from Long Beach, it's Secret Hate

interview by U.D. Szabo
Twenty years ago punk rock wasn't so bound by musical conventions. The early bands only had a few bands to look up to for indications of punkness, and most of that was attitude and visual style rather than style of music. Consequently, many bands invented punk rock as they went along. The results could be weird, or off kilter, or just plain amazing. Secret Hate is one of those early bands. From the prolific Long Beach scene, here they are today. ...And remember, it was never really about hate...

U.D.: Who are you and what do you do?
Mike Davis: I'm Mike D and I sing.
Rick Selga: I'm Rick, AKA Junebug, I'm a clinical psychologist and a drummer
Bob Schaeffer: I am Bob. Freaks, whatever, odd jobs.
Blake Davilla: Some call me Blake. I lasso the wind.
Kevin Roach: My name is Kevin, I play the bass guitar.
U.D.: A lot of bands come and go, you guys came back. Why?
MD: Cuz we're able to play without self destructing now. And it's in our nature to make noise.
RS: Always wanted to come back. We were still friends and talked about it a lot. When Sublime used our song, that just pushed us back in.
BS: Because we wanted to.
BD: I got no place to go.
KR: Rick, Mike, and I thought playing would be fun. When it stops being fun, why do it?
U.D.: Why did you leave the scene in the first place?
MD: Too much fighting, too much schmoozing, too much needles.
RS: Burned out on the violence.
BS: We felt we needed to go underground to germinate.
BD: Not qualified to answer old school S.H. questions but I suspect the "Hot Dog" incident had something to do with it.
KR: Our "scene" was 18-20 years ago. We just went separate ways. Life changes and you do different stuff. Rick and I crawled around L.B. for years.
U.D.: Secret Hate was an integral part of the early Long Beach punk scene. How does the scene differ today?
BD: Chain wallets.
MD: Long Beach was in between the O.C. scene & L.A., we had no clubs so we had to d.i.y., it's not as tight knit today but people seem to be getting along...
RS: There's more of us today.
BS: There is more trash, and less natural beauty, people still try to act really tough for no reason.
KR: I wish I could tell you about the scene in L.B. today. Lots of new bands, cliques, etc., etc. I'm jazzed whenever I hear a band outta L.B., Secret Hate, out of necessity is a bit detached from it all, which is not always a bad thing.
U.D.: What year was Reggie Rector (original guitarist) murdered? Can you share the details?
MD: I'm not comfortable sharing this with you.
RS: No.
BS: I dunno.
KR: I don't have many details on that. Long Beach has claimed so many. Reggie's death was just another tragedy in a long list of the same. We miss him.
U.D.: My fondest memory of Reggie is when he, someone's mom, and I were alone in a cramped, one-room bungalow and the two of them crept under a blanket on the floor and proceeded to conduct business. I never could understand why they didn't go outside and commando a bush or something! What's your fondest memory of him?
MD: Me and Reg were pushing his car and he got mad and picked it up by himself, also just chillin' at his house smoking pot and writing songs that made no sense to any other punkers.
RS: His lead in Bomb Chic.
KR: It seems most of my memories of Reg are when he pissed me off. It's funny how the mind works. I think what I remember most about Reg was his laugh. We'd get stoned and he'd giggle and laugh like a child. He was a gentle guy, could play bad-ass guitar, and could drop a man with one punch.
BS: I never knew him.
U.D.: To the new guitarists: How has it been filling in Reggie's shoes?
BS: I haven't really tried. He had a different style than me and I'm cool with that. He was great and I do what I like to do.
MD: I love Reggie and I love Blake & Bob I hope they don't kill the worlds small pet (mammals).
BD: Respects to Reggie. I love playin' his songs and keeping his music alive.
U.D.: When a song originally written and performed by Secret Hate is used by let's say Sublime, how does this affect your fan base? CD sales, etc?
MD: We have no fan base and I'm not sure anyone buys our CD's cuz we never made any money on our stuff. Eric & Bud & Brad were so cool to use our songs and Eric, Bud, Ras and Opie encourage us so much, I play for people like them.
KR: I don't think many people even realize we did that song, I don't know what it did for our fan base, I guess it couldn't hurt. Vegetables Dancing has been out on disk maybe a year. I don't know how many have sold. It's tough to find on vinyl.
RS: Barely.
BS: We don't have much of a fan base but we hope to someday, and thanks for asking...
U.D.: What is the inspiration behind "Edge Marine?"
BS: Ask Mike.
KR: Your guess is as good as mine, ask Mike.
RS: Ask Mike Hate.
MD: The song is about a soldier of suicide that gets people to kill themselves by telling them they can do it and live, ....he laughs when they die.
U.D.: Remember Hell Comes To Your House? How did you land a spot on that compilation?
RS: Enough people followed us that they thought they could sell more records.
MD: We knew Steve Sinclair from somewhere and we were tight with Rhino 39 (Gods), we just got lucky.
KR: Even with the Alzheimers I remember HCTYH. Steve Sinclair & Jim Bemis did that one, and they're from L.B. They asked us to do it when we had less than 10 songs we could play. Give it a listen, it shows.
U.D.: For Mike: I heard a lot about the Cave from Greg Carroll. What was it all about? Did you live there?
MD: Yes I did, it was a place where all the rejects from the "cool" punker scene came to crash and make their way thru life, it was a family of L.B.P.
