Dave “Jailhouse” Johnson
Name: Dave Johnson, although I have fallen victim to the inevitable “punk” moniker of “Dave Jailhouse”.
What is your job?
Right now I am fortunate enough to be able to do the label stuff full time, although I don’t know how I manage to do it honestly. Luckily, monetary wealth has never been on my priority list. I’m single, with no kids, so right now, the freedom to be able to do certain things, and prioritize my life goals towards more important things is great. By trade, I am a chef and the flexibility of that gives a lot of leeway, as there is never a shortage of opportunities if the need arises. Often times the need does arise, and I go back to balancing two jobs again. But if I am able to live a meager, simple life doing what I enjoy doing, and having the ability to help others at the same time, it’s a no brainer!??
What social causes are most important to you?
Wow, there are so many social injustices going on in the world right now, that it’s hard to place a level of importance on different causes. I have always been active in animal rights.
I do stay fairly involved locally in drug free youth. I am not straight edge, but strongly support a drug free lifestyle. Being a former drug abuser myself, I have seen so very many wasted lives, and deaths, and families torn apart over addiction.
I have recently become heavily interested, and involved in the conflicts in India, and the poverty and oppression faced by so many people. Lately I’ve been intently studying Indian and Buddhist culture (thanks to Kimmy from the F-bombers) and what I have seen is both appalling and heartbreaking.
We have a tendency here in the U.S to put band aids on things. Our welfare system over here, I believe is racist, oppressive and does nothing to help people. What needs to be done over in India, and in other oppressed, and poverty stricken areas is to teach people how to be more self sufficient. Teaching job skills, language skills, etiquette etc.
Heidi, and Built On Respect seems to mirror my own beliefs in an uncanny way, and uses a common sense approach in my opinion to helping the Tibetan people.
??What charities do you support – and how?
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, which I support by donating funds directly to support further research, and to help people obtain life saving treatment. We have done a compilation release, and a punk rock celebrity auction as well to support them.
I support Operation Blessing, which helps provide food and shelter to people both domestically and abroad to people devastated by natural disasters, and poverty-stricken people. It is at its base a Christian organization, but for what they do, without an ulterior agenda they are great.
My label, and several of the bands on it are actively supporting Built On Respect, and are working on a killer compilation release scheduled for Springtime, that will give 100% of proceeds directly to the organization, no strings attached. Next week, Teenage Rehab’s (www.teenage-rehab.com) third album, Let’s be Enemies, is being released and part of those proceeds will go to the cause. I also try to spread the word about them as much as I possibly can.
Heidi is an extremely intelligent individual. I am still trying to understand their culture and traditions, and am learning more and more about the injustices, and some of the more overlooked problems over there, and Heidi has been instrumental in helping me understand things a bit more fully.
Why do you have a passion for this one in particular, is there a personal tie?
The fact that Built On Respect utilizes the positive aspects of punk rock culture and ideal, and our long tradition of D.I.Y to help people in a country that is often overlooked is awesome! Punk rock has always gravitated towards the youth, and Built On Respect makes charity a “cool” thing to do. The organization is also the most transparent, honest, morally, and ethically sound charity that I have come across. It makes you feel very secure, knowing that what you are doing is going directly toward education, shelter, or whatever it is that they are doing at the moment. They keep you updated on how your support is being effective. Plus… how many charities do you see covered in tattoos and punk as fuck???
Is there a particular way you would want to encourage readers to be involved?
Hands on action, is what I consider to be the best way to be involved in anything. But…. considering we can’t all hop on a plane and head over to India, I would encourage people, to please donate monetarily, and to spread the word to as many people as possible. It’s amazing how we the privileged, will not think twice about losing some loose change here and there, but when it comes to donating a dollar, we get hesitant.
Pick through your couch cushions, and donate a buck.
We as Americans are greedy, it’s in our nature, it was bred in us. I would like to encourage readers to try shake our culture of greed, and monetary wealth and learn to think of others.
I will probably sound like someone’s grandfather when I say this, but when you are on your deathbed, reflecting on your life, and looking back on how you lived your life. I can guarantee that you won’t be wishing you had worked harder, made more money, or owned more material possessions. You will be thinking about the legacy you have left, and the way that you have shown your light on others. People will not remember you fondly for your wealth. They will remember you for your generosity, and for the kind way you treated others.??
How would you define social responsibility?
Social responsibility to me is standing up for what is obviously right, and correcting what is obviously wrong. As humans, I believe we have a responsibility to take care of our own. In the dog world. There is always an Alpha male and a Queen female. They realize that they are stronger, or have skills that benefit the rest of the pack. So they take it upon themselves to hold the responsibility of making sure the weaker dogs of the pack are taken care of.
The same should apply to human life. I believe it should be a natural part of our lives, to feel the need to make sure our fellow human being is well taken care of.
We all have a responsibility to preserve the human race. ??
Do you have any tattoos that relate to your social/charitable beliefs/work?
I am fairly well inked, although I have only three that represent a strong belief system. I have tattoos that reflect my personal beliefs, and my personal choices. I have a chest piece portrait of the Crucifixion scene of Jesus. Which reflects certain personally beliefs I have, as well as my choice to quit drugs and my addictive lifestyle. It is said in the bible that Jesus rose again after being crucified and tortured. The torture, mockery and crucifixion represents the scorn of being a drug abuser, and being weakened and essentially dead to this world. After the addictions and detox is over it is like having a new lease on life. Everything is completely new, and my old life is not a part of me anymore. Essentially it represents me being reborn into a better person.
I have a symbolic anarchy piece on my right leg, which represents my beliefs in government, and being an individual. I have the words “Never to Die” right above my collar bone that reflects my will to live, and to never have anything hold me down, or fuck with me. I also have a lot of punk rock tattoos reflecting my lifestyle.
Unfortunately, and fortunately I have had a majority of my ink done in my former life, and have do have some beautiful pieces in my opinion, but they represent certain things within me, that are no longer there. They do serve as a reminder of where I come from, and how far I have come, so I am definitely not at all ashamed of me. Everything represents a certain portion of someone’s life. When someone gets a tattoo, it’s a portion of their life that will be forever frozen in time. So when I see tattoos, even some really bad ones, I do realize that for whatever reason, something was important enough to that person, that they had it forever frozen in time for them to remember.??