Forming in New York City around 1990, The Casualties started out with an idea to return to the “Golden Age” of street punk, something they felt had been on sharp decline since the mid 1980s.
Having racked up eight full length albums, three EPs, three live albums and countless miles in the tour van, The Casualties continue to enjoy success more than 20 years after their inception.
The band is touring Australia in September. Green Left Weekly's Chris Peterson caught up with them for a bite-sized interview.
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The Casualties have been going for more than two decades. What has inspired you to keep going?
We are doing what we love. It’s a lifestyle that we chose, and it is what we know and love. And how many people in this world can say they actually do what they love?
What inspires us is a number of things. Music, the state of our world, our families, getting to travel, meeting new people, learning different cultures, and to know their are so many people out there just like us.
What can Australian audiences expect from a Casualties live show?
For their ears to be ringing the next day. A lot of jumping around, drinking, shouting, sing-a-longs. Just a fun high energetic show of fast loud punk rock music.
What do you think is wrong with the system we live under?
People in charge, “The Man”, care more about power and money than basic human rights.
You’ve penned a few anti-war songs in your time. What do you think of the continued occupation of Afghanistan?
I think its a problem that needs to end as soon as possible. Yes, soldiers are starting to come back, slowly, but there still are so many out there.
And yes, whether it’s not in the media as much as it was a year ago, we are definitely still in a war. A war based on oil and money.
Do you think bands have a role in motivating people to be politically active? Are you involved in any campaigns at the moment that people should know about?
It is not a role that they have to take, but those who do see that they have an opportunity to make people more aware of what is going on in this world and they use it for the better.
The Casualties are an anti-racist anti-fascist punk rock band. We believe in unity and the questioning of authority.
We are not involved with any organised campaigns, but always speak our minds, point out countries short comings and encourage people to think for themselves — and to live free.
September 8: Brisbane, The Hifi Bar. Tickets from www.thehifi.com.au, ph 1300 843 4434.
September 10: Melbourne, The East Brunswick Club. Tickets from www.eastbrunswickclub.com, and ph 9388 9794.
September 11: Sydney, The Manning Bar. Tickets from www.manningbar.com, ph 1300 862 545, or www.moshtix.com.au, ph 1300438 849.
[For more info, see www.myspace.com/thecasualties .]