As far as genres go, hardcore has always been a mystery to me. I tried in my youth—and even in my not-so youth—to embrace the mosh, the finger points, and all the rest of the overwhelmingly homoerotic bonding that is hardcore, but nothing. Enter Last Priest, the San Diego hardcore band that's reckless enough to remind me of Bad Brains, yet with a pedigree (members of such lengthily named bands as Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower and Find Him and Kill Him) that finds them teetering on the cusp of hardcore's gradual evolution. Singer Spence Gooch took some time to answer my questions about everything from eye injuries to eye shadow.
I'm almost 30 and other than a couple Bad Brains and Chain of Strength records, I don't listen to much hardcore. Is there any hope for me? Do people over 18 suddenly get into hardcore?
I think that once people get older they develop a new appreciation for hardcore. For instance, when you're 16, you say "The best Black Flag singer is Morris. Everybody else sucks." But when you're older you give My War a chance and realize that it's one of the best records ever made. Now, if you're not into hardcore from the start, I don't see you developing an overwhelming urge to seek out Cro-Mags records, although it's probably a good idea if you did.
I'm also deathly afraid of moshing. Can you tell me some mosh moves I can break out in the pit? Is there mosh etiquette?
You can do the ever popular "punch your friend in the face," or "run across the pit to punch somebody else in the face." Either way, you will demonstrate that you don't give a fuck about society or your fellow showgoers. It's real classy.
With the constant headbanging on your part, plus a sea of finger-pointing fans in the front row, it seems like singing in this band is a finger-to-the-eye injury waiting to happen. Has this ever happened to you? Is this how Ray Cappo [Youth of Today, Shelter] lost an eye?
Unfortunately it has not happened to me. I think Ray Cappo lost an eye trying to attain "the supreme."
I noticed that you guys don't wear make-up? Aren't hardcore bands supposed to wear make-up these days?
I have sensitive skin, and eyeliner just dries it out. So I actually make myself cry all day long so that I can get the right look. That way, not only do I get the black under my eyes, but my true emotions come out. It's a win-win situation.
Last Priest play on Thurs June 15th at 2624 NE Sumner.