Ask what keeps Mid Carson July going, and you'll hear two simple things:\n"Stubbornness and rebelliousness," says Mike Sullivan, better known as "Skull," a long-time friend who also serves as the band's roadie. "The inability to accept the music scene as it is keeps them going."\nHailing from Central Pennsylvania, MCFNJ said they find the present music scene appalling, with bands like Blink 182 and Sum 41 saturating the market as the only "punk" bands kids know. For drummer Dan Oxford, these bands lack what many bands used to have that made them worthwhile.\n"The bands we grew up with had character; they had ideals; they had values and beliefs," Oxford said. "I don't think these (newer) bands are doing anybody any good."\nThat ideal fuels the fire for MCFNJ. With this distaste for the way things are going, the band is determined make a change. Not only do members want to see a music community full of support for their genre, they also want to people to be aware of their beliefs. This idea motivated MCFNJ to put "Anthem for the Apathetic" on Wessel, their latest release. A song from Eric Lippincott's former hardcore band Watch Dog, it delves into problems that used to exist that they still see today.\n"That's how we feel about what's going on, people not knowing what they stand for," Oxford said. \nMid Carson July can be said to stand for working class ideals and creating a valid place in the music scene by working for it. The band isn't the only form of work for members of MCFNJ; they keep day jobs to pay the bills and cover tour expenses. Although it is sometimes difficult to balance work and music, the blue-collar ethic is a defining characteristic of the band.\n"We're working class schmucks. We're not a band that survives off Daddy's money," Oxford said. "We're doing it for ourselves. The reward is that every once in awhile we get to do what we want to do. It means a lot to us."\nWhile this meaning is different for every member of the band, Oxford finds a certain sense of accomplishment in working as a band to achieve a common goal. As a band, they may simply be trying to get through a show or writing a song. Oxford said they must work together to reach that goal, and that involves making compromises from time to time.\n"We've seen bands who can't do that, whether they're a really good band or a really shitty band," Oxford said. "It's like living in a family. Sometimes it gets hard, sometimes it gets ugly, but you do it."\nWith two brothers in the band, the feeling of being in a family is intensified. Eric and Bryon Lippincott, on bass and guitar respectively, both have strong personalities, Sullivan and Oxford said. Though the sibling rivalry occasionally bursts out into arguments, it always gets worked out in the end, said Sullivan. Arguments are rarely the result of a difference in vision or a goal, but because they have different ways of reaching that goal, said Sullivan. \nDespite the occasional outbreak, members of MCFNJ are very close and dedicated.\n"As a band, they're very tight-knit and very protective of each other," said Sullivan. "They are very loyal to each other. And they're a really unique mix of people to make up a group of friends with."\nMusically, they have a wide array of influences, from punk and hardcore to indie rock and Johnny Cash. Oxford said these influences are too varied to try and meld them into one sound, and that they just let their music happen naturally. \nAccording to a recent press release, their third album Wessel, "is the best representation to date of the band's intensity and songwriting abilities." Sullivan couldn't agree more.\n"I think the new album has a lot of life to it," Sullivan said. "I'm really critical of what they do. I'm a musician too, and I tell them if what they put out is crap. Honestly, I think their music gets better every time they put out an album."\nMid Carson July plays Saturday at Rhino's All Age Music Club, 325 1/2 S. Walnut St.
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