The Savage Preservationists – a (Not So) Brief Oral History of Kill the Locals!

Jimmi Buskirk and John E. Knep have been terrorizing poseurs in Eastern PA since the early aughts.  More recently, they’ve done a good old fashioned heel-turn and started using their powers for the good of the populace by bringing together a disparate collection of otherwise forgotten small town punk acts from throughout their tenure in the local scene. Think of it like that time Magneto switched sides and lead the X-Men for awhile, and Juggernaut was on the team too. This is them at their most verbose and digressive – excited for any opportunity to preserve local music history. I hope it captures a little bit of what it’s like to be in the room with these two. – A.T. 

Start us off – who you are, where you’re from, what you do.

Jimmi: My name is Jimmi Buskirk. I currently live in a small town, Coaldale, in the mountains of PA. I’m from an even smaller town called Pen Argyl. I play in The Mega Yeah! with John, and we also run the Kill The Locals distro together.

John: I am John Knepper and I also live in Coaldale. I play bass and I sing backups in The Mega Yeah! I also help Jimmi with Kill The Locals. I am the official memory bank of Kill The Locals. I help hunt down the bands and talk to them about joining the distro.

How did you get into punk rock?

JB: When I was eyears old my mother would rent movies to watch with my brother, Jason, and I. One night, she rented the movie Carpool, and halfway through the movie, they use  I Wanna be Sedated by The Ramones. I was immediately hooked. Luckily for me, two of my uncles, Donny and Mike Buskirk, spent majority of their teenage years at CBGB’s watching bands like The Ramones, The Dead Boys, and Blondie. I was able to listen to their stories and soak it in. Beyond that, my brother also got into punk rock at an early age. A lot of times, I would go in his room and steal his CDs to listen to the music he was into. He was really big into bands like Lifetime and The Ataris in the 90’s, and they were two bands that really molded how I play and write music, along with The Ramones and The Clash. Basically, from that point on punk rock was everything to me. I admired the DIY attitude and the stubborn strength to do whatever you wanted, despite what anyone thought of it.

JK: I hated most music on the radio and saw some t-shirts and records. I checked out the bands. The rest is history.

What were some of your early experiences with the Lehigh Valley punk scene?

JB: For me, growing up in Pen Argyl was kind of depressing. There was no music scene. There was only one other kid at the time that into music like I was. That was Brett Dell’alba, better known as Vermin. We would try to watch bands play where and when we could at VFW halls and things like that. This was 5th grade. By the end of middle school, there had been a pretty big movement in the local music area – with places like the Underworld, Pirates Cove, and The Globe, we had a couple really cool places to see bands we loved at the time. From that point on, it kept getting bigger in my little bubble. We would venture out to Jersey to go to Kate’s Cafe. By my freshman year of high school, almost everyone was in a band or played an instrument. That’s when Brett and I formed our first band, called Accidents. It was a good time for local music in the Valley and surrounding areas. In 2003, I met John E. Knep. He lived in the Coal Region of PA. There was also a huge music scene in his area that I got to take in. We would go to places like The Mohn Building in Tamaqua and watch Drivinby, I-Eighty, and The Preps. Seeing those bands is what truly made me fall in love with the local music scene. The issue back then was there weren’t a whole lot of places to play if you weren’t a national act. Croc Rock wasn’t opening the doors for your band unless you were 21 years old, and most people relied on basement shows that the cops typically broke up. So, I guess my early experiences in the punk scene were a mixed bag.

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Jimmi (left) & John (right) circa 2004

JK: I pretty much hopped in and tried to destroy it. I tried to do my best to solidify my place in the Lehigh Valley punk scene. In the early days, we were the guys that threw the parties and booked shows for the punk rock bands that we all knew like Ascaridez, The Overlooked, Tube Disasters, and many others. It was pretty much an excuse to party and have fun.

You’ve been playing and promoting shows for over half your lives at this point. The local music community is near and dear to both your hearts – otherwise you wouldn’t do a lot of the things you do. For you, what were the halcyon days of LV punk? The days you remember most fondly?

