Posted: May 7th, 2009
"...if something doesn't have pool coping, then is it even worth skating?"
Interview & Photos by Jordan Joseffer
Every now and then, bands come and play the skatepark in San Francisco. Most of the time they're weird stoner rock, but once in a while a band will play that's rad. The Imposters, from Southern California, stopped by on a tour to play and skate the bowl. They play surf style punk properly. Later that night they got in a beer can fight that ended up with a trip to the ER. Lead singer and guitarist Nickolai Preiss took a minute to answer some questions.
What's Wrong? mp3
How old are you guys? Where are you from?
Miles and I are 15, and Steven is 17. We're all from Hermosa Beach, CA. That's a square mile patch of beach land just southwest of Los Angeles.
How did the band start? Where'd you get the name?
We started during the summer after 6th grade, with me, Miles, and another dude, but this configuration only lasted like a month. A few months later, in November 2005, I guess we "officially" started with me, Steven, and a new drummer. We met at a mutual friend's house and it carried on from there. Miles came back in on drums last year. I think the name was something that just sounded cool to us as a bunch of 12-year-olds, and it just stuck with us due to lack of a better name.
Who do you guys play with down there?
Down here we play a lot with the Flat Black and Secret Records lineups, and of course with some other bands from Southern California, along with the occasional touring bands. Some of these bands include The Neckties, Tipper's Gore, COP, JFA, Bad Man, Social Sickness, DLA, and Bad Parents.
What do you think of the Potrero skatepark in SF?
That place rules. We've skated it every time we go up to San Francisco, whether we're up there for shows or just for hanging out and stuff. The bowl is by far my favorite section, partly because the rest of the park is always crowded with little kids. But most importantly because if something doesn't have pool coping, then is it even worth skating?
Do you make plans to skate when you’re booking a tour? Anything you’re looking forward to skate while on tour?
We’re playing the East Coast and the Midwest for a few weeks this summer. The skating parts of trips are just as important as the shows being booked. Like, when we went to play Arizona a few weeks ago, we made sure to plan enough skate time for the fullpipes and ditches out there, as well as all those skateparks. Sadly, it rained for half the trip, but we still got in the much-anticipated skating. As for the East Coast, I guess we'll just have to see what's out there to skate, but the one thing we're really stoked on is skating Skatopia in Ohio. We've set aside a day of tour for that place.
What's the story behind your song "The Joke's Gone Sour"?
There’s this house that we tend to stay at when we're up in SF—Max, Randy, and a couple of other dudes all live there. They're in a few bands, past and present, but I think their main project now is Face The Rail. Anyways, the song is mainly about one night when we stayed there back in October. It was after a show we had just played in the area, and I guess there was kind of a party starting at their house when everyone got back. We were in the kitchen with Randy when someone threw a cardboard pizza saucer at him. In response, he threw a beer can at our side of the room. Within minutes, the kitchen was full of at least 15 people, and we were all throwing cans, books, shoes, brooms, boxes—anything else we could get our hands on. At this point it pretty much became a free-for-all, and the kitchen was the war zone. Then Steven and our friend Nick went downstairs to try a sneak attack or something. Randy and I went to ambush them, at which point Nick threw a road cone at Randy. He ended up falling over and losing his front tooth, along with cutting his forehead. That's when the fun and games were over, and Randy shouted, "The joke's gone sour." It became an inside joke among us for a while when we got back home. The song’s also about bombing this one hill on Bigwheel tricycles, and about how Nick and Dharma got "lost" when they took a three-hour trip to 7-11, which is down the street from Max's house.
Do you guys often experiment with wierd instruments? You’ve got xylophone on your LP.
We try to change things up a little that way. The xylophone is played on the tracks "You'll See" and "The Time Has Come." On "Slaughter On 10th Ave.", we used some weird tribal percussion thing for the background. The sound engineer mixed the xylophone a bit quieter than we intended, but hopefully it's still audible.
When you played the Flowershop, some fights broke out. What do you guys think of that place?
I don't think too highly of fighting, but the guy with the boombox who was fighting everyone was a total kook—so it's understandable why everyone wanted to teach that dude a lesson. Other than that, the Flowershop was awesome. We probably spent more time at that skatepark in the backyard than we did inside the show. It reminded us of a much smaller version of Channel Street in San Pedro. And all the bands ruled that night, so I'd say that show was awesome.
What's in The Imposters’ future? High school diplomas? College?
The high school diplomas are definitely gonna be a part of our near futures. I'm not sure of our plans after that, though. I guess we haven't planned that far ahead yet. Last words? Our new LP, The Time Has Come, just came out at the beginning of April. Give it a listen.
Check out The Imposters myspace for upcoming shows.