I’ve toured with a lot of bands and met several hockey fans along the way. The biggest fan of them all was Number 2, the bassist of the mighty Anti-Flag (there are 2 Chris’s in Anti-Flag, hence the cool nick name).
I got to know him on Warped tour in 2005 – I think that was the year; Warped tours kinda blend into one another – and we bonded quickly over our love of hockey.
When Anti-Flag supported Billy Talent through Canada during the touring of our second album, Number 2 and I brought our hockey gear and played in a bunch of towns across Canada. It was great. We’d wake up at about 10am, he would have the local arena pick-up schedule ready, I’d arrange a runner to drive us, we would play at around 12pm with some locals and be back at the venue by 2:30ish in time for a pre-show nap. Those were the days! He’s a great hockey player and I had a lot of fun trying to keep up to his energy.
Anti-Flag is based out of Pittsburgh, so naturally 2 is a Pens fan. We text each other every time the Leafs play the Penguins. I got him to do this interview after the last Leafs/Pens game, back when the Leafs were 4-0 and had just beaten the Pens.
You are one of the biggest hockey fans that I know. How did a punk rocker like you get into hockey?
A: I actually played hockey and followed the game before I ever knew what punk rock was/is. I was a product of the mario lemuiex generation in pittsburgh. Any one born around his arrival was handed a stick. I played organized youth and jr leagues until I was 16 going on 17. That was when I found the dead kennedys and said motherfuck all authority, especially you COACH! Ha. In all seriousness, there was a bit of a fiasco in my towns hockey league, there were parents running the show, coaching and playing their own kids more than others. Coming from a lower income single mother, it was so expensive, I grew frustrated with the bureaucracy and favoritism, told my mom to save her money, and started playing music.
You’re from Pittsburgh and have been relishing the good times. I was on the road and watched the Pens win the cup at 5am in Switzerland. Did you experience any live games during the cup run? How fun was that!?
A: yea I went to a few games that run. A friend of mine works in the penguins graphics department and works on jumbotron images. Part of his perks is he gets 2 season tickets, but he is working during the games, thankfully he often takes great care of me.
Those games were amazing. Pittsburgh goes off, it was certainly an exciting time.
Who’s your favorite player? Why?
A: favorite all time – sergei federov. He was king when I was playing as a kid, I took his 91 and made it a 19. Current evgeni malkin – I love him through the neutral zone, effortlessly he makes moves, never gets hit, if you think he’s lined up he dodges checks at the very last second, I love his reach, the way he steals pucks and causes turn-overs. That reach is the main trick I’ve been trying to steal from his game.
In our work, our backstage pass gets us everywhere. They don’t have them in the NHL, but you’re a sweet talker. Have you worked your way into the inner circle of the Penguins? Into the dressing room? On the ice?
A: I’ve never been further than my jumbotron buddy. Ha. Never in the dressing room. I have played several games at Mellon Arena, not yet at Consol. I play on an adult team that travels a bit. We’ve played Mellon, Joe Louis in Detroit, Nationwide in Columbus and this winter we’re playing out doors in Michigan at the stadium. So exciting.
I’ve also sweet talked myself into awesome gear. I worked a deal with Warrior Sports where they used some A-F music on their site and in exchange suited me with gear. I always used Warrior sticks, this deal just made them free to me. Now, I’m skating on a new skate called MLX, mario lemuiex is the face of the company that makes skates in Canada, its the best skate I’ve ever had. I wrote to them about a similar hook up deal and they made me a tester. I skate on the skate and fill out a homework sheet letting them know my thoughts on the skates. Its an awesome deal.
We played hockey a lot when we toured together. You’re a goal scorer… good wheels and a nice shot. Who do you model your game after.
A: I really should play D, I use a very long stick and I like to take slap shots from the point, but because I wanna pad my own stats I play center. Ha. I love malkins back check, but it really stops at center red, mine does too I suppose. Ha.
Were you insulted by Patrick Kane’s obvious lift of Jaromir Jagr’s old haircut during last years hawks cup run?
A: loved it. Malkin has adopted a bit of it this year, with his shaved lines in the sides of his head.
Besides me, who is the coolest guy you ever played hockey with?
A: Eric Melvin of NOFX.
He’s learning. Getting better each time I skate with him.
Who are your cup finalists this year and who will win?
A: Pittsburgh vs San Jose. Pittsburgh wins.
Do you like Ovechkin?
A: I love ovi. You’re allowed to like both. He should not be the teams captain. He is also probably a dude I wouldn’t wanna hang with. But boy do I hold my breath every time he touches the puck. Blink and its in the net.
Imagine this scenario: Crosby becomes a fan of your band. You guys strike up a great friendship and hangout all the time. The Pens win the cup and your invited into the dressing room after the last game. The cup is being passed around and Crosby passes it to you and tells you to take a drink from it. Would you break strait edge to drink champagne from Lord Stanley’s mug?
A: lord stanley, lord stanley, give me the brandy! Absolutely I would!
Thanks for doing this, hope to get out and play with you again really soon.
Go Leafs Go!
A:Leafs are flying! I love colby, and versteeg. Good luck! I wanna see the leafs in the playoffs!
LET’S GO PENS!
Check out Number 2’s band at their website: http://www.anti-flag.com