Poison Idea’s Jerry A. on His Forthcoming Autobiography, the Germs, New Projects + More

Photo: Sean Cox

This following interview was conducted by Michael Thorn and appears in issue #13 of his excellent Razorblades & Aspirin zine. Pick up a copy of the issue here.


Favorite bands are a weird thing to think about - my feelings around a lot of bands are situational. For example, there are some bands that I only enjoy in a live setting, others I never want to be in the same room with, despite obsessing over their records.

Then there are the bands which resonate with you to your core—for me Poison Idea is one of those bands.

From the unrelenting velocity and unbridled rage of Pick Your King, to the bombastic and powerful riffing of Feel the Darkness they define almost all aspects of what hardcore is and could be. Wedged alongside raging guitars and pummeling beats are the lyrics of founder and vocalist Jerry Lang. Words which depict a reality of desperation, salvation, longing for escape, self-abuse and sself-abotage painted against a canvas of searing riffs and thunderous rhythms—imagine Motörhead meets Chuck Berry in a bar fight headed up by a certain “ blast, chaotic master” named Darby Crash.

What follows is my conversation with Jerry. 

You know, I lived in San Francisco for a while. It got to the point where it was like, you're always inundated with the “new-new,” and you get to the point where nothing impresses you anymore. I live in Richmond, Virginia now and people are a bit more amped on things.

My guess is that it was like that in Portland, especially early on. You weren't having big bands come through every weekend, it was almost more special. 

I remember in the '80s the first place where you'd see people sitting on the stage staring at the crowds was in LA and San Francisco. They just had their backs to the band and they'd be watching, and I remember seeing that like one of the first times I went down to San Francisco, and just going, "What the fuck is going on, all these people, what are they expecting, like a gunfight or something?"

And I remember when the Misfits played down there, and they had that big fight when the guy got his head cracked open, the Misfits were like kicking him in the back and "Get the fuck off the stage." It was disrespectful. The Misfits, at that time, weren't gods like they are now, but… it was disrespectful - almost like he was saying, “Could you hold it down, I'm trying to sleep.” [laughter]

Photo: Janice Moreland

I think it was in Ripper, someone wrote a whole thing about that show, and it was such a big deal. A lot of those San Francisco people were like, “Fuck the Misfits, fuck them…” But it's also kinda like, “Get off the fucking stage!” [laughter]

I remember when I turned 18, I heard about general assistance in California, and it's like, they'll give you a hotel, they'll give you food stamps and bus tokens, all you have to do is sweep streets a couple of days out of the week, and I was like, “Fuck, that's where I'm going.”

So I went down there and I saw first-hand those people in San Francisco—there were a lot of really aggressive people, some mean characters. And they would hold their own against any city, there were some pretty sketchy, mean people.

Yeah, it is funny because it has that reputation of being like this hippie town, peace and love, and everyone just takes acid and loves one another. So, let's talk about rock 'n' roll—one of the things always which has always appealed to me about your band is how you were always a sponge for music, and it had this nihilism streak to it but it was always a bit more cerebral. The lyrics are a lot more thought out and a lot deeper than you would think from a band that put out something called Get Loaded and Fuck. [laughter]

What was your first rock 'n' roll love? 

My parents broke up, separated, and my father was living in Eugene, Oregon, my mom was living in Missoula, Montana. They're both college towns, so they both had a lot of shows. And there were a lot of bands that were playing through Missoula. I think about these now and I looked on the internet, you can look them up and see, when did ZZ Top, what record did they put out when they played through there? Those kinds of bands: The Guess Who, Doobie Brothers, Three Dog Night.

I was like probably nine or 10, and my mom decided... I was kind of a juvenile delinquent, and she found out that she could bribe me, if I didn't get in trouble with the law for a week I could go see bands. And she did, she took me and then once I found out how easy it was to access this world, I was like off on my own, and then I would meet my friends there. We'd see every concert that came through, but also I was getting bounced back and forth yearly, or school yearly, from my father to my mother, back and forth and back and forth, and so I would get some records and then I'd have to move and all I could take was a couple of clothes, and then a year later, I come back and all my shit was gone. Either my dad would sell it or my mom would give it away.

