At the time of this interview, Kenny Leek majored in psychology at SDSU, tutored at Morse High School, sang for the Neighbors and handled producing their self-released records. The Neighbors finally called it a day after 10 years of playing some of the most insanely fast hardcore ever released. There was a sign at the door on the night of their last show that said "No band this fast can last forever." Kenny eventually started a hardcore record distro which, to the best of my knowledge, is still going.
What is the state of the scene?
Kenny: Extremely sparse and fragmented.
Is there anything wrong with punk music in San Diego?
Kenny: I just wish there were more bands that we could play with that would fit, but that's kind of a selfish reason. Yeah, just the whole lack of understanding about trying to get on a big label. It just seems everyone wants to try. The goal is to get big instead of doing something that benefits everybody.
What's good about punk music in San Diego?
Kenny: That's a hard one. A few more people are getting supportive. Shit, I don't even know. I can say another bad thing is the whole way that all this supposed punk is just total wanky music that's all super-associated with surfing and everything. It's like, fuck man, I remember when I was in 8th grade, bought my G.B.H. tape and kids were fucking flipping out. "Turn that off! Put it back on Depeche Mode!" That was surfer music then. Stick to a genre, man.
How do you think people act at shows? Do they seem to be having a good time?
Kenny: If they're totally into the band, like know it word for word, yeah. But other than that, either people just kind of trip out or, especially the bigger shows, if you want to even go up front to see the band, you have to watch your back the whole time. People are just fucking stupid. They act like total fucking idjits. I call it the Idjit Pit. Pit of Idjits.
Do you see any problems with the crowds and the people who go to see shows?
Kenny: Yeah, there's too many fucking manly men. There's too many dudes who think they're so fucking punk and don't have a clue. I mean, I just don't see what is fucking cool about pushing someone down. I just never understood that. It was never a cool thing to do either when I first went to shows. I never saw someone get intentionally pushed down time and time and time over and over again. It's just stupid. [Here, I made a comment about how people actually used to pick each other up in the pit.] Yeah, people would almost knock heads in a frantic fury to pick someone up. It was like the big cool thing was to run and pick someone up. Now it's like the big, cool thing is to do what? It's fucking lame. When we played at Voodoo, and this always happens when we play shows and especially at SOMA too, this big pit or whatever will start off and then people will just fucking get out of the way because there's so many fucking macho men in there that people are getting hurt and so all that happens is there's these few people up front who know probably every word and then behind them is this gigantic open circle. It's like, "Fuck man, did someone fart or what?" It's just so ghoulish. Why don't you just close that shit up and just bail? It's not even spontaneous.
What can we do to make the scene better?
Kenny: Well, that's a good fucking question. I've tried to create an awareness and I think a few people are aware, but to tell you the truth, I think a lot of people just don't fucking give a shit. It's like, it's just not concerning to them. The few people that do care are probably the few people that will probably still be listening to punk rock a few years from now, as opposed to the people who are like, "Okay, this guy's just complaining again," who are probably the people that are just going to be in and out, like, "I don't want to hear this person talk, I want to hear some music!" I've tried numerous things. I've tried newsletters to everyone on our mailing list, totally describing everything that's involved. I've tried pleading. I don't know. Maybe, I was thinking like, now that we have our disc, maybe I could start trading so I could start selling stuff at shows, like different people's stuff. I don't know. Maybe that'll do something. Who knows?