For those of you who haven't seen Two Man Advantage, you're missing out on one of the best punk/hardcore bands around today. They're wild and they work to make sure everyone gets up and into their shows. I have been hardpressed to think of a band that was as entertaining and wild as Two Man Advantage. I was lucky enough to get to ask their vocalist, Spag, some intimate questions, here they are:
Samuel Barker: Thanks for doing the interview, how has life been treating you since you got home?
Spag: Life sucks since the tour ended. There we were on the road hating each other cause of all the trades going on in the NHL and we were pissing each other off because most of our teams were losing good players or my team was getting good players, so I was rippin on Skate and Coach. Coach is a Pens fan so he was pissy for losing Jagr. Skates a Ranger fan and they did nothing to better their team and the rest of us are Islander fans and we got Yashin and Peca which means Playoffs. So anyway, everyone wanted to go home and watch NHL tonight. But by the next day when everyone went back to work we all wanted to be out again. Well all of us but the Rookie. The Rookie was done, he couldn't handle us. For me it was nice to be home for 24 hours to Detox and now I ready to rock again.
Samuel: How did the recent tour go, any venues fill up beyond expectations?
Spag: This tour went real well, it really helped our band. We sold a good amount of records and people really like it. Our best show was in Anaheim, California at Chain Reaction. Ron from Final Conflict got us the show and man, it was awesome. It was sold out and packed with punks. They went nuts and the circle pit was huge. We also had a really good time in Elko, Nevada at Nate's Garage. Nate's Garage was some kid's barn on his parents farm. The kids in Elko don't get too much punk rock but when they do it's out of control. I think all bands should look into going to Elko, it would be worth it.
Samuel: Are you guys planning to tour again in the future?
Spag: Yes, we're going on the road down the East Coast over to New Orleans with Left Over Crack at the end of September. We may go in November to Canada with them as well. We also plan on doing another full US tour in March. And we're going to play around the NY area as much as possible with a ton of weekends up to Boston and down to DC.
Samuel: Were all of you friends before the band got together?
Spag: Yes, I knew all these guys from different bands. I asked them all to play together at a party and that's pretty much how the rest of the band met. Basically everyone our age that is still into punk rock on LI knows each other cause there's few left.
Samuel: Has that helped with keeping everything together on the road?
Spag: No, not at all. On this tour Snapshot, our new bass player, was the one to get in less fights because we don't really know him that well yet. The rest of us know each other so well that we've lost all respect for each other so all we do is talk nasty to each other with no respect. It's actually funny. But most bands couldn't handle this but were the 2 Man and we really know each other so we know what the limits are. Basically if we don't fuck with their team or favorite players there should be no problems.
Samuel: I heard the band formed to play a Halloween party, is that how the hockey gear came into play?
Spag: Yes, you see this band started to play this party and all I wanted was to sing, so I grabbed these clowns and said 'hey were playing Brent's Halloween party and we got to wear costumes so what were going to do is write a few songs about drinking and a few songs about hockey and we'll were hockey equipment as our costumes.' We never thought it would be more then one show but the party was cancelled. So we were going to can the whole thing until someone mentioned we should play a local bar for our friends. So we did and our friend Dez made up our logo and flyers and we printed shirts all for one night and the bar was packed and our friends loved it. They all bought shirts and asked us to play again. So we did and with the money we made from the first show we recorded our demo as a joke. Then our 4th show was the one that made us realize we were a real band when we opened for the Bouncing Souls and the kids loved it and our friends were not there.
Samuel: Were all 7 of you in the original line up?
Spag: No, we started as a 4 piece. Skate, Teemu, Amstel and myself. Captain, MYK, and Coach were all at the first show and they all decided to weasel their way onto our team. Captain was a bass player and he wanted in so he said he would learn guitar just to get a spot on the team. Coach is our second string drummer if Amstel is having an off night we throw Coach behind the drums. The Coach just started singing and he devolved the role of back up vocals. MYK was just around all the time because he was in a band with Teemu and Amstel that broke up because of Two Man and he started screaming into the mic at shows so we gave him a mic. The Rookie was working at a candy store around the corner from me where I bought my smokes. We started talking and I kidnapped him and we gave him a jersey and a helmet and told him he was our roadie. So we're really 8 now.
Samuel: Was it hard to get completely suited up for the southern shows with the ridiculous heat?
Spag: It's ridiculous to get suited up with every show. I sweat like crazy and you should get a whiff of Captains jersey after a few shows.
Samuel: How did the audiences on tour compare to the audiences in New York?
