The Young Offenders
“You don’t really want to be the guy talking about his own nickname”
Interview by Todd Taylor | Photo by Schmitty
When punk’s popular, nearly everyone laments that it’s either watered-down or that the wrong bands are gaining notoriety. When punk’s unpopular, when its most ridiculous strains aren’t on TV or getting national attention, otherwise reasonable people will say, “There’s no good punk today. I remember when…” It’s like their ears close to any and all overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Waves and cycles. Folks seem to forget that there were Black Flag shows with less than 50 people in the audience. Folks also seem to forget that there isn’t a direct correlation between a band’s popularity and how musically fuckin’ awesome that band is or was (the Stains or Really Red, for example). San Francisco’s Young Offenders are a band that can satisfy both the modern needs of today’s digitally-delivered music punks and the church of late-’70s, early ’80s Raider Nation of punk rockers who refuse to believe any good punk can be made in the present tense. Take the space and hooks of Wire. Twist that into Blitz. Let it sizzle. At the end of that burning fuse is the Young Offenders.
So, Pete, why the nickname “The Ox”?
Pete: A friend made it up.
Based on anything?
Tim: Because he skates like a fuckin’ ox.
Pete: I wouldn’t say that.
Dougie: I always thought it had something to do with your balls.
Tim: We were in Portland, setting up to play, and these grizzly-as-fuck skaters turned up.
Jason: Pete had some winners show up. Not just drunk—they were huffing glue, heroin, probably everything.
Tim: They steam in and one of them is this legendary skater called the Q-Man.
He’s in Fruit of the Vine.
Tim: Burnside maniacs. Super scary. They were going, “Where’s the fuckin’ Ox?” I’m like, “Getting something?” Then they sat down at this table, Slamming their fists: “Pete! The! Ox! Pete! The! Ox!” Before the show started two of them got thrown out, fighting the doorman.
Pete: That’s true. That actually happened.
Tim: The reason he’s called The Ox is because he has legendary style. People know it.
Jason: And it’s a style that is, obviously, as elegant as the animal for which he is named.
Pete—I don’t want to embarrass you, but you’re known as one of the most barging mongo skaters, ever.
Pete: Maybe Ox came from there. Usually mongo skaters don’t get respect but I guess I did. My friend Ruben made up “The Ox.” Rest in peace. He died. But you don’t really want to be the guy talking about his own nickname.
If someone gives it to you, I think it’s fine.
Pete: The worst part was if I called a skate company like Deluxe. “Yeah, this is Pete for Jim Thiebaud.”
“Pete who?” And I’ve got to say, “Pete… The Ox.”
But your call goes through.
Tim: Didn’t they make Ox wheels?
Pete: One little run.
Tim: They’re rare as fuck.
Completely shifting gears. When you guys came to North Park Awesome Fast and you were in San Diego, you guys partied.
Dougie: You did, too.
However, I didn’t ride my bike the next day. How long was the bike ride?
Tim: Five hours.
Jason: I surfed.
Let’s establish some baselines here. How much did you drink?
Tim: We arrived at 3. Probably started drinking. We played later on. We drank all night, pretty much. We got blazed, and then got on our bikes the next day. Probably like
So you guys are fit.
Tim: No, no, I’m not fit. Dougie’s fit.
Dougie: We’re generally in good shape for our age. Pete’s a drummer. That’s his workout. I go to the gym. That’s what I do. I stare at boys.
Jason: I’m fit for my body type, for sure. Boys and girls, it’s more enjoyable if you’re not feeling all the pains of aging.
How do you convince other people to continue doing what you’re doing?
Tim: We don’t.
Really? Because Chris Mason of Shang-A-Lang said, “Those guys were so charming. I don’t quite understand how they got me to smoke weed for two fuckin’ days—a lot of it—and I don’t like smoking weed.”
Tim: The funny thing is that he felt that he ought to smoke weed with me. He smoked weed because he was hanging out with us, having a good time. That was his choice to do that.
How do you balance family life with band life?
Pete: I have friends who have totally dropped out of skateboarding or punk rock. They don’t do it at all anymore. That’s cool, too. That’s their thing. Me and Tim are balancing the gap here. I’m still totally obsessed with music. I would love to skate all the time. Whether it’s listening to college radio when I’m working, or whatever, I love to be hearing music.
Check out The Young Offenders Myspace page for upcoming shows and to liten to their music.
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