Cro-Mags - John Joseph
Interview Date: May 15, 2010
Associated band: Cro-Mags
At the Black N Blue Bowl on May 15th, 2010, I had the chance to sit down briefly before the show with John Joseph of the CRO-MAGS after he finished setting up copies of his new book in the merch area.
You have a new book that just came out and is on sale at the show here --
Yeah man, the new book is called Meat Is For Pussies, and everyone should get it who is concerned with his health. The latest statistic shows for the first time in the history of planet Earth, the generation that is coming up now will be outlived by their parents. There is a huge food conspiracy going on by corporate conglomerates, and they are poisoning people. I've been vegetarian and vegan for thirty years, and I don't judge people. What I'm saying is that if you continue to eat these types of poisonous foods and lead a sedentary lifestyle with no exercise, sitting in front of the TV and computer will turn you into a pussy. That's the title of the book. I'm not judging people. It's loaded with information, and it's got my tone in it. If you've read my first book Evolution of a Cro-Magnon, that's the way I write. I kick some knowledge but do it in a way that shows I'm not preaching, 'cause I'm not. I'm like everyone else. I work construction and do everything. When you get some knowledge, you have to pay that forward. That's where I'm coming from with the whole thing.
Did you receive a lot of support within hardcore from friends when you were putting together the latest book?
Yeah, I mean. The title may throw people a little off; I'm getting a lot of "fuck that dude!" type shit on the internet for it. I don't really care about that because they don't know what's written in the book. If they crack open the book and read it, they'd know where I'm coming from. Yeah, everyone supports what I'm done. I go out and feed the homeless vegetarian meals. It's putting it into action, not just talking shit on the internet. My problem is that too many vegans are out talking shit. I'm not into that. I'm not into gossiping. I'm into doing what I do and helping people. That's what's up. CRO-MAGS keep it real. That's like, the guys in the band now, we just go out and play music and have a good time. Here we are at the Ritz again, Webster Hall, 25 years later. That's positive stuff.
How's it feel to be back at [The Ritz]?
It's cool, it feels amazing. I love Joe and the Black N Blue guys, Freddy MADBALL. It's all friends around here. That's what's cool. It's a good feeling walking around and playing here. I did a spoken word in the basement of this place at the Studio when my first book came out.
When did Joe first hit you up about being a part of this show?
I think last year when we played that club Santos Party House. Right after that, we started talking. He said this thing's at the Ritz this year, and I said, dude, let's do it, put us down. We made sure to not play New York City since that last show just to make this more special. Like I said, it's family here. These guys are all friends. It's happening, and we're psyched.
For kids who may not fully understand its impact, what does the Superbowl of Hardcore mean to you?
I think because there is such a variety of bands. That's what I love about Joe.... He gives the new bands a shot. There is a lot of up-and-coming talent. In order to keep the scene relevant, you have to keep the new kids that are coming up and get the mixture with the old-school. I think that is important because if there is nobody to carry on the music, this shit dies out. Now you got these young kids coming up. You notice the attitude on a lot of them.... A lot of them are drug free, a lot are positive. You don't find that in other scenes. You look at death metal and 16 year old kids are biting fucking heads off of cats and fucking whatever. Hardcore punk rock is positive, it's punk, it's positivity. Kids are doing their thing, and the arts keep you grounded. The arts keep you out of trouble. The arts keep your mind thinking. That's why there is such a push to kill the arts. It's important that kids have music and a place to play. They get to come out here and play on the stage at the Ritz. There's a lot of history in this building.
Are the CRO-MAGS going to put out a new album eventually?
Yeah, we are working on it! That's what we are doing now. We are thinking of a new album and all that stuff. Definitely man. We gotta do it the right way. It's an important album for us. It's like the way I write my books, write films... You don't do nothing unless it's going to be the shit. That's the way we do it. It'd be better not to do it than do a half-assed thing to throw out there. I'm positive with hard work, skill, and determination, we'll put out something good.