You know, I had a long eloquent introduction all ready to go, but I've decided to write this as I feel it. Sometimes, in your life you get a chance to speak with an individual who has an innate ability to open your eyes with few words, John Joseph McGowan is one of these types of people. Usually with interviews, you call in and get right into it, John asked his own questions at first, not those which you might expect from an artist asking about the site and such, but about me, and I told him of my current situation, of feeling a bit like a fish out of water, explaining to him I was stateside for the first time in a couple of decades and the reason why...I've been feeling like a stranger in my own land, alone and fearful for the future...my close friends know what I'm going through and it is not at all easy; John however, gave words of encouragement which hit home, making me feel that my decision is the right one and as our conversation progressed, there was an unsaid reassurance in his voice and story, a reassurance that life does change and that if you're diligent enough, if you're hungry enough, your future will be as bright as you want it to be.
We spoke of everything from him competing in the recent Iron Man Triathlon in New York City to becoming aware of the world around us; it had to have been one, if not the most, enjoyable conversations I've ever had with a musician...but John is far beyond that, he's an athlete, writer, and a teacher; someone who everyone can see a little bit of themselves in...for me it was talking to someone who only has his creativity and will to make this world what he wants it to be, like myself...for you, you may see the person who wants to occupy a little piece of the public square of your home town to draw attention to the ills of this world...to someone else they may see the man who adheres to a philosophy and diet which will make him excel both athletically and spiritually and even another may see their radical history professor from college who taught you something which isn't in the history books; maybe you should take a walk with him one day...
ThrashHead: It's absolutely astounding your life story; where you started and where you ended up...you recently participated in an Iron Man event there in New York City and last year you had been talking about training with Ryp Esselstyn, Lance Armstrongs former training...
John: I'm still training, actually Ryp trained Lance in the pool to get him ready which he just won a 70.3, a half Iron Man before he banned him...so, I didn't get a chance to train with him, but I picked Ryp's brain on swimming but I didn't get a chance to get down to Austin to train with him because I am so busy with everything, I basically trained on my own, got in some sessions...
ThrashHead: How did it go though, just a few days before the race a sewage line blew just 15 miles north in the Hudson River, it leaked like 3.4 tons of sewage and then they dump chlorine onto it...how did it go...I heard it was postponed
John: Here's the thing man, you prepare yourself, I mean, there are professional triathlon athletes who get paid to train, I am not one of those, I have respect for every single one of those, but I have a lot more respect for those dudes who maintain their jobs and family who, on top of that, train to get out there onto the starting line to do an Iron Man.
It was touch and go, because the swim was canceled until eleven p.m. the night before until they gave the OK, everybody was just down in the dumps, I am participating in the Iron Man, not a duathalon which is biking and a run and I trained very hard, three months out there in Rockaway, I didn't do a single day in the pool, all my swimming was in the ocean fighting waves and rip tides because that's all I had access to. So, you get ready to do this whole thing and then it's touch and go...finally you get the word and I had a show Friday night in Philly, so the last minute they were putting my bike with all my stuff onto the ferry , still I had to do it not knowing if the swim is on or whatever, I had to just say "fuck it" I prepared myself for this. I was pissed off, saying that if it's just a bike and a run, I am just grabbing my shit Saturday and saying fuck it.
ThrashHead: You invested a lot of time and energy to it. So you did the event and finished...
John: Yeah, I played a show the night before, which I didn't get one minute of sleep, I did some deep breathing and exercises for about thirty minutes when I got home...we did This Is Hardcore this year so it was like three thousand motherfuckers trying to beat you up on stage, no barricades, all out...you know how the Cro-Mags play, I didn't take it easy or nothin'. I got back, took a shower, went to the ferry to the starting line and...plus, I have a stress fracture in my foot that happened in Australia and it was bothering me, but you just gotta block that out, my goal was to do it and I finished, I had a great time in the process. It's something I am going to keep doing, I am going to try and qualify for Kona so we'll try to get in...as you said, I think my story growing up homeless, going to jail, addicted to drugs and all the other stuff then turning around and doing Iron Man, writing books and all this other stuff will hopefully be something which they think may be inspiring to people who are overcoming obstacles to do an Iron Man; you know, it's the ultimate test of mind over matter, you have to find something outside of yourself and within yourself at the same time to push past that and when you are out there on the course and you see double amputees, paraplegics, the blind, you know, challenged athletes, doing this stuff, it just inspires you, it's such an inspiring, emotional high, it was up there as one of the top experiences of my life, pushing myself up to that point.
ThrashHead: It had to be, just by you finishing, just by being there and being able to do something so grueling in of itself is a triumph. Even if you came in absolutely last place, it doesn't matter, just being able to do that which very few people can do is amazing.
When you finished the whole thing, standing there at the finish line, did have a moment, perhaps a moment which bordered on the spiritual, could sense the timeline of your life bringing you to that moment, did you feel wonderment in the fact there you were having to survive some seriously harrowing experiences to be there standing at the finish line of such a physically intense event?
