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Interview

Oi!strs
25/09/1999



Please give a brief history of the band, including current line up.

We were brought together in the local skinhead scene by our shared love of Oi and our need for good music at our house parties. Twelve Pack Bob (Drums), Ethan "Ham Hoc" (Guitar), and Puddin' (Vocals) started the band in mid 1995 with the notion that they would play at a few house parties and maybe a few local shows and that would be it. They auditioned a few bassists to no avail. They asked friend, musician and fellow skinhead MC Truth for help in finding the bass player they needed. Truth found Brian "Tuna" Can. Brian was the last cog in the wheel. The band was complete. Since then, it has been show after show. Barring a six month period of total chaos, The Oi!strs have been playing continuously for four years, countless shows and many miles.

Discography.

1 CD called "Too Oi!", one CD in the works, and a few 7"'s and splits on the way, in a few months.

What are the main themes in the lyrics?

It seems that we sing about what we know best. We drink, we fight, we are anti-racist we are skinheads and we love Oi. We try to handle this with some measure of intelligence, especially racism, since that topic is usually lacking in that respect. We also try to have fun, a sense of humor. Part of that is having fun with our songs themselves. I personally would like to see bar sing-alongs make a comeback. I love to sing along with MY favorite songs and when I can lift a pint and sing them along with the band and my closest friends, all the better.

Do you think there is any difference with the British and USA Oi musical style? If so, what?

Yes, there is a difference between the two. Its all just good Oi, but generally American Oi bands are influenced by American music and that can be dissected into many different monsters. We are a Texas Oi band. We tend to be influenced by southern rock, blues and Texas punk as well as the influences that every other Oi band has. We don't sing with a Cockney accent. We play 12 bar blues influenced songs. We tend to be more open to new things since we live in a city that has so many different bands. We play one traditional Oi song and then go into a ska influenced tune, right into a blues type song. British Oi tends to be a bit slower, a bit more heavy handed. We love that stuff, but we play what we were influenced by.

If you could see any band play live, either of the past or present who would it be?

I, personally, would love to have seen The Who when they were just starting out. They were being snotty rockers before it was fasionable. Also, I'd have loved to have seen Peter Tosh and Bob Marley when they were alive and together or separate. Finally, believe it or not I would have loved to have seen Mozart in action. His musical genius would have been awesome to see.

What is the Punk/Oi scene like in your area?

Our scene is pretty small for the amount of bands in our city. Most of our scene is musicians. There are quite a few kids who hang out, but we have a curfew, so many of them don't get to go out late. There are so many bands in our town of all genres that we have to compete with them, even on Monday nights. There are some true Punks and Skins who will only go to those kind of shows, but most of the bands in Austin are really talented, so we go see them all. There are plenty of great reggae and ska bands, hardcore, etc. Sometimes there are two or three shows that we want to see in a night. Mostly our scene is musicians supporting other musicians. It has the air of friendly competition, but it is a positive scene with no nazis (we ran them all off).

What is the last punk/oi gig you went to?

The last one was our show last week. We played with three good bands (Blunt Force Trauma, Razorburn, and Root 23) on a Saturday night. We are playing with The Ducky Boys and US Bombs next week here and in San Antonio, those will be the next shows we go to.

What is the favourite song (and what band is it by) of each member of the band?

Puddin'-"Like a Virgin"-Madonna
Twelve Pack Bob-"There's a Tear in my Beer'-Hank Williams
Ethan-"Theme from 'The Facts of Life'"- Artist Unknown
Brian-"Jets Theme"-From "West Side Story" (So he likes show tunes, that doesn't mean he's gay, OK?)

Plans, gigs and releases planned for 99.

We are doing a tour the first part of Oct. '99 through New Mexico, Arizona, California and Nevada. Look for us. We will be back in the studio in November to record our follow up to "Too Oi!". We will probably release a 7" with the help of our friend Ethan from The Bin in Califonia.

Any final comments?

Never take life too seriously. We don't. Its no fun that way. Cheers.


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Please note that the opinions expressed by band members does not necessarily reflect the views of this website. Punk & Oi in the UK Limited are in no way liable for comments made by interviewees.