ADOLESCENTS



ADOLESCENTS

By Doug Ahlgren

I caught up with the laidback bass player of The Adolescents, Steve Soto, who said the reason his band reformed ten years ago was because of the urging of a friend who wanted to book them at his club. So they got up on stage for a one-off gig and found something unexpected. “I figured there would just be a bunch of guys my age in the audience when we played; a whole nostalgic trip. But there were a lot of kids who showed up and the majority of the crowd was under 20 years old. It was really cool.”

That event seemed to leave an impression on the band as they are still touring constantly and have just released another acclaimed album with no signs of stopping momentum. “Tony (Cadena) and I started the band when we were 16 and we’ll finish it when we feel like it.”
When they were 18 they wrote and recorded their self titled debut album, called “The Blue Album” by most fans because of the cover. That classic Punk album still resonates today with the current crop of young punks. “Our first record was more of a personal thing. A lot of bands that made records in the Reagan-era are stuck with those (political) songs that are dated whereas our first record is more on the personal side of being a teenager so kids can still relate to it today.”

The new album The Fastest Kid Alive is a refreshing breath of air for Punk rock fans who long for the days when Hardcore punk actually packed a punch and had some great songwriting. Most of the songs on the record have a political slant.

“The album goes out to the U.S. army,” Soto joked, “Our apology to the world for bringing our brand of America to South America and the Middle East. The album is kind of just about the U.S. Government imposing their will on the world.”

Steve explains the lyrics behind one of new songs: Jefferson Memorial Dance Revolution. “A woman got arrested for dancing at the Jefferson Memorial. It’s things like that the government keeps trying to take our rights to express ourselves. Those things need to be brought attention to our fans.”

Steve and his band mates grew up in a fertile punk scene in Orange County, California that was met with a lot of hostility from their peers. He remembers one event when everything changed from that day forth. “It was Devo Monday: The Monday after Devo played Saturday Night Live was when the beatings really started at school. The jocks realized then what we were listening to, but by that time we had already moved on from bands like Devo to the Clash. I was getting my bike tires slashed just for liking a different kind of music.”

He also realizes how much the mindset has changed toward Punk Rock since then. “When the jocks threw their lunches at our punk friends when they visited us at school, they didn’t realize they were throwing shit at Mike Ness and Dennis Danell of Social Distortion. Those same guys say they like Social Distortion now.”

Nonetheless L.A. in the late 70, early 80s was an exciting place to grow up in as a punk teenager. “We started going to the Starwood in Hollywood. I would have to be pretty creative making up lies to my mom on Tuesday nights to get out of the house to go there. They had all the bands like X, Fear, Black Flag and DOA. Every Tuesday night there were amazing punk rock shows.”

Steve got wiser about the realities of the punk scene as he grew up. It wasn’t all D.I.Y. and pure. “A lot of the older guys who ran the clubs made a lot of money on us and we were unsuspecting kids who were happy when we got 50 bucks each. So when we finally figured out that whole end of the business out you look back and say ‘Oh, man those guys were shysters!’ But they also gave us a place to play and let the Orange County punk scene grow. I don’t think we would’ve gotten to where we did without those guys giving us an opportunity. “
Then Steve explains that he left the punk scene as it got bigger. “I burned out on the Punk violence thing. A gang element was there. A friend of mine got stabbed and I washed my hands of the thing for a while.”

‘The Fastest Kid Alive’ is out now on Concrete Jungle.
Steve Soto will be coming to the UK with the Punk Rock Karaoke tour in November. See below for more details.

DEREK O’BRIEN (Social Distortion, Agent Orange)
STAN LEE (The Dickies)
GREG HETSON (Bad Religion, Circle Jerks)
STEVE SOTO (Adolescents, Agent orange, 22 Jacks)

and YOU!?

NOVEMBER
04th UK GLASGOW SCHOOL OF ART STUDENT UNION
05th IR DUBLIN BUTTON FACTORY
06th UK NOTTINGHAM ROCK CITY
07th UK LEEDS BRUDENELL SOCIAL CLUB
08th UK Or Travel Day
09th OPEN
10th E. Basque Country tbc
11th E. MADRID GRUTA 77
12th E. BARCELONA ESTRAPERLO
13th OPEN
14th Day off
15th I. MILANO LO FI
16th I. BOLOGNA IL COVO
17th CH LUZERN SEDEL
18th A. GLEISDORF KUKE GLEISDORF
19th OPEN
20th UK LONDON ISLINGTON O2 ACADEMY 2

The original deal since 1996. We play….YOU sing! Pick a song,we give you the lyrics.We call your name and voila! you are the singer in a punk rock band backed by the finest hand picked side men.

Here is just a flavour of the some of the songs you could be singing:

PRK LIST
12XU – WIRE
ALTERNATIVE ULSTER – STIFF LITTLE FINGERS
AMOEBA – ADOLESCENTS
ANARCHY IN THE UK – SEX PISTOLS
ASTRO ZOMBIES – MISFITS
BIKEAGE – DESCENDANTS
BLITZKRIEG BOP – RAMONES
BLOODSTAINS – AGENT ORANGE
BODIES – SEX PISTOLS
BULLET – MISFITS
CALIFORNIA UBER ALLES – DEAD KENNEDYS
CHEERY BOMB – THE RUNAWAYS
EVER FALLEN IN LOVE – BUZZCOCKS
FUCK ARMAGEDDON – BAD RELIGION
GIVE IT BACK – THE DICKIES
I DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU – FEAR
I GOT A RIGHT – IGGY POP
I LOVE LIVIN IN THE CITY – FEAR
LOS ANGELES – X
MANNY MOE AND JACK – THE DICKIES
MY WAY – SEX PISTOLS
NERVOUS BREAKDOWN – BLACK FLAG
NEW ROSE – THE DAMNED
OUR LIPS ARE SEALED – THE GO GOS
PAY TO CUM – BAD BRAIN
SEARCH AND DESTROY – IGGY POP
SHEENA IS A PUNK ROCKER – RAMONES
SOLITARY CONFINEMENT – THE WEIRDOS
SONIC REDUCER – DEAD BOYS
TEENAGE KICKS – THE UNDERTONES
UNCONTROLABLE URGE – DEVO
WHAT DO I GET ? – BUZZCOCKS
WHITE RIOT – THE CLASH
WILD IN THE STREETS – CIRCLE JERKS

plus much much more ……………………..

So, get on your old bondage pants and spike up your hair for the Punk Rock Karaoke event of the year !

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