John: Well, you think about different stuff when you are racing, actually the first thought I had when I crossed the finish line was "alright, when is the next one"! (Laughs) Because, it's like, you just get the Iron Man bug, you get that bug...you know what I really like is that I'm a goal orientated person; OK, I am going to write this book, I am going to do this, I am going to do Iron Man, I am going to finish my book...it's important to me to have goals and set out to do my damndest to achieve it. You have to be goal orientated you know, I am going to chant two hours today, I am going to yoga, I am going to cut out all this crap food I am eating, I am not going to get high...you have to set goals, and you have to try to achieve them. You have to work hard at it...if it was easy everyone would be doing it!
You know, my writing teacher Robert McKee said an amazing thing; he said to me personally, "the value of anything is in proportion to the risk, the greater the risk, the greater the value", it's things of great value...you have to risk something in order to get it.
ThrashHead: You have to give it your all to achieve your goals.
John: It don't come cheap, it don't come easy like the song says, you have to be a motivated individual, and that's what it takes; I set goals to do something and if it's in my power, sometimes it's out of your power, it takes other individuals involved to help...I've had a lot of help and love from a lot of people, my trainer Aaron, my coach Orion Mims who did the race with me, showed me all the ins and outs, all my people working at Sid's Bikes, so much positive mental... PMA man from so many different people; that's what does it. We inspire each other, there are so many people who inspire me...I just do what I do if it inspires the next man in line, then you just got keep doing that...it becomes a fire that catches on,...it's like if people can touch a person and affect the lives of others and it slowly keeps happening, I am convinced this world would become a better place.
ThrashHead: Absolutely, speaking about being inspirational and touching other people's lives, let's talk about your books. 2007's "The Evolution of a Cro-Magnon" and recently "Meat Is For Pussies" is really making waves out there...let's talk about Evolution first, the Village Voice for example just found it enthralling at the same time it horrified them, your tales from the darker times, tell me...
John: Yeah, let's not get it twisted, when the book came out, let me tell you how that Village Voice thing went down because that's when those fake memoirs came out..what was the other guy? He said he was in jail, I forget what the hell the name of his...a million broken pieces I think, (Note: the book he refers to is A Million Little Pieces by James Frey) then this other chick did this book about being in gangs...so the first thing this dude does when I sat down with him was to slide my book across the table and say "Dude, come on", I said "What do you mean come on?" he replied "There's no way the stories in this book can be true"...then when he found out that it was true after I gave him sources to check out, that's when I got the cover of the voice...it's just such a crazy story, but it's a story that you can't make up.
ThrashHead: So, they found your story, simply because it was so fantastic...the problem I think may have been is that some of what you talk about in the book may have made them amazed that you are even here, still kicking, and not only are you sitting there across the table, you're in the condition that you are.
What motivated you to put your story to paper, was it a cathartic experience?
John: Ahhh, Honestly man, I had my writing partner, Priscilla Summer, and we were working on scripts and on one script in particular I was using a lot of my childhood stuff as inspiration, I talk about it in the book, things had happened to me as a kid, I was embarrassed to talk about it, whatever, that's why I just never talked about it...it was deep, secret shit that these motherfuckers were doing to us in this home. Also, I was dating her too and we fell in love and it couldn't have happened unless that happened because I opened up to her. When she learned about the whole deal, the Cro-Mags, what I went through with the drug addiction and everything else, she told me "this is a fascinating story, you should do a book about this". At first, I was like "man, I don't know, I'd rather just like to get the stories in the scripts" she ended up moving to Australia to be in a play and the last thing she did was to leave a note on my wall in the backroom where I write; the next morning after she left and I went back there, she had taped a note to the wall which said "Get this story out there" and that was the last thing. Because we took off about three or four months from writing the script, I had nothing to do and I just started writing and the first words I wrote were about the last memory I had of my father and then the whole fucking story just poured out from there. There were moments, which seriously...I am not one of these Emo dudes who break down, you know, wear my heart on my sleeve, there were moments when I sat there and just had emotional breakdowns sitting there at my computer going through all this stuff, remembering it all...and then never telling my brothers that I was writing a book, but still hanging out with them talking about times "remember when...?" or they would remind me of other times "how about, when...?"...I never told them, never told my mother, that I was writing this book...nothing. The story manifested from there, it took me four or five years...I just kept writing to finish the book between touring and everything else.
Yeah, it was cathartic because it helped me...I think that's why there was emotion on every page, emotion which ran the gamut from comedy to everything else, that's why when you put that into your art people are going to feel that. That's why I think the book had an impact because people could relate. A lot of shit happens to a lot of people, but having the courage to talk about it, and that's what I had to develop...the book enabled me to do that, to get courageous about admitting about what happened, not because I was looking for sympathy, I never wanted attention about that, or else I would have been telling everybody about it...there were times when it came to the abuse and I wanted to just skip over it like twenty times, but I kept going over the rewrites and realized it's not really the whole story. I had a breakthrough when I spoke to my writing teacher at a seminar, he was like "it's not about the abuse, it's about what you do as a result of it" and all this other stuff...all this magical stuff was happening at the same time I was writing the book so it was a spiritually cleansing process.
