On Thursday, November 14th KXSC was joined on air by the Brooklyn-based punk band The So So Glos. After a high-powered performance at Tommy’s Place that evening, these Brooklyn boys joined our punk director Sam Hill and assistant music director Nick Arnold to discuss their band’s month-long sojourn in Los Angeles, Kurt Cobain’s apocalyptic prophecies, and the future of rock n’ roll in an off-the-cuff interview. What you're about to read is rated M for mature, so cover your ears, children!
Videos of this interview and their Tommy's Place performance coming soon!
Sam: We had the one and only So So Glos from Brooklyn, NY play in Tommy’s Place this evening.
SSG: There are actually two more bands called So So Glos, two bands in Germany and one band in Thailand.
Sam: Didn’t you guys make up the term?
SSG: We’re kidding, we’re just fucking with you. We’re allowed to curse on air?
Sam: Yeah, yeah. Not that we have a signal anyway. Not that it would really matter. But anyway, they played a dope show. We had Baby Fleas out here too.
SSG: Dope show. So what are we listening to now? Is this on the radio?
Sam: Yeah, yeah, we’re on air. Not on radio but we’re online.
SSG: We’re on internet but we’re not on air. No one really listens to it on the radio anyway, do they?
Sam: That’s why we’re online. It makes more sense because you can say whatever you want online. It’s the FCC.
SSG: Fuck the FCC. We’re on the internet now.
--All start singing “ 21st Century Schizoid Man”
Sam: Who just did a cover of that?
Nick: Fuzz. I have that single somewhere in here.
SSG: When that shit came out peoples’ minds were blown. Frip was ahead of his time.
Nick: Yeah, with the looping and everything.
Sam: I watched this cool video about the first synth box. King Crimson was one of the first bands that used one.
SSG: I think he invented one of those things, and he was like one of the first people with one. He used a tape recorder before they had delay pedals and just recorded himself and would play along to that. Way ahead of his time. My heroes are kinda alike. What is he a hippie? All those hippie guys like Roger Waters from Pink Floyd invented that shit. They did all this crazy electronic stuff and all that shit. You have a lot of bracelets on, man. You have, like 17. You didn’t get one of our bracelets, man.
Nick: I gave up all my money to buy the patch!
SSG: Oh word that’s right. You should do what I did with my patch.
Nick: Awe that’s so sick! I want to do that!
SSG: I cut it up and I put it on my hat.
Nick: Is that a five panel hat? I’m gunna do that.
SSG: So who the fuck is listening to us? Lets hope 12 people. Oh my god we should prank call your mother on air man! Howard Stern shit. Nah you don’t want to fuck with mothers.
Sam: So tell me, what the hell are you guys doing in LA?
SSG: We are here to make it. We will make it. We will suck what we have to suck. Shameless social ladder climbing. We are in Hollywood, baby. Hollywood. All these NYCers are making it in Hollywood. Look at Jerry Seinfield. You look at Paul Riser. Larry David. Jay Leno. People went to make it from NYC to LA. Don’t be a jerk and make it.
Sam: Are you comedians or a band?
SSG: What is the difference? The world is a joke anyway. We’re getting jobs out here in LA, though. We’re going to sweep the floor at the comedy store for whatever they want to pay us. We’ll do it for free.
Sam: I thought you were working at In N Out?
SSG: Yea. (This is an inside joke).
Sam: Dude get me a free double double, animal style.
Nick: Oh do you know the whole secret menu?
SSG: Yea we know it all! Secret menu. Dude we’re actually a Christian rock band. Why is Highway to Hell on? Is it background music?
Sam: It’s sacrilegious! So what are your plans for LA for real?
SSG: We’re here to make it. Its really the plan. It can take one or two or three days. You never know when you are going to make it. We’re playing some shows though and we got some Hollywood people coming. We’re trying to make friends with Paul Riser and Barry Manilow. Helen Hunt… Gwen Stefani... But on the real we have a couple of shows, you should come to the Echo, sun Dec 8th, playing with the Urinals.
Nick: Are you guys playing at The Smell again?
SSG: You saw us The Smell show right? How’d you like The Smell Shows?
