Friday, December 10, 2004



This was a long, wondrous and horrific 24 hours. Rarely have I squeezed so much into that period of time. The first band I saw, by surprise, was Fridge in the Rough Trade shop. I just thought they were some melodic Mogwai-esqe rip off band. Looking in disappointment, I smacked my head on the stairs railings stupidly, looking up to see some skater smirking.

From there it was to Greek Street to interview Bobby Conn but not before getting lost in Soho ("mummy!"). The scheduled venue of the interview was the most packed cafe in London history it seems. The owner reminded me of Ma Gianni's from Eastenders. We were thrown out pretty politely, a surprise for the big smoke. In the end the interview took place in some dingey pub around the corner, where old people with dogs shared space with hipsters, as we talked with the angel of death.

After over an hour of pounding with Mr Conn we returned to Matt's illegally parked car, which sat behind the venue (where Hirameka were playing), only inches from the Astoria, dead in the centre of London. We expected to find everything and anything there from it being torched, towed, clamped or ticketed. Upon our return though it sat content and happy, full of health. Gringo Conglomerate 1 London Clampers 0.

Inside the venue, Plastic People in Oxford Street, the band were soundchecking. Inside there was no stage but to the left of me was two hollowed out washing machines with decks atop of them and a Bros 12 inch ready to go. To the right were some tense Bratpoppers awaiting a soundcheck. Flittering about was the ghost of Peter Cook. Freaky deaky. I took a piss in the girls toilets but not before scribbling on the door at eye level "Jason Graham has a really neat penis", like a bored desperate shithead does. We left the venue out the back entrance and it was completely surreal, pitch black save for muffled lightbulbs from inside buildings and the giant neon Centre Point light miles above. Hiding In the dead centre of London it was like the Gotham City of the noir original Batman movie instead of the childish, gloss sequels. We amscrayed before we could be killed, raped or robbed.

After eating we returned to the club (Pornstar), us hangers on barely getting in without paying. We positioned ourselves in which was obviously was the make out corner. I dreaded (predicted) being swamped and suffocated later in the night (see below). Still the seats were comfy. And white. Out came the pen again and My Shit was forever (hopefully) emblazoned across the comfy chair.

The first band on were called Role Models. I remember little, other than them playing an adjusted Elastica song with personalised vocals and lyrics, thus making it their own. Bravo Bratpoppers. I would guess they had had the best soundcheck so as a result they had the best sound. Their guitars sounded heavier than Elastica's so I guess they may have been into Hole as well or something. Nothing to get gooey over really I guess.

Mouthwash punked next. They had punk drums and punk bass. The singer started out doing a chicken dance and a chicken rap. The drum and bass reminded me a little of late Minor Threat (aka not the choicest MT cuts). Towards the end I suggested that it might be better had they got a guitarist in and then I had it pointed out to me that they had one. Ewww. I hope it wasn't meant to be so no-show. With effort and concentration (and probably imagination) I was just about able to hear something. The weedy guitar rendered them little more than some hyperactive ska band.

Thirdo was Product, which in my opinion is a very good name for a band. Certain parties in this band were instantly recognisable. Fortunately this band did not sound like der Orchestra. The reference point here seemed to be Placebo and their fizzy guitars, watered down. Unfortunately by this point I had lost interest. The bands were running late and I was panicking as we had to haul arse across London immediately after the show.

Hirameka Hi Fi weren't really, really.....neat. I have no idea what happened. I was left to look after our shit (my shit) in the make out corner all on my own. And the inevitable happened. I guess it is an endearing site imagining a bunch of drunken teenagers bobbing about as I go out of my mind trying to save our personal items. It's funny now but I'll tell you (in a voice like Dougal's) it sure wasn't at the time. I ended up mailing a hate note to Melody Maker the next morning, which when they printed several weeks after I had forgotten I'd posted the fucker. Well they were dancing atop what feebly was the Gringo stall (ie some records sprawled over a table). Fucked off I poured a bottle of water over the most annoying drunken teenager and it turned out she was in a band called Cheetara (no me neither), she told me, and her rosey red cheeks appeared in MM weeks later (I add this because she now denies the incident. Funny what memories (underage) drinking will evaporate).

It turned out though that there were bigger arseholes in the house in the form of the ****er security men. Seconds after Hirameka ended their set they set about throwing every living organism out as if the shithole venue was on fire. Fuck them, I hope they die. Outside, in Gotham City, confronted by big arse rock trucks we waddled past the Astoria crew of the headliners there that night. Holy fuck it was HELLOWEEN from Germany! Well, their instruments and crew. We also think Cleopatra may have been in that particular house (or else that is the name of a club there but I'd like to think we were mere inches away from three exploited teenagers).

The mission was to now get to some loft in Stoke Newington (fuck knows where that is) before 11pm. Matt got us to a place with a similar address to the loft and he ran round like a dedicated trooper as the remainder of us remained in horror as it looked like some Saturday night gang warfare was about to kick off. Frozen with fear, we were soon snapped out of it as Matt said he had found the place. We made comically pathetic attempts to run the whole way to the place, the smart realising the suckers running ahead would keep the door open for us slackers.

Inside Bobby was on. And not just on the stage, he was on in the way NME suggests but never achieves. We were in and immediately, BAM! on stage he was rocking the place. I couldn't believe we were watching a show in a place where someone lives. I realise now I am unlikely to ever be anywhere so hip again (Diego Maradona was spotted in attendance). On stage was a band with character as opposed to some convenient retro punk band. To both sides of the stage were girls hula hooping (as featured in Hudsucker Proxy). Stage right the renamed Dr Weasel Walter rocked out in a fake moustache and Slayer shirt, lurching about metal fashion as stage left Monica Bou Bou, bewigged, played her violin from inside a catsuit. Centre stage Bobby Conn was acting larger than life. He reached for heaven and pulled down a pipe. All to an FM classic waiting to happen. The band (and its music) tasted so fresh. Much should be made of Monica Bou Bou's electric violin. In order to be of quality more bands should employ them. Here is a basic string section with full effect. Unlike the previous evening's entertainment these songs were devoid of worthless aggression and irrational angst. The sound is mature with amazing lyrics adding a sinister twist (edge). Baby Man sounded great and United Nations moved the room (loft). The undisputed highlight was Never Get Ahead (unsurprisingly). Without fear the showman grabbed the beam above the stage and began climbing revealing a similar stature and hunger to prime rib Iggy Pop. Dangling, monkey style, a gracious audience member held his mike in place as Bobby sang the song upside down. Upon returning upright the baying crowd began tugging at his jumpsuit slacks. Out came his arse, then pubes and then the inevitable which he promptly grabbed to completely insinuate the meaning behind the song. To really emphasise, push the point, he had popped out his ween. Dedication (that's what you need to be a record breaker). Here was a man suffering for his art. The place was into him.

On the way home some mad fucker deer came running out of nowhere into the road and all the way home we enjoyed spooking and fucking with the driver's head, claiming that he was imagining the fine beast that either he had almost been taken or that had almost taken him out. We then stopped at a 24 hour Tesco Superstore to stock up which was inexplicably closed. Shan't be late night shopping there again in a hurry. Fucking corporations.