JB: The halcyon days were definitely the period of 2005-2010 for me. Things were more community-based. The bands were all working together to accomplish things. We all found really cool places to put on shows, like the Quadrant in Easton. People in towns became more welcoming of basement and backyard shows. Places like the Secret Art Space, The Audio Garage and The Wildflower opened up their doors after places like Underworld, Pirates Cove, and The Globe closed. We became great friends with the people we were playing shows with. People like Fat Lou and IHG from The Preps would do so much for the local area by putting on shows and putting out albums for bands to help promote. People like Bill and Bob Best, of Second Best, booked more shows than anyone I can remember at that time, for their band and so many other local acts. I met people like Jason Pulieo from Chem D, who I truly admire and respect. He not only put on shows for people, but put his money into opening a recording studio for bands to have an affordable place to record their music, Town Center Studio in Easton. It was an awesome time to be involved, because so many bands worked together and, honestly, just had a lot of fun.

JK: I didn’t have glory days. Every time we went out in the van and went to play a show it was great. I wouldn’t still do it if it wasn’t. Every time we get together, we go out and act like hooligans and have a blast. We’ve been doing it for 10-plus years, and every moment was part of our glory days up to now. My glory days never stopped. It’s continuously fun.

How have things changed in the time you’ve been involved?

JB: Sadly, a lot of things changed for the worse. The places that made people feel “accepted” or legitimized their band to play, like Croc Rock, were ripping bands off. It went a step further when half of the places in the Valley or surrounding areas all the way out to Philadelphia adapted to the Pay to Play scheme of booking. It was a way to put the load of promotion onto local bands that essentially had their hands tied while playing a show. It became their responsibility to buy tickets from a venue and sell them for the venue. If they didn’t sell them all, then they owed money to the venue. All of this, for 15-20 minutes of stage time before a national act would play. They would also do this for about one dollar per ticket sold back to them. That offended me deeply, not only because it limited where I would play, but I saw so many people that I love and respect go forth with it because they figured they had to “play the game” to get their band heard. It also changed the philosophy of a lot of the smaller venues that were considered “free” spaces for music. They may have avoided the Pay to Play nonsense, but it seemed like a lot of people who ran smaller venues formed these elitist attitudes. They would want you to feel privileged to play at their venue, given the alternatives were a rip off. The scene kind of broke up into little separate cliques.

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Playing with Toxic Sunshine, circa 2005

JK:  In the beginning, there were a lot more people interested in seeing shows, and a lot more people playing in bands. Now that a lot of the people we knew are done playing, it’s turning into a hunt to find new places to play and a good punk rock scene. Other than that, not much has really changed. We still play punk rock and people still seem to enjoy it.

You watched the scene grow and decline. What’s it been like?

JB: It’s honestly been a lot of fun to watch the ups and downs in the local music scene. While the Valley music scene has gone through great highs and minimal lows, other areas have completely fallen off the map. From 2010 on, the music scene in places like the Coal Region was gone. Every venue had shut down. The Lehigh Valley scene started really fighting back to stay afloat. Places like Croc Rock are hardly even still relevant, because bands started getting smarter and started avoiding the rip-off schemes. Places like the Sherman Theater went from being a place for local bands to thrive again, to becoming another place that requires bands to purchase or sell tickets. They did, however, open up the Living Room next door, which seems to balance it out. So, it seems like venues and bands alike are finding different ways to coexist. With the additions of bars in the area opening up the doors for bands, like Mother’s in Easton and The Gin Mill in Northampton, I think things are going to progressively get better over the next couple of years. With the aid of online communities now, it’s easier than ever to share your music, a friend’s band, or some obscure band the your parents loved back in 80’s that nobody else ever heard of. As long as people continue to work together and avoid the whole “Battle of the Bands” mentality, I think the local music scene will continue to grow and keep getting better.

JK:  Watching it grow has been crazy to me. Back in the day, we’d play shows, and more and more people were coming up to talk to us. More and more, bands wanted to book shows with us. We were a local band, and 50 to 60 kids were coming out to see us in the super small coffee shops. Now, the decline keeps getting worse. Less and less people care about shows. You’re lucky if you get 30 people at a local show, and that’s including bands. It seems like people just don’t care as much about seeing bands anymore. They like the instant gratification of looking a band up on YouTube or the internet, but leaving their house to go to a show must seem terrifying.

When and how did the idea to do a distro – what would become Kill the Locals! – come about?

JB: The distro started really small and actually grew into something way different than what I had originally thought up. The idea struck me in 2011 when I was throwing a birthday party for a friend of mine. Everyone was taking turns tossing CDs in my stereo. I eventually threw in the Boss LP from Tube Disasters and got hit with question after question. People who didn’t know who they were wanted to know, and people who did know who they were asked where the hell they could get the album. I assumed it was online somewhere for people to find and listen to. I was always a collector of local music, so I had a pretty big library of bands that I played with. I thought about it for awhile, but it was cemented after the loss of a close friend, Tyler Merritt, who was in the band Carbomb Creepshow. I wanted to make sure the music of Carbomb Creepshow was always available for people to hear because, aside from them being some of my best friends, their music was brilliant, imaginative, and unique.

