Tuesday, December 17, 2013

An interview with Danny Oi! from the almighty, Toughskins (Los Angeles)

Since 1993, the Toughskins from Los Angeles have been putting out hard as nails, no bullshit Oi! music.  Here we are now, about twenty years later, and after some significant line up changes, the boys are still at it.  Since the birth of the Toughskins, Danny Oi! has been their fearless leader of the pack and has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.  The band just recently released a brand new E.P titled, "Keep The Faith" (Rebel Sound Records U.S. and Randale Records E.U.) which followed their previous release, "Anger Management".    So for all of you new to the Oi! scene, I give you the voice of experience and the toughest of the tough, Danny Oi!

Run Don't Walk:  Lets start with the history of the Toughskins?  How long have you guys been around?  
Danny Oi!: Originally we formed in 1993.It was me Hate Mongrol on drums and Ax Stryker on Vocals and then we found Dave Visive to play guitar.

Run Don't Walk: What made you want to start playing Oi! at a young age?  What was it about the Skinhead culture that made you get into that scene?
Danny Oi!: I don't know that I thought about being in an Oi! band. I started writing punk rock lyrics at the tender age of 12. I joined my first band at 16 and wco-wrote the music and wrote the majority of lyrics for that band. We called ourselves "Those Opposed". We were punkx and skins that were angry drunk and hated nazi's. There were a few Nationally known organizations started real close to where I grew up. I didn't know shit about the skinhead culture. There was no internet, no skinhead bible there was just a few older guys that passed it on little by little. I like the sound of bands like the business 4 skins angelic upstarts sham 69 cockney rejects cock sparrer the ruts stiff little fingers. I wanted to do my own version of that an American version. I first shaved my head because I hated my hair. Leter I kept it shaved because I hated nazi's. I remained a skinhead for 27 years because I've grown to like some aspects of the culture. And I still hate hair.

Run Don't Walk: I have asked a few musicians from the scene this because I think their experience, and loyalty is important to recognize:  How do you think the internet and social media has played a part in Oi! and skinhead culture?  There has obviously been different ups and downs with the way it has evolved with music but what do you think the major difference in the scene has been with the up rise of social media? .  
Danny Oi!: Its played the same roll in this scene as it has in any other scene. It's made networking much easier and I can find out about bands like Prins Karl and Lion's Law immediately. But it's also a platform for ignorance and immaturity. I've participated in the latter and less respectable side myself. But other than that I don't give it much thought or weight. I'm a grown man with a family a job and other interest so it means very little to me. I use what I need and disregard the rest.

"Keep The Faith" by the Toughskins is out now on Rebel Sound Records (United States) and Randale Records (Europe).

Run Don't Walk:  What have been some bands that you have played with that were the most exciting?  Who would you like to play with? 
Danny Oi!: Opening for Rancid and Transplants was the obvious highlight of the year and it was a pure adrenalin rush. I think more about the places I get to play. Reno Sacramento the Bay Area San Jose San Diego Tucson. Its the places I get to go and people I know and get to see and their bands that I get to share the stage with, that's what I really enjoy. Bricktop is always fun to share the stage with. I would like to play all over the U.S and eventually Europe Japan South America, you name it I'll go just about anywhere.

Run Don't Walk: What has been the most fulfilling piece of playing in a band for you?  What else would you like to do?
Danny Oi!: Writing recording and playing live. Meeting people that enjoy what we do. I'm doing everything I want to do right now. I'm writing a book. Planning more trips abroad with my family. More music projects. I'm grateful for all that I have especially my wife and kids. Family and true friends.

Run Don't Walk: What advice would you give to somebody starting a band?  What kept you guys going thus far?
Danny Oi!: Think about what you want to do why you want to do it and then go for it with full force and vigor. Love has kept me going. As difficult as it may seem sometimes I can't imagine a life without making music. I'll never stop.
Run Don't Walk: Which bands do you think are the cream of the crop right now in Punk, Oi!, or Hardcore scene?  
Danny Oi!: Even with the internet I live under a rock. I like music that is outside the box. I get bored easy so I like to mix it up. Soul Rock and Reggae. Occasionally some classical and jazz. Hip hop. I just love music period.

Run Don't Walk: Any final words?  
Danny Oi!: Thank you for the Q&A! A huge thanks to my wife Sasha for her love and support and my sons. To "Toughkins 2013" I've changed line ups 3 times since 2010 and this line up is by far the most drama free and talented group of musicians I've had the honor to call Toughskins! We're looking forward to 2014 with great anticipation!

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