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Not Sorry Interview

October 6, 2009

Brand New straight edge band from Seattle Washington (Former members of How We Are) They recently put up their demo for download online and I was blown away with what I heard. I knew I had to incorporate these guys into the first issue of this zine and I’m glad that I did. This interview was conducted with John Twentyfive via email over the course of a week or so. John is a former Rochester resident and was involved heavily in the local hardcore scene and still is to this day.

So to start this off, how have you been? What’s been up lately for Seattle Hardcore?
John Twentyfive: I’ve been great, man. My life in the NW is awesome. I have a cool apartment, an awesome girlfriend, a chill dog and solid crew to hang with. As for Seattle Hardcore, I don’t want to speak about it as if I’ve been apart of it for longer than 6 months, but as of this moment I think it’s pretty stellar. There are some great, great bands from Seattle, and the NW in general. I’m psyched to be doing a band out here right now because I think some of the new bands that are starting up are going to make a great impact on kids. So I’m glad we’re a part of that.

How did Not Sorry come about?
Well my friend Alan (guitar player in From The Ground Up) moved out here from Burlington, VT in September ’07 for school. A year later I moved out here with my girlfriend for her to go to school. Alan and I talked about doing a band when I moved out with me playing bass. He hung with this dude Andrew and had jammed with him once or twice on drums. I moved out, we practiced, but we were unsure about who was going to sing. We kind of had an idea of what we wanted, but not knowing a whole lot of people we were not sure who to ask. I suggested that I try singing. It’s something I’ve wanted to do for a little bit, so we learned “I’ve Lost . . .” to make sure that I was comfortable doing it and here we are. Adam V (from How We Are) moved out here in January and he was the obvious pick for bass as Alan and I were already friends with him, so it was an easy addition.

Where did the idea come about for the band name?
It is totally 100% taken from the Black SS song “I’m Not Sorry.” Everyone in the band loves BSS. We had tossed around a couple names, but nothing stuck or was liked well enough by everyone. At practice one night, I told them that I was going to get “I’m Not Sorry” tattooed across my wrists, and one of them joked we should call the band that. It was one of those moments where everyone looks at each other and it just clicked. We decided that Not Sorry was a great band name. The next day I asked Chuck SS about it and he enthusiastically gave us the ok. Said he felt honored and all that. Also, that song has personal attachment for me as well. I’ve sang it for BSS on a couple different occasions, which I think is where the singing idea came from. Anyway, in 2004 my Dad passed away and while at a show that Black SS was playing, Chuck gave this little speech about me being the kind of dude I am and not really apologizing for it, they then played “I’m Not Sorry.” Pretty much from that day, that song has meant a lot to me and always reminds me of my father. Honestly I think it’s the perfect name for us, and especially a band I’m singing for.

I know you are originally from Rochester what made you decide to move out to Seattle and start up a band?
The main reason is my girlfriend was coming out here for school. She really wanted me to move with her, but I was apprehensive as the last half of 2007 my life was a total wreck and moving cross country wasn’t something I thought I was ready for. Regardless, Alan and I had talked about doing a band in case I did move. I wanted to have something going on out here, besides just a relationship. I talked to my Mom about it and she really encouraged me to just do it. She said the worst that can happen is you don’t like it and you can come home, haha. I’d been to the NW before while on tour and definitely knew I could live out here. So I took the plunge. Got rid of a bunch of my stuff, packed up my stereo, clothes, records, bass, and dog (the things I can’t live without obviously) and here I am. I couldn’t be happier.

In your previous bands you were involved in you played bass, what made you decide to sing for this band? Has the transition been difficult to handle from being behind a bass to fronting the band live?
I touched on this previously, but it was more we had this idea of what we wanted and weren’t totally sure that someone else would represent us the way we wanted. I figured I’d made a couple other big changes in my life by moving out here, so why not make another. We learned a cover and I felt like I could handle it. I already had some stuff written for a project band I was going to do with some friends with me on vocals, so things moved along relatively easily. Overall, the transition wasn’t that hard. I talked to my friend Rory about it and he was really supportive. Gave me some tips as he’s been singing in bands forever. I have some herbal throat spray that I use, drink lots of water and take some herbal throat lozenges. Besides the occasional headache, I think I’m doing pretty well. I do miss playing bass though, so hopefully I’ll find another band to play in.

