fIREHOSE's Ed Crawford: "It Was Our Job. We F**kin' Showed Up Every Day."
You've been having rehearsals only at this point, but how does it feel playing these songs again together after so many years?
Oh, grrrrrreat. It's crazy, it's a blast. I highly recommend it [Laughs]. We're sounding real good. It's coming together really nice. We're all excited.
We're in the era of reformed bands, including other punk bands. With the exception of a few, most don't pack the punch they once did. Does it concern you at all that reforming might tarnish the reputation fIREHOSE developed as a seminal and influential punk band?
Well, yeah. Obviously you don't want get up there and suck out loud. We're not going get up there and embarrass ourselves. Fuck no. That's why I came out here a few weeks ahead of time. We're practicing hard two, three hours a day. We're not going to get up there and suck. We're going to come out swinging. I've warned those young children... they better watch the fuck out. We're going to take them to old school. They're going to know we were there. I'm not bragging because it's true [Laughs]. As you can see, I'm very confident.
And that's also why we didn't feel like we needed to do any new material. We feel what we did has stood the test of time. No reason we can't play them songs; we don't need any new songs. If we feel like we want to make another record we will, but we don't need too. No pressure. No label beating on our door saying we need product. It might be in the cards too down the road, I don't know. Everything's on the table; nothing's off the table.
Where do you think fIREHOSE ranks in the annals of rock history?
So, when Mike and I started to seriously consider doing this, I hadn't listened to fIREHOSE in 18 years to tell you the truth. I didn't even own a CD. I had to go buy every freakin' fIREHOSE CD. And listening to it as intensely as I needed to to relearn the stuff, I'm thinking this has really stood the test of time. It doesn't suck. Some of it, I'm thinking, well we shouldn't have done that, or this was kind of weak; most of it though is pretty damn strong. So, I can only judge us against ourselves. I can't say we're as good as The Clash or slightly better than whomever. I always judge it against ourselves. I'm proud of what we did. Nobody played like us, no one has since. Nobody's got those kind of balls. I dare somebody to play like that. We played some crazy stuff.
You were hitting on rock, jazz, punk--all kinds of musical styles came together for you.
Yeah, I'm really proud of it. When you're doing it you're not thinking about the future, the legacy. You're doing it in the then and now and just doing the best you can, working as hard as you can. We had a very serious work ethic. We still do. We practiced every day we weren't on tour. We practiced five days a week. Even if we had shows on the weekend we practiced every day. We took it very seriously, it was our job. We fuckin' showed up every day.
You guys were known for selling T-shirts that you'd screened in the van that day off the stage at the end of each show. Whatever you made each day was all you sold. First come, first served. Merchandising is big business today, but might we see the old DIY shirts again, or are you just focusing on the music?
We're doing Coachella and then opening four shows for M. Ward, and with that big rock machinery in place, you can't even make money of T-shirts anymore. But I'm not sure what we're doing merch-wise yet.
Why is the f lowercase in the name? Was it an art thing or just to mess with journalists?
The MINUTEMEN logo was all capital letters and Mike wanted to pay a little tribute to that so it was all capital letters except the first one. When we were deciding, it just looked cooler with the little lowercase f. We were sitting around Mike's pad doing the logo and did it all lowercase letters and that just looked stupid. Then we hit on the little f and used the same basic font as the MINUTEMEN. That's it, it just looked cooler.
fIREHOSE is scheduled to perform Tuesday, April 17 at the Crescent Ballroom.