ThrashHead: The moment it was finally in print, there must have been a massive sense of relief from getting those moments out, away from you, put them in the past.
John: Yeah, well it's never in the past, it's at least you confronted it; at least dealing with it, I think that's one of the reasons I did fall victim to the drugs and stuff like that...and now I am writing this book, even book with food issues, that's a drug, and now I am writing a book on health and nutrition, you now like this thing with men binge eating, people using food to replace...there's something going on, there's a lot of shit people are pushing to the backburner, you need to bring it to the forefront, you need to confront your demons...and that's what I did. I even went back to the house and confronted those people when the book came out and just told them basically "You didn't win, you tried to fuck my life up, but you didn't accomplish it".
ThrashHead: Wow. (I pause to reflect on what I just heard,) You've adhered to a vegan lifestyle for thirty years now, you were introduced to it by the Bad Brains at Jay Dublee's store/recording studio?
John: Well, I started off vegetarian and raw because of Jay Dublee...I was eating a lot of raw food, I mean living in the Krishna temple, they do dairy, never any eggs or anything with rimidine in it or shit like that...I had just to go completely...I do 80, 20...I do about 80% raw and 20% whole foods, plant based...I like my oatmeal, quinoa...whatever. I have been doing this for a long time...the information is getting out there with all these people getting sick, it's the way they are manipulating the food supply. If you have the knowledge, you have to get it out there; I have been blessed to have had so many amazing people come into my life and give me knowledge. It's my duty to pass that onto other people; I am not a genius, the genius' are the Fred Biscis and Dr. Campbells who did the China study and Dr. Edelsteins, these raw food people who have discovered all this stuff...I was fortunate to meet these people and give the knowledge to those standing in line.
ThrashHead: The knowledge you're sharing is in your latest book "meat is for Pussies".
Taking a sidetrack here, but I've heard a lot of folks giving the title a lot of flak, but I actually find the title to be a bit ingenious in the sense that it's turning the tables on the uninformed, ignorant folks who drink their aspartame poisoned drinks and eat their poisoned food and say a vegan diet is for tree-hugging hippies, "Ah that guy is a pussy, he's a vegan" but essentially you're saying, you know, you gotta be just as tough, maybe even tougher to adhere to these things...this is a guideline of transformation for everyone to have access to.
John: Let me say first of all, I've been doing this way back, when it was being more ridiculed, imagine the 80's trying to do this....now, you got all these stud motherfuckers in the NFL, Baseball, MMA fighters, they are all going plant based, they are all going plant based because the science is there. Go see "Forks Over Knives", go read any of these books, the China Study and everything else, even slick dick Willie, Bill Clinton man, went fuckin' vegan to heal his heart...he changed to.
The title of the book what it's really saying is that if you really want to live this lifestyle of poisonous food and doing all this stuff, you're going to become a pussy dependent upon the big pharmaceutical companies to keep your ass alive. If that's what you want, then put the fucking book back away with your bad self and let it happen. But that's not what a lot of people want and the information and knowledge is out there, it's just a matter of you coming in contact with it and you applying it to your life.
That's the way, I worked with my publisher, whose my good friend...he actually came up with the title because some fucking meat Neanderthal overheard me talking with my friend, who was getting ready to have a fight (match), me telling him "you need to do this, you need to do that" so he used the word, plant faced vegan or whatever, trying to shit all over it (advice), and I was like "dude, give me a fuckin' break" so I sat there droppin' science on him for fifteen minutes. At first, "Yeah bitch, vegetarians are fucking pussies" and I was like "well, why don't we have little contest here to see how true that really is, I've been doing this for over thirty years" and then he was "oh shit, reeeally?", and it was like, my business partner Todd, Todd Irwin, said "You gotta throw it back into their face man, they are all saying that vegans are wimps, throw it back into their face, meat is for pussies!". The light came on; yeah it's controversial, I had militant vegan lesbians attacking me for the title of the book, but I didn't give a shit, it was a book for men, it had nothing to do with them, so they should just keep their mouths shut, because the thing is how many people did it help? I've gotten thousands of emails from people who have been changed for the better, so do you think I give a fuck about what someone who is miserable has to say about it? They did the same thing to Rory Freedman who did "Skinny Bitch" they are all just barking dogs, the dogs may bark but the caravan must go on...that's the way I look at it. (chuckles)
ThrashHead: The thing is, the term "pussy" has become, like "dick", a part of our lexicon where it's not sexist it's just saying that you're being a wimp and is derogatory toward men not women...
John: Right, if I call you a "dick" am I calling you a penis?
If I call you "pussy", it's like yeah, man you're a wimp. I have had to deal even with dudes who were trying to get laid saying "you misogynist..." and I'm like, shut the fuck up, you're not gettin' laid no matter how much you kiss up to women's rights...just shut up.
I even don't pay that no mind, all these vegan girls, they are so fucking down with it, the real ones who are down with the cause, the animals, saving people's health, fucking love the title...they would be like "Yo, dude, I got this blog, where this idiot meathead is making all these comments why not pipe in?" and I'd end up having this whole debate with this guy and the next thing you know he'd drop out of the thread because you can't argue with the science you know.
