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MusicWe're Bill Marcks and Jeremy Wood, orginal members of Authority Zero, ask us anything!

Sep 30th 2017 by goodboyBill • 23 Questions • 786 Points

I'm Will Carless, a reporter at Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting, where I cover hate and extremism in the U.S. I recently embedded with anti-fascists and discovered that they have a "hit list" of alt-right activists, which they disseminate ahead of protests. Many of them believe that pre-emptive violence is the only way to shut down hate speech.

Read my latest: https://www.revealnews.org/article/antifa-has-a-rapid-response-team-that-targets-alt-right-organizers/

Proof: https://i.redd.it/yj1cela4fboz.jpg

Q:

Ive been a fan of authority zero since i was 6 years old and have seen many transitions from you two leaving the band and others joining.... In your words what has been the biggest change in the band and has it been positive or negative?

A:

So, were you or a loved one entitled to financial compensation?


Q:

Most people think that non-violence is the way to go and that violent, aggressive responses could backfire, that is play into the hands of white supremacists by using violence. What do you have to say about that?

A:

Well, Jason is still going strong and I respect that. It has evolved into something different, that's for sure. Dalley, Dan and Spero are great players.


Q:

Sadly, I was not.

A:

I agree. Most people do think that. But some elements of the antifa don't think that. I think we've already seen even targeted violence blowback onto antifa's image among the general public. But I also know that the people committing this violence aren't really concerned about their perception among the general public. I would agree that they have "played into the hands" of some white supremacists. I think that's kind of inevitable. And I know that's of concern to some within the antifa movement. I think that's why we saw so little violent action in Berkeley this week.


Q:

Recently saw them in Denver and Jason had the same energy and power as 10 years ago.... He may he approaching 40, but hes still kicking as much ass as a 30 year old

A:

You sound like you've done a terrific job of pushing this behind you and still living life to the fullest. Do you think this attitude is inherent to your personality, or is this an attitude that you work to maintain every single day?

Thanks for sharing your story, by the way!


Q:

So as per your experience what do you think can be done when you’re at the early stages of struggle, before you get to the point where there are tanks, artillery and heavy weapons?

A:

The dude is immortal! haha


Q:

Do you think this attitude is inherent to your personality, or is this an attitude that you work to maintain every single day?

It's definitely something I have to work at, and I don't always live up to my own expectations. But I've found that when your personal "compass" is pointed in the right way as far as your approach and outlook to life, you end up heading in the right direction, even if you make a few wrong turns along the way.

A:

What some antifa believe is that by disrupting groups like the alt-Right while they're in the organizing phase -- by shutting down their meetings, blocking their protests and violently confronting their spokespeople, fascism can be "nipped in the bud." That's how anti-fascists have traditionally operated for almost 100 years. TBC: I am not condoning. I am passing on info!


Q:

Best story with them???

A:

What do you wish people would say or NOT say to you? I've read opinions from people with some horrible disease (especially cancer) write that they are absolutely tired of hearing the "But how are you really doing?" question and calling treatment a "fight" or a "battle".

Also, since I'm an anesthesiologist, what did you wish your anesthesia team knew or do differently for your surgeries. Did you have an ERAS (enhanced recovery after surgery) for your surgeries? Always interested to know, since anesthesiologists rarely get meaningful feedback from patients.

Thanks for sharing your story Dude! PS we went to med school together.


Q:

What's the most dramatic conversion you've seen (e.g. ex-KKK member etc...)?

Were there any unusual signifiers you noticed cropping up (e.g. a disproportionate number of members are into Bojack Horseman or something like that)?

A:

Hmmm, some stuff just stays on the road. Sorry. XD


Q:

What do you wish people would say or NOT say to you?

