Rob Fish interview (Part 2)

So then you are sixteen years old or eighteen years old and you decided to live in a temple?

Sixteen, yeah…

It never really worked out for me the way most Krishna’s do it. Most people get in to all of it for some time. I was always kind of half out, half in type of thing, because certain things never set well with me.

Was that because there was still some kind of authority to follow?

Absolutely. I’m not a really religious person by nature. I’m not. So my faith was always like… I even don’t know if it is right to call it faith for me. It was much more like an inspiration.

I’ve really thought a lot about that over the last few years. Is it religious? Is it spiritual? Is it faith? Or is it inspiration? And I think it is probably inspiration more than anything else, because if it religious that means you should follow it by the letter of the law. If it faith, then it means that you really believe in it. Do I have faith that reincarnation and karma are absolutely positively true? I don’t really think about it and I don’t know that I can logically convince myself of that, but from an inspirational standpoint, I think it’s a deep meaningful thing. I guess the point I am trying to make is I have never been one to be interested in the truth, in some universal sense. I think truth is relative. I’m the kind of person who wants to feel happy and feel inspired. Whatever that is for me is whatever it is for me, and whatever it is for you, then that’s it for you.

How do you include Hare Krishna practices in your daily life?

I was involved in the social, religious context of Hare Krishna for some years but I just never really fitted in. Probably like, ten years ago I said: “You know what? I don’t want to do this anymore.” So I stopped chanting, I stopped meditating and I just didn’t care about it. Then after about six months I started chanting again but it was on my own terms. I was like O.K., I have got to do it because I feel like doing it and for no other reason. So, if I want to chant, I’m going to chant. Fuck it, I don’t care. This time I was doing it my own way. You know, and I went to India, spent time there and my appreciation for that part of my life really grew. So when I’m not on tour, then I live a pretty disciplined life. I get up early every morning and meditate for a few hours and I have a deity that I take care of.

What is a deity?

A deity is like a form of Krishna that was given to me by a guru. I worship him and take care of him. It is like you do this whole ritual, like bathing and taking care of him and I chant songs. Then I go to have my normal bath.

Do you do yoga as well?

No, not really. It is more like meditation, not like physical yoga. On tour it is all different. I try to chant a lot, but it is hard. At home it is more like a routine.

A couple of years ago in the Hare Krishna world there was a huge scandal. Children were molested and sexually abused by some so-called gurus and devotees on ISKCON schools in America. Did that hit you in the face?

You know. No. I don’t know. Again, I mean, people are fucked up and I wasn’t like the typical Hare Krishna who goes in thinking, he is a devotee so he must be pure. I never had that type of mindset. The fact that I was sexually abused as a kid, I never think I grew up thinking that bad people had horns on their head. I knew this person had probably been abused too and probably was pretty fucked up too. So, I don’t know. I never walked around the Hare Krishna world thinking they are all pure, they are all amazing, they don’t have any issues. It didn’t surprise me at all and actually one of my introductions to ISKCON was a book called “Monkeys on a Stick”, which kind of chronicles all that crazy shit. So it was never like a big shock to me.

You said that you were sexually abused as a kid. How did that affect your own sexuality?

Well, it made it more difficult to find comfort in sexuality and feel good about it. People have a hard enough time with it without being abused, so it certainly was difficult in some respects to understand it as a kid. To realize that sexual abuse and sex are two very very different things.

I reread Vic’s story “I was a teenage Hare Krishna” of some years ago again lately. He is really critical about the Hare Krishna movement. He also speaks about the role of Ray Cappo and the swami, seeing 108 as a tool to convert punk kids to the Hare Krishna religion. So, for a lot of kids the continuation of 108 years later was pretty unexpected. What is your thought on that and to what extent do you guys still carry out the Krishna consciousness?

How other people viewed 108 really has nothing to do with what 108 means or meant to me. I never did it to convert anyone because I wasn’t even converted myself. I did it because we had common spiritual interests and inspirations. It’s as simple as that.

You were in the hardcore scene way back and now you are coming back into it after ten years. Has anything changed?

Actually, I did music between that. I did a band called The Judas Factor. We did some records on Revelation Records. I don’t go to shows that often. If there are a band I quite like or a friend of mine’s band is playing that I want to see,I go to a show. It wasn’t like after 108 I just stopped being involved in music and I just came back.

I always stayed pretty much involved most of my time, not actively touring, but always writing and putting out records. I did some recording and touring, but it was more in the background of my life, just because I was focusing on some other things.

In terms of hardcore music changing, it’s more popular. It’s more like the heavy sound or look is more popular, a more impeditive popular culture. In terms of whether the kids or more or less sincere or whatever you want to call it, I don’t think there is any difference. I’m not one of this people who think the past was so fucking great. I was there, but it wasn’t all that impressive.

What things were young focusing on in the meantime? Do you have a family or do you have a job besides 108?

I have two sons, Ras and Chaitan and also a career which is important, so I can take care of them and give them the things I never had.

Is there any song, a hardcore song which you think of as your song or which is a kind of mantra for you?

One song?

It also can be a 108 song, of course.

Well I did quite few, but in terms what was a turning point for me with 108, a song that is really important to me is “Curse of Instinct” which we recorded right before we broke up the first time. That was the first song I ever wrote for 108 and I think it summarizes everything I was going through emotionally at the time. Obviously, I’m still going through it.

Today, even though it’s a song we never play, a song that I really feel is important to me is “The Sad Truth”. It’s on our new record but it wasn’t really written as a song. I just woke up one morning and kind of wrote up this long, really long ramble and we put it to music. So it is kind of a spoken word track over music. And I think it kind of encapsulates a lot of what I am inspired by.

In terms of general punk rock songs, it changes every day. A couple of days ago, when we where driving from Brighton to Manchester for a show and I really wasn’t feeling very well, I just had my Ipod on shuffle and it put on the song called “Antique” by Texas is the Reason. There was one lyric that said “I want you to smile, because that is what I like best. I need to be this far away from you to know that I can do this”…I just

started crying. I freaked out and there is different song like that every day. It not like “a song”, but I can hear something that all of sudden, fuck!

The last question: What are the future plans for 108?

Playing a lot more shows, writing new music, release a new record, and kind of taking it as it goes, but I’m really interested in the artistic side of it. I think I’m really happy with the record we just wrote. Especially considering that we did it in such a short time period. We all live in different parts of the country. We basically got together three different times and wrote the entire record. I think what we put together for this record is really, really good, but it is still like the tip of the iceberg of what we can do artistically. So I’m really excited about that.

Rob Fish quit 108 and is in a new band Eshas with some dude named Aaron Edge (ex-Himsa) and there is of course still the new 108 coming out end of April.  Just noted Doublecross also posted an interview Rob, so if you still want to read more. Check.


2 Responses to “Rob Fish interview (Part 2)”

  1. willem, nieuwe album van 108 al gehoord?
    hier ken je downloaden:

    • Jagged Visions Says:

      ik heb een paar liedjes gehoord, maar zal de link ff checken en later ook zeker op vinyl aanschaffen.

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