Incidentally -- I had never heard of Mike Hard's "Thrall" band until I conducted this interview two weeks ago. I now own two of their three albums and LOVE them! So look for Thrall in your local Record Bar/Tracks! Also, I apologize for being so out of touch on the Madrid issue. I'm all caught up now, thanks!
Hey! I was about to call you. Actually, let me call you back so you don't have to pay for it.
That's okay. I've got cheap rates.
Oh okay. Hey! How ya doin'?
Pretty good. Can't complain.
So you're doing a new Teenage Larvae record AND a new God Bullies record?
How come you didn't do much on the last God Bullies record?
"Kill The King"?
Basically, at the time it got started, they started doing it without me.
The initial regrouping of the God Bullies at the time had Tommy Shannon, who had been the guitar player before the very first single. He had been in the band before we recorded anything, and then he recorded on the very first Mad Queen single and that was it. And then they hooked back up with him and then like halfway through or like three-quarters of the way through the recording, for whatever reason, they decided to tell me, "Hey, we're recording! Do you wanna come down and do something?"
I always thought you were one of the larger, more important members of the band!?
I kinda like to have thought so too!
At that time at least, I don't think those people agreed with me.
What's the deal with you getting back together now?
Well basically, Mike Hard and I had talked over the last few years periodically to say, "Hey, we really should get together to do more stuff." Mike and I always did work pretty well together and it was always an idea, and Mike Corso was gonna be moving to Texas, so it was like, "Well shit, if we're gonna do this, it would be easiest to do it now while he's still here." That and the fact that we're coming up to the election and in the middle of the most horrible presidential administration in the history of humankind.
We began basically at the tail end of Reagan and during the first Bush Nazi I presidency. And now basically it's like a rerun of the same shit except with bigger imbeciles in charge, so what better time to do something than now when we've got the absolutely most evil bunch of motherfuckers running things? With the Clinton administration, we didn't have as much to bitch about, so it was really (laughs). There's plenty to be mad about.
Do the lyrics reflect that? The new lyrics?
Yeah. I mean, we don't, I don't think that, you know -
Because I know your original records weren't like, "Reagan sucks!"
Well, there was some of that, but it was always kinda like, we weren't ever like.... Mike's politics - I mean, Mike is basically the lyric guy by and large. I think his sensibilities reflect everybody's in the band in terms of attitude, but Mike's politics -- With Thrall, he was a little more overtly political than God Bullies ever was, but God Bullies was always a very subtle sort of politics, and the attitude of the songs was always exactly counter to whatever the prevailing trend was. So at the tail end of the Reagan administration, when you had Nancy Reagan's "Just Say No" campaign shit and all that kinda crap going on, basically we were all about "Just Say Yes." Whatever they're for, we're against, and whatever they're against, we're for, and that's basically the political stance of it. And it got reflected in cruder ways in that it wasn't as overtly -- I mean, the only time we really got super-political, you know like a song like "Mussolini" - "George Bush, George Bush, George Bush - Kick him in the head/Until he's dead."
Wait! Where would I find that song?
I haven't heard that!
Oh, that was on a "Dope, Guns And Fucking" comp.
It was also on a Glitterhouse EP and I think it was the B side of a single. But it was like the lyrics were always really political, but in a really strange, sarcastic, sorta sideways way. Like, "Oh, Nancy Reagan hates drugs? Well, we're for 'em. Nancy Reagan hates sex? Well, we're for it." And basically it was just contrarianism because anything those people were for, we were against. But I think this one is gonna be more overtly political.
I don't know, saying you're against what they're for. If our current president were to hear "War On Everybody," he might agree with you!
"I like those guys!"
Well actually, Mike has always been really good about, in lyrics with the God Bullies -- I really think a lot of people never caught on to his -
Well, it's hard to hear what he's saying when he uses all those effects on his voice.