Bobby Conn: You have "hi how are you" already listed on there (my question sheet)
Jason Graham: Yeah.
BC: We've already gotten that one down. I like that, that's preparation! You know, I've noticed that the English interviewers, the press, seems to pride themselves on having the questions typed out. Not just handwritten but typed out.
Alun Shepherd: The Dutch would just handwrite them out.
BC: Yeah, if they even had questions, which the Dutch don't have, questions. They just go like (in mondo Dutch accent, slowly) "well Bobby, tell us.....something".
JG: Do they? I dunno. How about the English? Do you like England?
BC: Oh, like? Yes, yes.
JG: What about the food? Do you like the food?
BC: Yes.
JG: Well, its like, whenever Americans come over to this country they just bitch about the food.
BC: The food? I mean, in America you can get really bad food, without trying very hard.
JG: They're not overly gourmet in this country, Americans say how everything gets boiled in this country so....
BC: Well you know, we had mixed grill today.
JG: Did you enjoy it?
BC: I did actually. It was very odd, an odd assortment of meats. Liver, steak, some kind of weird bacon. Like all on one plate. It was odd. So is this two different fanzines or one fanzine?
JG: We're mates.
BC: Ah, now that looks like a fanzine.
JG: So what do you make of Soho then?
BC: Here? Why are we doing this here? Mr Prinsloo has odd concepts. So far I've been in a little like boutiquey shop to eat and then a tea shop and then here. Here is the most comfortable but its like odd. Why he picks Soho? Is it centrally located or something?
JG: It's centrally located.
AS: This is Soho? So it is like 42nd Street.
BC: Yeah, I mean this is Broadway. This is like the theatre district.
AS: This is precisely like the type of location you deliberately avoid when we're in New York.
BC: Yeah.
JG: Yeah, well I guess you know that. Sorry I didn't catch your name?
BC: This is Alun Shepherd.
JG: Alun Shepherd?
AS: Yeah, its A L U N. Alright.
JG: Oh, like the Welsh!
BC: Yes (?)
JG: So, how did last night go?
BC: Very good, very good. It was full of people and it sounded...... I think it was very affective.
JG: Really? What sort of reaction did you get?
BC: Er, "yay", (claps). "Yes!". "I like you very much sir". I got "we love you Bobby". I got "thanks for a great show".
JG: Did you get a "wooo!"?
BC: I got a "wooo!". I got several "Wooos!".
AS: A man in Hamburg proposed to him.
JG: Really?
BC: Yeah.
AS: He told him he thought now that he loved him and he wanted to live in a glass dome with him.
JG: Are you going to take him up on it?
BC: I can't marry everyone that wants to marry me.
JG: I wish I had that problem. How many interviews have you done today?
BC: This is my fifth.
JG: Are you getting tired of them?
BC: Just a little (screams with frustration).
MN: We caught you at a bad time then?
BC: No, not at a bad time (grabs my questions). "How about the weather?". The weather is beautiful.
JG: Its turned out nice now. So what has been the most asked question?
BC: Basically, probably the most asked question is about the anti-Christ. That's generally the angle that people wanna start with. And that’s like an hour right there. To explain that is like an hour so....
JG: We'll have to fragment that question.
BC: You're gonna have to lead me round to that one. The last guy, oh my god, what a doubting Thomas he was.
JG: Really?
BC: Yeah, he did not, he would not budge an inch. He was tough, tough guy. Hard. Hard boiled hard ball. He just asked "so what's this about you being the anti-Christ?".
JG: But you are, aren't you?
BC: Yeah, yeah, yeah I explained it but its like.......lets lead up to that one. Lets not start with that.
JG: Yeah, some people are like so cynical
(Bobby looks up, breathing like Darth Vader as if possessed by, say, the force).
JG: Have you done the erm......OK?
BC: Fine.
JG: Have you done the MTV VJing yet (on M2)?
BC: No, that's tomorrow. No, Monday.
JG: What are you going to play?
BC: You know, I don't know. This is something that is very interesting, they gave, they said that I'll be able to look in their library and pick all of my favourite videos, seven of them. You know, the last time I watched MTV was in 1984, I think, so.....
JG: Dire Straits!
BC: Actually that’s one of them.
JG: That's the only video they had back then.
BC: (Bobby sings) "Money for nothing and chicks for free". I might pick that. I think I might pick Dance Hall Days by Wayne Chung (?). (more singing).
AS: You don't even know these tunes do you?
JG: Not that one.
BC: Or the Karma Song (?) (more singing)
AS: Do you know that one?
JG: No.
AS: How old are you?
Matt: 20
BC: You're 20? Oh!
JG: 22
AS: How old were you in 1984?
BC: He was a tot.
JG: I was in school.
MN: I was seven.
AS: You were seven years old!
BC: The same year. So that's going to be tough to pick videos. Maybe you could give me some videos that you might like to see.
JG: Pick your own. I really enjoyed your video.
BC: Well thank you. I mean that’s, I guess I should explain since people are thinking that that video was deliberate. Like that’s just, that video, is an excert from a children's dance party show on Chicago Cable Access. And I dunno if you're familiar how cable works in America, you know they, the cable companies, are granted the franchise they have to allocate a certain number of channels for local programming.
JG: Public Access.
BC: Yeah, Public Access, and then you can just have shows and a friend of ours has got this show called Chic-A-Go-Go which is a children's dance show.
JG: How do you spell that?
Weasel Walter: Its like saying Chicago.
JG: Oh yeah.
BC: So he asked me to be on the show that day and I was there with this other character called The Lord Of Lightning who is this kind of washed up, R n B guitarist, sort of in the Hendrix mold. This guy from the south side of Chicago and he released a single in 1985 or 1986 called "I want To Get To Know You", it was like this sort of psychedelic Hendrix riff thing. That was his only single, he comes with this Macramay guitar swing, lip synchs his song and then I come out lip synch my song for an audience of like 8 children and a few adults but the video is like, just that excert, is just like so strange. Hello, how are you?
Monica Bou Bou: I went shopping and then a Ju Jitsu Class
BC: You took a Ju Jitsu Class?
MBB: I took a Ju Jitsu Class.
BC: Oh, yay!!!! (Bobby clapping and cheering). So, er, yeah, so that's the video. So its not like a, we didn't, er, its just the way it turned out.
JG: I saw the video, it was on MTV and.....
BC: We need Chic-A-Go-Go. They need to have a show like Chic-A-Go-Go on MTV. I think.
JG: It could happen now with it (TV) going digital in this country, so the telly channels have expanded to about a thousand channels. Why did you release Never Get Ahead as a single?
BC: Why did I release that as a single?
JG: I mean as opposed to, you could have done something from the new album but you chose that one.
BC: Ah, well actually, yeah Never Get Ahead actually was done, its off the first album and it just got released as a single here because Southern decided to do that. I would have liked to release a single off the new record but no one has been forthcoming with an offer.
JG: We'll do it!
BC: You'd do it? You would release a single?
JG: We do a label but yeah. There’s some good songs on the new album.
BC: Yeah, I'd give you one of those songs of the new album and I'd give you a b-side too. It'd be great. I would love to see United Nations as a single, I think it would be a great single.
JG: Steve the bassist in our band, that's his favourite. Its a great song. The opening lines of Never Get Ahead on! You're talking about compromise... Have you seen the Bobby Conn Official Unofficial Lovepad website?
BC: That's not the one from Chicago?
WW: The one from Chicago. The kid.....
BC: It's a lovepad?
WW: It's got a page on it that's like sort of his message board that's attached to it and he has a picture of him on.
BC: Yeah, I met the guy that, I think I know what you're talking about, I've seen or I've met that guy. That guy is... You know my idea is that ideally that people who would be making fan clubs or websites would be young, attractive boys or young attractive girls but this fellow is someone who has lived with his mother and dropped out of school because he is so frightened of other people that he stays at home all the time and plays with his computer. So, it's not really....
JG: It's a sort of stereotype.
BC: Yeah, a stereotype fanboy. The ultimate fanboy but I'm trying to get him out of his shell just for my own purposes because if he is going to be doing the fan club without any money I want him to be more presentable so I'm trying to get him like a suit, like an Armani suit or something to sort of dress him up a little bit and then I think people will respond to him, I don't think he needs to be so shy. You know if you look good, then you're gonna feel good. Right?
JG: Yeah, right, I got a haircut for today. Does he subscribe to the Continuous Cash Flow System then?
BC: Do I still?
JG: Does he?
BC: Does he? Oh, I don't..... yeah, I guess he does because he lives with his mom, so yeah. So I guess, you know, money is irrelevant to him. Yeah.
JG: Did you used to be an accountant then?
BC: No, no. I never was an accountant. I used to sell real estate via phone out of New York and, er, yes that was a very unsuccessful venture ultimately in that it lead to a short conviction for mail fraud, back when I was in my early twenties, 21.
JG: Pleasantville yeah?
MBB: (butting in) did you get a chord for your computer?
(in background some cockney geezer repeatedly saying Tesco)
BC: It was impossible.
WW: He wasn't able to have time to.
JG: Did you see the description of yourself as "Beck-style pop rock" in the local listings?
BC: As a what style?
JG: A "Beck-style pop rock".
BC: Oh well, let's see the comparisons I've had. The worst one, or the one that's most unappealing, was our last show in Holland, the billboard said "Hendrix versus McCartney". It's a battle between a corpse and an old knight of the realm.
WW: A fuddy duddy.
BC: A fuddy duddy. Very unappealing. Also "the Make Up on acid". That's another one I find perplexing.
WW: "The Allman Brothers versus Oz Mabarach (?)".
BC: That's a very tenuous reference. I don't know, are you familiar with the work of Oz Mabarach?
JG: No.
WW: And neither is he.
BC: Anyway, also "the Tortoise combined with Captain Beefheart". Pretty unappealing brew there. "Bobby Conn is better than David Bowie", that's also a Dutch one. It's awful. So "Beck-style" is like one. "Ween like" also "Ween like". "Zappa". People compared the first record, they seemed to think it was a Zappa album. The irony is that I don't own a single Tortoise, Beck, Oz Mabarach, I do own some David Bowie records, I'll grant you that, Allman Brothers, Captain Beefheart, I never even heard these bands. Zappa, I've never heard this stuff. So....its because I don't listen to music.
JG: You don't?
BC: No, I listen to, I mean my head is filled with all the popular music that was first fed to me during my childhood and then I buy a lot of singles at the thrift store which I like, R n B and stuff from the seventies.
JG: You have a very pop sound, its very....its like the sort of music that people usually buying Southern stuff don't usually buy, the stuff that you're playing and its a really nice release so say like that you're into that sort of music. Have you heard of Robbie Williams?
BC: Robbie Williams? No.
JG: Cliff Richard?
BC: Keith Richard....
JG: Cliff Richard!
BC: Cliff Richard? No.
JG: GG Allin?
BC: Heard of him, don't have much time for him.
MBB: Good thing cos he's dead.
BC: That's true, he is dead isn't he.
JG: So is Hendrix.
BC: Yeah, that's true, Hendrix is also dead. The same way too.
MBB: Someone gave me some funny money today.
BC: What, fake money?
MBB: Not fake, out of date....
JG: 50p?
MBB: ...and I cannot get rid of it. I tried and no one would take this stuff.
AS: What the fuck is this?
JG: A 50p.
AS: Wow, I have one of those too.
MBB: Yeah, well the smaller ones are good but not the big ones.
BC: Why won't they redeem this? What the hell?
Matt: You can take it to a bank.
BC: You can take it to a bank?
MBB: (in sarcastic English accent) "I'm sorry ma'am, we can't take this".
JG: You should hold onto it, it'll become a collectors piece.
BC: This was made from 1977.
JG: Yeah, that's what I mean. It'll be a collectors piece.
MBB: In fact I have a mind to go back to that restaurant and demand her give me a proper one.
JG: It's kind of typically English.
BC: They spotted your American accent and thought "oh, we can get rid of this old 50p".
AS: I'm gonna run out and try and find an adapter.
MBB: And you know what else happened to me today? Some children, not children, teenagers said "you're not in Moscow now".
BC: Yes. Well that hat has drawn much criticism in Europe.
WW: Tsk tsk.
MBB: "Go back to fucking Moscow!"
WW: You should turn the page really, the most interesting subjects.
JG: The other side?
WW: Ah, this side!
JG: I was building up to those ones.
WW: Oh I see.
JG: These are the motherfuckers these ones.
