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An Interview with RVA's


Interview by Joey T. Germ with assistance from C. Bales.

Published in RW #20, 2005


RPG are the pride of their home town of Richmond, Virginy. RPG play heavy, loud rock with big slabs of AC/DC-sized hooks. And they are road warriors. Rumor has it RPG once even kidnapped a baby in Colorado. They did it just to get in touch with their inner child. That's awful bewildering behavior if you ask me.

Did I mention these boys rock? Now they haven't gone on record as saying they rock harder than anyone else, but they have declared openly that they have more fun than any other band out there. They said a few more things too but some of that is off the record, and due to my professionalism and personal integrity (and their large size) it will stay off the record. After all, no one wants to run into the business end of an RPG.

I caught up with the Rocket (not hard to do) after their show at The Note on Milwaukee Avenue in Chicago this spring where they played a raucous show with local boys and RPG pals, Decibators. Despite the late hour I managed to forage for two cases of nasty Budweiser and we headed back to Decibators' lair for a night of mostly indecipherable, largely incoherent conversation, very little of which made sense when it came time to transcribing the interview tape. But does rock and roll really make sense? I mean, really really make sense? Of course not.

RPG is:
John Partin: guitar
Mike Marunde: drums
Matt Conner: guitar, vocals
Tony Brown: bass

RW: Every time I see Campbell (bass player for fellow Richmond band, Lamb of God) he's got the RPG flag flying.

Partin: Yeah, he's our street team leader We appointed him head of our street team.

RW: But he's doing it.

Partin: He's not doing shit... We suck 'cause Mark and Campbell are cool.

Matt: Yeah, we're not afraid to — anyone whose ever done us major favors —spit in their face.

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RW: We're not talking about Lamb of God, we're talking about RPG.

Matt: What do you wanna know?

RW: What should I know?

Partin: Drummer sucks.

Matt: I will guarantee this, I will say one thing about RPG, man, we have more fun-and you can ask Richie—Richie's been on tour with a lots of bands for a really long time, and we have more fun than any band, anywhere, at any time. I guarantee. Ask Richie (merch guy for tour).

Marunde: We do more drugs than any band, anywhere, at any time.

RW: They say they do more drugs than any band, anywhere, at any time.

Matt: Have more fun.

RW: Oh, I'm sorry, my bad, my bad.

Richie: I do more drugs.

Marunde: But we smoke more weed than any stoner band, man, I'll tell you that.

Richie: Any band I've ever been out with, they have more fun.

Partin: But he hates our band.

RW: Really?

Partin: He does.

RW: I can see that.

Partin: Yeah, you can?

RW: No, I don't understand that.

Partin: So what's up man, why'd you break up? (Reagan National Crash Diet)

RW: No, this isn't about us.

Partin: I want to talk about Jen and Carol.

RW: This is not about us, this is about—

Partin: Where they at?

Matt: What else you wanna know, man? Feed me.

Partin: Let's talk about Todd Uzel (Decibators).

RW: You know the RPG, I mean you guys are like—

Partin: Legendary.


RW: Well. Did you know there was gonna be a war with the RPG—

Partin: He (Marunde) totally called it.

RW: You're a veteran of the first Gulf War, I know that, so you called this one?

Marunde: Surely. I say a lot of shit that people disagree with.

RW: They don't even pay attention to you.

Marunde: But in time I'm always proven right.

Matt: (on the name) Was it necessarily that? I mean it was kinda-it started out as something else then it turned into—

RPG: It was Rocket Propelled Grenade, then it was DMZ. RPG? DMZ? Cool.

RW: Same thing, kinda similar.

Marunde: There was an RPG sign above our practice space that said Richmond Pussy Generators or some crazy shit like that.

RW: Richmond Pussy Generators?

Marunde: That's what the sign said.

Partin: That's what we made it say.

Marunde: Yeah, well. That's where it comes from.

Matt: It was all about football rock in the beginning. We were gonna start A.F.R.O.; American Football Rock Organization.

RW: You were going to be the vanguard of American Football Rock?

Matt: Yeah, we were gonna be all about football and rock and drinking.

