Having been in the front row watching The Schizophonics at Field Trip South a few weeks ago all I can say is ” Holy Shit this band is kick ass” . For all of you who witnessed all of this fierce action going down hopefully these questions will fill in some of the blanks. If you’re new to The Schizophonics and haven’t jumped on this train consider this a helping hand reaching out to lift you up.
The 50thirdand3rd Interview with – The Schizophonics
So tell us a little bit about The Schizophonics, did you grow up in San Diego, how did you meet and decide to start a band all those kinds of things that go into you becoming The Schizophonics
Pat and I are originally from the same little town in AZ called Casa Grande. It’s where the I-8 starts and it ends here in San Diego. We both left there after high school and did our own thing until we ran into each other in Tucson years later. He moved out to San Diego for work and I shortly followed after dating long distance for a little while. He was playing with some friends and the drummer quit so that’s when I started learning to drum. We would jam at home with our then bassist, Jim Accardi, who we lived with and would play at the shitty sports bar down the street that had open mic nights. In 2012 we were introduced to Robert Lopez aka El Vez who took us on as his backing band for his Punk Rock Review. That was the first time we ever went on tour and ever had to be under the gun to learn a specific show with set changes, dance steps and so many parts. That was our band boot camp. We have learned a lot from him. We’ve been so lucky to have had some really cool people in the band as our bassist. We have our good friend Brian Reilly on bass who had never been able to tour until recently. We love all past band mates but really feel like we have the best dynamic we’ve ever had right now with Brian. The first time we ever talked to him I thought he and Pat were like long lost brothers. It’s a good time to be busy!
Growing up who introduced you all to music and what were some of your favorite albums from those early years
Lety: When I was a little kid my older sister would record music off the radio onto this little red boom box we had until she finally got a subscription to those mail order cds and tapes where you buy one for $20 and get 8 for ONLY $5.99 or whatever. We got into music really bad back then. That was the rabbit hole for me. My sister kinda got out over it, but I was just obsessed. One band leads you to more and more and more. There’s still nothing that’s been more interesting or exciting for me.
Pat: Growing up I was introduced to music at a young age via FM oldies stations in my parents car. At the time every city had their own “Good Times, Cool Oldies!” type radio station that would play stuff like the Peppermint Twist, and you’d get these 50’s-70’s pop songs lodged in you brain forever. Shame that a lot of these stations aren’t around anymore. I’m guessing because oldies for people now are 80s and 90’s hits. Too bad for the kids who get that shit permanently stuck in their heads!
Brian: My mom used to listen to soul music and my dad listened to jazz. Danny and The Jr’s had great harmonies and Jerry Lee Lewis were some of my favorites when I was young and still are.
Some people who have seen Pat think he must have watched videos from the years of British Invasion up to the 70’s and incorporated the best into all his moves , so my question to Pat is how the hell did you learn to play guitar like that.
Pat: I have always been a Hendrix nut and I spent my teenage years trying to learn everything I could about the man and his playing. In my early 20’s I lived in a house with a bunch of musician friends and jammed 24-7. We never really played gigs, or even songs for that matter, we just improvised. It was a big hurtle to write rock & roll songs when we started the Schizophonics because I had avoided songwriting for so long, but I could do this kind of half-ass Hendrix-y thing on guitar with a lot of hammer-on/pull-offs. My other idol was always Iggy Pop, so on stage I’d just freak out and dance around while playing solos and over time it melded together.
Obviously you’re all inspired by the blues , how do you see those inspirations fitting into your music?
Pat: We were more of a blues-rock band when we first started out, and although we’ve moved to a more garage, punk, and soul sound, I feel like the blues still comes out in the guitar. I think Blues is any art where you try to transform the negative to the positive, like a kind of Alchemy.
What are some of your favorite memories of Field Trip South ?
Lety: SCOTS were on stage and I had been getting something to drink after dancing like crazy my favorite band, The Woggles. I’d lost my band mates when I saw Robert Lopez’s head jumping up and down in the front row so I snaked my way up there just in time to get pulled on stage with him to hand out fried chicken! O’ it was wonderful! A handful of us from the crowd were up there dancing, eating and feeding chicken to everyone! It was like a southern rock and roll dream! The whole event felt like this. So many good vibes!
Pat:I had such a good time, some of my favorite moments include when the Woolly Bushmen’s singer being pinned down by his Farfisa and played it upside down, the high energy of the Stents and the Hatebombs, finally experiencing the Subsonics live, the fried chicken and pool parties with the rest of the Little Richards, Little Robert’s Big-Gulp spiked with Mezcal, the Midnight Larks’ spooky garage harmonies, and of course dancing in the front row to the Woggles, who brought down the house as always.
Brian: They Wooly Bushmen, they blew my mind. The trip felt really positive the whole time. Everyone was easy going.
Can you tell us your plans for upcoming releases and plans for any tours in 2017.
10″ record Ooga Boga out on Pig Baby Records March 28
Full length LP called Land Of The Living will be out in June/July on Sympathy For The Record Industry
We are doing a west coast tour up to Bellingham starting May 11, the Ooga Boga tour. Let me know if you want specific dates.
We are also going back to the UK and Spain at the end of September through October. So far we are playing in London September 30 for the Dirty Water Club and we will be doing a few shows in Spain after we play at this years Funtastic Dracula festival. We had so much fun at the Field Trip South so we are talking about when we can get back out to the east coast after our fall tour.