I was always losing my shit, which kinda made me who I wanted to be later. But I missed the KISS tour, the first time. I can remember coming back and all my friends just going, “God, you missed this show, it was great. These guys did this.” And then that was about the time of Dressed to Kill when they did the Alive tour.

And it's weird, I was thinking just as I was driving up here today, I was in my car and I was blasting the Ramones' Leave Home, I got the new CD of that, and I remember thinking to myself, I always thought how big of an impact KISS had on me being a little kid, but I didn't really realise how big the Ramones did.

I also have told that story before too, I was a big KISS fanatic and I was into like whatever, Sabbath and crap like that. And I was waiting... the new KISS record came out, but when that happened, I saw the Ramones on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert and you know... a lot of people go, “Golly, I saw them and I thought they were from Mars,” but when I saw them they just totally made sense to me. I was like, “Wow, this is perfect. This is like... this is like my big brothers playing music.”

So, I remember like, being into whatever kinda music and waiting for the new KISS record to come out, I think it was Rock and Roll Over, and I would go to the store every day and ask this guy, "Is it out yet? Is it out?" I'd go back and I'd go back. I had Leave Home by then, I don't know… maybe it was Love Gun, 'cause that's a really bad album. And I remember getting the record and coming home and playing it and just sitting there looking at it, and looking across the room and seeing the Ramones Leave Home. And looking at both those records, and just in that second, just going, “This is old, this is over, this is what I am now.” Being like however old I was, I'm just saying, “This is it, this is my new thing.”

And I did, I just started cutting the sleeves off my shirts, putting like whatever, duct tape around my leg or whatever. But that was it. And I just remember listening to Leave Home so much. I mean, the first album was good but Leave Home was just... it was like... kinda there, and forever changes. And it didn't really dawn on me until today that I was like, man, I used to just listen to this record non-stop, all the time, all the time. You know?

It's like some smells bringing back memories, it just gives you goosebumps. You smell like a leather cinnamon or something, and you just have this deja vu and you think back, and it's like that's what these sounds did. I heard the sound and I was like, I'm like, “Oh my God I remember just being like a little kid with a constant hard-on listening to this music.”

Photo: Janice Moreland

Totally. [laughter] Totally. Like I would listen to Def Leppard or something because that's what I thought hard rock music was or whatever [laughter]. But hearing the Ramones for the first time, and then getting full bore into punk and hearing... first time I heard Minor Threat, or the first time I heard Negative Approach I was like, “Holy shit! Why have I been listening to Def Leppard?” [laughter]

Well, the last time I saw... I knew [future Guns N' Roses bassist] Duff McKagan from Seattle and the last time that I remember seeing him was when he came down with 10 Minute Warning and I think it was probably about a year before he went to LA, and he was wearing... He had a leather jacket on with a big giant Def Leppard logo on the back of his jacket and I remember talking to him, I was like, “Def Leppard?” I was like, “Hello America?” And he's like, “Man, I got so many of their songs," and he started telling me their songs, and I was like, “Really? Hmm, I don't know.”

I went out and listened to that first record, and I don't really remember MTV... When they started playing “High 'n' Dry” and all those things, but I went back and I listened to them and I was like, “Wow, these guys aren't that bad. Next time I see Duffy, I'll tell him.” And then I never, of course... [laughter] Next I saw him was on MTV and I was like, "Woah, there he is."

Photo: Sean Cox

I wanted to switch over to talking about record collecting and how you all wore your love of both more obscure stuff but also international hardcore punk on your sleeve - I mean look at the cover of Record Collectors… It feels like you were a bit of an outlier with this—you don’t generally see like Brian Baker from Minor Threat talking about his love of Finnish hardcore.

Why was getting into that kind of international hardcore a thing for you guys? What made it appealing to you? And why were you such promoters of it? 

