(S’n’O) How are the Hudson Falcons doing? What have you guys been up to lately?
(ML) We’re doin ok. Just trying to get through. We’re breaking ass working right now between tours. To say that money is tight is more than an understatement, but it’s worth all the hassle to be able to live the dream. How else would a bunch of poor fucks from Jersey and Indiana get to see the country? Rock ‘n’ roll is good for the soul. We’re going into the studio in a couple of weeks to record a split we’re doing with GC5 on Cosa Nostra Records – a label that was started by Doug and Dave McKean of the GC5 along with myself.
(S’n’O) As I’ve been a fan from the beginning, I’ve noticed the constant line-up changes…who are the current members and why have former ones come and gone? (Props to Jim and Alyson)
(ML) The current band is Uncle Chris on guitar, who has been here from the beginning, Ben Glotzbach on drums, Craighton Fischer on bass, and myself on guitar and vocals. Ben & Craighton are both formerly of the Brassknuckle Boys. When they were filling in for us on a tour a while back, the singer of the Brassknuckle Boys, Mark Dacey, told them that he was gonna be changing the band around a bit, and if they had the chance they should stay with us. We swiped them up in a heartbeat.
As far as former members go, Jim Meyer – original bass player, wasn’t one for touring, and had a lot of problems balancing the band schedule with his work schedule. We still see Jim once in awhile. He just went to the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute, so maybe I’ll be working with him again for the Union rather than with the band.
Alyson, decided to leave the band because of her religious convictions. She wanted to devote her entire life to following Jesus Christ. Since she left she has been working with some Christian organizations in Canada, New Orleans, and Croatia. We’re very proud of her getting out there and doing what she wants to do.
The other full-time member we had, Chris Sorensen on bass, left the band because of some problems he was having at home. He’s currently in the band Abnormal Behavior, and fills in for us quite a bit for local shows. Craighton lives out in Indiana so he can’t always make it to the East Coast for shows.
(S’n’O) Some people and fans of punk rock/Oi! see you as a highly political band. I’ve seen quite a bit of people on your webpage guestbook who are displeased with some of the stances you guys take. Have you guys ever gotten into physical or uncomfortable situations because of your views?
(ML) We’ve gotten a shitload of threats. The only time things got really fucked up was at a show in Atlanta back in Dec 00. A few folks were acting like jerk-offs, because for some reason they thought we are “Commie pinko scum” I think that was the term. And of course with songs like Abandoned Vets, Responsibility, Requiem for a Patriot and the like its sooooooooo obvious we are so Anti-American. Moral of the story – You can’t reason with absolute idiots.
(S’n’O) What are your views of America at the moment? I know you guys are the furthest thing from anti-American, so let’s air some views. What do you think about the “war on terrorism” and the September 11th incident? Do you think Bush is handling it well?
(ML) I’m in extreme agreement with getting the Taliban out of power (I started writing an anti-Taliban song back in March 2001). I also agree with dismantling the Al-Qaeda network. I think, generally, Bush has done the right thing, but he hasn’t inspired too much confidence from me in doing it. In comparison, I have never been a fan of Mayor Guiliani’s politics, but was amazed at the job he did handling everything that went down in NYC. He is a true leader. President Bush doesn’t come across in the same manner. I’m glad the Colin Powell is Secy of State, though.
What does bother me is the flaunting of the Constitution in creating military tribunals. There is a reason that we live in the greatest country in the world. By subverting some of those ideals, the integrity of the country is greatly lessened.
(S’n’O) I know you’re a very Pro-Union man. Do you think the Union is as important now as it was 25 years ago? How so?
(ML) I think it is a lot more important now. Unions don’t wield as much power as they used to. To make things worse, shit like NAFTA and GATT further undermine workers’ leverage in the work place, therefore, creating greater need for collective action – this is where the Union comes in. Approaching those in power with a united front exponentially improves working conditions, benefits and wages. Without a resurgence in organized labor, the plight of the working class will continue to spiral downwards at a devastating rate.
(S’n’O) How has being raised in Jersey shaped you? What about influences from the Boss and Little Stevie? Sopranos? (Just kidding)
(ML) If you keep talking like that I’m gonna lock you in the trunk of the car. In all seriousness, Springsteen’s music inspired me to pick up the guitar and write songs. There is no way in hell, I would be doing this today without his inspiration. Little Steven’s music exposed the political realm to me. Both Springsteen and Little Steven’s music compelled me to question society’s mores, political norms, ideals of freedom and justice, as well as my own internal struggle.
