home    news/reviews    editorials    new talent     interviews     randumb videos     discussion board     info/contact

members present:
Ray Blanco
Todd Burnes
conducted on:
November 2002
by: Nevra Azerkan
official website
shout-out to PZO


PZO: As a band, what do you think your best qualities are?
Ray: <points to Todd> His hair. [Todd is bald]
Todd: Definitely my hair, first and foremost. I think honesty is our best quality.
Ray: Good one. Communication.
Todd: Not even so much that 'cause if you're referring to--INTERVIEW!
<people outside try to enter the tour bus>
Todd: Are you referring to us as a band or what as a band we give to fans?
PZO: The second one, but I think they both go hand in hand.
Todd: Well, honesty in general. We don't have anything to prove, we don't have anything to hide. We just write the music that we like, you know? We don't do it for radio sake or success sake. We do it for <Tim aka Timmah (drum tech) runs between the interview> because that's what feels right. We try to keep that honesty and integrity and I think that's what we feel makes the band pretty special.
Ray: I like his answer a lot. I never thought about it that way.
Todd: Yeah.
<Tour bus door opens>
Ray: For real!
Ray: SURRIOUSLY, let's take that phone call somewhere else.
Todd: Don't come up in HUR.
Ray: SURRIOUSLY. Get out of hurrrr.

PZO: What keeps you grounded and optimistic?
Todd: Our music itself keeps you grounded and optimistic. All this other stuff like tour buses and big shows and everything else; it still comes back down to the music. Then you go to sleep thinking about it and wake up thinking about it and you got the drive to do it everyday as opposed to giving up on it. That alone is enough. As long as you know that today could be your last day doing it and be happy that you're doing what you do and have the chance to do what you do then that keeps you going, keeps you grounded, keeps you level headed above and beyond everything.
Ray: I think the four us keep each other very grounded almost all the time and we definitely keep our spirits up within the four of us. You know when things aren't looking good? They're still great. Even on our worst day of this tour it's still better day than in any office and uh that's my response.

PZO: What is your best childhood memory?
Ray: What part of my childhood?
Todd: What you remember.
Ray: I remember my parents getting a divorce.
PZO: I said what was your BEST childhood memory.
Ray: Oh.
Ray: Does it really say that or are you making that up now?
PZO: No, it does.
Ray: My best childhood experience. <to Todd> Why don't you go first. I have to think about this one.
Todd: When I was eleven, I spent 5 weeks in Japan because my older sister lived there. So I stayed there for like 5 weeks and just even that short of a period in a different culture and a different place I changed the way I thought about things. Just the way we see our country versus the way they see their country and just the change of scenery and the change of pace was really striking. I wish I could go back now to appreciate more of what I saw then.
PZO: Was your sister in the military?
Todd: My brother-in-law is.
<Tim passes through the interview again to leave the tour bus>
Ray: Timmah!
Todd: Way to go, Tim...<smiles>
Ray: Timmah! Timmah!
PZO: I guess he wants to be on camera.
Todd: Oh, Tim. Tim is a celebrity. He doesn't need to be on camera.
PZO: Does he have a website too?
Ray: He's got a link on our message board. SHUT THE DOOR! Timmah. <laughs> Timmah goes, I said something about no TM last night and he's all TM stands for Timmah! <laughs uncontrollably>
Todd: So your childhood...
Ray: I don't think I've had any great memories from childhood.
PZO: Yeah, seeing as how you picked your parents divorce as your first choice.
Ray: Yeah, I had a lot of trial and error growing up. It was all good, it made me into who I am. I don't not like any of it, but maybe like a birthday party or something or getting a drum set was cool. I got that for Christmas one time.
Todd: That's probably the reason why you're in this interview, so I'd say that's a good enough memory.