You guys recently just put up a demo for download on the internet, any plans on a label putting it out or do you guys plan to put it out yourself?
As of right now we’re looking into recording 2 new songs and trying to release that with the demo as a 7″. I have never really gotten to put out a record myself, so it’s something I’d like to take on. I know it’s a ton of work, but I think it’ll give me (and us) some perspective as to what goes into actually running a label, at least in some very small way. We also don’t want to wait around for someone to ask us to do a record. Hardcore in 2009 has gotten incredibly lazy and kids feel entitled to things they are sure as shit not entitled to. If you do a band, put some effort into it. Write some good songs, get a decent recording and if you want to do a 7″, save up some money and just put it out yourselves. Sitting around, waiting to be asked by a label is ridiculous. Throwing some half-assed songs up on myspace, that a friend recorded for you in his bedroom, does not mean you deserve anything. Same goes for shows, tours, merch, etc. Hardcore is about using your resources and making things happen on your terms, not waiting for someone to give you theirs. If people don’t ask you to play shows, set up your own. If you want to tour, book it yourself. The idea that someone else is going to put up the money and do the work for us is presumptious. We want to make this our own!

What do you try to bring across with your lyrics? What fuels you to write songs and to bring forth the overall message that the band is about?
Mostly normal every day life types of things. I have strong opinions on lots of topics and there is a lot that infuriates me to no end. As a band we are all straight edge, 3 of us are vegan, and the other is vegetarian. Lyrically, I would like people to empower themselves. There are tons of things that we have very little power to change, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and it definitely doesn’t mean we shouldn’t change the little things we can. Being conscious of what we eat and put into our bodies is one of the most vital things we need to be aware of. Food is life. Without it we die, and everyday we’re being sold garbage in place of food. I don’t care if you eat meat or are vegan/vegetarian, if all you eat is junk, you aren’t doing anyone any favors, including yourself. There are tons of healthier and sustainable options for everyone, regardless of dietary choices. It’s time we start paying attention to those things. I like to think that we (as human beings) will start doing whats right for ourselves, for future generations so they don’t have to clean up our messes or make things worse, and for life in general. It comes down to respect, and that we need to be giving more of it to the things we take for granted. Does that answer your question or did I just ramble and come off sounding crazy?

Yes it does and believe me i ramble on at times, you brought up some very interesting topics. Now moving on, what else is in store for Not Sorry in the future? Any plans to tour?
We’d for sure like to tour. Mainly West Coast for now, but we are planning on coming out East in November. We got asked to play a show in Pennsylvania called “A Time We’ll Remember” with a bunch of youth crew styled bands. We’re hoping to make a weekend out of it, hopefully with Mindset (from Baltimore) and possibly a band or 2 from the NW. We are going to try and hit up Syracuse and one other city while out there. It’s still a few months out, so we’ll see how that pans out. Hopefully have our demo 7″ out by then too. After that we hope to have a new 7″ out in early 2010 with all new songs.

Thank you for doing this interview, any final comments/shout outs?
Thank you Pat, I appreciate you doing this. Thanks to all the people in the NW who’ve been so welcoming to a bunch of kids from the North East. We’re psyched to be a part of whats happening out here. There are tons of awesome bands and people from here, and not all of it gets hyped up on the cool internet spots, so I hope people take the time to look into what this area has to offer. Shout outs to all Wyld Punx!!!


Self Released Demo 2009 Tape is Out Now, Go Pick it Up!
This Interview is featured in New Noise Issue No. 1, Pick it Up Now!

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