AMERICAN HEAD CHARGE keyboardist Justin Fowler spoke to Jeff Kerby of KNAC.COM Saturday night (April 30) about the recent passing of the group's guitarist, Bryan Ottoson. An excerpt from the interview follows:
KNAC.COM: What was it, like just a few hours later, and the Internet was just rife with rumors about what had "probably" happened?
Justin Fowler: "I just went through the Internet, and I was looking for pictures. I was hoping to see photos of all of us or me and Bryan. Then I just got into this shit that people were spouting. Again, it is just people feeding these misconceptions who have no idea what is going on, so I don't take it too seriously, but at the same time it is amazing just how rude some people are. This isn't like the Jay and Silent Bob Internet geek who is twelve years old either who comments because he is twelve and finally has a voice — these are adults who say 'I'm thirty years old, and this is what happened because I believe this.'"
KNAC.COM: Was it the insensitivity that bothered you the most? Is it anyone's place to say that someone deserves to die?
Justin Fowler: "No, and that is something I feel strongly about. I generally try to live my life that way. It isn't anyone's place to sit there and tell someone what it is that they deserve. I'm not even here to say what we deserve. I watch all kinds of people who deal with this self-entitlement bullshit. They think they can make the calls about everything. It is just more evidence of that attitude socially. It's just everywhere."
KNAC.COM: Was this tragedy made that much worse by the range of emotions you were dealing with? I mean, you had just released "The Feeding", and you guys had just hit the road promoting it…and then…
Justin Fowler: "You know, it's still really a blur. It's gonna take a lot of time to gain any accurate perspective on that. It's been overwhelming. The sharp contrast went from 'Everything is great' to 'Oh, my God, what are we going to do now? What am I going to do now?' This guy was like my best friend — not 'like' my best friend — he was my best friend. What to do is just what I do when I'm thinking about what I'm going to do next. It's just going to take time."
KNAC.COM: I mean, we are still only talking about an event that happened ten days ago.
Justin Fowler: "Yeah, it happened just ten days ago. I just stand here today with my arms kind of folded in a quiet disbelief. I just know this is something that I have to do. Bryan wrote half the record, and that was like our dream together out of high school. We wanted to do this. We did. To have his life come full circle, and for me not to perpetuate it, would be disappointing to myself. I have to come out here even though it's hard for me. I don't know how to deal with this stuff. When people ask how we're doing… I just don't know anymore."
Read Justin Fowler's entire interview with KNAC.COM at this location.