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Pansy Division's Chris Freeman on Beatles, Kiss, and Trump

Soundtrack of my life

On tour, Pansy Division, an openly gay punk band, is seeing “a shit-ton of Trump signs in yards,” making them exceptionally nervous.
On tour, Pansy Division, an openly gay punk band, is seeing “a shit-ton of Trump signs in yards,” making them exceptionally nervous.

Out-and-proud punk-poppers Pansy Division hit Soda Bar November 4. Co-founder Chris Freeman took some email queries.

What are the band’s most memorable San Diego gigs?

“Opening for Green Day at the Sports Arena on Halloween 1994. That was the first big arena we’d ever played and it was totally nerve-racking! Many shows at the Casbah, including when Rob Halford from Judas Priest came up and sang with us in ’97. He sang with us the next day at San Diego Pride too.

Video:

"Kiss Me at Midnight"

...by Pansy Division

...by Pansy Division

“We met Luis [Pansy Division’s drummer] in San Diego around February of 1996, when he interviewed us before a show and ended up in the band later that year. He’s originally from Tijuana.”

Who were your biggest influences?

“My biggest influence growing up was the Beatles. All of my earliest memories have Beatles songs attached, so they are truly the soundtrack of my life.

“The first two records I bought with allowance money were Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies and Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I saw Kiss on Midnight Special and that blew my mind. Someone recently told me that Kiss was a gateway band for a lot of musicians, and that’s certainly true for me, although now they are an embarrassment.

“Later, I got into punk from reading magazines with Kiss on the cover, describing the ‘New York sound’ from bands like the Ramones and Blondie. I loved Devo and Judas Priest equally to the disdain of many of my high school friends, so I never fit in anywhere. I knew many people who threw away their old record collections when they discovered punk. I didn’t understand that ­— if I love something, I love it whether it’s cool to love it or not.”

How nervous are you about the election?

Past Event

Pansy Division and Stalins of Sound

  • Friday, November 4, 2016, 8 p.m.
  • Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $10

“I’m exceptionally nervous. Trump could actually win — his supporters don’t care how heinous he is. It would be a horror show if he won, and I’m not sure why any of his supporters don’t see that. Misinformed, I guess. Or blinded by those who are. Or blinded by their religion. I also have a lot of friends who are anti-Hillary and won’t vote for her. I’m not sure why that is either.

“On tour, I was not surprised to see a shit-ton of Trump signs in front yards everywhere, especially the suburbs. I don’t see any in L.A., but that is a bubble, not the norm.”

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On tour, Pansy Division, an openly gay punk band, is seeing “a shit-ton of Trump signs in yards,” making them exceptionally nervous.
On tour, Pansy Division, an openly gay punk band, is seeing “a shit-ton of Trump signs in yards,” making them exceptionally nervous.

Out-and-proud punk-poppers Pansy Division hit Soda Bar November 4. Co-founder Chris Freeman took some email queries.

What are the band’s most memorable San Diego gigs?

“Opening for Green Day at the Sports Arena on Halloween 1994. That was the first big arena we’d ever played and it was totally nerve-racking! Many shows at the Casbah, including when Rob Halford from Judas Priest came up and sang with us in ’97. He sang with us the next day at San Diego Pride too.

Video:

"Kiss Me at Midnight"

...by Pansy Division

...by Pansy Division

“We met Luis [Pansy Division’s drummer] in San Diego around February of 1996, when he interviewed us before a show and ended up in the band later that year. He’s originally from Tijuana.”

Who were your biggest influences?

“My biggest influence growing up was the Beatles. All of my earliest memories have Beatles songs attached, so they are truly the soundtrack of my life.

“The first two records I bought with allowance money were Alice Cooper’s Billion Dollar Babies and Elton John’s Goodbye Yellow Brick Road. I saw Kiss on Midnight Special and that blew my mind. Someone recently told me that Kiss was a gateway band for a lot of musicians, and that’s certainly true for me, although now they are an embarrassment.

“Later, I got into punk from reading magazines with Kiss on the cover, describing the ‘New York sound’ from bands like the Ramones and Blondie. I loved Devo and Judas Priest equally to the disdain of many of my high school friends, so I never fit in anywhere. I knew many people who threw away their old record collections when they discovered punk. I didn’t understand that ­— if I love something, I love it whether it’s cool to love it or not.”

How nervous are you about the election?

Past Event

Pansy Division and Stalins of Sound

  • Friday, November 4, 2016, 8 p.m.
  • Soda Bar, 3615 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego
  • 21+ / $10

“I’m exceptionally nervous. Trump could actually win — his supporters don’t care how heinous he is. It would be a horror show if he won, and I’m not sure why any of his supporters don’t see that. Misinformed, I guess. Or blinded by those who are. Or blinded by their religion. I also have a lot of friends who are anti-Hillary and won’t vote for her. I’m not sure why that is either.

“On tour, I was not surprised to see a shit-ton of Trump signs in front yards everywhere, especially the suburbs. I don’t see any in L.A., but that is a bubble, not the norm.”

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