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Punk Rock and Hockey: The Briggs

July 26, 2010

Every once in a while you’ll see something that you just cannot help, but remark how awesome it is. A few months ago someone on Twitter sent me a link to this video. After doing some research on what I had just seen, I found that I was watching The Briggs play “This Is L.A.” before a Kings’ playoff game.

From my eight months of documenting the connection between hockey and punk rock, I’ve started to notice a pattern. It seems that the Kings are the ones that either have the strongest connection between the two cultures or they just highlight it more than any other team. My only explanation for this is that Southern California is a punk rock mecca and there’s going to be bleed over between the two communities.

Regardless of why the connection is emphasized as much as it is in Los Angeles, The Briggs’ “This is L.A.” has become the Kings’ fight song in a sense. The song is played every Kings’ home game right before the team hits the ice.

With my research completed, I sought out an interview with the band. Joey Briggs was kind enough to take time out of his schedule to answer a few questions for me.

Hoosier Hockey: The obvious and annoying starter question, where did the band name come from?

Joey Briggs: It doesn’t have any real epic meaning. We needed a name quick and I lived off a street called Briggs and we thought it sounded cool and it stuck.

HH: Your music has a mixture of Celtic and street punk sounds. It all blends together to make music that sounds American in the “melting pot” sort of sense. What would you say are some of your biggest influences as a band?

JB: Well musical influences vary quite a bit for us. As far as the sound goes I’d say it comes from our original love for our forefathers of punk rock, the Clash and Ramones mixed with I think a little bit more of a heavier and aggressive sound of more modern punk bands. But us being music nerds and loving to mix it up and throw other shit in there such as more folk à la Bob Dylan or Leonard Cohen which might not come across as that but they are some among many undertones to our music.

HH: Besides playing in your hometown of Los Angeles, what is your favorite city to play in?

JB: Berlin, Germany is probably one of my favorites because it’s always so damn insane and fun.

HH: Your song, “This is LA” is the introduction song for the Kings. During the playoffs you were invited to perform before every home game. How did the band get in contact with the team? Were you guys approached by them or was this something you sought out?

JB: They approached us. I would have never thought to contact them or any sports team for that matter because to me this song wouldn’t have even gotten on their radar. Us being this underground punk band it never dawned on me that it would land in those ears, but somehow it did and I’m very grateful it did.

HH: What has been the reaction by Kings fans to the song? Is it being embraced as a sort of “fight song”?

JB: It was very surprising how many people knew who we were and were excited to see us there performing the song. Families, older people, kids coming up taking pictured with us. We weren’t used to those kind of people coming up to us, it’s usually some kid with colored hair and a Dropkick Murphys shirt on. It was pleasingly well received by all kinds of people.

HH: Before the connection with the Kings, how many of you were hockey fans? Is the entire band now hooked on the game?

JB: I’d say originally only 2 members followed that game at all and we are all pretty religious now with keeping up on it. As much as one can when you’re on the road and in a different city every night doing shows.

HH: I’m going to assume everyone is a Kings fan?

JB: Of course.

HH: Anyone in the band have a great hockey-related story?

JB: I wish I did, the closest I ever got to hockey was wobbling around in rented skates at the local ice rink in North Hollywood growing up. Don’t think I could do any better today.

HH: Do you know if the Kings are going to continue using “This is LA” at their games or if you guys will be brought back at some point next season?

JB: I hope so, I don’t see why not but you never know.

HH: Would you say that there is a connection between punk rock and hockey?

JB: Totally, they’re both aggressive, mean and in your face. It’s a match made in heaven.

HH: Anything else you would like to add?

JB: 2+2

HH: Thanks.

The Briggs are preparing to embark on an European tour. Their music can be found here.

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