Well, for me personally, I don't get upset when people try to say something nice/compassionate after finding out the diagnosis. They're just trying to be nice people, and it's not their fault that I might be in a shitty mood and take it the wrong way. I've heard other, very different opinions from other people with cancer, though. I think it depends on the person, really. Although, to be honest, the old "everything happens for a reason" thing is a pretty classic groaner to avoid.

As far as it being a "battle," I guess it is, kind of. But really it's more like just getting through each day. I operate about a week at a time now. I just look at the next thing on the horizon, take care of that problem, and then move on to the next thing. If you think about the overall situation too much you'll go crazy.

My anesthesia was pretty much the definition of "routine." General and then a dilaudid PCA + prn boluses for pain control. We didn't talk about the newer post-op regimens or things like an epidural. I do wonder if things would have worked out better with some of the more advanced anesthesia, but my pain control was adequate. I would have tried anything more they offered/recommended, but from my perspective, they treated all the surgeries as pretty routine cases.

PS we went to med school together.

Sweet! Geaux Tigers!

A:

I didn't see any really dramatic conversions. Although the to-and-fro between Alt-Right provocateurs and antifa provocateurs is interesting and something to watch. As for unusual signifiers -- nothing specific comes to mind. Although obviously a lot of these people are anarchists as well.


Q:

What defines a sandwich? Is a hot dog a kind of sandwich?

A:

Your story is so crazy! That's so much whirlwind in the diagnosis, treatment and all the complications!

As a primary care physician, it's very hard to work out the Zebras from the horses, let alone the unicorns. What do you think could have helped the initial diagnosis? Was there anything that you wish was done differently?

Congrats on the new job! All the best wishes to you and your family!


Q:

I hear that for every confrontation in the streets, there are a bunch more events they got shut down or cancelled by lurking in fascist forums and outing the nature of the event to the community.

Did you see a strong online component to the people you interviewed?

A:

hmmm... a question for the ages. Let's see:

sand·wich ˈsanˌ(d)wiCH/Submit noun 1. an item of food consisting of two pieces of bread with meat, cheese, or other filling between them, eaten as a light meal. "a ham sandwich" verb 1. insert or squeeze (someone or something) between two other people or things, typically in a restricted space or so as to be uncomfortable. "the girl was sandwiched between two burly men in the back of the car"


Q:

What do you think could have helped the initial diagnosis? Was there anything that you wish was done differently?

Honestly, nothing.Maybe I should have put two and two together sooner. But I think with my non-specific symptoms and lack of risk factors and such, nothing was "missed" per se.

The only thing that is still a real kick right in the nuts is the renal impairment. I'm at CKD3b now, and all it's gonna take to make me end stage renal disease is one more serious hit to the kidneys. But even that wasn't an "error," just an unfortunate complication.

Also, thanks for the well-wishes! They are greatly appreciated!

A:

Thanks for the question! Yeah, there's definitely a lot of activity by antifa online. But I think that's unsurprising. A lot of these people are young and live much of their lives online. So, there's certainly a proxy battle going on on the internet, as well as on the streets.


Q:

Not too bad. It'll be interesting to see how you further your group

A:

So as a radiologist do you get to input your opinion on things like X-rays and catscans taken of you?


Q:

Thank you for this AMA. After spending time with antifa activists, how much do you lean towards the view held by some that both they and the (alt)right are "violent extremes" and practically the same?

A:

This was Sho's (drummer) first jam with us. Check back in later. It's gunna be sick!


Q:

Officially, in the reports, no. Whoever is reading the study looks at it and dictates it without my input. That said, I can look at my own images, of course. I'd sometimes give them my two cents, but really they just care what the report has to say.

At first I went over everything with a fine toothed comb, but that gets pretty tedious after a while. I still flip through the images, but mostly I just go with what the attending says in the report.

