"Hold on, I'm buying tequila."
These are the first words that Unwritten Law singer Scott Russo says after answering his phone for a New Times interview. In the background he asks a liquor store clerk for advice on the bottle that offers the best bang for his buck and ultimately deciding to go with the recommendation: Camarena.
"We have chocolate mushrooms and we're going to Disneyland -- it's going to be awesome," Russo tells me -- plus, tequila now too, apparently. "Oh, Hollywood," he adds, wryly.
Russo wastes no time in revealing the other member of "we" in his planned psilocybin-and-blue agave Disneyland caper: "I'm with my ex-girlfriend, Tara Holt, right now; do you ever watch that show Californication? She's Melanie in Californication," he says before putting Holt on the phone.
"Nobody knows," Holt says when I ask her what in the world she's doing with Russo, "but it's provocative!"
Later in our conversation Russo elaborates further on his evening by saying that mushrooms are a heavy commitment and that "I have to be in a secure place to even do mushrooms as a whole, but these little chocolate joeys are amazing." It is, however, with that perfect rock 'n' roll-esque salutation that I am first introduced to Russo. It served as a great prologue for the ensuing conversation, during which we examined the more than two-decade history of his pop-punk/rock quartet, Unwritten Law -- featuring Russo, founding member and recently returned drummer Wade Youman, guitarist Chris Lewis, and bassist Jonny Grill -- born and bred in San Diego, California.