BC: Oh wait, I've seen these questions before.
JG: Isn't this a whole set of new questions?
BC: No, I've seen these before. I was supposed to answer these questions months ago via e-mail, that’s how I recognise them. You know why I didn't answer these questions?
JG: Because they're a bit personal?
BC: No, just because I kept putting it off and putting it off.
JG: Jeff had mentioned you'd spoken to you about them.
BC: I have been thinking about them a lot. You're the accountant.
JG: You got my e-mails then....
BC: Yeah.
JG: ...where I said my label's making money and should I put it into a new record or buy a motor bike.
BC: Yeah. No, I remember all this stuff. Let's see (grabs questions and doesn't give them back).
JG: You're cheating, I wasn't prepared, I just went into the PC and took a copy.
BC: The thing is also, you didn't have the new record on this one.
JG: I've listened to the records, hooks on it.
BC: Now this is a funny one, I can't believe people actually believe it. Do I look like someone that would actually cut off their own finger?
JG: I was going to check it without asking (looks) oh no.
BC: That would be insane!
JG: That would be painful.
BC: Cross that one off. "Was I an accountant?". No. "Starsign". Gemini.
MBB: Gemini is the best!
BC: You?
JG: Leo.
Matt: Virgo.
WW: Taurus.
BC & MBB: Gemini!
BC: "The happiest event I have ever witnessed". Someone else asked me a question like this. These are hard questions, like the happiest! I'm trying to think of a happy event. Er, what's your happiest event? Let me just see what the standard is.
JG: Happiest event?
BC: Yeah.
MBB: The day you got released!?
BC: Errrr (reluctance) yeah, I mean that was a good event, it was a relief but it was not a.....
MBB: The day you met me!
BC: That wasn't an event. That was very nice though.
JG: First kiss.
BC: First kiss?
JG: No, that's mine.
BC: That was yours.
JG: That was more spontaneous than the other thing.
BC: Let me think, my first kiss. Hmm, that was nice.
JG: When was that then?
BC: Er, I was at a movie, with a girl watching Raiders Of The Lost Ark.
MBB: Wow! (starts der der dering Indiana Jones theme).
JG: What part of the film?
BC: That wasn't my first kiss, that was my first protracted sexual grope session. We were like, the entire movie was like..... (squirty noises and failing arm gestures).
MBB: My first kiss was like a sweet Madonna kinda thing, passion game.
BC: Mmmm.
MBB: Post office.
BC: No?
MBB: You didn't play those games?
BC: No! First kiss, we'll put that down.
JG: Yeah, Raiders! Good film.
MBB: First grope session.
BC: First make out session (writes it down). Actually it was humiliating, it was also a really sad event because my friends at the time, it was when I was fourteen, my friends at the time were like "I cannot believe you're making out with her, she is so gross!" and what did I do?
MBB: Dumped her?
BC: I dumped her like a hot piece of shit.
MBB: Ahhh! Like the shit you were.
BC: Yes. And then for years afterwards, for years, I would have very powerful sexual, masturbatory fantasies about having sex with her.
MBB: Who was it? Somebody you shacked up with?
BC: This is actually a pretty awful story, so I'm glad I dumped her, they did me a favour but I should have.... I could have had sex with her!
MBB: Or you could have figured it out for yourself.
BC: Yeah.
MBB: Following the crowd!
BC: (next question) "Do you believe in putting subliminals in your music?". Of course not, he said with a knowing wink. "Are jokers more interesting than winners?". I thought this was a really good question. This is really good. I almost made a song out of this, I was thinking "there's gotta be a lyric in here". I may use this.
JG: It's a great first line.
BC: I'll copyright that. But that's a hard one. I think losers are winners you know. When you're a joker you get it both ways. That's what I'm always, you see I'm a Gemini, I like to have it both ways.
MBB: That's a goddamn question (in distance a whippet yelps).
BC: "Are you lonesome tonight?". You know, I started to write this interview when I was in a really bad mood and it wasn't coming out very funny and then I thought I don't wanna give it a bummer. It wasn't like no but... And I won't be because I'm gonna rock tonight!
JG: Do you know the band who are supporting you? Penthouse?
BC: No I don't but I hear they sound like Jesus Lizard.
JG: Yeah, mixed with the Birthday Party. Stonking and really good.
BC: "Does Jim O'Rourke play in the band often?". Pretty often.
MBB: Sometimes.
BC: He's done it like four or five times, played in the band in Chicago. But you know, he's very busy, like he's always busy, like right now he's on like three months of travels and he's gonna do the Stereolab record and all this shit. So he's like, he's the hardest working man in the music business. Probably. ("what significant about 13 June 2000?). It's my birthday!
MBB: It's my birthday?
BC: You see, what's gonna happen is that if I am the antichrist, which is not certain but is just a gut instinct I feel very strongly about it, if I'm the antichrist that’s when I, I mean that’s when its going to all come together for me. If you think about it; Jesus. From age one to age thirty three; carpenter! That's it! Just a carpenter and then when he hit thirty three he goes, he gets baptised by John the Baptist, he goes to Israel, he goes to Jerusalem, he gathers his disciples by the side of the mountain, does all the Jesus stuff, he does in like the last six weeks of his life, its like a very short time. All the other time he's just hanging out, making stuff, carpentry. So, his career as Messiah is a very short one. So that's what I'm hoping and then I'm hoping when I'm 33 I'll really come into my own as an antichrist because I'm really, I'm terribly far behind in terms of unifying the nations of the world and that sort of thing. I'm really way behind. The first record was supposed to sell like a 100,000 copies and now its only sold like 800 so....
JG: This question here certainly links to that one really ("do you believe in the live fast, die young philosophy?").
BC: Er, live fast die young? (pauses and contemplates) I've been living pretty fast and I'm not dead yet.
JG: But Jesus died at 33.
BC: Is it young? You know I'm 31 now. I don't feel that young, I feel pretty old.
JG: What was 30 like?
BC: Was it a barrier? Yeah, actually it was a very depressing year. I had recorded my first fucking solo record and I'm 30. You know, 800 copies! Not very auspicious. Its like "why am I doing this? This is ridiculous, I'm getting nowhere fast". So....but this year I am feeling much better. So, no no no. "Should people called Paul be avoided?". No, its not so much the name Paul, its more the connotation of the Pauls.
JG: Its not the name its the....
BC: Yeah, and you understand that?
JG: Its just me and Matthew have known people called Paul in the past and...
BC: Really?
JG: Someone called Paul Buck but with a name like that...
BC: Paul Buck?
JG: I grew up with him.
BC: Is he an ass?
JG: He was mad.
BC: Insane?
JG: Pretty much.
BC: I find the Pauls I am thinking about are very talented but sneaky and manipulative like the Apostle Paul or Sir Paul.
JG: Did you ever look into the Paul Stanley thing?
BC: Paul Stanley also, I mean he's a real sleezeball but the thing about Paul Stanley is he's not particularly talented really. Would you say he is particularly talented?
WW: No.
BC: But compared to say Gene Simmons.... (sees teethy picture of himself) that is not pleasant. That's rather unpleasant.
JG: That picture, when I first saw it, scared me to death. You look so angry and hungry.
BC: Yes. Well I am hungry. "Who is Dr Weasel Walter?" (points at the man)
WW: I'm not really a Dr. I think I know what you're talking about. The young man who interviewed me, I was sort of, before I was in the band, I was sort of working as Bobby's press agent. Bobby didn't feel like he was ready to talk to anybody so we would sit around having long discussions and you know , about what he was thinking, and I would sort of inform people about what he was talking about and this person mistook it that I was a doctor. Its really messed up.
JG: What shirt are you wearing?
WW: This is an old Slayer t-shirt, Satanic Grimoth.
JG: They're not the best thing but at least you know they mean it.
WW: Yeah, yeah, its a hate of love.
BC: Erm, "what pisses me off?". These anger questions are really hard. I'm just not feeling that hot headed today. What pisses you off?
JG: The small things. The things that get to you most, like when you're driving along and someone cuts you up. There’s this thing in England, Road Rage, that I don't think you get in America.
BC: Road Rage? People shoot each other’s cars in our country. Actually, that keeps Road Rage down because people feel like it can escalate to a point, like in Los Angeles its very common for people to like cut you off, someone cuts you off and you have a gun, you shoot them. It happens quite a lot (starts laughing).
JG: Do they do that in Chicago?
BC: Not so much because Chicago isn't such a driving city as L.A. is but.... I guess the rats in my front yard piss me off.
MBB: The deer problem in Humble Park.
BC: The deer problem is excessive which pisses me off. People shooting each other for no good reason in my neighbourhood pisses me off.
WW: Damn!
BC: "What do I do about it?". I put my head under the pillow. "Describe Short And Sweet and did they put out any records?"......
MBB: (reading Sleaze Nation article) Monica Bobo?!
BC: Bobo? Are you Bobo?
MBB: Misspelling.
BC: Fuck!
MBB: Did you do this interview?
BC: I did this interview.
MBB: You did! You said then......
BC: I said Bou Bou, I didn't say Bobo.
MBB: It's verbatim, right?
BC: I didn't write it out.
WW: There will be other mistakes. You're talking to Weasel Walter instead Walter Weasel here.
MBB: Oh well, I'll expect it many many times then.
BC: OK, I'll talk about Condeucent. Condeucent was my first favourite band I was in. And we were like an experiment? I don't know. We were like just four hippy freaks that lived in an apartment and slept with each other and made improvisational music together.
JG: When you mean sleeping together, is that like in the same bed or....
BC: Both same bed and inside of each other’s bodies. And then usually when inside each other, we were actually not sleeping at that time, we'd be awake, but an early incestuous band. And we all got a group tattoo, we were very.....
JG: What was that tattoo?
BC: Our logo. Isolated, very isolated. Very out of step (draws it).
JG: It's like the Now Wave thing (logo).
BC: Oh yeah, that's right. Here, Weasel, look.
WW: Wow, that’s kind of weird.
MBB: What is that?
BC: This is the logo, this is Now Wave, this Condeucent.
JG: Where have you got your tattoo?
BC: Where did I get my tattoo? On my arm, right here. I showed it to the Swedish woman but I'm not going to show it to you.
JG: I won't show you mine then.
BC: Do you have one?
WW: Oh yes?
BC: So anyway, we anticipated, we played for a long time and people would say stuff like "you know you guys really sound like Can" and then we got a Can record and it turned out we kind of did sound like Can but then that Post Rock explosion happened in Chicago about that Kraut Rock shit and we were long broken up by that point, so we were unable to bask in the glory...
WW: ...of being so lame.
BC: Of being so lame. But we did put out two records that are pretty good, they're quite good, two singles.
JG: What label was that on?
BC: We just put them out ourselves. One of the records will be for sale tonight.
JG: Really?
BC: I'll give it to you. You deserve a single.
JG: Please.
BC: Short And Sweet was a collaboration between me recording under the name of Shorty Roughneck. This is a true story. I live in Humble Park, which is a part of Chicago, for like ten years and these little kids would be like "Yo! Look at that, it's Shorty Roughneck. Look at him, it's Shorty Roughneck over there, look at him. You think you're so tough Shorty Roughneck". So its my street name. I was like, I was so happy. "I got a street name given to me by real little black children gave me a street name. I'm like street now, I have street credibility because I am Shorty Roughneck". And then Johnny Sweet, who lived a few houses away, he got his street name the same way, like six months later, because he was wearing a like really nice silky shirt. "Oh yeah, look at that, it's Johnny Sweet. Look at Johnny Sweet". So we decided to be Short And Sweet. And it was premium super hard rock. Two guitars and a drum machine. And anthems like "My Love Landed On You", "It's Too Hard!", all sexual songs. Songs about sexual ecstasy in a hard rock vein. And we later added the drummer from Condeucent, Ray Shawn, who is now living in Frankfurt Germany and it was a very nice band. We weren't able to record, Johnny Sweet and I had a falling out in that he's..... well, we're both difficult to work with, let's just put it that way. "Will I be using MTV?". Well yes, on Monday.
JG: How about VH-1 though?
BC: I don't know about VH-1. I think VH-1 would be more suitable because they would probably have the vintage videos that I would like to see. "Are you the first Edutainer". No, edutainer is something, there are many edutainers, they generally have....
