i just found this interview that i did almost a decade ago. the pine were the band that made me start sncl! good for them…
the Pine are 4 guys from Bakersfield, California, playing some fantastic melodic rock music that you can call emo if you want to get all fussy over semantics. these interview questions were mailed to the band about 5 seconds before they set out on their first ever tour, after i had promised Roger i would get them too him much quicker than that. now they are back, and we have the answers. thanks very much to all four members of the band for taking their time to answer these, it’s appreciated.
1) who is in the band and where are you all from? what’s the scene like around there?
roger – my name is roger king. i sing and play guitar. born and raised in bakersfield, ca.
kurt – i’m kurt king, and i was born and raised in bakersfield ca. i rarely go to shows but i do know that there’s a place called jerrys pizza which the majority of bands play and go to and there’s one record store.
bill – my name is bill and i play bass. i’m from bakersfield california. the scene from where i’m from covers the more pop side of music like weezer and kiddie punk bands.
andrew – my name is andrew winton; i play drums and i’m from bakersfield, ca. well the only thing i can say about the scene around here is that i’m really not into it.
2) is the Pine the first band that any of you have been in that has had a record out? how long has the band been together, give us a little history on the whole thing…
andrew – no, i was in a local band a few years back called crosswalk. we had a split with another local band called the acrylics. after high school i played in a few bands; soul system blackout/viral index, icarus line, which had demo tapes and then a band called the criminals and i did a cdep with them. i started playing with the pine in november 2000. we played our first show on june 6th of 2001 and have been playing out ever since.
bill – yeah pretty much i’ve been in other jams but nothing this big. well, i’ve been in the band for about 2 months now so i really cant elaborate on how long the band has been together or the history.
roger – i was in a punk band my sophomore year in high school called fletcher. we did a 7″ and played a lot of shows around town. it was fun. the pine started 4 years ago with me on drums and singing, kurt on guitar, and josh yates on bass. we played for a while, and recorded a demo on a 4 track. later on i moved to guitar and got andrew to play drums. then josh left and we got bill on bass.
kurt – yes for me it is.
3) do you guys enjoy the DIY side of the music? one thing that i’ve always appreciated in the bands that played emo a few years back, and those that are influenced by those bands now, is that they seem to have a tremendous DIY ethic (hand made packaging, no colour vinyl, releasing records on their own labels), whilst the bands that play the more indie influenced style of music that the majority of people now call ’emo’ seem to get everything handed to them on a plate, with publicists and street teams and everything. what are your thoughts?
kurt – well, i guess there’s always been a respect towards anyone who does anything them selves in any type of category in life. i think a band doing it themselves is a fun experience in life and it makes yourself like what your doing even more.
roger – i love the diy side of music.
bill – i feel a lot better about doing this whole thing our selves, the only people we really can count on is our selves. having other people helping the band with the record and booking the shows isn’t guaranteed to be done when and how you want it to be done. DIY is great but if the opportunity comes where you have someone that guarantees that they will have something done to help the band out, like making the covers for your record or booking shows the way you want it and they live in town and you know the person, go for it, a little help doesn’t hurt its the total strangers that you want to look out for. well the bands that get every thing handed to them can’t say anything about knowing how it is to book a tour or making there own merchandise, they don’t have the pleasure to tell a person: “hey i made that shirt your wearing”. Ii’s sickening to see bands that don’t make it on there own and see them on stage acting like they worked to get where they are and they made there own publicity.
andrew – i think the diy aspect of this music is great. obviously the pine is into it. we put out our 7″, make our own shirts, plus roger books most of our shows including the tour we justwent on. as a band we just got tired of waiting for someone to put out a record for us so we just did it ourselves. i have a lot of respect for bands that put out their own records. instead of just sitting around complaining about no one putting out stuff for them, they do something about it. i think ’emo’ for sometime now has been crossing over into the mainstream world. mostly the fashion right now but the bands that people label as emo like jimmy eat world or get up kids are definitely seeing more support from bigger labels, publicists, management teams and what not but i think that kind of cross over, big label support is inevitable. look at how punk rock has changed over the years.
4) you get compared to Evergreen a lot, musically, vocally, even your name hints at similarities! obviously Evergreen was a great band, but does the constant comparison get annoying?
Bill – no, its a great compliment to get compared to Evergreen, i can understand how it would get annoying if a band was compared to a really terrible band.
