Infamous Long Beach Punkers Wrong Beach and their front man A.J. discuss their new album and all things Long Beach past & present.
Kevin: Hello A.J., so give us the break down on “Wrong Beach”. The band has quite a history in Southern California Punk Rock, what is the story and what does the name represent?
AJ: When I decide to start playing music again the plan was to do something different than Das Klown. I didn’t want to be pigeon-holed into any specific sound or attitude. At the rate I was going the next step was a heart attack, too many years of being angry. It’s amazing that some of us have lived this long after all the drugs and recklessness.
I was born and raised in Long Beach & thought there would be no better name than Wrong Beach, something the city has been referred to for years. When choosing the band I wanted to be connected to people I’d grown up and jammed with through the years. We needed music…with so much great music to come out of Long Beach we started off doing “revised” covers of our favorite songs. With Punk, Surf and Rock & Roll you can’t go wrong.
The lineup is me, Rikk Agnew, Johnny Barrios, Greg Watson, Dwayne Lyon, and Justin Time. We’ve all been playing for a long time in other bands and have been through the same crap in and out of the music scene.
What is your favorite destination spot in Long Beach and how does the music culture differ from LA and OC?
Places like the Queen Mary, The original Super Mex, Roscoe’s and Babe’s Kitchen…because we like to eat. HA HA HA.
I don’t know I guess we’re from here, they’re from there. I’ve never really been a big fan of Orange County. There have been a lot of great sounds to come from there but I never felt pretty or cool enough to fit in. I just remember being a 16 year old kid with tattoo’s and if the cops stopped you there you were going to jail or having your car ransacked and told to go back to LB & “We better not see you down here again.”
You have a brand new album and video coming out, what do punk rock fans have to look forward to? The tracks I have heard are blistering classic and catchy punk rock anthems with some serious intense vocals and well-orchestrated playing!
Wow, thanks…You can look forward to great music, a good show, and something to remember.
In such diverse political and social times, how has the scene been affected or “infected” with politics? Are there any trends you have noticed with bands not getting along because of personal beliefs? What do you think of bands that choose to stay neutral in matters of the nation in order not to offend potential fans?
I’m not much of a politician and have been trying hard to stay out of everyone else’s business. I don’t care if I offend people, sometimes I like too, but everyone is entitled to their opinion. We’re trying hard to not work with assholes, whether they’re promoters or in other bands. We just want to have fun and play good music.
What’s the biggest myth about the Southern California punk rock scene?
It’s funny how the people in Europe and other states look up to all these bands from here, thinking they’re living this rad punk rock life style which couldn’t be further from the truth.
In your experience throughout punk rock, what is the craziest, most insane thing that ever happened?
My personal one was probably with my child hood friend David Quakenbush sitting on the stage at the Starwood and seeing the Dead Boys. I’ll never forget Stiv swinging the microphone over his head and out over the audience slowly lowering it while it wrapped faster and faster around his neck until he went unconscious and passed out right next to us. We were trippin watching him turn different colors. Finally, they stopped playing and the drummer panicked and knocked over his set to jump down and revive him. It was crazy and years later I got to meet them, drink beers and reflect on the whole deal.
What are your thoughts on bands that pay to play? For example, instead of playing a real show, the band is selling tickets and drinks for the bar without being paid a cent or even free beer!
I think it is disgusting and if a band is that desperate they’d be better off selling their bodies on a street corner.[adrotate banner=”4″]