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