(This interview was done before Christian left the band to pursue other
Joel: When we sat with you last time, we were fairly excited about
“Bananaman”. Now we realize we had no reason to be. This new record is 300
times better than that record could ever have been.
Doug: Do you have a name for this album?
Joel: “Two Years to Never”.
Mark: Why don’t you tell him what that means, Joel…
Joel: We were on the band “breakdown tour” of 1998. We had just gotten a
new van and this moron changing the oil forgot to put the rear differential
plug back into the van. We were stuck in Grand Junction, Colorado, for a
week. Things hadn’t been going that great to begin with. The turnouts were
low. Everybody’s morale was pretty crappy. 1998 got gradually worse as the
year wore on. So we were sitting in this Denny’s in Grand Junction,
Colorado, thinking that if this is where we are two years from now, then we
don’t need to do this anymore. We need to pack it up and go our separate
ways. Then Adam piped up and said we should call the next record “Two Years
to Never”, which Jamie was opposed to because he thought the next record
should be called “The First Thanksgiving Day Ever”.
Jamie: “THE FIRST THANKSGIVING EVER”!!!
Jamie: I wanted us to be in pilgrim and Indian outfits on the front cover,
but nobody else thought that was good.
Joel: So this year is two years and this is our first group of original
songs in over 2 years.
Doug: I realize this disc is very different from your previous releases. I
know you never want to be boxed in to being just a “punk band”, so what
direction do you think this record takes you?
Christian: It’s a rock record with pop-punk influences.
Mark: I think the kids who used to like Ghoti Hook and don’t like them
anymore have moved onto the emo-rock scene or whatever. I think they’ll
like this disc anyway.
Christian: And to all the gutter punks out there… you really don’t have to
listen to us. It won’t hurt our feelings. To all of those who liked us
before “Sumo Surprise” and thought we sold out because we had a record
Doug: … It’s a true mark of a sell out… to be successful, I mean…
Christian: … Listen to this album and tell us that the music sucks. I dare
(a long pause)
Joel: (to Christian) You’re trying to help us sell records, right? “C’mon,
general public, hate us! We dare you to buy our record and then return it
to get your money back.” Why do you have this bring-it-on mentality?
Mark: Yeah… we sell out…
the band: …Every seat in the house!
Joel: No, it’s more like, “We sell out… umm… never have…”
Christian: In the end, everyone’s going to like this record.
Joel: I think the people who call themselves gutter punks or other people
who are anal about what they like to listen to make up a very small
percentage of people who have listened to us in the past. My feeling is
that most of the people who listen to us like us for that happy-go-lucky
“Sumo Surprise” and “Bananaman” goofy sound. I think those people might be
disappointed that that stuff is not on the new record. But I think those
people are also going to be open to the ideas we express on this record.
Doug: So you’re not as goofy anymore?
Mark: There’s still some of it there, just not as much. It’s still there
in the live show.
Christian: It’s been 2 ˝ years since that last record came out. A lot of
changes have happened in our individual lives. The songs are a reflection
of the whole band and what we’ve been living through.
Mark: I think any fan of catchy rock music with an open mind should dig it…
If they don’t, they’re stupid.
Joel: Mark would like to make a challenge to the rest of our few remaining
fans… I don’t want to say that this is the record we were always meant to
do, but it’s a very personal record. It’s not a light look at life anymore.
Doug: Do you think it’s an album you’ll look back at 2 years from now and
go “that sucked”?
Joel: No. I don’t think there is any way that could happen this time. I
honestly don’t. We’ve heard it and all the little mistakes here and there
that hopefully only we can hear. But I don’t think lyrically or musically
there will be any regrets. Really, all we regret off the past record is the
fact that the songs on “Bananaman” weren’t fully developed. And we knew
that going into it. I don’t think we really realized the fullness of it
until after it was all done and out there. In the past we were short on
time and threw in silly lyrics to fill in space and because we wanted to be
silly. We actually took time to write this time. Some of it was done up to
the last minute, but it had some girth to it. We didn’t throw in “The Box”
four times on this album. But, of course, I still think that’s funny, just
because it bothered certain people.
Jamie: Which was the point of putting it on there four times…
Doug: Is there anything that stands out to you on this new album?
Joel: If there’s a hit single on this album, we’re all for it. It’s cool,
because there is a variety of stuff on there. There are 2 or 3 pop punk
type songs on there, which should make our older fans happy.
Mark: There’s another song on there that’s very reminiscent of some Journey
80’s rock ballads without the cheesy singing. The cool thing about some of
these songs is that they could easily be played on the radio, but they weren’t written to be that way. We kind of wrote what came natural. We never
said, “let’s go for this sound”.
Joel: And then there’s a couple full-blown rock songs. Those were my
favorites on the record. I was sitting there with the producer mixing,
saying how we would just love to go into making another record. This record
has been inspiring to me to want to keep writing. And Mark has contributed
quite a bit to the new songs on the record, including two songs that he
wrote all by himself before we even went into the studio. And he has all
the rock solos.
Christian: So all you guitarists out there… let’s see you learn them.
Joel: Another challenge!!!
Mark: Now I’ll have people coming up to me going, “Hey, check it out! I
learned your solo!”
(Adam suddenly appears for the first time, pretty much signaling the end of
Joel: Adam, do you want to say anything?
Adam: Hi. I’m the drummer.
Being that I only ever interview Ghoti Hook during their big transition
periods, this is the first and last interview with them as a five-piece.
Christian has since gone on to pursue other projects and the band is
officially now a four-piece for the foreseeable future. The new record,
“Two Years to Never” is available July 18, 2000. Look for it at all major
record stores AND BUY IT!!! Check out their new website coming soon at