Well, one reason is because it was amazing stuff, but you know what? It's so cool in 1978 or '79, or whatever, you could go to Germany and you could... I don’t speak a lick of German. But I can play a Ramones song on my guitar and they spoke the same language. They could play it too, they knew the song. Yeah, music is like that and plus, and everybody puts their own spin on it.

It's kinda like what The Pogues did from Ireland, and the Scandinavian stuff like, say, Finland and Sweden, you can almost tell what it's like being there, being where they come from with the darkness, the cold, the booze, the vodka... like with the Finnish stuff, I like stuff that is like that.

I just found something in some magazine the other day with Vote Vasko, he was posting something with, I think that band, Kaos, And this guy goes, “Oh, I never saw them with Paul on bass.” And he goes, “Well, yeah, their bass player passed out when they were playing the show.” Looking at these pictures and I was staring at them from like 1981, and I was like, that's perfect, that's perfect.

That's what I would expect from the Finnish people—you know? And Australia, the way you see the Cosmic Psychos, and that pretty much is Australia in a nutshell… it just reflects, you can almost listen to the music and guess where they're from.

I mean I get it—I named my zine after a Leatherface song and you listen to them... it expresses this Northern England under Thatcher depression vibe. It's despondent, still kinda hopeful, but everything is shit.

But still, but very poetic and very romantic—it's like Keats or something, it's just… it's real. Like I said, it's very poetic and that's from that, that's where they're from, that represents that. And we’re from Portland, Oregon and we had The Sonics here. And it's kind of this, the pioneer people kept trying to escape whatever and make a better life for themselves, and that pushed them to the West.

And this is as far as you can go up in the northwest corner. It's a bunch of loggers and lumberjacks and farmers and shit like that. And hard living, and that's kind of the way we were. And then you have Los Angeles, where they got money down there and all the stuff sounds splashy, and their records sound like they're well produced and they all got good equipment. Yeah, it's like I said, you could almost listen to music and... The Pagans, the Dead Boys, it sounds like that, it sounds like...

Sounds like Cleveland? 

Yeah, and the Stooges sound like a car factory in Detroit crushing... just metal hitting metal.

First thing we would do when we hear something crazy, something crazy from Japan, like State Children or something crazy from like Brazil, like Olho Seco or something like that, we would just laugh because it was so intense and so great, and you hear this guy just screaming like in Spanish or whatever and you're like, “Oh my God, this is so…” And you just start laughing and then you go, “This is really good.” Sometimes things that are really, really good makes you laugh, you know? 

Photo: Sean Cox

I've had that reaction, for sure [laughter] before, you don't know how to react otherwise.

Yeah, yeah. Well, that's why I say, kinda like the stuff on No New York, it was kinda just like, it shocked me, just like “Oh my God.” Throbbing Gristle did that, too. First time I heard of Throbbing Gristle, I was like, it scared the shit out of me.

Poison Idea, to me, reflects that sorta burly, hard living thing you talked about—but on the flip side of that, the Wipers sound like Portland in the middle of the winter when it's just constant sheets of depressing, pouring down rain. Like you guys sound like the people, Wipers sound like the atmosphere that surrounds it and the sense of alienation that it can cause. 

That's spot on. Yeah, the Wipers totally do… I just, that's where I was leaving from. When I was driving up here today, I was leaving Mike Lastra from Smegma’s, and he talked to Greg Sage the other day and we were talking about Jim Chasse, this kid who got murdered by a cop here in Portland, they wrote that movie Alien Boy about him. And we just started talking about Greg and all the lyrics from everything, you know?

They're all like that—like rainy, winter nights in... And being like an alien in the way Greg is... he wasn't like Mr. Popularity in high school and stuff and they were just kinda depressing songs. But it was good and you can relate to him.

When was the first time you met [late Poison Idea guitarist] Tom ["Pig Champion" Roberts]? 

I forgot how old I was, maybe 17—999 and The Dickies were playing up here, a big bar, a big giant bar, and I was like, “There's no way I'm gonna miss this show,” even though I was 17, and it was at a rock bar. So I went down there around noon and waited for the PA to set up and I asked the guys, “Can I help you carry your gear?” And they're like, “Of course, yeah. Here, work for free.” And I just helped them carry in stuff, I set up, and then I just sat around the bar all day, and just sat there, watched the band show up and just hung out.

