Band Spotlight: Pitboss 2000

By Max Watt
By December 11, 2015 August 27th, 2016 Band, Spotlight
What’s up motherfuckers? Pitboss 2000 are back in the year of 2015, and with a new album to boot. These four dudes couldn’t have come back at a better time. Hardcore is bristling with awesomeness as it is, but when the underdogs of the 90s come back to (hopefully, in time) the forefront of the scene and start smashing shit up, that’s something special. In light of this, we got in touch with PB2K frontman, former One Life Crew bassist (and about a thousand other instruments in a thousand other bands including Ringworm and PC Deathsquad) and stand-up comedian, John Tole. The picture below isn’t him. Here’s what we got into.


S) It’s been eight years since the last release. What was the process for ‘The Cult of Fuck Yeah’ like after such a long break?

J) ‘Making the music and album was easy. I look at music the same way I looked at playing Legos when I was a kid. Snap some cool shit together and make something fun, break it down and repeat. It’s hardcore it’s not rocket science.”

S) How do you reflect on ‘Everyone’s A Winner’ and the 90s hardcore scene?

J) ‘Those times, ideas, and mentalities were all necessary. Sure, I would love to go back and do some things differently, but we were exactly what that scene called for at that time. Everyone was so serious so we just decided to be the turd in the punch bowl of their collective pity party. Nothing has changed. There is still a victim or outrage class of human who finds their ego and place in society by assuming the role of being “stepped on” or “held back”. It’s all an illusion. Someone’s opinion of their reality and their forcing their PC Victim-defining opinions on the world is no different than being in a band, they just use Tumblr and we use solid riffs. In the end we all have 24 hours a day to get something done and worrying or complaining about the “other” is just a procrastination game to avoid working on your own shit. As far as the first record goes, I think the riffs stand up musically and the lyrics were God awful.”

S) JLJ, you’ve done a lot of different shit over the years. How do you find the transition from stand-up comedy back to hardcore?

J) “Being a front man and doing stand up is really the same job. Room energy is universal. You connect and then the audience will dictate where you take them. Rolling an audience or getting kids to mosh is the same process. Eventually I will be opening for the band and others on tour as we move forward and I’m really looking to talking to the same people in the two different formats.”

J) I listen to mostly Styx and Night Ranger. I like the early Hold Steady music. I saw Lady Gaga in concert once, she’s a world destroyer, super talented, I’m not a fan of her music but she’s basically a one woman KISS without the anthems. I think Wisdom in Chains, Nails and Terror are putting out incredible music. I’m more of a crossover fan so bands like Iron Reagan and Power Trip get a lot of play. Other than that, Warzone, ST, DI, Mags, Minor Threat, 7 Seconds, and AF all are perfect and beyond the sands of time.”

S) How would you describe the sound of your band in Frankenstein’s monster terms (e.g the head of One Life Crew, the balls of Dead Kennedys etc)

J) “I was going for kind of a “what if Spike from DRI rewrote Slayer’s Undisputed Attitude but with all originals.” That’s my favorite kind of crossover, and I wanted songs that mixed the Clevo Formula with my Bay Area thrash upbringing and then mix in some LA punk and Nuclear Assault for good measure. Everyone has their influences, Charlie goes back to the days of The Anthrax in CT and 80’s NYHC and that experience and love is totally present in the riffs he added. Once we write the riffs we show our ideas to XLAX and the music is born from there. It’s a time machine and despite the fact that we’re all much older when I’m looking across the room at Danny raging to my riffs it’s ’98 all over again. Same energy, same style, same smiles, same good time. It’s the ultimate injection of novelty into life and we have definitely benefitted from writing again.”

S) If Godzilla attacked your hometown, what would you do?