A:

That's a GREAT question. Firstly, as my reporting shows, there are clearly elements of antifa who are willing to use violence as a last resort against people who might threaten vulnerable members of their community. But antifa as a concept, and as a movement, is primarily defensive. I think the two-sides thing is very misleading. On the Alt-right side, you have groups who want to actively disrupt and harm large numbers of people (immigrants, minorities, feminists, LGBTQ population, etc.). On the other, you have people who are willing to do very limited violence to stop a greater harm from happening. I don't think the two are in any way equate-able on a moral or practical plane.


Q:

When will you suck it up and just play a shitty paying gig like a real band?

A:

Thank you for the post. Both my grandpa and great grandpa died of mesothelioma caused by working with asbestos, watching my grandpa go through it was the first experience that opened my eyes to the extreme pain some people must live with every day, and sobered my seven year old self right up. Good luck and stay strong.

What's the most benign looking/feeling early warning sign you can think of? If it ends up being what takes my father, I'd rather give him the best fighting chance he can have by being overcautious.


Q:

On the other, you have people who are willing to do very limited violence to stop a greater harm from happening.

How do they quantify the potential of this "greater harm"?

Let's face it, you can't predict the future anymore than I can, or they can: so how do they measure the possibility and at what point is it suddenly "violence is okay now"?

A:

Shit, I got my stripes did that for over a decade haha!! This is my hobby now.


Q:

What's the most benign looking/feeling early warning sign you can think of?

First, I'm sorry to hear about your grandparents. This is not a nice disease to die from, and watching them go through medical treatment however long ago that was must have been pretty brutal, too. They didn't have a lot of good options back in the day.

I have the abdominal kind of mesothelioma, so my symptoms were different than people with the lung kind. I just had belly pain and vague malaise.

The problem with the symptoms of serious illnesses is that they overlap with the symptoms of not-serious illnesses. The first things would probably be pain and shortness of breath, or limitation of exercise capacity. The problem is, lots of way less scary things can cause those symptoms, too.

Basically, if they worked up everyone with some vague complaints to the full extent every time, our healthcare system would be even more expensive and inefficient than it already is. So we have to try to figure out whose symptoms are concerning, and whose aren't. We do our best, but sometimes people fall through the cracks just because it's not a likely diagnosis. Mine was a case like that. No one "missed" anything, per se.

Lastly, I would say, your case does seem to have a strong family history, and there's at least one known mutation (BAP1 I believe) that increases your risk for mesothelioma. You may want to consider asking for genetic testing for your dad (and/or yourself).

A:

This is a very complex question to answer, and the reality is that the line is different for everyone, both within the movement and outside of it. But I know there are people within antifa who believe that the US is facing a legitimate "fascist creep" and that they can prevent lives being lost in the future by using calculated and isolated violence now. I'm not endorsing that view, but it's out there.


Q:

So why no vocals?

A:

Why does mesothelioma get a day, while other diseases get a month?


Q:

That sounds super wanton and random to me, with very meager attempts to color it otherwise.

A:

We just wanted to write an album that let the music speak for itself. We wanted the music to tell the story. Vox are cool, and we have an idea for those down the line, but we're not feeling have vox on this album.


Q:

Probably because there's not that many of us, relatively speaking. Things like lung, colon, breast, and prostate cancer (just to name a few) are vastly more common in the general population.

A:

I disagree.


Q:

Random question, why did you decide to work for godaddy besides teaching Spanish?

A:

Do you have any knowledge of your exposure to asbestos?


Q:

After spending time with members of antifa are you more or less sympathetic to their movement and why?

A:

I was working as a sub teacher, then in the summer I was busting my ass in a warehouse. My father saw an opening for a bilingual position at GD. I applied and got it. It was just going to be a job, but turned into a career. I've learned so much there! I'm trying to get into communications there now.


Q:

I've never been exposed to my knowledge. Just lucky, I guess!

A:

Good question. And a difficult one to answer. I would honestly say that I'm sympathetic to an overall fight against fascism. And I would say that traditionally, some sort of violence has inevitably been an element of any successful struggle against fascism. But I would say that the antifa, especially those practicing violence and property damage, have been more damaging to their movement than positive. I think in the early part of this year, there was a lot of indiscipline within the movement. I think that's changing.


