Disturbing The Peace
Rob Tweedie (Vocals).
Greg Haupt (Guitars).
Mike Jost (Drums).
Interviewed by Pedro
PRP: Ok. Let's start. Please, elaborate on the answers. There's nothing more terrible than receiving a one line sentence as an answer. Hahaha.
Disturbing The Peace: Ok.
PRP: Ok, start by telling us how you guys first got together to form what's now "Disturbing The Peace".
Disturbing The Peace: Well, we were kids in middle school, and we had an idea to come up with a band. Rob, Josh and two other guys who are no longer in the band started playing together. Soon after, Mike joined us. We were a party band for a couple years, and then, once we realized that we were getting better, and more dedicated, people started to like what we were doing. Greg joined about a year later, and we began work on The New Ice Age.
PRP: And why have you opted for the name "Disturbing The Peace"? Any particular reasons?
Disturbing The Peace: At Josh and Rob's high school, we played a battle of the bands and we happened to play a heavier song. That got the crowd going into the first mosh pit Lindbergh High School had ever seen. We kinda got in trouble for that and we got the plug pulled on us in the middle of the show. It was funny. Josiah went home and looked up the word "RIOT" in the thesaurus and a synonym was the phrase: Disturbing The Peace. Now, we don't know if the name completely fits us, but we have kept it because it's become an ambiguous name that just means us.
PRP: Ok. Hmmmm.... at the current moment, The Urge's guitar player Jerry Jost, who happens to be brother of your drummer, Mike, is filling in for the band, since your 2nd guitarist recently left the band. Does the fact that you have a tight relationship with a band like The Urge may help you in the coming future? And how are the searches for a new guitar player coming along?
Disturbing The Peace: The Urge has helped us out a lot so far by giving us countless shows and opportunities to play in front of sold out crowds. At first, they were just doing it to help us out but when we got the crowd going more than any of their other openers, they realized that we were more than just "Jerry's little brother's band". They have pointed us in the right direction, but now our music is speaking for itself. As for the new guitarist, we're still trying many people out for the position and it's difficult to find a talented player as well as a good person to work with, but hopefully it will all come together soon. It's hard because the four of us have a unique bond to each other and finding a person to fit into the mix might take a little while.
PRP: Sounds good. Ok, let's focus a bit in your new album: "The New Ice Age".
Disturbing The Peace: Ok.
PRP: By comparing your new album to your previous one, "Planet 9", how much do you think your music has evolved?
Disturbing The Peace: 180º. The music on "Planet 9" was our first attempt at recording and songwriting and so it was a basic take off of our influences and the music that we listened to at the time. The style of all the band members has changed immensely as well as the identity of our guitar player. Adding Greg to the line-up was a very good decision because he added the kick that we have in our music today that we didn't have on "Planet 9". Greg likes a bigger guitar sound than we had before. Also, he has very good songwriting capabilities and he fits in perfectly. We all feel like Greg has been in the band forever. Another difference that we have is that on the old album, Rob rapped a lot more and now he concentrates more on creating melodies with the lyrics. The amount of time between the two albums let us take in a lot more new influences and creating our own sound instead of sounding like other bands that we liked at the time.
PRP: Great. In the band's first album, "Planet 9", you were more focused on rapping, and it's clearly noticeable that you have taken an opposite direction in your new album, "The New Ice Age", which, at least to me, seems to be much more focused on melody and emotion. Has that change in your music came naturally, or do you sort of forced yourself to stand apart from what is considered a "fashion" today, the rapcore sound?
Rob: Naturally. At the time, "rap-core" was fresh and new. Besides Rage Against The Machine and 311, no one sounded like that. It was what we listened to and so it came naturally. Thanks to a million bands these days, it's incredibly played out. I gradually grew bored with the sound and slowly stopped rapping. If I do it anymore, it's only in a bridge or breakdown. I really haven't rapped in a new song in a while. I just think there are usually better ways, better melodies to get my point across emotionally. Besides that, I'm influenced by a wider variety of vocalists, from "band" vocalists like Chino, Brandon, Jonah and Thom Yorke, to individual artists like Björk and Seal.
PRP: We'll get back to the influences later. Next question... Rob, some of your lyrics in the new album seems to fit together in a concept that suggests the end of the world as we know today, thanks to technology's evolution, as for example, "The Ice Hunter", when you say, and I quote: 'technology, the plague that will ravage your souls until you lie down', or "Jetpack (The Day The Sun Burned Out)", which lyrics tell a story of a little kid that finds himself being alone after the world's destruction. Do you truly believe that technology is a plague, and that the world may end up being destroyed due to the constant evolution we see everywhere now a days?