Sam: Yeah it was great!
SSG: Did you like this one better or what?
Sam: I like this one better. The sound was better because The Smell is just a concrete box with brick walls.
SSG: You guys have a great place here. You have a proper place for college kids to learn how to run a venue. We do the same thing in NY at Shea Stadium.
Sam: Tell us a bit about Shea stadium.
SSG: Shea stadium is a DIY all ages place we have in Brooklyn where we have shows and record all bands. Is This Diarrhea Planet playing right now? We toured with these guys, they’re a great band.
Sam: What’d you think of these guys?
SSG: Great. Great Guys. They fucking rock. Great band. I think the question is, what didn’t we think of these guys. I didn’t think they were a bad band. I don’t think they are undeserving of their critical acclaim.
Sam: Do they have critical acclaim?
SSG: I don’t know. Do they? They wanted to move out here.
Sam: Why didn’t they move out with you?
SSG: Its hard to be around diarrhea every day. Maybe we’ll get a house together. It’ll be called tha 10 Guys House. We’ll live on a planet of diarrhea.
Nick: I saw you had some modified box petals. Is that a Kealy mod?
SSG: I got 4 petals back, 2 of them aren’t working. It’s messed up. And they fixed one that is not functional.
Nick: You guys have a lot of classic designs going in the guitar field , too. You have an SG and a V. Were you guys seeking out an iconic look?
SSG: We didn’t really plan it out it just kind of happens. I bought that flying V on this tour in Knoxville. I got a good deal on it and I had been joking about getting one, so I got one and I really like it.
Nick: You should paint it up like Jimi Hendrix with all the flower symbols or something.
SSG: Yeah I don’t think I’m going to do that but yeah I like this guitar it’s very light, that’s my favorite part.
Sam: What is your guys’ biggest pet peeve when playing live?
SSG: We don’t like when people are texting right in front of us or are just on their phones during our show.
Sam: You were talking about that at The Smell.
SSG: Yeah you see a lot of people on their phones so I’ll usually go out into the crowd and tap on their screens. I know Alex thinks I scare them so I kind of stopped. He says I have crazy eyes so now I just tap on their screen and I just look away. It’s funny though, it’s ironic, most of the time people are on their phones I call them out, make them feel bad, it’s fun.
Sam: What do you think about when people are filming you, like taking a video?
SSG: Yeah exactly! The ironic part is that most people are filming us or telling their friends or tweeting like “come to the show”.
Sam: They’re not really in the moment though.
SSG: Yeah our goal is to just get people to be there. We’re playing 40 minutes you had all day to text on your phone.
Sam: And then they’re just filming some shitty video and I’m thinking, “are you really ever going to go back and watch that?”
SSG: Everybody feels like they need to be a documentarian but sometime you need to just live. People need to actually just live that moment that’s happening to your life and stop trying to capture it.
Sam: Everyone want’s to prove that they did these things.
SSG: Yeah but if you live it you’ll have it inside of you and it’ll be a memory. Sure, it might change a little bit and might get distorted, but maybe if someone asks you about it you can tell them what it was like. You could have a conversation about something and it could be beautiful. You could tell a story. Fuckin’ storytelling is dying. It’s fuckin’ dead because no one’s ever like “oh tell me what you did last night”. You know what I did last night. It’s like “Oh I saw you last night at Cha Cha’s in Oklahoma”. No you weren’t there, that’s fucking bullshit I hate that. We go home to New York and everyone knows what we did on tour. It’s like what the fuck? You know? We used to come home and there was mystery, man. I have an instagram though so I’m feeding the fire. That’s right though follow me (@ryanglos) I love having new followers. That’s what makes your secrets and the things you keep to yourself so much sweeter. Yeah look at it like that. Change the fucking narrative. When you have a secret nowadays it means more. Definitely. It’s just that we’re all there in a room so let’s be there and have a unique experience. We try to make every one of our shows a unique vibe. It depends on the energy that’s brought into that particular room. So don’t try to fucking transmit that shit all the way to fuckin’ some guy sitting on a toilet 2,000 miles away. He doesn’t need to see it. I mean yeah that’s cool that you want to spread it but be in it. Just let let spread from there.
