Published Aug 03, 2017Punk heroes Jawbreaker recently unveiled the jaw-dropping news that they were reuniting for Riot Fest after 21 years of dormancy. Now, frontman Blake Schwarzenbach has finally opened up about the trio's decision to return.
In a new interview with the Missing Words podcast [via Brooklyn Vegan], Schwarzenbach confirmed that their motivations were financial. Specifically, he said that he was having trouble finding a job, and it didn't make sense to keep turning down the opportunity to make some cash.
Here's the relevant passage about his employment struggles:
I actually had nowhere else to go. It just happened at a moment. What it took honestly was a good offer from an interesting big fest. Riot Fest feels like one of the few guitar-based, kind of punk-based stage events going on. [They] appealed way more than some of the others that had been asking us. Largely, I think anyone in the band would say that Adam has been the most instrumental in making something happen because he never really left the band. Chris and I did but Adam [Pfahler – drummer] has been in Jawbreaker this whole time. He never quit. I hit a point in my life where I was like, man, I'm going to get in on this [laughing]. It's time to activate. My life was just stopped completely. I don't think I am coming to it from hunger. It was just this huge thing that was sitting right in front of me the whole time. I kind of hit a moment where I was like, I can either apply for 100 jobs and not get them. I mean – dog walking – I couldn't get hired. Which is just a reflection of our economy, I think? Nothing against me or anybody else. I couldn't believe what I couldn't get. Adam wrote as he does every year and goes, "I just gotta tell you whats being offered right now." Just how ridiculous the stakes are. It was just a matter of feeling the other guys out and then seeing that everyone wanted to do it and making a plan to meet up. We didn't agree until we practiced and thought that this actually sounds like us enough that we can pursue it.
Of course, in Jawbreaker's heyday these sorts of decisions might've been decried as "selling out." For Schwarzenbach, however, it's just a normal thing to do in this day and age:
If anyone is worried about Jawbreaker selling out in 2017, they are clearly not living in this world. Selling out is so kind of endorsed now. There is a culture online that is so pro success. Which has really been my battle for the last 10 years. People get mad at me for not promoting myself better. Like, what the hell is forgetters? Why don't you capitalize it? Why don't you capitalize on who you are? People seem really hurt or offended that I wasn't trying to do something bigger. It really made me retreat and do it even smaller in a lot of cases. I just don't understand that kind of philosophy.
Jawbreaker will play Riot Fest on September 17. It's their only show of 2017 and so far the only show confirmed as part of their reunion.
Further, as previously reported, a documentary about the band called Don't Break Down: A Film About Jawbreaker is also on its way. Watch a trailer for the film below.