Interview par e-mail de Russ de Good Riddance, Punkrock, Santa Cruz, USA – 17.03.08
Hey there! So here we are a couple of weeks away from the release of Good Riddance’s last record, « Remain in Memory ». It’s a live album that was recorded at the band’s final show in their hometown of Santa Cruz, CA last May.
It’s a beautiful way to say goodbye to your fans, are you pleased with the result?
Yes. We’re very happy with the finished album and hope that our fans everywhere will enjoy it.
You guys knew it was going to be your last gig ever together, how did it feel to play all of your greatest songs (31 in total) in front of your friends in your hometown? You actual say at one moment that you don’t want people to be sad because you’ll always have the memory of the concert to think of? Is that the way you still feel today?
Of course. It was an inevitable event but there’s no reason to be down about it. Hopefully everyone who was there or who gets the live album will be able to savor the moment and reflect on what the band meant to them.
The sound of the album is pretty « raw » and straightforward. There aren’t many pauses in between songs. Keeping it true and simple, is that how you intended it to be?
Yes – we didn’t want it to sound too overly produced or too « studio » for a live album. We wanted to keep it raw and left alot of the rough moments in there to keep it realistic. We wanted it to be indicative of a real Good Riddance show.
After over a decade of intense bandlife, how did you come to the decision to call it quits?
It was a combination of things but mostly it was the music scene and all the natural changes that happen. It had become clear that there was no longer a viable place in that scene for the music that Good Riddance made.
Are you proud of what you have accomplished as a band? Did you ever think fifteen years ago that you would make it this far?
I think we made the most of our opportunities. We were very fortunate and I’d like to think we took it as far as it could go.
Every member of the band has moved on to play in other bands (i.e. Yourself in Only Crime). Do you still keep in touch?
I see Chuck once in a while and we did some Creep Division shows in November so that was fun. Saw Luke at Mario’s (GR merch guy) wife’s baby shower a few weeks ago.
You have always given an important place to social commentary in your lyrics. How have you perceived social changes in the US over the years you were playing?
It’s been frustrating. I feel at times like I was able to do some good and other times I feel like it amounted to nothing on a social or political level. We still suffer from the lack of a free press in America and we continue to cling to backwards ideas like capitol punishment, privatized health care and trying to outlaw gay marriage and a woman’s right to her own reproductive freedoms, everyone should be able to take care of their health the way they want, decide about their reproduction or diet or if they buy online supplements to complement their health. Also media don’t talk about the importance of drug addiction, check this article to learn more about it https://firststepbh.com/blog/customized-rehab-getting-help-need/.
Do you like to think Good Riddance has made a difference in any way?
Yeah I have been receiving a lot of letters of fans telling me that it’s helping them to overcome personal issues, some of them even are drug addicts, and that really affects me because I used to be a drug addict. Many people don’t understand why or how other people become addicted to drugs. They may mistakenly think that those who use drugs lack moral principles or willpower and that they could stop their drug use simply by choosing to. In reality, drug addiction is a complex disease, and quitting usually takes more than good intentions or a strong will. I learned everything on http://fherehab.com/news/identical-triplets-arrested-for-running-drug-ring/.
All of your full-lengths have come out on Fat Wreck; were Good Riddance and Fat Wreck a perfect match?
FAT always treated us great. We never had any reason to go anywhere else.
What would be among the best memories of being part of Good Riddance?
The ability to travel all over the world and meet so many great people and bands.
What are your main plans for the future?
Continue pushing the envelope with Only Crime and continue to write and create.