I decided I wanted to put out compilation albums. I called John and ran the idea past him, and we started looking through the fliers he had collected over the years to make sure we didn’t forget about anyone. We made a huge list of the bands we loved playing with and became friends with. After we had our list, we started putting the pieces together. We put out the first compilation in 2013 and figured that we’d just keep putting new compilations together to show people some of the best bands that played in the area.

To my surprise, it still didn’t quench the thirst of a lot of people in the area. I started getting emails and asked in person about where people could find certain bands from the comps elsewhere and hear more music from them. Again, I assumed they were on the internet somewhere to be streamed or downloaded. I started doing searches online, spending hours trying to find different bands. I found absolutely nothing on most of them, and the ones I was able to dig up took me more time than I expected. The more I got asked about how to find more music from the bands, the more it hit me that something had to be done about it. I knew that not everyone was lucky enough to have been at a show or gotten a CD somewhere. I started going through my collection and uploading everything to my computer. That’s when I started reaching out to the bands to see if they’d be okay with me putting their music online for everyone to hear. To my surprise, almost every single person I talked to was blown away that I cared that much about it; that I’d take the time to do it at all.

I created the Bandcamp page and added the very first release, Dr. Seuss and the Acid Factory from Carbomb Creepshow. I also added Chem D, because I’ve always thought Jason Pulieo was the best writer in the area and have always loved his music. I just started adding music from my friends, and the bands that made the Valley music scene what it was. Then we got email after email of bands that thought it was awesome, and wanted to know how to get their stuff on it. It just grew and grew, from 17 original Kill The Locals re-releases, to 140 full length albums and EP’s from some of the best people I’ve ever known. We even branched off into non-official releases from bands by starting the Jeff Kosa Bootleg Series. Jeff was in Carbomb Creepshow, and would put live shows from bands on cassette tape and give them away at shows. His devotion towards the music scene — and just music in general over the years — is something I’ve always found to be inspiring, and having the Jeff Kosa Bootleg Series keeping that tradition of his alive makes me feel really great about the distro. Not only do you get to re-listen to material bands you might remember put out years ago, but you also get to hear things that you may have never heard before, like a live show or random demo they did.

JK:  About three years ago, we collaborated on putting out a few records from some of the bands we know. We went from there and it just exploded, gaining attention from a lot more people than we expected, for sure. Originally, it was going to be comps, but people wanted to hear more. So, we figured out pretty quickly that we’d have to do a lot more than comps.

KtL!’s mission is one of preservation. It’s an archive of bands and releases from this area over the past 10-15 years that would otherwise likely disappear completely into obscurity. Why do you feel that’s important?

JB: Most of the bands on the distro were before the days of Facebook, SoundCloud, and Bandcamp. Most of the bands were before things like iTunes and Spotify were there to help get your music out there. When we were growing up and playing shows in 2003 to 2006, we relied on giving our demos to other bands we knew so, as we all played shows, we could help promote each other by handing out music for one another. I felt that it was really important to create an archive for all the bands, because I thought the music deserved to be heard. Good music will always find a way to get heard. I didn’t want these bands to simply be a memory. I didn’t want these albums to sit on a shelf inside my house. I wanted them to get heard and have the chance for new people to find them. I always tried to avoid looking at bands as “local” bands, because over the years, it kind of started carrying this misguided idea that local bands weren’t as good as non-local bands. It seemed as though people felt like local shows were like a high school talent show. To me, it was never about local bands making it or not making it that defined their success in the local community. Bands like Drivinby and Chem D are perfect examples of bands that I would not allow to fall into obscurity. They were bands that meant the world to me growing up, and it made me sad that I would talk to people who had never heard their music. I wanted to make sure there was a place people could go to find music, from the Valley and surrounding areas.

JK: Anybody that takes the time to get together and write and record music should be heard and not forgotten. Even if it’s a band you didn’t really care for, you should never erase that from history. There are always going to be other ears that will enjoy it. Thanks to Kill The Locals, now people can enjoy it. Anything that people do to be artistic, whether it’s music of any genre, painting, or sketching — anything — it’s a reflection of who they are, and they’re putting something they feel into a translatable language, like music or art. I like to think that anyone who wants to write a song does it because they want to put something new into the world. They want someone to feel how they’re feeling. I think anybody who takes the time to do that needs to be acknowledged and respected. Most people can hardly talk to each other, let alone write a song or draw a picture that makes someone stop and feel connected.