PZO: What were you like in high school?
Ray: I sucked in high school. I somehow got along with everybody, but wasn't particularly friends with anybody. If that makes sense. Everybody knew who I was whether it was because I was super obnoxious or who knows why. I was very obnoxious in high school. I used to wear some ridiculous clothes and I was always playing in bands in stuff. I was never really a jock, although I got conned into playing football one year, but I got bribed because all I was doing was playing drums. They wanted me to broaden my horizons for some reason or another and they said if you play football, I will buy you this and this for your drum set. I was like "Okay." So I played football for a year. I think I held the record for, two records. One, I had the most claps on the side line. Definitely held that record and the other one was taking out the most cheerleaders coming in from halfway through the banner.
Todd: That works.
PZO: That's interesting.
Todd: I rode skateboards in high school. That's what I did. Yeah, but I wasn't THE skater guy. It was more of a profession than it was a hobby.
PZO: So if you weren't in the band, you would be skating?
Todd: <nods head> Mhmm. I actually left skateboarding to do this full time. I was doing that full time more than I was doing music.
PZO: Any favorite skaters?
Todd: Jeremy Ray, Jamie Thomas, Mark Gonzalez, Ethan Fouler, Jason Dill--
Ray: Ohh, Jason Dill.
Todd: Yeah, just to name a few.
PZO: What about Caine Gayle?
Todd: Caine is a really nice guy.
Ray: I can't skateboard to save my life. Last time I attempted to skateboard I dislocated my shoulder.

<West (short for Weston), the merch guy enters the tour bus>
Ray: Whatever, Wes. We're in the middle of an interview.
Todd: All these people trying to cash in on our fame.
<West passes through the interview>
PZO_Video_Camera_Friend: Say, "Hi" to the camera.
Wes: <looks down> Hi...
PZO: Look at the camera. It's impolite if you don't.
Wes: <Looks and waves> Hi.
Ray: Shut the door!
Todd: Surriously.
Ray: Surriously. Surriously, shut the door.
PZO_Video_Camera_Friend: You like to say that, don't you?
Todd: It's what we do in hurr.
<West passes through the interview to leave>
Ray: Damnit, West. We bring you on tour for one day.
Todd: Look at all the problems you're causing.
Ray: Oil spot.
Todd: That's what happens when you get left. If you leave the bus, you have to put your laminate on the seat, so the bus driver knows you're off the bus. You take it back when you get back on. If you leave the bus and don't tell the bus driver, the bus driver leaves without you because he doesn't know you're not on the bus. It's called an oil spot.
Ray: You come back to see where the bus was and it's no longer there, but an oil spot.
<Charlie, the Tour Manager walks into the tour bus>
Ray: God damnit. I swear to God.
Todd: More than half of this tape is people walking through the interview.
Ray: Get out of hurrr.

PZO: What is your best 'caught in the act' story?
Ray: <shifts eyes>
PZO: Uh oh.
Todd: This one is his.
Ray: I don't get caught in the act.
PZO: You just don't get caught.
Ray: I just don't get caught. I don't get caught just 'cause I tell what I am doing, so you really can't get caught.
Todd: Yeah, I don't think I've ever been caught in the act of anything.
Ray: Like are you talking sexually or anything.
Todd: Keep in mind this is PopZine Online.
[Ed. note: If only Todd would read some of the interviews on PZO; only then he would realize what angels he and Ray are.]
Ray: Legally, I've been caught, but not necessarily in the act. So to answer your question again I've not been caught in the act of much.
Todd: There's a lot of gotten caught and a lot of not gotten caught.
Ray: There was one night in Chicago where he caught me in the act, but nobody else caught me in the act.
Todd: No, it was after the fact even. It wasn't during. It was..was..yeah.

PZO: Have you ever been arrested or detained by law enforcement officials?
Ray: I know that question well enough to plead the 5th.
Todd: No. I've never been arrested, never been detained, never been handcuffed.
Ray: I've been arrested, detained, handcuffed and have had many of tickets.
PZO: Why?
Ray: Stupid stuff I'd rather not acknowledge.
Todd: For the most part we're good kids.
Ray: I'm a good kid I was just a stupid young kid at one point.