ThrashHead: You mentioned Todd Irwin being your business partner, is that partner in that natural foods company you were going to launch?
John: Well, yeah, that's something which is going to happen down the road, we have a lot of plans...he had a lot of other businesses, he was in the graphic design business but took a big hit, lost a couple major clients, I am not going to name names, but important clients went out of business and they burned him for a very large amount of money, when they went under, that they owed him...so it's delayed a bit, eventually, we'll get back to it.
ThrashHead: It something I would like to see, because something which has blown my mind, from living in Mexico for twenty years, almost my entire adult life, they are still on an agrarian system totally different than that of the United States, at least that was until the big box retailers moved in with centralized distributions, the indigenous people and local people would come down with their crops to the local market; when you bought a papaya you could rest assured that it was picked that day or the day before, avocadoes, everything was completely accessible, all the processed food was considered to be luxury items and people would eat those to make themselves feel more affluent like a gringo. Our daily consumption was stuff that came straight from the fields, I am now finding that fruits and vegetables in the U.S., unlike when I was a kid in the States when those things were inexpensive, are the "luxury items" here, they call them "super foods" when in reality, that should be the food, not super foods, that should be the shit which should be on our plates every fucking night, but if you're not making a shitload of money, you're buying hamburger helper, you're buying this processed crap which is pure poison, it's really good people like you are talking to people that more or less may not have access to the truth.
Technology is making it easier for people to share ideas and participate in causes, but so many people are so in denial about the insidious realities all around us, I mean, the Kardashians become superstars while the world bleeds under the poisoning of our water supplies by fracking and our children eat frankenfoods created by using viruses to inject genetic material into fruits and vegetables, genetically modifying them into monstrosities that cannot produce seeds which, in turn, renders the companies which spawned them like Monsanto masters of our food supply.
John: It's getting fucking nuts and if people don't start standing up... I come from punk rock, you question shit, you find out the truth and you tell the next motherfucker in line, that's what it's all about. It's all about the global elite trying to gain control of the resources of the planet, that's why they are spraying chemtrails, the geo-engineering programs and everything else. Now, maybe someone wants to say that it's just a "conspiracy theory", that's fine, you may want to keep your head stuck in the sand buddy, but I have news for you...why did Monsanto patent aluminum resistant seeds which can withstand what is being sprayed and preventing organic seeds from growing? You see the future of the feed, you watch these documentaries and you take your head outta your ass and start paying attention to what's going on around you; I'm thirty some years aware of these issues, I've seen what's been going on, this is not some conspiracy theory, we're in the middle east doing shit, going around saying those without a central banking system are terrorists because of what these global elite are trying to accomplish, and anyone in disagreement with that is a terrorist or harboring terrorists...it's all bullshit.
ThrashHead: I recently interviewed Michael Murphy who did the chemtrail documentary. (Note: this will be transcribed soon, the interview was conducted not long after a personal family medical crisis a few months ago and I haven't had the time to return to it.)
John: Yeah, I want to interview him as well, I reached out to him and got his number, he's got that new documentary coming out too "Why in the World are They Spraying"
John: He's one of the dudes I'm interviewing for the new book, I mean look at all these droughts, this is no joke, everyone has to wake the fuck up. People talk about the 1%, and yeah, it's the 1% who are doing all this, these diabolical bastards who is doing all this to everyone, ruining economies, you keep watching this stuff and it's like, whose saying anything about it? There's one guy who is speaking, I don't agree with everything he says, but I do agree with some of what he's saying, and that guy is Ron Paul, he's one of the handful of the people who are bringing up the issues to be discussed, I am not a political person, I believe in spiritual revolution not like picking up a gun...but at the same time, if I have my land and someone comes onto my land and try to take what's mine, I have the right to protect myself.
ThrashHead: There are some great documentaries out there, like those we were just talking about, three which I really like are Sundberg and Ricki Sterns' "The End of America" based on Naomi Wolf's best seller of the same name , Aaron Russo's (Trading Places, Bette Midler's The Rose) "America: Freedom to Fascism" and Josh Fox's "Gasland"...
John: I saw that one (America: Freedom to Fascism) in the theater, they pulled it after a week, I saw that and it was out of the theater within a week.
ThrashHead: When I first watched that, I thought it was going to be a documentary simply delving into the tax code, then it evolved into something so horrific...Gasland too also fucking opened my eyes and blew my mind...
John: Chris Carver down in Miami knows that guy, I saw that too, when he put that movie out, he had his phones tapped, he was being watched, all kinds of stuff...
ThrashHead: Ah man, when I was a kid, I grew up in Colorado, not far from Rifle, and we used to inner tube down the rivers and hitchhike back, when I saw what was has happened out there, I was devastated by what I saw going on...I knew about fracking, I knew it was putting the aquifers in danger, but I had no idea as to the extent...they are fucking targeting the Hudson River Valley man....
John: They're getting ready to do that shit up by the reservoir, and they are telling people it's safe...fuck that! And look at BP coming on telling you "The Food's Great!" ...are you eating that? Are you feeding it to your Children? No you ain't motherfucker because you know better! "It's great, everything's great, the water's great..." paid for by BP!
