The Virus were on a break for a „while“. What was the reason for bringing the band back to life? What were you doing in the meantime? Did you play in any other bands?
Josh: It was just good timing for us to get back together. I had a kid, booked some venues in my hometown and played in a few bands. Paul and myself for a few years played in a band called Kamikaze Zero. I played with The Lookies with ex Dinosaur Jr. drummer Jay Spiegal. I started a small 3 piece punk band The Line a few years ago and we play once or twice a year. Now I work for Paul and his wife selling tattoo supplies for their company Razorblade products. It’s good to be back playing as The Virus, feels good.
Dave: I’ve been working at Angry Young & Poor records and booking shows for bands I like. Other bands include Nightime Dealers, Tight Fits!, Creig Manslaughter and Opium Cobra.
Zima: Keeping things optimized. Causing trouble with Dave. Playing in Ravagers.
You were part of the „Terror, Horror, Bloodshed tour“ together with Evacuate and Bad Engrish. How was it and who came with the idea to do this tour?
Josh: We had been talking about the west coast for some time when Mike from Evacuate asked about doing west coast tour. Mike put the whole thing together for everyone. The tour was a blast. All the guys in Bad Engrish and Evacuate are super cool dudes, we diffidently made some life long friendships on that tour. Like most tours we had our ups and downs and moments we only share with those who were there.
Dave: Wish it could have been longer. It’s awesome when 3 bands can get along and have a good time like that tour was.
Zima: Definitely one of my favorite tours to date. So much blood. So much beer. So much garbage.
There were really big and mad gigs during that tour, how do you remember that crazy gig in LA, and also your first gig in Mexico?
Josh: LA WAS INSANE. It was like a house shows with a thousand people. I watched kids trying to climb fences, break windows, kick down doors just to get in. The stage was one step up off the main floor, This made an interesting challenge. We do not care about playing on big stages or on floors, But when you have a 1,000 kids pushing forward into you and your gear one thing will happen. You will fall, you will not be able to play. I watched our drummer Jon catch an amp from falling on him while we were playing. Mexico was great. I always enjoy going to new places. it was great to meet everyone that came out to the show.
Dave: That night in LA was dangerous and fun as hell. So many punks! I’ll never forget the after party in Mexico. If you make it to TJ go to club Hong kong. Anything you want is in Mexico haahaaa.
Zima: I’ve never seen a circle pit create it’s own low pressure system, but LA delivered that. No comment on Tijuana…
Is there any evolution of the street-punk / chaospunk scene in the USA? In the 90’s street-punk was booming, many great bands and labels were set up. Then Charged Records and Punkcore Records ended, most of the great bands broke up and there has not been much activity until recently, when yourself or The Unseen came back (bands like this are missing badly these days). What has changed in those 9 years, in your point of view?
Josh: I think the 90’s street punk movement was a bit more political then the street punk you are seeing now. I wouldn’t say labels like charged or punkcore had to do with the fall of those bands. Most punks are dysfunctional and destructible, it was only natural for those bands to disband or hiatus. The street punk you are seeing now in the states is more cultural based bands, Songs about being punk and so on. Not all these bands are like this but you can see the Japanese 90’s street punk influence heavily in the states right now.
Dave: It seems like every 10 to 12 years something with strong punk roots becomes popular in the U.S. I think it’s a good thing … real punk never dies ya know.
Could you recommend us some street-punk / chaospunk bands, that we probably have not heard about them in Europe?
Josh: Violent Affair, Obliterations
Dave: Aspects of War, Glue, Savage Heads
Paul: Primitive Pact
I have SEPTICTANK / THE VIRUS MC in here. Whose idea was to record it? And are you planning a Malaysia tour anytime?
Dave: I hope so. I would love to play with Sexy Pig and Brigade of Bridge in Indonesia.
Paul: Septic Tank contacted us. We have no plans for an Indonesian tour currently.
You were playing in Europe just once (at Holidays in the Sun festival in the UK). What are your expectations of the rest of the Europe, where you will be playing in the next few months?
Josh: We Played Holidays In The Sun 2 years in a row Blackpool and Morcome. Not to sure what to expect. We will be in parts of Germany, Italy, France, Russia and more. I am thinking Russia should be pretty crazy. Looking forward to all of it.
Dave: I’m excited to see Discharge in Germany and catch up with The Exploited. Never expected to ever even see Russia let alone play there. Can’t wait to meet Russian punks.
Paul: I expect good food and real punks. We were promised vodka and women in Russia.
I saw the photo of Dave Grohl sitting on an amplifier and wearing The Virus t-shirt. Do you know each other?
Josh: We do not know each other. If you talk to him have him give me a call.
Dave: Don’t know the guy or like his music but I’m glad he gave Pat from The Germs a full time job.
