Pat Douglas of the Great Falls Tribune recently conducted an interview with vocalist Mike Muir of the long-running Venice Beach, California thrash/punk band SUICIDAL TENDENCIES. A couple of excerpts from the chat follow below.
On telling a fanzine nearly 30 years ago that he didn't think the band would be around five years later:
"I said, 'Well, the only way we'll still be a band is if I can say I'm proud of everything we did and that it didn't become a job.' We don't have those blackmail photos that a lot of other bands have. We didn't try to go seven different styles that were popular and (they) didn't work so then the next thing came and we tried to do that. I think that I can be very proud to wear my SUICIDAL shirt wherever I go."
On the band's historical importance:
"We have at least three generations of families at the shows ... all the way to a great-grandfather, grandfather, mom and kids. I think that's a rare thing. Last night, there were these kids and they're like 'Can you come take a picture with my mom?' It was kind of funny."
On how he wants his current lineup to get as much credit as possible:
"As I tell those guys, I say, 'Hey, if after the show, if all those people are just talking about me, then it wasn't a very good show.' When someone comes up and goes 'Mike, oh, my god. I can't believe Steve. I can't believe the drummer,' that's how I know we're doing good. That's the biggest compliment I can get."
On his belief that it's up to individuals to change the world, not rock bands:
"When they had the elections, I was like 'I hope for the best,' but I think a lot of people think 'Wow, all I gotta do is get up and get my morning coffee and the world's gonna change. I wasn't brought up that way. It takes a lot more than just politics."
On SUICIDAL's upcoming single, "Come Alive" (see performance clip below):
"There's a lot of people ... their heart's beating and they've got brain waves, but they're not livin.' It's about taking control and standing up and realizing that you're always gonna have an excuse to sit back and wait and see what happens. "You've gotta take control. I've gotta take control. I don't want someone else to have that control, and I'll do my best to fight to keep them from having it."
Read more from the Great Falls Tribune.
SUICIDAL TENDENCIES performing new single "Come Alive":