Saturday, March 27, 2010

AFI News HQ interviews Geoff Kresge: Part 3

Here’s the final part of our interview Geoff Kresge. First of all, all my appreciation and gratitude to Geoff for taking the time to fill out these amazing questions. It’s so nice to amazing that although he left AFI 13 years ago, one can really tell it’s still a big part of his life. Thanks, Geoff.

We really hope you enjoyed this interview!

P: Do you find yourself playing AFI songs when you’re home alone?

GK: No. I haven’t played any of those songs since my last performance with the band, which is coming up on being 13 years ago. I have listened through some of the session tapes in the recent past, but typically once I finish a record, I only listen to it occasionally. I’ve probably heard ATASF ten times or less since it was recorded. Even fewer for VPOY. I still feel attached to the songs, I just don’t generally listen to my own albums. I mean, while you’re making a record you hear those songs so many times during the recording and mixing and mastering stages that it’s enough to last a long time. Haha!

P: If I’m not wrong, you were on stage with AFI for the first time in 12 years now singing Nyquil at the record release show for Crash Love. How was it? How did the band approach to you about this?

GK: That’s right! It was completely unplanned though. I didn’t have any idea which song they were going to play until I got onstage and asked Hunter what was going on. He started to hand me his bass, but as I mentioned, I haven’t played those songs for so long that I couldn’t have played the bass parts if my life depended on it! I was quite surprised that I could remember the lyrics. It really was a blast singing that song with them though.

P: Pablo’s personal favorite oldskool AFI song is one that you wrote both lyrics and music for: Love is a Many Splendored Thing, which is now a new-fans favorite “old song” due to it being revived for live shows. Can you tell us more about this song? What’s the story behind it? How did you come up with the lyrics?

GK: Ah, that’s kind of a silly lyric. It’s not my best work by any means, but it was inspired by someone I knew at the time and how I felt about them and their attitude towards me. It was just a way of blowing off some steam. If I had known that they would still be playing that song more than fifteen years later, I probably would’ve put a little more effort into the lyrics. Hahaha!

P: What’s the thing you’re the most proud, and the thing you regret of doing with AFI?

GK: The thing I’m most proud of? Being a part of getting ourselves out of the garage, into the studio, onto a vinyl record, touring, building the band up to what it was at the point that I decided to leave in 1997.

The thing I regret? I’d love to be one of those people that says, “I have no regrets,” but that old line is a bunch of crap. Anyone that would actually say that is full of it. Haha! Of course there are things that I regret from my time in the band, but nothing can change those things. Even if those things could be taken back or reversed, would the end results be favorable? There are mistakes that all four of us made, individually and collectively, but those mistakes paved the way for other things – other successes, other mistakes, and so on. I don’t think the band would be the same now if any one or two of the things that happened in the past were to be altered or erased, as much as I or anyone else may wish that certain things had happened differently.

P: AFI has around 10 songs in video games like Rock Band and Guitar Hero. Have you had the chance to play them yet? What songs from your era do you think would be fun to play in such games?

GK: I don’t really play video games, so I’m not really sure how to answer this one. I have played Guitar Hero a few times, but I don’t know which of those songs, if any, would be fun to play in that format. Maybe “Advances in Modern Technology”?

P: Geoff, you most likely are the most tattooed AFI (former) member. What are your tattoos of? What was your first tattoo?

GK: Well, I think Davey and I probably have a similar number of tattoos, to be honest. My tattoos are done in the “traditional” style of tattooing, even if the themes of my tattoos are not exactly of a traditional nature. I have too many to list what they all are, but I have always tried to chose my tattoo artists based on their own particular style of tattoo art. My first tattoo was Ed “Big Daddy” Roth’s Rat Fink, which is a character I have loved since I was very young. It’s not very well done, technically, but it’s there. Hahaha!

P: Do you follow the sXe philosophy?

GK: At one time, I would have said “yes”. Of course there’s the old slogan, “If you’re not now, you never were,” but from my point of view, the straightedge lifestyle has, over time, grown to include too many political aspects and far too many rules for my liking. I know that the scene is not as intense as it was during the 90s, but there are still parts of it that I do live by and parts that don’t apply to me. Personal morals and personal choice are more important to me than putting a label on my lifestyle.

P: What made you change from electric bass to stand-up bass? How was the change like? Was it hard, or it was just natural?

GK: I actually started to take an interest in playing the upright bass some time in 1990-1991, before I joined AFI, but I wasn’t able to afford one at the time. I actually bought my first upright bass after the recording of VPOY, but at that point I didn’t really have much free time to dedicate to learning it, figuring I would learn how to play it when we took our next break from touring. I didn’t realize that the next break in touring would be because I had decided to leave the band, but that’s how it turned out.

Making the transition from electric bass to the upright bass was very challenging. I thought that I would be able to translate my skill level from one to the other, but I found out quickly that it just wasn’t possible to do so. I became very discouraged with the learning process and I didn’t even begin to feel confident as an upright player until several years later, after I had played a lot of shows and had done a lot of touring, where I was playing night after night. It was basically like learning to play an entirely new instrument, at least in my case.

P: Anything else you want to add?

GK: Just that people should visit the Official Key Lime Pie Records page at: so they can check out the “official” discography that has the correct information for all of the early releases. There have been a lot of mistakes in older discographies, so for collectors, this is the ultimate resource for information for those releases, from recording session data to official pressings and variant versions.

Also check out my official page at: for updates on what’s happening with my other projects. It doesn’t get updated as much as I’d like it to be, but keep checking in!

P: Thank you so very much for this interview, Geoff! We really appreciate all your time and wish you the best of luck!

GK: You’re welcome. Thanks to you too.

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