Bernando: Hi Eric. First of all thanks for taking the time to answer a couple and sending in the latest demo (which sounds great by the way in all it's DIY awesomenes). Could you please introduce the band and it's current line-up for those who are new.
Eric: The line-up for Wellington Arms is Paul Sicilian on lead guitar, Kev M on Bass, Nate Woodell on drums, and this line-up has been consistent for a little over a year now. So far I think it's the best line-up we have had because as a band we can pretty much travel anywhere in the states to do a gig over a weekend , and we sound the best considering the dual guitars, and back-up vocals, but the only problem thou is we haven't had a proper chance to record anything in an state-of-the-art studio to really demonstrate the value of our band. For instance the Stahlhelme demo is pretty good, but we only had an hour to record the frame-work starting at 9pm on a week night when we all had work the next morning, and Nate just got done working a 12 hour shift, and was way too exhausted to be there in my opinion, and he also thought the same so... We want a studio where we can jam for about 8 hours straight, and we haven't had that chance yet, but that may change come late summer, and I hope it does because we go some serious material to put out there for ya guys.
Bernando: Any chance of getting this Stahlhelme demo on vinyl in the future? Or perhaps even a full-length coming up?
Eric: I doubt it because any investment that would be made would have to be a full length LP at this point, and I think any record label would agree. A full length album is our goal right now ha. Speaking of demo's thou WAR Records contacted me, and said that they will produce the original 4-track demo Living in Amerika from 2008, and as far as I heard it may be available by August. I'll keep ya posted on that for sure. As far as the Stahlhelm demo goes maybe we can release it on vinyl at a later date, but until then the CDR's I'm producing are pretty cool looking in my opinion, and most people will dig them.
Bernando: Speaking of demo's I remember seeing a CD with WA called Demo's 2008-2011 being released by some label called Working Class Skins last year. Since I have never heard you mentioning it before and never even heard of the label i must ask, is this a bootleg or a proper release?
Eric: It's an authorized bootleg from Germany ha. I don't mind people bootlegging our demos and all that, but a full-length release would be different of course, but till then burn and record away.
Bernando: Could you please explain what the whole "Spanish Arms" thing was all about? You traveled down to Spain for some time and joined forces with the Glory Boys if i recall correctly. Why and can we see any simulair co-operations in the future? (By the way what songs where recorded down there?)
Eric: Yeah we joined forces in April of 2010 and ah man Spain was a blast, and we do have some live practice recordings of the set-list I'll put out there one day. The trax we did were: Living in America, Today Chicago tomorrow the world, Boredom's a drag, Were young, International lover, I can't take anymore, Bringing you down. Drove me insane, and Government action. There may have been a few more, but I can't remember at the moment. When I sang with the Glory boys at the end of their set we covered Friday night by Skrewdriver, and Disorderly conduct by Arresting officers, and that was killer too. I would love to play with those guys again, but the line-up I have now is pretty legit so it won't be the same if we went over there except Vega on bass of course.
Eric with Glory Boys
Bernando: Your sound has a heavy 77-feeling to it and i know that Skrewdriver is a big influence. What other bands has had an impact on either the sound or the lyrics?
Eric: Well that's good then. Brutal Attack has always been a big influence on me too, but bands at the moment, and probably bands that influenced me also are: Hand of Doom, Black Sabbath, Pink turns blue, The Knots, Queen, Booze boys, Slaughter and the dogs, Bad Manners, Eater, George Thorogood, Iron Maiden,Crucifixion, Meat Loaf (Guess where) and early Ministry.
As far as lyrics go it all comes natural really when I hit the strings of the guitar, and sing about whats on the mind if anything. It's a Chicago blues thing ya dig?
O' Damn, and don't forget Bob Seger, and Springsteen haha
Bernando: Meat Loaf haha. Now that's something i didn't see coming. What exactly is it that Meat Loaf won't do for love? Stop watching porn?
