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Madball IV with Freddy and Hoya

It was a beautiful day as Freddy greeted me outside of their rehearsal spot. He proceeded to take to meet upstairs to their rehearsal spot, where I was welcomed by Hoya smoking a fat ass blunt. Shocking, I know. I indulged, a bit, and we sat down and talked about one of my favorite New York Hardcore bands. A decade later and still blowing it up. This is Madball people!

And so it begins…

Dominicanedge: Madball interview…we have Freddy

Freddy: Wassup, Whassup!

Dominicanedge: And, Hoya Roc.

Hoya: Whasup You! (Laughter)

Dominicanedge: Madball has seen its share of ups and downs. Why bring Madball back now? Does hardcore need a band like Madball?

Freddy: I think it always needs a band like us. I mean we brought it back for a number of reasons, for personal reasons, and I think we have something to offer to the hardcore scene. I think we’ve always had our own little sound, our own little flavor.

Hoya: It’s still going to keep the traditional sound around too. We’re old style with some new style. It’s NY hardcore so it’s good.

Freddy: I think we can represent both, the old & new generation.

Dominicanedge: How has the hardcore scene changed since you first stepped into it? Is it a more positive scene? Better/worse?

Freddy/Hoya: More positive. Way more positive.

Dominicanedge: Do you think it was more violent back then?

Hoya: Way more violent. Nowadays it’s typical to see a lot more Metal guys. There were always Metal guys, but you know what I mean. Now everybody sounds like a metal band and that’s a typical hardcore show. It’s like new style hardcore. It’s cool.

Freddy: Which I think is a good thing actually. I guess there used to be more beef with metal kids vs. your average hardcore kid. And that’s all nonsense.

Hoya: They’re more open now. Back then you know how we used to be. Even if half the people still loved metal you couldn’t be a metalhead.

Dominicanedge: Yeah man. I learned my lesson the first time I stepped into CB’s with long hair. (Laughter)

Freddy: It’s good to be open-minded.

Dominicanedge: So, do you think it’s positive for the hardcore scene to have this new crop of metal influenced hardcore?

Hoya: Yeah, why not. There was always Carnivore’s around. Even AF. Cause for Alarm, that was a crossover record. Why not?

Dominicanedge: Do you think they’re still retaining the lifestyle aspect of hardcore?

Freddy: Hardcore has become so diverse nowadays. You got so many sounds within the scene. Some people are doing old style; some people are doing the new metal style influenced hardcore. It’s really hard to say. It all depends who you’re dealing with and where these guys are coming from. Have they been there? Are they really coming out of the same world we’re coming out of? It has a lot to do with that and the music.

Dominicanedge: How did Hazen Street come together and how did you get hooked up with the guys in Good Charlotte.

Freddy: Hazen Street came about a year ago. Toby (H2O) and Chad from New Found Glory were on tour together and had this idea of doing this band with other musicians that they respected and were friends with. They asked Hoya to play bass, and they asked Dave Kennedy from Box Car Racer if he wanted to be involved with it. Then they came through New York and I was chillin and they asked me to be in the band. Then Mackie joined up.

Hoya: Madball was broken up when that happened. Then they brought up like, “you wanna try something new?” We’re like why not, fuck it. Then while that was already started, then Mabdall decided to get back together and we started doing both.

Freddy: We started doing Madball again because we wanted to bring it back and Hazen Street started blossoming, so…

Dominicanedge: A lot people are saying that if Hazen Street blows up then that’s the end of Madball.

Hoya: No, of course not. But there is going to be a little bit of a delay right now.

Freddy: It’s going to be a sacrifice. It’s going to be hard to balance out the two but I think there should always be a place for Madball. We’re going to make sure we stick and move. We’re going to keep the name out there for sure.

Hoya: We want to get paid so we can put out our own record and fuck every record company.

Dominicanedge: That’s what I’m sayin.

Freddy: That would be a good move. That would be ideal.