JG: Richard Simmons, is he one?
BC: Richard Simmons?
WW: Richard Simmons, yup, yes he is.
BC: Yeah, he is an edutainer.
WW: He's made records.
JG: Has he?
BC: They're..... (breaks down laughing)
WW: You can only imagine, let's put it that way. If you can make it through that whole record, you're a pretty damn hard person.
BC: They're anti-music. Imagine the thinnest, like thinnest most trebly irritating disco music and then Richard Simmons is like "OK! Come on! Wake up, it's a really great morning!". Its insane, its really psychotic. Richard Simmons is an edutainer.
JG: He cracks me up, every time he's on Oprah or Ricki.
BC: I love him, he's great. He's fantastic. He understands that, some people are born with only one thing, their personality. You know who else I really like who is British? You know Leo Sayer? "I know I can dance! I know I can dance!".
MBB: What's the beers?
BC: I got that bitter beer. Its really good.
JG: Get Carlsberg.
MBB: Carlsberg. And you got the bitter?
BC: "Can using the CCFS lead to alcoholism or drug abuse?". Yes. It does, it does.
JG: I would imagine so as they are very expensive items and they can be consumed on mixed levels.
BC: And they also, alcohol and drugs, generally take you out of a sense of thinking about the future because you're into immediate please then. They're actually, its almost, its very hard to contain the CCFS without drinking heavily because otherwise you start worrying about all the people that hate you.
JG: What do you think of people that are straight edge?
BC: Straight edge? Well. No, fine, excellent. Good for them!
JG: It's just I've got a friend who's gone straight edge and he just seems to be denying himself.
BC: Well I mean, its like any other kind of fanaticism, you know, whether its being a junkie or being a teetotaller, if you're an ass about it, it's irritating. I personally like to sample all of life's pleasures in amounts that I can control. So I love heroin, it's a fun drug but you can't really do it more than a few times a year without, er, having problems.
MBB: How much do you tip?
JG: We don't in this country.
WW: That 50 pence piece.
MBB: I tried to give it to them already. It failed.
BC: He said "this is not useful". Yeah, I don't recommend people do heroin but its a good drug if you do want to try it.
JG: You can have some real good times I've heard.
BC: Yeah but some people vomit when they take it. I don't, I love it.
JG: There's a whole problem, there’s a whole stigma attached to it, you don't really want to get involved in that scene.
BC: Right, whatever. You know its just like anything else. I mean its just like potato chips or anything else. It's like.....pursuing a heroin lifestyle is very boring. LSD also, I did a lot of that and I don't need to do that anymore. Marijuana, useful but again gets very boring. Alcohol, I can't really get drunk anymore, it takes too much effort, I get too sleepy. Speed, very hard on the body. Quaaludes, who can find them? I can't find Quaaludes. You know, like Barbiturate pills.
JG: Have you tried Prozac?
BC: Er, a drug that just makes you feel like good?
JG: It makes you fart too.
BC: It makes you fart? It makes you not want to have sex. Cocaine, I don't like, it makes me feel like a bug. I don't like that. You know I'm already extroverted enough so the idea of me being more extroverted sounds like an arsehole. Actually when I did try it I wasn't in a very talkative mood, I just felt kind of like I hated people. There was nasty shit running down my throat and I felt like an insect. And then when I woke up I started crying. Yeah, that's a great drug.
MBB: What drug was that?
BC: Cocaine. Remember the morning after? I was in tears. "Will I be pursuing multinational corporations?".
JG: Yeah, you actually offered to do a seminar at my firm I work at.
BC: Yeah, I would. I would love to do that, it would be so funny but I would have to do it in like the cafeteria but it seems you don't have a cafeteria. I had visions of like a big office block. Yeah, but that's like the kind of thing I'd like to do, seminars in cafeterias.
JG: Especially as I was thinking that in my line of work, the accountants are influential with clients, it would be a really good way of targeting people.
BC: You see, you do realise that that will land you in jail.
JG: I personally would not subscribe to it, it would harm my reputation.
BC: You've got to have ethics. I don't but you should. (next question regarding Bill Hicks and the Waco incident). Um, Bill Hicks is a genius. "Do I fear the FBI?". Well the FBI, actually no what is scary is that on that website, that fanboy website, he is telling me who hits that website, he says that the Justice Department of the United States visited it five times. That’s not a good sign for Bobby. So, do I fear the FBI? Yes I do now. I'm not worried about the FBI rubbing me out ala David Koresh but I'm worried more about people like Koresh rubbing me out. I worry about assassination at the hands of Right Wing fanatics.
JG: What did you make of Koresh and what he did?
BC: Well he was a nut along the same lines as Marshall Applewhite of the Heaven's Gate thing and Jim Jones. He's a nut along those lines, a very American style nut. But the FBI. They assassinated him and they killed 80 innocent people. That attack was one of the most heinous crimes of our government. What makes it so heinous is that they could have easily arrested Koresh in the years prior to that but for some reason they would rather eliminate like 60 children. "Do I think I'll be reincarnated?" Reincarnated, maybe. Reincarcerated, not if I can possibly help it. I will move to Brazil before I go back to jail. "How does touching people assist my cause?". Because it feels good and its warm! "Do I trust the music press?" No, why should I? Why should I trust anyone? Why should you trust me? We don't know each other. We're not really friends, we're just meeting over this talk. It's not personal...
JG: You're trying to get your message across, we're trying to get something interesting to read.
BC: We're using each other, in the friendliest way. In the nicest way, right? "Have I seen 'Brewster's Millions'?" No I haven't, but I see your point - he's trying to spend all his money.
JG: You should, it's very.
BC: I love Richard Pryor.
JG: And John Candy?
BC: John Candy? I feel very sorry about him. I feel very bad for him. Did you ever see Second City Television? It was a TV show he had in Canada and later in the
US. Amazing show, really fucking funny. He was incredible on that, but his movie career was like (dive-bomb whistles). Just cheesier and cheesier shit.
WW: He generally played the bumbling uncle. Your relative that is a little clumsy!
BC: Right. Are you familiar with Chris Farley?
JG: Yeah.
BC: John Candy didn't have it as bad as Chris Farley did. Chris Farley really got fucked. The amount of self-loathing that that man was encouraged to partake
in was...
JG: When John Candy died he had newspaper coverage but when Chris Farley died, nothing. Chris Farley was never recognised in this country. Tommy Boy and his Saturday Night Live stuff was great.
BC: He was great but they encouraged him to feel about as bad about himself as possible. Hollywood is very cruel to the misfits.
JG: Have you considered acting?
BC: (smiles) Yes but I haven't had any offers.
MBB: You've been asked to be in a couple of movies.
BC: Not Hollywood movies. "Musical influences?" Isn't it obvious? You've heard the record, you can tell what I listen to. The classics. Classic nouveau. (as Shepherd reappears from buying his computer stuff). "What effect will the year 2000 computer bug have?" I think they're going to work that one out frankly.
MBB: I'm a little worried about the phone company.
BC: Utility bills may be confused.
MBB: They have so much trouble right now before the computers have even done anything.
BC: I actually think the world wide depression and economic crisis are going to be a bigger problem than this bug. What is my idea of the perfect Continuous Cash Flow System? To borrow $100 dollars from you and then take her (points to Monica) out to dinner, assuming that she was a complete stranger, do you know what I mean? So it's like, who loses? Okay, you lose $100, but she gains and I'm just a catalyst. I figured morally that would allow me to have the excitement of the lifestyle that I craze, without any of the guilt or obligation of having, like, a Porsche. But anyway, I've abandoned the CCFS because I can't maintain a network of friends and other humans. When you have the CCFS going people avoid you. You have to constantly meet new people. That's the sad thing about being a parasite, you always end up killing the host. That's what the song Baby Man is about. Women are easy to sponge off of. That men do it is depressing. "Is it true that I'm 5 foot 1?" Actually I'm 5 foot 4.
JG: You're 5 foot 4! So am I! (then I remember I'm actually 5 foot 6).
BC: Congratulations, we're the same height (Bobby and Jason high-five). There we go!
JG: Male bonding!
BC: (Starts reading the mailout about Bobby written by Southern press person Jeff Prinsloo, upon which my questions are typed). This is a good point from Jeff "Vanilla was like a cross between Sigue Sigue Sputnik and Lake of Dracula, they were awful!". "After just saying hi to Monica Bou Bou she accused me of giving her shit. I like her". Jeff Prinsloo is the most paranoid man in the world! (Bobby starts laughing) This is good (of Coldman, Bobby's drummer) "I guess he used to play drums in Rome. Not much to say about him other than he reminds me of the biker guy in the Village People. Sunglasses and leather".
JG: Have you been managing to get satisfactory changing rooms and riders?
AS: For the most part . It's interesting that people's attitudes to crack in the parts of Europe we've been to so far seem to be way out of whack with the way things are in real life. I don't know if people don't have any access to crack here or if the crack is different here or something like that. You mention that here and people freak out. You have the conception that it's an alley-sweeper of a drug right? I don't understand it all, it's totally different in the US. It would be nice if you could get crack on your rider but people don't seem to want to do that.
BC: (still laughing and reading Jeff's press release) "Self-amputated ring finger". That guy!
JG: It's a strange rumour, who started it?
BC: I was telling Weasel that I wanted to cut my finger off and then Weasel extended it to that I already had done it. I'm gonna have to tape this finger down tonight cos this guy's coming to the show and he's going to be really upset. He actually very directly asked, "So you're not lying about this ring finger?", and when a guy's on the phone I'm
not gonna say, "Yes, I’m lying". I'm gonna say, "No, of course not!"
JG: I just remembered a really frightening thing. When I was at school this boy, Lee Patrick, had his ring finger chewed off by his pet weasel (I remember now, it was actually a Ferret called Freddy. Vicious, vicious little fella). That's a bit of a coincidence. So is the Chicago scene really good then?
BC: We never think of it as being good but when we look at what else is out there it seems like it, well, can't be that bad. It's better than L.A., I dunno, it's been very good to me.
JG: So is England living up to your preconceptions?
BC: Actually it's turned out a lot better. The show last night was really a lot of fun. It was packed.
JG: What's in your set at the moment? Is it a mixture of the two albums?
BC: Yeah, it's a mixture of the two albums and we've got some new songs which haven't been released. Basically I wanted to include more covers but we weren't able to work those out. We've got a repertoire of around 23 songs right now so we alternate.
JG: What covers are you out to do then?
BC: I do a really nice version of Without You, which was made famous by Harry Nilsson (and Mariah Carey's version didn't hurt it), but it's actually written by the guys in Badfinger. (Quietly sings) "I can't live if living is without you". It's a classic song. My version is very touching. I like the really desperate love songs.
JG: Do you think they make songs like that these days?
BC: (sighs) No, they don't. That's the next thing I want to do, go into that territory of painfully embarrassing desperate love songs. Stuff that makes you just... drop. I'm interested in shock music, y'know? Noise is not shocking any more. What I'm trying to do is use the melody and harmony in song writing to surprise people. Cos I've already done all the noise shit. Maybe I'll get back to it later or something.
JG: How far do you hope to take this music then?
BC: To the top. To the toppermost of the poppermost. Why not? I mean, I've got to go as far as I can go.
JG: What's the major ambition then?
BC: To be able to do this all the time and not having to worry about other things. I've done a lot of different things, some of them have pretty unpleasant. I've wasted a lot of time working. You understand.
JG: I do, yeah.

