Since releasing Under Attack on Straight On Records, Final Fight have been playing shows and getting a dog to cum on Paul Woods. ScenePointBlank caught up with David Tiano via AOL Instant Messenger. After an hour of sending emoticons back and forth I broke the silence with a question...
ScenePointBlank: What's your name and what do you do in Final Fight?
David Tiano: My name is David and I do the yelling.
ScenePointBlank: When did Final Fight start and how did it begin?
David Tiano: Final Fight started in August of 2003. Three of us were hanging out at a friend's house late one night, and I was complaining about how the band I was trying to get going wasn't working because the people were lazy and unmotivated. Then Russ (who just left the band) mentioned he would be down to start a band with me that we would take seriously. Shaun and Nick were there that night and they said they would be down to handle the guitar duties. After a month of writing and stuff we got James to play drums and released a demo shortly after that.
ScenePointBlank: The demo was actually what got me into you guys. How'd you get hooked up with Straight On Records?
David Tiano: Haha, we all actually hate the demo now. We had always been friends of Straight On Records. We always played with bands on the label and even the bands that Derek (the main dude from Straight On) was in. He actually didn't like our demo at all, and recently became happy with our progression and how hard we worked. So he decided he would put out our full length. It's good working with somebody that you already know because I don't feel awkward or uncomfortable calling him up to talk about stuff, or mostly to complain to him or hear him complain to me.
ScenePointBlank: Where did you record Under Attack?
David Tiano: We recorded it with Rollie Ulug. He doesn't really have a name for his studio so we got to name it whatever we wanted on the 7" and on Under Attack. I think we bummed him out with recording our full length and now he taking some time off from recording to gain back his sanity (thanks for everything Rollie).
ScenePointBlank: How'd you bum him out?
David Tiano: We were really picky and took our time recording. It took Shaun forever to record his guitar solo in "Shifting The Center," and I recorded "When Words Go Unchallenged" four times until I got it to sound how I wanted. We were also really particular with the mixing and how everything sounded. This was the first recording where we really put everything we had into it, so when it came time to mix and master we made him go back a couple of times until we had it perfect. He worked really hard to make it sound good and it shows. I think the sound came out really good thanks to Rollie. Everyone should check out his band Nuns With Guns. They are amazing!
ScenePointBlank: In the older Final Fight songs your voice was different than how it sounds on Under Attack; what created the change?
David Tiano: I didn't like how I sounded on the 7" and demo. I thought I could sound better and I wanted to. So after the 7" came out I just started working on trying to get my voice better. I'm very happy with how it came out on Under Attack and I think I sound the best on this record. I pushed myself really hard put a lot of time time into doing the vocals. I think it shows.
ScenePointBlank: Lyrically, what song off of Under Attack is most meaningful to you?
David Tiano: That's a tough question. Some songs stand out more than others but I don't think I can really pick one. I also get into little phases where certain songs mean more to me depending on what's going on in my life at the time, but they all mean a lot to me and are important to me. So they all mean a lot, I couldn't name only one. I know it's a terrible answer but it's true.
ScenePointBlank: What influences your song writing?
David Tiano: I usually don't just write songs because I have to or because we have a song that needs lyrics. I usually feel inspired to say something or to express myslef from something I experienced or something that has happened to me. It can be anything, but usually the main thing is that something will frustrate me to the point where I need to write it down to feel better.
ScenePointBlank: Favorite character from Final Fight?
David Tiano: I didn't play it enough to be able to provide an educated or valid enough answer. Sorryyyy, haha.
ScenePointBlank: Do you have beef with Double Dragon?
David Tiano: I love that game. I used to be so into it back in the day. What happened to video games? They all suck now and the systems that come out suck. The games are way to complicated and involve way too much thinking. We should form a group to try to persuade Nintendo to remake the original Nintendo and remake the games. That system is the greatest gaming system ever made. The only way I will accept a conflicting opinion is if you think Super Nintendo is the best system. Fuck these new systems.
ScenePointBlank: What attracts you to hardcore?
David Tiano: The honesty and the people involved in it. It's a great thing to be involved with, when you can go on tour and people will just open their houses up to so you have a nice place to sleep. It just amazes me every time people do it for us and it will continue to forever. It's just a magical thing that people help out each other and every one is giving and taking at the same time. It's almost like this small underground utopia that I wish more people could experience. If hardcore kids ran the world, it would be a much better place to live.
ScenePointBlank: What repels you from hardcore?
David Tiano: Sometimes I feel like a lot of bands are doing the same thing musically and lyrically. I might not be one to talk, but sometimes I feel like I'm hearing the same stuff over and over. True originality is hard to come by, and those bands get recognized right away.
ScenePointBlank: What's your favorite city and venue to play?
