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Jawbreaker’s Blake Schwarzenbach talks reunion, “selling out,” and more

Jawbreaker

Jawbreaker are finally reuniting after 21 years and their only show of 2017 will be Riot Fest. We haven’t heard much lately from Blake Schwarzenbach, but Matt Pullman got in touch with the Brooklyn based Jawbreaker frontman for his new Missing Words podcast.

When asked about why he finally decided to reunite, Blake said:

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.

And for anyone accusing Jawbreaker of selling out by reuniting, Blake says:

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.

Listen to the whole podcast HERE or read the interview HERE. One other fun fact Blake revealed: he looked up Jawbreaker songs on tab sites while re-learning them for the reunion.

In addition to the reunion, there’s also a Jawbreaker documentary, Don’t Break Down, coming out. It premieres on August 11 at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater in San Francisco.

UPDATE: Jawbreaker played a surprise 200-capacity show in California on Thursday night (8/3).

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