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Actually, the only truthful information we could dig up is that after a decade, Axl Rose still isn't done with his concept album Chinese Democracy. But we were finally able to confirm the underlying concept: bipolar disorder. Andrew Marcus F-Troop
The Rock 'n' Roll Soldiersare about to release their debut, So Many Musicians to Kill, after struggling through nine years together. Thing is, they're barely in their 20s. The Eugene, Oregon, rockers formed in seventh grade, named their band after a tour by legendary Australian punk rockers Radio Birdman, and spent their high school years learning how to play their instruments. The result: greasy, '70s-era garage punk that would make the Stooges proud. Scarf-wearing, Jagger-strutting frontman Marty Larson-Xu divulges the Soldiers' manifesto.
Outtakes: You guys have known each other since first grade. Did you always have the same musical tastes? Larson-Xu: Oh, yeah. We started out listening to stuff like Nirvana. Actually, we started off with L.L. Cool J in second grade. But then we moved on to Nirvana and then classic garage-punk stuff, like all these crazy Japanese and Australian bands like Radio Birdman. We'd draw the Radio Birdman symbol all over our clothes, so people thought we were Nazis.
Were the Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers everyone's favorite local band back in Eugene?
Pfft. We had this reputation as weird kids who thought they had a band but in reality were just terrible. We couldn't even play our instruments. We'd play shows around town, but it wasn't so much about the music. It was more just about crazy partying and the weird shit we could think about doing onstage. We just wanted to have the craziest time we could for 30 minutes before we got offstage.
What's the opinion these days?
Now that we're signed to a major label, people assume we have to be good.
Atlantic Records asked you to change your name. How'd that go over?
Sometimes people think we take ourselves a lot more seriously than we really do. They just don't understand the name is something we came up with in seventh grade, like, "Yeah, Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers, yeah!" We just stuck with it. It's not supposed to be some serious thing, but people don't understand that. So we wrote a theme song ["Anthem"], which is basically like a Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers fuck you.
What are you fighting for?
It doesn't really feel like we're fighting for anything. Um... I guess we're fighting for rock. But if you listen to our lyrics, you'll see they're all tongue-in-cheek "We're out there to destroy all the rest of the music" type of stuff. We really just want to play the music we love and rock out. Cole Haddon Rock 'n' Roll Soldiers play with Less Than Jake, Damone, and a Wilhelm Scream at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 3, at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $17. Call 954-564-1074.