Friday, May 27, 2011

Interview - Anthony Herrera (Take Offense)

Where did Take Offense come from?

To be honest, I've been doing this band since I was like fourteen. We just recently started touring this year. We got signed to Reaper Records and they put out our first lp. The reason he signed us is that we weren't doing shit at home. All that we wanted to do was tour so now we're here. This is our third US tour. We're going to Europe right after Black and Blue. We're excited, this is all we want to do.

The first time I saw you play you said you aren't a skinhead band, a Straight Edge band or a religious band. Why did you throw that out there?

It's just not about labels. It's just what you feel from the heart, your soul. Hardcore should be pure. It's just what you feel. To live out what we truly feel, that's what hardcore should be.

Take Offense is an interesting name, what do you mean by it?

Have your beliefs and take a stand for them. If someone's fucking up- let them know how you feel. Take Offense, stand up for yourself.

What is something that you Take Offense to?

I take offense to ignorance, racism. People need to be educated. Basically, don't be prejudiced against shit that you don't understand. Open you mind. If you're not open minded, I take offense to that. You've just got to live, open your mind.

What is the meaning behind the song True Master?

It's a song about knowing who you are and having faith in things that you believe. Not just having faith but knowing who you are and living that out. Being a master of everything that you do, having confidence in yourself. Knowing that everything is going to be alright in the future, that you can only rely on yourself.

You said that Take Offense isn't a skinhead band but that seems to be a part of your imagery and there are some skin heads in the band. What is your connection to skins?

We have a couple skin heads in the band. I used to be that a while ago. Again, it became too much of a label for me. If you're a skin head, you're a skin head. Call yourself that but make sure you're a skinhead, it's not a dress. You better be working class. Call yourself what you want. We've got a couple of skinheads but whatever. They're skinheads. There's a bunch of skinheads in Chula Vista, San Diego area. For a while we've been into that. A bunch of people came up in that.

What's up with the Chula Vista scene?

There's always been a Chula Vista scene but no one's really recognized it. Everyone thinks that southern California hardcore stops at LA but there's San Diego. San Diego is pretty diverse. Everyone has always overlooked San Diego and Chula Vista. Chula Vista is in south San Diego and we've always been the same scene. Chula Vista is it's own city it's just in San Diego county. We're trying to really let people know that's where we're from. Hopefully shit's going to get bigger down there for us. That's what we're trying to do.

There's a spiritual bend to some of the lyrics, where is that coming from?

I don't believe in religion too much. I believe more in the spiritual side of it. Religion, again, people take it too much as a label. Everyone in the band has different beliefs. For me, I write the lyrics, everyone feels it. It's just about fuck the politics about it. Find yourself.

A lot of bands have been talking about America lately. Your album art represents that. What do you think of all of these bands talking about America in hardcore?

I love living in this country. I feel pretty free but the politics are always fucked up. I'm getting too much into that. I like being from America. I feel very fortunate, blessed, because other people don't have the type of freedom we do. As fucked as our government may be, they keep shit under wraps. Who knows what even goes on? At the same time, you've got to do what you've got to do. Have your own beliefs. We're not trying to hate on that. I like living in America. Thankfully, we can do what we're doing because of that. With that point, I like living in America.

You guys have started touring full time, is it what you expected?

We've toured since January. I've haven't been home for more than a couple weeks. I haven't even slept in my bed this whole year. I sorta of imagined it and it's pretty much what I thought. Actually it's even better than I thought. Back home, we know a lot of people who have been on tour a lot and they sort of gave us the negative side of it. We were expecting a lot of negative shit. I've been loving it. I like being in a new city everyday, seeing a bunch of kids that know your lyrics. It's taken like six years for kids where we're from to learn our lyrics. Go to a place, you've never even been there and kids know your lyrics, that's probably my favorite part of touring.

Any last words?

Look out for Chula Vista bands, there's a bunch coming up. Shout out to Trapped Under Ice, Terror. It's so cool because for the longest time Terror has been my favorite hardcore band. If you told me two years ago that we're going to be touring with Terror it would have blown my mind. Now we're here, some of my good friends. They've helped us out so much. I'd give them the world if I could but all we can do is hang out, have a good time.