PZO: What is your favorite curse word and why?
Ray: I don't curse.
PZO: You're lying aren't you?
Todd: No. Honestly, Ray will not swear.
PZO: Really?
Todd: Yeah. I try SO hard to get him to swear.
Ray: I don't curse and I will tell you why.
PZO: Please do.
Ray: When I was younger I had a really really foul mouth and a really good friend of mine that I just visited in Salt Lake City; who I was training with in martial arts. We both had really foul mouths, so we said you know what this is not right, it's stupid. So every time you cuss I am going to punch you as hard as I can in your stomach and every time I cuss you punch me as hard as you can in my stomach. That was in 7th and 8th grade. It lasted about a year and half. I had the most rock solid stomach and the cleanest mouth.
Todd: I didn't know that.
Ray: One time I was talking to him on the phone and he said something and I said next time I see you I am knocking you out and we showed up to the show in Huntington Beach and he came and he's all, "What's Up?" <punches his fist in the air and makes punching sound> Without him expecting it, I just knocked him to the ground. <laughs> Good times.
Todd: I, on the other hand swear like a sailor. I think 'Fuck' is my favorite word, period.
Ray: <laughs>
Todd: You can use it for ANYTHING.
Ray: You really can. You really can.
Todd: 'Fuck' is a verb, a noun, an adjective, an adverb, anything you want it to be.
Ray: Even a pronoun on this bus. Our tour manager's name is...that's his first name.
Ray: I use it this way though <flips us off> It's very universal. Anybody can understand it. If you can't hear me, you can see me. You know what it means.
Todd: This is very true.

PZO: What's your favorite line from one of your songs?
Ray: I just got an email today from someone that re-wrote a song and sent the lyrics to me. All I remember is that it's from "Say I Do" and it says "This place tastes like salty Ray."
Todd: You've got some weird fans.
Ray: Some sexual innuendos going on, I believe.
PZO: Apparently.
Ray: I, uh saved it to read later.
Ray: In response to the question, I've thought about some lyrics that I like. You said lyrics, correct?
PZO: Yes, that's correct.
Ray: In the song called "Run Right Through" and in the bridge it says, 'It's all gonna happen, It's not gonna happen; and it keeps going back and forth. I like that.
Todd: You're making me process all the songs in my head right now. Here's an "Everything Out of Water" lyric: 'We used to build everything out of water, it made so much sense 'till you spilled another.' That's my answer.

PZO: What event on your life had the greatest impact on you?
Todd: I don't think I've had an event in my life. Like a quote on quote event that really changed me. It sounds weird.
Ray: Good or bad?
PZO: Your decision.
Ray: I can think of two events. Events?
PZO: Events.
Ray: Events.
Todd: Events.
Ray: I was in New York on 9/11 and that was an event to say the least.
Todd: I can't think of one of event that really changed me. Like I was this one day and something happened that day and the next day I was a whole new person.
Ray: That's a tough one.
Todd: I see it as a growing process. You just grow up.

PZO: What was the last good deed you did?
Ray: I helped this elder lady cross the street about an hour ago.
PZO: In the rain?
Ray: I had an umbrella too. I was like ma'am <pretends to hold umbrella and push a person>
PZO: An old lady?
Ray: She was pretty old. She was probably visiting a grandson on campus or something. I had no idea what she was doing. But we had an umbrella and I was like stop the bus, Mike. Stop the bus. I felt cool. Then I went back and dried off 'cause I got wet. <to Todd> How about you?
Todd: I gave a bum 5 bucks.
PZO: That's very nice. Not even change, 5 bucks.
Todd: Well it was like 5 bucks in change.
PZO: Oh.
<uncontrollable laughter>

PZO: Is there anything else you want to do as a band before the year is over?
Todd: Sea world.
Ray: Sea world. As a band.
PZO_Video_Camera_Friend: Don't get too close to the whale. You'll get soaked.
Ray: The whale?
PZO_Video_Camera_Friend: The whale.
Ray: What whale?
Todd: Shamoo people.
Ray: Come on.
Todd: Don't call it the whale when it's SHAMOO.
Ray: It's Shamoo. Not the black and white one or the whale at Sea world.
Todd: You don't go to Disneyland and talk about the mouse. It's Mickey. You go to Sea world and you see Shamoo.
<uncontrollable laughter>

PZO: What band would you like to see back together?
Ray: I would like to see a band called Far back together.
Todd: Good answer.
<Tim enters the tour bus AGAIN>
Todd: Surriously, Tim.
Ray: Surriously, Tim. This is not your interview.
Tim: Surriously?
Ray: Surriously. I like to see a band called Far, but I hold back from saying that because I wouldn't really want to see all four of them on the same stage again, but it would be cool to see them jam. The obvious answer would be I'd like to see Zeppelin back together, but that's really not going to happen.
<Tim passes through the interview>
Todd: I'd like to see The Refused back together.
Ray: Good answer.
Todd: That's compliments of Tim.
PZO: Did he just say that?
Todd: Yeah, he thinks for us sometimes.
Ray: How about the original Guns N Roses opposed to this crap?
<Charlie, the Tour Manager walks in>
Todd: Surriously, dude.
Ray: Lots of interruptions. Lots of people thinking they are in the band.
Todd: Cashing in.
Ray: Just walking through. "I'm an actor. I'm going to make a cameo."
Ray: Check me out.

