SCS: How and when did The Hooligans form as a band?
Ryan: I got together with Greg and Phil after Fatty and the Twins broke up and then we added Satan a little later
Phil: Greg and I continued playing music and hanging out after the dis-bandment of Mr. Miyagi. We were looking for a new drummer, and we both knew Satan from being in marching band. Ryan was a long discussion between me and Greg. We had always talked about a second guitarist, but we were never sure. We said what the hell, and brought him on board. Essentially we’re four friends having fun making music.
SCS: Was The Hooligan’s kind of a continuation of Mr. Miyagi, or do you consider this a completely different thing? Do you still play any of the old Mr. Miyagi songs?
Phil: Well Greg and I had originally intended that this would be it’s own entity, which it has become. I’d say we’re along the same style, but more developed. To me, Mr. Miyagi is dead, and the Hooligans are alive and kickin’. As for songs, we still play a few old ones here and there. Sometimes songs have too much meaning to give up altogether.
Ryan: Phil, Mr. Miyagi is dead. Rest in peace Pat Morita. You were a legend!
SCS: How would you define your band or your sound to someone who’s never seen you
Ryan: Punk is the best way I can think of, with a little ska thrown in for good measure.
Phil: I’d say we’re a lot like Richard Marx.
Greg: Loud, Fast, Crazy, Fun.
SCS: How would you describe a Hooligans show? -- If people come to see you live, hat can they expect?
Ryan: All of us having fun playing on stage, drinking some Old Style, and play as hard and fast as we can.
Phil: Lots of energy. What we lack in musical skills, we make up for in energy, and Old Style.
Greg: I tend to get a bit crazy! I’m always on high energy, I mean come on, my amp goes to 20!
SCS: What types of music and which musicians/groups influenced the band members?
Ryan: Less Than Jake, MxPx, The Get Up Kids, Rancid, Five Iron Frenzy, Old 97s, Johnny Cash
Phil: Richard Marx, Steve Perry, Lionel Richie. But seriously, the Ramones, RBF, Defiance, Fenix TX, lots of crap.
Greg: The Clash, Fenix Tx, and Rancid. Someone said we sound like The Jam from England!
SCS: What are your goals for this band, touring, just playing around town?
Ryan: We’d like to go on tour, if only to say that we did and to see how long we can go without killing each other/showering.
Phil: touring is a must. I don’t care if I fail miserably. I want to look back and say, “I did that”. No regrets.
Greg: I want to visit a lot of smaller towns; those kids are amazing at shows. They are starving for good live music.
SCS: How have you grown, musically and creatively, since the band first started?
Phil: For me personally, when we first started, I’d say Sid Vicious was a better bass player. Now I can keep a beat, and sing. As a group, you have no idea how much everyone has evolved. It’s amazing when you’re on stage, and everyone knows what everyone else is doing, and you don’t’ have to say a word. I’m proud of each and every member. They play to their fullest, and never leave anything behind.
Greg: I know that Ryan has helped me become a better guitar player, he forces me to make more dynamic guitar parts that come with moving from a three piece to a four piece.
SCS: Tell us about “Bones Don’t Bend” How long did it take to record?
Phil: We were in studio for about 27-30 total hours I think. I’m extremely happy with how it went, and the fact that no one got pissed off while we were in studio. I think the title is great, there’s a dual story behind it. “Bones” was a lot of fun to make. Everyone contributed, it was super rad.
Greg: The total time took about 2 and a half months from recording to mixing and mastering.
SCS: Who recorded it?
Ryan: Calvin Hughes at Heart Throb Studios.
Greg: He is a recording voodoo master. He was like the fifth member of the Hooligans for all those days in the studio.
SCS: Who writes the songs and how do you work them from the idea stage to the finished product?
Phil: Greg and I write most of the songs. Satan and Ryan, contribute musically, but the core comes from Greg and I most of the time. We found the perfect combo is me with lyrics, and Greg on the music front. Although we all do sometimes sit down, and each throw out a line or two.
Greg: It’s a great idea to have the most musically challenged guy in our band write almost all the music. I just learned what syncopated meant a few months ago.
SCS: When and where was your first local show, and how did it go
Ryan: Our first show was at Kappa Kappa Gamma w/ Good With Guns. Craig (from GWG) called me that afternoon to see if we wanted to play. We did ok, the cops got called about the noise, and we got reviewed and it was posted on SCS
Phil: Yeah, we pissed off all the kids at Nerd-Hart that were trying to study. Plus all the sorority girls hated us. I tried to trade them my shirt for one of their pretty pink shirts, I didn’t have any takers.
SCS: Yeah, I remember when John Ziegler reviewed that show, I seem to remember that being your first show. So what was your most memorable live performance and what made it that?
Ryan: I think for most of us it would be Doane Homecoming because it was a ton of people drinking and having fun. And the cute sorority girls didn’t hurt either.
Phil: For me, I’d say Doane homecoming. I mean for fuck's sake, there were actually people there listening to us. That doesn’t happen too often.
Greg: Notice the sorority trend going on here!
SCS: What do you like and dislike about the music scene in Lincoln?
