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Interview: The Pietasters (w/ Steve Jackson)

Aural States- In a few sentences, could you give your view on the state of the genre of ska in the US. How do you feel it’s going and where do you think it’s heading.

Steve Jackson- Oh, I’m way more encouraged about it now than I was in 2001 or 2002. We started this because we enjoy playing the music we play and we listened to the Specials, Bad Manners and the Bosstones along with punk rock and soul music mixed all together.

We just happened to be in a place where marketers decided they were going to sell on ska. Then you had every kid who played horn in a high school band starting a ska band. As far as we were concerned, that wasn’t a really great time because while it was nice for us and there was a lot of opportunity, it was watering down the music and what it meant to us.

And now it’s nice that when we play with bands now…you know, the Slackers are still out there doing their thing and one of the best bands out there. Westbound Train from Boston, a more traditional, rocksteady type of outfit…there are a few bands from NJ who we play with, Steadfast United are kind of a jam, mod take on things.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s in a much better place right now. We’re back to people playing the music because they enjoyed it or feel some connection to it as opposed to just hearing it on the radio and playing it. Sorry for rambling, I think that wasn’t really two sentences *laughs* Read the rest…