Team Matt and Mondo are back from Gainesville and the amazing Fest 10. Instead of doing a writeup about the entire weekend, I decided to do something much more conventional: interview myself. I mean, I think I’m a pretty good interviewer and interviewee, So naturally this should go well. Enjoy.
So Matt, lets start with the ultimate question. Who won Fest 10?
Well, Matt, that’s a tough question to answer. Well…not really. Against Me! hands down took home the Fest 10 crown. Against Me! came out guns blazing and ripped through 20+ songs in a little over an hour. They stopped once, for about ten seconds so Tom Gabel could say thank you to everybody who came out to watch them. It was nuts. They also had an incredible balance that spanned everything. The highlights for me were “Tonight We’re Gonna Give it 35%” and “Those Anarcho Punks Are Mysterious,” only because I had requested those jams via Twitter.
You mentioned first that it was a tough question to answer. Why did you say that originally?
Well, because when I left The Florida Theatre of Gainesville on Friday night I was convinced that Hot Water Music had won Fest 10. Their set was insane. Plus, they had The Bouncing Souls come onstage with them and together played “Trusty Chords,” “Wayfarer, ” as well as The Souls “True Believers,” and “Gone.” It was pretty insane. I seriously thought that nobody was going to top Hot Water Music. Also, I heard that The Menzingers “mystery” set at The Atlantic was pretty intense, and that Spraynard brought the house down. I didn’t see those sets though, so I’m sticking with Against Me!
Who else did you catch during the weekend?
Well, first, I was in Orlando Wednesday and Thursday so I caught The Menzingers/Broadway Calls/The Flatliners/Leagues Apart/The Artaries and Go Rydell’s pre-Fest show in Orlando at Will’s Pub. As for Fest, I saw the afformentioned bands plus Teenage Bottlerocket, Mixtapes, Look Mexico, Dead To Me (twice), Iron Chic, The Riot Before, Cheap Girls, A Wilhelm Scream, Mikey Erg, Smoke or Fire, Banner Pilot, Cobra Skulls, Vultures United, Samiam, Youth Brigade, Heartsounds, The Blacklist Royals, None More Black, and RVIVR. Some of the sets I caught weren’t full, as I was running around doing interviews and trying to see as many bands as I could. But yeah, that’s the gist of who I saw.
Who were you most bummed about not catching?
Red City Radio. I love that band, and love those dudes but they played at the same time as Against Me! so I had to make a decision. But there are a ton of bands like Banquets and Lemuria that I would have loved to see but couldn’t because of scheduling conflicts.
What band surprised you the most?
I wouldn’t say surprised me the most based on talent, because I’ve always known that they’re a solid band, but Mixtapes. Here’s the thing. At Fest 9, much less top-heavy than Fest 10, Mixtapes played Rum Runners. This year, they packed The Double Down (formerly known as Common Grounds). I mean, it was seriously stuffed. They played the last couple songs with 50-70 people on stage with them singing every word. It was nuts. But to be completely honest, as much as the spike surprised me, when I thought about it afterwards, it really didn’t. Mixtapes is a talented and energetic band who write perfectly balanced and catchy as all hell pop-punk songs. Add in the fact that Maura reels in the dudes and you’ve got a band that has all the makings of the next big pop-punk band. All I’m saying is, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mixtapes is playing The Florida Theatre of Gainesville at Fest 11.
What was the most disappointing thing about Fest 10?
Well, I’d have to say that the Florida Theatre of Gainesville was far too crowded the entire weekend. I walked in to see Kid Dynamite and walked right out. It was nuts. Hot Water Music was packed to the brim, and Against Me! was far worse. It was dangerous and uncomfortable. I felt like if I fell, I could die. Plus, security wasn’t very friendly when it came to the audience. At one point after Hot Water Music they weren’t letting people out the front door. I didn’t quite get that. None of this is Tony or The Fest’s fault. They needed a bigger venue is all. I don’t know if that’s doable in Gainesville though.
You mentioned that you went to Orlando before Gainesville. Why did you do that? Where did you go?
Well, my podcast partner Mondo and some of our friends decided to go to Universal Studios the week of Fest. We did it during Fest 9 and had a blast. We decided to do so again this year. It was fun. We got park hopper tickets and went to both the Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios theme park. The Harry Potter section of Islands of Adventure is pretty much amazing. Plus, I geeked out over The Simpsons Ride. It’s funny. We have a Universal Studios here in Southern California yet I’ve never been on The Simpsons Ride. Doesn’t quite make sense (laughs).
(Laughs). Funny stuff. So I noticed while looking at your Twitter account the hashtags #occupypoundtown and #teampoundtown. What do those mean?
(Laughs) Oh man. Okay, here’s the story. About 10 of us stayed in two hotel rooms at The Paramount Hotel. On Saturday night/Sunday Morning we were bored and didn’t feel like going out to do anything. I was laying in a bed with my good friends Ignacio and Nick. Nick and our friend Rachel had been joking that they had just gotten engaged. Two of our friends had proposed to their girlfriends that day (one on stage with Red City Radio) so they decided to “get engaged” as well. We were laying there and making stupid jokes like “Hey Nick, tonight are you going to give her 35%” and what not, so I said “are you going to take her to poundtown.” I’m a fan of Tosh.0 and I had heard Daniel Tosh refer to “poundtown” before. It got huge laughs and poundtown became a saying for the rest of the weekend. We started calling ourselves “Team Poundtown.” Stupid, but funny.
Ah. And Lord Gabelmort?
Well, (laughs). Again that came from Saturday night conversations. Our friend Sara is hugely into Harry Potter, and somehow the subject of Against Me! and Harry Potter came up. Someone called Tom Gabel “Lord Gabelmort” and it got huge laughs. We said the panther on the cover of “New Wave” (a fantastic cover by the way) was the “dark mark” and it sprawled from there. It was no disrespect to Gabel or Against Me! or anything. It was just sleep deprived good cleen fun. We all love Against Me! We even had a 2 AM “Sink Florida Sink” sing-a-long in our hotel Sunday. How we didn’t get kicked out is beyond me.
And I read that you caught a ride with The Blacklist Royals from The Double Down to the Paramount?
Yeah. I kind of got separated from my friends Katy and Ignacio and happened to run into Rob from The Blacklist Royals and he offered to take me back to the Paramount. I won’t say why it was so funny, as to give them their privacy, but it was. Those guys are solid. They played a fantastic set at Fest.
Last question. You were at Fest 9. How this one stack up to Fest 9?
Honestly, it blew Fest 9 out of the water. And I loved Fest 9. Tony really outdid himself. It was insane.
Thank you for your time Matt.
No problem, Matt. take care