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Interview With Jon Tummillo From Folly
1.how did the band form?
We met on an airplane, but we didn’t know until several
years later. I was headed to Iowa to meet up with some
crop-dusters I met years back. We were going to discuss
share-cropping and irrigation techniques. I was to raise a
family there, with my wife Courtney Cox. Midway to the
Midwest, one of the engines failed. Smoke everywhere.
Chaos, screaming, blood… Everyone on the plane started
groping and maneuvering around each other and before you
know it, there was a mile-high bukkake. Fast forward a few
years to High School. Folly began for whatever reason, and
wouldn’t you know it, four of the handsome men that I
shared desperate lust with were these god damn guys.
2.what were your major influnces?
We have all been rock and roll fans forever. The Beatles,
Jimi Hendirx, Led Zeppelin, ACDC, and the like all reflect
our collective tastes. Arben and I went to our first ska
shows in 7th grade, around 1995-96. We were trekking to the
Wetlands in the city to see bands like the Scofflaws,
Mephiskapheles, MU330, and Hepcat. At the same time,
there was a fusion happening betwixt our favorite ska bands
and the west-coast fat Wreck/Epitaph punk bands like NOFX
and Bad Religion. Opening my eyes to hardcore music were
bands like Candiria, Strife, Hatebreed, Cave In, etc… We
kind of grew up on the cusp of a totally distinct wave of
bands. We were too young at the time to understand the
importance of the forefathers of our style, but young
enough to witness the up-and-comings of a lot of promising
bands that still rock today. Let alone, it is safe to say
that any band that has thwarted emotion into their music
before us has paved the way for us to continue on in the
tradition. I mean, it’s rock and roll, right? It’s a huge
cycle of expression that in the end will remain completely
3.if you could have a three band bill who would they
Flaming Lips, Oingo Boingo, and Dillinger Escape Plan.
4. have you had much feedback from overseas?
I have been talking to a lot of excellent people from all
over the place. Japan, Argentina, Belgium, Netherlands,
England… I have done my best to keep in touch with them
all because it is very interesting to me to discover what
music means to people separated physically from here. I am
always trying to find out if there are differences and
similarities between music scenes, crowd responses, styles,
and the like. In Ireland and in Germany, they have clubs
that play hardcore music. Kids dance, sing along, and go
crazy. There aren’t any bands performing in the room, they
are just spinning a CD. I found this to be very unique, and
also discovered that areas like this are in dire need of
American bands to come through their area and give them a
good show. Humanity is amazing. So many miles apart, so
many different cultures, different styles, different
values, and yet everyone just plainly wants to have a good
time. It is sometimes very unique to talk to someone in
South America where the ska scene is just blowing up there.
Some countries seem “behind,” but that is not necessarily
true because if you take a step back and think about it, we
may be just moving too fast here. Interesting thought. I
could probably talk for days about it.
5. where do you think you will be in 10 years?
The flow of life is just that, in that you really gotta go
with the flow. All of us in the band have been steadfast to
this principal and that is why after so many years we are
still having a great time with being friends and playing
music together. Ten years is a really long time that I
can’t even understand. How does anyone really know where
they will be ten years from now? I just hope I am doing
what I am doing and enjoying life and everything happening
around me. That is all I can truly hope for.
6. what has been your best gig you have played so
There have been way too many, man. For real, I really don’t
even know. I guess any show I don’t remember must have been
a good time. I don’t think we try to emphasize one show
against another. Personally, I know that every show is
surreal; every show is an out-of-body experience. No one
show will ever top another, in that when we are playing for
5 kids or 500 kids, I am experiencing a life alike no
other. It really is an alternate level of living, if only
for a half-hour in the night. I enter a fantasy world, I
live outside myself.
7. how did you sign to triple crown records?
We just kind of were doing what we had been doing, working
hard and playing shows. We started booking our own tours,
and each one we did seemed to get better and better. We
were meeting a shit load of new people and new bands. Our
name was kind of getting out there little by little, and
then we met Fred Feldman. Fred is one of the most
intriguing people I have ever met. I don’t know too much
about him personally, but from what I have gathered, he
just seems like he really has a great idea for music and
helping bands realize what they are. We were hoping that we
would meet someone like Fred, someone who believed in us
enough to support what we are doing and help us grow. We
had a meeting with him in the city. The scene was pretty
silly, as he could have passed for the father of the 5 kids
sitting and eating Chinese food before him. I remember he
asked us plainly “What do you guys want to do?” Obviously
one can answer this question in a very authoritive and
bossy way and be like “I want money, asshole, to become a
rockstar.” That’s not us. I mean, we are Folly, from Sussex
County NJ… We play ska for Christ sakes. Snap damn, SHIT.
We just basically told him that we wanted to continue what
we had been doing for the past several years and work hard
at what we believed we could be. We really believe in
our music and each other, and Fred somehow found faith in
us. We are indebted to him forever, for his trust in
us, and for his basic good nature.
8. what your fav type of beer?
Yuengling. Brewed in Pottsville, Pennsylvania; Oldest
American brewery since 1829.
9. who would most like to record a song with? I
really want to do a duet with Bobby Brown.
10. any new releases in the pipeline?
First full length – out on Triple Crown this Spring.
thanks for your time any last words…
Yeah, I would like to say a few things that are on my mind.
Fuck MTV. First of all, MTV needs to take a step back and
stop glorifying popularity, money, and good looks into the
mainstream. Their target audience, say the TRL crowd of 13
years old is being exposed heavily to needless bullshit
that no 13 year old should have to worry about. Kids are
being tagretted to think sex is a necessity, and that being
“cool” is the total pay-off to being succesful. What they
are refusing to condone is that individuality and
self-respect is more important than having expensive
panties. Fuck the Real World, fuck Nick and Jessica, and
fuck “RAP” videos. Fuck anyone who is teaching kids to
conform to a populace of whiney, disrespectful, assholes.
Finally, I would like to challenge anyone to create a
tasteful, creative music video. We are force-feeding people
shit with these tacky/”sexy” videos. Stop telling me that I
can’t get a dollar out of you, 50, the least you could do
is pawn one of those spinning blings around your neck and
feed a thousand bums from the streets you grew up on. Fuck
the marketing, press, celebrities exposed, the glitz and
the glammer, and everything else that is turning it’s back
on free-thinking youth. Ok. Think for yourself. Be
yourself. Long live rock and roll.
–Jonathan Francis Tummillo
“The first and the best victory is to conquer self.” –