Thanks so much for the interview Jason. Where did you grow up?
Jason Honea: I was born on Whidby Island
WA, spent a few years in Japan until finally settling in the Santa
Clara valley,Northern California....
I grew up in Sunnyvale.
Punk Globe: Tell us about the music that inspired you when you were young?
J.H.: We were a military family and some
of that was reflected in the music at home, but not exclusively. My dad
dug bagpipes among other
things-all of which had a massive influence on me .... not necessarily
only in the realm of music either. He was also into Marty Robbins,
Roy Clarke, Patsy Cline but that wasn't the stuff that got to me. I
loved all that Bacharach inspired film soundtrack stuff, things I heard
while watching the Monkees/Glenn Campbell .... other KFRC pop stuff.For
some reason all that Toho / Godzilla film soundtrack material had some
sorta spell on me as well. Oh !... war movie soundtracks too, BBC
Punk Globe: Most everyone best remembers you for singing with Social Unrest. Had you been in any bands prior to Social Unrest?
J.H.: Yeah, Grim Reality !
We were a (408) band:Ribzy, The Faction, Los Olvidados, Mistaken Identity to mention just a few
Punk Globe: Social Unrest has had a few
lead singers not to mention a couple named Jason. Can you fill us in
who was the first singer to the now
present with Social Unrest?
J.H.: went like this:
Creetin K-os 81-83
Jason Honea 84-89
Jason Honea 94-96
year listings might not be the most accurate,they should just serve as
rough indicators... BTW, if you ever come across a copy of my zine,
Pink Skulls, you'll find an old SU interview featuring Bobby. This of
course goes way back. I'm not sure where I found it.
Punk Globe: Had you been a fan and friend of the band prior to joining them?
J.H.: A fan? yes,completely...but I didn't
know them until later. Actually, I first met Mark and Jim when they
showed up to one of our shows at Agnew State Hosp.! SU was always my
favorite Bay Area band.
Punk Globe: Speaking of flattery or
stalking.. How did you react to the news that a person who had grown up
in the same area of the East Bay had taken over the identity of one of
the members of Social Unrest. Oddly enough he was quite a few years
older than the others in the band.
J.H.: I kinda forgot about all that.Well,
I thought it was just silly.... I mean, it didn't directly piss me off
like it did some of the others.
I guess I kinda forget how important some of this music can get to be
for some people ...maybe just a case of a male groupie gone haywire ???
Maybe just a kook ??
I don't know, I don't really know him...
Punk Globe: It was during that time that I became close with Mark's ex who was really nice.. Are you in touch with her?
J.H.: I'm a friend of hers on my space I think but I really haven't spoken to her in years ....
Punk Globe: During your time with Social Unrest tell us about any recordings that you did with them?
first thing we recorded with me on vocals was the SU2000 LP which was
done at Peter Miller's in SF. In '86 we recorded our Before the Fall
LP, also done at Peter Miller's. Then,upon returning from our '87 Euro
tour we put down our Now and Forever Lp which came out in 88. Once
again recorded at Peter Miller's. In '95 or 96 we did a record for New
Red Archives, New Lows,that Billy Joe and Kevin Army recorded. For some
reason I have the feeling that there's bits and pieces from over the
years that weren't released and are sitting around in the can somewhere
but I may be mistaken.... Whatever the case, the band worked really,
really hard...I think we got a lot done if you consider our ages and
the resources at hand during that time. I guess what's become most
apparent to me over the years about this time is that we were really
trying to push our limits and test our abilities...and ideas. That said
, it also feels lie what we did kinda fell on deaf ears...though Europe
was different. I mean, I guess I can kinda understand why maybe certain
people didn't like the music SU was doing from this period or
really,... just didn't get it. But, we just wanted and needed to do or
try something different.To be totally honest,I'm really happy that we
just didn't go metal or something (though I guess that was always in
the cards to a certain extent)!!! For me at least, that just wouldn't
have been an option. Having said that, I don't think I'm speaking only
for myself when I say that by '85 I was the only one in the band that
was pretty bored with hardcore... Later on in Germany I was finally
able to find other forms of guitar music that were still loud but more
Punk Globe: Was the band signed to New Red Archives at the time?
J.H.: No. Only our last studio LP as well
as the collected works were on NRA. All the other stuff was on
Libertine, the band's label. Before the
Fall and Now and Forever were eventually licensed to Konkurrenz in
Holland as well...
Punk Globe: Tell us about some of the bands that Social Unrest Played with and do you have any shows that stick out in your memory?
J.H.: Tons of shows stick out;I'm not even
sure if I can really answer this. A Cheetah Chrome Motherfuckers show
we did in in Livorno, Italy really
sticks out .We did a show in Ljubljana with God from Amsterdam- that's
gotta be my all time favorite! A show at the Olympic in'84 with DOA and
the Abrasive Wheels . Another one in Edmonton in'86 that seems to
really stand out as well-who we played with though I can't really
Punk Globe: What Bay Area Venues did you enjoy playing?
J.H.: I loved the Mab.I really loved that
theater in Antioch, the name of which escapes me. I should include that
show with my answer to your previous question. SU, DKs,
Descendants,Rhythm Pigs,Doggy Style,...and I wanna say MIA. I thought
the Varsity in Palo Alto was a great place to
play even if the sound did suck....
