NT: So why are you guys back together now after all these years?
Soto: We originally played a show because people like [Ads guitarist] Frank [Agnew]'s son had never seen us play, and we were just surprised by how many kids and new fans showed up. I thought it would be people my age reliving their past, but there were all these kids that were really into it, singing the words to the songs. We played some more shows, and it just rolled into what we're doing now.
NT: Reunion shows and even a tour are one thing, but you guys put out a brand-new album [O.C. Confidential]. What motivated you to record now after 18 years of studio silence?
Soto: A lot of it was catharsis for [singer] Tony [Cadena]. He lost two brothers in one year, and he dealt with a lot of his feelings by writing about it. Four or five songs on the new album reflect Tony's loss, like "California Son," "Death on Friday," and "O.C. Confidential." Plus, when we started writing all of this, it was right on the heels of 9/11, so I guess we felt like we had something to say.
NT: So you guys worked on this record for a while, quite a difference from the rocket-fast process of recording The Blue Album in '81.
Soto: Uh, yeah! Derek [O'Brien], our drummer, played in Social D during the band's Mommy's Little Monster days. He has a studio, and we were able to work at our own pace, so it was painless.
NT: How does being called The Adolescents and playing songs like "Pointless Teenage Anthem" work when you guys are in your 40s now?
Soto: Well, obviously, it's just a name and doesn't mean it's who we are. I don't think the Circle Jerks sit around and jack each other off. For us, it's a state of mind.