War Time Talk With Jim from Pennywise

Courtesy of Assorted Jelly Beans Magazine.

By: Kelli Skye

Since Pennywise stepped up to headline the Punk Rock For Recovery gig in early February which raised funds to help offset the medical bills of Bali bombing victim Steve Crabby Cabler of OC's El Centro. The evening was sponsored by the Surfers 4 Peace foundation and co-sponsored by Finger Records, Team Goon Clothing/Skating, and Volcom Entertainment. I took a few minutes to talk Jim about the importance of the event and the current state of our country. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Skye: First off, why did you guys step up so quickly and decide to headline the Punk Rock gig?

Jim: As an avid surfer myself it was something very near and dear to my own heart. Volcom put it together and we're friends with them. The people that were involved were personal friends. The surfing community is a close community and when it's one of our own we rally and help the cause.

Skye: What do you think about the Surfers 4 Peace foundation and people getting involved with that?

Jim: I think it's absolutely great. Surfers in general are people that are pretty connected with nature and have a good understanding of what's important in life. It might sound kind of '60s-ish but at the same time obviously the current political climate is very important. It shouldn't just be Surfers 4 Peace; it should be Cab Drivers 4 Peace, or something. I think every segment of society should have an organization like this. There's surfers throughout the world and they are concerned with the fate of the planet and they are organized and mobilized, and could do the boycotts that it takes to get issues noticed.

Skye: What do you think about Surfers 4 Peace kicking off with helping out Crabby?

Jim: It's a great cause. It's a tragic event and if there is anything we can do whither its play a show or donate some money then we'll be doing that. There's a lot of chaos in the world right now and it's even more shocking that it's in a place so close to paradise. Indonesia -- surfers go there to relax and most of the natives enjoy the surfers. It's happy go lucky, but obviously there are still conflicts there that people bring into that environment and that's unfortunate. It's a strange paradox. Peaceful surfers in a peaceful country and all of a sudden it's rocked by this type of violence. It's strange for our community (surf community).

Skye: What about Surfer stereotypes?

Jim: Obviously the stereotypes aren't that far off. I think the stereotype is that we're a bunch of dumb blonde surfers, but that's not at all the case.

Skye: Since you were talking about the country, what do you think about our country right now?

Jim: Well, you could go to punkvoter.com and see one of my essays? How much time do you have? About three or so hours? No, I think we're in a dangerous course right now. I think the white house policy is leading us down a dangerous path. We are creating more and more enemies for the future. There's going to be a thousand Bin Laden's and followers just like him if we continue our aggressions in the Middle East. These people obviously hold grudges. Osoma Bin Laden was created because of Desert Storm and that was a decade ago and you can clearly see what that creates.

Skye: Do you think Diplomacy has been pursued enough?

Jim: No, in the Middle East there are people that don't want to be caught up in all this. They just want a place to eat and sleep, and we're playing war and big oil games with their lively hoods. I think it's gross. It's hard not to get discouraged these days. That's why I think that Surfers 4 Peace foundation is very important. People who have been on the sidelines can have a chance to be involved.

Skye: Well the Indonesia bombing really hits home here in OC because members of our community have been directly affected.

Jim: We're in a cocoon here in the United States, obviously September 11 was an enormous exception but there is still this feeling that we are disconnected from what's going on. Things like this are what bring it home, traveling abroad and when people are killed like this it is tragic. The only positive thing to come out of this is that people can finally start to get involved and that's the best you can hope for - to wake people up from their apathy.

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