Being born and bred in Jersey, along with the idea that I’m gonna live here for the next 50 years or until I’m dead (whichever comes first), definitely influences one’s attitudes and way someone lives. There’s always a certain paranoia that one must have to survive in the area. The first few times through the Midwest and beyond I was always taken aback at how nice people are. My first thought was “what’s their angle?”, “why are they bein so nice?” It took a few trips out to realize that people, in general, are being nice just because they want to be, not for any ulterior motive. I’m glad I have enough of that paranoia, but can still appreciate people’s kindness and friendliness.
(S’n’O) Who are some of your favorite bands, old or new?
(ML) Springsteen, Rolling Stones, Southside Johnny, Steve Earle, Tom Waits, Little Steven, Chuck Berry, Dion, The Clash, SLF, Johnny Thunders. As far as newer stuff, GC5, Callaghan, Day Care Swindlers, Tanka Ray, Roustabouts, Gut Feeling, King Size Braces (RIP), Tommy and the Terrors, Brass Knuckle Boys, Amazing Royal Crowns (RIP), Ducky Boys, Blood for Blood, Dropkick Murphys , Swinging Utters, I’d fucking be here forever if I had to list all the bands I like, so suffice it to say many more
(S’n’O) I notice you guys always tour with the GC5 and Callaghan…who else is in this Cosa Nostra and what does it mean to you?
(ML) The original Cosa Nostra is us, GC5, Callaghan and the Daycare Swindlers, it has extended to encompass some younger bands that are doing things the right way. Namely, Tanka Ray, The Roustabouts, and Gut Feeling. We are like one big family. Characteristics, such as integrity, loyalty, and passion are the common threads running through these bands. Bonds of that type create a feeling of family though out. Being a part of the Cosa Nostra means maintaining a devotion to the rest of the family and to these ideals.
(S’n’O) What bands do you like to tour with the most? Who would be your DREAM band to play with? I know you’ve played with many, many great bands over time….any memories stick out to you as being the best?
(ML) We like to tour with the GC5. They are like our 4 little brothers. They are good kids and they do things the right way. Any of the Cosa Nostra bands are great to be on the road with for the reasons stated above. We’ve had a great time touring with the Boils; we had a blast when we did a ten day tour with Dropkick Murphys, Tommy and the Terrors, and Toe to Toe. It’s always nice being out with any variation of The Brass Knuckle Boys. For the most part, we don’t set up tours or shows with people we don’t like or have respect for. Be it the Amazombies, King Size Braces, Pressure Point, the Brass Tacks, et al, we’ve always been really lucky to play with good bands and more importantly good people.
Obviously it would be a dream to play with Springsteen or the Stones, but at a more attainable level we’d love to do some shows with Agnostic Front and Sick of it All. Although I’ve never been into hardcore all that much, I appreciate and respect to the highest degree, how these bands have kept it real for all these years. I started opening up to hardcore a few years ago. Ken Casey teamed us up with Blood for Blood on that Flat/TKO split 7″. I thought he was nuts when he told me. We’re a rock ‘n’ roll band, they’re a hardcore band. He said not to worry about its a good match. I went to go see them live a few months later and they fuckin blew me away. It was one of the best things I had ever seen. That started my interest in hardcore.
As far as tour experiences, every time we go to Texas, we come out with so many good memories playing with the likes of The Staggers, Worm Suicide, Razor Burn, The Blacklisted, the Booked. (et al.)
(S’n’O) What do you feel is the best song you have written and why?
(ML) It really depends on the context. There are certain songs that I like for different reasons. Not to sound cliché, but they are all like my children and it’s hard to differentiate degrees of fondness for any of them individually. Among my favorites are “Different Breed” and “Altar of the Open Road” because I think I was able to put forth exactly what I was feeling at the time and still feel. I like the narrative and emotional family oriented aspect of “Latin Knights”. I think I got forth exactly what I wanted to say when I wrote “Worker Fate”. And one that is still in the crib that will hopefully get on our next record “Fight the Good Fight” for a variety of reasons.
(S’n’O) What’s the future plans for the band?
(ML) Keep playing rock n roll for all the lost souls and working class motherfuckers out there. We ain’t got a fuck of alot except music and each other so we gotta keep this thing rollin till we can’t roll no more.
(S’n’O) How is your wife and family doing? How’s the New Year going?
(ML) My wife Kerri is counting the days until we go back on the road. She’s workin some shit temp jobs. We’re all really buckling down so we don’t get evicted. My mom recently got laid off which makes things pretty tough. But she’s still fighting through it. We all are doing what we have to do.
(S’n’O) Anything else you’d like to address, feel free!
(ML) Stick to your guns! Follow your gut!
(S’n’O) Thanks to anyone?
(ML) Thanks to everyone who has given us support, bought our records, and danced at shows.
Interview By Sean Holland