(originally featured in NO PICTURES issue 10)



Moby tapped into the rock dance crossover as well as anyone. Human Rights was fun if flawed. His hardcore versions of all time rock classics saw fitting Sabbath and Hendrix into minute long shots of adrenalin. Had Human Rights reflected this more it without doubt would have been better. As far as I know Wonder Bread, such a song, has never been released. That period seems to have finished for now as a return to chart friendly dance has occurred. A Frequent feature on soundtracks here are XXX words from Moby.

Please describe your time/periods with Flipper and Mission Of Burma
With Flipper - 2 days in 1983. With Mission Of Burma - never. I just like them.

Have you now reverted permanently back from guitar music to solely dance orientated?
No. I don't see any reason to like one type of music at the exclusion of another.

Does the prospect of a new millennium excite or scare you?
I find it hard to get worked up over a thousand year period on a planet that's five billion years old.

What first made you take up electronic music in preference to music you had previously played?
Megalomania. Cool sounds. Hip hop.

What do you think of the Prodigy?
I've known them for eight years. Nice guys. They make the world of pop music much more interesting.

How do you relax?
I procrastinate.

What's your best feature?

What's your main flaw?

How important is humour in your life?
Vitally important.

Have you been or could you be corrupted?
I probably have been, but I don't fully understand what it means to be corrupted.

Do you believe in putting subliminals in your music?
If I could figure out how to do it I would.

Highlight of your career to date?
Having Bono kiss my hand.

Last album you listened to?
Massive Attack - Mezzanine

Closest you've ever come to death?
Almost being shot in a nightclub.

Is America racist?
I find it hard to generalize about a country of 250 million people, all of whom come from quite different cultural backgrounds. So yes and no. But more no than yes when you give people a chance.

originally appeared in NO PICTURES issue 10



From one of the best bands on one of my favourite labels, Mike Watt was the bassist in for the amazing Minutemen. First hearing the Minutemen was something shocking for me, I at first found it so hard to believe that such a band would tour with Black Flag. Each Minutemen song is short but filled with more dynamics than most songs twice their size.

Hi, how and where are you?
Getting ready for another u.s. tour that starts sep 21. It'll be 52 gigs in 55 days. I'm in San Pedro, California right now - that's where I'm based.

Ball Hog And Tugboat's artwork was very wrestling themed/inspired. Are you a fan and, if so, who is the best wrestler you've ever seen?
My favorite was Don Muraco. I really dug him and his spiel. he also invented the piledriver.

Did the Beastie Boys rip off the Minutemen on Cooky Puss?
What? like Coltrane said: "music is a big reservoir."

How did your collaboration with J Mascis come about?
I just asked him! He's very cool people.

Have you recently worked with Money Mark?
Yes, along w/Steve Perkins as Broke Dick Dog we covered a James Brown tune for a tribute record to his 65th birthday. It's called "Ssssssh (For A Little While.)"

How are your knees holding out?
OK. The bike riding has made them much stronger. They still ache big time in the wet cold though.

Will Ciccone Youth ever record again?
Don't know about that. I got Madonnabes though and we're doing a split 7" w/the Ziggens (long beach band on skunk records) soon.

Of all the Minutemen men cover versions, which have liked most?
Nels Cline doing "West Germany" was pretty good.

What was the most requested and best performed song on the punk rock karaoke?
"Minor Threat" by Minor Threat. Great song.

I read the transcript of your on-line interview. It looked like hard work. What was it like to do?
Not hard at all. I started typing in the 8th grade. I'll be 41 december 20th.

Is Kira up to anything musically? Has she any current bands going?
She's editing sound for movies now in Burbank. We're gonna do another dos record (fourth one) for Kill Rock Stars when we get time.

What's Pedro like these days?
Too many track homes going up but the town still has it's good things. Lots of cliffs, ocean, docks, parks and beach to keep things real. I love riding my bike around the coast each moring. I do over twenty miles. I wrote my opera on the bike.

For the purposes of trainspotting, could you please list every band you have ever played in?
the bright orange band
sacharrine trust (one record)
ciccone youth
porno for pyros (some of one record and a few tours)
mike watt and the crew of the flying saucer
mike watt and the black gang crew
mike watt and the black gang
li'l pit
broke dick dog
wylde ratttz

I saw your comments on Coltrane and Mingus. How come a lot of you punk guys are into jazz?
Well, we got turned on to the bebop stuff when we got into punk and we related the two very close. it sounded like chaos and passion to us at the time. please remember we did not grow up w/jazz and it was very new to us like the punk scene that was growing all around us. I really like the freedom and voice of coltrane's stuff. I went to his grave a couple months ago in long island, ny. took the train there from manhattan. I laid on the grass on top of him thinking of what he was thinking when he
made a record. probably didn't give a shit about being mersh (commercial). just wanted to get beyonder. he's a big inspiration to me. I dig mingus too, look what he did for the bass in the band - actually led it!

Have you heard any Charles Gayle? And if so what do you think?
I saw a gig of his in West L.A. and dug it. kind of tripped out when he went on his spiels. had a great bass player w/him too. Thurston took me and knew the whole deal. he's so knowledgeable about so many different kinds of musics. I really dig him for turning me on to all kinds of things.

What were you getting at specifically when you did Bob Dylan Wrote Propaganda Songs?
I was afraid of what folks would thing of my songs and that they would somehow come out sounding sort of one dimensional but then I thought of growing up listening to bob dylan's early tunes and then feeling ok about it. I know that sounds insane but that's where I was back in 1982. In a way I'm still there.

What did you think of Rollins' Get In The Van book?
I like hank very much and think the parts I've read of the book are really funny - they bring back memories. for all the hell we went through though I'm very much glad we got to do everything we did. he makes it out to be pretty intense and it was. just remember there was lots of laughing all along the way.

Do you think you'll be doing a book?
I've been approached by many people about this but I don't think it's the time yet to do one.

Do you like England?
Yes, there's some interesting things about it and some great folks. It's very easy to be negative about any land and you gotta see the good from the shit. my early days of punk were very influenced by english bands like "the pop group" and "wire" and for that I'm eternally grateful. I only got to do one gig there last europe tour (march - april '98) and that was in london. the english division of sony would not put my opera out. this hurt me much. when I play england I always play scotland too. the name watt is scottish and my father's side's distantly related to james watt, the inventor. in fact my pop's name is james watt but everyone called him by his middle name, dick.

What bands are you currently into?
I saw Sleater-Kinney and dug some of that. Same w/Bikini Kill and Team Dresch. I like Nomeansno right now too. Always will dig Beefheart, Roky Erickson, Television and Richard Hell. Dig Creedence too!

Anything else?
You asked some good questions, thanks!

(originally appeared in NO PICTURES issue 10)


Three Second Kiss

My favourite record of 1998 was probably Three Second Kiss's second album Everyday Everyman. For me it contains elements of everything that is good in alternative rock come the end of this century. It easily slots in with the current trends but doesn't get bogged down sticking to any specific concepts. Moments of joy felt like Shellac's abrupt math, Fugazi's straightforward energy and passion and the perfect melody of Slint but it also sounds so fresh and original. On his first hearing my friend likened them to Bob Tilton.

Some of the questions are by Sergio (guitar player), some others by Massimo (a real few word, spoken or written, man) and the rest by Lorenzo (deeeerrrrummer)