Q:

Who were some of your favorite musicians/bands that inspired you both to pursue music/form your bands? What/who have you really enjoyed listening to currently?

I will definitely give the kickstarter a look.

A:

Good and well thought out answer. It would be interesting to see how you feel antifa in general are evolving at some point in the future. Glad to hear that the more violent element if antifa are disapearing i mean i strongly believe in violence at the right time and for the right reasons but so far from the little that ive seen this hasnt been the case.


Q:

Cheers for that! I loved Nirvana growing up and Metallica. Guitar was my Ritalin. Frusciante was my brand. Currently I'm listening to FoL, Skull Drug and other rad local bands. I listen to everything.

A:

Thanks. Yep. And I would strongly recommend reading Mark Bray's "Antifa: The Antifascist Handbook" if you're interested in the history of the movement.


Q:

So what's different about the creative process now that you two are Old Zeros?

A:

Which regional Anti-fa did you embed yourself with?


Q:

We're much more relaxed. When we were kids we had to get everything done NOW!!! Now we take our time, tweak the music. Finesse it. We're just chillen and making a great sound together.

A:

I spent time with the antifa in the Bay Area, California.


Q:

Wasn't trying to be a dick. It's been a bad day. My bad. I look back and see I was being an offensive dick. Sorry man. For real. I just saw What I perceived as negative and went to town. Again, my bad bud. I'm an insufferable asshole. Ask anyone who knows me. So sorry.

A:

What do you think the predominate political affiliation of Anti-fa members in the Bay Area are?


Q:

Thanks for the support!

A:

I don't think most of them have any time for either of the parties, tbh.


Q:

your guys' cover of Mexican Radio is my favorite :-) and i'm from Arizona myself! don't have any music related questions, but what's your favorite kind of candy?

A:

I guess I mean to say: what political philosophy do they most associate with?


Q:

I'm a big fan of Skittles lately.

A:

Most believe in some form of anarchism and/or socialism.


Q:

You guys still hear from Jerry? What happened to Nixon? FYI, I miss the old old message board. I made a lot of good friends through it.

A:

I've seen a number of folks on twitter talk about the danger that reporters put people in when they report and take pictures at anti alt-right demonstrations. Did you encounter any resistance towards your reporting due to similar criticisms?


Q:

Yeah! Jerry most likely is gunna play on the album. Nixon is fine and lives in CO now. Jeremy and I may make a forum on the site like back in the day!

A:

I did. On a couple of occasions, I was told not to take photos of antifa. And I think there is some legitimacy to the fear antifa have of getting doxxed. Read up on what happened to Eric Clayton for more details!


Q:

One of my favorite AZ songs is "Chile Con Crudo", any of the new instrumental music going to have a similar surf rock vibe that you've dabbled in AZ from time to time?

A:

I think there is some legitimacy to the fear antifa have of getting doxxed. Read up on what happened to Eric Clayton for more details!

You'll forgive me for thinking that you could have chosen a better example.


Q:

Oh hell yeah!!! Here's us messing around with La Surf 2017.

A:

My point was that Clanton was doxxed (if it was really him) via 4Chan. It was a pretty massive, organized effort.


Q:

ye bro

A:

To what extent are there different groups - with different agenda - operating under the antifa banner?


Q:

I found ¡CRUDO! too!!

A:

Yeah this is definitely happening. There is very little actual organization or coordination going on between different antifa groups, as far as I have witnessed. (Although of course, that may have been kept out of my sight).


Q:

Nice! I actually forgot about this, but sometimes I used the guitar riff as my sound check when I played in a band a while back.

A:

What do members of Antifa think about the fake antifa accounts tied to Russia, such as @antifaboston ?


Q:

Rad!