What are some of the bands you have re-released music from so far?

JB: So far, we have put together a really great collection of amazing bands. I think so, at least. We started with Carbomb Creepshow, Tube Disasters, Chem D, The Preps, and Toxic Sunshine. We added some rare live songs from my friend George Harden. Every list we made of new material to add got longer and longer. In 2014, Fat Lou reached out to us about contributing releases that he put out on his record label, Fool Records, from 2001 to 2009. He had to call it quits when he didn’t have the free time to run the label anymore. Although Fool Records was no more, he still wanted to make sure those bands could be heard somewhere for those who didn’t get their CDs. So, a lot of the second batch was Fool Records re-releases from bands like Shock Value and Arsenal Mayhem. After that, John and I really started trying to track down the music that meant the most to us growing up like Drivinby, The Mother/Daughter Team, and others. We also started releasing new material from bands we were friends with, rather than just music from the old Valley punk rock days. Our first new and current release was an album from The Semi Originals we put together of all of the singles they had released up to that point. We added bands like Wolfie Burns, the first band we toured with. We also added a bunch of live bootlegs to the Jeff Kosa series, like Backyard Superheroes from Jersey and Heroes and Hooligans from Pottsville. Every couple of months, we would compile a new list of additions to add.

JK: Drivinby is number one in my book. Chem D is another one. Those two are bands that I look up to. We also have Carbomb Creepshow, Shock Value, our old band Toxic Sunshine, and our new band The Mega Yeah! on the distro. There’s a ton of stuff on the distro right now, actually. We collected most of the bands from 2000-2010 in the Lehigh Valley punk scene.

What are some bands/albums you’re still hoping to track down?

JB: There’s a ton I’d still like to get on Kill The Locals. Things always look unfinished to me. There are bands that we met while playing in other states that I am hoping to bring in. There are bands from the early 90’s that were before my time that I’d love to get on the distro. I always loved the Riot-Folk collective and Plan-it X as a kid. I remember sending away to Chris Clavin and just saying, “Send me anything, here’s some money.” He’d send me back patches, albums, buttons, and I always enjoyed what came out of a box shipped from him. I gain inspiration from a lot of what he did with Plan-it X. He always continued releasing music from his friends and bands that he liked. If it wasn’t for him, I would have never known who Against Me! was in 2001. I would have never heard This Bike Is A Pipe Bomb or Carrie Nations. I want to continue to add music from the people I love, so hopefully one day I can say that someone found their favorite band because I dusted off the cobwebs, gave it a spit shine, and gave it a home on the distro for people to stumble upon. I honestly don’t think I’ll ever run out of things to add, because in every year that goes by, my friends are constantly putting out great music.

JK: There is one in particular called Second Best. Bill Best can play some pretty mean bass lines, and that is what eventually got me to switch from playing guitar to playing bass back when I’d seen him play for the first time back in 2003. Back then, he was in The Preps. The music he and his brother, Bob Best, made after that in Second Best was fucking awesome. Their last show was one of the best local shows I’ve been to. We carpooled a bunch of cretins out to it, and it was just fucking perfect.

What are some of the difficulties you might run into, trying to get in touch with long-defunct local bands?

JB:  Everything has been pretty relaxed thus far. It’s all been smooth sailing. I have a superhuman power of remembering phone numbers. When I was young, I was stubborn. I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 21. When I was younger, I relied on calling people and memorizing their phone number. Since getting my cell phone, I’ve always kept the same numbers in it and have been able to contact people that way — the old-fashioned way, it seems. Also, with Facebook, it’s pretty simple to stay in contact with people. A lot of bands have emailed me, and then followed up by sending me their past releases to add. I’ve contacted a lot of people through Facebook to see if it was something they were interested in.

For a lot of the stuff that’s been added, I still have the physical CD from the band, so it was as easy as uploading it to my computer. As time went on, though, we did run into a couple of bands that were not as easy to get a hold of. Drivinby was one of the toughest. It was probably a six-month stretch of trial-and-error. John and I always loved Drivinby, so they were one of the first bands we wanted to reach out to. Matt had moved off and formed The Young Livers. Nick D. kept a low profile and avoided social media. Nick Osadchi was hard to find, too. We ended up getting a hold of him through Nick Deitrich’s cousin, Ethan. Even then, it was crazy to get it all together.