What's your lineup?
We are an essential three piece. Massimo plays the bass and sings, better he tries to.., Sergio is the guitar player and Lorenzo beats the drums.
Where are you from?
The official band's base is BOLOGNA even if nobody of us was born there. I (Lorenzo) live at about 30 km from Bologna, Sergio is from Senigallia, a beautiful town nearby the Adriatic sea in the centre of Italy, and Massimo from Crotone, which is situated in the extreme south of Italy nearby the sea. We all met in Bologna cause of the university, which is famous for being a collector of all Italian (and often European) guys gravitating around arts.
Can we have a brief history of the band?
Three Second Kiss start on April 1993. We have released two works on CD, the first - about June 1996 - is "For Pain Relief", out for a small label (Lollypop rec.), which has got enthusiastic reviews in many Italian magazines and fanzines, and has been played also by John peel. The second, just released in May 1998, is "Everyday Everyman" recorded and engineered by Iain Burgess and produced by Wide records, the most important Italian independent label. "Everyday Everyman" is distributed in Europe via Southern records, London. Since our first days together we immediately started touring Italy. We have played about a 100 gigs and supported bands such as Surgery, Come, Uzeda, Blonde Redhead, Shellac and June of '44.
Who are your influences?
Probably 30 years of rock music !! It's so difficult for us to catch this side of our relations with music. Everyone in the band has his own influences. Actually we like so much the new American sounds, the true spirit and live attitude of bands that came out of touch and go, Dischord, Trance syndicate, Domino, skin graft...but you know, it's a limitation cause we have a full range background.
What have you released so far record wise?
1996 For Pain Relief CD Lollypop Rec
1997 "I cried you didn't listen" comp. Gamma pop rec.
1998 Everyday Everyman CD Wide Rec.
What is the music scene like in Italy?
very interesting in the last two or three years. In the 80's the scene was so provincial, just a dead copy of England or USA staff. Now the bands try to explore a personal approach to rock music, evolving a new free form of songwriting. We appreciate lots of things that are comin' up from Sicily and Catania in particular. It's great what the human and musical influence (should we say "guide"?) of a band like Uzeda, can do to the intentions and attitudes of young bands.
Who are your favourite Italian bands?
We love many bands you won't find on any international and Italian magazine, but that are quite good. here some of them: Uzeda (actually they're on every kind of mag. and named as the best alternative rock band in Italy ) Laundrette, Plank, jerica's, 100%, One dimensional man etc...
What has been your most memorable gig?
It's not pretentious, really... but we try to be memorable in every gig we play. It doesn't matter how many people are in the venue. We are a live band, and we respect our audience. Anyway, the tour with the June of '44 was great and so emotional, especially the day in many people, that the club was exploding!
Which band has been the most fun to play a show with?
We've always played with bands we hold in high esteem. So we have to say that every show we had with Blonde Redhead or Uzeda or Shellac or June of 44 or anyone else, has been absolutely important for us and funny.
Would you describe yourselves as emo-core?
Well, like most bands, we don't like any label. Emo-core? We don't have that background of experience. We just intend to constantly balancing emotional and physical tension, fully exploring the intensity and the potentialities of each single instrument and emphasising the geometries and sound puzzles.
Why do you sing in English instead of Italian?
We play rock music and we consider English the perfect language for it, sharp and effective at the same time. It's also important to express yourself in a global language, not circumscribing your music to any frontier.
Have you been to America?
No never. But it'll be very soon (hope so)
You took your name from a Hayes Censorship Code ruling, how did you find out about it?
Massimo studies at the Cinema University in Bologna and by chance in a documentary film we've heard about it. This thing impressed us so much. We can't stand anything created just to limit creativity.
How did you find out your tracks had been played on John Peel? And how did you react?
Oh, it's been a nice surprise. John Peel has been so kind and sent us a fax. Then a friend of us gave us the tape of that BBC radio show.
What was it like working with Ian Burgess?
He is really a good sound engineer with many years of experience and if you remember the first big black records you should understand. You can say he is the father of the Steve Albini school. We recorded "Everyday Everyman" in a Sicily 70's studio, and although that wasn't his studio and equipment, he made a great work. We wanted to catch our live sound at his best and he did.
We really enjoyed to spend four days with him, eating, drinking, laughing....a significant experience. This is what a recording session should always be, not only a work relationship.
Do you play many shows with Uzeda?
Everytime it's possible. We are close friends and their Management "coop Indigena" is also our management. They are unique, great musicians and loveable persons. They help us to grow up and give us the opportunity to play with overseas bands. we are a family and we are proud to be their friends.
Have you played any shows in England/Britain yet? (if not you should)
Not yet, but as for USA we wish we'll be up there soon.
Would you teach me some Italian swear words please? (fuck, shit etc)
Iain Burgess' favourite swear word (not so ugly after all) was ...BASTARDO. absolutely perfect for driving', shows, soccer matches; and so international that everybody from most parts of the planet can get it. Anyway come to Italy if you wish, you'll learn a lot.
What is the music press like in Italy?
very provincial, sometimes they copy what's on the American or UK magazines. But anyway there are few but intelligent journalists.
Where are you now?
We're in Bologna. Trying' to transform the hot humid air into good vibrations for new songs.
What is the happiest event you have ever witnessed?
What a question! Musical event? Probably June of '44 show in Florence.
Favourite album of all time?
No, don't ask us to make a selection!'s impossible to us...we like Gang of Four, Pere Ubu, Devo, Red Crayola, Bastro, Brainiac, Gastr del Sol, Fugazi, Slint, Shellac.....and many others, too many.
Who is your favourite Simpsons character?
Massimo: Santa's Little Helper, absolutely!
Lorenzo: Itchy and Scratchy (Italian version is: Grattachecca e Fichetto!!!!)
Have you got any future releases planned?
After a long period plenty of events, we're now planning rehearsal sessions, trying to set some new stuff for a third work (maybe in 1999), and maybe a split with other bands.

Jason Graham (taken from No Pictures 10)

link to


El Hombre Trajeado

Dead impressed with El Hombre Trajeado. Each single is as delightful as the other and the album promises a ton. They sound like a clearer Tortoise with Mike Watt-esqe, Minutemen-esqe routes. Hubby took the time........

What's your lineup?
Stef on drums, Stevie on bass, Ben squeeks 'n' beeps and Hubby (me) guitar and mumbles.

How long have you been going?
About 2 years as a 3 piece and 6 months with Ben.

Who are your influences?
The Black Dog, Man Or Astroman?, Minutemen, DJ Shadow, Ganger, Broadcast, Squarepusher, Rush (but don't ask), Slint, Kitchener....

What records have you put out so far?
Moonunit Manual/Logo 7", Nofo split 7" with Lungleg, Like Quicksand split 7" with The Karelia.

Who freaks you out?
In a good way: Maria. In a bad way: Darth Vader.

What was it like playing without a stage at the Brighton Crawl?
Not unusual, although Ben was a bit close for comfort.

And what were the "Chips and Cheese" there like?
Pretty rocking though a bit skimpy on the old vinegar.

How are you involved with Flotsam & Jetsam?
I set it up! (with a little help from my friends of course.......)

Do you have other jobs?
I'm a concert promoter (from King Tut's Wah Wah Hut up to T In The Park). Stef delivers auto parts, Stevie's at uni and Ben does nothing in particular.

Is it true that you do all your own stunts?
Ask Stevie, he's the one that broke his wrist yesterday skateboarding.

Are you South American?
Only in my head.

What does Trajeado mean?
It means "suited" although El Hombre Trajeado can be interpreted as "the man in the suit".

What was your most memorable gig?
The last one, no long term memory you see.

Describe the El Hombre live experience?

Are as many people in Scotland on Heroin as Trainspotting would suggest or did Irvine Welsh and Danny Boyle give your country a bum rap?
Yes, as Trainspotting pointed out that there is only small groups of the population, mostly situated in housing schemes, just like any other major city.

What's the best thing about Glasgow?
Deep fried Mars Bars.

Rangers or Celtic?
Partick Thistle.

What are your songs about?
There is no hidden agenda in the lyrcis, what you hear is what you get.

How did you get into music?
By default I would have been an astronaut but I'm colourblind.

Describe each of these bands in a sentence:

Too fast, too jerky, too clever and way too smelly. And don't ever mention the 96 Europeon tour. Ever.

DP l'Odd
Belgium thrash with myself, Vic (Pink Kross), Kenny (Eska) and punk rock session muso extrordinaire, Rat.

Me, Hubby and Thom
My first band, not very good, sounded like Minutemen circa late 70s done very badly, although this is where Stevie came in.

One practice, one 7", two gigs. A bit of fun with Jer (Dawson), myself, Richie (Dawson, Fenn, PH Family) and Simon (Currl, Hernandez). Sounded like the exact mathematical equation of a large man falling down a flight of stairs.

You missed out Thermoderm. Me, Stuart (Ganger), Martin (Ganger) and Jason (Streheads). One 12" EP on Soul Static Sounds, you should check it out, I think you'll like it.

What pisses you off?
Bass players breaking their wrist 5 weeks before album recording commences.

What will you be doing with Guided Missile?
Two 7"s, One LP.

Can you fit four 7"s into one mailer?
Is this Possible?

How do you relax?
I can't remember, it's been a long time.......

McDonalds: Good or Bad?
No question, rocking.

Is the music industry dying?
Just snoozing.

What are accountants?
I woud have thought that you would have figured that one out by now!

Do you believe in putting subliminals in your music?

If you were making Soylent Green, which band would you use?
Symposium, though it would taste very bitter.

Anything else?
Keep up the good work, I'll give you a call when we need an accountant!

(originally appeared in NO PICTURS issue 10)



I first heard Bill Ding on John Peel, and they (not he) stood out for not only the ribtickling name but strong

Hi how are you and where are you?
Doing great. Currently, I'm in front of the computer in the Hefty office and I'm finally getting around to your questions. 10:30pm

Why have Bill Ding called it quits?
It's not easy to come up with a simple answer to that, but maybe I can sum it up. Dan and I had always been different from each other (backrounds in music, lifestyle, etc.), but our enthuisiasm for music held us together. Our differences also added an interesting variable for collaboration. We started the group in high school (although we didn't realease a record for some time after) and I think it was a nice break from school, which we both had a lack of interest in. After time (2 to 3 years later) our lifestyles began to clash more and more. I felt that our differences also began to affect our music. Dan was thriving to be the rock star and I was striving to be the family man behind the controls. I eventually decided that I wanted to focus on a new solo project (Slicker) and discussed it with Dan. Although there were some bad feelings to begin with, it has since resolved itself. Dan and I talk to each other from time to time and there has been no need for animosity.

What did you release during Bill's lifetime?
In chronological order...
"Just a Nick in the Car Door" b/w "Wash" 7" (HEFTY RECORDS)
"And the Sound of Adventure" full-length (HEFTY RECORDS)
"Make It Pretty" b/w "Know It Right" 7" (HEFTY RECORDS)
"Trust in God, but Tie Up Your Camel" full-length (HEFTY RECORDS)
"Horrendously Named" EP (SMILEX RECORDS)
We also contributed tracks to four separate compilations.

Who are your influences?
Well, I have many, but I'm not sure how they reflect on the music. Jimmy Giuffre, Grant Green, Idris Muhammed, Eric B. and Rakim, The Bomb Squad, Public Enemy, James Brown, King Tubby, Scientist, Derrick Harriot, Kraftwerk. More recently Autechre, Aphex Twin, John McEntire.

What kind of following did/do you get?
I don't think our following was/is too large, but as far as what kind of following it is, it's hard to gauge since we never went on the road. We never had the chance to get feedback from people who were listening to our records. Touring was another sore spot between Dan and I. He wanted to tour, I didn't. I didn't think it would make sense. First, I don't think I'm much of an entertainer and second, we wrote all of our songs in the studio, never practiced. I thought it would be a step backwards for the quality of the music. He wanted to rock and I can't blame him.

How would you pigeonhole Bill Ding's music?
Using the word pigeonhole makes it sound like a trick question. We do what we can to avoid a catagory. I mean, in simple terms it's a rock group. It's not jazz, hip hop, lo-fi or funk although critics have found that it has qualities of all. I like that our sound was hard to grasp, but at the
same time its lack of bearing can turn people off.

Do you run/work for Hefty?
I run Hefty out of Chicago and have just opened an office in the UK.