RS: Had some sick parties there.
KR: See what I mean? Greg Carrol is another guy the LBC claimed. I remember him as a little surf grom, then we called him mini-Todd, he was a good guy. For all LBC Historians, S.H. had three places in LB we lived and played at. The Cave (Bixby & Falcon), The Hole (3rd Street), and The Castle (Long Beach Blvd.) Lots of fun, drinking, drugs, girls, etc.
U.D.: Do any of you have day jobs? If so, what are they?
BS: Yes, all of our jobs involve wasting vast amounts of time attempting to please others for their advancement.
MD: Yes, boring.
BD: Soldier.
KR: Ha, ha that's a good one. I do MRI in a hospital.
U.D.: Who created the Secret Hate logo?
MD: Rick "Junebug" Selga, NOT Volcom.
BS: Rick.
KR: Rick I think can take credit for that. I think he lifted it from Mark Alva (Tony's bro) or Emil (Oziehares, Black Flag). They had a similar design that he modified. He's a clever one.
RS: We borrowed it from a similar logo from a band call Fuck The Public (sorry).
BD: Volcom.
U.D.: When you came up with the name Secret Hate, you had a "secret hate" for _____________?
MD: It was that we felt people secretly hated us, and it was for the people like bosses and such that you had to play the game for.
KR: Back "in the day" we openly hated cops & hippies. That was almost mandatory behavior to wear the "punk" badge. Secret Hate has a little to do with our personal dislikes. It's abstract, yet tangible, a certain kind of tension that makes it hard to live in your skin, hard not to numb your mind. It's almost a smell in the air, like distrust, cynicism. Can't you smell it?
U.D.: If you had three wishes, what would they be?
BS: 1. To never work. 2. To spend time with people I love. 3. To never have to work again and have all of my time to surf and play music or whatever.
RS: 1. To play music instead of going to work. 2. I wish I could spin my sticks. 3. I wish I could be happy forever.
MD: 1. I wish I could play an instrument. 2. I could move thru, in, out and up. 3. Happiness thru foreverness.
KR: 1. I'd wish to surf and play music with my friends without working for the man, 2. To be able to say good-bye to people who left the planet suddenly, 3. I'd wish for three more wishes.
BD: 1. Feed the starving children of the world. 2. Bridge the gap between man & nature. 3. 100 More wishes
U.D.: If you could change the music industry, what would the changes be?
KR: I'd make them spend some more of the huge money they make on crappy popular performers to help developing new artists. Subsidize the people trying to make a living playing music. Socialized music.
MD: I don't know the industry, I want it to stay the same so I can watch them make vanilla yogurt music. Jason is the only industry guy I know and he's a smiley freakazoid.
BS: I would make kids who really like music in charge, instead of business people aiming for a demographic.
BD: All talents would be evenly distributed amongst the current pool of musicians. All bands would be referred to by their numbers. No band will have more than 4 musicians. Any band exibiting excessive talent within this autonomous collective, should be handicapped.
U.D.: I went streaking for New Year's Eve. What about you?
KR: I hung out with some friends, ignited some military explosives, pissed off the neighbor's dogs. Unfortunately with small kids around, I had to keep my clothes on.
BS: Hung out with my best friends.
MD: I went to sleep cuz I'm a lazy Mexican, my real name is Michael Lafiadi Garcia.
BD: I built an altar of Hate made from the skulls of neighborhood cats.
U.D.: Is there a message that you're trying to deliver with your music?
MD: Yes but..., isn't it clear? The message is that life is frustrating, short and there's always someone that thinks he can live it better than you.
BS: Yeah, life is really cool and really very sad and weird at the same time.
BD: Have a good time all of the time, and if you can't kill your boss to our music then you probably ain't got it in ya.
KR: Not in the sense of "one, two, one, two, do as I say, not as I do" type of bands. Without stepping on Mike's toes, I think our songs are short stories about things we've experienced or things that have affected us.
U.D.: Is it the same message as when you started or has it changed in the last 20 years?
BS: Yeah, for me it's the same.
MD: You know that's a good question - for me it has changed cuz when I was a young fuckface, I thought I could escape. Now, I don't think anyone can - for long...
BD: My message when I was nine was Legos suck, I like Lincoln Logs.
KR: I think the message is the same, but probably tempered by our advanced years, etc.
U.D.: What's in store for Secret hate in the future? New Releases? Tours?
MD: A new cd from Skunk and commando raids where there is interest.
BS: A new album in March '00, perhaps a tour also this year.
BD: Big money, huge concerts, tons o' bitches.
KR: We have a new disc coming out (March or April) It's our first full-length, and were pretty sure it will burn some ears. Maybe another before the end of the year? We will be doing some short term hit & run tours out of the area to support the disc.
U.D.: Thanks a lot for the interview, guys! I'll send you an issue when it comes out.
BS: thanks!

look for Secret Hate on www.skunk.com

Disco, bay-bay! ---------...

"Pop Cult Vomit" (Skunk) 2000.
"Radio Kills" 7" (Skunk)
"Das/Hate" split 7" (Skunk)
"Vegetables Dancing" (New Alliance) 1983, and reissued 1999 with extra tracks (Skunk).
"Hell Comes To Your House" comp, I forget who the label was back then, reissued by Time Bomb a few years ago.