TSOL on deathrock.com
interview #2

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True Sounds of Liberty were interviewed October 25, 1981, the second day of their national tour, in the alley beside the Mab with help from Marie Estrada and Paul (thanks!)
The band consists of Jack Greggors (Alex Morgan) doing vocals, Ron Emory on guitar, Mike Roche on bass, and Todd (Francis Gerald Barnes) on drums. Frank Agnew, formerly of the Adolescents, joined TSOL on second guitar in August, giving the band an even more powerful sound. Their mailing address is 3102 Ladoga Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90608.
TSOL has built up a huge hardcore following within the last year. They're a very creative band with material ranging from intense political songs to dramatic horror punk with haunting melodies. One of the most unique things about TSOL is Jack's stage presence, which is very theatrical, both in his demonic vocal style and in the way he paces the stage wearing ghoul makeup. TSOL's first record appeared early in 1981, a total knockout 12" EP on the Posh Boy label containing five very political songs like "Property is Theft" and "Abolish Government/Silent Majority". This was followed in the summer by the "Dance with Me" album on Frontier records. This time the general theme was horror punk with tunes like "Silent Scream", Funeral March", "Die For Me", and "Code Blue", the song with the famous line "I wanna fuck the dead".

Jack TIM: How did the difference in themes between your EP and your album come about?
JACK: We had all the EP songs and the album songs at the same time, we played the set, but when we did our first thing with Posh Boy, we knew he was gonna burn us, so we held back the stuff we really liked and just gave him all our political songs, and got him to make us popular.
MIKE: A lot of the songs had truthful lyrics but the music was lacking, as compared to the LP.
TIM: Did you have a problem when you had that EP out and people associated that kind of image with you?
JACK: Really not till we left town. The people in LA had seen us play our whole set, and they heard the EP songs, but they knew we played all the other ones too.
MIKE: We still play all the EP songs.
JACK: Yeah we play 'em both so it wasn't that bad.
TIM: How does your political stuff go down with the crowd in LA?
MIKE: I think a lot of them like it. There's a lot of hard line views we have, but if we put out record after record of political stuff, it would just be boring. So that's why we changed a bit.
TIM: What can we expect from you in the future?
MIKE: The unexpected. The music and topics will all change constantly.
TIM: Where did you get the inspiration for "Code Blue"?
JACK: I don't know what I was thinking of. My grandma died the day before I wrote that one.
MARIE: You have a real hardcore following, but what you guys do is so much out of the norm for "punk".
MIKE: Me, Ron and Todd (used to wear) leather jackets, torn up jeans, boots, cutaway shirts, and filthy black, green, or yellow hair. We looked horrible, writing all over our clothes, and Jack's mom used to tell him not to hang around with us, cuz he'd get in trouble. And then after a while it just evolved.
JACK: Just to do something different probably. And it's easier - all the punk rockers pick out all the hardcore clothes at the thrift shops. All that's left is gay clothes, that's what you're stuck with, so fuck, might as well just use 'em all, make a good buy before they catch on.
MIKE: In the beginning, everyone dressed as everyone else wouldn't. So that's what
Frank, Todd
Mike we kinda do now. If it's awful and horrible looking and just makes you sick to your stomach, we'll wear it.
TIM: Have any of your fans picked up your style?
MIKE: Oh yeah. It's common to wear makeup with bands in LA now, but the first time Jack did it people were all going "look at that faggot".

JACK: The only thing that makes me mad is that a lot of times now people say I'm like an Ant or
something. They go, "Oh, yeah, you love Adam Ant". But I was wearing makeup when I was a skinhead three years ago, just to bum people out.
RON: For shock value.
MARIE: Why are you guys rebelling? I don't know what your backgrounds are, but it seems that a lot of punks, up here and in LA, are middle class kids from nice backgrounds. It's hard for a lot of minority kids, who are really fucking screwed over, to understand why punks are punks. They feel that you guys have everything that they want - money, a nice background, a car, whatever.
MIKE: There's a lot more in it than material things, if it gets down to it. None of us can really afford cars, except maybe Jack, and he scratches by. Hardly afford rent, hardly afford clothes. Most of us were out of our houses when we were 16 or 17.
There's deeper reasons than money or crap like that.
MARIE: But they just look at it from the viewpoint of "They have what we want, so why are they rebelling?"
MIKE: Yeah, if you've been there partially to where you've had a certain amount of stuff that other people haven't. But there's another way of looking at it - how come we're not going to the kids that are really rich and saying, "Gee, we wish we could be there."

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