For the first installment of my Shitty Interviews, I thought it would be fun to interview someone I’ve been friends with for a long time. Since my friends weren’t available, I talked to this guy instead. Hahahaha, JUST KIDDING, BUDDY! Anyways, he’s been a friend of mine for quite a few years and runs his own record label so I thought it’d be fun to see what he has to say. As for the name “Jonny B0n0rz”, it ties back into some story I can’t really remember involving someone attempting to say “sweet boners” on the internet, but accidentally saying “sweet bonorz”. A few people thought this was hilarious, and I even made him a shirt with the statement “SWEET B0N0RZ” on it. I replaced the O’s with 0’s because of something internet related and–goddammit, I’m an idiot. Just read the interview. I’d also like to say that all images featured in the “Shitty Interviews” segment will just consist of me taking phrases from the response and plugging them into Google search. Very helpful!
The Wolfman: Jonny B0n0rz, can I call you Jonny B0n0rz? Jonny B0n0rz, before we go ANY further into this interview, could you please inform our wonderful readers of your memory of the first time we met? Well, technically, it’s the ONLY time we met, but you know what I mean!
Jonny B0n0rz: So… back in the day… in the early 2000s (feel OLD, people older than me), the Wolfman and I attended college together at a little place called the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, Massachusetts. I came to school from eastern Mass, away from my family, friends, and everything that I knew and was comfortable with. The Wolfman, on the other hand, was mere minutes from his childhood home and his friends from high school and even before that. As a straight edge freshmen at a party school who was obsessed with basketball and hardcore, I found it a bit hard to fit in. I made friends, but not many of them had much in common with me and I found myself going home a lot. Eventually, I mustered up the courage to try and talk to some people who looked like they might be my friends (i.e. people wearing hardcore/punk band t-shirts/patches/buttons/etc.). Over the span of 24 hours I had two such brave encounters. The first one was a hefty dude with mutton chops and a messenger bag with BANE and STRAIGHT EDGE patches on it. I approached him to inquire about an upcoming BANE show and he was kind of a dick and I was bummed. The next day, a friend of mine and I ate lunch, and I found myself sitting across the table from one of the hardcore-band-t-shirt-guys I had seen around campus pretty frequently. He was the palest motherfucker I’d ever seen and had dyed black hair. He was wearing some kind of army hat I think (so cool at that point) and an American Nightmare windbreaker. A little nervous, but also excited, I tried to start a conversation by attempting to reference a recent story in hardcore – that being the changing of the name of American Nightmare to American Nothing and then to Give Up the Ghost… I asked him “Oh, so you like Give Up the Ghost?” I had thought it was a great first impression – he would know that I followed what was going on in the scene – as the band had literally JUST changed their name within the previous day or two. This skinny bastard looked at me, and in a snotty shit-head voice said “IF BY THAT YOU MEAN AMERICAN NIGHTMARE THAN YES.” I decided that this kid was a total douchebag and that I would never find friends at UMass. As months progressed, we began chatting on AOL Instant Messenger (my screen name was xPutSomeMusicOnx) and eventually became friends. He opened a doorway for me to a vast network of friends, many of whom I am still close with to this day. But my first impression – trendy douche asshole.
WM: Hahaha, that was classic (editorial note, I wrote down “hahaha” before actually reading his response, so I apologize if it wasn’t told in a funny way). This means we’ve known each other close to ten years, and the thing that brought us together was music. Mostly it was shitty metalcore, but it was still technically music. What are some bands that you still listen to from that simpler time, no matter how embarrassing it is to admit? What are some newer bands that are cool that you want to brag about listening to because I have probably never heard of?
JB: Over the past couple of months I’ve been trying to listen to every CD I own – which is difficult since I ride my bike to work a good percentage of the time, and that’s usually the only time I listen to CDs. I cleared out my CD collection maybe 5 years ago and the following (embarrassing – but not all 100%) metalcore CDs made the cut: Embrace Today – Soldiers, Embrace Today – FxYxIxE, Eighteen Visions – Until the Ink Dries, Folly – Insanity Later, Half of my Zao CDs (there were a lot), Comeback Kid – Turn It Around (still awesome), With Honor – EP & Heart Means Everything. I’m sure there are more – I’m not actually looking at my CDs right now.
Top things I’ve been listening to lately: The Pist, Soul Control, The Weatherthans, The Stoned Ambassadors, No Trigger, Armalite
WM: Since we’ve met, we’ve both gotten involved in slightly different musical “scenes”. You took your love of music to the point of starting your own label, Galambis Records, and I just started listening to a lot of stoner metal. I was going to ask what caused you to start the label, but then I saw that your first release was your own band and realized you had to release it because no one else wanted to. This takes us to my next question: What release are you most proud of, and why the fuck is it called “Galambis Records”?