J) I would immediately call my folks and all my friends and tell them I loved em. Then I’d click on Fox News and study how they blamed the beasts destruction on Obama, his lax immigration policy and the fact that no fence stopping the giant Lizard. I would then head over to MSNBC and watch them find the racial and liberal angle to the destruction. From there I’d click on the BBC and Al Jazeera to get the real story and then I’d smoke a bowl and watch Rick and Morty while the world burned. Fighting Godzilla is the same as fighting the military, prison and pharma complexes. They have this game won and we are about three generations of iPad raised, common core instructed, dual working parent, medicated, under nourished, apathetic youth who will march us into death camps, away from Mother Nature finally ridding the planet of its human cancer. (Kidding/not kidding)

S)What’s happening with PC Deathsquad? Could there be a reunion on the horizon with that band?

J) “Jonny Nevada from PC Deathsquad did the mastering for TCOFY and we talk a lot. Right now we have a band member who isn’t happy with their life and doesn’t want to play music so I’m working on PB2K and the other dudes are in Space Wax and Beevil, which I believe everyone should check out, it’s raging shit and no rules which is a real departure from the formula that is PCDS and PB2K.”

S)What object do you absolutely need to have with you on tour?

J) “I was given a blessed Benedictine crucifix in Dallas and the Priest said, ‘I pray this comes in handy when you need it.’ Sounded ominous at the time, but he wasn’t kidding. My touring schedule and lifestyle finds me dealing and interacting with what would be considered dark or negative energies and entities and it’s important to know how to navigate that as it manifests and changes in real-time.”

S)Beer or spirits?

J) “Both, in fact I’m on a flight heading to work a comedy club in Arizona and this interview is sponsored by a Jack and Coke and Bud Lite.  Caffeine and medicinal plants are the backbone of my day for the most part. Again it goes back to what would your day look like if you were a millionaire? Starbucks, golf, writing, weed, music, stand up comedy, hanging out, eating out, travel, laughs, naps, family and friends. Maybe you only need $60 a day to pull that off, but culture would tell you to sell your time in trade for things and one day your day will be yours. I say it’s time to see through that illusion and live what you want now. On your deathbed the last thing you’ll think of is that you need more ‘stuff”.”

S) What do you get up to in your down time?

J) “If there is nothing to do, I’ll take a nap. Welcome to middle age. Otherwise I’m just working, or whatever you call doing whatever you want all day.  I’m an extreme minimalist, I only own the things I need, I’ve abandoned the idea of wanting things and I’m really just into experience, be it nature, faith, truth, music, comedy and Family are important and also all Free and freeing. You can learn about life by studying nature and watching the light as it interacts in this three dimensional simulation we are living in. That’s some serious hippy shit right there.”

S)Back in the old days you had the edgy vibes in tracks like ‘Driving With Your Chin’ and ‘Dented Chest’. Can we expect more of that goodness in the future?

J) “No. You reach a point in comedy where you learn that it’s a cheap trick to, as they call it, “punch down”. My songs now are about life and death, illusions, demons, real life experience and encounters and story telling. It’s a mix of tongue and cheek musings and real deal life experience metal shit. But I’ll always play the old songs. I did end the record with a song about the Kardashians because gun to my head I do believe they are working with some insanely dark energy inside of that compound.”

S)You’ve been making a music video for one of the new tracks. What was the idea there?

J) “I have a production company and I assist with film and audio projects. I made three videos with PC Deathsquad and enjoyed the process. I just wanted to show a very stripped down look into what PB2K represents in a live setting now. People are genuinely curious about what we are doing so I wanted to make a visual representation of the fun of playing legit 90’s crossover. Eventually I am going to produce a show where known dudes and dudettes come out of retirement and answer the question – Can you form a band, write and record a 7″, and shoot a video in 7 days all while working a day job? I’m getting the right characters in line who would be perfect for this project.”

S)What are your plans for the rest of the year with PB2K? Any touring on the cards?<

J) Touring will come in time. My goal for 2016 is to spend 24 weeks touring for stand up, 8 weeks doing music and the rest is vacation. I plan on releasing three Pitboss 2000 records a year til I’m dead. It’s easy, it’s just a matter of taking the time to do the work and not forget that this whole physical experience is about perception, effort and fun.”

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