That's true. But seeing it live and stuff, he's always adopted a persona. And it's like, okay, yes, that's Mike Hard up there, but he has his buttoned-down suit businessman-with-a-tie persona. He's totally taking the piss and mocking just whole classes of people at once. And some of them are smart enough to figure out that they're being mocked and some of them aren't. So you hear "War On Everybody" and the whole thing - the lyrics of that song are just like totally paranoid rantings. And it's got one of my favorite couplets he ever wrote, which is "We've got a war on drugs, we've got a war on crime/We've got a war going on all the time/We've got a war on me, we've got a war on you/We've got a war on everybody." And that was written in '92. Or '91. It was true then and it's true now. Perpetual war for perpetual peace - that's what the Bushes are all about. I think people kinda saw the fun, goofy aspect of it and totally sidestepped the meaning of what he was writing about.
I don't have any Thrall. What's their best album?
I really like "Chemical Wedding" a lot. I think each one of them has - When I listen to Thrall, I like the music okay and I really liked them live a lot because it was loud and it was high-impact and everything, but musically I wasn't about it so much as I was into the lyrics.
Oh, they didn't sound like the God Bullies much?
They're a little more metal - metalloid - more just straight-up in what I would consider a more straightforward way. I think my musical sensibility and my and Mike Corso's writing sensibilities are more fucked up than the Thrall guys. So we have kind of different ideas.
You do have some weird ideas. It's really hard to describe the God Bullies to somebody who's never heard them. It's sort of like - parts of it seem like hard rock riffs, but you've got all these different effects going on and then the samples come in and it's all kind of buried under this big wash of something. A bunch of echo and things. How would you describe it - what you were trying to do? Or can you?
Actually I didn't think about it so much, and I don't think about it so much when I'm doing it, but in retrospect.... I went a lot of years without playing any of it back, but a couple years ago I dug the albums out and started listening to them a little bit, and I was like, "Wait a minute. I know where that comes from. I know where that comes from."
First of all, the stuff I was listening to and the stuff I still like the best is just a weird variety of stuff. Like I love Adrian Sherwood and Mark Stewart and the Maffia and Pop Group and that whole Anglo-Noise thing. I also love the Ramones. I also love Motorhead. And so it's like okay how can I take everything I like at once and put it into one group? And then I also have all these cool effects that I can slap on. And by the same token, Mike Corso has some really eclectic musical tastes. He's all about obscuro noise bands and just really off-kilter stuff. I think a big reason that he moved to Texas is because it's a place where bands like Three Day Stubble and Crust and the Butthole Surfers and all that came out of. The Butthole Surfers aren't that weird, but you know, Crust and -
They were pretty weird at one time!
Yeah, to a point. But I always thought the Buttholes were a great pop band. Not so much towards the end, but even their first records had these really killer riffs - great rock riffs. They'd just slather a bunch of craziness over it, but you'd still have pretty solid rock. And I just think that the God Bullies' sound was always the sum of some really strange parts. I don't want to bore you with extra stories and stuff, but I'll just tell you because it's important to me: The first time I ever met them, when they existed with Tommy on guitar, I was doing this little thing that was basically me and a drum machine and a bunch of tapes and guitar noises and video recorders, and I got put on a bill with them. I did my shit opening for them, and then I was sitting watching and they came on, and Mike was wearing this mask - I can't remember, I think it was a clown mask - and a big mumu. And they had all these strobe lights and all these blacklights, and he was just rocking back and forth on the floor screaming into a microphone, "I WANT MY MOMMA! I WANT MY MOMMA!" And it was just like, "Oh my God, this is perfect. I have to hook up with these people." Immediately, it was just like - in Corso's fucking bass playing and in Mike's totally fucked-up stage demeanor, and Adam has great rhythm sensibility and Tommy was just always a really strange guitarist who played actually quite similarly to the way I play. And so it was like, "I gotta work with these people." As it turned out, they invited me in to do some stuff and then Tommy quit, and so there it was. And that was like all of eight weeks into the existence of the band or something like that - their band. Not very long. But Mike's -- So anyway, that was a long way around saying for me that it was always a sum of the parts, and there's just some really strange parts in this band. Things you wouldn't think would fit together, but do.
I got into you guys when I saw you at the Masquerade in Atlanta in what I think must have been about '91?
Yeah! With Killing Joke.