Phil: Like-the awesome bands we meet, and the cool people that make up those bands. Especially the lead singer of Cynge. Sorry can’t remember his name, but he was fun as fuck to hang out with, and had a lot of the same views that we do on local music.
Dislike-bands of the same genre playing together. If we make it more eclectic, more people get to experience different music. Oh and also people that only come to see the band that they came to see, and not watch the other bands.
Ryan: : Like-tons of good bands and great people who run the venues. Dislikes-so many good bands that I can’t get to see them all.
Greg: Ditto, I hate it when people pay five bucks to see a band and don’t even stick around to hear the others they paid to see.
SCS: Have you learned anything in your experiences in a band that you feel newer local bands could learn from, or made any mistakes they should avoid?
Phil: Don’t get so drunk you can’t see your fret board.
Greg: Don’t swing your guitar around like some pop-punker, you look like an asshole.
Ryan: Don’t play too many shows in one month in the same town.
SCS: Who are some local bands or musicians that you admire or feel should be recognized?
Ryan: I really like watching 4020 and think they’re all great musicians. The Gov’t are also super cool guys and a great band as well
Phil: My Raging Mind, the Gov’t, the Saints, WSP, Ideal Perception, West of Reality, Papers, Brian Kushner (check him out, he’s uber fun)
Greg: My Raging Mind, Ideal Perception, and West of Reality. I would also say JVA and the Killigans but their doing great on their own!
SCS: Who’s your favorite local band to play with?
Greg: Ideal Perception, those guys are always having a good time!
Phil: My Raging Mind, they remind me so much of us.
SCS: What's your most embarrasing moment in a live show?
Ryan: Honestly don’t know if I have one. Maybe when Phil got so drunk at a show in Omaha that we probably should have unplugged him.
Phil: when I got so drunk in Omaha, they should have unplugged me. I honestly have never felt embarrassed to be on stage, before that moment in my life.
Greg: I swung my guitar around like a pop-punk asshole. Threw it right off stage! Good thing I play cheap Epiphones.
SCS:Do you think living in Lincoln influences your music in any way?
Phil: Yes. I moved here in 96, and fucking hated it. But at the same time, it gave me some great experiences. I can guarantee, I wouldn’t be in a band, if I hadn’t met the group of guys that I had.
SCS: Was there one defining moment which led you to a life of rock and roll?
Greg: Seventh Grade: Green Day, Dookie
Phil: Rancid. That’s all I’m gonna say
Ryan: For me it was hearing (and later seeing old footage) Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughn for the first and wanting to play guitar would be my moment.
SCS: What song would you like to cover the most?
SCS: If you could tour with any band in history, who would be your dream band to tour with?
Ryan: I have a tie between “Ghost Riders In The Sky” or “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out” by The Smiths.
Phil: Wow, that’s tough, Bastard. Um... “Sir Duke” by Stevie Wonder, ska style.
Greg: Twist and Shout
SCS: If you could tour with any band in history, who would be your dream band to tour with?
Phil: Earth, Wind, & Fire
Ryan: The Clash
Greg: The Who
SCS: Who was the first person or band you saw that made you want to play music?
Ryan: Hendrix made me want to play the guitar and MxPx made me want to start a band.
SCS: What was the first album/CD you bought?
Ryan: Jimi Hendrix Live at Winterland
Phil: John Williams, the musical score from Star Wars: A New Hope
Greg: Green Day Dookie
SCS: The most recent?
Ryan: “Jacksonville City Nights”-Ryan Adams
Phil: Um... you mean stole? The Donnie Darko soundtrack.
Greg: Bruce Springsteen Born to Run
SCS: List off your top five albums of all time.
Phil: 1. the Ramones anthology
2. John Williams, the Empire Strikes Back
3. the Toasters, “don’t let the bastards grind you down”
4. Hepcat “Right on Time”
5. Respighi- “the Pines of Rome”
Ryan: In no particular order:
MxPx-Slowly Going the Way of the Buffalo
The Get Up Kids-Something to Write Home About
Less Than Jake-Hello Rockview
Five Iron Frenzy-Upbeats and Beatdowns
Greg: 1. Oasis – Definitely Maybe
2. Rancid – And Out Come the Wolves
3. Green Day – Dookie
4. The Clash on Broadway
5. Pink Floyd - Pulse
SCS: What single song, in the entire history of music, do you most wish you'd written?
Phil: “Wonderful World”
Greg: “All You Need is Love” – The Beatles
Ryan: “I Want You” - Elvis Costello
SCS: Yeah, you can hear the love, hate, and betrayal dripping from that song! What does 2006 hold in store for the band?
Ryan: A cd release show, more shows after that, and maybe an EP in the summer.
Greg: I’m working on the next album as we speak. We enjoyed recording and want to do it again as soon as possible.
SCS: Anything else you want to share with our readers?
Phil: come to a show, have a beer, if you don’t like it, tell me, I might buy you a beer for coming down. As long as you like Old Style.
Ryan: I’d really like to play at Duffy’s sometime, but other than that, no.
Greg: Old Style is our Style! C-Ya in the pit!
- Tery Daly