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The Explosion – A Revolution to Keep Punk Alive

The Explosion got their start back in 1998, and after rearranging the line-up a couple times, it is “Million Dollar” Matt Hock, bassist Damian Genaurdi, drummer Andrew Black, guitarist Dave Walsh and guitarist Chris Gonzales who currently make up the Boston quintet.

So far the band has released a five-song demo turned self-titled EP and first full-length album, Flash, Flash, Flash on Jade Tree before releasing a couple follow-up EPs, “Red Tape” and “Sick of Modern Art” on their very own Tarantulas Records. These EPs served as appetizers to tide fans over until they released Black Tape on their major label debut in 2004 with Virgin records.

Currently on The Vans Warped Tour, “Million Dollar” Matt Hock took time out from riding with “The Losers” and playing in the hot sun to pick up the phone to do a quick interview with Kaffeine Buzz. After leaving the tour bus to escape the noise, he let me know about the loveliness of SoCal.

MH: I’m just hangin’ out in Long Beach California. It’s beautiful! Not a cloud in the sky, palm trees abound…

KB: Sounds awesome. So have you guys played Warped Tour before?

MH: We played it a couple years ago, but only ‘bout two weeks.

KB: What’s your favorite part about the tour? How would you compare it to playing the Bamboozle festival?

MH: Bamboozle was fun, but The Warped Tour is much more organized. It’s probably our favorite tour to do though. We get to hang out with our friends all day long and play our set and go back to hangin’ out with friends. It’s like a summer camp. We started a bike club called “The Losers” and we just ride around on our bikes all day.

KB: So it sounds like you’re having much more fun this time around compared to the last time you played Warped Tour.

MH: Yes! Last time we were in a van, which made things very difficult. We drove every day for about ten hours and got very little sleep. Luckily some friends of ours have a tour bus so they let a couple of us sleep on their bus every night.

KB: Nice!

MH: Yeah, so that has been really nice for us.

KB: I’m sure! Well, I’ve never actually seen you guys play, but from the pictures on your website and MySpace account, it looks like you guys rock out.

MH: Yeah we definitely try. We try to carry an energetic vibe and have as much fun as we can. Maybe you’ll get a chance to see us when we come to Denver. Denver is the last day we’re on the tour.

KB: How do you feel about sharing the stage with Underoath, Hawthorne Heights and The Bled?

MH: I’ve never really heard those bands actually, but all the guys seem like very, very nice people. Underoath draws an amazing number of people to the stage when they play. They seem to be very successful.

KB: Do you feel that you guys have been able to draw a pretty good-sized crowd for this tour compared to your regular tours?

MH: Some shows have been great; some have sucked depending on the location. We’re getting ready to play in about an hour and then we’re going back to hangin’ out.

KB: I read on your MySpace account that you’re going to release a digital EP.

MH: Oh, really? I actually did not know that.

KB: Really?

MH: I’m pretty much the guy in the band that you know, they direct me where to go and then I pretty much just show up.

KB: Oh, OK.

MH: I’m not really a MySpace guy, although I just got a sidekick and I’m very excited about being able to get more familiar with the MySpace community.

KB: That’s really weird that you didn’t know about that!

MH: I know, it is weird. What exactly does it say?

KB: It just says No Revolution digital EP set to release July 4th. SO, I was going to ask if you guys thought of the Internet as a better market to release music or why you chose to do it digitally, but I guess if you don’t know…

MH: I view the Internet as an equal market. However, everything is more easily accessible online. Buying online is a lot easier. I think people tend to buy online more often just since it’s so easy to. It’s definitely got its advantages.

KB: You guys get compared to older bands like The Clash a lot, how do you feel when people make that comparison?

MH: I would be egotistical to say that we were in a class with those bands because I mean, we do write songs that were never written before, but we’re certainly not doing the most unique thing in the world. I think we’re doing something that’s in that spirit, which helps keep older punk alive.

KB: Do you feel like the term “punk rock” has lost it’s gravity as far as like the culture and state of mind and attitude?

MH: I think it’s been watered down in the sense, that it’s certainly broadly used now. I think there’s a lot of bands that are more pop influenced than punk influenced, that are kind-of promoted in a punk way.

KB: Well, thank you for your time.

MH: No thank you! Maybe I’ll see you in Denver.

KB: Yes, hopefully!

The Explosion is playing the Maurice Stage at the Vans Warped Tour, Sunday, July, 17 at Invesco Field.


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