You wouldn't think that a pro baseball player would have time to front a Southern California punk band. Nor would you think that this punk band would have the time to put out four albums on Epitaph since 1996. Nor would you think that punk band would have a six-legged wombat as a mascot. Well, you'd be right about the wombat thing, but Scott Radinsky is living proof that the first two are possible. Now finished with his professional baseball pitching career, he is focusing his time and effort on his band, Pulley, which just released their fourth album, Together Again for the First Time, last year. Somehow, in the midst of what must still be a very busy schedule, he found the time to answer questions about the new album, the worst gig he's ever played and his plans for the future.
When you were younger, were you more involved with baseball or music?
I was definitely more involved in skating and music and the whole band thing. I just pitched on Wednesdays and Fridays when we had games. When it was time to graduate, I had the opportunity to do that for a job. I thought, "Oh, that sounds pretty cool." I tried it out for a while and 17 years later, I finally quit.
What distinguishes Pulley from other punk bands?
As far as what we do, we're similar to other bands on our label. I guess we're all in the same boat. It's all kind of the same musical sound. We're just five different people. We've been doing it for a long time. Musically, I would like to think that we have our own distinct sound. I think after you hear a few songs it all sounds the same anyway.
Where does the inspiration for your songs come from?
Everything, you know? You can turn on the news one day and get inspiration, come off a tour and have inspiration, play with another band that you really liked and have inspiration. I wouldn't share one particular direction, just overall, everything. Everything that all five of us are living on a daily basis is an inspiration at some point or another for a song.
So, how can you be together again for the first time? What is the meaning behind that as a title for your latest album?
We've had some different lineups over time. We just thought it was funny. Like, "Oh, together again for the first time." Actually, there was nobody new in the band on this last record, so I guess it was an inappropriate title. But, that was kind of the idea behind it all. It was just kind of a joke amongst ourselves.
What were you trying to accomplish with the new album?
It was just one more stepping stone on the path of our music. Just something to link the last record before and the next record in the future. We weren't trying to do anything drastically different from what we'd done in the past. We were just trying to keep creating the same general sound, but just take it to another level. You know, there's no real message behind the album - it's just a wide variety of ideas thrown onto a CD. I think it's just to keep the music fun and keep the people interested, knowing that they can come out and have a good time and hear some music that they like to listen to and sing along.
How would you describe your live show?
Well, we all dress up naked [laughs]. You can't dress up naked, can you? Um, the live show is good. It's entertaining, we're active on stage and we interact with the crowd and try to get them involved in certain things. We play little games and stuff, depending on the show. If we're an opening band or a supporting band and it's not really our show, we don't have the room to do stupid stuff. We just try to go up there and play our music. I would say that it's 99 percent music. There's not a lot of bullshit between songs, you know? If you want to get entertained and hear jokes and stuff, you might want to watch another band. With us, from the first note to the last note it's pretty much all we have, right in your face and we try to keep that entertaining.
What's the worst gig you've ever had?
The only gig that I can think of that was the worst gig for me was, we were in Europe and our drummer hung out with some people the night before and didn't make it to the show the next day. It was especially bad for me because I had to play drums and sing, and I hadn't played drums in about 15 years - it really sucked. We stood at the front door and gave everyone their money on their way out, which was kind of cool, but it wasn't really that cool. For me personally, that was probably the worst gig I've ever played. I'm sure there are a couple guys in the band that would go along with me - that was pretty embarrassing.
Looking back, is there anything you would change or do differently?
God, I guess in everything there is, right? It's hard to say because I had a job that held me down eight months out of the year and the other four months I put as much energy as I could into the band. Looking back on it, I really can't say there was a whole lot I would have done differently. I don't really have any regrets about what happened or wish I would have done it a different way. You can always wish for better, but that's the story of everyone's life, right?
Punk rocker and pro baseball player. Is there anything left that you want to do?
No, not really. I want to keep playing shows and keep growing musically. I don't know if there are any other big goals in life. I guess I'm pretty content with where I'm at.
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