Protecting Beer at Any Cost: An Interview with Broken Bottles By Todd Taylor

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?
Todd: Sure.
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.