Excerpt From URTC Interview: Exclusive! By Todd Taylor

What follows is a part of a much longer interview with The Underground Railroad To Candyland that didn’t see print in Razorcake #51 (/catalog/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=551). The really quick catch up to URTC is former members of FYP and concurrent members of Toys That Kill totally fuckin’ stoke you out with party jams that are a like sunshine fungus. We catch up with these San Pedro-ans in the midst of some of them being hauled off to jail and explore the technological wrinkles of cell phones and assuming the charges for collect calls. Then it’s about controlling your own destiny… as a band… with video game royalties to pay for T-shirts.


Taylor:
I have some lyric questions. When’s the last time that someone called you collect and you actually accepted the charges?
Jimmy: That’s funny because we were calling collect from jail.
Chachi: On my cell phone, I got the request for a collect call. I got a weird call. (Shanty) Cheryl called. First, I got the weird call from corrections something. I was like, “What the fuck?” Couldn’t do nothing on my cell phone with it.
Taylor: You couldn’t accept.
Chachi: Yeah. “That was weird. I think the dudes are in jail or someone’s fucking with me.” The Arrivals. We’re getting ready to play a show. And then Cheryl, Todd’s girlfriend, calls me crying, freaking out.
Todd: That’s funny, because every time I called her on a landline, at this house, no one would pick up. It was just weird coincidence. She would be in the shower or something.
Chachi: She heard the messages.
Todd: It was so nuts at the time.
Jimmy: Right before my phone died—I was able to get to my phone somehow. “We can’t get ahold of anybody. Can I get my phone really quick?” “Okay, you can get the number from your phone really quick.” Then I got it. Cheryl was, “Is everything okay?” Right away, I wrote, “We’re in jail,” and my phone died right there.
Chachi: Then they were like, “You’re not supposed to text. Give me the phone back.”
Jimmy: Then they took it away.
Todd: That was the big problem, though. In this day and age, all of your phone numbers are in your cell phone. You don’t dial numbers anymore. I only remembered my home phone number. That was it. Jed’s number I had because Jimmy lives there. I don’t remember any numbers, and that’s why cell phones are horrible.
Chachi:Cheryl’s all, “I just got a text, ‘In jail.’ And they’re not responding to anything else.” I’m all, “It’s just an inconvenience. They’ll be fine tomorrow.” Just trying to calm her down. “I’m two hours away. I’ll see ‘em tomorrow.”
Todd: If that was an inconvenience… she was about to have a heart attack.
Chachi: She started to hyperventilate on the phone with me. I had to say anything.
Taylor: So, how did you guys get on the video game Skate 2?
Todd: This dude just asked us. He pretty much sets up getting stuff on video games.
Taylor: I haven’t seen it, but it should be a nice feeling being on the same soundtrack as McRad, Sam And Dave, and the Wu Tang Clan.
Todd: It’s not bad. I still haven’t seen it. I want to play it. Our friend has it. Cutty, he puts it on and he turns it on mute. [laughter]
Taylor: Did it pay?
Todd: $1,800 flat.
Taylor: That’s nice.
Todd: It definitely helped because we had T-shirt debt.
Chachi: Now millions of kids hear it.
Todd: Somebody did an interview with me through email and asked me, “Do you consider that selling out?” No. The punk rock rules change every day.
Taylor: You own all rights to your own songs.
Todd: Nowadays, I don’t care what anybody says. You have to look out for yourself as far as promotion, because nobody’s going to do it for me. I can’t pay for certain things. There are so many other bands that get so big and they suck. And we know who we’re talking about here. They have a PR firm. I don’t want to go through that route, where you’re paying to fool people. I’d rather have a song on a video game soundtrack, which, to me, is totally awesome, because I like skateboarding video games. And if I actually got a system that would play that game, I would have bought that game. And if that song came on, I’d be stoked. [laughter] It’s pretty much, if somebody hears it, “Oh, I want to get into this band.” That’s how it was for me.
Taylor: You own and control all parts of the band. That’s an important distinction.
Todd: Yeah. I really don’t care if someone did define it as selling out. I’ll man up to it. I’ve sold out. It feels really good. That’s the thing; I got into this kind of music because of skating and skate videos. The Terror in Tahoe, all those contest videos that Thrasher used to put out. They’d always be playing music that the skaters would skate to, or they’d just set up. Just normal skate videos, too. I even got into shit like Dinosaur Jr. through that. I know I would have learned Black Flag and 7 Seconds from friends, but they were all skaters who would bring a tape for us to skate to. I think it’s a really good way to get into music. Video games. The new frontier.