ThrashHead: Yes, exactly, exactly, "come on down to the Gulf...."
John: Where did all that oil go? I'll tell you something here too, you pay attention to the real issue here which is the CAFOs, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, and how they have been dumping all that shit in the Mississippi which goes down to the Gulf where there is a dead zone the size of New Jersey, even before that spill happened there was death and destruction on a massive scale already, so when you start putting together everything which these people are advocating, you realize it's destroying the planet, the meat, everything, they are just straight up eugenics motherfuckers. Look who is at the White House now, whose a part of the administration, John Holdren, (director of science and technology policy) if you read his book "Ecoscience " he wrote in the 70's, he talks about reducing the population by putting chemicals into the food, air and water, that's the guy who is Obama's science czar, he's sitting in the White House thinking up this kinda shit, why do they shoot up kids with vaccines with Thimerosal which is a derivative of mercury that is directly linked to autism and all these diseases? The amount of mercury they give children when they come out of the womb via these vaccines...you would have to be a 290 man to absorbed that amount! Why are they giving kids this? The pharmaceutical companies...there is a great documentaries, The Idiot Cycle about how all the pesticide, chemical companies also own the drug companies, so they poison you, then they sell you the drugs to treat the symptoms, not cure of course, of the diseases they cause...this is what's going on. Whose taking it up the ass? Us, the 99% are getting fucked by the 1%!
ThrashHead: Why do you think it's too hard for people to, not necessarily believe, but ask whether or not it's possible that a handful of people can control the world when it's been proven that just a single man can get big oil exempt from having to comply with the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and even the superfund act! Now imagine what a hundred powerful people could do! Why won't people ask questions?
John: I'll tell you why, because they also control the media and the information that is being put out there for the masses and that's why they are having a big push and have already deleted ten thousand articles off of Google. Now, Google is pretty much operated by the same motherfuckers that are releasing the tidbits of information programming the masses while at the same time...my view is this, I believe there is a spiritual awakening going on; they can be as dark and demonic as they want to be, which they are, and you know what? nothing is going to stop the sleeping giant that is waking up now; the consciousness of the masses is beginning to awaken globally, people are getting fed up with what is happening, they are searching out spirituality in their lives...that's the resolve of all this stuff, you're not going to beat these guys militarily, you're not going to beat these guys politically, you have the power to do one thing; you have the power to change yourself. You change yourself, the next person works on his/herself. You want to effect mass change? That's how you do it. I get the information out there to help people, yeah, but the bottom line is what am I telling you...at the end of the day? Work on yourself and change yourself. The first thing to do is to stop putting poison into your body, that's paramount...I said in my book.
I just wrote an article for the Fork over Knives blog they asked me if I wanted to write something saying how I got to where I am now, and I said yeah...and I wrote "you know what? The first change I went through was to stop putting that poison into my body, while I was working for the Bad Brains, and all these spiritual doors started opening up", that's what it's all about, it's not just about fighting these guys politically, I mean it's cool to get the information out there, but what's the solution then? You change yourself, you become a better person, you effect change on other people, then it'll become a domino effect. When you come into contact...when a steal rod comes into contact with fire, it takes on all the properties of fire. That's what we all need to do, and that's where my philosophy and spiritual beliefs come into practice, not religious dogma, but real spiritual practice, yoga, whatever system you take up...and it's catching on. I try to see the glass as half full, I'll tell you what the harsh situation is, but I'll tell you the positive too, the spiritual side is what's really going to solve the world's problems, by every single individual bettering themselves and having compassion for every single living entity on the planet, not this dog eat dog, cutthroat, society like the way these people are running things; if they can keep us at each other's throats, then they have achieved keeping us divided and keeping us from uniting and becoming one big, universal family on this planet; that's what the higher power, Krishna, Buddha, Jehovah or whatever name you want to call it, can do and that's what is supposed to happen on this planet.
These people know that this is supposed to take place, and that's why they are doing what they are doing, putting fluoride into the water, putting additives in foods, food that lack the nutrients for proper brain function and everything else. They know what they are doing, these are not idiots, these are people who have been sitting there for the last century, waiting to implement the plan they have had in the works.
ThrashHead: That's an absolutely horrific statement, so true, you have people like Rumsfeld pushing through aspartame, we eat and breath poison which is "legally" given to us, we're losing all control and say in our economies...
John: ...Everyone is bought off, you saw "Freedom to Fascism", the Federal Reserve, they create false flag operations, killing millions of people so we have to keep borrowing money from them? And, where does the debt of the Federal Reserve get paid to? You know, you saw it, the Bank of England, the Rothchilds, and the rest of them, the same person who said in the late 1700's "Give me control of a nation's money and I care not who makes it's laws."...these are fucking treasonous motherfuckers who are in positions of power and don't care two shits, have no compassion about humanity, these are evil people and this is who is doing all this to the masses...people like Bill Gates coming across like a damned philanthropist.
ThrashHead: Yeah, yeah, absolutely, you hit the nail on the head on so many levels, Bill Gates could care less about...
