CVLT Nation recently conducted an interview with John Caution of WEEKEND NACHOS.
How is life in the corporate world at IBM? Have you been able to balance your free time and obligations to work easily?
Dude, honestly, there are so many extremely tall, attractive women walking around here that it would make your head spin. But for real, I work in Customer Service and generally have plenty of time to get other things done. Waking up early is no fun at all, but dressing nice is something I’ve recently gotten comfortable with. Not looking like a homeless skateboarder from 1996 is kind of an exciting change of pace.
Tell me about Bad Teeth Recordings. Why did you decide to start this label, what’s going on currently, and what are you hoping to accomplish?
I did a label back in the mid-2000′s called Tooth Decay Records, and it was extremely fun and got me so much more involved in hardcore than I had been. It really ups the ante a bit once you’re interacting with that many people who are specifically interested in what you’re providing for them. The records, I mean. Anyways that label sorta folded cuz I was younger and not as good with my finances, but I always wanted to get back into making records happen for myself, bands and the every day hardcore kid. It’s one of the most exciting, fun things I’ve ever done. And it has nothing to do with selling anything, ironically. The excitement of it comes from distributing something you helped create. It’s a lot like being in a band and making records only you’re doing literally EVERYTING. A step up, for sure. As far as what I hope to accomplish, I just want to make great records happen. And I’ll be the judge of what’s great, haha.
For it’s entire existence, Weekend Nachos has always been a DIY touring band, can you explain why this is so important to you?
When you put it that way, I can explain it only in the most simple of ways…it’s nice to have complete control over where your band plays and who you interact with. I like the community aspect of hardcore, and what better way to strengthen that community than hands-on, personal interaction with whoever you’re going to work with? I love the idea that we played in Chatanooga, TN all because an equally excited, equally enthusiastic hardcore kid just like myself wanted to make that shit happen in his hometown. And once I’m on the receiving end of his direct communication…bam. That’s another connection made in the hardcore world. The fact that this machine just keeps on moving because people want to make shit happen…is beautiful. It’s all the proof I need when I tell some jaded old pissant from the early 80′s that hardcore’s not dead.
How do you feel about the current state of hardcore? I feel like a lot of people become easily jaded as they get older and tend to be sadly retrospective about it. (Yes, I am saying that you are old.)
Haha, I’m only 30! But it’s actually true, to the majority of those enthusiastic about hardcore, I am considerably older than the average joe. Well, yes, honestly people do become jaded and disinterested in what’s going on here, but I pass no judgment on those people…as long as they move on. The only thing that bothers me is when people use their age as some kind of advantage when they don’t actually care anymore. If you’ve moved on, then please, please don’t stick around. You’ve got better things to do, trust me, and I respect that! If you’ve got some kind of bone to pick with the way things have “become”, TRUST ME, you’re just fucking old. The spirit remains if you’re looking in the right place, and no one is going to follow you around with a silver platter just because you think you paid your dues. The youngest person in the basement deserves to be experiencing this just as much as the oldest grandfather in the back of the room. And if you’re old and you still care, that is wonderful. As for the current state of hardcore, there are so many positives and negatives floating around all the time that you’d have to be more specific. It’s a lot to cover. But things are as alive as ever!
From reading your lyrics, it might be easy for someone to come to the conclusion that you are a negative person. From personal experience though, you seem to be a realistic and positive individual. Do you feel like a negative person, or is Weekend Nachos a sort of cathartic release that keeps you from gunning down a bunch of Cubs fans in real life?
Ha, let me first state that I have a newfound respect for the Cubs because I watched them slaughter the Sox 14-3 over the summer and it was humiliating. Good for them, those grumpy Sox fans left that place looking like complete wimps!!! Anyways, I consider myself a positive person with a lot of things to work out still. Overall, I have found a way to chill out and appreciate every breath, when at a time I just wanted to fucking die. You can’t ignore depression or a bad situation, but some people have the fortunate luck of working through the demons and learning to move forward. Hardcore has always been my outlet and my tool for being able to understand myself better. If i had to define what hardcore is to me, it is merely an understanding of oneself through self-expression. There’s a machine-run world of limitations out there that would otherwise have us beaten into submission, but that sub-world where we can fight it all out within ourselves and come to a positive understanding…is hardcore. To me, positivity is my reality because negativity is stagnation. Expressing negativity through music and art is a way to look at it from the outside and decide whether you want to expel it from your mind or keep clinging to it. I make negative music because it’s something a lot of us understand about ourselves but are sometimes too uncomfortable to let it out.
There are always new and young bands forming and getting out on the road for the first time. If you had to give a piece of universal advice for all of them, what would it be?
Hmm, it’s hard to say cuz everybody has to go about it their own way. But honestly, I would just say play your hearts out. All you have in this world is yourself, so fuckin do something. Allow hardcore to encourage you to be that person you want to be. I sound like a fuckin Mr. Rogers/Richard Simmons hybrid. But for real…just get out there and do something great.
How do you feel about the Black Flag reunions? In fact, how do you feel about reunions all together? It seems to be a growing trend for bands to reunite for overpaid and sad reunion tours.
Yeah I don’t know. There’s more to this for me than “oh, the kids want to see us…let’s fuckin give it to em!” Stroking one’s ego is not really my style. If it works for them, whatever. I’m not into it. Give me something I can actually feed off of, something I understand. A bunch of kids just like me spitting their rage regardless of how much money is involved or how many people will see it. That’s exciting to me. True passion and intensity. There are “reunions” that take place where the bands still understand that and have continued to throughout the years, so I can’t put a damper on REUNIONS in general, but from my observations it’s pretty rare. Most of these guys couldn’t care less about what’s been going on the last 15-20 years…they are making their big “return to the spotlight”. Fuck off.
In 2020, assuming that Weekend Nachos isn’t still together and releasing guttural slam albums, would you ever consider a reunion tour, if it was done tastefully?
I always envisioned us as a band that could never really be “DONE”, you know? It all depends. Crudos still plays every now and then and i think it’s fucking unbelievable. Their hearts are still right here with us and the intensity is unmatched! That’s just one example, obviously. But regarding W.N., I could see us doing something like that if it made sense to. The original members would have to still be involved in the ‘core on some level and we would have to be in an environment we were comfortable with, but sure. Unless the band experiences a Vikernes/Euronymous situation which I can honestly see happening between Brian and I at some point, haha.
The rest of this interview can be read here.