Describe what kind of label Hefty is
A label that take things seriosly and doesn't limit itself. I will put out just about anything that is interesting enough for me to get excited about and get behind. I do try to unify the label with its graphic design, quality and feel. I hope to keep growing.

What have you planned for the future?
We have five records set for release:

Euphone "Breaking Parole" EP - follow up to the self-titled release on
Hefty. One-man band (Ryan Rapsys) from Chicago. This record features some
help from Bill Dolan of 5ive Style/Heroic Doses.

Slicker "Confidence in Duber" Full-length - My solo project.

Chisel Drill Hammer Self-titled EP - Debut record.

Ghosts & Vodka 7" - features member of Cap n Jazz, Joan of Arc and Tetsuo.

"Reach the Rock" soundtrack full-length - Soundtrack that features original
score by John McEntire with band tracks from Dianogah, The Sea and Cake,
Bundy K. Brown, Polvo and Tortoise.

What's the scene in Chicago like?
It's hard for me to say because I live here. Sometimes I'm surprised to hear that Chicago has a scene. When you are in the middle of a scene you don't think of it in the grand sense. There is no doubt that great music comes from this city, some of the best in the world. Chicago has a rich
history in many styles (dance, blues, jazz, rock) and I think the younger musicians feed off it. I often take all of the our great music for granted.
More recently Tortoise has had a huge impact on Chicago and the rest of the rock world. Although their success has caused a slew of copy cats, there impact has opened the minds of many people. They brought a lot of influences to their music and I think it could have opened the palette that many other bands draw from. It also gave people a reason to look at some of
the other great music coming from Chicago.

Did you like Slint?

Are you seductive people? Still?
Not particularly. Does in come through in our music? I think bizarre is a better description.

Why did you mean by the term Trust In God But Tie Up Your Camel?
It's an old middle eastern saying. Things haven't changed much. The only difference now is that we use Master Locks and Clubs instead of tying knots.

Do you own camels?
No, but I like to hump.

Are you a fan of John Hughes' films and if so which ones?
I'm too close to the movies to be a fan of any in particular.

This is going to sound really dumb but regarding the John Hughes' films Q. Are you actually related to him? Sorry to intrude.
Yup, very related... my dad.

Who's your favourite metal band?
Metal is not up my alley and never really has been. I'm actually of a hip-hop decent.

Anything else?
Hawks' in 99. Take good care and thanks for the interest

1658 N. Milwaukee Suite 287
Chicago, IL 60647

(originally appeared in NO PICTURES issue 10)


Simon Williams

He's been a writer for the NME. He's been a record label boss. He's been in my presense.
Fierce Panda is a hit or miss label but has put out some really stuff in its fairly brief history albeit with a handy link to the media. Can't I just say something nice about a music journalist?

Where/how/when did you start writing about music? Did you do a fanzine?
Did a fanzine called "Jump Away...Carlos Fandango" (don't ask). Did 5 issues and ended up at NME by mistake on 13.1.88 at a PWEI gig. Roughly speaking.

Whats going on with Steven Wells?
A hi-octane blend of joyful recklessness and senile dementia. Chap.

Whats the number one rule about running a record label?
Don't listen to anyone else - you'll never put anything out.

What was the first gig you went to?
Farmer's Boys/Higsons/Popular Voice - Lyceum October 1981.

What was the first record you bought?
"Jilted John" by Jilted John - 1978.

Which do you think is the best record label?
Most of them are crap but I like Chemikal Underground and anyone else who gets off their bottom to do something, like your good selves.

Better press: airplay or record review?
I'm Libran, so I'll have both in the same week, thank you.

CCTV or MTV? And why?
CCTV because it's far less repetitive and you don't see Courtney Love on it. Unless you're really unlucky...

Where is the future of music?
As ever, with good tunes just outside of Walthamstow.

Will you buy my car?
Is it a Fiat Panda? I like them.

Which is better: being a music journalist or record label boss thing?
Fewer people hate record label bosses, I suppose...

CDs or Vinyl? And why?
Both because I don't appear to have a complete stack system in any of my rooms, so I need to mix and match.

Who is the most abusive/intimidating person you've interviewed?
None has ever been "abusive" per se. All interviews are intimidating but I must say Scott Walker stands out as being particularly so. Turned out to be a smashing bloke though!

Where is the best place the NME has paid for you to go?
Reading or Glastonbury Festival - otherwise record companies always pay, I'm afraid. Once got a week in the Bahamas covering the Caribbean Music Festival. Also been taken to Japan, Australia, America, the continent and, of course, Walthamstow to do East 17.

Is it possible to like football and music?
Of course it is, unless you support Spurs...

Were you ever in a band?
Pythagoras States. They were worse than the name sounds, so I swiftly retired.

Who are the bands of the year so far?
Any guitar band that has avoided being dropped and any band who was dropped who actually wanted to be. Not Pythagoras States basically.

Death Before Disco?
Lord no! Death after the disco, when your tiny little head hurts. (NB: may have misinterpreted this question...)

Anything else?
Can I thank Hirameka Hi Fi for playing Club Panda? Loads of people really loved them and I had a smashing time.

Jason Graham (taken from No Pictures 10)


Warser Gate

From Nottingham here are the diverse Warser Gate. Kev Flynn (vocalist) answering on behalf of Warser Gate

Hi, how and where are you?
Not bad today. Could be better. It's the 2nd day back for me after the school holidays. Bit of a shock to the system. Myself and Rich live in Nottingham. Keith lives in Derby. Rich plays drums. Keith plays guitar for Warser Gate.

Who are your musical influences?
Jesus Lizard, Shellac, Can, Captain Beefheart, Sun City Girls, T.F.U.L. 282, Wing Tip Stoat, Polvo, The Grifters, Drive Like Jehu, Dead C, Camper Van Beethoven, Mission Of Burma and loads more.

What is Warser Gate like?
Skewed, twisted, warped, unhinged, chaos and disorder in a structured world of noise, collision, contagious, fucked up blues, pop, spontaneous, improvised, racket.

Whats the experience of Nottingham Rock City like?
A decade ago it was OK. Right now, mmmmh! Jesus Lizard play soon, so I'll make a return visit.

Who freaks you out?
Sun City Girls

How did you get to have a record released in Japan?
Initially a zine/label that released a cassette, then did an interview and is now releasing a song on a comp CD now and a further one at the end of the year.

Why do you do so many tape releases?
This we have now began to cut down, simply because we are getting more offers to do record releases. We've got so much material and its a great cheap way to get your music heard by people.

Are you friends with Bob Tilton? What do think of them?
Yeah, I know Allan and Neil. We bump into them occasionally, have a laugh and a drink. They're good live. I like them.

Forest or County?
Myself, I'm not bothered. Not really into football except internationals. Keith likes Wolves, Rich likes County.

Does Brian Clough still waddle about your manor?
Rich worships that guy, so of course.

Does the prospect of a new millennium excite or scare you?
Excites me because I'll be in New York, fingers crossed, with Rich and Keith.

Is the music industry dying?
God knows. Not for Warser Gate it appears.

What pisses you off?

What are accountants?
People in suits and calculators.

Describe the Warser Gate live experience
Totally off the wall, unhinged in your face guitars drill into you, drums pound your brain, vocals go crazy. Bizarre stuff.

Do you improvise live?
Yes, it plays an essential part of Warser Gate makeup.

Who would you like to play live with most?
Shellac, Jesus Lizard, Wing Tip Stoat, Sun City Girls.

Are you still recording weekly?
We record once a week without fail, usually between 3 to 7 songs weekly are laid down on our 4 track. Guaranteed.

Did you write the songs on the album together or was it a sort of pick n mix of songs spanning your career?
Yeah, a complete mix bag of tracks over a period of time.

Do you believe in putting subliminals in your music?
Who? Our music is pretty crazed at times. Try pigeonholing our sound, its difficult. It all comes naturally though and isn't forced or worked at.

Highlight of your career to date?
Ptolemaic Terrascope feature #22. A track on Ptolemaic Terrascope CD #25 called "Shut Eye".

Worst record ever made?
Something by Caroline Rainbow I expect.

Favourite song of your own?
"Shut Eye", "Long Made Designate" and "Karneek Temple".

Last band you saw live and what did you think?
Come at Leicester. Absolutely fantastic. Totally fucked up blues. Great.

Closest you've ever come to death?
Flying over the Grand Canyon in a small 8 seater, severe gales from nowhere. Scary stuff. I puked up.

Advice to live your life by
Make every day count. Don't let the bastard grind you down from "Saturday Night Sunday Morning".

If you were making Soylent Green, which band would you use?
Thinking Fellers Union Local 282.

Who's your favourite Simpsons character?
Bart! Then the squirty baby.

What are your future plans?
Hopefully an album on an Australian label with big distro who is interested in us. 2 7"ers by end of the year. Continue putting out songs all over the place etc.

Can you tell us a joke, please?
No, can't do it. Sorry!

(originally appeared in NO PICTURES issue 10)