Sam: Is that why you talk a lot about the end of the world and destruction? Your life can end at any time so if you’re not living here now you’re missing out.
SSG: That’s part of it. I think a lot of it is just that we’ve lost our ability to really engage and really stare into each other's eyes. That is a bit of a problem because we’re losing empathy. We’re losing a thing called empathy which is really important because the more that you just talk or hide behind a screen, the more you can be or say anything and you can, I don’t know. I heard this interview from Kurt Cobain a while ago and it really stuck with me when I heard it. He was talking about the future of rock and roll. This is probably about 1993 or 1994, right before he died, but they asked him about the future of rock and roll and what its going to sound like, and he had complaints about everything, which is why we love him, but he commented on how it’s so rehashed already. He said how he can’t even see the future and that it’s going to be even more rehashed. He talked about how there’s going to be all these people on electronic machines, and there’s going to be all these junkies that are addicted to virtual reality machines. Once people become junkies for virtual reality machines, and people stop caring about rock and roll, the world’s going to explode. And I’m paraphrasing but he’s was saying something very very close to that, but I feel like that’s where we’re at right now. He nailed it, man. He was right about that for sure. Kids have stopped caring about rock and roll on the majority. There are pockets of true believers everywhere, but we’ve lost that intimacy and urgency that is rock and roll. That’s why we dedicate every second of every show to try to resurrect that feeling that we’re losing a lot. We’re just losing our ability to feel. Tangibility has gone out the window. That’s why everyone touches their phone every 20 seconds. They’re looking for all of the world’s information for some kind of salvation when we really just need to look to each other. That’s the way we’ve always dealt with stuff. Long story short, blah blah blah blah blah, but let’s fucking get together. Let’s fucking get together on the dance floor. Let’s not be separated by everything that’s out there. All of the world’s information will be there after the show. While we’re here let’s fucking bring it back to a singalong sitting around a campfire. That’s what it should be like. That’s why we spend so much energy at our shows bitching like that and I know it probably sounds a bit rude…
Sam: It brings the mood down.
SSG: Yeah but we try to get people literally down on their feet. And we do a lot of the time. That’s when it becomes real punk rock. I think punk rock has evolved from pushing someone really hard on the dance floor to getting down like you’re in kindergarten and looking into each others’ eyes because that is more real. We need that just as much as we needed stomping someone’s head in in 1992 or fucking spitting on someone in 1977. The world doesn’t need that anymore. I feel like we’ve got enough of that. I think now we need real human connection and empathy and uh..
SSG: Yeah hugs lots of that. Or Uggs! Put ‘em on your feet! A lot of Uggs. Uggs and Crocks. Shit load of college girls everywhere wearing them.
Sam: Do you guys ever have a show where you just can’t get people moving at all?
SSG: Yeah that happens. You know what we do? We give up. We leave the stage.
SSG: Nah we just fuck with them more. It doesn’t always work, but a lot of Andy Kaufman-esque shit comes out and we just kinda talk to them. It really just depends, though.
Sam: Well I really hope you guys don’t run into that a lot out here. I’ve been to some shows where people just stand there the whole time.
SSG: LA’s pretty good. But it’s not their fault! People wanna dance but even me, like when I go to shows I don’t particularly like wild out unless something really hits me. Even if I’m feeling it, it’s hard.
Sam: You’re still groovin’ though.
SSG: Yeah you’re still groovin’ and I don’t hold it against them, it’s just part of the show. Maybe a whole group of people just didn’t like us. That’s another thing we can’t make people like our music. To each his own. But what we’re doing is trying to get people past themselves. I feel like a lot of that is if you don’t know a band but you’re feeling it, you’re feeling reserved a little bit, but it’s ego. A lot of it’s your ego. I feel that myself. Even when I’m feeling someone that I don’t necessarily know, my ego will get in the way and I’ll be like, this is cool. but am I really going to show emotion? That’s what everyone is so terrified to do. People are terrified to how emmotion. Once people do it, though, it’s contagious. Once one person starts to do it, it just spreads like wildfire.
Sam: What are you guys going to do now?
SSG: Let’s go party, we’re in LA!