(Interview by Gareth Postans aka Girth, introduction by Mano)
Last year American outfit Intimidation debuted with a killer demo for Mister Face Records. Released - and even re-released - on cassette, the demo will soon be available on vinyl through Try And Stop Me Records! Enough reason for a little Q&A with vocalist Tim and bassist Keith, right? Right! Thanks to Girth for making it happen, again!
First of all, introduce the band please!
Our members are from Western Massachusetts, New Jersey and Long Island.
Your demo from last year is absolutely banging. Any particular favourite moments or songs for you on this?
Tim: My personal favorite off the demo is Isolation.
Keith: Probably Credible Threat for me. I sing along to it myself all the time!
Well done on getting into American Oi!’s top records of 2020. How do you feel about the feedback and publicity you’ve received?
Tim: I’m grateful for all the positive feedback, it was a surprise considering we weren’t able to get out and play shows . We were lucky to pair up with Jesse from Mister Face Records early on, he played a big role in getting it in front of the right people.
Keith: Yeah didn’t expect people to receive it the way they did! Like Tim said Jesse definitely played a major role! But yeah, I think it’s cool that so many people are into it!
How has Covid affected your rehearsals and recordings? Impressive you released your demo during a pandemic.
Tim: All of the writing process was done over email, we sent ideas and recordings back and forth until we were happy with what we had. Will from Gate 4 Studios (West Springfield, MA) was very flexible with us, and we came in and recorded our parts over the course of a few weeks. Thankfully the whole process went smoothly.
Keith: I was definitely at a peak of my creativity when we did this demo and it’s definitely because we were in a pandemic and I had months of nothing else to do. I’m glad we were able to come together to make it happen.
I notice your EP contains a cover of Ultra Violence by The Oppressed. Are they a favourite of yours? Who else inspired you to release the EP?
Tim: They’re absolutely a favorite. For me, the lyrics and vocal style were inspired by the 90’s New Jersey Oi! I grew up with as a kid; bands like Squiggy, The Wretched Ones, Headwound, Niblick Henbane, etc.
Keith: Musically I think I was influenced by a lot of British and French bands old and new. Heavily influenced by the early No Future catalog and then more current bands like Condor from France. I was obsessed with them at the time.
How has the scene been in and around your area? Do you feel the internet has helped things or made things worse? I mean, online squabbles but good for sharing and finding out about new stuff.
Tim: I think the scene in New Jersey, and the Northeast in general was awesome before Covid. There were alot of great hardcore shows, and hardcore records coming out. There were even a few great Oi! Shows with newer bands like South Class Veterans and old favorites like The Broken Heroes.
Keith: For me, I’m heavy in the hardcore scene here, but in my eyes it’s more of a collective region of a scene as opposed to my specific area. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island and parts of New York is like collective thing to me. I see those people all the time at shows when shows were a thing. In terms of the internet, it’s a double edged sword. It gives people access to music and information more easily but then it spoils you and prevents a lot of people from attending shows I think.
How has the whole Trump vs Biden madness played out? Secret Trump fans seem to pop up everywhere. Any of your fans ‘come out’ the closet as a Trumpet?
Tim: I haven’t given Trump much thought now that he’s out of office. There could be some Intimidation fans that support Trump, but not any that I’m aware of.
Keith: I mean I know people who ride for both sides, and we probably have people into us who ride for both sides. Tim’s lyrics aren’t very political and neither am I, so it is what it is. As long as people aren’t spewing their bull in my face you can like who you like.
‘Credible Threat’ sounds like it could be in a fight scene in a film. You had any offers for it to appear in anything?
Tim: Do they still make movies?
Keith: I hope people fight when we play it. Maybe I’ll just beat Tim up mid song.
Who did the artwork on the EP. Really great technique. Will this image be on a t shirt or anything? I notice it’s on your badges. Great stuff
Tim: Keith is an awesome artist and did all the art for the demo. We did a tee and hoodie pre-order a few months ago, and will probably do some more stuff once we’re able to play shows.
Keith: Yeah, I drew it. Did some other designs and stuff too I’ll have to dig back up. I draw when I’m feeling creative but only then. I really gotta be in the mood for it.
Are there any particular bands you love or hate in and around the Oi! Scene?
Tim: As far as current stuff goes, I’ve been really into Violent Way (formerly the elite), Contempt, Force Majeure, Dusters, New York Hounds, and Ultra Sect. There are some bands I hate, but let’s keep it positive!
Keith: What Tim said! Really into Force Majeure right now!
Are you into football at all? Who are your team(s)? Which leagues do you follow or do you prefer those crazy American sports?
Tim: I love the New York Giants, but I dont think that’s what youre talking about.
Keith: I’m not at all, but I respect real football (American soccer) probably more than our American sports.
I presume you haven’t had a chance to do any (many) gigs. How do you feel about gigging in future? When do you think gigs will come back properly?
Tim: I’m looking forward to playing these songs for people. Hoping we have a chance to do it soon.
Keith: Definitely wanna play some gigs when we are able! This fall would be cool and could be pushing it, but definitely 2022.
What films and shows inspire you?
Tim: I’m a big mafia movie fan. Goodfellas, Godfather Pt. I and II, A Bronx Tale, etc. As far as TV goes, I just watch The Sopranos and The Wire over and over again.
Keith: Hard question for me because I just like comic book, action, and martial arts films for the most part, but I also love movies and documentaries about musicians and bands or involving hardcore and punk subcultures.
Who are your heroes?
Tim: My dad (RIP).
Keith: Jesse from Mister Face Records
Any last words of wisdom please chaps?
Tim: I’d just like to say thank you to Will at Gate 4 Studio for recording, mixing and mastering the demo, Jesse over at Mister Face Records for putting the demo out on cassette and helping us get the word out, Alex at Try and Stop Me records for the upcoming vinyl release of the demo in Europe, and everyone that has listened and supported the band.
Keith: Keep an eye and an ear out for some new music this year! Thanks to everyone who has supported us thus far in any way and thank you for the interview!