John: He's over there in Africa shooting up children with vaccines and killing them, and he's also invested heavily in Monsanto! Now, he's acting like Mr. Philanthropist! But, what's he's not telling you, even though they have been banned in Africa, is that once those crops get in there they are going to take over the food supply on the continent and take the land...he's bought up stock in Monsanto...we need to get to the real issue of who the hell these people really are, these are not do-gooders, they are people who have an agenda, and their agenda is "There's too many people, let's get rid of 80% of them."
ThrashHead: People talk about the drug cartels and them feeding on the addictions of the people, the drug cartels are small players compared to large corporations, big business knows that the number one rule of business isn't "sex sells", it's "addiction sells". They know, that as we strive to get away from oil, which is a major addiction, the three things we can never get away from as a species are food, water and air...they are trying to get control of all fucking three.
John: I'll say something else, you can take all the drug cartels on the planet and put them together, they got nothin' on even one pharmaceutical company, not to mention, the dozens of these companies that are there. You put all of them together, you put all their money together and all the drug cartels worldwide can't match them, the cartels couldn't even match the total annual income of Merck! You're absolutely right, the next commodity that there are going to be wars over is water and that's why, if you saw "Flow" and these other documentaries...I was just down in Chile, where the farmers were protesting because they were getting ready to put in a dam to block the water coming out of the Andes.
When you start seeing firsthand what is going on, and you watch documentaries like "Flow", "Idiot Cycle" and "The Future of Food" and you see it manifesting before your very eyes, you know this is not conspiracy theory, this is real...happening in real time, right now.
They are definitely going to fight wars over water. What did Kissinger say? " Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people"...that's why they are taking control, Bilderberg and them, Monsanto that run it on behalf of them...they know, they know! We have to control all the food which is produced on the planet, and that's what GMOs do and that's why chemtrails stop the seeds from germinating. In the movie "What in the world are they spraying" you saw Hawaii... their seeds were unable to grow now, their organic seeds which they have grown from for generations and generations no longer grow because of the issues with the PH balance of the soil.
ThrashHead: It's absolutely insane! You mentioned you are working on a movie, is it going to be centered around these issues?
John: My first book is going to be adapted into a screenplay
John: Yeah, that's what I have been doing, the other movie was a boxing movie, but around that time we finished it, about five boxing movies came out; so, we shelved it for a bit.
ThrashHead: Will the movie be documentary style with you in it, or we talking about a Hollywood film, with actors?
John: It's going to be a feature film based on "Evolution of a Cro-Magnon"
ThrashHead: Who would you like to see play John Joseph?
John: I don't think about stuff like that, whoever get's the job...(chuckles)
ThrashHead: Breaking away a bit from socio political issues, let's get to music; the Cro-Mags are not just a mere footnote in HC history, but rather, a very important part of New York City's musical heritage, everywhere else it was punk or hardcore punk, but you guys were simply "Hardcore"...when you think about your place in music history, do you ever become overwhelmed by the realization that long after both you and I are dust, I will probably go first since I am by no means as fit as you, "Age of Quarrel" and other albums are still going to be talked and written about?
John: Ah, no man, I don't think in those terms. You know what? If you sit there sitting on your past laurels you're not going to move ahead...I don't ever think about "Oh man, what an iconic...". I think about in this way; how did "Age of Quarrel" even come about? It was from reading Prabhupada books, that album only came to be because of reading those books and getting that knowledge...the age of quarrel itself means Kali-yuga; the record would've never came...if you just sit there "I did all this great stuff in the past..." (Pauses) ...even after I finished Iron Man, I was like "ok, when is the next Iron Man? Next book, next music that I am going to do?" I don't pat myself on the back, you have to have some humility in life, and luckily I have some great teachers, you need to be level headed and not begin to think you're some kind of hero. There's too many people out there thinking like this, like they are some kind of icon out saving the planet...everyone takes a shit in the morning. The bottom line is this; you can't take away from that record and the affect it had on people, and if it inspires people than that's a positive thing. In return, I have been inspired by those people, others, Bad Brains inspired me...
ThrashHead: I didn't mean it in a sense of being pompous...
John: Oh, no, I didn't take it that way, it's I just don't sit there thinking...it's like when I crossed the finish line, I didn't think about everything I went through, I am trying to project ahead. There's too many people trying to look and live in the past, I'm about projecting into the future...I have some music projects that I am trying to make happen too with people I've always wanted to do an album with...
ThrashHead: Are you still doing Bloodclot as a project?
John: We did the record, those dudes went back to Biohazard to play, so no harm no foul. It's just like with Both Worlds, I discontinued just putting out music...maybe there will be a show...it's about keeping the creative flow going, that's what it's about.
ThrashHead: This question, I had to really think about whether or not to ask you, I apologize, but I felt I needed to ask, the whole drama that went down in East Village at Webster Hall...
John: I don't want to talk about that, I refuse to even talk about that, I just addressed it, and whatever it is, it is, I didn't tell anyone to come there and do what they did.
