Interview with: Tim Rogner and Mike Leveranz of Allister
When & Where: 10/01/03 - Showplace Theatre - Buffalo, NY
For the record please state your name and something random about yourself.
Mike: Hi, my name is Mike I'm from Chicago, and I have red hair.
Tim: Hello, I'm Tim I play guitar in Allister and I LOVE THE CUBS!!
So, there is obviously a change in the line up. I know that Chris went back to August Premier. I don't remember the exact reason why Dave left, so can you tell me what happened?
Tim: Um. Dave really didn't feel like he wanted to be in this anymore, he just felt like it was time to stop.
Are you still in contact with any of the 'old' Allister members?
Tim: Yeah, some of them.. we haven't talked to any of them in a while though.
At this time, Tim cheers excitedly because he was watching the Cubs game and they just scored a run
You guys have obviously had to give up a lot to be in this band. What do you miss the most?
Mike: Well, the touring has been crazy! An I hardly see anyone anymore so yeah, I miss my family, I miss my friends, and I definately miss my girlfriend!
Tim: I miss being home in general. I miss my friends and family.
What's the best thing about being in this band?
Mike: ah, free alcohol?
Tim: Yeah, Free alcohol! and getting to perform every nite.
What's your favorite city/venue to play?
Mike: Fireside Bowl, I don't know if you've heard of it, but It's in Chicago.
Tim: Yeah, the Fireside Bowl is definately my favorite.
I read an interview a while back, where you (referring to Tim) said something about one of your favorite venues being The Backstage Pub here in Buffalo.
Tim: Oh definately! I love that place!!
What do you like about it?
Tim: It's a nice place for shows. The stage area is small enough to interact well with the fans, I just loved playing there. The atmosphere was great.
Do you know there are no longer shows being held there?
Tim: Yeah! I heard about that and that fucking sucks! Actually, that sucks real bad. I liked that place.
Do you think Kazaa (or any other file sharing programs) are good or bad?
Mike: I definately think they are a good thing. There are people out there who don't have money to go out and by fifteen dollar cds, so it gets our songs out there and it helps people get the cd without paying anything.. and I don't have a problem with that.
Tim: Its a good thing! Like Mike exlplained, it gets our music out there and if it helps us get noticed more then hell yeah its a good thing. There isn't anything wrong with it at all.
Do you guys have a favorite song to play live?
Mike: I like Overrated!
Tim: Somewhere on Fullerton.
That's my favorite song too!
Tim: Hell yeah! That's awesome! Thanks.
What would you guys be doing if you weren't in a band?
Tim: Most likely more than anything, I'd probably be in school. Either that or working a shitty job.
If there are any celebrities you would like to beat up, who would it be?
Mike: Wow. Um. I dont really know. Personally I really dislike Camron Diaz.
Mike: I wouldn't say I'd want to beat her up, but she just annoys the hell out of me. I've seen so many interviews with her on late night shows, and she just acts so retarded. I don't know. I just really dislike her. Tim, what celebrity would you like to beat up?
Tim: Lars Ulrich.
Tim: Because he's an asshole!
*Tim's cell phone rings/He is glued into the Cubs game.. so Mike took over for a while*
(Because Mike was wearing a Fall Out Boy shirt) What's your favorite Fall Out Boy song?
Mike: Um, Grand Theft Autumn. Actually when we toured with them, I was like play that fuckin song! and they ended up playing it like twice because they have to tune differently for that song.
What's your most prized possession?
Mike: I don't actually have one. So, I don't know what it would be.
What in your opinion is your biggest accomplishment as a band?
Mike: Hmm. Staying on the road as much as possible. Yeah, that's most likely it considering I just joined this band about 9 months ago and we have had about 5 weeks off since I've been here and we've been around the globe 3 times. Like, going to places such as London, all over the UK, Japan and the fans there are kinda weird but, they're cool.
Yeah, I was going to ask something about that later on.
Have you experienced any weird fan encounters?
Mike: Mothing too weird. I mean they bring us stuff sometimes and that's cool. It is kind of weird. Like, when me and Kyle were in the band for only a couple of months, we went to Japan and like they knew who we were and like, they brought us chocolate and stuff. So, nothing too weird or anything.
