The phrase all good things must come to an end is sadly true for bands as well. Powerviolence heroes Weekend Nachos are calling it a day at the end of this year after twelve years of touring the world and destroying venues – the journey is at an end for now. John Hoffman talks about the band’s history, their recent tour of Asia with Primative Man, their relationship with the UK, their final shows and future plans, as well as their love of Weezer.
Jack: Hi, thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. How are you doing?
John Hoffman (Vocals): I’m doing alright, I just got to work so that’s never good but other than that life is good.
Jack: This is the final year for Weekend Nachos and in your farewell statement you said “This is not for any reason other than the fact that all good things must eventually come to an end, and we are rapidly approaching the end of our time.” Why now and not later?
John: Sometimes you just know…you know? After 12 years, things just started to feel like they were finished. Some bands can last 25-50 years…like Agnostic Front, or The Rolling Stones. We just aren’t one of those bands I guess.
Jack: The band started in 2004, did you think you’d last twelve years?
John: I don’t think I thought anything of the band when we first started. It was just a joke, kinda. I have been known to carry out my jokes for way too long though, so I guess it was never impossible [Laughs].
Jack: Have you been reflective of the band’s history at all in recent months?
John: Honestly, I rarely think about the past when it comes to Weekend Nachos. Mostly, a lot of people have just been sharing their memories and asking me questions about how things have been, similar to the question you just asked. I enjoy it more when people remind me of things that happened, because I have a really bad memory and it’s hard for me to reflect for that reason.
Jack: What’s your fondest memory of the band?
John: I guess my fondest memory would have to be our first show. We were so terrible and sloppy musically, and unnecessarily destructive towards the venue, and the crowd just laughed at the spectacle, but it was one of the most ridiculous and fun sets I’ve ever played. I kinda knew that there was something special about the band that night. We were everything you’d ever want to see, and also everything you wouldn’t want to see, all at the same time.
Jack: Did you ever think you’d leave the US and end up playing Europe, Asia and Australia when you started?
John: Certainly not. In fact, after our first few shows I wasn’t even sure that anyone would book us in Illinois any more, [Laughs]. Once people started writing to me and ordering demo tapes and 7”s from my parent’s house, I realized that we had fans from faraway places. Thanks to the internet, it was possible for a shitty band like us to gain exposure in Indonesia after only being around for 3 months.
Jack: You’re releasing your final album Apology in May, do you get nervous before releases?
John: Nope, releases don’t make me nervous. I’m always curious to see how they will be received, but never nervous. If people like the new album, that’s great. If they hate it, that’s also great. It’s a win/win situation when you release new music that you’re happy with.
Jack: Why did you decide to call the album Apology?
John: It’s a sarcastic album title. I think in the world of extreme music, there’s going to be people who expect an explanation from you regarding ideas you’ve expressed and things you’ve portrayed through your art, and they may even be offended by it. But I don’t think anybody owes anybody an apology or an explanation for their art.
Jack: Was it quite emotional recording the album?
John: I wouldn’t say emotional. I’ll miss recording Weekend Nachos albums in that studio though. We had some great times and created some great albums there. I think we all know that we’ll be back in the studio again with our other projects, though.
Jack: Will the themes on the album be about the split or a mixture of subjects?
John: There’s a mixture of subjects, but there are actually 1 or 2 songs about the split. My lyrics aren’t too deep or confusing though, so people will be able to figure out which songs those are.
Jack: You recently toured Asia with Primitive Man. How did that go and were some of the locations areas you had never played before?
John: It was a very great tour, we had been to Japan before but it was Primitive Man’s first time and we all had so much fun just eating and exploring. Then we all went to SE Asia and it was the first time for both bands. None of us had ever been to the Philippines, Malaysia or Singapore before, and it was definitely awesome. The weather was super hot which was cool because I like hot weather…no one else seemed to like it though [Laughs]. For me personally, the highlight was the Kuala Lumpur and Singapore shows. The kids there had an incredible time and I couldn’t believe we could get that much support from the other side of the world. It was beautiful.
