1. How did you get your band name? I was really drunk and miserable and on Christmas break while in college on either Christmas Eve night or New Years Eve or some shit. I messaged Hakeem or called him or something and he was in Afghanistan at the time. I said, "Yo, when you get back, we're making music together. Let's have a cool name, too. Something that sounds like a hardcore band's name. Like a metal band or something." We brainstormed for a bit. Then we came up with Koffins. There were probably a million bands called "Coffins", so spelling it with a K made sense.
2. How did this band get started? I was in college and really miserable I was hating my life and stuck in a place where I really didn't know anyone. I was stuck in a school that I hated. My classes sucked, my living situation sucked, I was broke, etc. One night I just thought, "fuck it." I knew I loved making beats with my best friend that I grew up with. I knew he would be down. I hit him up one night just drunk off of my ass and said, "Dude, let's just do this." Hakeem's reaction was his always can-do, "Oh, fuck yeah."
3. What bands are you influenced by? We really are influenced by everything growing up in Iowa without any real solid music scene. Everything was so far spread out that it wasn't necessarily some place where you just go to a show every weekend. Our local buddies had a ska band and through them, we got into the punk scene. I think I am way more into punk and hardcore. Bands like Modern Life Is War, Suicide File, The Hope Conspiracy, Lifelong Tragedy, etc. When we were younger, we were heavily influenced by rap and hiphop. Hakeem always had Tech N9ne on rotation because it was just a Midwest thing. A lot of Midwest hip hop like Bone Thugs N Harmony, Tech N9ne, and actually, the whole Wu Tang catalog. Anything we could get our hands on. Hardcore riffs provide the song structure for our music and the hip hop influences come into the drum machine tinkering.
4. If you could tour with any bands, past or present, who would they be and why? Opening for anyone would be awesome. The Bloody Beetroots had a project with the vocalist of Refused. That's amazing to think two different sounds can come together like that. So I guess we would be open to anything. Locally in Iowa, we don't have a lot of crazy good acts stop by on tour. So I would want to get out there everywhere with some artist with crazy energy. P.O.S. always kills live. Juicy J is like this earthquake-bringing prophet on stage. It's hilarious. Maybe someone like that. Definitely would give my left nut to tour with MSTRKRFT. Maybe play a basement with Modern Life Is War although I'm sure they would be like, "No. No that's alright, were good."
5. Best food to eat on tour? I haven't been on tour in a long time with any band. It usually involved driving three hours to some shithole and driving back ASAP to get back in time for some horrible morning shift. Many Taco Johns drive-thru stops. Hakeem does travel quite a bit. Being in San Diego now, I'm sure he's had his fill of Mexican cuisine, but that dude was straight up living off of Subway for a while. Everytime I'm out in New York, I have to hit up some place that's local. We're really open to anything. As Hakeem would say, "I could eat."
6. Why should people listen to your band? I don't know, should they listen to us? Yeah. Fuck yeah they should listen to us. It should show kids what the fuck you can do in your basement with real gear. With a few hundred hours of fucking around with old synths and programming drum machines that are older than I am can produce. And what a bad ass in a studio can do with the pile of shit you send him. I don't know, that sounded bad. I'm rambling. They should just give us a listen to let people know that people from Iowa aren't living in the stone age. No. That sounded bad, too. If they want to hear some weirdos from Iowa make some banging tracks, they should listen to us. Plus we put effort in this. Hakeem drove a couple thousand miles and stuck around in a basement with gross old equipment and hot ass weather and humidity to deal with. And we actually DJ. Two tables, man. Not these fuckin d-bags going up and clicking play. You might as well not even be up there if you aren't doing shit. And we don't rely on a computer 100% for everything. You take a kid's laptop or his phone away nowadays, and who the hell is he? It's like there's no identity anymore. In a way, our music is our identity.
7. If you could be any athlete, which athlete would you switch places with? Goldust. Or Ric Flair. Probably Cactus Jack/Dude Love/Mick Foley. Or Wayne fuckin' Gretzky. Hakeem could already be a pro athlete if he wanted to be, I'm sure. Or a slightly taller stunt double for Denzel Washington.
