White Rose (Rock)

Written by Jonny Havoc

White Rose
Posted Sep 1, 2006.


Steve - guitar & back-up vocals
Nate - drums
Noah - bass & lead vocals
Ian - guitar
What is music to you?
Steve-Music plays a very important role in my life. I thrive on hearing new sounds and combinations of sounds. I listen to music constantly and I am always searching for new and exciting CDs.
Nate-Music has the power to move people. It can make you sad, happy, angry, etc… It’s also the thing that fueled my desire to try to know what is going on in the world in the areas of government, social justice and religion.

What is the best thing about music?
Steve-The best thing is discovering something new and I get that feeling that it “belongs” to me. I love that sort of thing. I heard a tape in a restaurant one day and I asked the owner who they were playing overhead. He told me it was Omar Korshid, who is a Persian guitar player. I asked him where to find music like this and he offered to sell the tape to me, which I bought. It is still one of my favorite tapes. Finding an awesome record for 25 cents at a garage sale is fun too.

Nate- Getting a new album from your favorite band, or hearing something new you’ve never heard before. Also, it is the feeling you get when people are going off while you are playing. It’s amazing!

What is the worst thing about music?
Steve-There is a lot of music I don’t like. To me, the worst part is not connecting to a song at all. There is a lot of music that I hear right now that I cannot connect to. I’m not sure who it appeals to, but it isn’t me.

Nate- I can’t stand wannabe rock stars that are jerks to kids.

What do you want to see happen thru music in the future?
Steve- I have always been about breaking down the barriers between the audience and the band. When I grew up in the early 80’s, I could go and hang out with the band and get to know them. The lines between the two were blurred, especially in the punk and hardcore scene. I think that a lot of bands lately have adopted the “rock star” attitude that I detested so much. I also would like to challenge the audience more, politically as well as musically.

Nate- To challenge people to look around and see what is really going on, and open their eyes to the various ways the world is being destroyed and that we can make a difference.

Steve- There is a variety of things we can do, I’m hoping that we can get some of our fans to join us in a reforestation project on Maui as well as look for permanent housing solutions to address the crisis of homelessness in Hawaii. We have also started working with people to help make Maui a self-sustaining island like it once was. Almost all of our food is shipped here, so our entire food supply is dependent on oil. We have a long way to go on that one.

Does being involved in playing music make you miss out on anything?
Steve-I worked as a roadie for a long time and that made it really hard to have a relationship when I was gone for long periods of time. But, playing music has afforded me to see the world and meet tons of people. So, I may have missed out on things, but I gained a lot too. Now, I have found a better balance between music and my relationships.

Nate-I think the sacrifices you have to make, (like typing out this interview at two in morning) are well worth it. I love sharing my personal views on things and it’s all worth it when we hit the stage.

What other instruments can you play?
Steve-I play percussion, keyboards and a variety of stringed instruments. I cannot play the drums to save my life though.

Nate- I focus all my energy on the drums.

What do you guys do for work right now, other than playing music?
Steve-I’m a student at the University of Hawaii and work on the band full-time when I’m not in school.

Nate- I drill water wells and I am a tattoo artist part time. Hopefully, I will do that full time soon.

What were some of your favorite bands growing up? Did your parents like you playing music and the person you are today?
Steve-I loved David Bowie and Iggy Pop, and then I discovered Black Flag and the Dead Kennedys, which turned me onto Raw Power from Italy and Die Kreuzen from Wisconsin. My parents hated the fact that music consumed me and still are not supportive of me playing. It’s almost funny how they go out of their way not to know what I am doing musically.

Nate-Growing up, my parents hated punk rock; if my dad found a tape he would throw it away.

Steve-My dad did that too!

Nate-My mom has finally come to understand, and my dad still thinks I’m a wild child.

Is there a venue or area you would like to play that you have not played before?
Steve- I haven’t been to Russia, Japan or Poland or Prague and would love to go there.

Nate- Everywhere! But I would really like to tour South and Central America.

What is your favorite venue or area to play shows?
I love to play the all-ages shows on Oahu. Those are the best.
Nate- I like to play at “Detox” on Oahu.

How was your first show?
Steve-The first show we played at was in Paia, a kind of hippy/surf town in Maui. We were going to practice and our friends in the band Khrinj asked us to open for them. It was a pretty good show for our first one.
Nate- It was a last minute kind of thing.

Where was your best show? Why?
Steve-Our best show was opening for the Bouncing Souls. It was sold and packed from wall to wall and the kids were singing along with us and stage diving and the walls were sweating. It was awesome.
Nate- Definitely opening for the Bouncing Souls. They are one of my favorite bands and the show was sold out and packed!

