Peters has been fulfilling such goals for years; his Orange County, Calif.-based punk outfit has been together for more than a decade. He is also a semiprofessional skateboarder, and as his words above indicate, a man of very simple tastes.
"I love my life," Peters roars into bass player Wade Walston's cell phone from somewhere in Pittsburgh. "I've got everything I need back home. I've got one of the world's best independent record stores just down the street. I've got three empty pools within walking distance that I can skate in, and I've got some really amazing friends, some who are in some really amazing bands. I still don't know why I get up and leave so often. I guess touring is also a great part of my great life."
It had better be. The U.S. Bombs seem to be perpetually on tour, swinging through the area every couple of months and bringing with them a variety of today's best punk rock outfits. They're devoted road warriors, they're coming to your town to party down, they are an American punk rock band.
"I don't pretend to know much, but I do know this," muses Peters. "I know that punk rock is not dead. It is stronger now than it has been in years. I know that my band is giving everything that we've got to it, as are as several others. Punk rock never dies, it just rethinks itself every couple of years and comes back stronger, meatier, better. Sure, the massive popularity it sort of had for a couple of years has moved away and gone to boy bands or whatever, but if you are brave enough to come out to a punk rock show, any punk rock show, you'll see real American punk rock. Heartfelt, two-fisted legitimate rock, not the watered-down pop rock that Green Day and Blink-182 are selling."
That's not to say that Peters and his band are necessarily against groups that are selling well. They're just adamant about their music and its pedigree. As Peters sees it, punk rock is a lifestyle choice, one that he made more than 20 years ago, and one to which he is committed to staying true.
"I don't think a lot of these younger bands realize what we older bands have done for them," says Peters. "When me and my friends got into punk rock, it wasn't a safe decision to make. There were no careers in punk rock. There were no independent labels. There were jocks and police officers who hated you and wanted you dead because of the color of your hair or the clothes on your back. We made the world safe for punk rock; we got our asses kicked in the name of punk rock. We learned how to fight in the name of punk rock. I think a lot of us deserve a great deal of respect and admiration for that. Will we ever get that kind of treatment? Probably not, but there are a lot of us who really deserve it."
Tim Armstrong of Rancid showed the pioneers plenty of respect by signing the U.S. Bombs to Hellcat, his Epitaph-offshoot label, and the group has gained exposure on several of Epitaph's Punk-O-Rama package tours. Perhaps even more high-profile was the group's appearance on Comedy Central as the house band during the taping of a standup special called Premium Blend.
"Nancy Severinsen, the daughter of Doc Severinsen from The Tonight Show, picked us out of a bunch of tapes, and she liked our look and they called us. We thought they were just gonna laugh at us. We had no idea what we were in for. We were in Georgia at the time on tour, and they flew us into L.A. to do the taping. We were stoked because we got to see our girlfriends, but we paid for it! It cost us 35 grand to go home! We didn't get any-fucking-thing else, except that we got to party with comedians. Jim Breuer partied, we just drank. 'Party' -- I hate that word. We'd all go outside, because it's L.A. and you can't smoke inside any buildings, and everyone just sort of bonded in the parking lot. It was really funny, we all started sharing stories, and theirs sounded an awful lot like ours. Comedians are exactly like punk rockers. They hit the road, do their gig, and move on. We've begun thinking about doing some standup comedy at some point in the future, 'cuz there would be less gear to lug from town to town, and actually, I'm a pretty funny guy."
U.S. BombsWith Tanka Ray and The Pushers
Thursday, May 25at El Torreon