TELL US A BRIEF HISTORY OF YOUR GROUP.
Abner: We got together as a gift really… it was Christmas time and our band The Fadeaways were going into the studio. I told Samantha she could sing a song. Well, she wrote a song called “Lunatic”, brought it to us and we went into the studio with it. It was so cool we decided to see about creating a project from this and that is what gave birth to Temper Tantrum.
WHO ARE THE BAND MEMBERS AND WHAT INSTRUMENTS DO THEY PLAY?
Abner - Guitar God…lol did time in many bands from Dead Body Outline (SGV circa1976-77), Modern Krisis (SGV circa 1979), Powerless Flowers, Wolfgang Elvis (Horror Rock signed to Statue Records), Steel Toe Buddha, Fadeaways and of course Temper Tantrum.
Shaun - Bass (as in the fish)... formerly of Soldiers of Misfortune (Canada), Versatile Aggression, Steel Toe Buddha and Fadeaways.
Mark - Drums… formerly of Childhoods, Abandoned (w/Tony Adolescent), Reesa’s Monkey, The Happy Band, Steel Toe Buddha and Fadeaways.
Samantha - Vocals/Song writer… cameos with AC63, Fadeaways.
YOU HAVE A VERY UNIQUE SITUATION IN THIS BAND. (TEMPER TANTRUM’S SINGER IS ABNER’S DAUGHTER.) WHAT’S IT LIKE BEING IN A PUNK ROCK BAND WITH YOUR DAUGHTER? DAD?
Abner: Well, I can ground our singer which is always cool… lol. But seriously I think it has been pretty cool because Samantha has not been tainted by the music scene so she brings a lot of fresh ideas to the table and a really refreshing view on the state of music that us old timers had lost a long time ago. The only con is when a club won’t let us play because of her age.
Samantha: Well I love playing with my dad even though he is an old and I mean old man lol, but seriously tho I have learned a lot from him and Mark and Shaun. They have been there and know the ins and outs of music and have guided and molded me in a lot of ways that would have taken the average kid starting in music on their own years to acquire and learn. The con is that I am hanging out with all these old farts ...lol
WHEN AND HOW DID YOU FIRST BECOME INTERESTED IN MUSIC?
Samantha: Well I always watched my dads bands and saw videos of the Powerless Flowers and I knew I wanted to be a performer myself.
YOU’VE BEEN AROUND PUNK ROCK FOR A LONG TIME. CAN YOU TELL US HOW YOUR OUTLOOK AND ROLE HAS CHANGED WITH THE SCENE OVER THE YEARS.
Abner: Well I first started in the scene here in the SGV back in 76-77, I have seen a lot of changes through the years but truthfully it really is pretty much the same when it comes down to the good ole SGV back yard parties… it’s like an era lost in time, same style happy drunk kids with a hunger for the pit in their soul and aggression to release. I have been that kid and now I am the old man looking in. I have been fan, musician, label owner and now a dad of one of these kids.
WHO ARE YOUR MUSICAL AND NON-MUSICAL INFLUENCES AND INSPIRATIONS?
Abner: We have a lot of bands we like but we try not to sound like anyone in particular. I was hooked on being a musician when I saw a Beatles movie as a little boy. Seeing all those screaming fans I knew that was what I wanted to be.
Samantha: Believe it or not I like REM, Elvis Costello, Devo and Johnny Cash but my punk loves are Adolescents, DI, TSOL, Dead Kennedys (Jello is my fave of all time). As for my inspiration to write songs they all come from personal experiences. I had a real tough time in the Glendora School system a lot of ridicule from those prissy people up there because I was punk ...so I get a lot of my angrier songs from that experience.
WHAT WAS THE FIRST RECORD YOU BOUGHT?
Abner: Key word “Record”... well I had a lot of oldies records from my day I would say the first record I went out to buy myself was a 45 of The Who’s“I can see for Miles”.
Samantha: Records?, I have CD’s lol… naw probably Dead Kennedys Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables.
WHAT NEW MUSIC GETS YOU GOING THESE DAYS?
Abner: I am sorry but I would have to say that Gnarls Barkley, Kid Rock and Beck are putting out some really cool music, I know these are not common choices but are still good. As for punk music, well I would have to say Angels of Mischief have some cool music and so do the Scrid Hunters and YAPO (don’t let it get to your head James) and Baldwin Park Disasters (her vocals are tough and good)
Samantha: Well… Black Power Records Vol 3 is pretty rocking (self promoting plug for my dad), but I have liked Standard and Poor’s music and so many others.
HOW DO YOU FEEL ABOUT DOWNLOADING, FILE SHARING, ITUNES, ETC. AND IN GENERAL THE WAY THE INTERNET AND SITES LIKE MYSPACE HAVE CHANGED THE MUSIC BUSINESS?
Abner: This is a tough question… Well I always loved the idea of plopping down my bucks and walking out of a store with something in my hand but in this day and age this is no longer the norm, which I believe cheapens the whole experience. When music is too readily available then it loses it luster it loses its value. Yeah sure more bands can be heard and the big record labels are getting it in the ass which is good ...but when you flood a market with product it waters down the integrity of it. We as listeners and fans need to be far more selective as to what we listen to because there is so much available now that if we are not careful our music quality will suffer. That being said, I believe if the music industry is to survive then they need to switch their game plan to live shows and let the music be free to download and they can make their money on merchandise and live performances. The problem with this plan is that prefab artists like Brittany Spears and such are not capable of performing live they rely on huge budget productions to pull off their live performances (which were funded through CD sales) and in this struggling industry this kind of cash outlay by labels to make a star sound good are drying up quick. The days of stadiums filled with adoring fans are drawing to a close and the real musicians will finally have their time in the limelight but at more intimate settings and far more cost effective productions. Good for the industry, NO! Good for the true fans of music, Yes!
WHO WRITES THE SONGS FOR TEMPER TANTRUM? WHAT IS THE PROCESS AND HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE ON AVERAGE?
Samantha: Well I write all the lyrics and some of the music too but mostly the music is my dads and Shauns doing. To write songs I am a lot like my dad in that they basically fall out of me. We could put together a song in a few minutes literally and have it be good. It is strange. I always read about these people who struggle to write etc. and that has never been a problem for our band at all.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SONG TO PLAY LIVE?
Abner: Probably Nagasaki Nightmare or Rocking Chair
DESCRIBE THE WORST SHOW YOU EVER PLAYED.
Samantha: I really have not had a really bad show I believe what my dad told me that even if there is only one person watching they deserve your best performance so I treat every show equally.
WHAT IS COMING UP FOR TEMPER TANTRUM?
Abner: Well we have our new CD that will be released by years end and you can check out five of the new tracks at www.myspace.com/tempertantrum1. As for shows, we are playing in Baldwin Park on Dec 6th with YAPO and we are pretty happy with that. Also happy to be on the Black Power Records Comp Vol 3 (another shameless self promoting plug).
ONE LAST QUESTION JUST FOR THE SGV FOLKS OUT THERE. WHO IS YOUR FAVORIATE SGV BAND PAST OR PRESENT?
Abner: Powerless Flowers. Just kidding, actually the Flower Leperds are and were the best SGV band ever… they were rock stars. Jeff Wolfe is the reason I even play guitar to begin with.