Andrew – at first it kinda bugged me just because i was afraid that we would get pegged as an evergreen rip off band but i don’t think that that is the case anymore. sure there are some similarities but you can say the same about a lot of other bands and their influences. i think we have a pretty unique sound and i would rather be compared to evergreen than a lot of other bands. i’m quite happy with the way we sound.
Roger – i don’t mind the comparison at all. when i first started writing songs for this band i myself was like”hmmm, this has an evergreen feel to it. rad!!!” i love evergreen. i’ve been listening to them since my junior year in high school and i still listen constantly today.i’m 22 now so that’s………..a long time. for the record, i never sat down with the band and said” we really need to try and sound like evergreen”, it just kinda developed on its own. i’m stoked right now.this is what i’ve always wanted to play. what’s funny is that some people are like” you guys have an evergreen feel” and then some people are like” they don’t sound like evergreen, they sound like lync.” we’ve been compared to other bands too. lets see….the hated, husker du, lync, early dinosaur jr,…i think that’s it. in my opinion we do sound like earlier evergreen stuff. like the split with still life, and the emergency broadcast comp with that song “forced feed ed”. that song is so rad. i’m not out to reach a new groundbreaking level in music or anything, i’m just writing and playing songs that i love.
Kurt – it’s official that one band(especially after so much has been done) is going to sound similar to another or a few others and that goes for any band it seems like,and as far as the evergreen comparison goes i can see it through the strainy type of vocals and the open guitar chords i guess.
5) so the Pine is off on tour for the first time, how are you getting around? is it a rusty old van like everyone else has, or did the extravagant sales of the first 7″ mean you can hire limousines? (just kidding)
Andrew – kurt and roger’s dad hooked us up with the van. it handled the road well. but we had a couple of blow outs which was kind of scary but other than that the van was great to us.
Kurt – i’m happy to say my father purchased us an ’89 astro van, in my opinion its beautiful and i think my father was the coolest ever for getting for it us, and we didn’t rent limousines……………..WE BOUGHT THEM!
6) what’s been the best moment of the tour so far? (presuming you answer this when you’re on it!) stayed in any crazy places? played any bizarre small town venues? encountered any odd people? played with any cool bands?
Roger – arroyo seco from portland. awesome. we want to do a split 7″ with them in the future. smerf from kzsu was a nice guy. i don’t know, all the people that set up the shows and let us stay at their houses were really cool for doing that. we got hit by a bird on the freeway….we played live on kzsu without any sleep……a guitar head fell and landed directly on the back of my head. that felt kinda nice……the tire blow outs…………lost my guitar because i was trying to find us a place to stay for that night(some guy flaked on us so that kind of threw off my senses )…..i’m sure there’s more.
Kurt – i would have to say the best moment was honestly the whole 2 weeks. i felt very blessed. standard cool places. cool venues. i met some of the kindest people and i had no idea there were so much drunks in this world. the coolest band was in portland, i think Roger remembers their name they were so awesome and were so nice to let us hang out and stay at their place for three days.
Bill – i would have to say the best moment of the tour was in spokane washington, there was a lot of people and we made a lot of money. well i would have to say richland was the craziest place we stayed out until like 3 o’clock in the morning with staircase eating at Denny’s before that we played a show at this guy hang out place that claimed to be a record store. In SF we encountered some bizarre people, but there is really no place with 0 weird people. I really liked playing with staircase, arroyo seco and the new brutalism. they were all awesome
Andrew – portland was awesome. we met some great people there (thanks ty, luke, and ben). spokane was also really cool we played the last show at this place called the post haus. richland , wa was really weird, one of the guys doing the show was really wasted and going crazy. roger has some cool video footage of it. some of the bands i was into were: arroyo seco, self inheritance, staircase, teen cthulhu, iron lung, and the new brutalism.
7) lyrically your first 7″ tends to cover the more personal side of things, do you find it easy to come up with things to write about? and then to get up on stage and sing about these things in front of other people?
Kurt – Roger does all the lyrics,and may i add they are beautiful ones indeed.
Roger – what’s weird about the lyrics i write is that when i first write them i have no clue what they mean. but later on they always make sense and connect with something i’m really going through. i don’t really like explaining what they exactly mean because they are always so personal. i dont have any problem singing in front of other people when we play because usually people cant hear me too well,and even when they can i’m sure they cant make out what i’m babbling about.