And then of course, at like about 6 o'clock, or whatever, they go around checking ID and getting stamps, and they threw me out, and I was outside and 999 was done with their sound check, and they walked out, they're like, “What are you doing standing here in the rain?” And I go, “They fucking threw me out, I'm not old enough." And they go, “Don't you work here?” I was like, “No, I was just carrying the PA.” They're like, “Well, let's hang out until we come…” We went back to the hotel and drank beer, and then they came back and they're like, “Here, put this hat on, put these sunglasses on, carry these guitars and come in with us,” and I walked in with them, and they put a pass on me.

And then when the Dickies started, I went out there and started jumping around and there was this guy standing on the floor, and he was kinda doing a slam dance pogo thing, it's before slamming really happened, because it was probably '79, I think, or '80. And Tom remembers telling me, he was like... I was like, “Who's this big guy out here, jumping around, having fun?”

And I was like, “Who's this big bearded goon jumping around?” We were both slamming into each other and I thought he was a redneck and he thought I was an idiot. And then six months later, I saw his band, The Imperialist Pigs playing at a party, and he's like, “I remember you, you were at 999, you're that bearded goon.” We just hit it off. And I remember I'm like, "What kind of... " 'Cause they were covering... They were doing Johnny Moped songs and stuff like that.

And I was like, “What are you listening to?” And he's like, “I like Menace, The Killjoys, Johnny Moped, this and this,” and he's like, “What do you like?” and I'm like, “The Fall, PiL, the Raincoats, and stuff like that.” And he's like, “Oh my God—that's horrible music.” [laughter] He's like, “How can you…”

It was weird because I was into the stuff, but then kinda with the progression of whatever, I remember giving... My first leather jacket I had and then the Contortions came around... The No New York thing blew my mind. That was the first music that actually scared me, I was like, I thought these people were from an insane asylum or something, and they scared me and I was like, “Wow, this is the new stuff.”

‘Cause it was, anything dangerous and pure like that is gonna make me happy. So I was like, “You know what, this, the Ramones stuff is old, the Clash, fuck them.” So, I started wearing jackets and skinny ties, and looking like a junkie and stuff because of that, then I would listen to The Fall and Joy Division, and stuff like that. And the punk stuff, I thought and I thought it was like passe.

The Sid Vicious stuff, I've never liked, and then hardcore came in, the American hardcore scene, and I was like, “Okay, well, I guess it could be dangerous again,” and that's where I got... I started listening to the Germs and Black Flag, and wanted to go in that direction because when Poison Idea first started, it was kind of a PiL-y, kind of... jammy.


I mean, yeah, we did a show, a couple shows with Henry Bogdan from Helmet, he was our drummer and it was Chris Tense and I. And I played saxophone and it was kind of a PiL thing. It was weird. Then we met our rhythm section, Glen and Dean, and they were playing like whatever, more punky stuff, and we changed the whole structure of the band, but we kept the name 'cause I liked the name.

Photo: Sean Cox

I feel like the Germs had a big influence on you—I remember reading an interview once where you mentioned that even when you were homeless for a period of time, you still retained your Germs records. What was it about the Germs that was so impactful?

I was on the West Coast and I heard about them, my friends, people would go down to LA, people would come up from LA, I'd hear these stories about this crazy-ass band. I heard the Lexicon Devil single and thought it was punk but kinda... But then the album came out, the first album, and we got it within a week after it was released, and I listened to it and I was just like, “Oh wow.” And I just sat and read it, the lyrics, read the lyrics, listened to the music, and yeah, that was a game-changer.

Do you think that that had more of an impact on you than say like Black Flag? 