Zima: I saw that picture on Tumblr.
Paul: I hate his mouth.
I suppose you and The Casualties are friends. I wonder, what is your opinion on the „rape-case“ around Jorge? I noticed that even some of the US bands are critical to him at the moment and that they are presenting their views on this matter via the lyrics.
Paul: Accusations are easy. Proof is not.
Are you going to release the unreleased songs from „Benefits of War“ sessions anytime? Alternatively, shall we be looking forward to hearing some new material soon?
Dave: I don’t think any old material will be released. We played a new song on the west coast tour and people liked it. We like it so that’s a start.
Paul: No old stuff, only new.
The fluctuation in the band used to be quite heavy in the past, especially singers, which is not so usual (on the other hand, it was quite normal in Common Enemy,lol)… Can you count how many members ever played in the band? And have you ever experienced that some singer had a problem with the lyrics written by someone else?
Paul: None of the singers had issue with one another. The Virus has had close to 15 members I think.
The USA is reaching the boiling point and many demonstrations and riots due to the police brutality (mostly against the African-Americans). How bad is the the situation with police overstepping their authority and rascism? And relate to your „Rats In The City“ lyrics, what is your and your friends´ experience with police?
Josh: The police state is more in the headline than ever due to technology. Everyone has a smart phone these days. We are now seeing what has been happening for a very long time. Knowledge is everything. Know your rights.
Dave: Racism and police brutality is nothing new to the punk community. Punks have always been outspoken about both matters. I’m glad more people are rising up and opening up their eyes. We live in a time where the police, the media, and the government are corrupt. ACAB
Zima: Everything is fucked deep. When I was twelve years old I had a cop point his gun in my face. The pot boils more aggressively day by day and the system in place is perpetuating the problem.
President’s Obama popularity keeps descending. Are you satisfied with his administration? What is the common feeling about him in the punk scene in the US? Do you vote or do you boycott the political elections like many punks in Europe?
Josh: I’m not going to speak for an entire scene on their political beliefs. I do not boycott political elections, I do vote. I think their is so much greed and red tape in DC that it would be impossible for any elected official of that ranking to do get anything done. A system such as our needs rebuilt from the bottom up.
Zima: Obama bummed a cigarette from me once. He’s just a regular guy.
Paul: Boycott. By voting you are supporting a system that will never work.
You were banned from entering Canada few years ago. This is bit unusual for an American band. What was going on back then?
Josh: We were not banned from Canada. The band was denied entry in summer of ’03. Right now we can’t play any shows to Canada due to some legal issues with Jon our drummer. We are working on these problems so that we can get back to Canada.
You combine critical lyrics with that of personal kind. How would you describe hardcore punk in the US? Are people still interested in the social problems or does the spirit and some message slowly fading away? In your opinion, can punk be still the threat to the society in these days? Or is it mostly some adolescent affair for fun?
Josh: What we sing about are issues that will never go away. Free thinking is a threat to some, so yes punk is a threat.
And here comes one of the favourite Periferia crew questions: Your house is on fire – which 3 LPs will you take with you?
Josh: I keep my entire collection by my front door for this reason. But if you want to know 3 records that mean a lot to me. The Clash – „Give em enough rope“, Fugazi – „13 songs“, The Exploited – „Punks not dead“.
Dave: Total Abuse – Mutt, Stooges – Raw power, G.I.S.M
Zima: English Dogs: Forward Into Battle, Ramones: It’s Alive, Motorhead: Overkill
Paul: Dischord 1-3. Not LPs, I could sell them and buy a lot of records.
And the second most favourite: Any special hobbies? Tell us some gossips of The Virus members …
Josh: We like to eat. The Virus is full of eaters. We will eat while talking about what we are going to eat next. I usually hang out with my boy if not playing or working.
Zima: Screen printing, working on and riding motorcycles, collecting zines and other things my next of kin will likely throw out when I die.
Paul: I have been sober for 16 years. I have a 13 year old daughter. I collect records. I have an awesome wife.
Do you listen some other genres, except for punk? If so, what is your favourite bands or music styles?
Josh: I listen to a little bit of everything. I listen to a wide range outside of punk. From Swans to The Hellacopters, Foo Fighters to The Biters.
Dave: Black Metal, Harsh Noise, Hard Core in that order.
What is your most favourite record in the last weeks? Or, what is the biggest dissapointment?
Josh: Trying the Zex records out. Found Obliterations and love it.
Dave: I’ve been listning to Aspects of War, Watain, the Hookers, Zex, WKSJ? and Disclose allot lately.
Zima: Most played record the past week … Scorpions – „In Trance“ … for whatever reason.
Paul: Fugazi – „Early demos“, Neighborhood brats, Futureheads, The Gaggers.
Do you know any Czech or Slovak bands?
Thank you for your answers!