No, it was before that, because I never saw Killing Joke live.
Maybe it was '90? It was before "War On Everybody" came out, but you did play a song or two off of it.
Okay, then it would have been '90, I think.
Okay. And I walked up.... I think -- and granted, this was 14 years ago -- but I think you may have been wearing an AmRep hat and an AmRep shirt?
And Mike - whoa. Huge bug eyes, dressed in a nice shirt and pants, rubbing a newspaper against his crotch. Just the creepiest thing. I mean, I had gone to see a band in one of the other rooms play, and ended up staying for the rest of you guys' set, going, "Oh my God! I gotta get something by these guys!" That was a - yeah, he - between the sound of your guitar and his weird persona - I mean he was CREEPY! Not like Marilyn Manson, "Oh, I'm gonna scare you!" Just like -- he acts like a creepy child-molesting just weird normal-looking man.
Yeah, it's always been interesting that way, because I think Mike is the sort of guy who could totally lose himself in what he's doing onstage and totally lose himself in a persona or personae. Have you ever been to Kalamazoo, Michigan?
Well, that's where we started out. And Kalamazoo was like the most fucked-up -- it still is -- but it was REALLY fucked-up then. It was backwoods, redneck, born again Christian, Reagan-loving, commie-hating shithole of a town. And basically what we were doing there was reacting against everything there was around us. It was like, "Okay, how can we piss off people?"
Did you guys grow up there? Or how did you end up there?
Mike Corso and Mike Hard both grew up in that area. I went there for college, and Adam also went there for college. He grew up in Ann Arbor; I grew up in Detroit. I kinda wound up there, and there was this very small circle of people who were doing interesting stuff in that area. But actually it was a really good time to be there, in the late '80s/early '90s, because there was a small but really powerful cool group of people doing stuff. Powerful in terms of artistic stuff. Bands like Spastic Rhythm Tarts, Feline Cow Vengeance, Strange Fruit, ADC -- actually that was more like mid-'80s. Stuff that wasn't even happening anywhere in New York yet - it wasn't happening anywhere else. It was stuff that later on you saw like Japanese people doing, and it became cool five years later. But there was a strange mix of really fucked-up people who couldn't stand anything else in the town. Like we would have our shows picketed sometimes and stuff.
Cool! Just 'cuz of the name of the band?
Because of the name. And just - there was a group of born again Christians who made it their practice to go around and picket rock shows and tell people they were going to Hell, so we were a favorite target of theirs. And it's just a strange, incestuous, fucked-up town, and I think that the personality that Mike has onstage to this day is in large measure a reflection of that. It's just people who live there and run that town magnified a little bit. But they are that creepy, and they are that fucked-up. But he just takes it a little over the top and turns it into an entertaining instrument of oppression. It's a strange-ass place. It had the largest mental hospital in the state of Michigan, and right about the time I moved there was right about the time Reagan cut the funding and let everybody loose on the streets at once. So there was like this guy who'd come up and pray to the clock on the Kalamazoo Mall every day. You'd have all these total maniacs walking around, and then all these born agains, and it's hard to tell the difference between the two.
Yeesh. Have you recorded any of the new record yet?
Oh yeah. We've got basic tracks for like 13 songs. Basically right now it's awaiting - the vocals will come last; right now I'm in the process of putting on guitar overdubs and keyboard overdubs, and then over the next month or so I'm gonna finish up basically and have Mike start doing vocals and however long he needs to do that, we'll do that. We're pretty well along. The basics for all the songs are there.
Does it sound at all like the old God Bullies or have you kinda moved on to new types of music you like or what?
I tell you, being as close to it as I am, it's hard for me to say. But Kevin Rutmanis was here to record the Larvae stuff, and I played him some of it, and he was like, "Wow! This is cool, because you guys are really branching out. I was afraid you were just gonna do like the old stuff again." So I guess in his opinion, we've branched out. So that's cool. I was glad to hear that because I wouldn't want to just put out some stale shit. Yeah, it's gonna be different because first of all, we're all better players than we were several years ago. And also I think we're always - everybody's - I think, there's always been a kind of - at least with me, there's always been a paranoia about repeating myself too much. You know, I just don't want to repeat myself too much. There are some things that are always good, like three-chord riffs are always great, but you always want to put something fresh in there. We get kind of paranoid about that, so I think we're always trying to make sure that there's something new there.