PZO: Which band do you wish would just call it quits?
Ray: I'll answer a lot of them real quick. All of 'The' 's' bands. All the bands that start in 'The' and end in 's'. The Hives, The Vines, The Strokes, The White Stripes, all those bands.
Todd: I was just going to go off with bands that need to break up and they know who they are.
Ray: You guys can keep doing what you're doing, but change your name. All of you. We're THE Home Town Heroes.
Todd: It helps. Kids connect.
PZO: Do you guys like Creed?
Ray: No.
Todd: No.
PZO: Good.

PZO: What does Thanksgiving mean to you?
Ray: A lot of food.
Todd: Getting to see my family.
Ray: Drama. Seeing people I don't like. Getting a phone call from a person that I don't particularly like 'cause that's the only time he can make phone calls outta jail. Take a breathe. Continuing on.

PZO: What's the worst Christmas present you've ever received?
Ray: All the years of getting nothing.
Todd: That's a bad one. You may not like the gift, but that's how your parents think of you. Everything you get is kind of cool, but not really.
PZO: Not really. I don't get bad gifts from my parents.
Todd: Oh, it's like that. You just got some superhuman family who doesn't fuck up and give you bad presents.
PZO: Well, they know if I don't like it, I won't use it.
Todd: Right.
PZO: They don't like to waste money, so.
Ray: Oh, so we have a brat.
PZO: Yes.
Ray: <laughs> She says yes and looks down.
Todd: I am going to plead the 5th on that one 'cause I like my parents to much to diss the gifts they've given me.
Ray: I don't really care about that to be honest with you. Here's my view on it. Get me something or don't get me something. It doesn't really matter. There's so many other times throughout the year that aren't holidays that someone will do something for you. So it doesn’t matter.
PZO: Good answer.

<Door opens; Aaron the singer enters>
Todd: Who's throwing the damn door open?
Ray: This guy is allowed though.

PZO: If you were running for president what would your motto be?
Ray: For a better day, vote for Ray.
Todd: Not your slogan, your motto.
Ray: I thought about it on the spot too.
Todd: I don't have one.
Ray: I can't say I'd ever run for president.
PZO: What's something you'd want to do during your presidency?
Todd: I don't know. There's a lot of things I'd want to do that 4-8 years is not a long time to do it in. As far as getting guns under control, getting politicians in control.
Ray: For the truth of JFK, vote for Ray.
Todd: That's cute.
PZO: What do you think of all the celebrities going into politics?
Todd: That shows you how--
Ray: screwed up our political system is.
Todd: Exactly. If wrestlers can become politicians that goes to show you what America has become politically. It's a popularity contest regardless of the issues, or what's important or what's going on. Nothing changes. There have been few people who have changed the way politics has been thought about, but it hasn't changed the way people think.

PZO: If you were a statue what would be your pose?
Ray: <flips off the camera>
Aaron: <yells from the back of the tour bus> TODD!
Todd: WHAT?
Aaron: I need you to fucking fix this thing, dude. Hurry, dude.
Todd: What, dude? Shit. I have to go fix something. <hands Ray the recorder> Hold that.
Ray: Surriously, surriously. It is all falling apart back there. <shifts eyes> SO. I have all the multimedia now.
Ray: I get nervous.
PZO: Do you want to be an actor?
Ray: No, not at all.
PZO: You can be one of those musicians turned actors.
Ray: Negative. No, I uh..NO.
<Todd comes back>
Todd: Me sitting Indian style. That's it.

PZO: What question comes up in almost every interview that you're tired of being asked?
Todd: What do you sound like? Asking a band what they sound like. If you're interviewing the band, you obviously know what they sound like. Don't ask stupid questions. It's a waste of time.
Ray: For real.
Todd: For shizzy.

back to interviews