by Russ the Punk
Queers Frontman Joe Queer has seen and done it all in the punk rock world. The man has played shows in every part of the world save Africa, outlasted some two decades or so of punk rock evolution, and still remains in a powerful, well-functioning band! It also helps that he is a legitimate icon in the scene and has grown up with such punk legends as The Ramones, the Germs, and Black Flag all around him! Taking a brief but immensely entertaining break before his band was to play for a near capacity crowd, Joe was as punk as they get---honest, no-holds-barred, and a decent human being despite the f***ed up nature of this planet we call Earth.
Russ the Punk for Thrashpit: First off, what is your favorite sexual position?
Joe Queer: On my stomach, face down. I don't know what you were expecting… maybe a ball gag too?
TP: You've said a lot about how much the streetpunk explosion has poisoned the punk culture… why do you think the Dropkick Murphys' style has become so popular?
Joe Queer: I grew up on the Ramones and these dumb f*** kids are bad news and violent. Working class is not supposed to be a musical agenda. I didn't see the Irish sound coming, really. There is no enlightenment in being a dirty street hobo. I don't know why people romanticize it. True punk is non-seriousness, and the ability to question. All the greats were poking fun at themselves. I was from that era when you had people like the Ramones, who were all about bubblegum, like "bubblegum punk could save the world." Punk rock should be about opening your mind. People can change themselves for the better, and they definitely try.
TP: Where do you see punk music ten years from now?
Joe Queer: I don't know. More commercialized bulls***, like Good Charlotte. I started this band to get laid, play great music, and travel. I had to learn life's lessons. We never had the safety net today's bands don't need. It was either punk rock or Burger King! I respect bands like Green Day and Screeching Weasel because that was their situation, they could either play punk rock or flip burgers for the rest of their lives, and they went with punk. It used to take balls to be a punk rocker. Now it's just a f***ing fashion show. You don't need studs or money or showy mohawks. That's one road I've never gone down before.
TP: What kind of influence do you suppose the more political punk rock bands, such as Anti-Flag and the Refused, have?
Joe Queer: Bands like that have the politics of a freshman girl at college. I think it's a shtick to earn money. It's conceited to talk down to an audience and tell them what their opinions should be. Ben Weasel said it best: "Politics are boring."
TP: Now, plenty of punks from your generation have s*** the bed and quit by this point – what keeps you going year after year playing music?
Joe Queer: I've been touring for years and I just keep doing it. I was just married and now might be a little sick of being on the road. I am proud we still go out and let people have some fun.
TP: And, lastly… do you have any advice for up-and-coming punk bands?
Joe Queer: Joey Ramone always said to be your own worst critic. I would tell people it isn't about money but instead it's about learning life's lessons. What do I know?! I'm an old crab who grew up on Black Flag and the DK's!
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