A:

Good question. I know there's a lot of frustration about disinformation out there, but don't forget that antifa have been pretty effective at trolling the Alt Right using fake Alt Right social media accounts or by creating their own false antifa accounts. It's all a game for some people. I doubt many antifa are too worried about the false accounts.


Q:

What made you want to start writing music again after such a long hiatus?

A:

Do you see antifa engaged politically as well? Do they endorse candidates, seek office, provide campaign support or otherwise engage in democratic activities?


Q:

I love a steady job but am going nuts without music. Jeremy and I can't kick our habit.

A:

Not that I've seen, no. To the extent that the antifa I interviewed are interested in politics, they're much more interested in anarchism and/or revolution.


Q:

What made you want to start writing music again after such a long hiatus?

A:

how did you get started and interested in this case?


Q:

Jeremy: "Peavey cirrus bass swr900 for my amp Big mix of cabinets

But right now I'm playing on my kick around ibanez bass ."

A:

We first started seeing antifa as an interesting group after the big protests in Berkeley in the Spring. As a reporter covering extremism, this seemed like a group I should look into. So I did!


Q:

Single coils? Any customizations?

A:

where you scared at all during your time embedded


Q:

I'm using humbuckers, SD Invaders. Ryan Greene turned me on to them.

A:

Not really. I was with known antifa when I was in crowds.


Q:

Single coils? Any customizations?

A:

Can I assume an Antifa meeting involves a lot of Crass and Aus-Rotten patches?


Q:

Jeremy: "Hey, yea I totally remember you. HOW COULD I FORGET hahaha. The thing that I miss the most about not touring is all you guys, friends that I would get to see and hang out with. my friend network out there was like a family. SO MANY PEOPLE THAT WERE A PART OF SO MANY STORIES. it sucks i will probably not ever hear from so many of them again. so thanks for putting crazy events back in my world and sharing here. About more touring. It would take very special circumstances. I love making music, I love performing music. This album feels like a great way to share some new stories without words. But who know what the future holds?"

A:

I don't know what this means


Q:

Pineapple on pizza or no?

A:

Both bands, and when I was really into the 90s SHARP and AFA scene, we all dressed like this, in Spokane.


Q:

Yes. I like it.I guess it's super hated these days. XD

A:

Oh! Gottit. Yeah, there's definitely connections back to the AFA. If you were involved with those scenes, I'd love to talk more. Can you email me? [email protected]

Cheers!


Q:

Was there a time when it wasn't? /s

A:

Do you feel antifa would be better served using a more leaderless resistance model, ala the weathermen, to be more effective?


Q:

haha it's pretty en vogue these days.

A:

Thanks for the question. I'm not sure the antifa could be more leaderless. Everyone I spoke to in the movement said it is a horizontally structured organization (to the extent that it's an organization at all). I didn't see any evidence of hierarchical leadership.


Q:

Whos your up and coming punk bands to look out for?

A:

Did you ever explain to them that THEY are fascists? Everything they say and do is textbook fascism. Our education system really needs fixing.


Q:

First or Last, Fare Game, Skull Drug and C:28. Straight outta AZ!

A:

I don't think this is correct at all. Can you elaborate?


Q:

Hey Bill, long time listener, first time caller.

Do you put beans in your chili? Why or why not?

A:

Hell yeah I do, 'cause chilli is not chilli without beans. Period.


Q:

You. I like you.

A:

XD


Q:

Oh man, I am making chilli right now and it has beans in it. I've been a fan since 2002, I did not expect chilli with beans to be my contribution to this AMA.

A:

XD! It's friggin good.


Q:

I've never heard of Authority Zero, but you guys are answering like every question and that's awesome, so I'll ask something.

How do you suppose shampoo is made?

Ty

A:

Human fat, like Fight Club?


Q:

I wonder if that exists. I'd try it. Sounds greasy but fun. Kind of like me.

Thanks for responding 🎩

A:

XD De nada.