These guys are the coolest motherfuckers in the world. After technical difficulties the first time around, I got a second chance to interview Naples, FL’s sexiest man-candy band–Fake Problems. I can’t really account for much of what happened leading up to and after this interview and I would apologize…but…I just don’t care enough too. I spent the night hanging out with the guys, double-fisting gin and tonics…which led to a person in my party, as well as their tour manager getting kicked out of the venue. It’s times like these I reflect…and realize I’ve made the best possible choices in my life. So, here goes: Take two with Fake Problems! And really… just go out and support these dudes. Seriously, they put on an amazing show, have great records, and are some solid guys to boot.
[Emperor’s Note: At some point in time, let’s say 1:30 in the morning, Derek Perry called me, yelling something indeterminable about Aaron needing more money and yadda yadda. Derek, as a starving touring musician, you make more money off a night’s worth of shirts than Racket ever has. …give me a shirt.]
Chris Farren: Alright, let’s set the recorder on the table.
Racket Aaron: Wait, I thought I was running this show. You don’t see me on stage telling you where to put your mic stands. I had no idea we were getting this professional already.
FPCF: Wait, wait, wait…you don’t have any green cards?
RA: What?! you’re already cracking racist jokes about me being Mexican? Arizona is the wrong place for that! I’m gonna do this bitch off the top of my head, son. [Emperor’s Note: Aaron is just Mexican enough to make jokes about him mowing my yard, but I speak far more Spanish than his mind could process.]
FP Derek Perry: What are you talking about? The last time we did this you had a bunch of papers, and questions…
RA: That was like a year ago! And thats generally what some one in my position would do! Here, here are the questions I had. Tell me if these meet your approval. I only have two.
FP Casey Lee: *laughs* Wait a minute…oh my God, where did you find this out?!
RA: I have my resources.
FPDP: How the hell did you find that out?
RA: Like I said…I have my resources.
FPCF: Alright, I’ll answer that
FPDP: No no, we can’t start off with that. We have to build up to it.
RA: Alright fine, do whatever. I’m just here to facilitate this, then.
FPDP: Of course. I’m actually the Racket magazine…guy. I started Racket, actually. [Emperor’s Note: Anyone seen that SNL with Brian Fellow’s Animal Planet, I think it was the one with The Rock. Anyways, a parrot says “I’m Brian Fellow” and hilarity ensues with Tracy Morgan calling that parrot a liar. Anyways, this reminds me of that because Derek is a LIAR!]
RA: For those who don’t know, Derek Perry started Racket in a basement. [EN: Aaron’s lies are well documented]
FPDP:…Yeah, five years ago. Then I moved away…
RA: He passed it on, like a torch…with no flame. A digital torch, really…
FPDP: And now the student has become the master.
FPCL: Can I bum a cigarette off you?
FPDP: I just gave my last one away.
FPCL: Son of a bitch.
RA: Alright, so lets round table this here…let’s have your names, and what you do for the band.
FPCF: My name is Chris. I play guitar and I sing.
FPCL: My name is Casey…and I strictly play the guitar.
FPDP: My name is Derek, and I play the guitar…bass.
Fake Problems Sean Stevenson: My name is Sean, and I play drums.
RA: And you guys are?
All together: Faaakkke Problems! *laughs*
RA: So, it seems like the last time we talked, about a year ago, it seems like you guys have been on tour since then–
FPCF: Thats true! *all laugh*
RA: What are your plans? Ever stopping, and taking a break?
FPCF: Only if one of us gets violently or deathly ill.
FPCL: If we stop touring that means we have to go home and get real jobs.
RA: And what kind of jobs did you have before Fake Problems began touring?
FPCF: We do it all. We are full service–
FPDP: FULL service…
FPCL: We uh…delivered flowers.
RA: What happened to that job? Didn’t the last time we talk you mention something about just throwing the flowers away, instead of delivering them? How many relationships do you think you broke up?
FPCL: *laughs* I only did that around the Holidays…
RA: So nothing important. Just on Valentines, and Christmas…
FPCL: And on Thanksgiving.
FPSS: Yeah…no flowers on Thanksgiving.
RA: Whats the pay rate for flower delivery?
FPDP: I got ten dollars an hour, flat rate.
FPSS: I got twelve dollars an hour…
FPCL: Since then Darren’s flower place has burned to the ground. Literally.
FPDP: Thats right, I can’t go back to work because…it burned to the ground, while we were in Europe.
FPCF: It’s true!
RA: Okay…you’re fucked if this doesn’t pan out then.
FPDP: Yeah…or I could just sell flowers at intersections.
RA: Oh, is this more shots at Mexicans? Okay…
Racket Alex D: This isn’t off to a great start…
RA: So, Derek Perry the racist here…*all laugh*
FPDP: I will DRAG you across the border!
RA: Your spindly arms are not enough, sir. So…what are your tour plans after Anti-Flag?