Does Chicago have a good local scene?
Mike: Yeah it's awesome! There are a lot of good bands like Fall Out Boy & August Premier coming out right now, and there are other bands that arent signed that are good that play at the Fire Side Bowl that really help out our local scene. We love that venue seeing that's where we're from and everything. That's where we grew up.
Do you have a favorite one hit wonder?
Tim: A what?
Mike: Favorite one hit wonder.
Tim: I don't really remember any one hit wonders, because they are one hit wonders. [laughs]
You don't remember any of those VH1 specials?
Tim: Come to think about it, not really.
Mike: I don't know if I have one. Name some. Maybe I'll know.
Macarana? Mambo #5? [laughs]
Tim: Yeah, I still don't know.[laughs]
Mike: I don't know either. That's hard.
What's your favorite record of all time?
Tim: Aw man! That question is so impossible to answer.
Mike: [laughs] Yeah, I'd agree on that. There are way to many to list.
Okay then. Favorite Band?
Tim: I'd definately have to say Green Day and Screeching Weasel!
Mike: Oh yeah. I'm going to agree with him again. Those are mine too.
Tell me about the writing process.
Tim: Me and Scottie write most of the songs. If we have an idea or ideas for a song we sit down together and try to come up with something and for songs where they are like 85% done we bring it in and try to practice those so we can get them to be the best they can be.
Okay, this one is basically for Mike. Seeing you're one of the new guys, can you tell us some background information about yourself?
Mike: About me?
Mike: ah, I met Tim in college about 6 years ago and I've played in bands with him before, like whenever he needed someone, like if they needed a drummer, I would help out.
Is that the only instrument you can play or...
Mike: I can play guitar. Well, I try to play at least. But, drums seem to suit me better.
Are there girls who like, throw themselves at you? - That's gotta be kinda weird.
Tim: Yeah! Actually, guys and girls! It's weird cuz we're just regualr people like you. It's cool if they like the band and all...
You've had a guy hit on you?
Mike: Actually I have. But, at the time I really didn't know. Like we were at a bar back home just chillin, and there was this guy who was sitting next to me and just started talking to me, and now that I think about it, I think he was trying to hit on me because he was asking me a lot of questions, but it just didn't click in ya know? So when we got home, my sister was asking me if that guy tried hitting on me, and I said, you know what? I'm not sure. He was asking me a lot of questions. My sister said, yep! He was hitting on you.
That's gotta be so weird!
Mike: Oh yeah, it definately was.
So, you guys mentioned you have been to Japan, and like the crowd, they don't clap until the end of the song, and they are almost silent while performing, that's gotta be odd.
Tim: Yeah, but they can get pretty crazy though!
Mike: Yeah, they'll be pretty excited to see you peform and there are some who actually study English so when you're talking on stage in between songs they can listen and understand you and when you're done singing a song they will clap for like 2 seconds and stop all at once, while waiting anxiously for you to play the next song. It was actually kind of cool.
Did you hear about the Movielife breakup?
Tim & Mike: Yeah.
What to you think about that?
Tim: I mean, it sucks but bands break up all the time. They were a cool band, so it sucks but what can ya do.
Mike: I really didn't know them personally but it sucks that they broke up.
What are your plans after the Drive Thru tour comes to its end?
Mike: To put out a new record.
Tim: Actually, I think we're going to set up a tour with Homegrown.
Are you guys going to hit Buffalo again?
Tim: No, it's most likely going to be a west coast tour.
Mike: Yeah, if we come back, it'll be more cold than it is right now!
No! Just set up one east coast date and have it be Buffalo.
Tim: [laughs] Don't worry we'll be back sometime.
Com'on I can't even see your set tonite! The last time I saw you guys was last November in Rochester and Buffalo with Riddlin Kids!
Tim: Oh yeah! That tour was fun. Good fucking times!
Okay guys. That's basically all I have for you today.
Mike: Oh we're done?
Yeah, Thank You!!
Mike & TIm: Anytime.
For more on Allister, go to www.allisterrock.com