#Debauch2015 Interview: 210*’s Chris Barrows

Many years ago, I was dating a hippie chick in college who wanted to go to the Marley Fest in Downtown Miami. All nice and good. Along with my friends Arun and Annie, I made the trek down there with a bag full of canned goods to meet up with her. Upon arriving at the gate we were told that Bayfront was packed to capacity and no more people were being admitted inside. We dropped off our canned goods and hopped back on the Metrorail to go back to my car in Coconut Grove.

This was in those technological dark days before cell phones and pagers. Way back. Since I couldn’t get a hold of her, we headed to Cheers to see if anything was going on there. There was. Florida punk rock legends the Pink Lincolns were performing and the evening turned out to be one of the best I’d had up to that point. Obviously, the thing with the hippie chick didn’t last.

I love the Pink Lincolns and had no idea they were playing. The serendipity of the affair is almost cliché. It would be many, many years later and with a different lineup that I would see them again, in 2010’s memorial show for Richard “Big Stiff” Konwinski, founder of their long-time home, Stiff Pole Records. We had a chance to speak with former Lincoln front man and one of Florida’s most iconic punk rockers, Chris Barrows about his new super group, 210*.

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TuffGnarl.com: You’ve had a long and illustrious career as one of Florida’s leading punk rock front men. Looking back, how do you feel about the Pink Lincolns’ legacy and your subsequent work with the Jackie Papers and the Spears?
Chris Barrows:The Lincolns were a cool band. We were drunk most of the time so parts of it were a blur. We tore shit up and caused problems for ourselves and other people and made some decent rock music. Looking back on it I can smile. The Jackie Papers were a cool band too. At times it was like being in a cage with tigers but we made some good music. The Spears were a good band and we put out a strong CD. We recorded our second album but the recording never got finished. Supposedly now that it is five years later it is mixed but I have only heard a couple of the songs.

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What has kept you going musically?
I figured that I would stop doing music at some point but for some reason I didn’t. Actually I did say fuck it and didn’t actively do anything except write a few songs. I took two years without doing anything band-wise and it was fucking nice. No phone calls. No practices. No cancellations. No bullshit. But then a year ago I got some guys together and we did five practices and recorded a CD called Human Being and it came out surprisingly good. Since I got tired of thinking up stupid band names I just called the band Chris Barrows. I figured that was fairly pompous.

Yup and with a genre described as “meh…” on your Facebook page, what exactly can folks expect from 210 and moreover, what is the meaning behind the numerical nomenclature and what is the asterisk on the logo all about? Davidson, Fagersten and Sexton are heavy hitters with some influential outfits under their belts (Scream, the Crucifucks and Failure Face to name a few), how did you guys link up to form 210?
The guys in the band are over-the-top good guys and good players. Nice to be in with that group. 210 is a really good band. We started a couple months ago. We added up our ages at our first practice since we are all elders and between the four of us we were 208. Two of us have had birthdays since then so now we are 210.

We are just going to change the name of the band four times a year according to birthdays. The asterisk means “to be continued” or something to that effect. Plus it looks like the Walmart logo. I knew Fagersten from when we did a band a few years ago. The band was called SACK. Heavy stuff. We did a CD called Punk is Not Dead with a death photo of Sid on the front cover and a death photo of Nancy on the back cover. It was a short lived band. The drummer, my nephew Griff and Fagersten quit after the recording so we replaced them and did one show. One CD and one show. Short and sweet, but really cool shit. I knew Rob even before he had a beard. Rob was doing a band with Mr. Davidson, Harley, so he joined on guitar. This is a very, very strong band with some bad-ass songs.

Obviously, you gents are not the spring chickens you used to be but I know for a fact that you are a wild man on stage, and the last time that I saw you with the Lincolns at Stiff Pole’s memorial, you did not disappoint. Is punk rock a young person’s game or do you beg to differ?
Is punk rock a young person’s game? Kids aren’t sufficiently old enough to be properly pissed off like “I am mad at my mom for putting me on restriction.” Just wait… you’ll be suitable for punk rock when you are sufficiently used and start realizing what life is about. I was 27 when the Lincolns started if I remember correctly. Before that I played guitar in shitty rock bands.

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What are the plans for 210? You guys have been there and done that, so I can’t see recording being a pressure for you guys but will there be or is there something cooking on that front?
We are recording in a couple of weeks and I am looking forward to playing out with it. It is a brand new motherfucker.

Other than that, what does the future hold for you personally and for the band collectively?
What does the future hold? Who knows? I suppose death eventually.

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Abel Folgar

Scoundrel, bon vivant, rocanrolero, fútbol cretin... giving into flights of poesy whenever the whiskey's free. Caracas, VZ/Miami, FL. Follow me on Twitter @abelf77.

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