Interviews | Oct 30th, 1999

Conducted right after their van accident….

Jesus, are you guys okay? What happened with the van accident?? Give me the deets.
Yeah, we’re alright. It was totally fucked. I was asleep on the first back bench and I woke up and Brad was yelling SHIT! Next thing I knew, I saw the back of the semi coming at us and all we could do was sit and wait for the impact. It was like a fucking roller coaster or something except there was blood everywhere. Apparently there was another wreck ahead because it storming like crazy, and the semi in front of us made an extremely abrupt stop. So we hydroplaned and hit it. Imagine hitting a brick wall going 55 mph. I broke my collar bone, our tour manager had a few teeth knocked out and he had a fractured and dislocated hip. He had to have surgery and stay in the hospital three days longer than the rest of us. And Brad (bassist) fucked up his ankle and his arm but nothing was broken.

Damn! Has the accident impaired you guys in any way? If I were in your shoes, I wouldn’t be able to tour again for like a year.
Well, we’re still pretty freaked out by the whole thing. Because everyone at the scene told us that we should have died. Chris from Elliott and my friend Sam came down to help us get all of our shit out of the van and trailer and to give us a ride home. It was really freaking us out to be in a van again so soon. To top it all off, it started raining the way home and at one point there was a semi in front of us. Or at least it appeared to be a semi; I was pretty drugged up. But we’re more than ready to hit the road again. We leave for tour with Glassjaw and Boy Sets Fire in ten days.

So your music’s been called hard to digest, complicated, and chaotic. Why does it have to be so complex? What’s wrong with simple 3-chord melodies?
We really just do what flows. We write songs and we kind of just let it flow. We don’t follow any sort of formula. Some people say it’s really abstract and some people say it’s really catchy. We just let our songs write themselves.

Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love complex. I’m a Rush fan. Anyway, do you think your name leads people to believe you’re a Christian rock band? Or is that the idea? Y’know, like win them over and then take then down from the inside?
We hate our name. We’re totally stuck with a shitty band name. There isn’t much that we can do about it at this point. The best we can do is try to have nice artwork on CD layouts and t-shirts and have good record titles to distract all of you people.

What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?
I worked at a place installing signs. It was horrible. They treated me like shit because I was the youngest employee and I’m black. I was being oppressed by the man.

Well, glad to hear you’re not dead. Any advice for people who get into van accidents?
Yeah, don’t get into van accidents.

Christiansen’s Forensics Brothers and Sisters! is available on Revelation Records. You can visit the band at