EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: SoCal punk band Strike Twelve

Strike Twelve/Felony Records

LOS ANGELES, January 19, 2014 — Strike Twelve is a punk band from Temecula, Calif. Formed in 2000, Strike Twelve has released two albums, Killing California and Moonshine, on Hermosa Beach based Felony Records. In April, Wells On Music interviewed Strike Twelve regarding their formation, influences and current happenings if the band.

Kevin Wells: What bands inspired you to want to start your own band?

Strike Twelve: The Vandals, NoFX, Guttermouth, The Offspring, Green Day, Propagandhi, Bad Religion, Nerf Herder, Rancid, Blink, and Unwritten Law.

KW: How did Strike Twelve form?

S12: Matt, Dan and Joe all went to high school together. Eventually everyone figures out who plays what, and people just come together. We had some mutual friends and had all met separately through jamming with various people before we finally found the perfect combination. Andy joined later on after he realized how awesome we were.

KW: What does the name, Strike Twelve, mean?

S12: Matt and Joe, at one point, wanted to become pro bowlers and were obsessed with getting twelve strikes, aka a perfect game. Also there is something pretty cool when the clock strikes twelve.

KW: How did you get hooked up with Felony Records?

S12: We played a show with SIDE EFFECT at Hogue Barmichaels in Newport Beach, and they brought their friend, Felony Ron. We all got drunk and the conversations kept flowing, and despite it all, we still had his interest.

KW: [For Matt] Has anyone ever told you that you sound very, very similar to Scott Russo from Unwritten Law or do you think that you do?

S12: [Matt] I have heard that before a few times. Its not intentional, but it is a compliment, I really like Scott’s voice. I don’t really think I sound like him that much, he’s much better.

KW: What is your favorite city to play outside of Temecula?

S12: Toss-up between San Diego (where we got to play with Propagandhi!) and Fullerton, since the Slidebar frequently has awesome free shows with reasonably priced beverages and is my favorite place to go when we’re not on the bill. It doesn’t matter much where we play shows, we often find ourselves saying, “wow that was the funnest show ever” almost after every show we play.

KW: Who are some bands that you would like to play with that you have not had the chance to play with yet?

S12: The Vandals, (2) Nerf Herder; NOFX, Bad Religion, Diesel Boy would also be awesome. Propagandhi, Strung Out, Reel Big Fish, Authority Zero, Guttermouth, and Unwritten Law are prob my favorites that we have already crossed off our list.

KW: What is the worst thing that has happened to you on tour?

S12: Dan’s worst experience – Dan woke up really hung over and dying of thirst. He reaches for one of the many Gatorade bottles and gulps some down. He spits it out, realizing all too clearly that it is pee. He throws it at Matt, splashing it all over him, believing it to be Matt’s pee. Eventually it was determined that it was not Matt’s, and that Dan had drank his own pee.

Matt’s worst experience – When Dan threw his open Gatorade bottle full of his pee at me when I was sleeping.

Andy’s worst experience – That time in Bakersfield when it was so hot we couldn’t sleep inside the RV, so me and Kyle and Jessica slept on a sidewalk and got bit by mosquitoes all night.

Joe’s worst experience – Dealing with Matt and Dan

KW: You make music videos still, how do you think music videos affect the growth of your fan base?

S12: A picture is worth a thousand words, so a video at 24 frames per second x 180 seconds is worth a lot. I think it really helps to put a face to what you hear because actually much of our expression comes from our faces and not just our voices. If you do it right, you can show a lot more of your character than you can on a CD. Its effects are exponential.

We are able to reach people from regions we never imagined we could. We’ve recently sold tee shirts and CDs to strike twelve advocates in Japan, Scotland, Canada, Switzerland, the mid-west, the east coast, and The UK. They are also fun as fuck to make.

KW: Is there anything else that you want Strike Twelve fans to know?

S12: We’ll see you in Europe in 2014! Also expect more videos, more albums, and more live shows.

If you are looking to see them live, Strike Twelve will next be playing in Riverside at Kim’s Cocktails with Phasers on Kill, DC Fallout and CPA on April 27.

Kevin J. Wells is the Sports Editor for Communities Digital News. He also writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music. Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball

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