Nick D. stopped by my house one day to catch up with John and I and had the material, but didn’t have the song titles or original artwork for anything. We eventually got all the song titles and artwork correct when we finally got a hold of Nick O. Looking back, I can say it was fun going through all of that, and I’m happy, because they’re on the distro now and it all worked out. But at the time, there were moments where I didn’t think we’d actually be able to find them or get a hold of them.

JK: The biggest difficulty is people that are embarrassed or angry about their past bands. Talking about not erasing history, it sucks they feel that way about music they created and now want to keep hidden. Also, I would say contacting some of these people to get their permission to add them to Kill The Locals. There’s always that one guy in a band that wants nothing to do with it, while the rest want it to be on the distro. It’s a lot of back and forth. Everyone looks at stuff they did differently. I’m not someone who’s embarrassed by anything I’ve ever done. Everything I did in the past is what turned me into the person I am today. So, it really blows when people are too nervous about people hearing something they wrote a long time ago.

What’s the reaction been so far? From bands whose music you’re collecting, and from people when they see you uploaded an album they haven’t heard in ten years?

JB: The reaction so far has been fucking amazing! I can’t even believe sometimes how great it all turned out. Originally, it was going to be a small project, hoping to get some spotlight on some bands we loved. Because of people wanting to hear more and more, it’s consistently grown. Almost all of the feedback has been people excited to have their music available again.

Talking with the bands has been a lot of fun, too. A lot of the people we’ve talked to have been genuinely honored that we remembered their music, still had their music, and wanted to keep it alive. The only negative responses we’ve gotten from some bands or people has stemmed from the fact that it was our mission to keep it free. We wanted it to be a public service type project. We didn’t want to deal with selling things or anything like that. We figured we had better chances of getting people to hear the music if they knew they weren’t getting roped into buying some old album from a band that they had either never heard of or don’t remember. Some of the people we’ve reached out to don’t want to give their stuff away, which I totally understand and respect. A few bands have asked us if we’d sell their music and even offered to split purchases with us for the promotion, but that’s just not something we have interest in.

Almost all of the praise we’ve received has been from people who spent time, like I did, trying to hunt bands down back in the day that they wanted to listen to and found nothing. This time around, the searches became a lot easier, and a lot more people could find the bands they wanted.

Also, after they found the band, they remembered from being younger they were able to then get lost in music from similar bands. My favorite was an email from a kid saying how much he loved the band Angleworm when he was younger, and never knew that Ryan McLoughlin had formed a new band called Wolfie Burns. He then found out Ryan had a solo release on the distro. Then, after falling in love with all of that, he also found out that members of Wolfie Burns were also in the bands Trophy Lungs and Bottlecaps. I felt great knowing that he was not only able to find one of his favorite bands growing up, but that it brought him into tons of new music that he loved as much, if not more. It’s responses like that that have made every second worth it!

JK: The main reaction we get is, “Holy Shit! I forgot about that band!” We also get a ton of “Thank Yous”  from band members who didn’t even have copies of their own albums.

What’s on the horizon for Kill the Locals?

JB: The future is full of promise. Aside from getting into releasing more newer releases from bands, we’re going to be unveiling a new website soon that not only features the albums, but also features information on the bands, like who they are, what they’ve done in other musical projects, and what they’re up to now. We’re going to start putting together and promoting Kill The Locals shows in the area. We’re hoping to kick things off this December with the first ever Kill The Locals Fest, featuring bands like The Preps, For Ages, and From Philly, which feature members from Drivinby. We just want to keep promoting bands we’ve grown up with and bands we’re just meeting now.

We’re hoping to start a selection on the website for ordering physical copies of CDs. It’s just a matter of figuring out exactly how we can do it where it remains free, like having people send us a self-addressed, stamped envelope to make it easy to send back out. That’s something that we will spend more time on plotting out next year. We’ve got plenty of ideas, and plenty of great minds involved to make it all work out.

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With Nick D. of Drivinby/From Phily, circa 2015

JK:  I would say our goal is to put out any music from any local band that wants their music to be heard. I want every band to be remembered. I want every band to be heard. Just because something is ten years old or older, doesn’t mean it’s not important anymore.

You also organize the Tyler Merritt Memorial Show every year. Mind talking about that for a bit?

