Titus Andronicus’ Athens show last month ended with singer/guitarist/weight-of-the-world-carrier Patrick Stickles (who, by the way, seems like a really fun guy who would not at all ruin your BBQ) berating audience members and ranting about slavery. It was weird.
Shortly after, Impose Magazine caught up with the outspoken frontman to ask about the show, where a concertgoer passed out mini-Confederate flags in an apparent attempt to troll the politically-minded group, whose breakthrough album The Monitor was based on the Civil War.
Stickles, who spends a fair amount of time in the interview talking about how “Irish” and “punk” he is, casts his ire far and wide, complaining about the Georgia Theare staff (they “weren’t giving me the things I needed to do my job effectively and give the kids their money’s worth”); the crowd (“by the end of the show it’s a bunch of fucking bros beating on each other in some kind of weird, homoerotic ritual”); the perpetrator (“I was ready to choke him out. I don’t know what I would have done if I hadn’t been tied down to the guitar.”); and a host of others.
There are far too many quotable gems to list here, so you should probably go read the entire interview. A few choice nuggets are excerpted below, including Stickles telling Athens to go fuck itself. (Emphases ours.)
On the Georgia Theatre:
The place is nice but they’re not set up to have a rowdy punk show right now. They’re used to putting on country music shows, and unless they change their infrastructure, they’re not ready for a punk show.
On who’s in charge:
Sorry, kids, we’re in charge. We decide the ideological baseline as far as how much respect you deserve at a show. I try not to get into kids’ faces too much with the preachy stuff. I end up doing it anyway. I don’t like to do it. I want the kids to know this shit already because it’s fucking obvious.
On the Titus crowd:
And of course now there’s a “brozone” that breaks out at every show and consumes the entire front of the stage, and by the end of the show it’s a bunch of fucking bros beating on each other in some kind of weird, homoerotic ritual. I love homoerotic rituals as much as the next man, but I don’t want to live in the “brozone” anymore. My qualm is that this stuff happens every night and I get mad about it. People come into our zone and they disrespect our ethnicity but potentially the people around them. They make them uncomfortable. That makes me an angry boy.
On the possibility of entering into a dialogue with the person who brought the flags:
I try to live a life as much like Christ as possible, even though he was just a regular guy like me. I don’t have to forgive everybody when they disrespect me. I have Irish in me. I forgive everything but a grudge. I hold grudges for years at a time. I accept that forgiveness is a virtue, but some people are just too fucked up and it’s not worth your time. You should forgive them in your heart as much as you should let go of the anger after a while. I don’t need to give that person any agency because they didn’t give me that respect in front of everybody. I don’t need to give that person the respect in my Gmail, which is supposed to be a positive place.
On how scary the South is:
I made a speech about why slavery was wrong and why the South deserved the war, and why the atrocities that were committed against the so-called innocent people by General Sherman were totally justified because that’s what it would take to end slavery. This was in Georgia, so I was really scared. People take that stuff pretty seriously down there, and I’ve gotten in trouble before for talking in the South about slavery and saying it was their fault, which it one hundred percent was. It’s good ole boys who come to me after the show and explain that maybe the North shouldn’t have gotten involved in something that wasn’t their business.
Athens isn’t one of our hot spots, it’s not one of our big markets. A lot of people fucking bail when we come out there. It’s no skin off my nose either way. I don’t need the people of Athens any more than I need another hole in my head. I’ve got five already, thank you very much… But the next time we hit Georgia, Athens is probably gonna get skipped, sorry. It’s tainted to me.
I think I speak for all of Athens when I say: Right back at ya, P-Stick.
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