Eyes Set To Kill may be a chick-led screamo outfit, but the boys always find the time to have fun. For guitarist Greg Kerwin, that includes partying and watching hours upon hours of UFC Unleashed on Spike TV. With all the free time he’ll have to kill during the upcoming edition of the Warped Tour, chances are he’ll rush to any television he can find just so he can watch his “man crush” throw down.
FIGHT! Magazine: How did you get into the martial arts?
Greg Kerwin: My dad was into martial arts full-fledge the whole time I was growing up. He’s a third degree black belt in Aikido, so I basically just grew up going to karate and all that stuff, and I wrestled al throughout high school too. It’s been a big part of my life. I haven’t really done any mixed martial arts before, but I love that stuff.
FIGHT!: Are you a black belt too?
GK: No. I think I was a green belt, and then I stopped going to karate, but I wrestled all through high school. I think in eighth grade, I started wrestling and stopped when I was a senior in high school.
FIGHT!: Did you stop because you didn’t think you were gonna be a state champion?
GK: (Laughs) It’s rough, dude. Doing martial arts takes a toll on your body and I’m not a big guy or muscular at all. There are bigger dudes out there, so I didn’t see myself going anywhere with that.
FIGHT!: Who would win in a fight? You or Daniel LaRusso?
GK: Uhm, not me (laughs).
FIGHT!: Fair enough. Did you start watching MMA when you were a kid, or more recently due to the success of The Ultimate Fighter?
GK: Well I mean, I’ve always been into kickboxing. I always watched that on TV, and then I really got into the UFC. My favorite fighter right now is Forrest Griffin. He’s been my favorite fighter for a very long time now, ever since he was on The Ultimate Fighter, the first one, when he won. I’ve been following him ever since that. He’s just a bad ass dude. I love Forrest Griffin. He doesn’t give a fuck. He’s a real guy, down to earth. He’s not conceited and he’s just very modest. He’s a real dude and he’s awesome.
FIGHT!: Were you depressed when he lost the title to Rashad Evans?
GK: Yeah. I actually just watched that fight a couple of days ago. They were replaying it on Spike TV and it was very disappointing. He said, “You’re not a champion until you defend your title,” and that was the first fight he had after winning the title, and he lost. That was kinda disappointing, but he’s real. He’s a dude who will just say, “Hey man, you beat the hell out of me. You knocked me the fuck out.” He doesn’t talk shit. He’s just a real guy.
FIGHT!: I know you’re in a relationship, but do you have a man crush on Forrest Griffin?
GK: I think I do, yeah (laughs). I mean, if it wasn’t gay to be gay, then I would be gay with Forrest Griffin (laughs). I watch a lot of Spike TV and they always have UFC Unleashed [on], so that’s what I watch. It’s kinda hard for me to spend 50 bucks to order a fight or pay per view, ya know? But yeah, I pretty much watch the UFC. It just seems like that’s the most real organization. Everything else is whack.
FIGHT!: Eyes Set To Kills is playing Warped Tour this year, but the festival features a lot of pop punk and ska bands. Do those genres compliment MMA?
GK: Honestly, if I were a UFC fighter, I wouldn’t see myself listening to pop punk or ska while I’m training or anything behind that. You can’t really put pop punk behind dudes beating the shit out of each other.
FIGHT!: So if you were a mixed martial artist, your theme song would not be “Addicted” by Simple Plan?
GK: Exactly (laughs).