OK, here’s another old TEAR IT UP interview that I found online years ago. I keep getting requests lately to put more Tear It Up and related stuff on the blog which means that someone is reading this and actually gives a fuck about this stuff. That is fucking great and I appreciate it a lot. This interview was originally from Twice the Speed web zine that was done by some dude Mark from Umea, Sweden. I’m not sure if this was also a proper paper zine and also I’m not sure if this is still online, because we are talking about early 2000’s when this interview was done. The interview is from 2003, Matt answered the interview and this one is more laid back and funny than other TIU interviews (at least the ones I read so far). As many other TIU stuff, I also “stole” and published this interview in my zine International Old School Conspiracy # 14, October 2012. Enjoy in reading, I am The Snake
Ok, what can you say about Tear It Up? Lots and lots I guess but there is no room for that here. Tear it up is actually my favorite, now existing, hardcore band and I'd say that the "Nothing To Nothing" LP is on my top 5 records list. I'm telling you; the first thing I'll do when I'll get a hold of some money is to ink my love for this band to my body. When I got the opportunity of doing an interview with TIU I got quite thrilled so I skipped my math class and wrote the questions right away, it didn't get that good I'm afraid but feel free to enjoy it anyway. For you who don't know TIU from before I can say that they play real hardcore, no metal shit, with a touch of thrash (especially on their first record). At first I thought that the interview would be with the singer but as it toured out Matt (the drummer) took care of the interview. By the way I can tell you that, despite of his rock-hard gangster-look (joke), Matt seems to be a great guy that actually answered the interview in about one day, thanks Matt. Mark
Mark: Ok, usual stuff then. Present the band + short band history.
Matt: Tear It Up is a fast hardcore band from NJ USA and we’ve been playing for about 2 and half years. In that time we’ve had a total of 7 members (two were replaced) and did 7 or 8 records. Fast enough?
Mark: What other bands do Tear It Up members take part in?
Matt: Right now it’s just The Rites and A new Enemy. But members from Tear It Up have been in Dead Nation, Down in Flames and Cut the Shit.
Mark: What do you do except singing for Tear It Up? Everything from school to crimes.
Matt: Well first off I’m the drummer, and I go to college and substitute teach. As far as crimes, just fashion I guess.
Mark: You went on a quite long tour last summer all over Europe, I wonder; was it worth it?
Matt: Hell yeah we played a shit load of shows, that’s what’s important just playing. But it was hard finding good pizza in Europe is like trying to find good haircuts at a Locust show.
Mark: What did you think of playing in Umeå? I heard from Karate kid that you were pretty excited.
Matt: Yeah it was a great show. We’ve been friends with the DS 13 guys for a long time and it was cool to play up where they’re all from because we’ve played with them here in the US a lot. Even if their bass player was off in the US when we were there. Bass players who needs em right?
Mark: Right. I also heard that one guy fooled you into believing that he had played bass in Final Exit, did you actually fall for that?
Matt: I don’t know I never talked to any kid who said that so no I didn’t fall for it I guess. By the way I sang for Straight Ahead.
Mark: Yea right, his name was Craig wasn't it? Did you actually wear the same clothes the whole tour?
Matt: I’d say yes but there are photos that show otherwise.
Mark: Tell us something really interesting and thrilling about the tour, did you get beaten up by evil Dutch jock guys or something like that?
Matt: No the Dutch are all sweethearts. But we did get into some weird confrontational conversation with some drunken Polish Mafia kid. We were told to leave by our Polish roadie so we split.
Mark: Scary, in Sweden the polish people come to pick berries in the woods; for the money. That's weird, they really have fucked up economy down there. Tell me of the best unknown band you played with during your tour?
Matt: Probably Dead Stop. Or The Horror.
Mark: Never heard of any of them. At what place were you best received by the audience?
Matt: Dordrecht Holland. It was our first show and lots of kids traveled to it, and lots of friends were there. We played really good and brought the house down. Literally there were no more shows there after that, but I think it was more due to some kid puking in front of the place or something. Tear It Up makes you puke, at least its punk.
Mark: When RAMBO came to Umeå they said that Kristoffer (138) had advised them not to come because Umeå sucked. Did he say the same thing to you?
Matt: Naw he just left us a note saying that here we were stuck playing in his shit town and he was off in America stealing all our beer, women, and mosh. But I’ve seen him mosh so I’ll say he way lying. I really love that guy though.
Mark: I actually had that note in my bookcase for like a month. Kristoffer told me to give it to you for some reason. It's really weird. I mean I don't even know the guy. By the way, does that guy know every American hardcore kid in the world?
Matt: I don’t know I’m just one small insignificant little link in the chain of American Hardcore.
Mark: The big question: Will Tear It Up be back in Umeå or any other part of Sweden?
Matt: Hopefully we’ll be in Europe for 6 weeks this summer and Sweden is top on the list. It was way rad last time.
Mark: How the hell should you get a copy of your European tour 7" with the Raped Ass cover?
Matt: You should have been there to get it the first time. Or beat up some asshole that bought 3 of em. Check in Germany.
Mark: Do you like the big scenes with lots of people or the smaller scenes with a bit more closeness to the audience?
