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Endpoint interview [Rumpshaker #2]

In light of the upcoming Endpoint reunion show, here's an Endpoint interview from Rumpshaker #2. If we're lucky, Eric might even have a new issue of Rumpshaker for us all by the end of this decade (just kidding, Eric).

NB: Scans has taken from xSTUCK IN THE PASTx zine

This interview is probably my favorite that I 've ever done, partially because the content is interesting, but mainly due to the fact that Rob is very intelligent, extremely sincere, and an all around pleasure to speak with. He definitely has a lot to say, so read on and get some knowledge courtesy of RUMPSHAKER and Rob.

RUMPSHAKER- Could you talk a little bit about the new material you're working on?

ROB- We have a new record coming out, it has thirteen songs on it and it is called Aftertaste. It is not as chugga-chugga hard stuff, but I think it is ten times more powerful and more emotional. I don1t think we've softened in any way. A lot more songs are tuned in D and there is more slower, heavier stuff. It is a very powerful, emotional and very pained record.

RUMP- What do you think is the greatest problem facing the youth of America?

ROB- If you want the most general problem, it's numbness. People don't relate things that are going on around the world to themselves. People lack passion. What we can do as a HC group or as a scene or as a group of kids, we can spread this passion we've found through music and this clear sight of the world we've found by not being a part of the mainstream to other people. Even mainstream kids are restless. They're worried about what's going on and I think it's really important for us to fight this big move for stagnation. Society moves better if we're clones, than if we battle this. We' re not concerned. Emotion is dead. Society tells us that if we have feelings or if we're confused or upset about things, then there is something wrong with us; instead of there being something wrong with the system. As youth we have to understand that we really do have a voice. We are responsible for the future of how we live. We need to be really vocal about this and we need to fight. There's a big ice-age coming on, and we need to be the heaters that melt it.

RUMP- When you say we need to fight, what does that encompass?

ROB- We need to be vocal. Like this Food not Bombs thing I was introduced to tonight. When we turn eighteen we have a right to take part in legislation. I think we should start groups and spread consciousness about all sorts of things. The biggest problem in America is people have no fucking idea about what's really going on. At this point, I don't know about militancy or bombing buildings or whatever. I do know that now is a really important time to start spreading the message and open people`s eyes to issues. You can do it through zines, in a band or by setting up organizations at school. I think it's our responsibility.

RUMP- Would you ever support militancy?

ROB- I see militancy as a last resort. If it ever reached that point, I'd support it.

RUMP- But do you believe politics can make enough of a change?

ROB- I don't know. I don't think so. Ultimately it's controlled. If the government didn't want a certain person to win, he wouldn't win. if you talk about presidential elections, everything we vote for is controlled. I truly believe that.

RUMP- Controlled by who?

ROB- This sounds really bad, but I'm totally into this conspiracy, like the C.I.A. The government can do what it wants to do. The government plays a part in the drug trade in America, I really believe that. We can make a small difference, like I'd much rather have Clinton now than Bush, but as you can see he's already fallen back on some of his promises.

RUMP- My girlfriend doesn't like the lyrics to the song Days After because as a woman she feels it portrays her as being weak and innocent. The line that bothers her is, "She's always been a good little girl"; do you have any comments on the song?

ROB- The song is a personal song. The song goes out to a friend of mine who it was written about. It doesn't apply to everyone. If she wants to be offended by it, than that's her choice. I get a lot of stuff like, "How could you say that as a man?" The fact is that's wrong. I'm disgusted by rape. It hurts me, it makes me feel terrible. And when I say a good little girl, it's a comparison to how much hatred this person felt and how much she wanted to kill the person who did it to her. These terrible thoughts get into people's minds because of what's happened to them. I didn't mean to offend anybody. A lot of our songs are personal and sometimes people take offense because it doesn't fit into their lives. But I don't write songs for other people. I enjoy playing for other people and sharing with other people, but then again most of the songs come from what's inside of me. I'm actually a big feminist. I believe women are much stronger people than men are. True fact that we rely on this physical, aggressive nature means we're week people. I think women are a lot more in control of their emotions and are more in touch with themselves than men are. Men are a lot less controlled.

RUMP- Couldn't there be a biological basis for that? Look at other species and you'll see a dominant, more aggressive sex and gender role in them too. There have been studies showing that men with higher levels of testosterone are more aggressive than those with lower levels.

ROB- You see, I think most of these were based on a material level. I'm not talking about godliness, but I think most of these tests were based on a society in which people still base things on bodies. We're attached to that. In an ideal situation we would be concerned with what's inside of people and we would stop using the ignorant, my body is what makes me. I think women can be equal. I mean sure men are bigger, men are stronger in some cases, it's just the way we're made. I try to think that, that it doesn't matter at all. My big brother is bigger than me, but that doesn't mean he's superior or vice-versa. To me the body has nothing to do with it at all.

RUMP- But what about biological and hormonal influences? I agree with you in theory, but isn't our ultimate biological goal to sustain our species; and wouldn't having one sex being more aggressive be beneficial to that goal?

ROB- I refuse to believe it has to be that way. I mean we're humans, we re given consciousness to make choices. I really believe we're socialized to behave this way. We've evolved so greatly, even in the way we think about things. To me that's kind of a cop out. I'm not going to say, "Well my body made me this way so I'm always going to be this way." i think we have the ability and the mentality to change. It takes a long time, but it takes people being really vocal and active in it.

RUMP- If you could snap your fingers and change one thing about hardcore what would it be?

ROB- That it would turn back into an alternative thing. It's not alternative anymore. I see the same games going on as I'd see at a big BON JOVI concert. Kids look at the band and they're paying the band to give them a service; they're not really sharing an experience anymore. Kids come to shows to fight. I've seen some scenes where kids have no idea about issues or wanting to be different. Kids don't care. They're like this is what I want to do, I saw it on MTV. When I got into this a long time ago I was really unhappy with the situation in school. Kids were always making fun of me because of the way I looked. The economic, social status thing was really big when I was in school and I was like, "Fuck, I don't want to be a part of this anymore" So I got away from it through the music and that's what it is to me. We have such a powerful thing. Thousands of kids come to shows and listen to what bands say. We have this powerful group and we could do something.

RUMP- You talked about the government being involved in the drug trade earlier; what are your feelings on the legalization of drugs?

ROB- I know there's really wonderful, promising benefits to having that, but I feel that by legalizing it, that would be the governments way of saying give people what they want, we'll keep them fucked up and they won't worry about anything.

RUMP- Who do you think is more powerful, SLAYER or GOD?

ROB- Well kids will hate this, but believe in GOD, so I think GOD. What came first the chicken or the egg? I think GOD came before SLAYER. I believe in some sort of spirituality, I don't know if it's GOD. Plus, SLAYER has a lot or dumb kids going to their shows. I mean, I go to a SLAYER show and I'll get killed, but if I go to church i don't get killed.

RUMP- Are you a SLAYER fan?

ROB- I like SLAYER. It's a really tough question, (the who is more powerful one) right now I feel GOD is more powerful than SLAYER. I mean it's close, it's really close.

RUMP- Do you follow a certain religion?

ROB- Not really. I'm monotheistic but Christianity has turned me off and I don't agree with everything about Krishna Consciousness either. I kind of have my own belief. I try to do my best.

RUMP- Thanks a lot.

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