “The Road Warrior” is hands-down the best movie ever made. We’re talking about a post-apocalyptic punk rock cowboy-flick demo-derby that redefined action cinema and did it in half the time (96 minutes!) it takes movies nowadays. That’s The Epoxies for ya, a band that lives on the road and rules the bleak wasteland of the current punk scene with their refreshing brand of “punk wave”. After a wildly successful debut LP on Dirtnap in 2002, The Epoxies are back, this time on Fat Wreck Chords, with a new full length dubbed Stop The Future. The band is gearing up for some massive touring this year where they’ll take back the highways and bring their show to your town. Crossbows are optional. We got to spend some time with Fritz M. Static of The Epoxies and he had this to say…


Did you guys start as a punk band and add the new wave later, or vice versa?

Being a punk band was an inevitability considering the musicians involved. I don’t think we could really have avoided it. That said, both terms are nearly meaningless these days and probably always have been. To be honest, what we set out to do was a “robot garage rock” band. I would say that we more or less failed miserably to do that but I am still happy with the results.

Where the hell did you guys find the Scorpion's song "Robot Man" that you covered on Stop The Future? Most people are only familiar with the songs "Rock You Like A Hurricane" and "Winds Of Change". Did you guys find this song in the parallel universe that you come from?
First of all, it hardly needs saying that the Scorps rule. But, to answer your question, Robot + Napster = “Robot Man”.

Being in a band with such a strong image, do you ever sometimes feel trapped by that image?
For sure. That is why on our upcoming tours, we will be growing beards and will play sitting down.

I can see it now…I did hear that your band might be purchasing a laser tunnel. What other gadgets do you have in mind for the future?
Two in fact—maybe three per a discussion I just had with Shock—our lighting and stage stuff has always been a strange amalgam of stuff we have cobbled together out of spare parts. We sort of have a policy of trying to add to the show for every tour. I for one really want to see a snow machine in action and Vis is really strong for a low-lying fogger.

Okay, you know that keyboard guitar that you play? What is the actual, official name of one of those things?
Specifically, I play a Roland SH 101. Of course for a brief, disturbing, period there a whole host of strap on synths were available for the attention-starved keyboardist. The SH is touchy as hell and way more difficult to deal with than a modern board but it is an absolutely incredible sounding synth and worth every headache it causes.

Weird Science or the Breakfast Club? Which is better?
I dunno, I am too young to have seen those movies.

What do you think of the current dance-punkish explosion with bands such as Hot Hot Heat, The Bravery, The Futureheads, etc.? Do you feel you fit with those bands?
I don’t really know anything about what is going on in music to be honest. I have heard the names but, having never heard any of those bands, I would have to leave the comparisons to you guys. If they are super popular up-and-comers, then yes. By all means, lump us in.

How did you get hooked up with the Undertones and are you fans of their band?
These days we have a booking agent so I am somewhat removed from the minutiae of the wheelings and dealings. However, we were of course thrilled to be asked. They are among my favorite bands of all time and a great influence on us.

Tell us about some other great bands in the Portland scene.
There really are a lot of good bands going now. Off the top of my head, let me recommend The Observers, The Minds, The Punk Group, Telephone, The Flip Tops, The Nice Boys, and The Hunches.

With having such a strong image, do people dismiss your band as a gimmick or having a shtick and if so, does this hurt your feelings?
I’m sure a lot of people do, but what are you gonna do? The truth is, a lot of my favorite bands were dismissed as gimmick bands in their time. Devo or The Go Go’s for instance. The whole goal with all the stagecraft and silly costumes and all is to put on a great show. The truth is, we probably obsess less about what we wear than most indie rockers you see on stage. We at least admit to our fashion pretensions.

What do you guys do in your off time that is completely un-music related?
Just about nothing at this point. Shock and I were working on the X prize but we were beat out fair and square. Right now we are trying to prevent the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand. All very hush hush, you understand.

Not all that familiar with the X Prize, or the good Archduke… would you let your music be used to sell cars, Gap clothes, or Nikes?
We are in talks with Nike right now about a line of Epoxies athletic wear. It will be manufactured entirely by third world child robots.

Who are the core bands or forefathers of New Wave, and are you hoping to expose your fans to these older bands through your music?
Music begins and ends with The Epoxies. There is no reason for people to seek out other, inferior bands.

Most punk bands have a hard enough time just showing up with guitars and amps. You guys do that, plus have great stage clothing, smoke machines and other fun stuff. Does that get to be a pain in the ass? Do you ever wish you were just in a regular band and could just show up and play, without all the extra shit?
It is a huge pain in the ass. Like the idiots we are we have created a situation where everything we do is about ten times as hard as it would be for any other band. My next act is gonna be a solo acoustic new wave band.

Ha, I bet it is! Speaking of all that gear, what is your favorite electronic component? Diodes? Conductors? Servos?
Wow, tough one. Diodes are good. Particularly the light-emitting and laser varieties. Servos are also rad. I guess though that if I have to choose I am going to go with the perennial favorite the potentiometer. Infinitely variable knobs and sliders are the interface between man and machine and neatly straddle both the organic and the electronic.


The Epoxies new full length, Stop The Future, comes out May 17th.
Visit them online at www.theepoxies.com