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Conservative Military Image
(Interview by Gareth Postans aka Girth, introduction by Mano)
If there's one band that absolutely exploded the past year it is Conservative Military Image - and for good reasons! The band released banger after banger through Battle Scarred Records (USA, cassette releases only) and of course their highly sought after vinyl records through Lionheart Records (EU) and the end is barely in sight - thank God! Now check out the chat Gareth had with frontman Adam below!
First of all, how did CMI form? You burst onto the scene last year and shook the whole shit up! Has this been planned for a year or two?
I was working this project by myself for nearly a full year before the SKINHEAD EP dropped in March of last year. I wanted to do this band for a very long time but for one reason or another I couldn’t get it off the ground. Finally I said fuck it I’ll do it myself. When I dropped the album I legit thought that was it. I put out something that didn’t suck and maybe some people will hear it. But it just fucking took off it kept getting more traction. people were stoked on it. From there I was able to assemble the band with some of my favorite people and closest friends.
I saw you mention that 'Warzone' really were the ultimate band for you. Bridging the hardcore scene and Oi! scene. Is that the idea behind CMI? Any other honourable mentions for bands that inspired you?
Absolutely. I know we don’t necessarily sound like Warzone but I wanted CMI to bridge the skinhead scene and hardcore scene closer together the way they did. Goddamnit I really love Raybeez.
Chicago - pretty tough city. Great scene there too. I still haven't been! How has the crowd been there and in gigs? The live pictures look insane.
Chicago fucking rules. It’s the only place in the US I’ll live. We played Chicago once and of course all the homies came out and showed up. It was really cool. Even my 8 year old daughter came out so she could watch her father do all the dumb shit I’ve been doing for the last 20 years.
The world (as usual) seems in a pretty negative place atm - is music a healing process for you? Strength through creativity?
The world is however you choose to see it. People see oppression, I see progression. I am grateful every fucking day that 1)I am alive 2) I have a roof over my head, I know where my next meal is coming from, I am safe, and I have people who truly care about my welfare. I don't particularly care about the things I don't have, I care about what I do.
I know certain people have tried to lump you in with the Nazi skinhead crap. Why is that? Did you get much heat from your name? People misunderstanding etc?
Ugh. This has been the bane of our existence from day one. We’ve been deleted from Instagram 3 separate times, banned from Bandcamp with no explanation just as many. I knew what I was doing when I named this band, when I created the artwork, when I wrote the lyrics. This is punk. We are poking the hornet's nest. People see the word “conservative” and get triggered. blah blah blah… i could go on forever.
The easiest way for me to explain this band to someone is like this: the music we make, the art we create, the things we say are for anyone but we are NOT for everyone.
Do you run the streets of Chicago or is it Fear City? How do you get along with those guys?
Fear City are legendary in my eyes. They’ve been keeping the subculture alive in this city for the better part of 20 years. I have nothing but great things to say about those boys. They’ve been supportive and welcoming to us from day one. And to share the stage with them in our city last month was very special to me.
You mentioned in an interview you felt the skinhead scene had stagnated? Do you feel there's quite a lot of fresh new bands coming out in the last few years? Particularly in the US.
Idgaf whatever the old heads say…. This subculture desperately needs new blood. New ideas. New fire. So we welcome the fresh cuts. Because for every 20 new faces that show up maybe two of them will stick around. We don’t know who those two are so we treat everyone like they are those two people. The same way we were treated coming up. you’re welcomed here but expect nothing and give everything.
The EPs have all been top notch and understand the vinyl has been flying off the shelf. How did the deal/relationship with Lionheart Records come about?
They messaged us two weeks after the SKINHEAD EP dropped asking if there was a physical release for it. We said no and they said we want to. So we said let’s do it. They have been absolutely crucial to our success and exposure. We work so well together and it’s been a lotta fun. They enable us to do pretty much whatever we want. We are proud to be a part of Lionheart Records and their inevitable legacy.
How's the album looking/sounding? Seems that everyone wants a slice of this! What can we expect?
The full length is fully recorded. 11 brand new songs. There is one thing we’ll never be and that’s soft. There are riffs, there is intention, and there is aggression. Period.
How does the process differ from recording music to performing live? What do you prefer?
Playing live. This is a live band. fuck the studio. Come see us live, steal the mic, and act dumb.
Do you have any plans to conquer Europe?
We’re in the UK and Europe this October.
If you could play with any band from any time period - who would it be and why?
The Chisel. Enough said.
Aside from the obvious influences, what other bands/genres go into the CMI blend?
The Stone Roses, Rose Tattoo, Bon Scott era AC/DC, The Devils Blood, The Smiths, Fucked Up, The Hives, KISS and Yellow Stitches.
Chicago pizza or New York pizza?
Thin crust. New York pizza .
How do you feel about the old motto 'as long as ____ have good tunes I can listen to it?' Have you ever been caught listening to Genesis?
Look, I hate progressive rock. I also hate Peter Gabriel.
But I fucking love Phil Collins and I fucking love Genesis. Forever a fan of any band whose drummer is the lead singer. Invisible Touch? Certified banger. I Can’t Dance? banger. Land of confusion? Basically a hardcore song. Misunderstanding was a post-rock song before that was even a thing. I believe I’ve said enough.
What is the best item of clothing you own?
Every time CMI plays live you will see me in a different pair of white adidas sambas. So, whatever pair of shoes I’m wearing that night is the best item of clothing I own. Yes, shoes are clothing.
Are white Adidas the best trainers?
There are no other trainers (shoes).
Which current bands should we all be listening to?
High Vis, Chubby and The Gang, Primal Code, Haywire, Loosey, Last Wishes, The Chisel, Repeat Offender, Brux, Fleau, King Nine, Section H8, Klaxon and End It.
What does the future hold for CMI?
Everything or nothing.
Any final words?
Listen to Josiah Daniel.