Go Betty Go have been a mainstay in LA’s punk scene for almost 20 years. They recently have been on tour, playing shows with more regularity after a time of sporadic activity. Coming up in the early 00’s class of punk alongside bands like Tsunami Bomb, The Distillers, and The Explosion, the band released two full-lengths on Side One Dummy during the label’s absolute peak. They answered a couple questions for me, check out the interview after the jump


LAMB: Perhaps it’s just because it was when I was first getting into independent music, but I feel as if you guys really came up in almost the heyday for punk. Now that we are living in a post warped tour world and punk (and rock in general) are experiencing a return to the underground, what are your hopes for the future for the scene in general?

Go Betty Go: Punk as we know it, is already 4 decades+ old, so we’ve been fortunate to be able to participate in it over the last 19 years we’ve been a band. I love what we’re seeing with punk festivals, popping up all over the world and seeing both old and new punk bands headline and see that there still is a place for punk rock no matter your age. My hope is that we’ll see that going for years to come.

LAMB: One of the things I’ve always appreciated about your band is the incredible breadth and diversity in sounds and genres even per song. How did that come about? and what inspired the pirate song?

GBG: Well first off, thank you for acknowledging our diverse sounds – in my view that’s a good thing. It’s just fun to think outside the box. You can only imagine how many idea’s we’ve had over the years, that we’ve had to tame down because they were a little too far out. We see no rules and as long as we’re having fun with something and like the vibe, we just run with it. The Pirate song was born that way, a simple guitar riff that we built a story around.

LAMB: In the light of Me Too, songs like “Go Away” take on a new and vital context. The intention was clearly there in the songwriting, but do you feel like people are coming around and reading the lyrics in new light? Do you see the punk and la punk scenes as having changed or bettered throughout your careers in terms of issues of harassment, awareness, or safety at shows?

GBG: The fact that conversations and dialogs have opened-up and people feel more comfortable acknowledging this problem exists is a step forward. Does this mean the perpetrators will change their ways? I’m not sure, but maybe people will feel safer to call them out.

LAMB: Instead of “what’s it like to be playing shows again,” cause I know you guys have played with some…sporadic consistency (?) over the years, I will ask instead what it’s like to be playing again in a time where not only your contemporaries have returned or are still around (tsunami bomb, the Distillers, the casualties, hit water music etc) but also bands you helped inspire? Not to mention have the bands that I’m sure inspired you still around?

We simply love to play music and make music and we’re grateful that there are people out there who are just as into what we do. I imagine those around us in the scene must feel something similar, so if being in a band brings you joy – like it does for us. Why not?

LAMB: Place and community have always been a strong theme in your songs—“I’m from la” being easily the best example—is that pride in region, in community, in heritage still an important part of your lives? Do you still see it reflected in the la and punk communities? Is regionalism more vital in these times of nationalist policies or does it carry with it still too much division?

GBG: As people, I think we all have a wanting to belong and be part of something, so we tend to tell stories from those parts of our identities like we did in “I’m From LA”. The idea was to poke fun of ourselves a bit and tell a story of a day in the life of an Angeleno. Bands and song writers have been doing it forever, so I think listening to songs like that, is a way to step into the shoes of that person and get a perspective of their life. I think it can create unity as someone may be able to relate to what a song is describing, even if it’s not literally about something you connect with.