By Jeff Penalty
(Interview with Jack Grisham, originally published on

The following are some highlights from my recent conversation with lead singer of TSOL, California gubernatorial candidate, and friendly neighborhood psychopath, Jack Grisham.

On getting in trouble at the Warped Tour:

Some kids were throwing condoms up on the stage, so I said, "Hey, I'll give you 50 bucks if somebody gets up here and jerks off and puts a condom on."  And some kid jumped up on stage and pulled his pants down and started masturbating.  So then the police wanted to get me for soliciting prostitution, ‘cause I offered the kid money for it.

On making bombs:

During 4th of July we ripped off a fireworks stand.  Half of them we had a fireworks fight down on the beach.  The rest of them, I took a hacksaw and cut them all open and took all the powder out and I had like a bomb factory set up in the garage.  Just making bombs, blowing shit up, going home, making more bombs...

On bombs not going off in his face:

Are you kidding?  Do you think I don't think about that?  ‘Cause I know friends of mine whose did blow up on ‘em!  Guys that lost fingers.  Here I'm tamping down black powder with a carriage bolt and a hammer!  It's like you're just asking for it to blow up in your face.  I would’ve just basically got shrapnel all in my chest and everything.  I would've been dead.

On never getting caught:

One time I blew up the side of this building and the police were up there and I'm standing there as a kid going "Wow, what'd they use here?"  I'm surprised they were so stupid to not say "Hey, probably this kid did it…why don't we just run a set of fingerprints on this little idiot?"  There were guys going to jail for stuff that, to me, was like an afternoon of fun.  The longest I ever did in jail was like 5 days and it was on a trespassing charge.

On where he was trespassing:

Disneyland.  We had machetes and we were getting into Disneyland at night to chop up the rides.  We were just over the fence and they were on us.  It was so quick.  One time I tried to break into the Naval weapons station to do the same thing, and the MPs were on us before we could get over the fence.  I actually thought the Disneyland guys were quicker than the Navy!

On driving backwards down the PCH:

It was nine in the morning on a Saturday.  It was early and I was hammered and I got mad at some guy because he was on a motorcycle and he didn't have to back up, so I got in an argument with him about backing up and I just decided I was gonna back up for the rest of the day.  So I hopped in the car and I drove 13 miles backwards, through Saturday morning traffic, right through two towns.  And never saw one cop.  Looking over my shoulder, going backwards, 50 miles an hour in a Honda Accord.  I did the speed limit, I stopped at red lights, just it was in reverse the whole way.  All the way into the driveway at my mother's house.

On his own mental condition:

Before punk rock they'd just call you anti-social, or borderline behavior disorder, or whatever.  Then when punk rock comes along, it's like, "oh yeah, it's punk rock."  But I've been “punk rock” since I was in kindergarten. As many times as I tried going straight it constantly went foul because I was incapable of being straight.  And I'll tell you right now, if I could’ve went straight I would’ve done it, man.  I would've LOVED to have sold out!  There’s some times when you just look back and you just wish that you weren't the way you are, you know?

On whether he’d ever run for public office again:

I don't know, maybe.  But the trouble is they're gonna pick up an interview like the one I'm giving you right now and then they're gonna go, "Is this what we really want?  Do we really want this guy?”

On my opinion that a person who snuck into Disneyland with a machete is more suited to public office than most career politicians:

That's probably a good reason why you also are not in public office.