Spider Interview by Clarkie

Steve Westercamp-Bass, Hector Martinez-Vocals, Karl Izumi-Guitar, Al Silva-Drums

Are these guys punk? You bet your sweet mohawk they are! They were punk before punk was even punk. You've all heard me talking about Hector Martinez, the publicist for the Skunk/Cornerstone recording artists, as he's done some good stuff for Real Skate. Well Hector e-mailed me and said his band was coming to Santa Cruz, and would I like to meet them at the Catalyst. I said, sure which band is coming? He said his band. I wrote back again asking which band? Then just before this conversation started sounding like the "who's on first" routine, I realized Hector played in a band himself, called Spider. I chilled with them before the gig, shot some pics during, and at the end Ryde writes a review of their new CD, "Youth Insurance." So drop that bottle of purple hair dye, and meet the Long Beach punk band called Spider!


So what do you guys wish to or NOT to talk about? What do you want your kids to or NOT to hear about you?
We do lots of drugs and we're womanizers! Don't tell your mom! Don't tell your sister.

Are all of you married?
Yes, no, yes, no, two are two aren't, well actually two of us are married to each other. Well you're in the wrong bar then. Just kidding.

So how long have you guys been playing together?
Hard question, we had an original version of Spider that got together in 1986, so It's been a while. That particular version dissolved after our guitar player, Romero got offered a cool job in Seattle, that was Alf's brother. We're all like really old friends. We all went to high school together in Long Beach; going to gigs, punk rock shows, seeing bands like Black Flag and Circle Jerks. That's kind of where are common bond is. We lived in different burbs, but all went to the same school in the city, we'd meet at gigs.

Like High School dances?
Hahhah, no. Backyard parties. There were no "punk rock" proms back then. Basically kegger parties, depending on whose parents were gone for the weekend. Until the cops came.

Did you ever get arrested?
Well not for that hahaahah.

Ok we won't go there. Did you start out with different sound then evolve into punk?
Well when we were in high school, that's how we met each other, we were all punk, we were like the minority, a small group of people. Punk was so new, some thought we were weirdo's and others just didn't get it. So we're considered what you'd call old school punk we're like the original people, like the first of the first in our area. It was a total sub culture. Not something you did like to be popular, yeah we wanted to freak everyone out. Everything was so structured then, and you had to be this way; but that's not us.

So how did your parents take it, did they approve?
They hated it, and they still do.

Where did you practice?
Al had really cool parents and they let us practice there. They had the highest tolerance. All these comments happened in 1981-82 mind you. That's saying how old we are, Please post in bold Clarkie, "This is Before we met our wives."

Where do you guys play now? Are you on a tour right now?
Everywhere, anywhere, any place that will have us. Clubs. It's just a 3-day road trip. We're playing SC, Modesto, then Lake Tahoe. We did Reno, and before that SD. We're trying to push our CD!

OK well let's get it out there right now what's that CD called?
"Youth Insurance."

I heard it, I loved it.
You listen to the whole thing? Yeah In one sitting? Uh huh. [I'm totally lying here] Wow I can't even do that. But what's that at the end, Hector is that you yelling? Well I'm yelling through the whole thing! I'm all, oh my god, that can't be the Hector I know; You sound so conserved and polite on the phone doing business. Took me a while to get over the shock of hearing you sing. [the band] Oh we still haven't gotten over it! Everybody says that. That's his release. [Hector] Yeah, that's why I'm so mellow at work!

So is this your first CD out?
Yup. Our CD is out, no pop, just punk, LA style. It's so together. Well we've been playing a long time, playing together since we were sixteen. And since we're only 21 now, we're very polished for our ages.

So has Skunk signed you?
No, we put it out on our own. Made up our own label, Jesus Records. The name doesn't mean anything. We went kind of to the other side, with all the labels like "fuck you" records. We were worried at first people would think we're a christian band, that sucks. But if you look at the artwork, and check the lyrics you'll know it's tongue in cheek.

That's how Skunk started, didn't Bradley just say hey, let's make our own label and then there was skunk?
Yeah, exactly. We just did it independent; we did it ourselves.

Hector, what does your wife think of you playing in a band?
She likes it, she's cool. [Al] I won't comment on that. Ask Karl what his mom thinks about it. [Karl] Oh I got a royal bitching right before I left. Really Why? I haven't been working for 5 months. I was late on one car payment and the bank has my old phone number which is my mothers. They called her. I went to visit her, you know the every two week visit. She tore in to me, saying What are you doing for money? It's that rock 'n roll lifestyle you live! And I'm all like oh my god, I'm (bleep) years old and here my mom is still bitching at me. I know you're at least 21 cause you just bought a beer. Yeah, we're all 21 hahaah

Ahh, Karl speak into this microphone and tell your mother how much you love her.
I loooove my mother, even though she tears me a new asshole every time, but it's ok. She's my mom, she can get away with it; nobody else though. I need a beer. Ok do you have time? How are we doing on time? Hahah Listen to me, shit I sound like your mom. "You better get on stage honey, you don't want to miss your sound check!"

Do any of your kids skateboard?
[Al] Yeah, Brandon and Tyler. And they'd like to see their name in print! They're both really good skaters. Well you're only 21 so they must be 2 and four? Yeah, and they skate really good too. I be they skate umm maybe as good as a 16 year old? Yeah!

Steve, how about your kids? Yeah, Nathan and Josh. They rip it up too. They do stuff I wouldn't do. I'm afraid of breaking something.

[Soon to come will be skate pics of these dudes; it's going to be our big surprise.]

Did you yourselves skate before? Yeah. But when we talk about our skate days to our kids, it was like about transportation to get to our friends house. Today there's no comparison all the tricks; today it's like gymnastics; jumping through the air, crazy.

Where do you guys want to go from here, do you want to make it big?
No, we're not really the "make it" guys. We just want to have fun and play. Record another CD. We just want to play, perform, and record. Id be happy just doing that. As long as we can keep playing and cover our expenses and have fun, maybe a little food money in our pocket, that's fine.

That would keep your mother happy, Karl. [Karl] I have the most fun when everybody else is having fun, that's what makes me happy. It's just something in our blood, and it's never going to go away. We're just always going to do it, whether we're back playing in the garage, or a places like here at the Catalyst.

Do you have any plans like for playing big places like in the Warped?
Well, we did submit our application, but it was too late. We'll try again next year, that would be cool. We're basically just a bunch of goofballs flying by the seat of our pants. Still teenagers at heart.

But get this; we travel places, we go on the road, we go and get messed up, and then we stay in our motel room, we don't see anything. We appreciate watching cable cause we don't have it at home. We watched all the series of "Get Smart" last night. People usually wait all year to go touring to see the sights, here we stay in our motel room watching a 24 hour Get Smart marathon. I guess we're simple.

I think they're calling you; anything else you'd like to wrap up with?
We're getting a website soon, Karl is going to teach Watson, our Skunk/Cornerstone webmaster guitar lessons in exchange for a website. But if anybody wants to reach us in the meantime, Jesusrecords@hotmail.com we'll sign you up to our mailing list and let you know about upcoming shows.

They're calling you, it's ten to 9, you guys gotta go get on stage. Any lasts?
Just support us, buy our CD; check out Real Skate dot com often, and tell your friends, and we're telling all our friends too; and thank you Clarkie.

Right on, and thank you!

Ryde's Review of Spider's CD
"Youth Insurance"




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