Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Interview with Former California State Assemblyman Mike Villines

When I first decided to build, I knew that I wanted to interview people in the hardcore music scene and talk to them about being positive and drug free. A family friend - former Minority Leader in the California State Assembly, Mike Villines - may not be a musician and I am pretty sure he would not like hardcore music, but he is a really positive guy. I thought it would be cool to talk to somebody who really knows how government runs.

PMAKid: What are your three favorite books and why are they your favorites?

Mike Villines:
1. Atlas Shrugged. I love this book because it focuses on human nature, economics and government/private sector. It also is a gripping read.

2. Reluctant Rebels. A great book and dynamic read of the founding of our country.

3. Trinity. A great historical read of Irish history and a great character in Conor Larkin. I liked the Character so much that our first born is named Conor after the character.

4. Dancing Bear. I added a fourth book because this book, “The Dancing Bear” is a great book on California Politics and a must read on old time politics in California.

Interview with Kevin Seconds of 7 Seconds

When people think of "positive" and "hardcore", one of the first people they think about is Kevin Seconds.  Kevin has been a friend my whole life and I am really grateful that he did this interview with me.  Thanks again, Kevin!!!!

PMAKid: You have been in a lot of bands like 7 Seconds, Go National, Drop Acid, 5' 10" and a lot of solo stuff.  Do you have any favorite styles of music you like to write and play (like hardcore? your solo stuff? your stuff you play with your wife, Allyson?) or do you like to write and play any of the stuff depending upon your mood?

Kevin: It's hard to pick my favorite style of music, since I love all kinds. I love playing various things for various reasons. punk rock because i love the energy and volume and urgency. the quieter, folk stuff because it gives me a chance to get my ideas across without having to scream it into anyone else's face.

PMAKid: What are your three favorite books and why are they your favorites?

Woody Guthrie's Bound For Glory
Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life
The Autobiography Of Malcolm X

like a great record, movie or piece of art, it's hard for me to put into words why certain ones are my favorites.

PMAKid: What are your three favorite musicians and why are they your favorite?

Billy Bragg  - great songwriter, storyteller and humble
Johnny Cash  - for making rebellion, defiance and love sound so good
Joe Strummer - all of the above

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dave Smalley of DYS, All, Down By Law, Dag Nasty

I just sent interview questions off to Dave Smalley.  As I was figuring out what I wanted my questions to be, I was thinking about the really cool letter he wrote that went with a framed photo (by Ken Salerno) as a part of my grade school's Hardcore for Education fundraiser last year.  I just thought I would post the letter here because the words are really cool.

- PMA Kid


 My name is Dave Smalley. I’m a punk rock singer, screamer, songwriter, guitarist and general tattooed misfit. And I can sometimes be an idiot. But I’m also not a total idiot, for the most part -- and the thanks for that go to some really, really wonderful teachers over the years. And my really, really wonderful parents.

If you’re reading this, that means you get it. You get the big picture – that we can’t raise the next generations of poets, scientists or punk rock singers without great schools, great teachers who are infused with enthusiasm for helping kids reach their highest potential.

For me, it all started with Mrs. Carolyn Zolbe at Jamestown Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia. It was really Mrs. Zolbe who is responsible for all those albums I’ve made over the years – without her, there would be no “Can I Say,” no “punkrockacademyfightsong,” no “Brotherhood” or “Allroy for Prez.” Because Mrs. Zolbe saw in me not just the young rebel/dork that I was, but also someone who had a gift for music. And she developed it in me. When we did plays or musical skits, she told me to sing, so I did. And I found that I loved it.

And I’ve never looked back since then. She gave me confidence, put me on the path. Without her, who knows what I’d be right now.

But it wasn’t just me. She did the same for all the kids. Kids with special needs got special attention. Kids with gifts for sports were encouraged to get out there and play hard. Kindness was encouraged. I remember she made me one of the tutors for a couple of the kids who had challenges with reading, and I was so honored to do that, that it made me realize the importance of helping others. That has influenced my view of punk rock, and what it means to be a musician. See, despite my absolute love for the Sex Pistols, I never was into the whole anarchy idea – instead, I saw punk rock as a chance to make the world a better place. Tear down the bad, leave the good, and improve the rest, including ourselves. Go for ALL!

So thanks for supporting this auction. Thanks for giving of yourself to help kids who really are at those critical points in life. What you’re doing, right now, by buying this and reading it, means you, me, all of us together, can be part of something bigger than ourselves. It proves that punk rockers and punk fans are, once again, the greatest group of people I’ve ever been honored to associate with. And it proves that even a tattooed misfit can do something worthwhile – all because of a teacher, an education, and some serious heart.

Dave Smalley 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Last Day of School

Today is my last day of school and I will be working on this website more this summer.

I am really excited to go to the React Records showcase in September.  You can see who is playing at

I also have a Twitter account! I am @PMAKid

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Stuck in the Past Interview

I was interviewed on Stuck in the Past! How cool is that?!?

Interview with Dave from New Jersey Straight Edge band, Outlast

One of my favorite bands at the moment is Outlast from New Jersey. The lead singer, Dave, was kind enough to do an interview with me. 

PMA Kid: Who is in Outlast and what do they do outside of the band? (school? work?)

Dave: Outlast is myself, Dave, on vocals, Shaun on bass, Ian and Tom on guitars, and Joe (nicknamed Jah) on drums. Outside of the band we all work, Tom and I are in college, and we all just like to hang out and do our thing. Typical stuff really, eat burritos and hang out.

PMA Kid: For anybody in the band (or for all of you guys), what are your three favorite books and why are they your favorites?
Dave: “Animal Farm” by George Orwell is probably my favorite one because it shows how power corrupts individuals. I remember reading it in high school and the phrase “absolute power corrupts absolutely” really stuck with me. Another favorite is Jack London’s “White Fang” because I’m a big fan of hiking, camping, nature, and just general wilderness type things. Finally, I’d have to say “Old Yeller” by Fred Gipson. I loved it as a kid and I think it has to do with the, again, the whole frontier/wilderness aspect of it. Something about that stuff really gets me.