Had you been writing riffs over the past ten years? Or did you just, when you realized you were gonna do a new album, did you start writing?
No, I always make up stuff. I always have stuff lying around. I mean, I have other stuff I've recorded over the last several years too, some of which might surface as the Bullies and some of which might surface as Larvae and some of which might surface nowhere. But there's always ideas for songs. I don't know. Mike Corso did a lot of stuff with a bunch of different people over the last several years - he has a studio in his house and he's always recording with other people - and I can hear where his playing changed a lot. His ideas changed a lot. He came up with some really good stuff this time out. And Adam came up with some really good cool beats and stuff, where he'd just start beating and say, "Okay, here. Do something with this." And we'd be like, "Oh, that doesn't sound like anything we've played before!" It works out good. I know what some of Mike's lyrics are like. I haven't heard all of them. He modifies them up until the last minute. But I like what he's doing too. Really impressive.
Have you had any labels say they'll put it out, or are you gonna do that afterwards?
There's been some discussion with Alternative Tentacles; I don't think that would be stretching anybody's imagination if it came out there. I think that's probably the most likely thing that'll happen. There's been other labels that have expressed interest, but we haven't seriously sat down with anybody and said, "Okay, well...." Whatever. I think it will come down to - okay, we'll get it down and then we'll just see where it lands. But we want it to come out before the election. We gotta get this thing out, you know? We've also talked about doing remixed, remastered versions of the old stuff too - doing a box set or something. Because I was always unhappy with the mastering of all the stuff except for "War On Everybody." The other two just didn't sound anywhere near as good in the final product as they should've.
Which one did you like the mix on?
You just liked "War On Everybody"? Is that the only one you liked the mix on?
The mixing and the recording of the first one was really badly compromised, because we were working with really bad microphones in really adverse circumstances, and then on top of it, the mastering was just shit. I don't know who did it, but they did a terrible job, in my opinion. Tom Hazelmeyer didn't agree with me at the time, which is why it didn't get redone. But I still think, "Aw man. I know what it should have sounded like." I have the multi-track masters here, so I can play it back and hear it for myself. The same with "Dog Show." "Dog Show" was a little bit better, but still it was kinda murky and muffled and not in a good way. "War On Everybody," though it was still plenty lo-fi -- I mean, it was recorded on an 8-track -- but even though it was lo-fi and all that, it just had a lot more clarity and more punch than the other two did sonically. That was closer to what we wanted to do. So I think to have all of them come out with proper mastering would be nice. Just, for one thing, so people can hear what Mike is singing!
That would be nice!
And also we have more technology available to us now. I've got all this digital studio shit here, so I can pump everything in there and get what I want.
Is the new Teenage Larvae gonna be a single or an EP or -
No, it's gonna be an album.
Who's gonna put that out?
Hopefully Ipecac. They've expressed interest, and Mike Patton liked the old stuff and was like, "Yeah, as soon as you get it done, just send it to me." So provided he likes the new stuff, I think that might happen. Which would be nice. It's been a long time coming, but working with Kevin is just a blast. Kevin feels pretty much the same way I do about this stuff, which is like, "Okay, how can we really fuck this up?" You know, like a cover song. One of my favorite things on it so far is, umm -- me and him and Buzz Osborne worked on a version of a Boston song. "Foreplay."
Oh wow! Ha!
Yeah, you can imagine a Boston song with Buzz Osborne on guitar.
Kick ass! Kevin emailed me I guess what was an early mix of the Lee Hazlewood song?
That was pretty crazy. Who is singing that - someone, I guess the first male voice singing - where the words just turn into jibberish or something?
Oh, that's me.
That was hilarious. I can't remember - I just listened to it the one time, and I noticed that the vocals became less and less like words as it went on, and I was like, "What are they doing!?"
