Damn, it's about time I get off my lazy ass and start posting some more. Interviews with Rise Against and Title Fight are coming up soon. But let's start with Agnostic Front's Mike Gallo who talks about how the dinosaurs of NYHC keep him sane and off the streets.
Victim In Pain is 25 years old. I bet you are influenced by that record. What does Victim In Pain as a record mean to you?
'Well to me VIP is the most important record in nyhc history. It set the standard. You can never capture the raw energy like that again. If Roger and Vinny never got together to do this record, i would be miserable working some bullshit job i hate for the rest of my life. So this record made nyhc what it is as well as giving me a life!'
My Life My Way is the new album title. Is it about living live Agnostic Front-style, and if so how does that lifestyle differ from the life your parents wanted you to live?
'The title fits Agnostic Front and everything we stand for. They always done things on there own terms.
Actualy my parents were musicians so they supported me and still do. Im greatfull to come from such a good family. They always had my back in what i pursued in life as long as it was realistic.'
You were also in On The Rise and released a record through Bridge 9. Now you’re a member of Agnostic Front a band most well known because of Roger Miret and Vinny Stigma. Do you feel you can put as much into this band as you did in On The Rise or are you more bordered know because of AF’s legacy?
'I actually put more into Agnostic Front than i ever did in OTR. That band was my baby. I started it and wrote most of the music. I took that band as far as we could before everyone just stoped getting along. Then it just wasnt fun anymore. So we ended it. Being in AF gives me more to strive for. This band makes me work harder. Its everything i worked so hard for in my life to be. So i never get bored. I helped write the last few records as well as my other band Stigma. in case you didnt know me and Vinnie do that when were not on tour with AF. Roger and Vinnie will always be the face of Agnostic Front. This band is their baby. I just help them keep the legacy alive.'
As one of the younger guys in the band do you keep up with what’s happening in today’s scene and do you tell the old timers in AF all about it?
'I absolutely keep up with whats going on in the scene today. Theres a lot of good new bands i like these days. Wisdom In Chains is my favorite. Also Chosen Ones and check out this band Live Fast Die Fast. I just produced ther new full length cd that will be out in april. Look out for those guys. I always play new music for the guys, but there still involved with the scene too. So just because there older dose not mean they dont know whats up. They started this shit...'
Recently a lot of older bands have started to play again like Supertouch, Sheer Terror etc. How do you feel about that? Do you see yourself only doing shows based on the old records and not writing new songs anymore?
'I see nothing wrong with old bands coming around a playing shows. It brings everyone together again. I think its great. Everyone should take advantage of having that oportunity to keep playing music.
I my self personaly will never stop writting music. Its all i know. But if i were given a chance later on in life to come back a play a few shows with i band i been in before. I would definitly do it as long as i was having a good time. I do understand where your coming from about bands touring on old material, but if people are gonna come out to see them play, why not.How ever I do have much more respect for bands that are still relavent and continue to make records today.'
AF is still seen as a New York Hardcore Band, but of that scene it’s mostly the old bands that are still around like Madball, SOIA and H20. Isn’t there a new generation of bands? Where did the old bands succeed and do the newer bands come short?
'There is definetly a new generation of ny bands still carring on the hardcore spirit. Bands like Backtrack, This Is Hell. I mentioned a few more earlier as well. I dont feel they fall short of anything. There out there working hard as the older bands still are. It all depends on how long they continue to keep it up as a band. Longevity means everything.'
Freddy Madball assisted you guys in the studio. Where there no fights between both brothers?
'No fights at all. Roger and freddy get along great. All we did was laugh and eat! We had a great time in the studio creating this record.'
Just a couple of months ago Roger also released a new record with the Disasters. Do you think Roger doing both bands makes Agnostic Front more hardcore and not as punk as during the Somethings Gonna Give period?
'At the time they were just a 4 piece band when they came back to unite in the late 90's. Vinny plays more of a punk style hardcore. Later on we added a second guitarist so We can play our full catalog which calls for two guitars. This way we can give our fans from every era of the band what they wanna hear. Roger doing the Disasters gives him the focus to just play more punk stuff.'
This is already the third record on Nuclear Blast a label more known for their metal releases. What makes AF stick with the label? Or are you guys big metalheads?
'We have good relations with NB. The owner marcus is an old fan. He believes in us. Thats the reason why we are still with them. We are all fans of metal. Agnostic front being a hardcore band is just as much as part of the scene as any other metal band. We have thrash roots in our music since the early 80's.'
Ever since AF released it’s first 7”the music scene has changed, can you guys keep up with declining recordsales, are you relaying more on shows and merch for your income?
'Things are definitly not the same with everyone stealling music. So we do have to rely on making money on the road. Everyone thought Lars Ulrich was an asshole for fighting against napster. No he was fighting against what is going on today. He knew it was gonna destroy the music industry. I have to give him credit for that. But we will continue. We just have to work harder..'
How does a typical day of you look like when you’re not on tour or recording and how many days like that do you have in a year?
'Ahahah I have to laugh to cause this is the first really long break we had in a long time. So we been home since december after we finished recording the record in Florida. So I'm out of work and starting to go nuts! I try to keep busy by going to the gym as much as possible. Writting music, I dj at a small bar in the lower east side of manhattan called 3 of cups. So I try to keep my self busy with out causing to much mischief on my time off. I slowed down in past few years. Trying to grow up! Haha its slowly working..'
Is AF still a popular band in the US or is Europe your steady fanbase?
'We still have a good cult folowing that still allows us to tour the States. Europe is definitely where our stronger fan base is from. I think Europeans have a stronger passion for music than people do in the States. But South America takes the cake...'