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Article: Boysetsfire Interview.
Writer: Brinepacer
Date Posted: 01/02/00

This interview was conducted via the wonder that is e-mail with Matt Krupanski, drummer for excellent hardcore band Boysetsfire.

1. What inspired the name Boy Sets Fire?
It came from a book entitled, "The Boy Who Set the Fire." and naturally we shortened it.

2. When did you form? How did you reach this line up?
We started in September of 1994 and have remained the same line up except for our bass player. Rob who now plays bass, came into the band last year and is working out great. As for the rest of us, we either were friends before the band, knew of each other or hung out with the same people. Josh and Nathan actually grew up together. Josh and Chad are brother-in-laws and Rob and myself went to highschool together.

3. What would cause the band to break up?
If we felt that we no longer were achieving our goals or weren't able to work together in a positive, creative manner.

4. Describe your music for someone who's never heard... music?
A bombastic formula of emotionally and energy driven, thought provoking ingredients.

5. What inspired you to play the music you do?
The fact that at the time in our area in which we live, there were no other bands doing what we were doing. We also sensed a great deal of apathy towards social/political subjects and we wanted to catch people off guard with a brutally honest approach to music.

6. What have you released so far?
7" on Initial Records, 6 song cd on Magic Bullet Records, "The Day the Sun Went Out" on Initial, "In Chrysalis" ep on Initial, numerous splits and compilations and most recent " After the Eulogy" on Victory Records and " Suckerpunch Training" in Join the Team Player Records from Munich.

7. How did you hook up with Victory? How do you get on with them?
Our publisher has a few bands on Victory and arranged it for us. Nothing really too special happened and we are happy how it turned out.

8. How does the songwriting process work in the band? Is it one person or a democracy? Do you fight much over how a song turns out?
We all contribute equally to songwriting. If someone doesn't like something, they better be able to back it up why they don't. We all work in a way that is beneficial for the group and not necessarily the individual. If the majority of the and agrees on something or likes something, then we'll go with it. We debate over songs but there's hardly any true arguing going on. As much as we love music, music is just music and there are many other important things to argue about instead of just some silly riff or drum fill.

9. What inspires your lyrics? Do you consider the lyrics to be as or more imprortant as the music?
The lyrics carry just as much weight as the music does. Anything can inspire the lyrics and they are generally written by Nathan, unless the rest of us have ideas or something to contribute lyrically.

10. What was the best show/tour you've played? Who's your favourite touring partners? If you could get on any tour, what would it be?
There is actually way too many awesome show to be able to single out just one inparticular. Avail was a lot of fun to tour with and we got along really well with those guys. We were recently in Europe and Static 84 did some shows with us and they were also a great band to play/tour with. I had always wanted to tour with Rage Against the Machine, but I guess now I'd say Tool or U2.

11. What do you fight over the most? What was the worst band fight?
We don't really fight. Planning tours can be somewhat difficult, but most of the time if there's a fight its over something really stupid. You know, spending 24 hours/7 days a week with the same people 4 or 5 months a year can get a little repetitious, and generally if theres a fight, it comes out of frustration or exhaustion or if someone is just grumpy that day.

12. How do you define selling out?
By not doing what you want to. No one should have to keep themselves or anyone else from wanting to strive to achieve a goal or reach a dream. The day when you stop believing in yourself and stop believing in a better life is the day your spirit and will have given in to everything you stood against.

13. Ian MacKaye once said, "In the old days, records were the menu and the live show was the meal". Do you think this is still true?
To a degree. It depends on the band. Some bands are horrible live and some bands or groups focus more on the studio project than the live show. I personally am a fan of the live show, but I would probably would say that the live show is definitely the icing on the cake. But sometimes its better to have pie.

14. What is the nicest and meanest thing said about your band?
Meanest, probably something like we should set fire to ourselves. Nicest, are probably all the mail and correspondence we receive about how we have been able to help people get through problems in their life or have made them question what goes on around them.

15. Do you think the emergence of punk in the mainstream (a la Blink 182) has effected punk at a grassroots level?
Not too much. I think its a good thing though if it has. Who ever said punk rock was exclusive? There are alot of good bands and good messages and ideals that stem from punk rock or exist in punk rock that would greatly benefit society. Some bands exploit punk, but if their not doing it commercially, their doing it within the scene, its just not as prevalent so people ignore it.

16. Do you see MP3 as a help or a hindrance? How important do you see the web as a tool for band promotion?
I hate napster. I believe in the rights for the artists and if you can afford a computer and mp3 software, you can damn well afford to buy a cd. If you have all this amazing technology, use it to create something original and not steal it from those who work long, hard hours creating music or following their passions. A band like Metallica does not face the finincial constraints and hindrances that many new, starting artists face and those are the people who really suffer. It's not bad to release a track or two, but to downright "steal" a whole album from a band or artist who has worked their whole life for a career in music industry is having their dreams stolen by those who are too selfish and inconsiderate to reckonize what affect their having on these artists. They should go work at the bank or government office where that practice is welcomed.

17. What does the future hold for Boy Sets Fire?
Well, we hope to continue to create music we love and be able to share that with as many people as possible. Like anything else you love in life, you have to work very hard to keep it going and be able to give and take, and choose your battles. We have continual tour plans and studio plans and hope that we are able to take this as far as we can. You only live once.