March 12, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 85  

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Ralph Nader rules, say the Mad Caddies

By Dale Wyatt
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo
YEAH, THEY LOOK MAD. I GUESS. Punk outfit the Mad Caddies are proud of their president. Umm, are we sure they’re sane?

About 45 minutes from the Canadian border, the Mad Caddies partake in a familiar band ritual: they clean their van and dump any paraphernalia which may hinder their crossing. As guitarist Sascha Lazor explains, you never know what to expect when crossing the border.

As an American band that has travelled the world playing their unique style of ska music, the Mad Caddies have been faced with their fair share of anti-Americanism.

“We have been to Europe several times and we always get asked about [being American],” Lazor says. “It is especially bad in places like France, Germany and Australia. I really get sick of having people I don’t even know walk up to me and tell me how much they hate our president and our country.”

The band is currently touring again, with a presidential election on the horizon and ongoing trouble in Iraq. One might believe these events would make things worse for the band, but according to a relieved Lazor, that’s simply not the case

“Oddly enough, I have noticed far less flak from people since the war broke. It has probably been a quarter as bad as it used to be. Rarely do we ever get asked about [being American] anymore.”

So why the change?

“I guess before people were not afraid to hold back. They would flat out say shit like the president sucks, but that has slowed. Maybe it’s just become an old subject and people [want to] get back to the music.

“Although we haven’t been back to Australia yet,” Lazor adds. “We get it more there for being American than anywhere else we have been. When we were there it seemed like everyone hated Americans.

“I hate when people tell me that George Bush is the devil and Al Gore would have been rad. The two-party system in the [United States] is bullshit. I don’t think there is really that much difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. I don’t trust politicians.”

Many Democrats are pleading that independent candidate Ralph Nader not run for president, claiming he could hurt the Democrats’ chance of winning. However, Lazor disagrees.

“Some people blame Nader for Gore losing the election, but it says a lot that it was that close. More importantly, Nader’s running raises awareness that there are other people out there you can vote for.”

Despite all the political chaos, it is business as usual for Lazor and the band as they begin their most recent tour, bringing them to Call the Office.

“We’re used to touring now. Sure it’s still fun, but it is familiar territory. You don’t feel the same way you did when you did it the first time. We kind of know what’s going to happen. We are looking forward to Australia, though, as we have only been there once. I’m sure that will seem really exciting again. It matters more where you tour as opposed to when for us. Anytime we go to a new country it would be exciting like it was the first tour.”

If you ask Lazor, he’ll tell you the secret to living off punk rock: “We just have to keep busy. We don’t have enough money that we can do nothing for months on end, but we do have enough to pay the essentials during our time off, like rent, gas and food. We just keep costs low.”

The Mad Caddies bring their American asses to London to rock Call the Office on Monday, Mar. 15.



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