Rob: I'm not like the Una-bomber or anything. Haha. And I have the flyest Macintosh G4 that you've ever seen, but I do think that the rate at which we evolve, destroy nature, and build cities on top of cities, we're heading towards.... something. I don't think it's going to be some second coming, but something more at the hands of our own stupidity, like nuclear war, or environmental depletion. I'm not some religious freak that always talks about the apocalypse, but the topic does interest me. I like to create a world of feelings and emotions with my lyrics, and sometimes I try and place the listener in that world, like a good film. Like in Jetpack, it's not so much about the end of the world as it is about the feelings that are involved. The scenario's always a metaphor for something more personal.
PRP: I understand. Whose was the idea of covering "Hyper-Ballad" by Björk, and weren't you ever afraid of covering such a perfect song and letting people down, thinking you didn't made a good job?
Disturbing The Peace: It was Rob's idea, he's a gigantic Björk fan. We decided that we weren't going to put it on The New Ice Age if it did not come out good, but we are very happy with the way that it turned out. Greg went over to Rob's apartment one day, and Rob had the Björk video "Live at Shepherds Moon" on. Greg fell in love with the idea right away, and together they took the idea to the rest of us. At first we just kinda laughed because it was kind of a far out idea. DTP covering Björk. Weird. But after we rehearsed it once together, we all kinda looked at each other and said: "wow".
PRP: Have you been hearing positive feedback from the fans about the cover?
Disturbing The Peace: Yes, it's been nothing but positive feedback from people. Usually, one of the first things they say about the album is that the Björk song rocks. Most people can't picture it, but they get it once they hear it.
PRP: Coolness. I heard that the entire band are obsessed fans of the baseball player "Roberto Clemente". Any truth in that statement?
Rob: Hahaha. Yes, they love me, er, Roberto Clemente.
PRP: Hahaha, kick ass. Hmmm, a few questions about the song "Halo", which happens to be the most enigmatic tune of the album. First of all, why deciding to name it as a symbol instead of the actual word, "Halo"?
Rob: Well, I took japanese for a year, and am in love with the language. It's beautiful. So, when we wrote "Halo", which is about a very intimate relationship, I used a japanese line in it, and I wanted to give it a more personal name, that meant something special to me. The name translates to "go-ko" which is Japanese for "halo".
PRP: Cool. Now, tell us what the line "Oyasumi-nasi kiree honshi" actually means.
Rob: It means, "Goodnight, beautiful star".
PRP: Ok, cool. Hmm... are all the band members die-hard fans of the Teddy Ruxpin cartoon?
Disturbing The Peace: What?!?
PRP: Teddy Ruxpin!
Greg: Dude, I love my Teddy Ruxpin doll. Rob does too. We take him on the road with us. He keeps us awake in the car. He never gets tired.
PRP: Right on! Is the doll some sort of a lucky amulet for the band?
Greg: Sure. Haha.
PRP: Really? Is it a band routine to kiss the doll on the buttcheek three times before and after each show you play?
Rob: Five times each. I like putting the tapes in his backside.
PRP: Right on. I heard you, Greg, also sings "I'm Too Sexy" for the crowd everytime you get on stage. Is that true?
Greg: No. Actually, that's Rob. And he sings it in japanese. I sing "Like a Virgin".
PRP: Hahahahaha, how are the lyrics for that in japanese, Rob?
Greg: Rob is unconscious right now.
PRP: Why's that? What happened?
Greg: Spontaneous sleep.
PRP: Hahahaha. Hmm, what are you guys currently listening to?
Greg: I just got done listening to Brian Adams "So Far So Good". It's great.
PRP: Hahahaha, for real!?!?!
Greg: Yes. For real.
PRP: Dude, that's sick. Hahahahaha. Are you in the Brian Adams official fan club?
Greg: No, I am not.
PRP: Hahah, ok. What about the others? What have you been currently listening to?
Rob: At the Drive-In, Coldplay, Radiohead, Elliot Smith, The Get-Up Kids, GlassJAw.
PRP: Coldplay!? Shit, I am impressed.
Rob: That album is really good.
PRP: That album is probably my favorite album at the moment.
Rob: Awesome. It's in my car's player right now.
PRP: Ok, about side projects? Anyone in any side projects?
Greg: I am in a gay band called The O.F.R. The rest of the guys in DTP actually saw me in The O.F.R. before i played with them.
PRP: What does O.F.R. stands for?
Greg: O.F.R. can stand for anything that you can think of. www.theofr.com. Check it out sometime.