Oh yeah, definitely. Yes. Black Flag was... I saw [them], because they came through here with Ron [Reyes]. I think the tour when Ron quit in Vancouver, when they went up there, he got a girlfriend and stuff, and then they went back down to LA and got Dez [Cadena] to sing. And they came up here like three times with Dez, and I saw them with Ron, and I was like, “Yeah, they're just kind of whatever.”

And then Dez came back, and I was like, “Woah, these guys are really good,” 'cause then they were powerful. But then, by the time they got Henry [Rollins], I thought by then, it was just like, they were kind of like, whatever. I didn't really... yeah. But when they were with Dez, I thought they were great. But I never got a chance to see the Germs, but I know their shows were horrible. But Black Flag's lyrics and the Germs lyrics, side to side, it's like, forget about it.

Darby is a genius, just from those lyrics alone, right?

Yeah, absolutely, absolutely. Yeah. And so, you have that, which is his whole persona and danger, and his life, and the feeling. And I knew people who would come up to Portland who were a part of that crew, and I was like, “Why are you here in Portland?” They're like, “Oh, there was a drug deal gone bad in San Francisco and these guys got killed, so we're like running" and I was like, “Whoa, fuck, you guys are like…” The whole deal around it was dangerous and scary. As a kid, that's kind of what you like, you like that kind of stuff.

Poison Idea always felt like menacing in a way that... I could relate to a lot of the anger in the lyrics, a lot of the feelings in the lyrics, even if I wasn't experiencing those things, but I could relate to some of it, but there was a menacing aspect to it that you don't get out of a lot of your contemporaries.

Yeah. Well, that kind of stuff... that's the kind of stuff we grew up around. Tom had a more, a little stable family life than me, but he definitely had his share. Now that he's gone, I can say he became a drug dealer in high school, and that's pretty much what he did all his life. He had, of course, Poison Idea records financed through that. And that's my life, what I was exposed to too, so we always had that element of that stuff that happens, somebody ripped you off, you gotta get a gun and fucking take care of business.

It feels like there's a progression of your records and the lyrics where it starts off, and it's a hundred miles an hour, just primal intensity, and then it becomes more and more refined as you go through it. The difference from Pick Your King and Feel the Darkness, War All the Time, Blank Blackout Vacant—there's a progression there lyrically and musically.

Was that a conscious thing with y'all, or was it just something you got better at your instruments, better at writing, more fine-tuned at things? 

Well, you know what? Now that I think about it like that, it's like, I just did this thing with this band Crime Scene from Belgium the last couple months. We recorded five songs. They gave me five pieces of music and they said, “Here, write lyrics to it,” and I was like, “About what?” And they were just like, “Well, you're the singer. Whatever you feel like.” So, I took these songs, and kind of what I was feeling at the time of... “What does this music make me feel like?” And it makes me feel like, with this intensity, that was music pounding, it's not gonna end. This is not gonna end. I'm just seeing where I live, the time we're in right now. It's pretty desperate, and just, it's not gonna... It's just channeling that feeling.

But you know what? It's like I think the Poison Idea stuff at the end, there was always some optimism and stuff. But just like the book that I wrote, that's kind of the whole feeling. It's like, you got out of it, I got out of it. It can always, you know what? As long as you're above ground, you got a fighting chance. You can always pick yourself up and you can always... Nothing's really hopeless, even if you fucking tattoo “Fuck you” across your face or whatever, these days, there was a time when it was pretty much a death sentence.

Now it's like you pick yourself up and you get on with it, like, yeah, so what? So yeah, there's like I say, always a little optimism there, and just, it's kinda what I felt like in the lyrics. At times, they were just staring at the floor and just crying, and just like, “Fuck, this is just horrible.” But you know what? It's like, “The next day, it's a new day, so it's time to do something.” And that's kinda how I think. The first record, Pick Your King, was like, it was more hopeless.

Even though it was really mad, it was like, there's a song where it's like, “Kill yourself. Take that gun and shoot yourself,” and then, but it also says, “You can't change the world, but you can change yourself.” So...

Photo: Sean Cox

I think a lot about that lyric in “Feel the Darkness. “...battle with the bottle that I haven't won yet.” It's just, I get what you're saying, as long you're still breathing, you could still turn things around eventually.

