It's funny how history repeats itself sometimes. At the same time that mainstream rock journalists are canonizing the first wave of Southern California punk rock, there's been a slowly-but-steadily-growing scene of bands that are laying waste to the legacy of bands that came before. At the forefront of this revitalization is Broken Bottles. With a sound that simultaneously recalls and eradicates pre-rockabilly-songs-about-cars Social Distortion, their barbed-wire beach punk is here and now and you'd be a fool to wait until the Spin magazine "50 Years of Punk" special to check them out.
Interview by Todd
Photos by Dan Monick
Todd: Have you ever had a ramp in your own back yard?
Jes: I've had a quarter pipe in front of my house, but we've never owned any half pipes or anything.
Travis: I've built plenty of ramps in back yards, but not in my own. I wish.
Todd: How long have you been skating for?
Travis: Just since I was a little kid. Just mainly cruising around.
Jes: He made me a skateboard when I was three.
Travis: My mom used to drive us down to the old skateboard park in Del Mar and Jes would cruise. They didn't make little skateboards for little kids, so I was like, "Oh, I can make one." I got some plywood. It was all flat as fuck. I put rad Duane Peters stripes on it. Mainly, of course, it was transportation to get around and hang out with friends and stuff. I got lucky from one thing. At least in my time period, of being a younger kid down here, is that there was always the San Juan Capistrano ramps in the back yards. There were pools to skate and stuff like that. Nothing insane, but I can ride. I'm not the super tricker. If you go over to (Mike) Lohrman's, you're going to see some fuckin' skating. You're all hair to drop in. [meekly raises hand] "My turn." You're all stoked if you get your 50/50 or a rock, you know. That's it. The other guys are just rippin' it.
Todd: What's the worst fall you've ever taken?
Jes: I like to skateboard. I like to fall down. I like to hurt myself.
Travis: Being older, when you slam, you go, "Ungh, I'm done right now. It's cool."
Jes: I had a backpack with four 40s on me, skating straight down a hill and I hit an acorn. It went ooowwahh, and my face just fuckin' grinds against the sidewalk. It was the most beautiful thing. And people just drove by and laughed.
Todd: Did you save the 40s?
Jes: Yeah. They didn't break.
Todd: You've got good instincts.
Travis: That's why you didn't go for the roll.
Jes: I didn't do no rollo. I did a face fuckin' plant.
Darren: You just sucked it up.
Todd: Have you ever gotten knocked unconscious skating?
Jes: Yeah, like the back of my head.
Drew: From the fence?
Travis: Stood up, "Where's the board?" Took it in the head.
Darren: I know Jessie's been knocked unconscious plenty of times, but I just don't think it's been from skateboarding. Or if it was, it wasn't from riding one.
Jes: I'm a professional.
Travis: Knocked out cold skateboarding? That'd be heavy.
Jes: Well, blacked out for five seconds, does that count?
Jes: Being like, "Okay, what just happened?"
Travis: How about eating it and you just want to crawl to the side? Please, no body run into me. I was at The Block in Orange and everyone's rushing...
Jes: Is it true that you skated with Wee Man?
Travis: Yeah. I skated with him, doing his little thing.
Jes: That guy likes to hump older chicks.
Travis: I think it was the Black Label party, I saw him there. The Smut Peddlers were playing. I was just tripping out. It was getting all rowdy and I was just waiting for someone to grab the Wee Man and see how rowdy they really are. But it didn't happen.
Todd: If you could re-write Thrashin', would you have the Daggers win?
Jes: Fuck. Before you came, we've talking about that all fuckin' day.
Drew: [quoting the movie, verbatim] "When Monk comes back from his session... Oh, it's the ramp locals."
Jes: "Valley jerks."
Drew: "I want my money." I know that movie by heart. Daggers... What was the question?
Todd: If you could rewrite it.
Jes: If I was Corey Webster, I would have just thrashed. The Daggers, they had it down: you can't hang out with my sister, you can't fuck my sister. You can build a ramp but you can't hang out, you val jerk. I just didn't believe what they said because if I was from the valley, I'd just be a violent bop. Beat up people and hang out at Nordstrom's.
Travis: Before you came earlier, we were taking a break, and he was fuckin' goin' off on Dagger theory. He knows all about it. You've got to quote some Dagger.
Todd: Have you ever skated the Bronson Canyon ditch, where they filmed the giant Q-tip joust? It's easy to get to.
Drew: Recently, Gabe (of the Starvations) was telling me. I've got to go. I don't even know where the fuck it is.
Todd: Someone recently patched the roll-in crack, so you can get a lot of speed into it, and quick-creted some square coping on the far side.
Drew: That's a big half pipe, dude. It's like twelve feet.
Todd: It's a nice, big, smooth ditch.
Travis: The most recent photos I've seen of that is from the Team Goon guy. I guess he took some kids to go skate and he had clips of it. I can handle that.
Darren: Team Goon's going to do a skateboard for us that should be done by the time of the interview. A Broken Bottles skateboard. Jessie did the artwork. It's got a guy flushing himself down the toilet.
Todd: What kind of cut on the board?
Darren: We're going to have our choice. We're going to do a couple of the old school style for us.
Travis: I hope so. I want some fat ones. I want to ride it, dude. I don't want no popsicle stick.
Darren: Vision's going to be the one that makes them.