Hoya: We have music, we have an opportunity. You know? What the Fuck? But, we ain’t going to let that shit die either.

Freddy: Madball got us to this point so we ain’t just going to dismiss like that. Especially since we just brought it back, but there is going to be some sacrifice. It’s going to hard.

Dominicanedge: Do you think you’re going to disappoint the unforgiving hardcore scene with Hazen Street? It is a little more commercially accessible, you know.

Freddy: We’re going to disappoint some.

Hoya: The people who just like music are going to love it. The people who just love hardcore are going to hate it. But, it ain’t a hardcore band. If you like cool shit, check it out. If you just like hardcore, don’t get the record.

Freddy: If you’re open-minded, then you’re going to enjoy it.

Hoya: And, all those same people that talk shit act like they were born; like they came out of their mother’s with a fucking Walkman with AF on. It’s bullshit yo. And they all listen to something else. They’re young kids. You know how it is when you’re a kid. You wanna rep it. Then you grow up.

Dominicanedge: You’re not afraid to say you like shit…

Freddy: That you always liked it. I never had any qualms about telling people that I listen to all kinds of music.

Dominicanedge: What do you think about all the rumors surrounding your crew, DMS? Are they unfounded or is there a level of truth to them? People wanna know!

Hoya: See, I can’t even lie to you, ‘cause you know. (Laughter) You know how it is.

Freddy: There is some truth. You know how that goes. There’s some truth to what people say, but then there’s some phony stories lingering about. We’re a brotherhood and we’re moving on to bigger and better things these days. We’re doing music, producing. You name it. That’s what it’s going to.

Dominicanedge: Freddy…How has jail changed you?

Freddy: It didn’t change me one bit (Laughter). I mean, I didn’t do a bunch of years but it was definitely an experience. I was in there for a few months and I got a taste of it and it sucks.

Dominicanedge: You guys lost some good friends this year. How have you been coping with it and how does it affect the way you live your lives?

Freddy: It’s changed our lives in a big way. When you lose people close to you it totally changes everything. Things ain’t never going to be exactly the same. But we try to express how we feel in our songs. Hopefully, honor their names with our music and do bigger and better things, not just for us, but for them; to represent them because they’re not here with us. But, it’s been a rough couple of years. It has not been an easy road.

Dominicanedge: Both of you are Latino and have recorded songs in Spanish in the past. Was it natural; trying to prove a point; or just showing pride?

Freddy: A little bit of all those things. Hardcore is predominately white but there are definitely some Latinos in the mix

Dominicanedge: There’s 3 sitting right here.

Freddy: Obviously. (Laughter)

Hoya: My first trip away with Madball was in Buenos Aires. You go out there and it’s like thousands of kids. And you can relate, ya know?

Freddy: We actually should’ve done more songs (in Spanish) than we did.

Hoya: But we were like let’s flip it in Spanish. And, now we can show our parents. And you know how we are. We’re proud people.

Dominicanedge: Dmize reunion? What do you think?

Hoya: NEEEVVVVVVEEERRRR!!!! (Laughter) Hazen Street and Madball. That’s it.

Dominicanedge: So what’s next for you guys?

Freddy: It’s going to be a hectic year. Madball just did a bunch of shows on the West Coast. We just dropped the NYHC ep on Thorp Records. We just finished the Hazen Street album and we’re about to hit the road for that. Then we got some Europe dates for Madball. We’re going to be everywhere.

Hoya: We’re obviously going to write some new music but we have no label now. Hopefully, we’ll get rich so we can…

Freddy: That’s what these hardcore kids don’t understand man. That money is going to go straight to Madball. (Laughter) It’s going to be a busy year but we’re going to try and get an album out at the end of the year at some point.

Hoya: We’re like cockroaches. We’re going to be around forever. (Laughter)

Freddy: No matter what other projects we have to do, Madball is always going to be in the mix. It’s going to be there.

Dominicanedge: That’s a c…rap.



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