Jake of Handguns…Offspring and Twitter, Don’t Bite Your Tongue

We sat on a Sunday that wasn’t supposed to exist; a girl in California waiting to make a call and guy in Kentucky pulling into a hotel after a long night. Jake from Handgunswas looking forward to another day of Krazyfest. He went on about the bands he’d seen, and the sad tales of not getting into a house show because their bassist was too young and missing Fireworks at Fantasy Island (yes, it’s what you think it is) because apparently mixing Fireworks and topless ladies packs a house. The rest of our Sunday afternoon chat was an array of Taco Bell as a last meal, the downsides of High School and Twitter and the bright sides of the rest of Handguns 2011.

Kendra: How is Krazyfest going?

Jake: We’re still here. There’s one more day left, it’s been cool. There was like 1500 people there and I probably knew 120 of them, and I didn’t realize that until I got here. I’m walking around and every time I’m getting hugged like, “I didn’t even know you were here. Aren’t you from Maine? ‘Yeah but whatever,’ it’s awesome.”

Kendra: So it seems we weren’t the chosen ones. Any thoughts on the whole rapture thing?

Jake: Yeah, because I heard about the earthquake in Hawaii then right at 6 o’clock in Louisville, KY the blackest clouds rolled in and struck lightning. It looked like hell was upon us. I was scared because the whole time I was like, this is bull, nothing’s going to happen or whatever. Then when the black storm clouds came, I was like oh my god the whole fucking world is going to hell.

Kendra: Say it was true and you knew two weeks ago, would you have done anything different?

Jake: If I knew two weeks ago I’d probably do different things but, no probably not, I’d do the same thing. I would just play shows and be on tour. A couple days before I would go home nad hang out with my family, but I’m pretty happy with my life.

Kendra: Any who, why’d you get into music?

Jake: I have a brother who’s mentally handicapped. We grew up in a small town and he was the target for everybody. So like in middle school and high school when everybody’s insecure about their selves and tries to fit in, I hated everybody that was cool because they were intolerant dickheads. My best friend Tim handed me Smash by The Offspring and I was like, this is how I feel. Then from that point on, it was on.  This is what I need, music. Because everybody ostracized my brother and I didn’t want to be like any of them…like most kids try to fit in, that was the last thing I wanted to be, the last thing I wanted to be was one of those people.

Kendra: Did those so called “cool” kids and that Offspring album influence your writing style?

Jake: Every punk band that I’ve ever listened to, every situation I’ve ever been in, every person I’ve ever met in my life influences my writing style. I only write from personal experiences. Like Coheed and Cambria rule, but I can’t write a Fantasy novel in our songs. Anything I’ve ever experienced, that’s how I write at least.

Kendra: Speaking of, I noticed you have some pop punk essentials like the “whoas” and “let’s go.” When you’re writing a song, do those things come naturally?

Jake: The “yeahs” and the “let’s go’s” Nick who records us, he loves those. Honestly, all the ones we have, he told us to put them in. We like them, they’re cool, and they’re fun. I don’t think about that kind of stuff, but he’s like, “You need one right here.”  That song “I Hope He Kills You” there’s a really, really loud part where Taylor screams “yeah” and we were like, we don’t want that there. Nick was like, “If you don’t put that there, I’m deleting your entire record”…And that was literally the last thing we recorded. He was dead serious.  We have nothing against it though.

Kendra: Well thank god he didn’t hit delete because all that and more can be found on the latest record, Don’t Bite Your Tongue. Care to share a little more about the record? Stand out songs? Ones we can expect to hear live?

Jake: On the Hawthorne Heights tour we just did we’d have anywhere from 20-35 minutes and we couldn’t play every song every night. But we’re going out on tour with I Call Fives and I’m pretty sure we’re playing 13-14 songs every night, which is all of them, all we have.  That’s all our EPs, the first one and the second one. And then we have a split coming out with Forever Came Calling from California so some of them will get cut on the next tour, but there’s none that we can’t play or won’t play.

Kendra: This record’s not about wasting time, but let’s be honest…what’s one thing you find yourself wasting too much time on?

Twitter, yeah Twitter for the win. I waste too much time reading other people’s tweets. I tweet at Mark Hoppus all the time.  And I make fun of ‘em so he’ll tweet back at me, but he never does. if he tweeted back and me, I think I’d shit myself.

Kendra: Touring definitely isn’t one of those things. So it seems that you guys are on the road a lot. Do you guys get a chance to change up the sets between different tours?

Jake: We have some that we play that go into each other really well so we put them next to each other.  But we play different sets; we try not to bore ourselves.

Kendra: Being on the road must be amazing, but when you do get time home, what’s the one thing you have to do or get done?

Jake: Sleep. Because when you’re gone as much as we are, it’s hard to keep relationships with people who aren’t people you see every day. Like one of my best friends I haven’t seen him in 8 months, or really talk to him, yeah it sucks but it happens. I don’t really see many friends and I don’t really have many friends. My best friends are in my favorite bands we’re touring with, like Forever Came Calling, Ivy League from Texas. Those dudes, when I’m bummed out, I text them. Yeah so the only time I see my friends is when I’m on tour so when I’m at home I just sleep…sleep and watch Netflix.

Kendra: Back to the road really quick, where’s the strangest placeHandguns have ever played, be it city or venue?

Jake: We’ve played houses, garages, and front yards. The most unconventional was a barbershop in Virginia. We’ve also played an old grocery store that was turned into a venue and in Ohio at this place that in the 1920’s was a whorehouse, so we can say we played a whorehouse.

Kendra: Well that’s definitely some strange places I’ve never heard of… So what’s up for the rest of 2011 for you Handguns?

Jake: June 9th to July 3rd with I Call Fives and We Are The Union and then that stops in Salt Lake City. Then we meet Forever Came Calling in Austin, TX. Then we’re meeting up with Warped Tour in Detroit. We’re working Warped, not playing. We’re gonna sell CDs and work and do stuff on the tour to make money to buy a van. And then on the 26th we stop Warped Tour in Maryland and we meet The Story So Far, and then when that ends I’m not sure who we’re touring with.

Kendra: Lastly, really quick…Handguns made me think of violence and such, so if I asked you to use music instead of a gun to deal with anger, what 5 songs would you suggest are best to listened to when pissed?

Jake: First of all we don’t have anything to do with violence, we just wanted a short name that was eight letters…doesn’t’ mean a single thing.  Okay, when I’m pissed off I can give you records:

Cursed One
Hatebreed The Rise of Brutality
Madball Hold It Down
Another Breath Not Now Not Ever
Misery Signals Of Malice and the Magnum Heart


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