Friday, October 3, 2014

Interview: John Hoffman of Weekend Nachos / Bad Teeth Recordings

Hey Snyder, thank you for taking the time out your busy work day to do this interview with us. I’ll make this relatively quick and easy so you can get back to starting Twitter wars.
Thank you, because Twitter is the only thing I have left in this world that's always been there for me when I needed it most.
For those of you unfamiliar with you or your work, could you please give our readers a quick introduction?
That's a funny way to start!  I'm John, people used to (and still do) call me Caution but now I insist people call me Snyder. He's the bad guy in the white suit from 3 Ninjas and also my favorite character in the movie so I thought it would be a cool self-appointed nickname, and luckily people have cooperated!  I like to watch/play basketball, buy old Nintendo games and blow on them/clean them with rubbing alcohol so they eventually work, and write songs that make people hurt eachother.  I also just recently got engaged to a female.  I also like to eat burgers.
Weekend Nachos recently played their 10 year anniversary show in Chicago. How does it feel to be hitting that huge milestone as a band?
Feels good, man. For real. When we started this band in 2004, everybody either hated us or thought we were a joke. Both things were justified at the time. But over the last 10 years people have grown to like our music and appreciate our presence in the scene.  I don't think we ever really gave a shit whether that would happen or not, but it's kind of a cool story of how we got to this point. Most bands would have broken up by now.  Tell that to Agnostic Front or the Rolling Stones though.
What are some of your favorite moments from being in the band?
Damn, obviously there are many. I'm going to say the first three that come up in my head.  First thing I thought of was when our roadie on the first 2 tours, Matt Rolland, jumped off of the bass drum during our set and knee'ed me right in the face, splitting my lip wide open.  I was gushing blood everywhere.  It was a basement show and they had a bathroom down there, so i ran through the crowd, ripped the toilet paper roll right off the wall, stuck it to my face and continued the rest of the set.  We only had 3 songs left but the entire roll of toilet paper was SOAKED RED by the end of our set.  It was very painful the next few days but still one of my favorite memories of being in the band.  Next one that comes up is the time when all of us got naked and went in this kid's whirlpool bathtub.  It was me, Christian and Matt, while Aaron took a shower and pressed his butt against the glass window.  In the early days we did things like that a lot and I think it's important for guys to do those types of things together, at least a few times. You can stop at some point and settle down, that's fine. Last thing that comes to mind is the time where we played in Tampa (or maybe Orlando, I forget) with Reign Supreme.  It was basically 3 crust punk bands (I'm including us in that category) and 3 cleaner more metallic bands.  So the crowd was very mixed. I don't remember how it started but there was a huge brawl during Reign Supreme's set.  Somehow we were forced to headline so we hadn't played yet.  This brawl was crazy, probably 4 little fights happening at once and it was all girls!  Which is not something you see often.  I swear this brawl was just 4 different groups of girls killing each other.  Christian and I were standing on chairs watching and just looking at each other like "welp, this is interesting."  Later that night, we went outside and saw two things right next to each other:  one was Jay from Reign Supreme practicing his kickboxing, complete with gloves and pads...the other was the Weekend Nachos van rocking back and forth because Aaron was banging some chick inside of it.  Those two things happening right next to each other were just too priceless to handle.

It’s common knowledge at this point that you guys record everything in house through your guitarist Andy Nelson. Do you feel having complete and utter control over the path of the recording process has helped with the final product of your music?
Absolutely, 100%.  We can pretty much owe the integrity of our records entirely to that very concept. We all do different things in this band, it's almost like we're a group of superheroes and we all have our own special powers.  Andy is responsible for our recordings and our guitar/bass tones.  Without him, Weekend Nachos would sound different. We all contribute to the records but having access to a recording studio and an in-house engineer has allowed us to create our albums the same way we write our songs at practice:  together, and completely in control of all results.  I can't imagine us going to someone else's studio and recording an album, I really can't.  Maybe we should do it sometime just as a new challenge.

When writing, what are your main influences? (Instrumentally and vocally)
Vocally...that changes over time, because really it's however my voice sounds when I belt it out. But I guess I'm always HOPING to sound like a combination of Joe from Infest, Mike from Eyehategod and Kirk from Crowbar.  Maybe add some Ray Cappo from Youth of Today in there too.  Those are my main vocal influences.  Instrumentally...well, the goal from the beginning was to combine the sounds of Youth of Today, Carcass, Eyehategod and Infest.  Over time, we've added a lot more nu-metal influence, a lot more death metal and crust punk influences too.  And I still write songs based on the standard old school hardcore/youth crew model.  You'll hear a WN song and think "it's heavy like Tragedy but fast like Infest and Gorilla Biscuits".  At least that's kinda how I see it.  I don't know, the more I discuss it the dumber it will sound. I'll stop now.

