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Interview: Ezekiel Ox from ‘Full Scale Revolution’

Full Scale Revolution Pic Sized

Outspoken punks Full Scale Revolution are back, with founding members Ezekiel Ox and Jimmy Tee teaming up once again to tour across our great country. The highly anticipated show is not one to miss according to lead singer Ezekiel, who is challenging critics to witness a killer show despite their “old age”. We were fortunate enough to speak to Ezekiel Ox about the comeback tour, politics, and why one shouldn’t be on the fence about seeing FSR live once again.

After holidaying with the family you guys made the decision to do a tour, how did a holiday turn into a comeback?

Well Jimmy and I don’t see each other as much as we’d like to anymore. We are very old friends who started working together in 1988, which as of this year is creeping up towards 18 years of friendship. When you’re 35 years old that’s a shit-load of time! Jimmy is a strange beast and I was enjoying his company and we were enjoying hanging out with our wives and our children. Jimmy was keen to work on something again and I just said “well why don’t we bring the band back and find a new rhythm section?” cause we both agreed we needed to do that. It sort of happened organically. Jimmy lives in Los Angeles, I live in Melbourne, and the bass player we got lives in Europe. It certainly wasn’t about the ease of logistics sort of thing, it was more about our passion for each songs and our passion for the legacy Jimmy and I had been instrumental in creating from Full Scale Deflection, to Full Scale Revolution. Jimmy is really the heart and soul of these projects, those bands, in my opinion. Obviously I have a fairly firm grasp on a lot of the aesthetics, but I really just think its going to be really fun playing the songs again, and we’re really looking forward to it!

I have to ask, why is the tour called ‘Fuck Sony’?

Well… I’ll give you an example of why it’s called ‘Fuck Sony’. We put up a new track called 1945, which we were going to put out there for the fans – that’s been pulled now from Soundcloud. Sony took a band [referring to Full Scale Revolution] at its prime in 2003 and threw a reasonable amount of money at us. But when we were over [in America] I felt they let us down quite heavily, the way they developed the band and the way they worked with us. I ended up leaving the band and making it up after the American adventure kind of turned sour, which is all documented in the feature length documentary ‘Colour Light, Movement and Sound!’ There have been a lot of contractual controls placed on our use of our material and our songs. I really couldn’t give a f*ck about contracts, I really couldn’t give a f*ck about corporate entities and what they feel they own. I want full control of our music and I think these songs should be out there, currently we’re in a position where Sony doesn’t have the business bounce to come and throw another f*cking billion-dollars at us.

If I were Sony, I would look at me and Jimmy getting back together and say “f*ck, that’s going to make money that would be awesome”. But Sony don’t, they go well what we’ll do is we’ll take charge, control the music, and give you a bunch of f*cking shortsighted corporate d*ckheads that don’t know anything about the true nature of human existence.

So it’s like the ultimate “f*ck you” to the system?

Well that’s Full Scale Revolution. I mean “Kill your boss and take all of his money” was one of our lyrics. I’m not going to pander to the corporate system. As I’ve said on the streets of Melbourne, my hometown, as a leader of protests both organisationally and verbally, these shows will have stalls at them. We’re from the campaign against racism and fascism, which is working really hard to stop the rise of neo-Nazi around the world, which is a real threat at the moment in Australia. We are heavily committed to having our middle fingers firmly up. Our fans know where we are at [and] I think after this tour everyone will know where we’re at. In a way I don’t know if I should be saying this, but I really don’t give a f*ck what Sony tries to do to me, or the band, or the legacy, because anything they try to do to us will only make it clearer to everyone what they do overall to music. They are responsible for some of the biggest piles of shit sonically that are out there. They are not interested in us, or our development, and they don’t pay there bands properly, so you know, they can get f*cked. I probably just stuffed up my chances of ever getting signed by them again, but if they did was good for them they’d want the biggest punk-rock superstar in the world signed to their label, and as far as attitudes go that would be Full Scale Revolution.

Your lyrics are very political, what’s the reasoning behind being so politically active?

I started marching very young with my mother in ‘Reclaim the Night’ rallies, which raised awareness about women having safety over their bodies. She would march up the front, so my father and me would march up the back behind the women. I [also] marched in trade union rallies as a child. Class-consciousness has always been something I’ve had. It was so good to see after the subprime mortgage drop out the concept of the 99 per cent versus the 1 per cent came an international conversation again. We got a bit stuck for a while having this concept if working class people just work hard they’d eventually be able to make it. Now that’s fundamentally f*cking bullsh*t. We don’t want to make it big in a system that takes Aboriginal land, that locks up children in detention for no crime, locks up there parents in detention for no crime, that gives fuel subsidy to Gina Rinehart while taking food out of the mouths of the children of single mothers.