David Tiano: My favorite city will have to be Ventura. I have so much fun every time I play there. Second favorite city has to be San Pedro. I have one venue that I love playing, which is the Loft in Ventura. It's only because the stage has this nice soft carpet on it. I play barefoot on it every time. So I guess Ventura takes the cake in every way, huh? I can't really think of a venue I actually get excited to play at besides the Loft, so yeah.
ScenePointBlank: You guys have played many covers, what was your favorite?
David Tiano: Yeah, sometimes our covers are why people get excited to see us, so we keep getting new ones so we don't become known for our covers. We also made a point to play at least one cover at every show because I like it when bands play covers, so we should have some too. My favorite is "basket case" by green day for sure. It's really fun to play and every one seems to have fun when we play it.
David Tiano: I can't put the bands in order since they are of different genres, it's too hard to compare. But here we go: Nirvana, Earth Crisis, Straight Faced, Green Day, and Gin Blossoms.
ScenePointBlank: The LA Dodgers or The Giants?
David Tiano: Dodgers. Fuck the Giants. The best baseball game I ever went was a few years a go. The Giants were at Dodger Stadium and it was a Friday night sold out game. I was sitting up high behind home plate and I could just look out to the pavilion and see fights breaking out every ten minutes. Then I see some dude sitting a few seats over from me throw a paper airplane. It hits this beefy angry drunkard in the back of the head. He looks at some other drunkard, who didn't throw the plane, and was like â??what's up?â? like he's ready to fight. The guy didn't even throw the plane gave him the finger. Then a fight broke out. Then drunk people noticed a fight was going on, and they just jumped in to fight. It was a good eight person brawl. Best fight ever and I got tons of beer on me. Oh yeah...fuck the Giants. The Dodgers' fans won the fight, or whoever threw the airplane. Good times!
ScenePointBlank: If Barry Bonds was in front of you, what would you say to him?
David Tiano: I've actually thought about this before. I would hope I could form some type of logical sentence, but I would probably just say "Fuck you!" It's funny that you ask that because he is on my list of people that if I ever get the chance to meet, I'll do my best to punch them. I wonder what kind of trouble I would get in for that...I usually think I can out run most people, but I don't know if I could outrun the dude. Oh well, I'd punch him still.
ScenePointBlank: Favorite/Most wild Final Fight set?
David Tiano: Damn, we have had some fun shows. There was a show we did where we all wore tighty whiteys, that was pretty embarrassing. The Friends Fest set from 2005 might be my favorite; we covered "the Decline" by NOFX and then played for like 12 minutes after. It was so much fun to play more NOFX than Final Fight. Our Kansas City show on tour this summer was really good; it was so amazing that people actually knew who we were on our tour. We have had so many awesome shows I could go on forever, but those three stick out in my head right now.
ScenePointBlank: Have you dudes started working on new material yet? If so, what can we expect?
David Tiano: We actually have been pretty busy with getting the CD out and touring this summer. But we did barely start to write some new stuff. So it's too early to say what the new stuff is going to sound like, but we are going to keep it melodic and honest. We haven't written enough to where I can give an accurate foreshadowing of the new material.
ScenePointBlank: How was Sink With Cali? I heard you guys did a tribute?
David Tiano: Sink With Cali was so awesome this year. I remember thinking at last year's sink that no other Sink With Cali would be as good. But this year was so much fun. It was huge this year too. Last year I think there were 250 tickets sold and this year there was about 230 tickets sold pre-sale before the pre-show even started. I don't know how many came total but I couldn't tell it was huge just compared to the other years. We did do a little tribute. Our good friends Make Move played a show back in March and they said they were going to take a few months off to write and play with a new drummer. It turned out that they just ended up calling it quits. I was pretty upset about this because we did our first tour with them and I considered them good friends. Their music and lyrics were something that was new and were very eye opening to me. We all felt like make move needed to play a last show, but they weren't going to. So what we did is we covered one of their songs at Sink With Cali as a tribute to them. Not all of them were there for it, but the ones who were there we happy we did it. Make Move was a great band and deserves a listen and read.
ScenePointBlank: What have you been listening to lately?
David Tiano: Well I was on tour last moth so I didn't get to much choice in what I listened to but I have been listening to the Dangers, Jimmy Eat World, Fall Out Boy, Against Me!, and the Abominable Iron Sloth. Those bands have been getting lots of plays on my iPod.
ScenePointBlank: Any local bands that people should check out?
David Tiano: There are a lot of local bands in our area that are awesome and all have different styles of music. Of course 7 Generations, but most people already know about this band. Check out Nuns With Guns (I think they sound like old BTBAM mixed with Turmoil), New Direction (some quality hardcore), and We Think In Centuries (just weird shit). Those three bands are local and don't get out there too much, but are very worthy of being checked out.
ScenePointBlank: Any last words?
David Tiano: Pro anal, anti christ...thanks for the interview!
Final Fight website
Interview and Pictures by Zed
Graphics by Matt