I know that you guys have had to put the breaks on a little bit in terms of touring on a regular basis; do you ever see the band touring full time/semi-full time again?
I don't see us every touring full-time, because we never did to begin with. As for semi-full time...well, probably not that either. We used to tour roughly 2 1/2 months out of the year. I can see us getting back up to 1 month, maybe 1 1/2 months again, but we are not career musicians.  Life changes and gets in the way.  Brian is married with a full-time job, I'm about to be married and have always had a full-time job, Andy and Drew are always working too.  Wait til one of us has a kid, you know?  Unless you set yourself up to do this full-time, you probably never will.  I do think we will drag this shit out as long as we possibly can though, haha.  I don't see us breaking up very soon, I want to release more albums and continue to play more places.

Is it true you guys chose the name “Weekend Nachos” because the band name “Chicago Fight Metal” seemed a little too much at the time?
The band was actually originally called With Honor but we found out there was already a band called that so we changed the name to All Teeth. Then we found out there was also a band called that so we settled on 50 Lions.  Seriously, we kept coming up with all of these great band names and having to change them.  Weekend Nachos was the last thing we could think of and thankfully no one had taken it yet.

If you had one message for your local (Chicago) Hardcore/Punk scene what would it be?
"Shut the fuck up"

In August of 2012 you launched your own label known as Bad Teeth Recordings. This is your second attempt at owning and operating a record label, what routes are you taking differently in the curation and longevity of BTR compared to your past efforts?
I'm not really doing anything differently than I did with Tooth Decay, honestly...I guess I just have a little more experience now. I know a lot more people, a lot more distros/contacts in general, I've been to a lot more places and met a lot more people.  So that helps, honestly the more connected you are to the hardcore community/network, the better off you'll be when doing a DIY label.  You don't have a distributor (or at least I don't, haha) to take care of that shit for you, so you gotta make the connections yourself and get your stuff out there.  Honestly I'm pretty laid back about it.  I don't have time to make sure my records get out to every corner of the world, or even the country. But I give it my best shot. I figure if someone really wants a release they can always order it directly from me.

What can we expect from Bad Teeth Recordings late 2014 and beyond? Do you ever see yourself pressing any of your past/inactive bands on wax?
Right now I'm really working hard on the SPINE LP.  It should be out in November, we are pumped on it.  After that, I have plans to release records for Bent Life and Full of Hell.  I will never reissue anything from my past, except for maybe Cyborg because I think a Cyborg discography could be cool.  We had a very short, but solid run and no one ever really heard us.  I'd like to change that at some point. 

Now for the most important question you've been asked in your life, could you go into detail on the table/yacht roof incident?
Fuck. You went there. For mystery sake, I am going to decline to answer this. Let the readers wonder (you are so bummed right now)

Name ten bands (active/inactive) that your feel are severely overlooked within the Punk/Hardcore scene.
Ah, nice question...better than the last one, haha!!! I'm going to list 5 punk/hardcore RELEASES from the past that I think are very overlooked and underrated.  10 is a little too much for me, I don't think I've ever even though about 10 of anything before. You can agree or disagree with my choices but I have always felt the following releases should be talked about more:

1. Turning Point demo - Maybe the most perfect hardcore release ever. The raw recording, the passionate unadulterated vocals, the songs themselves...that demo was special. The perfect way to introduce melody and passion to the previously raw youth crew genre.  Every Turning Point record after that did not even compare.

2. Bad Business - S/T 7".  This was one of many lost gems of the early 2000's.  One of the best 7"s I own.  Completely unique and like nothing I had ever heard before...a truly weird take on fast hardcore.  Grave Mistake put it out and I'm sure he's got a few lying around somewhere if you ever want to seek it out.

3. Fastbreak - Don't Stop Trying 7".  I don't know what it is about this record, it's generic crap but I love it. It's one of my favorites and I never hear it mentioned. Another late 90's/early 2000's record that will never resurface.  I can even understand why, but it deserves a mention in my opinion.  Maybe it's nostalgia, I don't know.

4. The Wayouts - Better Days EP.  None of you know who this is because they're a local Chicago emo punk band that never really did much outside of Illinois. Not even close to being considered hardcore but one of my favorite records of all time.  Completely overlooked outside of my local scene but worthy of a mention. Check it out if you can find it - Harmless Records.

5. Hacked Off - demo. This was a band from Cleveland that did a demo in 2005 and completely disappeared. Members later went on to form Severe who did a 7" on 625 and were mildly talked about for a few months. But the Hacked Off demo was great.  They did the Integrity meets Left For Dead thing before it officially caught on.  Nothing groundbreaking, just really honest and raw hardcore.

Huge thank you yet again for doing this with us. If you have any final questions, comments, shout outs, or any other things you’d like to touch base on, please do so below.
Shout out to Uncle Daddy 6-9.  I hope you get help soon.
Check out Weekend Nachos at
Check out Bad Teeth Recordings at

Attention Cassette fans, expect a second run of Weekend Nachos "Still" cassettes in the next month or two. Going to be limited to 250 copies yet again and will be sold on a first come, first serve basis directly through TBFH.