Sure, yeah. And yeah, and it took me long enough. Like I say, back to the book, it's like I did expect that, it's like all the people I knew, this person, people I had close relationships with, were dropping dead. I'd find people in my house that are dead, my friends, and I was just like, “Okay, well, this is the way it goes. We were supposed to shine brightly then just burn out,” and then you get to be a certain age and then one day, you're just like, “You know what? It's not gonna happen. There's a reason I'm still around. I might as well just try to just... Fuck it. It's like I'm not expecting to end, that I'm marked to live,” And then the fun starts [laughter]. It's like being fucking 50 years old and going, “Hmm, can I get a GED now?” [laughter].

Let's dive into your book. How did that come about?

Adam Parfrey, who did Feral House, he lived in Portland for a while. We were friends and we used to hang out and get loaded together, and we would just hang out and we were buddies, and something would happen and I'd be like, “Oh, yeah, I remember falling off that bridge, or whatever, or wrecking that car, or fucking burning that house down or whatever,” and he's like, “Oh my God,” he's like, “You need to write this stuff down. I'll put it out.” So, I was like, “Yeah, I'll do it.”

And then he just, for years, he would tell me, “You need to do it, you need to do it,” It took years and I wouldn't do it. I had no desire. Like, “Yeah, I'll get to it, I'll get to it. I'm just, I'm still researching my book. I'm still doing more things. I gotta go to the hospital this weekend. I'm researching getting my foot amputated. So I'll do it next…” And then about two years before he died, I sat down and I actually did it. I wrote hard, and I got it done.

And then we got in a fight, something happened on the internet, and... I have this joke, when people print things or say something that's “incorrect.” I always put, “Reported and blocked,” [laughter]. And it's bullshit, you know, 'cause I would not ever do that to anybody, but he put a picture of Siouxsie Sioux, one of those old ones, where she is wearing a swastika and I said, “Reported and blocked.” And he laughed, and then an hour later, somebody did report him and he was blowing up. And so he is like, “Thanks for doing this.” I was like, “I didn't... Are you serious?” And he's like, “Maybe you should try to shop your book somewhere else.” And, I’m like, “Are you... So, are you serious?” And so I got it, put it in writing, and he said... 'Cause I signed a contract with him.

Then I was stuck with this transcript and then about a week later, he fell down the stairs and died. So, I felt really shitty about that. 'Cause we were friends and then we had this fallout, and falling out, and then...

So I just shopped around. I called some people, like, “Does anybody know…” They're like, “These people in LA, they do... they were kinda into that stuff,” and I just sent it to this cat and he's like “Yeah, I'll do it!” And he's like, “Send me the manuscripts” and I did, and he was like, “Yeah, definitely, I'll do it.” It was a big book, it was like thousands of pages.

And the thing is, people are like, “Well, did you write about these stories in Poison Idea?” And I said, “You know what, it's not a lot about Poison Idea, it's just about growing up and during Poison Idea and after Poison Idea.” All this stuff, like I say, the hospital visits and the gunshots, and shit like that.

So, they said, “We're gonna release it in a box, a box edition set with like three volumes, the early years, the middle years and the later years.” That's what they're doing and it's called Black Heart Fades Blue. Yeah, and it goes up until when I met my wife three years ago, and that's where it ends. Right there.

What I wanted to do is, when Tom passed, I was hearing all these crazy stories about him. People were going, “Oh, this one time he pulled a syringe out of his arm and said, ‘Do you want some of this?’ And I said, ‘No!’ And then he goes, ‘More for me!’ And he just shoved it back in his arm.”

And I’m like, “That didn't happen. That's bullshit. That did not happen.” So, I thought to myself that’s it. I'm gonna write my story in case I die and people start making up this shit about me. And then... from being strung out and doing all the shit I do… I was strung out... I just think I have done everything I can... I'm gonna write this story down and then I'm just gonna just walk out into Lake Washington and go to sleep. That's what it was. It was just like me writing my... what do you call it? Rashomon, as I see it. And then I was just gonna cease.

