weekly updated blog for Oi! – punk – ska – reggae
Recently i picked up the Oi! The Texas compilation and apart from a few bands i already knew, the CD also contained a few bands which were unknown to me. One of these hidden treasures are No Resistance from Houston, Texas who play oldfashioned Oi! and punk music influenced by English oldies as Slade and The Crack as well as American classics like the early Misfits or present day bands like S.S.S.P. and The Templars. All questions were answered by Scott (bass & vocals).
October 2013 – band website
Can you please introduce the band to us?
No Resistance is Chad (drums), Nibu (guitar), Mike (guitar) and Scott (vocals and bass).
Most punk bands, be it left or right, like to use their band as a method to express their discontent and anger about government and society. Within this tradition your band name sounds unusual. Why did you pick up this band name?
There’s actually a two-fold reason for the band name. For one thing, we all tend to scoff at conspiracy theories a bit. There’s always been an us and a them… and always will be. You can either spend all of your time holding up signs and patting yourself on the back for reposting some revolutionary meme on Facebook… or you can pull up your big girl panties, get to work and do what you need to do. You know?
We DO sing about our discontent with the way things are as well as about personal relationships and life experience. But it’s tiring to see and hear so many people use vague, misinformed ideas like ‘the Illuminati’ (secret societies) or other real or imagined groups as an excuse to bitch and moan and not just take care of their own shit.
The other reason was because when we first started the band we thought a lot of our early songs sounded like the Misfits. So their old song Children In Heat gave us an idea.
When I think of Texas I think of country and chili and honestly most American bands I know hail from California or places like Boston and New York. Do i have a blind spot for Texas?
Haha! I don’t know very much country, and i’m a vegetarian so I’m no chili expert. But you may, in fact, have a blind spot with regard to Texas. Aside from all of the absolutely legendary blues and soul that originated here, the very first non-Jamaican to record reggae in Kingston was Houston’s own Johnny Nash. All of Robert Johnson’s recordings were done in Texas…Lightin’ Hopkins, Gatemouth Brown, Blind Lemon Jefferson, etc. The list is endless.
As for punk rock and hardcore, you’ve got the Butthole Surfers, MDC, Really Red, DRI, The Dicks, the Big Boys, Verbal Abuse, Tread, End Result, The Hates, The Suspects…and a whole slew of current Oi!, and punk bands like The Stand Alones, Roots of Exile, The Broadsiders, Dog Company, The Booked, Brewtality, Inc., Concrete and so many other good bands I’m probably forgetting at the moment.
Although some of America’s biggest cities are located in Texas, this state is compared to the east and west coast of the USA sparsely populated. Do you think the smaller amount of people makes the scene more tighter and stronger?
I’m originally from New York and grew up in that scene but I’ve been in Houston for twelve years now. Long enough to have honestly observed that it’s not a question of sparse population, but of personality and individuality. It really is. In my experience people in the scene here aren’t trying to be seen or prop themselves up as some sort of characters.
I can only really speak for Houston, but it IS really tight and strong here. People tend to be themselves and friendships and unity are based on people being real and not because so-and-so is in this band or that band. Most of the friends I hang out with at shows are the same people at my house for holidays or the same people we’re all at each other’s weddings or parties with. You don’t find a lot of rock star mentality here in Houston. What you DO find is that the people you’re hanging out with at shows or soccer games are the same people offering to help you move or going to bat for you when shit gets rough. It’s really close knit. And I think that´s everything to do with the people and less to do with geography or population numbers.
I once heard a story about free healthcare in Texas for musicians. Is this true or just a myth?
Man, if that’s true they’ve been keeping it a secret! Just like everyone else in this country our healthcare insurance is lobbed off of our paychecks in huge chunks.
This year you released your second album Vade Retro Satana. What else did you release so far?
Our first album was called Gentlemen Prefer Bombs. After that we did a split 7″ with S.S.S.P. (Skinheads Still Scare People). Both of those were released on Koi Records. We have songs out on a few comps as well, including a Will Play For Food charity compilation and the recent Oi! The Texas compilation.
The name Vade Retro Satana sounds old-Latin. What does the title mean and why did you choose this title?
It is. Vade Retro Satana literally means “Get behind me, Satan!”. We aren’t really using it in the religious sense, but as a prose device. A lot of the songs on the new record deal with certain subculture types who try their best to have you believe that they’re Mr. Old School, people who make boastful claims based on their own revisionist history and also kids who have convinced themselves that newer is always better. The album title is a way of saying, “Get the fuck outta here… go run that noise somewhere else”.
Judging by your music you’re mainly influenced by older English bands like Slade, The Crack, etc. Is this the music you grew up to?
The first Oi! i was ever exposed to, and where my love of Oi came from, was the original Oi! compilations from back in the early 80iess. In America, Oi! quickly became defined (and limited) by specific chord changes and very specific lyrical boundaries. Much in the same way that skinhead evolved and became it’s own animal over here.
But if you grew up listening to Oi! the Album, Strength Thru Oi!, Carry On Oi!, etc. you never heard two bands that sounded or looked the same. Not every single song was about footwear or street fights. The 4 Skins didn’t sound like the Cockney Rejects… neither of them sounded like the Toy Dolls or Splodge and none of the aforementioned sounded like Cock Sparrer or The Partisans. I mean, Hoxton Tom (4 Skins) was an obsessed Northern Soul head and they had a rockabilly guitarist!
Oi! wasn’t defined by a set of strict rules on which number crop you’re supposed to have or whether or not everyone in your band photo had a Fred Perry and bleached Levi’s on. You could hear The Business do a Crass cover and everyone was into it… But if you had an Oi! band do that today people would be likely to make derogatory comments and call it something else or claim that they weren’t really an Oi! band because they don’t have enough songs about beer, you know?
So yeah, musically we’re obviously influenced by Slade and some other 70iess stuff, but just as much by early American punk rock and the old, original Oi!. I think people have either forgotten or overlooked how diverse and multifaceted so many of the old bands were. I mean, listen to Criminal Class on Strength Thru Oi! or the organ on the 4 Skins’ 1984 album, and then Cock Sparrer’s Running Riot. They all sound like entirely different genres of music, but they’re all GREAT and all Oi!.
I didn’t really know The Crack until my drummer introduced me to them. I’d only heard a song or two as it was difficult to get your hands on their stuff over here for a while. So I was a late comer in realizing how Slade influenced they were, too.
Do you have any closing comments?
Yeah… Hey, Oi! bands, skinhead bands… it’s ok to have songs that aren’t about boots and beer, guys. I think we’ve all gotten that part. We all have similar life experiences, work experiences, scene experiences and whatnot… it’s ok to sing about what you know and what you do. I’m sure many of us will relate and sing along just like we do when you’re singing about the shirts we all like.
As for future plans, we’re going to be doing some new recordings soon. In particular we’ve got a cover we’re planning on recording and a new song that picks up where Vade Retro Satana left off. After that we’ll start working on the next record. We’re also really looking forward to hitting the road for another Rolling Texas Oi! Fest. Last year’s with Forced Reality, Broken Heroes, The Broadsiders, The Booked, The Stand Alones, Conflikto, Concrete and Roots of Exile was the best time we’ve ever had as a band. It was a caravan of great bands and great friends and the sort of fun that justifies this whole thing being something you keep doing until you’re physically unable.