The screamo and metalcore music loved by kids with backwards haircuts and girls' jeans didn't invent itself: a big chunk of that credit goes to Orange County's Death By Stereo, who roared out of North Orange County in the late '90s with a blend of hardcore aggression and speed, metal guitar tones, and Efrem Schulz's schizophrenic sing/scream vocal style. Singer/font-of-enthusiasm Schulz holds forth on OC life and getting into girls' pants.
Who are your favorite local bands or musicians you don't know personally?
A blues guitar player, Eric Sardinas---that guy rips. I love that guy. Another guy I really like is Phil Shane. I love going to see Phil Shane. He's in Fullerton---where I live---like every week.
Have a favorite older North OC record?
I have to go with the Adolescents, the blue one. That record is fucking awesome.
Have a newer one?
A hardcore band called Adamantium had a record called From the Depths of Depression. They were fucking awesome. I tell anyone I can---the whole hardcore explosion, metalcore, whatever they call it---wouldn't have happened like it did without Adamantium. So many people don't know that. Every hardcore band that's on tour right now takes so much from them.
What should you have done to sell more records to metalcore kids?
There's a saying going around right now that applies to a lot of those newer bands: "You can't get in a girl's pants these days unless you get into girls' pants." Maybe if we wore girls' pants and we were cute . . .
Any recent tour experiences ?worth mentioning?
We've done a lot of metal tours recently. We got to Tempe, Arizona, and there are 2,000 people in this room, and this guy in the front's like, "Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck you!" So he hucks a full water bottle and nails our drummer in the face. I just cracked. I was like, "I'd rather be remembered and hated by all these people than just forgotten." So I grabbed the water bottle and dove down to the barrier and whaled the dude in the face with it. Next thing, all his friends were looking for stuff to throw. It kept multiplying. I was like, "Fuck all of you. I'm not getting off the stage until everyone in this room hates me." Imagine 2,000 people booing while being showered with bottles and trash. We started laughing. The song ends, and I'm like, "Okay, we've got six more!" In seven years nothing like that has ever happened. I love hecklers. It's one of my favorite things on the planet. But never in seven years have I been booed off a stage.
by REX REASON