By Mike Faloon
The year: 1996.
The place: The Mansion (Baltimore).
The scene: Taking swigs from a flask during a Jennifers performance.
The phrase: "Take that, fuckers"
Wow. Was that a Jennifers’ performance? That doesn’t sound like me with this band. Those sound like the words of a drunken, bitter person. Or I was simply addressing the fuckers in the crowd (to be fair there probably were some) and preparing them for the rock they were about to receive - after the fact.
Given that the number of band members named Skizz outnumbers the number of band members named Jennifer(Skizzes - 1, Jennifers - 0), have you considered a change of band names?
I think Skizz is far too modest for us to have the name, the Skizzes. We do have two Joes in our band and I’m personally not too modest to have the band named after me. I’m just not convinced that the Joes or the Josephs would be any better than what we have now. We have considered changing the band’s name in the past. There was Clap Your Hands Say John, but we didn’t act fast enough. There was also Joestone-Joestone Gali, but that was too long for bumper stickers. Middle Name: Isidoro was quickly ruled out. However, that actually is my real middle name and I’m still bitter over that defeat. I guess when it comes right down to it, for me, our name reminds me of Jen, who was our old drummer. I have fond memories of her. She was fun and nice. In fact, I find that many girls named Jennifer are great people. I know a few of them. I think we should probably stick by them.
What makes John's songs fun to play?
I was a fan of this band well before I joined. I’ve been in bands in which you happen to play the music and eventually the songs start sticking to you. And you eventually figure that you like the songs because you like something else about the band – the people, their friends, their girlfriends. You know, whatever it takes. And I’ve been in bands with great songs, but some of the people were kind of creepy. Shitty people, really. For instance, they’d either shoot heroin in the bathroom for most of band practice or stop by the house when I was out of town and take things. Things I didn’t want them to take. But not John. He always has beer and food at his house when we practice. He never shoots drugs or steals stuff from us. So I’d say that’s approaching fun. Also, he comes up with songs, many of which become my favorite songs. So it’s fun to play songs you really enjoy. Plus there’s no pressure in this band. No one tells anyone else “how” to play something or gets pissed or territorial when suggestions or criticisms are offered. So there’s a certain fun and freedom in that.