ThrashHead: I wasn't going to ask what went down, you've already addressed those issues, you've already said what you are going to say...that's over, actually what I was going to ask, wasn't what went down and all that shit, that will be discussed in other places, it's already been asked, it's already been done, the question was going to be, with all the troubles, which you've outlined in your book, is this essentially the last straw with your relationship with Harley, or was that done long, long ago?
John: I don't have any relationship with the dude, because...it's all been documented in the book, every fucking thing in there is the god's honest, absolute truth in terms with what went down with what that dude has done to, not just me, but everyone else who has been in the band, that's why Parris stopped playing with him in their band, whatever the hell they were calling it, White Devil or whatever.
Everything we do in this world, it's going to come back to us, the way we treat other people, especially. That's why I am careful with my dealings with other people, and show people respect and dignity and being honest with people, move straight forward and speaking my mind and not coming with a pre-meditated agenda to fuck people over...that is why that individual is where he's at in this point in his life, I had nothing to do with that, I don't have a relationship with the dude, I was told "Fuck you, I'm here for the paycheck" the last time we got together after I thought everything was cool, so it's like, "Alright man, go ahead with your bad self, go do your business..." the dude quit the band and we continued on...and that's what happened. He owns the name and I own the name, so you know what? You go do your own Cro-Mag if you want or whatever. I do this to have fun, I turned down a lot of money, 50 thousand Euros a show, to play with that dude and I turned it down. It's not about the money, it's about having fun, playing the music, what the music stands for, and being with individuals out there who care about me and I care about them...it's a family vibe, I am not going to do something to risk that just to pay some bills and put some money in my pocket...it's just not where I'm at.
ThrashHead: You can see that in the shows, the way you move, the intensity, when you jump into the crowd, the way you participate with people, the way you take time for people to pose with you and take a picture, everybody I have ever met, says that's one thing you just don't have; you just don't have that ego trip.
I've talk to several people, names don't need to be mentioned, who are legends from back in the day and they are completely absorbed by marketing, "how far is the reach? who will see this?" yadda, yadda completely obsessed by exposure rather than saying "Oh yeah, sure, I'll talk with you" or "Yeah man, I'll take a picture with you" that has always been your hallmark .
John: I always say this dude, my writing teacher said the same thing, "The audience can smell the lie", if your hearts not into it, they are going to know. I'll take the time to talk to people because I love it, I am a people person, I grew up in New York, I talk to everybody man.
Everybody has something to offer the world, that's way they are in the human form of life, and you have to respect that and treat everybody, animals too, but people especially with respect. Somebody might be all drunk and acting the fool, and I'll be "yeah, right on man..." you can't communicate with an intoxicated person, but the people know what I'm about so they aren't going to try and have a conversation with me when they're fucked up. (Laughs)
I just enjoy playing and meeting people...it's enjoyable man, just because we're up on the stage doesn't mean we're better than anyone else, that's what punk rock was about, for the first time you weren't far behind some barricade watching a band, you became part of the show. The audience at a punk rock gig makes the show, they are an important part of the show...now, when a motherfucker comes on stage (laughs) and knocks over all your gear and ruins the show, that's another issue.
ThrashHead: Speaking of hanging out and talking to people, do you still do those walking tours?
John: I do! I did one right before Iron Man that was good but I am going to be doing it again, I had to take it off in the spring and summer because I was touring and training a lot on the weekends, so my time was being allocated to training.
There is always someone who is always going to put their two cents worth where it doesn't belong, first of all it's not just about the punk rock club, it's about the crime, the gang, the art, it's a multi-cultural tour, it's not just about...I cover everything from Five Points to the Mafia gangs to the lower East Side gangs, to the punk bands and artists who were down there, to the crimes, the bootlegging...you know, it's not shit which was downloaded from Wikipedia, I mean obviously I wasn't there in the 40's but there are a lot of personal anecdotes from my own experiences.
If anyone wants to come on out, you're welcome, everyone seems to have a great time on the tour.
ThrashHead: I am going to have to try and sign up for one, sounds enlightening and fun as hell.
John: I am going to try and do some for Labor Day weekend, try to make that happen, talk with Jake from Rocks Off and see what happens...try to do that Saturday of Labor Day weekend and see if anyone wants to come out on the tour. It's just another thing I like to do, storytelling is a part of what I do, I'm a writer, it's keeps my chops up with the writer in me, it inspired me to write my movie...telling all the stories first hand and all the shit I've seen in my life...it's happening, I dig it man!
ThrashHead: You see pictures on these walking tours with the people, you can just see in their eyes, they are completely absorbed with what you're saying.
John: Well, one time, (laughs) I am going to tell ya, I took them by one of the big drug spots which used to go down and one of the brothers who used to be one of the enforcers for that drug dude who ended being one of the first to be convicted under the RICO statute, did 20 fucking years in federal prison, one of his henchmen, who was one of his street thug, enforcers came walking by and saw me with thirty people and he goes (John's voice goes real deep) "Yo, what the fuck you doin'?", and I was like "Yo, I'm doing a walking tour, talking about crime, the music on the LES" this dude, 240 pounds, works out at my gym, benches 450 pounds...