JB: The Merritt Memorial is something that so many people look forward to every year. Tyler Merritt passed away back in 2011, and it was a super tragic moment for everyone in a long list of tragic moments for myself and close friends. Over the years, we’ve lost so many great people, like Alyssa Hendricks, Connor Howell, Shawn Bliler, Lori Folweiler, Billy Wilson, Max Eschbach, and sadly, that list goes on and on. When Tyler passed away, I wanted to put a show together to bring everyone together to celebrate his life. I organized the first show in 2011 with Daniel P. Casanova. We were able to tell stories and have a great time together during a really terrible couple of weeks for all of us. Virginia Douglas, Tyler’s grandmother, made the show even more magical by her lovely and joyous presence. She was able to tell stories of her own of Tyler and make everyone laugh. She brought food for everyone, and it just made the moment even more special for everyone who was there. The first one was held at Copier’s Cafe in Nazareth. Our plan was to do it again there the following year, but sadly, they closed down. Scott Cavallo came to the rescue — and has done so each year since — by setting the date and hosting it with us at The Burners in Bethlehem. It’s a show that’s important to me because, much like Kill The Locals, people and music need to be remembered and cherished. We organize the Merritt Memorial every year to get everyone together for a free show, and to hang out with people they might only see once a year. Virginia brings in home cooked food for everyone, and we all just get to enjoy amazing moments together. A lot of times, the bad in life is what drives people apart and leaves people with a hole where something great used to be. We wanted to get everyone together, so we could all get through the bad times with the aid of best friends, family, and live music that Tyler would have loved. Every year has been so much fun.

This year is looking to be another amazing night. We’re having it on October 28. AC from Grass threw out the idea of making it a Halloween themed show. We’ve also got some awesome bands on the bill, like The Semi Originals, Grass, Fm Waves, and even some acoustic stuff. I am really excited for it, as always.

JK: When you lose someone super close to you who loved your band and looked up to you, you never forget that. So, we celebrate him as a person every year. The friends and family that knew and loved him all come together, and we all hang out and have an awesome night together.

Besides Kill the Locals, what else is coming up? What’s good with the future?

JB: For the longest time, I was kind of burned out. I didn’t have much interest in playing out or releasing anything. Kill The Locals was kind of what got me excited about music again. I think now, more than ever, we’re all focused on just putting out good music and being a part of a special community of writers, musicians, and artists. We opened up shop in my attic as our new studio. We’ve gathered some gear to record our own music. We’ve recently recorded the debut EP for The Mega Yeah! We’re looking to put the final touches on it and have it released on Halloween. I recorded a lot of new acoustic music to put out myself, as well as going back and working on some old Toxic Sunshine unfinished business. We’ll be putting a lot of music out over the next couple of months.

We’ll be adding a lot of new stuff to the distro, too. As long as we’re having fun, we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing. There’s a lot of people that still need to be properly faith-healed onstage at a Mega Yeah! show. There’s plenty left in the tank.

One of my favorite things to do at a show is make people laugh. It’s all about having fun in the moment and hoping the joy is being passed around the room to everyone. John and I make each other laugh every time we’re together. We make each other laugh at every show we play. We always wanted to make sure everyone felt involved and had fun.

Another important thing has always been our stubborn attitudes and not bending over for anyone. Some people take life way too seriously. Some people take music way too seriously. For me, you only have one chance at being on this planet and making it something great. I have one chance at accomplishing the things I want done. I have one chance at having as much fun as humanly possible. For me, the future is all about doing what’s fun.I will not let negative people ruin those moments for me or the people I’m with. I have one chance to do what’s in my heart. I don’t want to be an old man getting ready to leave this world behind, saying I wish I would’ve done something. I want to be the old man who bids adieu to the world knowing what I did mattered to me and the people I shared this planet with.

JK:  With Kill The Locals, it goes back to previous answers. We just want to keep pumping out local bands material and making sure no band goes unheard. As far as booking gigs, we want to play our couple of local shows, our couple national shows with our favorite bands, and our annual Merritt Memorial. Anything beyond that is a bonus. As far as The Mega Yeah!, I want to actually succeed in putting out EP’s and albums continuously. We have a new EP recorded that’s really close to being done and released.

I just want to keep putting out music. Music of my own with the band, and music from my friends on the distro.

Jimmi and Johnny – like the Rancid song that bears their name – are true punx. Go appreciate their hard work at Kill the Locals! and keep your eye out for an impending release from the masters of mayhem themselves in The Mega Yeah!

*This interview was – believe it or not – slightly edited and condensed. 

 

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