I recently did an interview with Minneapolis punk thrashers, RIFLE DIET. Read up on how they’ve been hitting the circuit and screaming about the ills of our world and personal turmoil. (interview by Leffer)
1. Rifle Diet has been around for some time now. Give us some insight on what brought the band to fruition and what the driving force is behind the band and its music.
Mariko(vox/lyrics): For me, having been in Garmonbozia for so long, Thrash compactor was a chance to do something completely new. I was into hardcore at the time, so I asked members of hardcore bands that I liked like In Defence and Pandamonium to start a band. Over time our songs got more midtempo and heavy, the lyrics got more political, and we lost some of the people in the band so it just made sense to go a different direction as Rifle diet. Rifle diet is just about having fun and raging and doing what we want with it. We play what we want to hear, say what we want to say.
Will (guitar/vox): I write a lot of the music so for me it’s all about making the noise I’d want to hear if I went to a show, I’m always trying to push things so I don’t get bored. I also love touring/traveling so I mainly focus on writing and booking tour shows.
2. Your recent e.p. off Profane Existence is brutal….musically and lyrically. Elaborate on the context of the lyrics and what experiences from life do you bring with these words.
Mariko: Well on that record specifically I write about the experience of growing up in a household of abuse and how the cycle of abuse has affected me. It’s about not making the mistake of thinking that if your partner abuses you that it doesn’t affect your children and trying to give women strength to get their children out of that environment. “The Affected” is about living as a queer woman of color and taking offense to the idea that the punk scene is apolitical in this age so things like racism, sexism and homophobia no longer matter. How you can only brush these real issues off as politics if they don’t affect you. To people of color, LGBTQ and women these issues are real parts of everyday life regardless of the fact that we are not in “the nineties” and that we matter and are worth fighting for.
3. You just got back from a recent tour. Tell us what the experience was like and how far did you venture out? Mitch from DESPISE filled on drums, what was the circumstance for that and how’d it pan out?
Will: First off this tour was awesome, we have a lot of truly rad friends who helped us out with shows and put us up. Anyone who helped us out or came to the shows thank you so much!
I originally started booking it as an East Coast tour but due to a bunch of different fests going on we had to re-route so it turned into a Midwest tour instead. Our drummer John couldn’t get time off from his job and we had done a mini-tour with DESPISE in 2012 so we asked our good friend Mitch if he wanted to learn some songs and come out with us, it worked out great and we had a lot of fun.
4. Our DIY underground is a haven for people like us that “move out” of society and want to live away from the normalcy of daily consumption (e.g. , media, partisan politics, corporate garbage, etc.) Does Rifle Diet have a specific agenda in our DIY community? Some bands don’t have a strong stance on any one particular “thing”. Do you?
Will: Not really one thing no, there’s a bunch of stuff really. Lately we’ve been trying to draw attention to the apathy towards and tolerance for sexism/misogyny, racism, violence towards women that exists in the DIY punk scene. People want to shove out of view because they like a given band or that a perpetrator is a friend or that it’s become “cool” to be transgressive or taboo but that shit is fucked up and has no place in DIY punk.
Mariko: I think our message is be yourself, play the music you always wanted to that makes you feel alive and fight for what you believe in and rage hard while you do it.
5. What’s next? Tell us what’s around the corner for Rifle Diet. Give us some last words about the band and each other.
Will: We’re working on some new songs and getting ready to record again, we don’t really have any distro or anything lined up so any bands who want to do splits or cool labels that put out records should hit us up. I’m trying to get another tour together for late winter and that’s all up in the air right now but we’re trying to hook up with some of our friends in the Southeast, we’ll see what happens.