Eric: Yeah great band musically depending on who ya ask. I'm influenced by them much in the same I am with such bands like Skrewdriver, Iron Maiden, and Brutal Attack because they are able to combine music, lyrical expression, and theatrics together which I see as very important. The elements amalgam, and I put this concept into Wellington Arms as well. Like for instance We're from Chicago, and we are a skinhead band, but I don't write these lyrics cause I'm patriotic because it's more then that. I'm a Chicagoan - this is my culture, and this is what I gotta say about it. It's about heading to the bar with your guitar, and playing with whoever else can pluck a string to your rhythm, and keep a beat on drums to then put some real energy into the void we call space. Some call it punk, but that's because maybe we dress that way, and some say it's skinhead, and that's because we are, but in reality - what we are doing is what the Chicago blues, and rock 'n' roll scene was doing before any of that and we're part of that like our fathers, and moms were. I drink heavy, and pretty much just drink ales, but like everyone else in the band and in Chicago we all started off drinking in the local bar with the old man with an Old Style in hand, pizza in the mouth, twenty dollars in the pocket for the jukebox, and the Chicago Bears game live on the television. Not to mention if you didn't have at-least one political debate you were a poser to go along in that environment,and I still believe that,and that's why I don't care about the skinhead scene that much because the whole "Non-political" stance has left that whole scene apathetic, and oblivious (clueless) between racial politics, and local politics which is something I can't handle. Not to mention how easy it is now for the commies to nick pick at everyone with ease these days. Politics are very important, and if I sound like a racist, fascist, or homophobic to any UN-American red then I know I'm doing my job well for my community so fuck it. For instance if it's racist to vote against Section 8 housing to take place in your neighborhood then I'm fine with that, and if it's non-skinhead to vote for a decent Representative in the streets and sanitation department then I don't want no part in that scene. Hell I got mine, and guess what we'll keep drinking, and rocking-in-the-free-world.
Bernando: I understand where you're coming from and have to agree with you on most of it. Skinhead is a word that can become quite dull and ignorant since the whole idea is built around a stereotype both in clothing (boots, short hair and right brands) music (ska, punk and some rock'n'roll) and even views and lifestyle (working class, patriotism and publife). So an almost philosophical question would be when does one start being a "skinhead" and when does one stop being a "skinhead". Same goes for politics and i can also become annoyed at the right/wrong climate of it all and the lack of a middle-ground. WE has always (in my book at least) been an non-political band as in your lyrics don't tend to point any fingers in any direction. How important is modern politics for the band and to what extent does it impact the lyrics and songs?
Eric: We all have our opinions on topics that directly or in-directly effect us, but we don't embrace any set ideology or campaign. I rather strap on the guitar, build a good riff and let the lyrics come natural to reflect whats going on in my life, and guess what? They do deal with real dilemmas that skinheads can relate to, and very well because the atmosphere to relate, and backlash against social upheaval is still there - it's viewed in our homes, on the street, and is a mouthful in the bar scene, and it has been since the 1950's in countries such as England, America, and Europe, since the exploitation of multiculturalism , and there's no stopping it. Skinhead much like the other youth movements, and gangs at their original presence fought over their original locality due to the influx of mass cultural migration , and this couldn't be more evident in England the day cropped youths put the steel to foreign influences such as the paki's, rockers, and the left-wing flower children of the Aquarian age. It's was/is cultural, but there were real politics, and racial problems behind it all that couldn't be ignored much like today, and people should be aware of what they are doing, and saying instead of being repugnant to these politics, or exemplifying acronym's to describe their political outlook without actually understanding what they are fighting for or against. Skinheads are, and will always remain patriotic, stylish and unfavorable to totalitarianism in the significant sense given their background, and that's all that needs to be said or said about them. They aren't anti-racist or racist because commies dictate that term and when its applied to a group or person, and they aint Nazis, Commies, or fascists because those are political parties that patriots won't buy into, but they can certainly "like" or "dislike" things about them. I certainly do, and do not like things about them, and I have no problem with a debate in person about them cause its interesting stuff.
As far as my theory on how a self governing country should work is this: The realm, Knights, magical babes, feasts, ale, and dragons...
no...On the real tho, skinhead or not- The worlds nations are important unless ya want an one world soup, pill and bread line, and If ya love your nation, and honor others - it's your responsibility to take care of your land, your people, and the devoted culture that binds it all together . Vote wisely on issues, and invest great time into when it is, and when its not in the best interest to have foreigners compete in your markets let alone migrate into them, but most of all vote local cause it gets the job done. Trust me your garbage service, and flood clean-ups are more important right now then political theories. Other then that jot down what ya no, and jot down what ya don't, and get educated. It's always good to be quick on the uptake.
Bernando: How is the scene in Chi-town today? Any bands one should check out, stay away from etc. How is the scene in large over there as far as gigs and "unity" goes?
Eric: Ha, O' joy... I suppose its fine, and dandy if ya side with the left-wing, but for few of us rocking out for patriotism, and rebellion it's not. The scene itself is pretty good thou if not great when it comes down to gigs these days, but I much preferred it when the music scene was low-key, because the whole punk, and skin unity made more sense when we drank together in flats, and in the street rather then in venues that clearly rip us off. It was really cool to meet people, and although there was violence, it was usually a fair fight with a drink in the end compared to the "Safety in numbers" routine being practiced today by cowards. I miss the subterranean gigs, and all of that, but now it's all in the open for the left-wing to attend, and since then the criminality rate has went up ,and I couldn't even tell ya how many times these cunts have broke into cars, smashed venue windows, and have mobbed innocent people (ladies and men) because of so-called political affiliations with wrenches, hammers, and knives, and the worst part about it it has made the scene submissive, and even counter involved to what got punkers, and skins involved in the scene in the first place because they feel they need to take a side.
