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Saturday, April 29, 2006

3 questions for Date Number One star & punk rock legend John Stabb Schroeder



John Stabb Schroder as the ninja Mark H. Temonium from Date Number One



Julia Stemper & John Stabb Schroder from a scene in Date Number One :: Copyright 2005 Sujewa Ekanayake

John Stabb Schroder is a DC based actor & musician. He was the lead singer in the punk band Government Issue (G.I.) from 1981 - 1989. Starting this year (DC 5/13, Seattle 5/19 - 21) John can be seen playing a ninja who goes on a blind date in my new movie Date Number One. I did an 11 question interview with John last year, here's 3 of the exchanges, the rest can be found here. Enjoy.

Sujewa: What were your thoughts when I first explained to you that you will be playing a ninja in this movie?

John: When you offered me the role, I jumped at the chance! I’ve always enjoyed Bruce Lee movies and thought “I’m going to play a f’n ninja!” And the moment I slipped into the ninja outfit and headgear, I was ready to take on any martial arts actors. David Carradine, Chuck Norris, Michael Dudikoff, Uma Thurman, Rudy Ray Moore … bring em’ all on-ha! I guess you could say “blonde ninjas do have more fun”.

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Sujewa: So, let’s get back to music. DC has a long history of punk rock & activism, and you were there from the beginning - late 70's and early 80's. What moments stick out in your memory from the last two plus decades of punk & indie music in DC?

John: I am pretty fond of those years. I cannot say that the last 20 years of the WDC punk scene has been as enjoyable as the initial earlier ones. There was a certain naïveté and innocence about the time. It felt like you were really part of something special. To me, it was like a family kind of thing. A bunch of us discontented (but fun-loving!) aggressive kids just living for the next punk gig to happen. There was a lot of exciting earth shattering music back in WDC during the eighties. Especially say in the years 1980-85. Teen Idles, Untouchables, Black Market Baby, Slickee Boys, Youth Brigade, Bad Brains, Minor Threat, Double-O, Void, Deadline, S.O.A., Red C, just to name a handful. From 1985-90, the local music community became distant and lost a lot of that special connection for me. Many people I felt close to were moving on and chose to lose touch with me as a friend. I’d considered a lot of those folks as friends but it seemed they didn’t feel the same. I still feel that Ian (Ian MacKaye from Fugazi, The Evens, etc.) is a friend. Sure we disagree on many issues (and we’re not hanging out) but I feel a certain friendship with him. I guess that’s the nature of adulthood: moving on with your life. Sometimes I miss a bunch of those guys but there is something to be said about that expression: “you can never go back home”.

Sujewa: I am a big fan of the local punk label Dischord Records. Do you have any stories, memories and or thoughts about Dischord that you want to share with us?

John: It was the winter of ’81 and I’d just been through a nasty ordeal. My group housemates (an alcoholic married couple) attacked my other roommate Monique and me. Monique and I filed an assault & battery charge against the violent newlyweds. While we waited out for the trial, all of us still lived at the same house. But we all refused to pay any more bills and it got pretty damned cold without heat or hot water. The husband of the wife was living off her lucrative inheritance so they decided to move into a motel room. A bit after that I split and didn’t want to go back home to my parents home. My punk musician pals at the Dischord (Records) House nearby let me move in with them 'till I found another place of my own. So even though the members of Minor Threat, Untouchables, Iron Cross and Double-O really hardly knew me (other than from my band G.I.), they were so generous to let me stay there. That’s a memory I’ll always treasure.

Read the rest of the interview here.

- Sujewa

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