JB: Rory named it – it’s a combination of my last name and former Lakers forward Kurt Rambis’ last name. Kevin McHale from the Celtics was always my favorite player, and Rambis was his basketball nemesis. I don’t really know why Rory combined the names, I think he just wanted to draw the goofy glasses and moustache.
I feel proud of different releases in different ways. I’m proud to have released the Relics LP because I think it’s really good and I was able to join them on tour which was a real life highlight for me. I’m proud to have released the Wild Wild West Compilation cassette because it took the most organizing and work of anything I’ve done. Coordinating over a dozen bands to get songs, lyrics, artwork, etc. can be a real hassle, but I made it happen and went through a run of 500 cassettes, sending them all over the world.
Being able to put things together by hand, gluing, labeling, stamping, screen-printing, is a really rewarding process when you get the final product. I feel like my own bands have a special place for me because I feel like I put so much of myself into them between writing, recording, designing, producing, and distributing the music in collaboration with my friends.
WM: Again, without having read your response I’d like to point out that at one point in my life I thought it was funny to insert the word “gay” into your last name. I then learned that people were doing this to you as far back as high school, which was when you were friends with Rory. How’s Rory doing? That guy’s awesome!
JB: Working at a middle school, I’m pretty familiar with using gay as a heterosexist slur, for sure, and became more aware of it and involved in being an active ally to the LGBT community later on in high school.
Rory is totally awesome. I saw him on his birthday in September and on Christmas Eve. He likes to sing, play guitar, be funny, animate, watch basketball, and ride his bike. What a dude.
WM: Just wanted to remind our readers that Rory was in a band with Jonny B0n0rz so it wasn’t completely off-topic. And speaking of bands, are there any projects you’re currently working on? Specifically, are there any bands that will last long enough for one demo tape, three shirts, two live shows, and ultimately breaking up because no one has the time but you?
JB: No one has time including me. 😦 My friend Kevin and I have talked about doing something – and there have been conversations about recording a rap album with me on the mic. Wouldn’t that be awesome? ha ha
WM: In addition to be a record label mogul, much like Sean “P. Diddy Puff Daddy” Combs, you have a blog about bikes (www.bikefromthefalls.blogspot.com). I was led to believe that only trendy douchebag idiots rode bikes, is there any truth to this rumor? I contacted the guys at Mythbusters about that myth but they haven’t gotten back to me.
JB: I mean, I’d say I am all for anyone riding bikes, even if they are trendy douchebags. I think that bikes are really important and one of the greatest human inventions. I can get myself from one place to another fairly quickly, without wasting resources, without producing pollution (other than tons of farts – but they help me go faster), and also help myself stay healthy and physically fit without having to pay for a gym membership. Considering how ridiculous the obesity rates in America are and the number of preventable illnesses that are running rampant, any activity that helps keep your weight down is CRUCIAL.
WM: The last email you sent to me, which contained links to your various projects, told me it was sent from your iPad. Is it true that this iPad was given to you by your place of employment? And you mostly spend your time on it looking up videos from hardcore shows? Oh! And did you ever find the point in that HOAX video when the fan broke?
JB: Yes, I do have an iPad for work. I have been known to use it to watch hardcore videos and play NBA Jam. No, I never re-watched the Hoax video, did you?
WM: Speaking of crucial mosh moves, is it possible that you could type up some sort of instructions of one of your famous mosh moves? Or even just list what you named some of these moves? For the record, Jonny B0n0rz and I used to practice these moves while listening to a boom box in the lobby of his dorm while everyone mocked us.
JB: We did used to practice mosh moves in case we went to a Bury Your Dead or Love is Red show in the Webster dorm 5th floor student lounge, ha ha. Well, that’s where we would practice, not where the shows were. Bury Your Dead did play Van Meter and ruin having shows at UMass for like 5 years though. One move was a cartwheel, direction reversal, followed by a spin kick. I have some photos of you, me, and Nate Fernald moshing in that room somewhere. Also, there was some sort of tandem over the back / back to back move, that may or may not have been executed at a Taking Back Sunday show at the Worcester Palladium circa 2001. That paragraph is really painful to read.
WM: Lastly, is there any shit you’d like to talk on me? Any projects you’d like to promote or messages you’d like to pass along? It’s time to “step up to get your rep up”, in the words of Scott Vogel.
JB: I’d say that if you’re interested in bike commuting, my blog might interest you, follow it! If you like music, download most of the releases of the Galambis Records website for free.99. (that’s free, not 99 cents). Also, there are some things you can still buy up there too, so if you like something, you can buy it and support a d.I.y. Massachusetts punk/hardcore label.
Enough shit has been talked. Live life, stay positive, be nice. xxx
Thanks again, Jon! Make sure you guys check out his record label, his bike about blogging, and that third link will open up a song from one of his current projects.