Most people have heard of Fugazi but in my opinion not enough people have actually heard Fugazi records. For me they are the most innovative and direct band on the planet. Much is made of their "anti music industry" stance, dishearteningly taking focus away from the actual musical content. It is a tragedy that this policy results in close to nothing is ever heard of them in this country as they refuse to speak to the mainstream music press. They're often compared to The Ruts, Gang Of Four and Crass but for me they are more the band that links Nirvana to Henry Rollins and vice versa. I first heard of Fugazi, reading Gina Arnold's Route 666 book intrigued by her tales of them and how she ditched watching Nirvana at Roskilde 92 to go see them play a club in Berlin. Any band capable of such exploits had (has) to be special.
Whether they like it or not, Fugazi is the flagship of Dischord Records (don't even bother trying to squeeze the Make Up into this equation). Dischord (as in DC, as in Washington DC) was started in late 1980 by Ian MacKaye (previously in the Slinkees, who played just one show) and Jeff Nelson of the Teen Idles when they released an eight song 7" by their own band, paid for from "seed money" earned from playing shows, some of which were with Bad Brains. It was recorded on four track and still sounds amazing to this day. Dischord's next release was a ten song 7" by State Of Alert (S.O.A.) who featured Henry Rollins. Next came MacKaye and Nelson's new band, the legendary Minor Threat. With another ten song 7" they inadvertantly started a whole movement called "Straight Edge" whereby teenagers would proudly profess to not drink, not smoke and not take drugs. Despite worryingly potentially being picked up like a trend and unnecessarily producing sheep mentality, it still provided a relief from posturing rock stars and fucked up role models. The EP contains Screaming At A Wall which the Beastie Boys have covered and were originally accused of being Minor Threat copyists in their hardcore beginnings. By the end of 1981 Dischord had released three more 7"s by Minor Threat, Government Issue (the Legless Bull EP containing probably my favourite hardcore songs ever in Religious Ripoff, Fashionite, Asshole and Bored To Death) and Youth Brigade. There is an amazing compilation CD of the first six 7"s called "1981: The Year In Seven Inchs" (DIS14) which has 48 tracks on. Dischord continues to release material by Washington DC bands and for its 100th release issued a previously unheard Teen Idles EP. The Beastie Boys have commented that Dischord Records has acted as an inspiration for Grand Royal.
Minor Threat split in 1983. Read the lyrics to Salad Days to pretty much understand the situation at that time and why they split up just as bigger (not necessarily better) things were seemingly approaching. Band members disagreed about what direction the band should go in. Brian Baker eventually ended up in, amongst others, Bad Religion. That was one direction. MacKaye's next band (direction) was Embrace and were a whole lot better than their current namesakes who probably don't even realise they're flogging a taken name. Embrace was basically Ian fronting Faith, replacing his brother Alex on vocals. Option described the band as "MacKaye's transistion from the tense impassioned songs of Minor Threat to Fugazi's more expanded sound". They produced one album (DIS24) before MacKaye's next stop and current position in Fugazi, also not forgetting the brief (and somewhat surprising) collaboration with Al Jourgenson, Pailhead. He also did some early production work on the Rollins Band.
Guy Picciotto and drummer Brendan Canty (a blood relation of the Make Up) played together in Rites Of Spring, One Last Wish and Happy Go Licky. Happy Go Licky and Rites Of Spring had the same band membership, with HGL being the latter to exist, but with an entirely different musical program. Happy Go Licky released a six song 12" on Picciotto's own Peterbilt label, played a total of 7 shows and split on New Year's Day in 1988, in the early days Guy was only a temporary member of Fugazi. A 21 track live album was released late last year jointly by Peterbilt and Dischord including the original six 12" tracks. Similarly Dischord has released has released a Rites Of Spring (DIS16) compilation of the couple of records it put out on Dischord in the 80s. Picciotto has produced and recorded a number of bands including Blonde Redhead and the Make Up and is also into film-making. The fourth member Joe Lally entered into punk later than the other band members, going to Rites Of Spring shows and touring with Beefeater as a roadie.
Fugazi was finally formed in 1986/7 by Ian and Joe. Brendan joined on drums and brought Guy along shortly after. Fugazi actually played their first show without Guy but, in his own words, "almost immediately after, I quickly insinuated my way into the group, singing backups and dancing for the first year then playing guitar from Repeater onwards". They actually played their first show in the fall of 1987. The self titled 7 song EP came out in 1988 and by the Margin Walker EP in 1989 Guy's position in the band was cast in rock. A single, 3 Songs, came out on Sub Pop in 1989 in limited form and on Dischord in unlimited form. Since, they have released five full length albums: Repeater (1990), Steady Diet Of Nothing (1991), In On The Kill Taker (1993), Red Medicine (1995) and End Hits (1998), all at mid price. Their only other release is the track, In Defense Of Humans, which is on the State Of The Union compilation (DIS32), although Reprovisional appears on a K Records IPU compilation, a convention they had an amazing time playing at. In 1992 Ian MacKaye appeared on a major label release, playing guitar on the Sonic Youth track Youth Against Fascism from the Geffen album Dirty. A documentary film made with Jem Cohen called Instrument featuring numerous shows with tour and studio footage came out in early 1999 along with a soundtrack album featuring demos, alternative takes and previosly unreleased songs.
With the co-operation of Tom and Matt heres an e-mail interview with Guy Picciotto.
How are you and what have you been up to recently?I am doing quite well, enjoying an unseasonably cool breeze and a Brazilian soda. The last few months have been pretty action packed. In terms of Fugazi style band activity there has been alot going on. First off, in late May the End Hits album finally came out and we decided to emerge from a 9 month cocoon and play some live shows again. We went out and did a 2 week exploratory tour from DC to Chicago and it was really a killer. Though our drummer Brendan recently became a father and has intense familial obligations, we will still be going back out on and off for the rest of the year. The loose plan is to do some more US and Canadian dates in July and later in the fall (October or so) we will do a full European tour. We also have lately renewed our work on a Fugazi documentary style motion picture collaboration with filmmaker Jem Cohen (the guy who also has worked with us on the graphics for our last 3 records). I'm going to be spending much of the next month in New York with him trying to pare down the overly epic 3 hour version we have now to a more viewer friendly 2 hours. In addition outside of the band I've been doing production and engineering work for a variety of bands including Blonde Redhead, the Cranium, Make Up and Quix-o-tic. Needless to say, I've been a busy bee.
Why did you choose to be in a band?Well I first started playing in bands in the early 80's when I was around 14 years old. At the time the punk scene in Washington DC was really happening, the Bad Brains were playing, the Teen Idles were playing, there was a lot of activity and most of it was being done by really young kinds in their teens. The feeling I had was that I wanted in, I wanted to participate in the moment. Being in a band was the currency of exchange, it was the backdrop of all the hanging out, the shows, the creation of a community which in some form or another has persisted to this day. The first groups I was in were kind of unfocused, more an excuse to go-off than to actually make a statement but by the time I was 17 and had kind of gotten the hang of it I realized what a powerful and cathartic outlet playing music was and how it had become almost biologically necessary for me to express myself in that way. Five bands later, I'm still here.
What effect would you like your music to have on the listener?Quite honestly any effect will do. I am pretty happy if people actually spend their time listening to the albums or coming to the shows. Its like the physical laws of electricity, you've got to have both poles to create any action.
What are your touring plans for 98? We haven't had the opportunity to see you live yet, how does a Fugazi show differ from the records?I guess I kind of already broached this one already but basically the concept is to go on less extensive, more baby friendly tours in sporadic impulses for the next year or so. We really do plan on hitting the UK this fall at some point. In the past we tended to really do pretty full coverage of every nook and cranny of the globe but now we will have to be a bit more efficient in terms of time expenditure and tighten up our geography. As for our live shows, we really consider the stage our true habitat. There we are able to fuck with the songs, stretch parts out and rewrite them in the moment. We never use a setlist so every show is completely different and everyone in the bad has to be ready at any time to play any song from any point in the band's history. Its very much a tight wire concept.
Over the last year you've recorded the Make Up and Blonde Redhead in your basement. What studio set-up have you got and who would you like to record next?The studio set-up we have has kind of morphed over the years. Initially it was a small 8 track operation composed of a bunch of gear Fugazi and our old sound engineer put together. More recently in cahoots with Juan Carrera (ex-Warmers and Slowdime Records Magnate) we expanded the equipment to include a 16 track deck and more outboard junk. Really its not any kind of pro set-up as its in the basement of my old group house but over the years it has served to record a lot of local bands from the Metamatics to Chisel to Make Up to Blonde Redhead. The latest stuff being worked on over there is a Cranium album which will be coming out on Slowdime and which is easily the most ambitious thing ever done at Pirate House, it is like an encyclopedia of manic angles. I'm also doing a Quix-o-tic tape which is Christina from Slant 6's new band (along with her sister Mira and a guy named Brendan). They really are amazing as well. As for future projects, I'm not ambitious with the studio, its really a very utilitarian concept of creating a place where local bands can record for dirt cheap and get their sounds out there.
Who are your favourite British bands of the present and past?Let's see, I like: the Zombies, the Small Faces, the Beatles, the Slits, Discharge, PIL, This Heat, Yummy Fur, Dexy's Midnight Runners, Gang Of Four, the Kinks, Wire, Alternative TV, LKJ. That's just a bunch off the top of my head.
Arpeggiator: have any of the band had any formal musical training?Not really. Well, Brendan did study a bit of theory and piano but it was pretty abbreviated exposure I think. Of course he did come up with that descending scale chord thing that Arpeggiator stemmed from so maybe he's more Mozarty then he let's on.
What was the last book you read?The prison letters of Antonio Gramsci and Don Delilo's "Underworld".
What was the last film you saw?Stephen Fry in "Wilde" and Kiarostami's "Taste Of Cherry" - both were great!
How's the film-making going? (Both the Jem Cohen film and your own Super 8 stuff)As I mentioned earlier we are really close to finishing the Fugazi project. We should have it completely edited by the end of June and the audio mixed in August so by year's end it should be available. We plan to release it as a video through Dischord and also strike a theater print to play on screen. As for my own personal Super 8 stuff, I haven't done anything since the two movies that showed at the ICA in London ("Silly Game" and "Please Cry"). I hope to finish up the trilogy in 16mm with a film tentatively entitled "Essential Oils" but I'm having a hard time scripting it (I have no narrative sense).
What are your views on the internet in general? (vague question)I'm kind of new to the whole thing so I'm going to reserve my opinion for the time being. I don't want to come off as an Amish technophobe.....
You've had considerable influence on loads of bands. Have you ever been namechecked by anyone you despise?I'm too vain to ever be offended by a tip of the hat, no matter how unsavory the tipper. Namecheck away!
Do any of Fugazi play in other bands or is it totally full-time?Fugazi does consume an inordinate amount of time but there have been side projects here and there. For a while Ian recorded in Pailhead. Brendan has played guitar and released records with a band called the All-Scars. Brendan and I have released stuff under the name Black Light Panthers on my own label called Peterbilt Records. I'm sure there are other things here and there but they escape me at the moment.
How many Paul Sky King tapes are there?I honestly have no idea.
Have you heard the rumour that you folks beat-up people who own TVs?That's a new one on me, though of course how could I deny it? Its alot better than the Hepatitis one or the drunk driving/murder one or the one that says we frown on the heating of homes as ethically compromised.
Does Charlie the accountant still dance (and make a spectacle) on stage with you?Nope, though he is featured in our upcoming film in all his glory.
What was playing the Lorton Correctional Facility like (other than playing to a bunch of hardened crims unaccustomed to the Fugazi sound or anything nearing it)?Some footage from this show will also be in our movie. Suffice to say it was a surreal event.
Finally, who's your favourite Simpsons character?To tie a bow on the interview, I'll say my favourite Simpson's character is the gossipy preacher's wife - there is something about the creepy angled cast of her eyes that gets me everytime. She is deeply evil.
Best of luck with the label and gigs - sounds like a positive flurry of activity.

[taken from No Pictures 9]