Statues of Liberty

Photographed by Lucky Lawler ©2007



Interview by Mr. Frank Wood

So, this is THE NEW ERROR. It has officially begun, with the show at Arlene's on 3/16.


This is the line-up:

John Law - high strings and dirty words

Prince Hal - low strings and grunts

Hitomi - snaps, crackles, and pops

Formed out of the ashes of Banana Fish Zero, Statues Of Liberty rises like a Phoenix to begin ‘The New Error’. In my opinion, it's the same but different!

Same: Like with John Law and Prince Hal's former band (Banana Fish Zero), Statues Of Liberty create some of the wildest and best songs around.

Same: As in the fun chemistry that this band shows on stage and shares with the fans.

Different: With John Law at the helm and Prince Hal's continued, undying and loyal support, now backed by Hitomi's rock solid foundation, (Texas' drumming was AWESOME in BFZ, but like I said, this IS a different band), Statues Of Liberty are now pumping out new songs that take this band to an entirely different level.

So I decided it was time to put my opinions aside and go to the source to find out the real deal with Statues Of Liberty. I talked to them a few days after the show at Otto’s Shrunken Head and this is what I got (Yeah!):

Frank wood (FW): So, give us a short history of the band, for those folks out there who are just joining us.
John Law (JL): Prince Hal and John Law go to hardcore shows together as kids. They get beat up a lot together. John learns guitar. Prince H learns bass, but likes Zappa. PH tricks Law to join band. Law says OK. Law says NO Zappa. PH still tries to sneak it in. Frank Wood insists Hitomi should join Statues. Law thinks Wood is running off with his mouth. (Imagine that!) Wood calls Law 10 times a day until he schedules tryout for Hitomi. Just to get Wood off his ass, Law meets her. They try "Party Wrecker" and Law & PH immediately beg Hitomi to join band. She says YES! Law & PH are forced to admit that Frank Wood is right!
Prince Hal (Hitomi (HI): Frank Wood introduces me to Statues Of Liberty.

FW: The new error has begun! How does it feel after your first official show in NYC?
JL: Ah...I remember this smell.
PH: I keep washing myself but I still feel dirty.
HI: I feel very good. 

FW: Why did you get into playing? Was it:
A. To score girls/boys?
B. Love of the music?
C. To not be one of the crowd?
D. 'Cos all your friends etc. Told you, you were good?
E. 'Cos you knew you were good?
JL: Because I saw Black Flag.
PH: F. I like playing more than working. Only I never knew playing was so much work. And yeah, all of the above.
HI: My father was drummer, and I was interested.

 FW: how old were you when you realized you could possibly make a living playing music?
JL: Making a living? Making a dying?
PH: I hope I never get that old. I'm just having fun.
HI: Me too. 

FW: if I asked the other band members what they thought of you personally, what do you think they would say?
JL: I'm an ASS!
PH: Prince Hal is just the big, cuddly Beaverkill Honey Bear.
HI: I don't know, but I think they like my drums. 

FW: How many years have you been playing?
JL: Less than a year.

FW: Are you saying you weren't playing before?
JL: (Looks at Wood strangely).
PH: I feel like I didn't start playing until I teamed up with Law, and I feel like we didn't start playing together until we met Hitomi. So, like 0.
HI: 6 years. 

FW: What's the worst prank you played on someone that you since really regret doing?
JL: Coldcocking myself in the face.
PH: Tricking Law into letting me play bass for his cool band.
HI: I never have. 

FW: What's the worst one done to you?
JL: Coldcocking myself in the face!
PH: When I was in grade school my friends ganged up on me and killed my Dungeons & Dragons character. I cried.
HI: It's never happened.
(Mischievous looks from FW, JL and PH). 

FW: If you hadn't become a musician, where do you think you'd be now? Doing what?
JL: Working for THE NY WASTE!
PH: CEO of Microsoft, ruining people's lives with crappy software.
HI: Painter. 
FW: Painting what? You mean house painter or artist?
HI: Yes. Artist.

FW: Did you have a pet as a kid?
JL: I had a pet crow named Francis. I LOVED Francis!
PH: I named my cat Peter after Kiss's drummer, but my favorite was a dog. This big orange mutt I named King Kong.
HI: I had a dog, cat, rabbit, bird, everything.
PH: I also had Lionel Hamster, named after the famous vibraphone player Lionel Hampton.

FW: Have you ever been busted for anything other than weed?
JL: YES! I'm not allowed in Canada. Enough said!
FW: You too! Uh, oh! I have to cancel some shows!
PH: I've never been busted for any drug related offenses or a DWI. Although they have had plenty of opportunities! I've only received nearly one million speeding tickets and moving violations. I did get busted skateboarding on the subway platform, graffiti-ing "FUCK THE MAN" in front of a subway police station, and jumping a turnstile.

FW: All at once?
PH: No, different days.
HI: No never.

 FW: Ever been in jail/prison?
JL: Only on a date.

FW: For What?
JL: A date!
PH: I spent 24 hours in Downtown Brooklyn Processing for the graffiti. I spent 15 hours in the Tombs for jumping the turnstile. I probably would have only gotten tickets, but I scoffed the skateboarding fine, so my name was on a list, and they hauled me in.
HI: Never. 

FW: I know you started a charity non-profit - "the kids rock" - what is it and what does it do?
JL: "THE KIDS ROCK" is for kids with cancer and no insurance. It happened to me and it happened to Roger from Joker 5 Speed. It's TOUGH and it has to be REAL TOUGH on kids. So, since all of us bands are basically non-profit organizations anyway, we might as well really be one and help some kids out! We're gonna get them ipods and PSP's to make it a little more bearable and get their minds off it.

