It occurred to Good Neighbor Policy’s Chris and Pat (who only use their first names, like all good neighbors) that instead of hanging out and drinking beer, they could gather up some buddies and turn their drinking sessions into punk rock sessions. A Santa Cruz band was born that day, a little over a decade ago.
At the time, they figured they’d just enjoy themselves a bit and bash on their instruments in their rehearsal space. Playing actual shows seemed highly unlikely. Now, an LP and an EP later, not only have they toured up and down the coast, they’ve even flown to Japan for a two week tour.
“Our only goal was to have people circle-pit to our music. Once we started playing shows, people were stoked, so we just kept playing more,” says Chris, who plays guitar.
The band was most active between 2006 and 2008, though these days they only play about once or twice a year. Their drummer Cory moved to Las Vegas, and the band is pretty adamant about keeping the original lineup intact. What has always worked for Good Neighborhood Policy was what they played together; an unhinged mixture of early ’80s hardcore and late ’80s mid-tempo gutter punk.
“We just never considered playing with anybody else. If you’ve ever seen us, you’d understand why,” Chris says. “It’s definitely this dysfunctional family kind of vibe, but chemistry is really important.”
When they do get together, it’s an explosion of energy. As much as they get loose and wild when they step foot onto that stage, they take pride in bringing a serious element to their music, particularly the lyrics.
“To me punk rock is about equality and justice, just in a vulgar, in-your-face kind of way,” says Pat, who sings lead vocals. “The music and the message is what’s really important to me. I try to keep that, even if it’s a little abrasive sometimes.”
INFO: 9 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29. Catalyst Atrium, 1011 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz. $10/adv, $12/door. 429-4135.