Matt: I like it all. I’ll take any gig man, but I do like the smaller places better it’s easier to get all crazy.
Mark: What's the most stupid thing you have ever said between two songs?
Matt: Thanking kids who already left. San Diego this is for you!
Mark: Have you ever had like a speech prepared for between-songs-chat? There's a lot of bands acting that way in Sweden...
Matt: Hahahaha no. Sometimes you make a note to yourself like, ask for place to stay, we have none or something like that. We like to think of ourselves as having remarkable wit.
Mark: Have any one of you ever done any crazy, bound-to-fail, stunt during a show like a back flip of a speaker or something?
Matt: Dave has missed the bass drum once or twice. Paul fell over at the first show after a jump. I think that’s all the casualties.
Mark: So much for "Play to destroy". Have you ever done something shocking on stage, black metal style, for example throwing up at the kids or slit your wrists?
Matt: I’ve definitely thrown up on stage but not on purpose for “the kids”…yet. We were planning on doing a Poison Idea set an making John sit in a chair and play guitar with a pillow stuck under his shirt.
Mark: Speaking of old bands; What's the magic behind black flag? I noticed that you played it in the van when you came to Umeå and that you all have Black Flag tattoos (or am I wrong).
Matt: Great band, great attitude, they had it all right. And no at that time only me and Dave had Black Flag tattoos. John has one now but he just got it.
Mark: Did Tear It Up get better then Dead Nation?
Matt: I think so, I mean I think there was a lot more fresh input and we took the music a lot more places, but it wouldn’t be possible to have done that without Dead Nation.
Mark: Will The Rites be better than Tear It Up?
Matt: I like em both, I don’t think one is better than the other they’re different to me, and since I’m writing a lot of the stuff for both bands it must be true.
Mark: I've heard that you will release some new stuff. In what form and style will it appear?
Matt: The next thing out will be a Tear It Up 12 in EP called “Taking you down with me” on Havoc. It will be on CD also with the Down In Flames split and a live set.
Mark: Will you have a hidden rock n' roll track in this too?
Matt: Don’t have to there’s one of our own.
Mark: Why did you release one of your songs both as Dead Nation and Tear It Up?
Matt: That was the first song that I wrote that got played and I didn’t want to leave it behind because we didn’t play it that much and we broke up before it even was released. So I said fuck it it’s my song it goes with me.
Mark: Who did the cover art to "Just Can’t Stand It"? It's really cool.
Matt: Ernesto Torres from Life’s Halt. And yes it is cool.
Mark: If you had to choose one member to kick out of the band who would that be?
Matt: Doug, oh wait we already did. Next question.
Mark: What's with your drummer? He looks like a drug addict and plays like he's on ecstasy. He's not straight edge is he?
Matt: Well I’ll refrain from answering this in the third person, but no I am edge and yes I do make silly faces. But I’ve got nothing on Raeph from Kill Your Idols he’s got the best ones. Man I thought I looked all right that tour, but I’ll take drug addict just make it something cool like dope, ecstasy is such a lame drug.
Mark: What happened to the fifth band member? He wasn't joining you on the tour, at least not in Umeå.
Matt: Ryan joined just before we were leaving and couldn’t go. He was on the US leg of the tour though.
Mark: What's with the huge stage dive photo on the lyrics sheet to the "Nothing To Nothing" LP? It looks quite sick.
Matt: Swank’s a great dude he’s been out with us a lot. One of my best friends, and he’s got the ups.
Mark: Will he be back for the new record?
Matt: We have more pictures of him doing stupid ass shit like that but I don’t think they’ll fit it the layout.
Mark: Five most important bands throughout history?
Matt: 1. Black Flag
2. The Stooges
3. The Ramones
4. Beach Boys
Mark: Five most important records throughout history?
Matt: 1. Pet Sounds the production was amazing on that and quite revolutionary for the time.
2. Stooges’s Raw Power perhaps the most vicious bunch of Jams on a rock album ever. Raw and loud.
3. Ramones this took the songs back for the kids and away from the asshole professional musicians.
4. Circle Jerks Group Sex linked songs in a way that was unsurpassed in the punk world. They really did make an album not just a bunch of songs put together.
5. Damaged Black Flag this LP killed them all. Hard raw and desperate.
Mark: Which is the best? Paper-zine or online-zine doesn't matter.
Matt: I gotta say Game of The Arseholes Stuart’s trip to Japan was well worth reading about?
Mark: Which is the best: CD or LP?
Mark: Which is the best: Mohawk-punks or youth crew kids?
Matt: Your less likely to get pulled over with youth crew kids around. It looks like you have the football team with you.
Mark: Which is the best: Deadalive or Havoc?
Matt: I hear that Lost and Found is a bunch of real cool guys.
Mark: I heard they're dead. Will hardcore ever die?
Matt: Dude it died in 86 when no trend broke up. That book was such a waste.
(This is a reference to American Hardcore book, remark by The Snake)
Mark: Will the new record totally thrash our brains?
Matt: If you have any.
Mark: Oooh, attitude. Any last words?
Matt: yeah contact us at 21 Sulliman Rd, Edison, NJ 08817 USA or write, firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks a lot for the interview man.
A very bad copy of IOSC # 14 and one of the worst IOSC front covers, ha ha!