FPCF: After that we’re going on tour with Dead to Me, and the Loved Ones. Then we’re gonna go out with a band called Crime in Stereo. We really like them.
FPDP: They are the bomb, then a new record.
RA: Whats it gonna be called, what are some of the songs?
FPCF: One of the songs is called, “You’re A Serpent, You’re a She-Snake.”
FPCF: Oh, and then we also have one called, “Alligator Assassinator.” How do you like that?
RA: That’s…chilling. So, where do you guys find time to record?
FPDP: We’re actually squeezing another month into the year, it’s going to be called “FakeProblemsTober”.
FPCF: Yeah! FakeTober!
RAD: Excellent marketing strategy!
FPCL: Also, Sean has one of those things, like in Harry Potter. This…time changing…thing. He has one of those. [EN: Who else knew what he was talking about, raise your hand.]
FPSS: *Flatly* It’s a necklace. *all laugh*
FPCL: Um, besides the Turkey story?
RA: Lets hear that, for those who haven’t been to your MySpace.
FPCF: Okay, um…
FPCL: We we’re reading AMP Magazine…
RA: *Clears throat* There are no other magazines…
FPCL: We are in AMP magazine. They are doing a full length spread, April/May issue on the turkey story.
FPDP: Yeah, Aaron. They gave us a full page.
RA: So what is this…I…I thought we had something.
FPCF: I can barely talk. We were on tour, and we were driving to Chicago? Or was it Cincinnati?
FPCF: We were driving to Cincinnati, Casey wasn’t with us. Casey went out the night before, with Smoke or Fire.
FPDP: He got wasted. And in a bar fight.
FPCF: Him versus Smoke or Fire *laughs*. So he went with them, and the three of us were on our way. We were in Tennessee hanging out. Sean and Derek are in the front, Derek’s driving, and I’m sleeping in the back. All of a sudden, I just hear, “Whoa. Whoa. WHOA, WHOAAAAAAAA!” and then the loudest noise ever. I start to get up, and all of this glass comes flying at me, and…what I initially perceived to be a hawk, comes clawing at me and my sleeping bag, getting blood all over the place. We pull over to the side of the road and discover it’s a turkey. There was blood and glass..
RA: So what happened to the turkey?
FPCF: Sean got it.
FPDP: Sean got him!
FPSS: I grabbed him. We had to open up the back door so I could come out the back.
FPCL: So are you transcribing this, or…?
RA: Oh, I’m transcribing this.
Fake Problems: *random noises, beat boxes and Mario sounds.*
RA: Son of a bitch!
FPCL: Fuck. Transcribe that one.
RAD: So you guys set out to be rock stars, and now you’re killing animals. PETA would be very
FPDP: PETA’s been on this tour.
FPCF: That guy should be back here today.
FPCL: No, we scared him away when he found out about the turkeys.
RAD: I’d be scared if I knew you were murdering chickens…like you were a cult or something.
FPCF: That “chicken” broke our window!
FPCL: Yeah, that turkey was the real deal!
FPSS: Theres nothing like getting smacked in the face by a turkey at 80 mph.
RA: That should be a song title right there…
RA: So you always hear that people make friends on tour, and all of this camaraderie and unity. I guess my question is…who can’t you fucking stand?
FPCF: Hey…you tried to do this last time!
RA: I want names.
FPCF: It’s been a full year of friends
FPCL: I like everybody!
FPCF: The thing is, if you would ask anybody else, they’d all say: Fake Problems.
RA: Thats not true! I interviewed Brian from the Gaslight Anthem and he loves…well, you especially. *points at Chris Farren*.
RA: “Nobody can touch Chris Farren, but everybody wants too!”
FPCF: I like that *laughs*
FPDP: Nobody can touch Chris Farren, for real though.
FPCL: Nobody touches Chris Farren.
FPCF: There were some bands in Europe that were kind of jerks.
FPDP: They were Italian, though.
RA: Ugh, those fucking Italians!
RAD: *upset because he’s Italian* [Emperor’s note: Hey, Alex, don’t have cryabetes, tears won’t mix with the natural grease your body produces.]
FPCL: There was an Italian band that tried to steal my cable…before we fucking played. I went to get all my stuff, and it wasn’t there, so I went up to him and said, “Man…what the fuck!”
RA: With the Larry the Cable guy hat on? *all laugh*
FPCL: I said, “Hey, did you pick up an extra cord?” and he reached into his bag, and pulled it out and went, “Oh, this one?” and I said, “…yeah. That one.”
FPDP: But with an accent, “Vat, Dis one?” *all laugh except Alex.*
RA: What band was this?
FPCL: I don’t know. Who cares?
RA: Yeah! Who cares, they’re from Italy. Fuck Europe!
RAD: America’s the only country–
FPCF: That matters, anyway.