Jack: I’ve heard that shows in Asia are very different to shows in the West, would you agree?
John: Honestly, the shows themselves aren’t that different to me. Seems kinda comparable to the times we’ve played Southern California. I suppose there are some differences between the people though. In South East Asia, everybody wanted to take pictures with us, and that doesn’t happen that often in our country. Also, the kids in South East Asia love to take apart your merch display for no reason. [Laughs] That got a little annoying.
Jack: Primitive Man are your label mates on Relapse Records. What’s it been like working with Relapse?
John: Relapse is really cool. All of the dudes there are really down to earth and really hands on. Every time we’ve worked with them, it didn’t feel like I was working with a “bigger” label at all, it was more just like I was hanging out with my friends. I think that’s also because of the type of band we are though…we’ve never really given off a professional vibe or anything, and I think they respond well to that.
Jack: You’re returning to the UK in June for Temples Fest and in October for Bloodshed Fest. What do you love about the UK?
John: The UK has always been really fun to play because we have a lot of support there. We’ve always played really well-attended shows and in general people are really nice. I also think the English countryside is one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen.
Jack: One of your first UK appearances was at Wallop Fest in Ipswich, do you have fond memories of this festival?
John: If I remember correctly, this was the show we played with Lich and there were a lot of bands. I think that was one of my favourite UK shows ever. We waited a long time to play and once we did, people were really up close and really excited that we were going on. There wasn’t really a stage so it felt kinda like a house show, except the venue was really clean and nice, [Laughs]. I remember it being packed and we played really well too. All good things!
Jack: What projects will you be embarking after this band splits up?
John: I play drums in a fast hardcore band called Spine, it’s kinda like Youth of Today and Infest. I’m also starting a doom project called Ledge and there should be a two song demo soon, it’s like Eyehategod and Crowbar but not as good, obviously. Drew and Andy play in a death metal band called Like Rats and they’re super good. Brian will be reuniting his old powerviolence band called Pencils Down, I think they were school-themed.
Jack: Finally, why did you decide to release a Weezer cover EP, but in the style of Weezer and not Nachos?
John: Well, we thought it’d be more fun to play it that way because it’s a change of pace. We are able to play music that sounds like Weezer, so why not? I knew a lot of people would expect otherwise, so that’s another reason why. Always good to surprise your audience.
Jack: Why are so many people who are into dark and heavy music also into Weezer?
John: Well, first of all, Weezer, at least on the first album, is really heavy. Matt Sharp’s bass tone is awesome. Also, I like all kinds of music, so dark and heavy is not always what I’m in the mood for. I even listen to Christian bands like MXPX and Zao sometimes.
Jack: Thank you very much for your time, good luck with your future plans and I’ll see you in London in October.
John: Thanks a lot, dude! We are looking forward to it.
East Coast (w/ The Afternoon Gentlemen)
5/21 Boston, MA @ Middle East
5/22 Philadelphia, PA @ First Unitarian Church
5/23 Braddock (Pittsburgh area), PA @ Dock 5
5/26 Tacoma, WA @ Real Art w/ Black Breath
6/2-6/5 Bristol, England @ Temples Fest
7/1 Chicago, IL @ Township (Apology release show)
Europe/UK (w/ Wormrot and The Afternoon Gentlemen)
10/6 Hamburg, DE @ Hafenklang
10/7 Copenhagen, DK @ Pumpehuset
10/8 Berlin, DE @ Cassiopeia
10/9 Prague, CZ @ Modra Vopice
10/10 Budapest, HU @ Durer Kert
10/11 Ljubljana, SL @ Orto Bar
10/12 Munich, DE @ Feierwork
10/13 Kassel, DE @ Goldgrube
10/14 Eindhoven, NL @ Bloodshed Fest
10/15 London, UK @Nambucca