8) i understand your LP will be due out soon on Kordova Milk Bar records (correct me if i am wrong!), how did that come about? what will the vinyl version be like?
Kurt – i guess Roger just traded some pine 7″s for some records from Kordova and i received a call from a guy from that label saying he’d love to do an lp. it’s going to look very basic and 8 songs that i am happy to rock out to anytime.
Roger – silk screened covers (maybe,it depends on who releases it) , nice big insert, very basic. 8 songs. 5 newly already recorded and 3 from the same recording session as the 7″. we’re really happy with the way it sounds. we have a cdr version of it with cover, insert and all available right now. i really hope we find someone to release it soon. maybe we can find a couple of labels to help do a split release. as for kordova milk bar records…..no comment.
9) what do you get out of being in the band? what makes you put your heart and soul into it, and go off on tour for what your average person in the world would see as little return… can you explain this side of things?
Roger – i put everything i have into this band. i’ve always wanted to have a band that i cared this deeply for. i try as hard as i can.
Bill – just being able to be playing music with good friends. the fact i’m playing music that has meaning to everyone. the average person i think just has to try touring for them selves.
Andrew – i’ve just always wanted to play music with good people and have fun. i’ve always just wanted to inspire people the way other bands have inspired me.
Kurt – all i can say is i love this band ssssooooo much. i’ve been in it since i was 14 years young and i can improvise stuff, i can use all the delay i want, I can make all the noises i want and it will fit beautifully. it keeps me alive it’s what i look forward to and it will always make me happy. so take what i said and multiply it by 1 million and that will come close to my feelings.
10) is there any significance behind the band name at all? does it represent something or was it just because you decided it was a good name?
Kurt – Roger got it from one of my favorite movies “Blood in Blood out” it was a gangster movie, they hung out at a big pine tree and I dig the ways Roger picked it because it represents their innocence and purity.
Roger – i got the name “the pine” from my favorite gangbanger movie “blood in blood out”. the pine was a tree that the LA gangsters hung out at when they were younger. they always said “lets go to el pino…the pine ese'”. towards the end of the movie they went there separate ways but they always went back to the pine to remember their childhood. i liked how the pine represented there togetherness and unity, but it also represented how things will always change and that there is nothing we can do to change that. i guess all in all it is a symbol of life.
11) what do you think of the 80’s revival with this whole chic for old video games or indie bands that sound like Depeche Mode or something? is it fun, or do you think a bit forced?
Bill – i think its getting a little too trendy its turning in to a fad, i think these bands should just be original and leave the 80’s alone so it stays as a great period in history.
Roger – I’m not sure about all that stuff. the last fad i noticed in the whole music scene was tight high water pants and that’s been going on for a long time.
Kurt – i don’t listen to much music so i didn’t know that was happening, but whatever floats your boat man.
Andrew – . i like some of the bands that might have that kind of 80’s feel to them, such as the faint or sunshine. i dig old video games just as much as the next person but i really don’t get too rapped up in them.
12) this is a traditional penultimate question that we always used to have in our zines interviews, when the website had a different look and theme (weather & transport). so, what is your favourite crazy weather condition? and what would be your perfect way to travel to a show?
Bill – my favorite weather condition is really cold and rainy, its too miserable to travel in 100 degree heat. cold with an over cast to a show but not raining its a little too dangerous, i think.
Andrew – i’m not too big of a fan of rain or snow, but i would rather have it cold than hot.
Roger – i like rain and fog. for shows i don’t care as long as we’re not stuck in LA traffic.
Kurt – i love those traditional questions, i really love that rainy dark during the day weather because i love to wear jackets. i’m into the way we traveled on this tour.
13) and that’s all! i hope you have a great tour and some fun times and that nothing goes wrong. thanks for taking your time to do this. is there anything you want to add? contacts? info, etcetera…?
Kurt – these were nice questions thank you for making them up for us.
Andrew – thanks to the rest of the pine for a great first tour, my girlfriend LACEY, and all the amazing people we met on tour…..
Bill – well, thanks for having us and i think all the info and contacts anyone needs you got from roger if anyone has any comments or questions just e-mail roger. thanks.
Roger – well, thanks andy! thanks for having us. thanks to everyone that helped on the tour.