2 FEBRUARY 1997

Hi everybody! It's me, Dan, again with a brand new website installment. Christmas has come and gone and it was swell. Family, friends, love, wine, gifts, and the works. We've all indulged the holiday spirit. Now, I hope you won't think too poorly of me if I vent some frustration. Ready? Here I go.

Plenty of times after a show various people will come up and express their appreciation of Pain to me. I am, in turn, very appreciative of them. It's a truly satisfying feeling when a total stranger comes up to you and tells you he admires what you are doing.

Now sometimes, not often, someone will approach me, and with a big grin say "Great ska, man." I always smile and thank them with no less sincerity than I thank the others. The fact is, however, this rare person is wrong. We are not a ska band. It isn't necessary for me to stop this guy and say, "actually, we're not a ska band." The important thing is that he enjoyed the music and had a good time. What pisses me off is when somebody says they don't like us because we're a ska band. If you hate us, that's fine, I don't care. Hate away. But don't hate us because we're a ska band. Hate us because you don't enjoy our particular style of musical composition, hate us because the lead singer is an irritating jerk with a voice like a carrion bird's, hate us because we smell bad. But don't hate us because we're a ska band. That would be stupid! It would be like hating William Shatner because he's a great actor. It's a non-sequitur.

I can understand some initial confusion. It's a big band with three horns. Quite probably even I would suppose it's a ska band. But damn... three minutes into the gig should clear up any misconceptions. Some ho from Athens reviewed the CD and said she wanted us to be a ska band and then, discovering it not to be true, gave us a shitty review. What a freak! Instead of judging us somewhere within the context of what we were doing, she shoved us in an entirely different category and, according to those standards, decided we didn't measure up. Of course we didn't measure up! We're not a very good fuckin' disco band either! And we're a real shitty country band too! This dizzy dame thought we were trying to be a ska band, but just couldn't quite pull it off. Look: Pose and I write the songs and I can tell you right now that aside from the forays into the realm of ska made by the Mighty Mighty Bosstones or NOFX, we don't listen to ska. We hate the shit. There are a lot of styles we emulate and ain't none of 'em from the island of Jamaica. So please, PLEASE, unless you're just havin' some fun with us, don't call us a ska band.

Having said all this, I should inform you that one or two songs from our forthcoming CD actually do have a reggae kind of thing goin' on. Does that mean I've been lying to you? Does that mean I'm a hypocrite? No! We reserve the right to try anything in our songs and to rule out nothing. So that must include ska too, even though I don't really like the shit, huh? So be it. It still doesn't make us a ska band. We have a song called "Midgets With Guns" that has an unmistakable Latin American flavor. Does that make us a mambo band? No.

So please to all Pain dissenters: hate us if you want to, but not because we're ska. Hate us for who we are.