Spag: The audience in NY is the best, because they know what to do at a Two Man show. They know the words, they know when the big dance parts are, and most of all they throw the most beer on us. NYC shows are like parties and that's what Two Man is about.
Samuel: Who are some of your favorite bands to play with at home?
Spag: Oh the list is long. Lets see MDC, Left Over Crack, Asstroland, The Clap, Molotov Cocktail, Broken, Boiling Man, and The Bully's. We actually like to play with crust punks. For some reason squatter punks love us and we love to play to them cause they know how to party.
Samuel: I saw the band listed as playing some dates with Leftover Crack in the fall, are you guys going to be doing a complete tour with them, or are the dates just tentative?
Spag: Were only going to do the east coast down to New Orleans. They’re going out west and were going home. Like I said we may go to Canada with them as well.
Samuel: Did any of you guys play hockey growing up, or do any of you play it now?
Spag: Oh yes we did. I played hockey for NY State Junior A team. I was a goalie. I took hockey very serious I played all over the east coast and Canada until I got fucked up with injuries. Coach played out in Pittsburgh and Skate played roller hockey. That's who played organized hockey. Yes we still play. Actually we play any band that will challenge us. We bring our shit on the road and we play. So far we're undefeated and we'll play any band or group of punks that want a good ass kicking.
Samuel: If you could check someone to the boards Darian Hatcher to Jeremy Roenick, jump up-broken jaw-style, who would that person be?
Spag: Scott Stevens only because I think he's the toughest player in the league and if I could break his jaw I would now be the badest motherfucker in the NHL.
Samuel: What are some of the greatest hockey moments you have ever been a witness to?
Spag: Well, it was watching the Islanders lift the cup for 4 years in a row and watching the USA Olympic team win in 80. I still get tears in my eyes when a team wins a cup. The worst thing I ever saw was in 94 when those fucking Rangers won the cup. I almost banned the NHL for a year after that.
Samuel: Do you ever think it's weird that hot ass places like Texas, Arizona, and Florida have hockey teams while Canada is losing all it's teams and it's a huge iceberg?
Spag: That's because it's all about money. The Canadian Dollar is weak and they can't afford to pay American salaries to players so teams are popping up in southern areas. Do you remember Slapshot? When Paul Newman aka Reggie Dunlop talks about the Chiefs moving to Florida and the players were like Florida? why Florida? And that's because the old folks from the north are moving to these cities in the south where it's cheaper and the weathers better and they miss hockey. Let's take Carolina for a minute. The Hurricanes are playing in a bullshit state but with the rapid over growing of towns like Charlotte they'll be selling out games in a few years. It's all about supply and demand. Do you know that two years ago for the first time in the history of Canada, hockey was not the number one sport of the country. Yep, they took polls and found out that Soccer was. More people from Canada are into soccer than hockey these days. That's fucked up.
Samuel: I know that you got sick in Houston, Texas and ran the fear of having every musicians worst nightmare, shitting one self on stage, did you try to eat too much salsa in Austin or was it just a bug?
Spag: No, I got really fucked up in Austin, I passed out on my face at Emo's. I was just rotten and I got these stomach problems where I shit myself all the time. Something happened, I think it was the heat and lack of water or maybe it was the Houston water but basically I was shitting ever 20 minutes. I had no control. So I went from the woman's toilet to the stage, back to the woman's toilet to the hotel toilet. It sucked, but hey it was better than Chicago with my gear on. That was funny as hell. But at least I didn't pull a GG.
Samuel: Who do you think would win out of a fight between the Hanson Brothers from Slap Shot and the Hanson Brothers from pop stardom if they were all given pads and sticks?
Spag: Are you kidding me? Are you talking about them Um Pop boys from down under? The Slapshot Hansons would murder them.
Samuel: Isn't it weird that all the famous Hansons are long haired rejects?
Spag: No, were talking about Hockey Hair vs. reject pop pretty boy hair.
Samuel: Where did the idea for having Coach and Rookie patrol the floor come from?
Spag: The Rookie was tired of watching the merch table so he decided to be the instigator and Coach likes to start things up as much as he can. Punk rock is a band vs. audience sport, our fans got to play hard so we can pick up the pace a bit.
Samuel: Would the band ever play the national anthem at half time of a Rangers game in full gear if given the opportunity? (skates included, but gloves excluded as to not hinder playing ability)
Spag: No, I will never play at a Ranger game unless it's against a team who's about to sweep them during the finals. I'll go on center ice at the Garden and then I'll pull a GG I'll shit right on the ice and tell all the Ranger fans how much they suck.
Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.