Behind The Motion: Stick To Your Guns
Stick To Your Guns
We interviewed Josh James and George Schmitz from Stick To Your Guns at their show in the Muziekodroom. Here are some remarkable quotes & photo's.
Are you in a gang?
"In every group, even if it's hardcore or straight edge or veganism, you have people that are pieces of shit. These people want to fucking use a label to do whatever negative shit they want to do. I remember years ago, I must have been fifteen or sixteen years old, I came home from a show and there was a VHS tape on my bed together with a note from my mom that said: "We need to talk". My little brother, probably eleven at that time, came into my room and said almost crying: "Is it true? Are you in a gang?". I was like "what are you talking about" and I put the VHS tape in and watched it. It was a recorded news show called 20/20 and they do pieces on a ton of different things, this one was on straight edge. In this particular show they interviewed these psycho people from Salt Lake City, that carved an X in a kid's back at a party and killed him for smoking cigarettes. They were all like "if you are smoking around me, I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU". So on the show they were all like "straight edge people are insane. They are violent. They are murderers.". So my mom panicked and thought: "My son's a murderer!". So I had to explain that was not true. It is the same with people saying that all Muslims are terrorists, just because some pieces of shit are doing fucked up stuff. That is just dumb." - Josh James
I Fucking made it!
"Our journey has been so crazy that every day, no matter what the situation is, I can sit here and enjoy. Even if we play on Summerbreeze for thousands of people or like this show in Spain where we played only for twenty people, I can be like "this is fucking funny dude". Those two I can appreciate at the same level, as weird as this may sound. The whole band is on this same level. To me we were always a band with no expectations. It is crazy that like Josh and Chris, who have way more experience on touring compared to the others in the band, and still don't have expectations. We can roll with the punches. When I was in high school, my dream was to play in a band and I didn’t care what it would take. So as for me, everything that happened with Stick To Your Guns is like "can not believe that happened". I thought I was just going to play shows in my local town. The first time I played, our first Stick To Your Guns show, I got 10 dollars for food. I was like "I fucking made it! I just got 10 bucks and got to play here! This is awesome"." - George Schmitz
We talk about a big topic in the States
"With Universal Language we talk about something that is a big topic in the States. You have these hotbeds of action like Ferguson or Baltimore and even Dallas or Minneapolis, where the media or "white America" don't understand why these communities act out. They don't understand why they respond to police brutality in that way and with Universal Language we try to point out that it is because they were met with violence in the first place. With the excessive force the police used, they feel like that’s the only way they can react, with similar actions. It’s like, the only way you are going to understand me, is if I scream in your face "please don't shoot" or walking on the high way and shutting it down. Then you have people saying: "Maybe you should protest without disrupting the public". NO, that is the intention! It is so frustrating to see people immediately write things off like that. But then again when you see someone like Colin Kaepernick take a knee during the national anthem, those people are all like: "he can't do that". What do you want then! He is doing something really peaceful, all by himself, and it is not okay, but at the same time you don't want people gathering in the streets and chanting. It is just so frustrating. It is a case by case scenario, but in a way the looting and protesting were very effective. Look what it did as far as putting a spotlight on America and the problem that we have with police." - George Schmitz
Break my guitar or retune the guitar?
"The thing I really have an issue with when we are playing a gnarly show, is when kids decide to use the neck of my guitar as a tool to pull themselves up on stage. They are so excited that for some reason in their brain it make sense to do such a thing. So we are playing and they grab my guitar and they use that to pull themselves out of the crowd. So I have two options, I can pull back and risk breaking the guitar, or I can bend forward so that they fall and I have to retune the guitar. So that is really annoying, but other than that there aren't much stupid things happening during our play. Not to me at least..." - Josh James
There is something about day 20!
"Surprisingly, out of all the bands I played in, Stick To Your Guns is the most healthy functioning band. There really aren’t that many arguments, obviously you are going to get irritated at some point, but it doesn't seem to go as quickly with people in this band. It does make touring a lot easier. To me when I get at day 20, for some reason there is something about day 20, I just check out. Obviously that is a challenge when it is a 40 day tour. You don't get that much "alone" time on tour, so for me that is the point when I try to separate myself from everyone else, just so that I don't lose my mind for the rest of the tour. I remember the last tour we had in the States when I woke up and thought: "I need to get the fuck out of here". Then I looked on the tour passes and said: "Today is day 20! This is fucking happening!". So that day I just went off by myself and spent the whole day on my own. I just showed up like 10 minutes before we played and the next day I was back to normal, so great. You just need some alone time, at least for me personally, that is important." - Josh James
Photo's: Daria Colaes
Text: Jesse Mouart
Interviewed: Josh James and George Schmitz from Stick To Your Guns