FPSS: Well, it’s actually a continent. Two, anyway…
RA: Anything else you’d like to…ruin…
FPSS: I’m just saying, it’s half the world.
FPDP: It’s all the world, actually.
RA: So you guys just did the 7” with all Blink 182 song titles/ Why Blink 182?
FPCF and DP: You don’t like Blink 182?
RA: It’s curious, thats all…
FPDP: You got a problem with Blink 182?
FPCL: What’s wrong with Blink 182?
RA: Well, since Angels and Airwaves, Tom DeLonge went all “God Complex”–
FP: Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa.
FPDP: That happened when Blink 182 broke up, thank you. See the plan is they can hear about the 7”, and when they reunite to do a world tour…
RA: They can bring you along! And if not, who’s there to clean up the table scraps?
FPCL: Or they could sue us…
FPCF: I’d love for them to sue us. That’s what I want to happen.
FPCP: “Viking Wizard Eyes, Wizard Full of Lies” is what they were going to originally
call “Enema of the State”.
RA: Would you guys ever do an EP or 7” of just…Ani DiFranco song titles?
FPCL: Nope. Just Blink 182.
FPCF: We want to do more Blink 182 songs. We just really like Blink 182.
RA: No schtick?
FPSS: We’re gonna have Blink 182 songs playing before we take stage.
FPCF: Is that something you hooked up?
FPDP: It’s something Max from the Street Dogs hooked up. Yeah, we didn’t know until after the soundcheck.
FPCL: *flatly* As you can tell, we’re really stoked.
FPDP: Yeah, just wait til it starts playing.
RA: So um, do you guys have anything you’d like to say?
FPCL: *random noises*
FPDP: I would like to know about your Mexican heritage with the last name of Hale.
RA: Okay…that’s an interesting question. *all laugh* My mom god knocked up by the only Mexican in Colorado, and she’s Irish.
RAD: Well, I’m Italian, and I steal other peoples cables.
FPDP: Sorry, I just wanted to know.
RA: Thats alright. I’ve actually never seen my birth certificate, so I have my doubts too.
RA: Yeah, I went to go try to get on food stamps the other day, and they told me they needed my birth certificate, and I went, “My…what?” I moved to New York, and I tried to change my I.D and they wanted to see it too, and I said, “I have this *shows social security card* does this mean anything?” So, do you guys ever have any problems getting into other countries.
FPCF: Oh my God, Canada. And then back into America. When you leave America to go to Canada, America, they get mad at you. So when you come back, they’re just like, “So why’d you go? What the hell is going on?” It’s like when you break up with them….and then come back.
FPDP: You gotta get REAL drunk first.
RA: And….now, a question that’s been on everyone mind. Well, everyone’s mind that I talked to recently. Why did you break some dudes bong in Baltimore?
FPCL: I didn’t break the…I…I didn’t break the whole thi–Me and Sean got all stoned–
FPCL: Allegedly. We were going to leave, and I went, “Okay, bye-bye” and I went to give a hug, and my arms went up like this, *all laughing* and there was big bong by one of my arms–
FPCL: Right, allegedly. And it starts to fly, and I fucking grab it. And the other thing, I don’t know what it was called, it’s part of the bong, it flew out when I went to straighten it out. So I dove for it, and it landed two or three inches in front of me. It was in slow motion–
RA: Like the scene in Superbad.
FPCL:….uh, yeah. Sure. So it just went fucking “pahhhhhh”
RA: Care to repeat that?
FP: *random noises*
RA: You sons of bitches, I have to type this…*all laugh*
FPCL: And then I got up, and went, “Ahh, oh my God.” I felt so bad, I’d left my sweatshirt in his car. And I felt so bad, so I went in for the hug, and I said, “I gotta go to your car first.” I felt so bad, I just left my sweatshirt.
FPDP: That’s a true story…just not the version I heard.
RA: Whats the version you heard?
FPDP: The version I heard went like this: I heard the guys a Punknews.org user, and I heard Casey doesn’t like some of the things the guy had to say about Fake Problems on the user board. In retaliation, Casey went over there acting all “nice-nice” and broke his bong out of “spite-spite”.
FPDP: Can you do that, add a second”-bong”
FPDP: To Aaron in the future: please, put two bongs.
RA: You should do a benefit show to get him another bong.
FPCL: It was just…a…it’s just a piece. The ball piece. I’m sure the sweatshirt was as much as the bong piece.
FPCF: As much as a new bong.
FPCL: It was American Apparel. It…it was a pretty nice sweat shirt *all laugh*.
RA: So uh, any last words gentleman?
FPCL: A-boogey-boogey-boogey and I get one too!
FPCF: Ha cha chaaaa!
FPDP: *owl hoot.*
FPSS:….Eh. *all laugh*
FPCF: Ah, thank you!
FP: Yeah, thanks!
RA: No, thank you!
Aaron @ racketmag.com