|Dan O'Mahony | Photo by Nicole C. Kilbert (elawgrrl.com)|
PMAKid: You and my dad are always giving each other a hard time because you are pretty liberal and my dad is a republican. You are both really strong in your opinions. It seems to me like everybody is always yelling at each other about politics, but you two get along. How do you get along and why can't everybody stop being stupid and just talk to each other?
Mr. O'Mahony: It's a more complicated question than it might seem. Both ends of the political spectrum have their unreasonable sects and both of us are not entirely in sync with our part lines either. I see your father and I (as well as most people who can cross the aisle productively) as placing each other's character and our impact on the people around us ahead of policy. Beyond that I don't associate your father's thinking with what I consider the most negative association's with the current far right, i.e. masking long standing racial and sexual prejudices as immigration or values issues. I see his concerns as being fiscal. Likewise I think he sees me as being more tolerance focused than just a party line Dem willing to rubber stamp all things Obama. (sorry if I rambled on this one!)
PMAKid: With all the stuff that happened around the bombing in Boston and people rushing to help those who were hurt, I was thinking about why people don't help others more often. It seems to me like there are lots of chances everyday for people to be nice to each other, but they are not. You are definitely one of those people that is always trying to be nice to other people and help them with stuff. Why do you do that, and why do you think other people don't?
Mr. O'Mahony: This might seem like a cop out, but I credit my mother with my social conscience. She was a rare individual and blessed me with a healthy serving of her natural empathy. On a more immediate level, what you say applies to the music we have in common. At it's best hardcore inspires moral achievement and a desire to impact the world in a positive way, at it's worst bands write about bands.
Mr. O'Mahony: DONE DYING is Chris (Mr.!) Lohman and I as well as Kevin Panter from Speak 714 and Mike Hartsfield from Outsopken. It is actually the first band I ever joined because I was asked instead of putting it together myself. That said it is driven lyrically at least by the desire to find relevance and use for the ethos of hardcore in the lives of older people. Seriously, we represent 'Age Rage' or the reaction to challenges you won't face for decades and how we can apply the morality and drive we knew as kids to those new situations. Like your man Kevin Seconds said, we look to find a real way to stay "Young til I Die". (PMAKid: Mr O'Mahony says that a four song EP should be out in June.)
PMAKid: Every once in awhile I like to ask this question: what is the weirdest place you have ever played?
Mr. O'Mahony: It's a tie... No For An Answer played inside a grain silo in Italy, Speak played an abandoned real estate office in Val Dosta, Georgia.
PMAKid: Because you are such a political guy, who is your favorite President and why?
Mr. O'Mahony: I have 3 and 2 of them are Republicans(!!!). I like Teddy Roosevelt a great deal, I feel that his standing up to the great monopolies was crucial to keeping the dream of individual prosperity alive. I dig Lincoln for obvious reasons regarding slavery but also for his unique story. He grew up poor, was self-educated, and was ranked forth coming into the nominating process for the presidency I love an underdog. Finally I'm fascinated with JFK for reasons both good and bad. I'm a sponge for the story of the Irish in america, I feel that he and his brother represent the genesis of the Federal government involving itself in civil rights, and I have a thing for his ability to communicate.
PMAKid: I wanted to thank you for your help in me getting the interview with Henry Rollins. You and Henry have some things that remind me of each other. You are both really strong in your opinions. You seem to be a little more positive than Mr. Rollins. How do you stay positive when things are tough?
Mr. O'Mahony: Rollins is an enigma for me, when I was young it wasn't his opinions but his intensity and aura that drew us all in. Nowadays I'm impressed with where his path has taken him and delighted that so many of our stances coincide. That said, I'm not always the most positive guy, but in terms of output and messaging why poison the world. i think you can express desperation, fear, and joy all in equally responsible and potentially constructive ways of you put your mind to it. It's all about making your experiences valuable to others.
Mr. O'Mahony: Put simply, REV 25 destroyed all of my excuses for staying out of music any longer. We weren't the best or the most popular band by any means, but we had an incredible time. It was that show that convinced me that hardcore spans generations, that age is no excuse, and that I needed to get back on the mic. I had this realization watching Richie Birkenhead and others... old jazz men don't stop playing jazz, old blues singers don't start singing what the kids play, why would hardcore be any different. It's in our DNA.
PMAKid: At Rev25, you pulled me up onto the stage when Youth of Today was playing. Mr. Cappo was teasing my dad in front of the whole crowd about calling child protective services and then he was talking about how you are one of the kindest and most helpful people in the hardcore music scene. I know that my old Principal (Dr. Eister) thinks you are cool because if it wasn't for you, we never would have started the Hardcore for Education fundraiser that raised thousands of dollars for my old elementary school! Why are you so nice?
Mr. O'Mahony: Julian, it would be very easy to find people who think I'm not ;) That said, I'm lucky to know and be inspired by a wide range of incredible people, I think about that and then hope to lead by example. Thanks BTW.
On a lesser note, I remember the first time I got to kind of exist alongside the bands I loved and and it was life changing. We might as well get a guy like you standing in the thick of things onstage for Youth of Today in that setting!
PMAKid: Okay, here it is! Favorite books and favorite songs! Let me know what they are.
Mr. O'Mahony: My favorite book is called Ask The Dust by John Fante, I'm also heavy into the wording and style of anything by Hunter S. Thompson. they both influence my own writing in different ways. My favorite hardcore songs are Vanity Fair by Government Issue and Filler by Minor Threat.
PMAKid: Tell me anything else you want to say!
Mr. O'Mahony: First let me thank you for the voice on here. you've interviewed some remarkable people and I'm flattered to be included. Beyond that I hope this drive sticks with you for years and provides you a real bedrock for accomplishing great things. One of the amazing things about this music is how easy it is to reach right out and touch living examples of what one strong minded individual can do. Treasure that sir and keep it going!