Teenage Bottlerocket Interviews Bill Stevenson of The Descendents

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Band members are just as much of music fans as any of us. That means they wonder about the same shit we do, and sometimes they even get to play with their favorite artists. Teenage Bottlerocket is set to play with The Descendents at Punk Rock Bowling on Memorial Day weekend in Las Vegas, and Ray from Teenage Bottlerocket got the chance to do a little interview with Bill Stevenson from the Descendents before the show. Check out their conversation below while you listen to some sweet tracks from the bands.

I see your son, Miles, likes to skateboard. Has he ever shown any interest in playing drums?

When Miles was about 12, on 2 separate occasions He sat down behind my drums and played for about 15 minutes, but that’s about it. I showed him the AC/DC beat, and that’s about as far as we got. He loves his skateboard and his race car.

What is your stance on cell phones for kids? What age should parents wait to give it to them? I’m holding out with Milo!

Our world is being taken over by all the “being connected every second of every day” thing. I think it’s bad for the health, but I would not know where to start with trying to set rules or boundaries for it. Seems like we are all just gonna evolve into robots

Do you have a favorite Descendents record? Do you have a favorite Descendents song?

It’s kinda sorta impossible for me to judge my own art. But, I like the Fat EP, and the song “Weinerschnitzel”, and I really like the song “Spineless And Scarlet Red”.

Do you have a favorite All record? Do you have a favorite All song?

I think Allroy’s Revenge is maybe the best one. I like the song “Scary Sad”

You have always been one of my favorite producers, what was the first record you ever helped produce that wasn’t Descendents/All?

Black Flag… Chemical People… Big Drill Car… Shades Apart. I’m probably forgetting the most important ones. Not sure

Recently TBR got to play with Descendents and I noticed you seem way happier behind the kit, what happened? I mean, you smile more, it seems as if you’re enjoying this band thing more, did something happen that made you have a brighter outlook on life?

As weird and as cliche as it may sound, at age 54 I finally figured out how to be happy. It is great. It is amazing, after having been miserable and insecure for most of my life. The band is much more fun for me now than it ever had been.

Travis Barker or Josh Freese?

Yes, both great. Both great guys as well.

What is the craziest thing that’s ever happened to you while playing on stage?

Skinheads throwing all the chairs and barstools at us while we were playing. We had to run out the back of the club and hide from them. (This was in Black Flag)

Bill, we’ve known each other for a long time. Would you say that Teenage Bottlerocket is the best band you’ve ever worked with? No really, would you please say that?

You’ve known me a long time, and you know that I do not make a practice of lying, haha. But, in all seriousness, it has been a pleasure to see you guys become such a great band. A long journey from the “Homeless Wonders” Recording In… ‘98? Was it ‘98??

Kody wanted me to ask you if you like potted meat? He also wanted me to ask you if you put mustard on your biscuits

“Mustard’z guud on ‘em to me, mmmHmmm” – my potted meat days are over though. Don’t really wanna mess with the animals. Trying to leave them alone and let them live…

How many times has Descendents played punk rock bowling?

I think 5. Not positive. PRB is one of my 3 favorite festivals. Great fun

Compared to Groesrock or Riot Fest, PRB totally has its own vibe, have you ever experienced any wacky elevator behavior at the nugget or do you have a punk rock bowling story for us?

Actually, I seem to have missed out on the elevator behavior. Pity. I will be on the lookout for such activity his time atound

Is there one band you wish you played live with, but didn’t?

The Bags, Dead Boys, Generation X

Tell us about the time you ate a Ghost Pepper Burger in Las Vegas at Punk Rock Bowling? Would you do it again?

It was so brutal. MILO and I did it. It was some sort of challenge. I really love spicy food, but this was unlike anything either of us had ever experienced. MILO handled it much better than I did. …We were both “violently ill in the guts” for several hours afterward.  But…We have vowed that we will do it again if the situation presents itself.

Cool! Thanks again for doing this interview, Bill. And thanks again for including TBR on that Descendents run on the east coast. We really enjoyed the shows, and we would love to do it again sometime.

Thanks for doing this, Ray. We would love to have you guys on more shows with us.

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