...He's a fucking beast and a bad motherfucker...so all these German tourists all standing there, he looks at them and says "Let me tell all ya motherfuckers something right now, you listen to this motherfucker because he was here, none of you would be down here." and then he's like "Peace, N***a!" and walks the fuck off, and they were just there...you shoulda seen the Germans in the back they were like "Oooh my god!"
(I am laughing so hard I have to catch my breath)
You meet some of these people sometimes while on the tour, a lot of these motherfuckers who are out there still, I see them and I tell the group "That's such and such, and that's such and such" and they're like "Oh, shit".
John: It's cool, it's just keeping the art going, keeps me outta trouble, when I have projects going, I'm keeping out of trouble. (Laughs)
ThrashHead: I hear ya...(wipe the tears from my eyes from laughing), just a couple more here, cause I know you're busy as hell...but, way back in 2010 you had hinted that a new Cro-Mags album might be in the works for 2011 but it never came to be, are there plans for a new album still?
John: Yeah, man if it's an EP, we're just going to give the songs away...yeah, they've been writing some stuff, we've just been really been busy, everyone has other projects, someone in the band had to deal with a family situation, actually two people in the band had some family situations which have held things up.
You know how it is, we'll put out some songs, and maybe a video and stuff, as far the music business is, it isn't what it used to be, and really, we're not dragging the shit through the mud, we're not playing all the time; some of these bands, you play New York five times and it's like "give me a break". It's the law of diminishing returns, the more you do something, the less affect it has on people, so we try to not play all the time, I think this fall and winter we'll be getting into the studio and trying to put out some stuff, I got some other music projects going on too...it's definitely something on the burner. As I said, we won't, obviously we'll print up the EP, four or five songs and sell it at shows, but the people are going to just download this shit for free anyway, so... (chuckles)
ThrashHead: Last question; from the path you have walked, from the moment of your earliest memory to you finishing the Iron Man, and this may be a tough one to answer from the so many memories and experiences you've had, but what do you think is one of life's most important lessons you've learned?
John: (Pauses) That'd be you don't know everything. You don't know everything, always stay open to learn, that's an important lesson. There are several lessons, but I think that's something you always have to keep in mind, do your best in everything you try to do...don't make excuses, like I said, the code by which the warrior lives is never give up, that's what it's all about, just keep keeping on like we said on the streets.
ThrashHead: Truly inspirational words my friend, I can't thank you enough for doing this, I am so glad to see you doing what you're doing, it's one of the things that gives hope to humanity; whether or not it's a guy who doesn't have any money in his pocket to make a documentary which make people think, whether it's a girl whose decided that she wants to save the land behind her house, or the kid sweeping the streets in the neighborhood, just by being out there participating with fans making each and every show be an incredible positive experience and then putting your words into writing which everyone can read and share and become educated on different issues...this may sound corny, this is one those heartwarming stories, which makes me such a fan of some of the people who make music and survive...it's really awe inspiring, going from what you've outlined in your book to doing Iron Man, to me I know how hardcore that is, in my current state there is no way I could ever do something like that but your words say that you may not do it now, but you can do it in the future...I think everyone needs to hear that.
John: I got a buddy who is in the Navy Seals, when he tried to get into the Seals he couldn't even swim, but he wanted it, and he went after it. He's one of the guys in the Act of Valor movie, if you want something bad you have to work hard, if you want to change something you have to stop complaining about it, if you want change, do something about it...no politician's empty campaign promises is going to give you hope and change that's a bunch of bullshit, biggest bunch of bullshit ever.
The hope and change is going to come from within yourself and helping the next person in line and having compassion and having help each other, that's the true hope and change.
Discontent, here's a saying (Oscar Wilde); "Discontent is the first step in the progress of a man or a nation." That's what it's all about, if you're not happy with where you're at, change it! Don't sit there and complain about it. That's one thing I don't have patience for, dudes just sitting there bitching and whining about everything and you're like "well, why don't you do this?" and it's "Naw man..." maybe they'll figure it out, maybe they won't...I don't have the time to break it down for them.
That's another thing I say too, I don't preach to people about my diet or what I do, I'll put the information out there, and if people want to know, what's chanting about? What's up with this food? What's up with this and that? If they want the information and knowledge, then I'll sit down and spend time with them, but I'm not going to scream into their face about what they're eating or anything else, because it's a waste of time, it's like that famous saying; "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink", if people aren't thirsty for the knowledge, you can talk to them until you're blue in the face, but if they won't give two shits about it. But, more and more people are discontent with all the shit going on and are looking outside of themselves to better their lives and they know they'll have to do a bit of spiritual work on themselves.
ThrashHead: Well, man I gotta tell you with my current situation, those are words I definitely need to hear; no bullshit, no fucking around, keeping moving forward to my goal...on a personally level I am so glad I got a chance to speak with you.
John: Just one last thing I gotta say, that was one of the signs I kept seeing on the Iron Man, it said "Ruthless Forward Motion" and that was what it is all about, you just be ruthless in your determination in moving forward and your progress...I kept seeing it spray painted on sidewalks, on signs and that's what it's all about!
ThrashHead: Words to live by.
John: Ruthless about just doing your thing, hammering forward!