The psyche of pop punk

S: Do you think perhaps, that you could replace the word "alternative" in the Alternative Song with "punk"?

DR: If you're trying to get at the some comment on the mainstreaming of punk rock, I think that happens like every three or four years and it's no big deal, but it's happening now, it's going to happen again, it happened before. You know, ever since it started there was the cool, elite people and then it suddenlly branches out to the mainstream and then there are people who are resentful of it and they start their own little bands and then they play in living rooms and then it starts all over again. The thing about punk rock though is that punk rock actually is a real thing. The origin of the Alternative song is that I realized that people started using the word alternative to refer to a particcular kind of music which I just thought was hilarious. I think punk rock is here to stay because punk rock is just rock and roll, which was a great idea when they first started it and I don't think anybody's going to get tired of that. But it goes through cycles, it gets overblown and then people decide they're going to strip it down again and you know that's probabably going to be going on 2050, maybe.

S: For the millionth time, why are you Dr. Frank?

DF: The origin of that I am not even sure about anymore. It was my air name when I was a DJ on KALX radio in Berkeley and I think the joke was like a Dr. Frank-enstein kind of thing. I'm not a real doctor. I used to tell people who asked that question I was a dentist, but that came back to haunt me because I started to get people phoning me up asking for appointments, dental exams and then I'd get people coming to shows going, "Here take a look at this." So no, I'm not a real doctor. If I could think of another snappy answer to that question I would, but I've exhausted all the possibliities.

S: How did you catch Lookout's attention for all the stuff that's going on?

DF: Catch their attention? Well, the reissues are like... we always wanted to do 'em, just everybody was too lazy and you know, it's not like there's any sudden reason that they're happening now. The first one we were always going to do, but the second one- which I hope is going to come out at the beginning of next year- the tape to taht was lost for a long time and we finally found it and it's going to take a little bit of work to get it together, but it's mainly laziness that has kept them from being reissued for so long

S: Are you guys sellouts now because you did an acoustic song?

DF: No way man. We're more hated for that acoustic stuff than ever before. That's something that people don't realize is that what makes someone commercial now is to try not to sound pretty. It's trying to sound harsh. You sell out if you try to sound like Rancid or whatever you know. If you play acoustic songs, if you play pretty songs, if you play funny songs, I mean that doesn't exactly sell in today's market. it's non-commercial. You Today is non-commercial. Commercial is saying oi oi oi. Commercial is saying fuck, commercial is you take off your clothes and masturbate on stage. That's commercial.

S: Who would win in a fight: Dr. Frank or Dr. Ruth?

DF: Oh, man. I, you know, I've been in a lot of fights in my life. I've never won and so the law of averages says I'd probably lose.

S: Do you think people dislike pop punk because it has some kind of melody to it?

DF: I've never understood music without a melody, it's just kind of hard for me to grasp. I can't get my mind around that. But I think that there are a lot of people that think that rock music should be tough and mean and evil. I mean, we played at a show last night and there were a bunch of Lint look-alikes in the audience who were giving us the finger and stuff. I think they just want the music they're listening to to sound as ugly as they want people to think their lives are. They're just upset because they have receding mohawks and there's nothing they can do about it. But I think that without a melody, it's not really music, so then it's just all attitude. Rancid has got great melodies. They're a great pop band, so I'm not criticizing them, but I think that people who don't like the fact that you've got choruses and bridges and everything. I mean they'll grow out of that. It's a maturity thing.

S: Why aren't you guys playing all ages shows?

DF: Well, we got called to do this and we were all, "Wow we're playing with our heros, the Dickies!" and I don't know, this hasn't worked out exactly as I hoped it would, really, to tell you the truth. But you know we still get into it. We never tried this before. We've never done... like this tour is booked by a booking agent. It's not booked by us, and that has advantages and disadvantages. We got to play in some nice places, though. I'm a little uncomfortable about some of that. We did tell them that we wanted to play all ages shows as much as possible and actually this one is an over twenty-one show. This will have been the second one. So there have been a lot of all ages ones. But I would prefer obviously... I mean most of the people that like us are fourteen, so it doesn't make too much sense to play in the bars.

S: You guys are Lookout right now right?

DF: Yeah.