Interview with Josh James of Evergreen Terrace / Casey Jones.February 25, 2007
This is the first in a (hopefully) ongoing series of interviews we are doing. Hope you enjoy this first one.
1. First things first. Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Josh James and I play in a couple of shitty bands.
2. And maybe a little background information of the band’s you’re in.
I play guitar for a melodic hardcore band called Evergreen Terrace and I sing in a Straight Edge hardcore/punk band called Casey Jones. ET has been around for a little over 7 years, released 3 full lengths, and somehow has gotten lucky enough to tour a majority of the world. CxJ has been around for 4 years, has 2 full lengths records out, barely ever tours, and loves mexican food.
3. You’ve been involved to various degrees in Jacksonville punk/hardcore scene. Whats your take on it’s current state?
I’ve been going to punk/hardcore shows for the last 13 years and it seems like it’s now bigger and more accepted. I remember being in Junior High School and there were maybe only 15-20 (out of 500) other kids at my school that I could identify with because they wore punk shirts or carried skateboards. I guess it seemed more underground then. It was definitely harder to find a good record in a local store and there weren’t shows every night of the week like there are now. Ha! As far as its current state, well honestly I think that with hardcore Jacksonville is pretty spoiled. Most weeks you can easily go to 3 or more hardcore shows, I just hope that kids that go out to shows don’t take it for granted and realize how lucky they are to be in a city that has such a large scene.
4. I remember seeing Evergreen Terrace (ET) play at UNF with Indecison and
Walls of Jericho. Shortly after, I got a CDR demo of ET. Obviously, alot of
things have changed since then for the band as well as the Jacksonville HxC
community. Shows of that nature of UNF are unheard of, as well as CDR demo
of ET. What are these major changes to you, and how do you feel about them?
Woah!!! That show was awesome!!! I still have a poster of that show! I remember we would try to put shows on anywhere that would let us; churches, bars, community halls, mechanic shops! Ha! This show was no exception, I still can’t believe UNF was down to let us do that. I think a big reason why you don’t really see shows happen like that anymore is because there is more of a demand for punk and hardcore now then there was back then. Average turn out for shows like that were probably around 75 and now they are more likely to be around 200 plus (although I do think that there were 175 at the UNF show, which was one of the bigger shows for that era). In those days the only real club (and my favorite club ever!) was the Milk Bar, and they did more of the popular punk bands like Lagwagon, NOFX, Avail, etc., the bands that had a bigger following. They didn’t really waste time dealing with local shit heads that had no clue about what they were doing, like ourselves. Or deal with shows that most likely didn’t have a chance of bringing in some profit. Now there are tons of clubs in Jacksonville that will book punk and hardcore shows due to how popular it is and how much money they can make. You can still find the smaller DIY shows in Jacksonville but it seems like you really have to look for them.
5. You just signed to Metal Blade with Evergreen Terrace. How do you feel about this? The relationship between ET and Eulogy has seemed very mutal in that you helped each other become bigger entities in the hardcore scene. What was the band’s goal with signing to Metal Blade?
When ET signed with Eulogy Rec. hardcore music was still very underground. Bands didn’t sell thousands and thousands of records, you didn’t turn on MTV and see 5 hardcore videos in a row, and there was no Hot Topic. It was just different then. As the years passed hardcore became more and more popular. I think Eulogy was a great start for us but it felt like it came to a point that we outgrew the label and that we needed to move on. So far Metal Blade Records has felt like the right move. We go into the studio next week to start recording our first record for them, I’m pretty stoked. I think that this was the perfect time for us to switch labels.
6. Your other band, Casey Jones, is a Straight Edge band. What does sXe mean to you personally and as a band? Does any friction concerning sXe surface in regard to Evergreen Terrace since they are not?
What does Straight Edge mean to me? It means that I don’t turn to a bottle, a pill, a smoke, a join, a needle, or a stranger to have fun or deal with problems. I’m Straight Edge because thats who I am; not the other way around. It is a personal choice that works for me. After I became Straight Edge I found bands like Earth Crisis, Strife, etc. It was awesome to find music that I really identified with and that’s why I was so excited when we started Casey Jones. It has been an outlet for all of us to voice our personal views, thoughts, and ideas. Straight Edge isn’t an issue between CxJ and ET . The dudes in ET always know that they have a designated driver when we go out and do shows together.
7. These bands have travelled abroad, ET in Austrailia and Casey Jones has an upcoming European tour. What differences have you noted in these scenes as compared to here in Jacksonville / the US?
With the exception of how the crowds move around and react at the shows most of the scenes throughout the world are pretty similar. Like everything else in the world there are positive and negative aspects of all scenes.
8. How do you personally fit into the hardcore scene in Jacksonville? For example – I know Hot Topic carries your shirts – do you shop there? Imperial does alot of hardcore shows – do you go there often? What record have you been listening to lately? Etc.
Hmm, Im not an avid shopper at Hot Topic, I have bought a few things from there but mostly because I somehow got pegged a “freak” (haha) by my relatives so they think a gift card from there is in order for any birthday or gift giving holiday. I get most of my music from Inertia Records in Riverside or at shows. When a band comes to town that I like or am curious to hear I try my hardest to go to the show. There is nothing better than seeing a good live band. Lately I’ve been getting into that band, Tragedy. I really like their lyrics and they are fucking pissed! As always, I am listening to a lot of Propagandhi, Operation Ivy, Good Riddance and Black Flag. The new Only Crime is pretty sweet as well, I’ve only listened to it once but that first listen was awesome. I met my girlfriend’s mom for the first time the other night and she suggested that I try to play some music that is a easier to listen to. She bought me Rod Stewart, Phil Collins greatest hits, and country band called Rascal Flatts? I haven’t checked that one out yet, ha. I’ll admit i’m excited to listen to the other two.
9. Anything you’d like to add? I’m really stoked on this interview!
Thanks a lot for the interview, I think you have a huge positive effect on the Jacksonville scene and you probably don’t get thanked enough for that, so thanks a lot.
Here are a couple web sites that I think everyone should check out:
www.newstandardnews.net – This is a site that has actual non bias (or as little bias as possible) news! Imagine that; a news source that doesn’t have hidden agendas, influenced by larger corporations, or ran by our government!
And check out a local website called www.wagepeace.net – This is a local organization thats goal is to raise awareness of political issues that effect us all. CHECK IT OUT!
Thanks again to Josh James for the interview.