It seemed too much like effort to actually sing the words at that point. We had set up in Kevin's living room out in L.A. and I think he was off at Melvins practice when we were doing those vocals. Amanda and I were recording her vocals, then I did mine and it was kinda late at night so I was like, "Well, I can't SHOUT this." So it's like, "Be on top of the mic. Just make noises."
Which one of those records do you think will come out first?
I expect the Bullies one will, because with the Larvae stuff, we've got a couple of things that are still supposed to happen. There are a couple of collaborators who still haven't recorded their parts yet, so we have to get their stuff. Mike Patton is supposed to sing one of the songs, and so is Jello Biafra.
Hopefully, yeah. It looks to be a cavalcade of stars. It'll be full of -
Oooh! Pardon me one moment while I use "Buy It Now" on eBay! Someone is selling "How Long Can You Go." Real cheap!
I didn't even know this existed until tonight. Is it a good single? Are you on this one?
Yeah, we did that with Eric and Tony, and the b-side is I believe -
A version of "Tie A Yellow Ribbon."
This says "Ruby (Desert Storm Mix)."
Yeah, that's the old Kenny Rogers song "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town."
Oh, some asshole bought it about an hour ago. Oh well.
No, it's my own fault. Someone else is selling one; I'll bid on that one.
If I dig up a copy, I'll send you one.
I also own a single they put out that doesn't have you on it.
Yeah, that single sucked.
Well, I was gonna be polite and just not say what it sounded like, but if you're gonna be like that, then yeah! It doesn't really live up to the God Bullies name.
I was really pissed when that one came out actually. Let's just say we weren't all seeing eye to eye.
Was that before or after "Kill The King"?
That was before "Kill The King," I think. I mean, there's been a lot of us in the band. A lot of strong personalities. Sooner or later, when you're travelling around in a van with any three other people.... I'm sure I could drive anybody crazy, and they could certainly drive me crazy. So we definitely had our ups and downs. I didn't like that single!
Ha! Do you like... I mean, what do you think about "Kill The King"? The songs you weren't on?
Some of them I think are genius. I played on -- even the ones I didn't write, I had to play on "Space Kid Zoom," which I think is a fantastic song.
"Space Kid Zoom." And I played on "Hate" and "She's Wild." Oh - "Neighborhood Kid," which I think is just a great anthemic tune - it's a great live tune. I didn't have any hand in writing that or anything, but I really thought - I think that Mike Corso originated that, and Mike always has had a gift for coming up with really excellent little hooks that just grab you. That to me is a great tune. There's other parts of the album I don't like as much.
Like the eight-minute thing about the prostitute dying?
Oh, about Courtney Love?
Well, it doesn't bear up well on repeated listenings.
Yeah! First listen it was cool, I thought!
It's one of those things that should just be a free MP3 somewhere and never should have been on a record, but of course back then there was no MP3s. But anyway, it's a good slam at Courtney, which I approve of.
God, did you read this news story today about her?
No, what's up with her now?
She just flaked out in court! She showed up late, and then just acted like an idiot in court.
Like, "Oh, I've got the pills on me right now!" And at one point she said to her lawyer, "You're fired," and the judge said, "That's enough of that," so she turned to him and said, "You're hired." Weird. Go into court drugged up; that's real bright.
I tell you what: I hate that woman with a passion. I loathe her completely. And it has nothing to do with her shitty music or her shitty persona, but just the things she's done to human beings that I've known.
Kristen Pfaff, who was a friend of mine. I hold Courtney responsible for that.
I met her when she was trying to decide whether to leave, uh - it was Janitor Joe she was in, right?
Yeah, she was in Janitor Joe and she was also in a band with me called Hood. And one night at the Ace Bar in St. Paul, me and Ezra Gray and Tony Oliveri and Kristen were sitting around, and she was mulling whether she should quit. And she asked me, "Should I go up to Seattle?" To my undying regret, I will always -- not that it, I know that this didn't make the decision for her, but I said, "Yeah, man. Go for it! What the hell? There's a good chance you might make some money, get famous or whatever. Do it, you know? If you feel it, do it. Whatever. More power to ya." Then she went and did it, but I had no idea of course that she would go and do the stupid shit she did when she got there, trying to emulate the evil Ms. Love, and the results are what they are. And it was a waste of an incredibly talented, incredibly bright and incredibly nice young lady.
