Pop punk pioneers The Descendents on their upcoming date at Rebellion Festival

The Descendents band photo

After an absence of twelve years, why was the time right for you to put out your new album, Hypercaffium Spazzinate?

In 2009 our drummer Bill [Stevenson] had some health issues that brought me back into the fold, but we’d been discussing it since 2011, the year after the band started touring again. It’s been a long, drawn-out process, but we were always going to make new music together.

Barring a few songs, such as We Got Defeat and Limiter, most of the new songs are based on life experience, rather than what’s going on politically.

Yeah, we’ve always written about our everyday existence. But the way things are going now, so much bullshit going on with [Donald] Trump, I’m thinking that I need to make a political statement.

With Peter Hook, the Glitter Band and Dictators NYC among those playing, Rebellion is presenting a diverse bill.

Yeah. I wish we could be there all weekend, but on our day I’ll make a point of seeing The Pears and The Gnarwolves.

Dave Grohl has stated his fan-dom, and The Offspring, Blink 182 and Fall Out Boy are among those who have cited The Descendents as an influence.

It’s very gratifying to get that back from fellow musicians. I wasn’t expecting it from Dave. But of course before Nirvana he was in [Virginia hardcore act] Scream.

Away from the band you’re a molecular biologist. That makes for quite an interesting duality.

Yeah. Science and punk rock are my two great passions. As of January I left science, I was laid off from my job, but it opens up many more opportunities with the band. I imagine that for the next few years it’s music all the way for me now.

Rebellion takes place in Blackpool on August 4-7.

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