Club Culture in Santa Cruz was fun too.
Did Social Unrest tour alot while you were in the band?
J.H.: We did four pretty big tours while I was in the band. Weekend jaunts to here or there I'd throw in as well.....
Punk Globe: Are you still close to members of Social Unrest?
J.H.: Well,..yeah. I mean I hardly see'em. I communicate with Danny pretty consistently.
Punk Globe: Do you know who is currently in the band now? Mark is no longer drumming right?
J.H.: I forget the name of the guy
drumming for them at present. As it stands today, it looks like
this:Danny,Ray Vegas on second guitar,Ron
Isa on bass and Creetin and then of course the new drummer.
Punk Globe: In what year did you leave the band and took over on vocals with the band?
J.H.: I took over on vocals in the
spring/early summer of '84 and then stayed with them til we split
in'89. I was also the vocalist and bassist
(swapping with Creetin) during that period in the 90s.
Punk Globe: What prompted your move to Germany an what year did you move over there?
J.H.: ah, I've lived in Germany a few
times either to study , do music or both. I first went back in'89 after
SU split up to initially study but then got so into what was happening
in Europe musically that I got a little
distracted to say the least. I've been living in Berlin since 2002,
teaching and performing.
Punk Globe: Had you started the label you have 3 Acre Floor Records before or after moving to Berlin?
J.H.: That was a bit before Berlin. 3AF
was a label I started in '96 to get some of my new music out(the Knit
Separates) as well as that of my
friends.It was expensive and a little clumsy but well worth it in the
end. Actually, I'm wanting to resuscitate it.
Punk Globe: What is it about Germany that makes you stay there?
J.H.: Berlin's got a ton going for it,
especially if you're into history or art...let alone music. At this
point I think it's the only place in Germany I could live with the
exception of Hamburg.Also,there are tons of places to play with little
or no stress regarding credentials,
demos,etc. which wasn't the case in SF, at least back when I left...and
that makes it all the easier just to get on stage and do your thing
which, in essence, is what I love to do the most .
Punk Globe: Are you fluent in German? Weren't you also teaching English there?
J.H.: Yeah, I'm pretty fluent. I teach at a little private school just outside of Berlin.
Punk Globe: Can you tell us about the projects that you are currently working with now?
J.H.: My erstwhile project is The Shitty
Listener. It's a performance art thing involving occasionally a band of
sorts or at other times just cassettes and Dictaphones going off with
my friends playing flutes or keys or whatever else seems appropriate.
For the most part it's accapella and I just sing stories or use my
voice as an instrument. It's totally satisfying! I'm not trying to
'tell' anyone anything. It's more or less
just a performing inexplicable mentality....an attempt to demonstrate
what I find that works about or within music.Essentially, it's an
elaboration on several other ideas and bands I've done over the last
ten years. To be honest, it's something I should have started a long
time ago.Also, I play bass in Teenage Panzerkorps as well as sing and
play other instruments in The Child Readers, The Walking Corpses, St.
Maurice. The Greens,Pinks and Whites to name a few. Not all of this is
necessarily punk sounding but in approach and attitude it's true to my
Punk Globe: I know that you have been doing photography but are you also involved with art? Tell us about it?
J.H.: : I draw, paint,illustrate...I just
had some stuff in a show recently in Kreuzberg. I really want to
concentrate on all this a bit more.
Maybe develop it as an alternative to that other line of work I've been
Punk Globe: You also have a future with journalism.. You have done a few nice interviews for Punk Globe. Did you enjoy that?
J.H.: Yeah, really enjoyed that!! I've
also done some other interviews for a mag in Germany called Ox. I did
one with Nikki Sudden a few years
back. I did an interview with Alan Vega and Martin Rev. I interviewed
both Don Bolles and Paul Roessler. I did one with Creetin .The Germs
interview of course you know about. I did a piece for Ox about that
interview and show. I'm gonna do an interview with Ron Emory AND
with Clifford Dinsmore from Blast and Dusted Angel. I had the
opportunity to interview Rowland Howard which sadly,now, will never
God rest his guts...There's a ton of other people I'd love to talk to.
There's so many that need to be heard, people just as equally as
important as Jello,MacKaye or Rollins-those same guys you always hear
Punk Globe: Do you run into anyone you knew from the Bay Area over there?
J.H.: From time to time. To be honest, I run into more people from my childhood over there than from the punk days.
Punk Globe: Over this past year I have met a delightful and very talented singer guitarist named Mignon. She played with Peaches? Are you
familiar with her?
J.H.: Nope. Doesn't mean that I haven't seen or heard her perform though.
Do you have any Websites, My Space or Facebook addresses for the readers to get updates and contact you at?
Punk Globe: What does 2010 have in store for Jason Honea?
J.H.: Some big CHANGES. I want to live a
little healthier that's for sure. What else,...of course get more music
out and perform a bunch. Start drawing and painting a lot more.
Punk Globe: Any last words of wisdom for Punk Globe readers?
J.H.: Yeah, this bit from R. Jeffers: Life is a torch to burn in with pride.
Punk Globe would like to thank Jason for the informative and fun interview...
Photo Credits: The Social Unrest Collage Photo by: Dela Chaffee.
Jason Honea jumping in air Color photo by: Kochie
Black and White photo of Jason Honea jumping in air by: Anne Uhlrich