I remember when they were on tour with the Cows, and she was trying to decide whether to leave or not, and her bandmates were telling her to go for it, but she felt guilty.
We played odd bills with Hole several times in L.A. and Germany and Kalamazoo, and every time they were around -- part of the reason, I was gonna say, in that song on the "Kill The King" album, everything said on there is a quote straight out of Courtney Love's fuckin' mouth. "When I'm in trouble, I just whore my way out," etc. Verbatim. My introduction to her was when me and my girlfriend at the time walked backstage to the dressing room we were sharing, and she whipped a bottle at the wall and a chunk of glass went into my girlfriend's eye. And I thought, "This is not a good way to meet somebody." And my impression only got lower from there. And when Kristen died, it just got real personal. She wouldn't remember me in a million years now, but I remember her. And every time I read about something shitty happening to her, I'm very happy about it. I'm vindictive that way.
I interviewed John Doe from X a few months ago - it was right, I guess, when she lost her kid or whatever. When they took her kid away. And he said, "Boy, she's kinda digging her own grave." And I said, "Yeah," and he said, "You know, I'd feel sorry for her if she weren't so...evil!" Have you ever seen that movie Kurt & Courtney?
Oh man. The fact that someone like that has gotten that high in the entertainment business just for marrying somebody -
And stealing ideas from people. I mean, Hole Incarnation I, way back in the "Pretty On The Inside" days, as far as I was concerned was a ripoff straight from Babes In Toyland - everything that Kat Bjelland, Lori Barbero and Michelle Leon were doing, which in fact Courtney had been involved with in Minneapolis before she basically bailed out of a business deal she had going with Lori Barbero and fucked her over big time. Then she moved to Seattle and basically copied the same schtick that she hadn't even made up. And then from there on, she stole from other people.
There were hits off of - I guess it was the second album. It wasn't like she was influenced by Kurt Cobain; you could tell that he wrote the songs.
Yeah. Oh, yeah.
"Someday you will ache" - that one. The "I am doll parts" and the - there was one other one. They were obviously Kurt Cobain's songs, and people were saying, "Oh, she's really a great songwriter now!" And I was like, "You've gotta be kidding!"
I was like, "Okay, let's see how she does on her own - EVER." Let's see Courtney go into a room and come out six months later with anything even remotely tuneful or remotely decent. I would love to see it happen. Because as far as I can tell, everything I've ever heard her do is either straight-up derivative, straight-up boring or straight-up stolen. That's my take on it. I dont know; I'm getting awful harsh here, I guess.
No, you should be. She's not a real nice person.
No, she's fuckin' evil. And I guess, again, a lot of it goes back to Kristen. That to me was really unforgivable. I mean, I can forgive a lot of people for being assholes, but for reasons I probably can't talk about without being sued, I hold her directly responsible.
Do you have any idea why Kristen got into that? Was she just trying to fit in? Was she the kind of person who would feel like she had to fit in?
I think that she was starstruck, which made her suggestible. But I think she was quite actively goaded to go in a certain direction by certain people. Like when you sign up to be an accountant at a big accounting firm, you're expected to fit into the corporation in ways that aren't necessarily written into your terms of employment. And I rather suspect that she encountered something like, "Well, if you're not one of us, then we're not gonna keep you around" kinda thing. Some other people that she had seen have had the sense to get the fuck out of Courtney's orbit while the getting's good, but some people don't have enough sense and unfortunately it costs them a lot more.
How did you get involved with Kevin? I have a feeling there was a Cows/God Bullies tour or something?