You can wake up and look out the window and confront that system, and you deal with it by being cynical, well then that’s up to you. I choose anger and aggression [towards] militancy over cynicism. Cynicism has no place in the west at the moment. We need to be angry and organised. I’ve always been politically active, but I just cannot f*cking stand capitalism, I just think it’s a f*cking disgrace of a system! It delivers pain, hunger, famine, and most of all war to people of the world. It’s got to be smashed, it’s got to be crushed, or otherwise we’re going to die on the planet. Yeah, I’m very passionate about politics. I guess I’ve probably gotten more radical as I’ve gotten older. Everyone says they mellow in their 30’s, but I’m sort of at a point now where I want to smash the system more then ever.

What was the inspiration behind your feature length documentary ‘Colour Light, Movement and Sound!’?

A guy called David Krebeli, who’s a New York filmmaker, made the documentary. He comes from a hardcore scene. He’s got tattoos of Agnostic Front and has tattoos on his legs. David made the film because he became fascinated with the band. The documentary follows the life of a band playing in front of eight people in Melbourne after just having moved from Perth. It then shows our lives in [America] and it documents our fall. To say it documents our achievements is not how I feel about the movie. As a film it shows four young men who think they are going to get what they want, they don’t, and how they then deal with it. It shows the drugs, it shows the women, the abuse of power, and also of how the band is abused. It’s more of a film about hubris and ego then anything else.

Do you consider your time in America to be a failure or a success?

We had a f*cking ball! Cocaine is really cheap in L.A in case you were wondering. We had a lot of fun over there. I did some interesting political organising. It was a pretty fascinating time. We saw New York, we saw Texas. I don’t know if I’m really that interested in looking back to quantify that achievement. Full Scale Revolution was an outrageously successful band, we have the songs to prove that. Whether or not we could have been more successful in the states…[well] we did some great touring with some great bands, and the crowds everywhere we went were great. I still get messages on Facebook from time to time, people asking me when Full Scale Revolution is coming back to America and what’s going on. It was a challenging time for young men making their way in the world, we didn’t get great guidance at times, we were sort of just taking advice when we got it. But f*ck man, you’re 23 years old you’re playing really loud music through really good PA’s, you’ve got money in the bank… I’d say that’s success! If you’re living in New York and L.A…how many bands get an opportunity to do that! We hung out with Slash and Lenny from Motorhead! I think music owes you nothing, but you owe music your life. If you want to whinge about your position in the music industry or what you’re getting out of it, well maybe go have a busk on the street and see how many people really give a f*ck about you.

Do you think that it was harder to make it in the late 90’s when you were just starting out compared to now?

I think it’s harder overall for everyone. [The Government] are coming for our health, our education, and they want our minimum wage to be lower. They have squeezed it on overall, so if people are earning less, they’re going to have less money to unfortunately spend on things that are seen as unessential. Music is an essential part of human anthropology. I was working in a factory to pay off a debt because I had to go to court to make sure I could still be a father, which has been very successful for both my son and I. Instead of continuing to work at the factory, I quit everything I was doing and went a bought a PA and some batteries and started busking on the street to develop my new solo show. No one on the street gives a f*ck about Full Scale Revolution or Mammals. The odd person would come up and recognise me, but they would often have a sad look in their eyes, thinking “oh, that’s where he ended up”, but they didn’t realise that what I was doing was forging a new show, making money at the same time, and that show has now gone on to support Tech N9ne, Boots Riley, and King of the North and a lot of major hip hop acts. If you’re good enough, and you work hard enough at it, you will smash it.

In a 2004 FasterLouder interview with your drummer Jimmy Tee he noted you guys much preferred performing live instead of recording. What are your thoughts on this?

Yeah, absolutely. I’ve had some really good times in the studio, but the connection you get with an audience on an idea, a rhythm, and the nature of the live music experience and the dancing you see, it a great gift. I’ve said a lot of things today that make it seem like I have a very dark view of the world. [But] I actually believe in people, I actually think people are far better than the system they have been delivered. What we can do is dance together, and we should do more of that, and at a live gig is the best place to do it.


Full Scale Revolution “Fuck Sony” Tour Dates


Anu Refectory Bar, Canberra


Bald Faced Stag, Sydney


Ding Dong Lounge, Melbourne


Rosemount Hotel, Perth