 FW: I love it! I'm in! What's the plan?
JL: We're gonna have a big show. 

FW: Where?
JL: Trash Bar, Brooklyn.

FW: Who’s playing?
JL: Statues Of Liberty, SEAMONSTER, THE UNDEAD, THE BULLYS and another 20 or so bands. It's gonna start at 2 in the afternoon and go until we're finished.
PH: My other band The Rabbits is playing, if John approves.
JL: NOW, you tell me! 

FW: When?
JL: Saturday, June 2.

FW: How much?
JL: $10.00 and no guest list! Everyone's paying! 

FW: For 25 bands? That's great! Back to the band stuff. Any advice to young wanna bees who may be reading this?
JL: When you start shitting yellow and pissing brown, it's time to go straight-edge!
PH: One of the hardest things to do is to stop wanting to be and to start being. We encourage those who want to be, and we salute those who be.
HI: Just practice. 

FW: Are you content with your life right now?
JL: I LOVE life and have NO complaints, ONLY THANKS!
PH: I am happy, because I feel like I am on the path to getting what I want out of life. But I am not happy, because I don't have what I want yet, but that is what keeps me on the path. I believe the trick is enjoying the pursuit, and never getting what you want.
HI: I am happy. I like to play. I like to play a lot.

 FW: Do you do what your management advises, without question?
JL: I listen to management and then do the opposite.
PH: Remember you can't spell TEAM without MEAT.
HI: No manager. John is manager. 

FW: Does your management/record company listen when you have a suggestion to make? Or do they just pretend to and go on with their own plans for the band regardless?
JL: No.
PH: No, they were at our last show and are now deaf. Together, we are learning American Sign Language. We are also learning Braille just in case anything else happens. Luckily Hitomi already knows Morse Code. The lawyers were against it, but we didn't listen to them.
HI: No record company. We are record company. 

FW: Where are you guys headed?
JL: We're headed STRAIGHT TO HELL!
PH: Some say it is better to rain in Hell than it is to surf in Heaven. I keep an umbrella and a surfboard with me where ever I go. Just in case.
HI: World.

 FW: What do you like to drink (beer, wine, whiskey, etc.)?
JL: Club soda with a lime.
PH: I LOVE to drink beer, wine, whiskey, and etc., but not when I have to perform, and right now, I have to perform.
HI: 2 Red Bull. 

FW: Favorite bar?
JL: Three Of Cups.
PH: Three Of Cups.
HI: Max Fish 

FW: Best jukebox?
JL: Vasmay Lounge.
PH: Continental. 

FW: What? Never mind.
HI: Max Fish.
PH: Yeah, Max Fish used to have our old band in their Juke Box.

FW: What disc/record/mp3 is on your player?
JL: Bad Brains-"Rock For Light"
PH: Disc/Hank Williams; Record/Def Squad-"The Game"; Mp3/Minor Threat.
HI: Statues Of Liberty. 

FW: Favorite place to play/entertain?
JL: Trash Bar!
PH: The Trash Bar!
HI: I like Continental and Arlene Grocery. 

FW: Fender or Gibson?
JL: Gibson, Fender Sucks!
PH: Music Man.
HI: Yamaha. I want to get next. 

FW: Do you play air guitar?
JL: I play water guitar.
PH: Playing with Statues has greatly improved my air guitar. I also like to play air sax, air keyboards, air trumpet, air drums, air trombone, air accordion, air violin, air tambourine, air harmonica, air tuba, air triangle...the list goes on and on. Also air conductor's baton, air cowbell, and air sex are all great too.
HI: Only drums. 

FW: Do you pick up hitchhikers when on tour?
JL: I always pick up hitchers because I've hitched all my life.
PH: Every time we stop, hitchers take one look at us, and say that they were just giving us the thumbs up. Then we drag them into the van, and bring them to the show. We've made a lot of good friends that way.
HI: No. (laughter) 

FW: How long have you gone without doing laundry?
JL: Still going.
PH: I don't know how to answer that. Somehow I have clean clothes, but I don't do laundry. Oh yeah, I'm a prince.
HI: Oh, I forgot laundry. Really, I am busy.

 FW: Favorite toothpaste?
JL: Scotch.
PH: Preparation H.
HI: Colgate 

FW: Favorite brand of condom?
JL: Free-style baby!
PH: I'm into leather. Naturalamb lamb skin condoms when I'm not in my birthday leathers. You have to know your partner though. They don't protect you from diseases. I don't know which is worse VD or STDs. I guess it all depends on what mood you are in. 

FW: Uhh, never mind.
HI: Japanese stuff, Okamoto. 

FW: Favorite junk food?
JL: McD's.
PH: Peanut M&Ms.
HI: Chocolate. 

FW: Best wasted moment?
JL: Yes!
PH: My first New York Waste cover.
HI: No, I don't get wasted. 

FW: Favorite sexual position?
JL: My face in between my girl's thighs. Ladies First!

FW: I Know That Song!
PH: The one where my cock is in one of the holes.
HI: I don't know. (laughter)

FW: Anything you guys want to end with?
PH: I hate good-byes. How about: See you real soon or Aloha or why don't I just sneak out while you're not looking?
HI: No, nothing. Thank you. Bye-bye.

There you have it. THE NEW ERROR has begun! 

Be at the Trash Bar on June 2!

Frank Wood