8. If you won a Grammy, who would you thank? Fuck the Grammys. Gimme a Grimy Award. Shouts out to ILL BILL!
9. If you could change something about the music industry, what would it be? Stop raping my ears with the same four songs on the radio. Some of us work at jobs where the radio is playing and we have no choice but to listen to the diarrhea noise that comes out of those speakers every 20 minutes. Makes you wanna hurt yourself after a while. Other than that, I could care less about the music industry. On second thought, stop listening to this shitty new rap music. I don't care about how horrible these boys (and I call them boys because they don't even resemble men) can sort of string halfway cohesive sentences together to make half-assed rhymes. Dude, I don't care about the women you don't sleep with, the money you don't have, the people you don't kill, and the gang you aren't in. Ratchet always meant pistol, not disgusting female.
10. Memorable tour experience? I was in this methed out town with my friend old punk band. Well, we were drinking on the way up on this 4 hour drive. The lead dude was trying to take a dump in this trash bag and everybody started gagging and I held the bag out so he could shit in it. I threw up on the floor of the van. Like 5 blocks form the venue. We got out and there was this guy that looked like a caveman wearing a 6 foot long wool scarf and steel toed boots and he's karate moshing and hitting these girls in the face. The headlining band was some fuckin motley-crue lookin', girls makeup wearin', Misfits T-shirt and fingerless glove wearin', slit-my-wrist-in-the-graveyard-while-drinking-faygo-cause-my-twelve-year-old-fiance-cheated-on-me-with-my-sister/cousin-columbine kid-band. They had all these songs about killing themselves and shit. The guy running sound was "back from rehab from his problem with heroin" the front man proudly announced. All of the transgendered kids wearing huge black cargo pants with rows of chains hanging from them cheered. Some Amish kid tried to steal the merch I wasn't able to sell. When we left to load out the gear, the guy who was supposed to pay the band disappeared and the back parking lot was a warzone. Some kid got his face smashed into the wall and cuffed by the cops. He was so methed out her didn't feel shit. This one cop looked eactly like the rapper Common and had a big ass nightstick and was chasing this one dude off. They had all these drugs on the pavement laid out that they had found while patting these people down. It was nuts. My friend was like, "Dude, let's get the FUCK out of here!" Crazy night.
11. What does AP.net mean to you?
AP.net was always the best place to read a review. Especially for Modern Life Is War's albums. I really like those guys as people as much as they are musicians and it was so cool to see people say amazing things about them on there. I even got into new bands on AP.net like Dead Hearts. Being isolated in the middle of nowhere was no longer a problem cause I could connect with other people with similar tastes and get their two cents worth on music that I actually cared about. Then I would order the albums I read about. It was a win-win.
12. What is your favorite song to play? Anything raunchy.
13. What is your vacation spot of choice? New York, maybe. At least at the moment, that's my ideal vacation spot. Get the fuck out of dodge. Go see the millions of fine women in the summertime wearing less obstructive clothing. Eat at the million good places to eat that are there. Hit up friends in Philly an hour away. Can't go wrong.
14. What music reminds you of your childhood? Stacks of 45s laying on the floor next to the suitcase record player. Daft Punk's Discovery for sure. Madness. The Clash.
15. If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why? The Shadow's powers. Cause he's awesome. He carries two longslide .45 pistols. He's "invisible" cause he hypnotizes people. He can see the evil in every human being. It would come in handy so I could know who is gonna screw me over on down the line.
16. Any pre-show superstitions or rituals? Stress everything.
17. What is something that most fans don't know about you? That I exist.
18. What is your assessment of the current state of radio? Do you think it's a place where your band could flourish? No. Maybe college radio. Radio blows so hard, right now. Repeat something a million times. Get some pretty girl with a mundane voice and obnoxious accent that probably doesn't sound anything like that when she regularly talks. Filter her voice completely cause she can't hit a note by herself. Take 8 songwriters and get them to do a 4 minute song with 7 words. "EDM" rules the ariways. EDM is a joke. A flash in the pan. Guess what, kids? You arent at a rave if you paid a few bucks at the door of a bar and there are fliers for it up everywhere. Learn your history. You make America look stupid to the outside world. "YOLO!"
19. What do you like to do in your spare time? Draw shit. Hang out with my grandfather.
20. What kind of hidden talents do you have? I can draw stuff.