Off! is a punk supergroup from Southern California. They were formed in 2009, but their punk roots extend much farther back. Frontman Keith Morris’ former projects include Black Flag and Circle Jerks; bassist Steven Shane McDonald was in Red Kross; Dimitri Coats is one half of Burning Brides; and drummer Mario Rubalcaba hails from Rocket from the Crypt. Impressive credentials, to be sure, but Off!’s arguably biggest claim to fame is this hat that band homie Anthony Kiedis wore throughout Red Hot Chili Peppers’ I’m with You World Tour:
Companies would pay big money for that kind of branding.
Off!’s Facebook fan page posits the question, “Do Keith Morris and his gang of grown-ass punk heroes still have the goods?” Having missed their set at Coachella 2015, I can’t answer that question with any degree of authority. I can however assert with confidence that they give one hell of an interview.
What was your first encounter with Playboy?
Keith: Ursula Andress. After she had just got through filming Dr No. I believe her name in the movie is Honey Rider. James Bond comes across her on the little beach where she’s collecting the big shells.
Steve: The 1969 Beyond the Valley of the Dolls issue, with Cynthia Meyer and I’m forgetting Kelly McNamara’s real name.
Keith: Was Cynthia Meyer related to Oscar Mayer?
Steve: No, she was married to Russ Meyer. He was the director of the film as well. It’s a great issue.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Keith: Bill me later. Liars. Politicians. Lying politicians, how about that? Who are you going to vote for? We had this discussion earlier. He wanted to know about Hillary Clinton but we already had a Clinton, we can’t have another Clinton. We already had our Bushes. All of these, the Republican clown car, it’s gonna be like a giant vagina spitting these fucking clowns out and they’re all aligning themselves with the Republican party. We don’t need anymore of these people. We need some real people that show up and say “Hey, I worked in the factory. You’re not gonna mess with my union. You’re not gonna take my social security. You’re not gonna fuck with my pension.” That’s what happens. This is because nobody stood up and said you don’t get to be a dipshit anymore, get out of here. Go do that someplace else. Go to one of your tax shelter tax havens. Go to Switzerland or wherever you’ve got all of your offshore money going on. Go there. Take Rush Limbaugh along with you.
Steve: I would say people that think they know everything really annoy those of us who do.
Dimitri: That should be a t-shirt.
Keith: I believe that when he says that he’s referring to me.
Steve: That’s the beauty of the statement. Who knows what it means. Is it with sarcasm? Who knows?
Do you remember what your first cars were?
Dimitri: My first car was a Volkswagen Scirocco. And I wrecked it three or four times. Once was my fault and the other three times weren’t. I wasn’t even moving. I think it had some bad luck to it. I didn’t care, I was in high school and I had a car.
Keith: I remember having a ’63 Chevy Impala in prime condition, red. And I got sideswiped by a guy who wasn’t paying attention and it kind of went thud because it was like a tank. Built like a tank. I had a Ford Station wagon I bashed up behind the wheel and rammed a parked car through a garage into a living room. That’s the reason I have this.
Steve: I rode in that car when I was 11 years old, it was a death-defying experience. I was in the back seat. It was the first time I ever rode on Sunset Boulevard in the area that’s known as Dead Man’s Curve, and Keith Morris was behind the fucking wheel and I luckily survived. And I had a Dodge Omni when I was 16.
Mario: My first car was a Toyota Tercel.
Mario: Silver. Skateboardmobile.
Who’s your celebrity crush?
Keith: Mary Poppins.
Mario: When I was a kid it was Alyssa Milano.
Keith: Or the Little Mermaid.
She’s hot too. She has a nice rack.
Keith: Yeah. She ages well.
Dimitri: Right now it’s Kristen Wiig because I’m supposed to go on a date with her.
Steve: I’m drawing a blank right now. I like the girls in ABBA.
What was the first song you knew all the words to?
Keith: That’s a good one. “Let’s Spend the Night Together,” by the Rolling Stones.
Steve: That’s a nice horny song for Playboy.
Let’s say you’re on death row. What do you want to be your last meal?
Steve: What about something foreign… there’s no point in keeping it healthy.
Steve: Yeah. Something exotic. I don’t know.
Keith: Something that’s gonna take ’em a week to get.
Steve: Good point, Keith. I like the way he thinks. He’s a real shit-kicker.
If you could get rid of one state in the United States what state would it be?
Mario: I think I would get rid of Utah.
Mario: Because it’s just like this wasteland that’s unnecessary.
Keith: Yeah but they’re doing something good with their homeless. They’re taking all the homeless off the streets and putting them in little houses.
Mario: They were all over the place when we were just there.
Keith: They’re working on it. It’s not something that happens overnight.
Mario: Can I retract that then? They’re working on it.
Keith: Give Florida to the Israelis.
Mario: Let’s cut off Florida.
Dimitri: I’ve never heard that theory before. I like that. What a great idea.
Keith: Or Texas. That’s big enough. They wouldn’t have to take over any other land from anybody else.
Steve: But Florida’s prime real estate, give it to em… Israel is more like Southern California, more Mediterranean.
Keith: They grow a lot of oranges.
Related: Life lessons with Lemmy