Yeah. Very early. Before we were ever signed to AmRep, when Cows and God Bullies were talking about being signed to AmRep, before the first albums came out. Well, their second album - their first album came out on Treehouse. They were coming to Kalamazoo, and I was at that time writing for a local daily, kinda music criticism stuff. Pete Davis called me up and he was like, "Hi, I've got this band coming to town. Maybe you could invite them over and give them a place to crash." And I was like, "Sure." They came down, and I'd heard a lot about them beforehand, but their show just totally blew me away. And then they came back to my house and hung out, and we immediately became excellent friends. We got invited on three tours with the Cows, where we'd switch off - basically alternate who would play last. And either way it was always a treat, because you had either Mike Hard or Shannon Selberg up there scaring the shit out of the locals.
Yeah, Shannon's a scary guy too.
He's great. He's genius. I like Heroine Sheiks a lot too.
Yeah, me too, although he doesn't seem to - I mean it's not his fault, but boy the band members are coming and going left and right.
I missed their last tour here because I was out of town, and I had known that there had been some changes and I was really sad because I'd seen them the time before and it was fuckin' great.
Yeah, I think I've only seen them twice, and between those two, I think there was only one member difference. Now, I don't think anyone is in the band anymore that was in it when I saw them.
I know the Swans guy left, the guitarist. And the drummer had to leave - he got hurt or something. But yeah - did you see them when they had the big keyboardist with the beard? Big country-looking guy with a hat, bouncing back and forth?
I think he's gone. The bassist when I saw them is gone.
Actually, the big keyboard player might still be in, but the other guys aren't, unless they rejoined. It's really sad, but I know he plays a big part in their songwriting, so I can't imagine their songwriting is gonna be any worse.
I'm sure wherever Shannon lives, he'll find something creative to do. He attracts creative people around him too. I mean, Cows for me were always like this amazing amalgam - Tony of course played with us after having been in the Cows. But that first - I never did see them with Sandris Rutmanis.
Never did see what?
See them with Sandris Rutmanis playing drums. I didn't see them until Tony had joined. And after that of course Norm and umm.... Uhh... Oh God....
Yeah. But to me it was always - Thor has this tornado of guitar noise that swirls around everything, and Kevin's bass was like some sort of sick boa constrictor.
Especially when he used the slide.
Yep. And of course Shannon, you know - it's like "What the fuck!?"
I don't know who was playing drums the first time I saw them - it was "Peacetika."
Probably Tony still.
But Norm and Freddy were both pretty amazing drummers.
They were my favorite band for a long time.
Their albums - when they started getting Iain Burgess to produce, the guitars were so loud! Sexy Pee Story and the one before that. I wasn't all that wild about the ones that Mac produced, but - I mean, I liked the songs but....
The first God Bullies album and the first Cows album were both recorded in the same horrible circumstances, and I've always felt bad about the way that Cows album sounds.
The thing is - I never knew that that's not what you - I thought that's what you wanted the God Bullies albums to sound like. That's one of the things I always thought was so strange - was that the mix was so odd.
Well, some of it is. I mean, the mix is definitely odd. But there's this odd muffled factor that kind of - I guess it's maybe me being anal about stuff, but there's noise I like and noise I don't. And it's just like, "Okay, yeah it's cool, but it was so much cooler on the master." Like the sound was just so much more distorted and the dynamics were so much wider. 'Cause the production, the mixing, I like to run things in the red and I like them to come out really damaged, and that stuff came out muted.
Yeah. Well, not knowing what it was supposed to sound like, knowing only what it sounds like, I like what it sounds like, but I guess if I heard what it was supposed to sound like, I would probably understand.
I was talking to Kevin about that when I was out in L.A. because I've got all the masters for that Cows album here too. Sooner or later, I'd like to get around to - even if it never comes out anywhere - just mixing it so -
Wait! What are you doing with the masters of that?
Why do you have the masters of that?
Oh. I recorded that first one. That first AmRep one.
And Mac and I co-mixed it. The mix on that was really fucked up because for some reason somebody decided we had to mix it down to videotape. I don't know whose idea that was. And they mixed it to videotape, like some Beta digital thing, but that came out all bastardized and it didn't work, so we had to totally remix it in the space of like four hours.
Literally. Before I had to leave for Texas. So like at 7:20 we started remixing and we finished by 11; then I had to drive to Texas. So I always felt that they got really screwed. I felt really bad.