RW: What football (incoherent) would you be?

RPG: NFL, man.

RW: Yeah, but what team? I'm gonna get to the Redskins, but--

RPG: The Raiders, The Packers, and the Steelers.

Todd Uzel: Redskins suck!

RW: How 'bout the Bears? Does that enter into-

Partin: Hell no!

Matt: Bears signed Cordell, man.

RW: We made some mistakes.

Richie: I'm talking about the Philadelphia Eagles, I'm talking about the Atlanta Falcons.

Marunde: If the Philadelphia Eagles are so great why can't they win a fuckin' National Championship?

Matt: We'll get into football more when football season rolls around.

Richie: Just watch, man, Philadelphia Eagles number one!

RW: What baseball team are you rootin' for?

Partin: I don't like baseball.

Matt: Richie likes the Braves.

RW: But let's suppose you had a baseball team.

Partin: It would be the Richmond . . . whatever they are, man.

Richie: Richmond's not even a real city, dude.

Matt: But we got a farm team, dude.

Richie: Richmond's not a real city.

RW: Todd would always slag off Richmond, but if you ever diss Richmond.

Matt: It's like your momma. You can talk shit on your momma, but if anybody else talks shit, it's like, what the fuck?

Todd: But Atlanta?

Matt: Naw, I'm cool with Atlanta.

Richie: I'm cool with Richmond too, man.

Todd: How could you not be cool with Richmond?

RW: In Richmond, when you go back, what are you going to do?

RPG: Pussy.

RW: Pussy, that's it?

Partin: That's the main objective.

Matt: Sunday night, man.

RW: You've been faithful to your wife?

Partin: Yes, sir.

Matt: Yes.

RW: She'll be glad to hear that.

Partin: Well, she probably won't ever hear that, but . . .

RW: It's admirable 'cause you probably have groupies.

Partin: Groupies all over the place.

RW: Yeah?

Partin: Everywhere. We'd roll with the pussy, but all of us are good guys. We like to talk to girls but I can't wait 'til Sunday. I just hope I can move by then 'cause my body is breaking down. My knees are gone, dude.

Matt: Yeah, I can barely walk.

RW: You got Cleveland and that's it, right?

Partin: That's it.

Matt: When you think about the beginning of the tour, it was so long ago.

RW: Where'd you guys start out, where was the first place you played?

Matt: Greensboro, North Carolina. Then we went to Atlanta and picked up Richie, and then made our way down south to New Orleans.

RW: Where'd you play in New Orleans?

Matt: The Dixie Tavern. Then we played at South by Southwest.

RW: You guys played in Fort Collins with Booker Noe and who else?

Matt: It was Booker Noe, the Virginia Sisters, and two stand-up comedians. Nobody got shot in front of the club so it was good.

RW: How was that? There's a weird community in Fort Collins, Colorado of like—

Matt: Ex-SoCal punks.

RW: Yeah, it's like, how the hell did they end up there?

RW: Who is the shittiest band of all time? Lets go on the record.

Matt: Whose the shittiest band of all time?

Partin: Reagan National Crash Diet.

(much laughter)

RW: Well, that's a given, that's a given.

Partin: What's that band we played with in Fort Worth, man?

RPG: Cobra Three.

RW: Cobra Three, Shittiest Band in the United States.

Matt: No, no, no, uh, uh, A Million Pounds!

Partin: Yeah, A Million Pounds.

RW: A Million Pounds, The Worst Band in the United States.

Matt: Best band name I've seen on a sticker this tour, Total Intolerance.

RW: But they weren't the worst band?

Matt: Didn't see 'em play. Just saw the sticker. A Million Pounds is the worst fucking band.

RW: And they're from New Orleans?

Matt: No. They're from Fort Worth, Texas.

RW: All right, let the record show, RPG says A Million Pounds suck. They're callin' 'em out.

Matt: It was like a million pounds of pain.

That's it. That's what booze will do to an interview. Be sure to buy RPG's debut full-length, Full Time wherever you can find it. Go to their shows. Goodbye.


Reglar Wiglar

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