There are a few bands from Chicago that rock, and although by me mentioning them to you may get them "attacked" by the left-wing it makes no sense on the lefts part so I'll mention them anyways.
1: The Jetbirds (ex street brats)
2: Criminal Kids
3: Black Actress
4: The Capones
5: Bell-weather syndicate (dark wave)
6: Flesh Panthers
7: The non-believers
8: The infected
9: Brickwall Vultures ( I had to say it) ha ha ha
10: Is there a Ten... I dunno ha
As far as bands to stray from I don't really care what people listen or who they hang out with, but I'll be damned if I get get slagged off from the left-wings predominance because of our message of Patriotism, youth rebellion, and rock 'n' roll because it is important in what youth movements want out of it all in the first place.
Bernando: Ok so here's a couple of short one's. Answer as you please:
-Piano in punk songs?
Eric: I love what Frankie flame does that's for sure. I don't know who else does it in that style, but if I found out I'd give it a listen.
-Zionism, Islam, Christianity and other forms of modern day religions.
Eric: Ha, I'm not content about the Zionists, and their Jewish destiny to make Jerusalem "the mecca of the world" at the expense of Western Civilization that's for sure. Nor I'm I happy to share a country with Muslims harmonious or not -nor do I care for Christians either, but not because in what they believe in the biblical faithful sense, but because all three of these major affairs exploit markets, and working, and common people, for power, and profit in our free, and loyal countries.
Ha, which Zionist film is most likely to win an Oscar?
The Great Terrain Robbery of course, starring Sean CON-nery and Donald SMOTHER-land.
-Kanye West's latest album entitled "Black Skinhead".
Eric: Never even heard it till now, but I'm sure its bad. Alright let me see this video hold up... Ha, yeah this video is bad, and so are the lyrics. Hip pop is so drawn out ya think? Besides what the original hip-pop had to offer in its momentary existence hip pop in its entirety was the downfall of great music presented by black culture in my opinion.
How do you know that Adam and Eve weren't black? Ya ever hear of a black person giving up a spare rib ha ha ha.
-The lack of Mohawks and spikes in the modern Oi! scene.
Eric: Probably for the best since punk rock is so left-wing these days, but yeah its a shame to see the spikes, and Mohawks fleeting in favor for a well-received image. The attitude is just lost without I think - as it's more about the drugs then unity these days, and it's more about the image to uphold then rebellion for most punkers if not all. I used to love the girls that looked like the Devotchkas, and Beki Bondage however punk being more acceptable has lead to a abundance of smoking chicks into the mix regardless, and I can't complain bout that because they are usually always down for a drink or two with the skins, but I can't say that for the men thou cause they have no loyalty or respect. Heres a quote I wrote for the band.
WELL... WE'RE DISGUSTED BY ALL THE LEFT-WING LIES, THE POSERS, THE DRUGGIES, AND PEOPLE IN DISGUISE. WE AINT INTO DRUGS, THE MAKE-UP, OR THE DOWNTOWN STRUTS - WE AINT INTO FASHION PUNK, AND THE PUNKS THAT SUCK IT UP. WE AIN'T INTO WHATS HIP, AND HIP IS PUNK - WE AINT INTO GANGSTERS CAUSE THAT CULTURE IS FUCKED. ALL THAT NON-SENSE YOU CAN SHOVE CAUSE WE'RE INTO MUSIC CALLED ROCK 'N' ROLL - THE SOUND THAT LEAVES US WITH A TASTE FOR BLOOD.
-Football or football (soccer)?
Eric: Da bears... American football may not be the Grid-iron game I came to enjoy in the past, but it's still my favorite sport to watch. As far as football (Soccer) goes I think the sport has the best fan gear, but its not that enjoyable to me, and I prefer Hockey and rugby to soccer.
Bernando: What do you know about the greatest country in the world called Sweden?
Eric: Ha, that they have one of the best fan-zines there as in yours, and one of my favorite bands Ultima Thule, and Amon Armarth are from there. I also got my Thors hammer necklace for my bday (June 19th) from a friend that went to school there. I guess he said it was forged from the fires of Surt or something, and then he rambled on about Elves or dwarfs making it ha (haha they actually are). Other then that I've heard of her beauty, and would love to visit.
Bernando: Thanks for taking the time to do this and even more thanks for the good tunes over the years. Any last words?
Eric: Well thanks for putting out such a well written fanzine, and giving the band exposure over the years. One day the Arms will visit, and we'll drink to Sweden. Till next round. ~Eric Scott