Interview: Gary Meskil and Adam Phillips / Pro-Pain


Ok, onto the next question. Gary, you mentioned about the news and that brought modern media to my mind. I don’t watch too much tv, but when I put it on from time to time, I am always surprised, sometimes even shocked at life that is being shown in the news. I always have the impression that they show some different reality, not the one an average citizen is familiar with. Of course things like crime, corruption, wars, political scandals, floods and fires happen in life, but based on modern media’s coverage, you can have the impression life is all about that, which I think is untrue. I know it’s all money generated and they show all these dramatic scenes to attract people like moths are attracted to flashing lights, but I personally really disagree with showing the world and life only from such a perspective.

Gary: Unfortunately the news is agenda driven. Especially in America they try to politicize every piece of news that they can. I suppose if they could politicize the weather, they would do that too. Every news story is politicized to suit specific agenda. I don’t know if that’s the truth for the rest of the world, because I don’t really follow the local news in many other places. I know of a lot of world events, but on a local level things perhaps can be different than the news in the States. They say that the American populist is fairly brainwashed when it comes to the exposure to mainstream news and I tend to believe that is true. People have to be careful with alternative media too, because that’s also become quite agenda driven.

Regarding the politics, both you in USA and we in Poland live in a system called democracy. It is known not to be perfect, but also said to be the best invented so far. Would you agree?

Gary: Yeah, I’d agree. The other models are good only in theory, but when practiced, they don’t work.

For example is communism good in theory too?

Gary: Certain aspects of it are. In theory, everybody is the same, but in practice, it’s despotic and it oppresses the people. Democracy or republic, such as the United States, is also very good in theory, but when practiced, it outshines many of the others, if not all of the other models. It gives people the opportunity to succeed in terms of capitalism so your efforts and your hard work is rewarded more than someone, who doesn’t work hard.

But that’s not a bad thing, is it?

Gary: No. I just think that of all of the models we’ve been shown throughout the time I think capitalism is the one that is least oppressive.

Adam: I think democracy is as easily corruptible as is communism or other systems. The system works in the theory, but a lot of the times the money gets in the way. We have laws in place in America that are in place, because it benefits a few with money and that’s where the corruption comes from I think.

Adam Phillips – Pro-Pain (03.2013)

(photo by Piotr Tomala)

Now a question about you guys. If you were to describe you as a person, your character, by using a natural phenomenon, like storm, wind, earthquake etc., which one would you choose?

Adam: Wow, that’s a tough question (pauses)…… Man, that’s a really tough one. Are you talking about my stage character or my personal character, because those are really two different things.

Alright, then choose for both of them.

Adam: The stage character would be an earthquake.

Oh yeah? Then I’m really looking forward to tonight’s show (laughs)

Adam (laughs). An earthquake or an explosion of some kind.

But isn’t it connected with your personal character?

Adam: It can be, but almost nobody is in their real life as they are on stage. And if they are, they must be a pretty “interesting” person (laughs).


Gary: I would call myself a cool breeze.


Gary: I’m kidding (laughs). I think I would be like wind, because I’m a bit temperamental. I have many ups and downs and I am constantly changing, so I’d choose wind.

Ok, last one, supported with a quote from an American poet – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. He said once: „We judge ourselves by what we feel capable of doing, while others judge us by what we have already done.“ What do you think about that?

Gary: It’s always difficult subject for me when it comes to judgement. I don’t like people to judge other people. I think it’s not fair to judge people, because nobody’s perfect, so if you are not a perfect being, then it’s unfair to judge. However, I do like the quote. I think it’s pertinent quote and it’s definitely somehow true, because us being people, we do tend to judge people whether we try to avoid that or not. But I try not to.

Adam: I agree with the quote. People do tend to judge and a lot of the times it’s not right. You know, if you can’t laugh at yourself, you have no right to laugh at anybody else. As far as someone judging you on what you have already accomplished, sometimes the best is yet to come and some of the people just haven’t seen your best yet. So yeah, there is truth to that.

Gary: It’s correct that people do tend to judge you based on what you‘ve already achieved.

Would you also judge yourself on what you have already done or is it more important to you what you are still capable of doing?

Gary: I don’t think people know someone else’s capabilities and that‘s why the quote is a good quote. Only the person knows what they are capable of doing and achieving. With me, I have a lot of other things to offer in terms of music and other things in life and I’m hoping that people will ultimately be exposed to some different sights of what I have to offer, hence the later judgement.

I know that Pro-Pain is not the only thing you do in life, but how important is music to you?

Gary: It’s a very big part of my life. I’m very different when I’m at home though. It’s not like I live the musician’s lifestyle. When I’m at home I consider myself more of a family person. When we go home, everyone goes separate ways. Every member of our band has his own things that make him tick, make him who he is at home. When we all get together as a band, that’s a different story. That’s Pro-Pain time. Adam has many other musical endeavors he’s involved with. A lot of people don’t know the extent of his musicianship. He can play many instruments. He’s just produced a classical album of his father. Maybe you can touch on that a little bit?

Adam: I can’t imagine my life without music. It is a huge part of my life. But I also have another life, other hobbies too. I love my cats. I love my friends, going to see movies, do things that normal people do. You know, I don’t go home and blast Slayer at a hundred decibels and play air guitar on the couch all day (laughs).

Gary: I think if a fan was to walk into my house he’d probably be disappointed as it has no markings of a musician living there.

Yes, but you know, disappointment is connected with expectations, so I guess it depends on what kind of expectations they’d had.

Gary: They also say that “familiarity breeds contempt”, so…

Adam: How true.

That’s a good line. But getting back to musician’s lifestyle, isn’t the dissonance between family life and tour life a bit surreal at times? They must be two completely different realities. Home – obviously – family, time spent together, peace. And tour – being locked in steel can for a few weeks, every day new city, new country. Besides there are also the shows, crazy time during the gig, insanity after it; chats, photos, autographs, drinks.

Gary: I am Libra, so I always search for balance in my life and for me personally being on the road and off the road actually works very well, because it gives me the other side, that a person like me needs.

Adam: For me it takes about two hours to adjust. When I go back home from the tour, I want to look at the pictures from the tour, tell all the stories to my wife. Then I eat a sandwich, sit on my couch, turn on tv and I’m back home.

Nice. Alright gentlemen, I won’t hold you any longer. Thank you very much for your time.

Adam: No problem, thanx.

Gary: Thank you. Enjoy the show.

Interviewer: Chris Bienkiewicz

Pro-Pain A.D. 2013 (from left):

Marshall Stephens – rhythm guitar, Gary Meskil – vocal/bass, Adam Phillips – lead guitar , Jonas Sanders – drums

Pro-Pain – Nothing left

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