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Sick of It All’s Koller Brothers: Another Excerpt from Their Forthcoming Book (EXCLUSIVE)

Sick of It All recording the We Stand Alone EP in 1990. (Photo: BJ Papas)

Arriving in stores in August, The Blood and the Sweat: The Story of Sick of It All's Koller Brothers is the autobiography of two of the hardcore scene's most prolific musicians.

Co-written by Lou Koller, Pete Koller, and Howie Abrams (Finding Joseph I: An Oral History of H.R. from Bad BrainsThe ABCs of Metallica), the will also include commentary from family, friends, band-mates past and present, and their peers, including Iggor Cavalera (Sepultura, Cavalera Conspiracy), Barney Greenway (Napalm Death, Benediction), and Gary Holt (Exodus, Slayer).

Back in January, No Echo debuted both the book's cover, plus a chapter excerpt as a sneak peek for our readers. Today, Lou and Pete chose to share following chapter excerpt for its political timeliness.

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Excerpt from the chapter: NOT OPENING THE FLOOR TO POLITICAL DISCUSSION…

Lou: I think our lyrics reflect the way we are as people. Why can’t people just be cool?! Just live your life, and let everyone live theirs. We probably lean more towards the left, but we make it a point not to come out and blatantly yell at people no matter what. If you want to know why I’m a vegetarian now, it’s because I didn’t get yelled at about it. I think that’s the way we are with our political beliefs. We lean towards a lot of what we’ve learned from our parents. The best thing is to be kind and open-minded to every race, lifestyle, and anything else.

Pete: It does get a little complicated sometimes when you’re getting into I’m a left-handed Trans, vegan…. (Laughs)

Lou: Cherokee, something, something…. You have to make things easy for me, although I respect the complexity of diversity. 

Pete: It gets weird sometimes when you’re taking a position while in a band though. You have to be smart about how you speak to your audience. People who don’t necessarily agree with you just want to argue, and we don’t think alienating them makes sense.

Lou: Especially because we have fans that are, I don’t like to use the term “regular guys,” but that’s kind of what they are. They’re working-class people, and you have to understand their values. You can’t just beat them over the head with your opinions because their reaction is going to be “I have to fight back” if they feel differently. But if you just slip it in there like, Hey, I don’t need to know how you feel about the war, but we have a lot of our friends and families going over there. The people involved, the civilians there…. How can they be offended by that, no matter what their politics are?

Online it’s the worst though. I posted something on Facebook recently, helping to promote a show benefiting organizations assisting immigrants. What did I get? Tons of comments about “fucking illegal immigrants.”

Pete: It’s just so easy now to be an asshole.

Lou: Trump’s just divided everyone and made them choose sides, right or left. He says, “It’s going to take a huge incident to make the country united again,” alluding to another 9/11. Are you saying that that’s what unites us, a tragedy, or are you saying that we’re going to have to make one? What?! I mean, I understand why some people flock to Trump. The older generation especially was like, “Oh my God, a black president; he’s going to give all our money away to black people.

Obama was trying to create all these programs to help people, and certain sects of white people felt like they were being ignored and treated like shit. He was trying to raise everybody up to a certain level, so that there’s a level playing field. Now, when all of Trump’s supporters are doing their taxes, they’re like, How the fuck do I have to pay thousands of dollars more this year?! 

Sick of It All @ Vans Warped Tour, Pomona, CA, 2017. (Photo: Joe Calixto)

Pete: People seem to only care about themselves more than ever.

Lou: There’s no empathy. I was having a discussion with someone about the border wall. He spewed all these “facts” and numbers about what the government supposedly estimates as far as illegal aliens on welfare. I responded, “Yeah, but there are more poor white people in Pennsylvania who voted the president in, who are on welfare, than illegals.” He goes, “Doesn’t matter. They’re not illegal.” That just hit me. It’s twisted.

Then he mentioned the poor baby that died coming across the border. He says, “Nobody asked them to come across the border.” I’m like, “You don’t understand. They’re not running from Mexico. They’re coming from South America and Central America where these regimes were screwed up by American intervention. Most don’t understand all this shit. They have no empathy. Then there’s (how people react to) Black Lives Matter….

Pete: People just want to be treated fairly, whether it’s looking for a house or whatever else. That’s what it’s about. Yes, there will be some bad apples in any large group, whether it’s a religious group, or Black Lives Matter, or whatever it is.

Lou: People must understand that we’re not the same. I know that we’ve all been taught growing up that we’re all the same…. No! We’re all supposed to be the same, but we’re not, and that’s the whole point. For how many decades has society corralled poor people, black people, and Latinos into these housing projects? Then a new economy based on criminal activity is created, and the people outside of that say, “Just keep them there. Just stay the fuck in there.”

Pete: Lou can get all riled up!

Sick of It All @ Bowery Ballroom, NYC, 2019. (Photo: Michele Manco)

Lou: 90 percent of the time, we try to get our message across without triggering something. I heard from a friend that Paul from Sheer Terror once said onstage, “I don’t know about anybody else, but I got into hardcore and punk to offend people. When was the last time Sick of It All offended anybody?” I wish I would have been there because I would have yelled out, “We must be offending you, fatso!”

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The Blood and the Sweat: The Story of Sick of It All’s Koller Brothers will be out August 4th and is available for pre-order now at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Tagged: sick of it all

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