Because Tom did that, I was like, “Let’s get our shit together and let’s go back to Japan and do this. We're a good band, and we played…” We disappointed so many people with just being fucked up and these shows were lackluster, we just did them for drug money, and they were horrible. And Tom's just like, he's like, “I just wanna become nothing. I just wanna be black, I just wanna... just go.” And he was, he was just like... he did and I watched him. When you give up the will to go on and live like that, you can do that, you can just stop. That's what he did.

He just died, so I was... so I kinda felt like that at this time. Then things just... it's like, “Wow, I just met somebody and she didn't know anything about my band and didn't know who I was, and she just thought I was a good person and…” It's just like, everything just changed and was like, kinda like a cross between cold water and being shocked, and just waking up.

She just, she believes, she’s like, “If you really wanna do that, this is how you need to do this, you need to go out and do it like this.” So, whatever I say I'm gonna do, she believes that I can do it, and she'd say, “Okay, then just do this then.” Instead of somebody going, “You can't do that. You can never do that.” You know. And so... I've never met anybody who actually says, “Yeah, you can do whatever you want.”

Yeah. That's crazy. And you're saying that's really the first time that's happened to you? 

Yeah. I mean, people... many cynical people in this world, and people, especially... you're raised in that kind of abuse. You kinda always find that kind of relationship.

You know what, it's like that, that's one thing about waking up in the morning is having new experiences like that, learning about photography, waking up, learning how to do painting, cooking, playing music, gardening, whatever. There's so much stuff going on. I was just learning. I was over at this guy's house, learning about video editing today, trying to figure out, getting the software equipment for editing and just learning stuff, and it's all new, and it's scary because it's brand new and I've never done anything like that. But when stuff's scary, it also makes it exciting and that makes it exhilarating, and makes it fun, and that's what life should be is trying something new every day.

I just started cooking in the last two years and you make mistakes, but when you make mistakes, you learn. And then they're exciting. No matter what they are. I met one of my best friends, Alex, through... he's a chef in Spain, and he saw me say something on the internet about cooking, about how he owns the best tapas restaurant in San Sebastian, and I made a friendship with this guy and we're like, now we're best friends. And so that kind of stuff, it just... you can't beat it. It's great.

Anything that's new, anything that you go, “Wow, I never thought of that.” It's like, yes, anything that's, it gives you a reason. That's when we are at our best is when we are learning and that's what keeps us going. And you learn stuff and it keeps your brain... you move forward, better yourself and better your surroundings, and make it a better place. That's positive. Now I sound like Ian MacKaye [laughter].

But you know what, like I said, I did this stuff with my friend Alex in Spain. I did this stuff with these guys, these Belgian people, Crime Scene. There's always something new and I'm always just moving forward and stuff.

And it's like Poison Idea is like... it's like cooking again, too. Why would I wanna make Top Ramen for the rest of my life when I could figure out something else? And the reason we did this stuff for the last two years, again, was kind of like my atonement because, like I said, I felt that we let people down for a long time.

When we were like junkies, I felt like it was... I wanted to come back, and we did, the last two years we got back and just kicked ass. We played all these shows and just said thank you to everybody, and yeah. Did well and then just move on, you know? Go out on a high note and move on to the next thing.


The three volumes of the Black Heart Fades Blue books will begin shipping in December, and the pre-order is up now via Rare Bird. Pick up the Poison Idea titles listed below directly from TKO Records.

Late 2021:
Poison Idea, Get Loaded & Fuck 12" EP/CD (TKO Records / American Leather)
Poison Idea, The Beast Goes East LP/CD (TKO Records / American Leather)

Early 2022:
Poison Idea, Record Collectors Are STILL Pretentious Assholes LP/CD (TKO Records / American Leather)

Poison Idea, Kings of Punk LP/CD (TKO Records / American Leather)
Crime Scene, Debut LP/CD (American Leather)


You can find all of the Razorblades & Aspirin printed (and digital) zines here.

Tagged: poison idea