PRP: No one else in side projects?
Rob: Me and my friend Nick from Trans-Lux started a project called "Blue" a while ago, but we haven't done anything in about a year, we never really got it past the writing stage.
PRP: I understand. Ok, personal influences?
Greg: Goldfinger, Glassjaw, Finger Eleven.
Mike: 311's Chad Sexton, The Urge's John Pessoni, Deftones' Abe Cunningham, Tool's Danny Carrey just to name a few.
Josiah: Red Hot Chili Peppers, 311, Les Claypool of Primus, Deftones; also to name a few.
Rob: Thom Yorke, Björk, Chino Moreno, Brandon Boyd, Billy Corgan, Maynard (especially the A Perfect Circle stuff), Jonah from Far, PJ Harvey, and on and on....
PRP: Sounds good. Are any of the members' moms a M.I.L.F.?
Disturbing The Peace: No, not at all.
PRP: Bah, not funny to ask you guys question with some sense of humor. I hope you rot in hell.
Disturbing The Peace: Haha. They just aren't. Sorry. Haha.
PRP: Hahaha. Ok... as far as venues, bands, and people to support it goes, how satisfied are you with St. Louis music scene?
Josiah: The St. Louis music scene is steadily growing but as far as being happy with it, nope. Venues are dropping off like flies because the bigger venues have the money to pay EVERY SINGLE ACT that comes here; so soon, there will only be about three or four venues where a person can go and see live, original music instead of seeing the run-of-the-mill cover bands at bars. The bands in STL are also growing but the radio and publicity for them is nowhere to be found. There are a few supporters in this city but the people in the industry, in my opinion, aren't realizing the potential for talent that could be harnessed if any of them gave this city a chance. We're hoping to change this weird phenomenon by getting people to notice this city and the music that is spawned from here.
PRP: Wow, Josiah is there also. Kick ass. Another question: Why is Josiah's artistic name only "Josiah", and not "Josiah [last name]"? Hahahaha.
Josiah: I'm going for the Prince type thing, and when my career goes towards movies and film, I don't want the little fans knowing who I am. Mysterious
PRP: Hahaha, sounds good. What is the most negative/optmistic thing the band has been through to date?
Disturbing The Peace: Negative: When we had to part ways with our original guitarist. It took quite a toll on everybody due to the fact that he was our best friend and he was involved in the band for so long. On the contrary, it was also a good thing because doing that did made us realize that we are in this for the long haul and that this is a real thing that we're dealing with here instead of four or five friends playing a keg party or something. Another optimistic thing that we have gone through is the entire process of creating this album and the good things it has already done for us. It's been quite a nice ride through this so far, let's hope it keeps going.
PRP: Ok..... Are you all satisfied with how "The New Ice Age" came along? Or would you change anything on it if you could now?
Disturbing The Peace: Of course we're going to have minute details that we aren't happy with, because we are all perfectionists, but overall, we could not be more happy with the way the record turned out. The whole album works well together from beginning to end. It's not a collection of songs, it's an overall piece of work that we made together as a band.
PRP: What do you want people to feel when listening to "The New Ice Age"?
Rob: We just want them to feel. I think, if they're feeling something, some emotion, then we've achieved something. People tell me they get chills when they hear certain songs on the CD, or others get their heads bobbing. Bill from the Urge gets a tear in his eye every time he hears Hyper-Ballad or The Whisper Song. I know for me, every song takes me to another place. I can close my eyes and feel something pure. That's really what it's all about.
PRP: Ok, here's a good one: Do you think that the band as a whole is ready for fame and pressure?! I mean, are you all emotionally ready to sign a record deal, tour the world, give autographs, be on MTV and have groupies running after you?
Disturbing The Peace: Yeah. It'd be a trip, but we just want to be able to make music, play music, and live off our music. We're not afraid of money or fame. It'd be kinda cool, but we'd be on M2 because MTV no longer plays videos. M2's cool though.
PRP: Ok, guess we're done. Hahaha. Any thanks, shout outs, fuck you's, shameless self promotion, "Where's Waldo?" hints, whatever?
Disturbing The Peace: Thank you, Pedro. Shout outs to The Urge, Trans-Lux, Not Waving But Drowning, Big Blue Monkey, Too Young The Hero, Finger Eleven and the rest of the STL family. Fuck you Dwight Carter (Where's our money?). Buy our album and love it. Go to www.dtpmusic.com.
PRP: Hahahaha, no "Where's Waldo?" hints? I still need to find him in that damn ship!
Disturbing The Peace: Bottom left. Page 34.
Comment on this interview.