By Ozgur

The Presidents Of The United States of America…… a pop-punk-rock band from Seattle……Some of you may remember them with their 2 big hits called “Lump” and “Peaches” but I remember them as being one of the funniest and most enjoyable bands on earth with great and unforgettable melodies.They were once called as “The Lo-Fis”,”The Dynamic Duo” or “Pure Frosting” and they received grammy nominations in their early days.Now they’re ready to be back with their new studio album “These Are the Good Times People” which is expected to be released in March 2008.

It’s a pleasure for me having the chance to do this interview with the “Old man on the back porch”…….Chris Ballew.

So let’s start…..

1 –PUNK GLOBE : Chris ,as The Presidents of the USA, you're recording your new album nowadays.How's it going? How will the new album smell or taste like? Will the new album sound be similar to the previous ones or what surprises can we expect?

CHRIS : It is going great! in fact we are almost completly done with it....it will smell like a pile of strawberries under fresh laundry and taste like a pile of stawberries under fresh laundry...

2-PUNK GLOBE: Please tell us a bit about the early days.Where did the name come from,how did the band form?Any songs from those days that haven't seen the light of the day yet or to be re-recorded?

CHRIS : I dont remember any of it...its been so long and the whiskey is so strong these days...besides 1976 was a long time ago...some of the songs on the new record are actually 20 years old...actuall all of our records are a mix of yesterday and 20 years ago...I had a prilific time back then and the songs just keep popping up..

 

3- PUNK GLOBE : Which bands-can we say - had most influence on the general sound&melodies of The Presidents of the USA?This may give an idea also to new listeners who made a great mistake of not knowing your band before.
 
CHRIS : The Beatles....they were gods to me...

4- PUNK GLOBE: After the second album in 1996 a small decrease in the popularity of the band began and it have not became the same(like in 1995) to this day.When comparing the qualities&style and the taste of your albums including the ones in the 2000s, each one is great.How do you explain the decrease in popularity?Was it because of the change in the music scene that began in the late 90s,the lack of marketting for your albums or any bad effect of deciding to split up but coming back again in a short time?
 
CHRIS: Things just come and go and the big american brian has a short attention span and people love to see others fail...

 

5- PUNK GLOBE: Chris,you collobrated with different musisicans and played in different bands throughout your career.But, if you were to create your all time dream band,who would be the members of this heroic army?
 
CHRIS : First of all I love the name HEROIC ARMY!!! That would be the name and the other members would be all the Beatles in 1964.


6- PUNK GLOBE: When did you start music? Was it your plan or thought to be a singer or be in a rock band when you were young? What was the most important thing that made you decide to start making music? Could it be different if you started 5 years later,what do you think?
 
CHRIS: I started at the age of 4 on the piano but the guitar is way sexier and more power with less effort...I am lazy!! I feel good when I make music...like a member of an HEROIC ARMY!!! and I make something out of mothing and there is really nothing there when I am done...music is invisible...I like that...who knows if it would have been different...too hard to say....

PUNK GLOBE:  Now,as you are still continue touring,how do you compare the crowds at shows in 2000s to the crowds in the early 90s?(Your observations about new generation meeting the old generation in your audience?)
 
CHRIS : They are the same in some ways...young to older...a variety...nice folks who want to get bizzy and rock out all night long...I dont have any real observations about that old vs new thing...but it was a fortunate thing that the kids that were 10 when we came out can drink and party now!!

8- PUNK GLOBE: What were you listening to in late 70s+80s and what are you listening to nowadays?
 
CHRIS : Punk and new wave back then and kinda new country like the Avett Brothers and classical music like Satie and folk like Nick Drake now...

9- PUNK GLOBE : The Presidents of the USA covered "The Buggles - Video Killed the Radio Star","Ian Hunter - Cleveland Rocks","Problems - Sex Pistols","Kick Out The Jams" by MC5 and maybe a few more. Can we expect covers like these in the new album or in the future albums from you?
 
CHRIS : NO! we cant find anymore KILLER songs...we tried but we are all set with covers for a while...

10- PUNK GLOBE : What are the plans for next year?Videos for the singles of new album or any festival
apperances?

CHRIS : Both....we are working on video treatments now and setting up tours in europe and the usa fot eh spring and summer...YAY!

 

    

11- PUNK GLOBE : Chris, you also had collobrated with Beck in the "Caspar and Mollusk" project and played bass-guitar in his "One Foot In the Grave" album. How was it working with him and what are your opinions about him as an artist who experiments with different styles in his each record? Tell us something about Beck that we don't know: )
 
CHRIS : Beck is a genius...no other word for it...I had an amazing time living with him and playing in his band and I learned a lot about the experience of becoming famous from talking to him as we drove all over LA....when we first met he ate with his hands..no utensils...theres a BECK FACT for you

12- PUNK GLOBE : A question I would like to ask the most. you released many albums in your career and I'm sure everyone of them is a great experience for you but which one is your favourite album and which song is the most special for you amongst others ?

CHRIS : Lump...I never get tired of playing it...NEVER

13- PUNK GLOBE : Last question : If someone puts an album up on their wall, are they doing it because it looks cool or because they love the music on that record? What's your opinion?
 
CHRIS : Looks cool...its a bonus if th music id good...

 

14- PUNK GLOBE : Any Last words for Punk Globe Readers???
 
CHRIS : A rat done bit my sister Nell while whiteys on the moon!

 



 


*Punk Globe would like to wish the best to The Presidents Of The United States Of America and thank Chris Ballew for taking the time to do this great interview....

 

 

 

(ozgurcokyuce@hotmail.com)

 

 

 

 

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