What religion are you and does that have an effect on your music?
Steve-I grew up in a Christian home. I don’t believe in religion though. I think that religion is a man-made construct in an attempt to understand God, and I don’t think we really can understand God. It’s like putting God in a little box and saying, “There, that is what God is, and I’m right and you are wrong!” I don’t believe in that. There are things that I will never understand, and this is one of the mysteries I may never know the answer to.
Nate- I was raised in a Christian home, so I would say Christian, but as of late, I have been questioning a lot of things

How did you come up with your band name and what does it means?
Steve-We named ourselves in tribute to the original White Rose, who were a group of students in Nazi Germany who wrote leaflets and sprayed graffiti, protesting the Nazi regime.

Did you have any previous band names?
Steve-We originally named ourselves, “Otis,” after our friend’s dog. But that name was already taken.

What would you say to a kid who has no faith in himself?
Steve-That’s a good question. I haven’t heard that one before. We have a song called, “Resist Despair,” where we sing during the bridge, “I am not “nothing” at all!” I would tell the kid, “You aren’t a ‘nothing’. You may never know who you may affect in your life and what positive contribution to the world you may offer.” I was homeless many times in my life, but I never gave up and was tenacious about my survival as well as trying to live my life as a good person.

Nate- Stop watching TV and all the commercials that tell you how to look, dress, act and think. Be yourself because your life is just as sacred as any other.

Who do you one day want to play a show with the most?
Steve-The reunited Cro-mags, the Instigators and the Melvins.

Nate- Green Day.

Why do you play music, what makes you strive to be heard?
Steve-I play music because that is what I do. That is who I am. I have hundreds of hours of recorded music that I wrote and recorded because that is what I am interested in doing. There are many times that I hear some band or whatever and I think, “Wow, I would do that differently,” so I try to create something new, that I would enjoy listening to. I strive to connect with people and hopefully we can build something more than just a band/audience relationship.

Nate- I play music because there is no other feeling like it, and I also want to return the gift I was given. I also hate work.

Why would anyone want to hear your music and what you are saying thru it?
Steve-I think we play interesting music. We don’t whine about our girlfriends not understanding us but we feel that our lyrics and our left-wing political message is very important to our songs. I hope to instill hope, not only in my life, but in the lives I come in contact with.

Nate- We will never shut up as long as there is a need for the message we are bringing!

How many people in the band right now are the original band members?
Steve-We have four members, we added Ian on guitar because we wanted to have our live show sound as good as our CD. Ian has been amazing since he joined White Rose and has helped us write some great songs.

What brought your band together?
Steve- I saw Nate play drums in another band and I thought, “I’m going to steal that guy and have him for a drummer.” Nate and Noah are brothers, so when Noah came back to Maui from California, the band was complete.

Any funny or interesting stories?
Steve- The other night we opened for a Van Halen cover band. I overheard the singer say, “We’re not a cover band, we are the real Van Halen.” I thought that was pretty funny. They are really nice people though.

Nate- That’s funny! We haven’t been on tour long enough to have crazy stories. I seem to forget my drum key a lot, but that’s not funny.

How long have you been a band?
Steve-About two years or so.

If you guys could open for one band, who would it be?
Steve-For me it would be the Cro-mags or the Melvins.

Nate- Green Day

What do you wish for your band to be in 5 years?
Steve-Hopefully, we will have a lot more records and CDs out. I have a lot of plans to release some 7-inch records in the next few years. I would love to see us travel all over the world as well.
Nate- If we were paid to do this, that would be a great job!

What is the best thing about being a band?
Steve-To me, it’s knowing that you can transcend the mundane of life. The catharsis of playing a show, or playing a song that we just wrote is absolutely sublime.

When was your band formed?
Steve- A couple of years ago, Nate and I started playing music together, just messing around and stuff.

How old were each of you when starting to play instruments?
Steve-I was pretty young when I started playing piano. I started guitar around 15.

Nate- I was 18.

Where have you been playing lately and how has your response been?
Steve- The shows on Maui have been great lately. They don’t move around much, but they really seem to appreciate our music.

Nate- We have been playing the all-ages shows at Detox and there are a lot of people there and the vibe is good there.

Steve-The kids go nuts when we play!

What inspires each of you to play?
Steve-Introducing a new song and watching people go nuts is a blast. Connecting with people, either at a show or on the Internet is also very inspiring.

Nate- I love to play drums a lot. I really believe in the message we are bringing as well. I think it’s really important.

Have you ever been on tour, how many and how did you go?
Steve-I toured all over the world for almost 18 years with a variety of bands. It was fun, but I’m glad to have a band of my own now. I can’t wait to tour with these guys.

Nate- Just Oahu and Kauai.

What’s the name or your latest CD, what do you guys think about it and what did your fans say about it?
Our CD is called, “War Machine.” As our first CD, I think it came out amazing. We had Winston Smith design our cover as well as our logo. He has been great to us and a good friend to me personally. I find him very inspiring. So far, our fans have been overwhelmed and their response has shocked me, to be honest. They seem to love it and that is satisfying because that means we actually did connect with them.

Nate- I think it’s great. Our engineer, Eric Helmkamp did an amazing job and Winston’s artwork was amazing.

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