Tuesday, July 9, 2013


Good news, guys! I'm starting a new irregular feature on this site - very similar to the My Friends Over You feature that barely ever gets used anymore. Exciting, right?

I've done a few really fun interviews within the past few months and recorded all of them. Mostly they've been for SLUG Magazine stories, and while I really liked how they turned out, there still wasn't enough room to fit everything in. No matter how many words I have to play with, it's never enough to get through everything we talk about during our conversation. I have to find a way to tighten everything up and sometimes the structure or focus of what the article ends up being about eliminates a huge chunk of the interview.

No matter how long we talk for, and no matter how long the piece is, the interviews still all get transcribed. I spend anywhere from half an hour to two or three typing out everything that was said and it seems like a shame to let some of that go to waste. That's where this new feature comes in.

Every once in a while, I'm going to take a portion of an interview and put it up here. I didn't do all that work for nothing, god damn it.

We'll start with the Insight piece. The actual article had almost nothing from Chubba, the drummer, but that's not because he didn't say anything. He talked a lot, but it was mostly during a portion where we discussed hardcore, straight edge, music and the state of all three back in the early 90's. There wasn't room for any of that stuff when the article started taking shape, though. It would have had to go in a much different direction and would have been hard to get back to the original focus.

But we still talked about some good stuff, so now, for your reading pleasure, INTERVIEW OUTTAKES episode 1, starring INSIGHT!

You can read the proper article at SlugMag.com, but here's the stuff from the cutting room floor.

Me: You guys were kind of the first straight edge band in Salt Lake. What was that like and what do you remember about it?

Jeremy Chatalain: I knew you were going to ask this question. I found straight edge accidentally. Andy, that was just here, he was an obsessive record collector like me. We would go to Raunch every week and buy first pressings of everything we could get. I met him at a skate shop and he asked me if I’d heard of all these bands like Justice League, Minor Threat, 7 Seconds. I went over to his house to borrow records and he drew big X’s on my hands. I was like ‘what is that?’ He just said ‘straight edge’. I said, ‘I don’t know what that is’ and he explained it to me and that was just who I was anyway. I was a skateboarder, I was Mormon growing up, and it fit my lifestyle 100%. I could get behind that. For me, straight edge was all about the music that came with it. The energy was totally addictive. One by one, as we put the band together, James and Doug, James you were into hardcore.

James Holder: Yeah, I was in to hardcore. It was more the skate rock stuff. I grew up in Heber, so Gentry (Densley) and I grew up together and he knew these guys. We were always listening to metal or a lot of skate rock stuff. Then I got in to straight edge.

Jeremy Chatalain: Mark and I had some conversations because we had been in bands before Insight, and that was kind of the thing that brought us together on the same plain. Then we were like, ‘this is what we want to do: thrashy hardcore, that’s fast and kind of metal.’ Then Mark felt like he had some things to say, and there was this platform, so not only was it about straight edge, but at the time all of us were vegetarian, there was anti-racism, everything that we thought were positive stances to take. Nobody around here was doing it and it wasn’t what it turned into eventually. The only people that were straight edge were people that we knew. When bands would come through town that were straight edge, we’d hang out with them and go skating or take them to raging waters. That was the extent of it. There wasn’t any tough mentality about it at all.

Me: There weren’t any other straight edge bands in Salt Lake at the time, right?

Jeremy Chatalain: Better Way, Gentry’s straight edge band, started pretty soon after.

Chubba: As much as straight edge it was the unity, the positive kind of thing. Everyone was friends. We played shows just about every weekend at Speedway or The Word. It was just a close community of friends.

Jeremy Chatalain: Insight shows in the late 80s were like kids from all of our high schools, sxe kids, hardcore kids, punk rockers, hippies and just a lot of energy. It started off where we’d play shows and you’d know everyone in the crowd. You’d play The Word and there’d be 35 people and you’d know all of them. Then suddenly new people that we didn’t know were showing up in Uniform Choice shirts, and more hardcore people popping out of the woodwork. Eventually we could pretty much fill up the Speedway.

Photo by Steve Midgley
Me: What have you noticed about the evolution of hardcore?

Jeremy Chatalain: Jamie and I played in other bands, but I did almost a complete 180 afterwards because I discovered Led Zeppelin. I feel like I was the same exact person, but my musical tastes just ballooned. The rest of these guys got into jazz, but I never really caught that bug. We all tried to do something different. I wasn’t involved in the scene too much after Iceburn. I had a serious thirst for music and that’s what I wanted to do—so much so that the bigger picture wasn’t really on my mind.

Chubba: Iceburn was kind of all over. We had quite the evolution and it still had a little bit of hardcore roots to it, a little bit metal, but the songs were more complicated. Once Jeremy and Doug moved on and James moved on, we kind of evolved through all these different genres but there was always a jazz influence and a classical influence. Gentry has a million ideas in his head always. There was a time when we were part of the scene, but there’d be maybe 10 people at the show.

Jeremy Chatalain: I feel like whenever I’d come home and go to an Iceburn show, it was like they’d kind of created their own scene. They were definitely a unique band.

Chubba: The hardcore scene for me kind of ended when everyone moved on and Iceburn slimmed down and went a different direction we kind of got out of the hardcore scene. We played a lot of different shows with different bands.

James Holder: With Insight we weren’t deliberately trying for it, we just played music and ended up as part of the scene. It was just part of the chemistry of it.

Jeremy Chatalain: More than any of the beliefs, I was into the music and I think these guys felt the same way. I think that’s why sometimes Insight was so intense. I also think that the flow and how things ended up – I think hardcore is a young man’s game. It takes youthful energy to have a scene and have these intense shows and I know they happen now. I work with kids that go to hardcore shows and go to house shows and do sing alongs. It happens, I know it, but it just seems the natural order of things for people to drop off and new people come up. When you’re young you can be so hyper focused on one thing and you have all this time for it and all this energy for it. At the time in 1988, I was all about hardcore. When you’re 17, 18 19 you follow this band and your belief system fits right in with theirs and suddenly they go a different direction, you’re like ‘you betrayed me.’ I’ve had these intense conversations with people over the years and they say things like, ‘I loved the first Jets To Brazil album, Orange Rhyming Dictionary, but what the fuck happened with your second record?’ And I would always have to remind them, ‘Do you realize how offensive that is?’ We’d just worked on that record for two years and if a band doesn’t evolve, they’re going to be bored shitless. If a band makes the same record over and over again they’re going to become bored and if someone is just a fan, but doesn’t play music, it’s really difficult to explain that to them.

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