The Past, The Present, and The Future with The Black Pacific
“I’ve been playing this music since I was twelve years old. I still wanted to continue playing music so I wasted no time at all in putting together a new project with a great group of guys and now we’re just looking to the future,” Lindberg said. “I was ready for a new beginning for me to play music that I’ve always loved.”
To argue that Pennywise was a staple of punk rock music, would likely be an understatement. For 20 years, Jim Lindberg fronted the band that went all over the world spreading their fervent message that spanned from brotherhood to giving a big fuck you to the faces of authority.
For the first time, Lindberg is attending the Vans Warped Tour and will, yes, be up on stage but the view will be a little different. “It’s gonna be strange going out on Warped Tour with a new band after Pennywise was such a huge part of Warped Tour,” Lindberg admits. The summer caravan rolls into Southern California this week and the grueling nationwide trek is one Lindberg has made many times, with Pennywise that is.
Back in August 2009, Lindberg announced that after 20 years, nine albums and thousands of shows around the world, his time with Pennywise had come to an end.
In February of 2010 the remaining members of Pennywise solidified Zoli Teglas, singer of the Orange County based band Ignite, to step into the spotlight where Lindberg once stood.
“We’ll see how long that lasts,” he said.
Lindberg said that Teglas is a great guy, a great singer and has great ideals to be the singer of Pennywise. “I just hope everyone is respectful enough to acknowledge that I was a big part of that band as well,” he said. “I think [Teglas] is as good as anyone to be the front man of Pennywise.”
Lindberg always said that he would keep doing it as long as it was still fun, and with the last album’s recording process and the touring, things just started to get to the point where there was so much compromising and so much conflict and it got to the point where it wasn’t fun anymore. He wasn’t happy with the situation and what it had deteriorated to. When he was unhappy it was obvious to his family and now with The Black Pacific they are very supportive with his decision.
“Now I’m in a situation where it’s exactly what I wanted,” he said. “Everyone is getting along great, there’s no fighting, there’s no negative vibes or animosity,” Lindberg stated.
“After everything we’ve been through I didn’t want to have it to be a situation where there were people who weren’t happy with the band or where it was going,” Lindberg continued. “I didn’t want to be a part of a band where people were playing when they didn’t want to because that’s the ultimate insult to the fans.”
To many people it was a complete shock to hear that Lindberg was leaving Pennywise but to those so close to him it was no surprise.
“Everyone wants to hear that it was a big thing that happened that caused the spit and that’s not the case at all,” Lindberg said. “All I ever said was that there were conflicts.”
Lindberg said that relationships are difficult and just like a job or in a marriage, if you’re miserable you can try as hard as you can for a long time, but eventually the misery surfaces and he admits, that is exactly what happened in Pennywise.
“I tried for a long time and I did everything I could from touring, writing and sacrificing my family by leaving them behind for the band,” he said. “I knew that once it got to a point where it wasn’t fun anymore, I had to make a very difficult decision and I knew what the ramification of that decision was going to be going into it. I had to do what was healthy for me and my family.”
Lindberg’s departure from Pennywise has been a topic of conversation for the past few years for him, nearly on a daily basis, but overall he knows who supports him in his decision.
“The people in the inner circle that surround Pennywise and a lot of my closest friends have been very supportive, whether or not the rest of the band wants to believe that or not,” Lindberg said. “It’s a small town and we all have mutual friends. I think there are some hurt feelings and some resentment but I am hopeful that one day we’ll be able to put that all behind us.”
He believes that we’re gonna see a lot of good things from both bands. “The people that liked what I did in Pennywise will like what I’m doing in the Black Pacific and there’s room for plenty of bands out there,” he said.
Lindberg has an unmistakable voice that will now carry on in The Black Pacific as they take the Vans Warped Tour for a couple of weeks and head overseas as well.
“I sing a certain way and my philosophy hasn’t changed at all,” he said. “I still have the same fire and intensity I’ve always had. When I pick up a guitar, this is the type of music that comes out of me,” Lindberg said. “Its definitely gonna sound like Pennywise, it’s impossible for it not to because that’s how I write. It’s pretty difficult for me to understand how anyone would think it wouldn’t.”
He compares it to as if Fat Mike from NOFX started a new band, it would still sound like Fat Mike.
Lindberg refuses to change his personality or sing a different brand of music completely and he is aware that some say that it sounds like Pennywise.
“I could see if people thought that I should start a country band but I wouldn’t be true to myself or my ideas and the type of music that I love,” he laughs.
The variation has leaked out into Lindberg’s personal life off of the stage as well. In May of 2007 Lindberg wrote a book called Punk Rock Dad revealing that there is more to his life than just what people see on stage. There has been much interest in Lindberg’s book and inspired a documentary called The Other F Word. The documentary shows punk rock’s leading men fight a new fight, possibly the biggest battle of their life, fatherhood.
The Other F Word was just wrapped up and was sold to Adam Yauch’s (MCA from the Beastie Boys) film company Oscilloscope Pictures.
“After twenty years of being in a band and on the road, there’s a certain lifestyle that goes on while you’re on the road and a lot of the guys really fall into the drugs and alcohol,” Lindberg said. “Being a family man and wanting to be a good role model for my kids what I do other than something on the road that is destructive. I think it too many people got into it to be rock stars and if that’s what you’re going for, it’s always going to be a hollow victory,” Lindberg said.
His days of partying like that are well behind him and thoughts of his family and The Black Pacific are the things that occupy his head now. His exit from Pennywise was for his health, the bands health and for the scene in general.
“I wanted to protect what I liked about it and what was great about it and then let that legacy rest before it got to a point where it was fulfilling anymore. But that’s why I created the Black Pacific and have things more balanced and now I have that. I hope that for everyone involved and everyone in the scene that everyone comes to that point, that they’re doing it because they enjoy the music and they really love it. I think it would be healthy for the scene in general.
As for the radical idea of The Black Pacific ever doing a show with Pennywise, Lindberg says that’s exactly what it seems like right now, radical and at this point slim to none.
By James Gobee