Was that "Daddy Has A Tail"? That one?
Okay. What's the new Teenage Larvae - is it all covers? Or is it split like the other ones between covers and originals?
Oh, there are some covers in there, but there's a lot of original stuff. The original stuff - some of it sounds like fucked, some of it doesn't. Some of it is like massive tape fuckery. There's a couple kinda fun country damage anthem type songs, and then there's a bunch of noise tapes and things. There's a Lee Hazlewood song and we've tossed around the idea of doing a Poppy Family song.
Which one? What song?
It's a choice - we've narrowed it down to three. "Someone Must Have Jumped" is a possibility. "Where Evil Grows" is another possibility. And "There's No Blood In Bone."
The only reason I bought an album -- I bet you can guess the only reason I bought an album by them.
Heh heh. Uh, "Which Way You Goin', Billy?"
Yep! Yep, yep. Good album though! Those guys are stranger than I would have guessed.
Oh, they're totally wacked. And Terry Jacks has written some really fucked-up shit. He was always a really interesting guy. He got famous for that "Seasons In The Sun," which was just a bad Jacques Brel song. But his own stuff was just so morbid. Weird. It was like this goth psychedelia before there was a name for goth, in terms of that black lyrical sensibility about it. Always about people killing themselves or whatever the hell else. There's nothing happy in there anywhere. I always thought that he was woefully underrated.
Is he still alive?
Yeah, he is. I know that Susan Jacks has done a few solo things, and I know he's put out a couple solo things, but I don't think he's done much in the last few years. The last I heard, he was playing benefit shows to preserve the ecosystem or something like that, but not doing any recording. It would be kinda nice if he were to resurface somewhere along the line. I'm sure he's got some new ideas, and it'd be weird to hear the old guy doing that kind of stuff now.
Oh! I definitely didn't want to forget to mention this. Your Flintstones thing in that Melvins book is soooooooooooo funny.
Oh, I'm sorry - I couldn't hear you. What?
That was you, right? That did the Flintstones thing in the Melvins thing?
I didn't know that when I read it. There was a lot of good writing in that book, but that one I was reading on the way to the subway and I had to stop because I was laughing out loud. It's so ridiculous! I'm guessing that's based on uhh...uhh...uhh...those old, uh.... I forgot the term now! Er, um, absurd? Theatre of the Absurd? Or is it just like nihilist? What's it based on?
Well, I always liked that kind of stuff. But Kevin said, "Hey, we're gonna do this book. You wanna email me something to go in it?" "Well, what do you want?" "I don't know. Just write anything." I was like, "Okay, I'll write ANYTHING." I think I wrote that more or less in one shot in the body of the email. Then I looked at it and thought, "Well, that's not enough," so I wrote that little poem and I sent that off. And it was like, "Okay." And I was under the impression that this was just like a booklet that's gonna come with a CD, or a Xeroxed thing. I had no idea it was gonna be a big coffee table book. But they seemed to like it, so cool.
It's a good book. With some of the weirdest artwork I've seen in a long time.
It's a piece of genius. When I was out there, Buzz showed me the proof and I was just like, "Oh my fucking God. This is glorious."
Why did it occur to him to do that? Because his wife is an artist?
I don't know. They're always looking for something weird to do. It's like, "Oh, we can't." "Oh. Well, we will." "Well, what will go in it?" "Well, we don't know. We'll ask our friends!"
I was thrilled to see that they pulled a bunch of quotes from my web site for the "Critics" section in the back.
Yeah. It was like, "Hey! I recognize that!"
I don't have a copy yet, so I've only gotten a chance to skim it.
Oh. Man, it's good.
I'm dying to actually have it in my hands.
It's not often I run across even one writer whose stuff I enjoy. There are so many good writers in this thing. Really witty people who write well. And the art is really incredible. A bunch of funny photos too.
You know, I really hope that that book gets noticed by the sort of people it should be noticed by. Not that the hip alt literati will latch onto it or anything, but I would love to see like that fucker who writes, umm.... Greil Marcus. I would love to say, "Okay, what do you think of this? I've heard enough blather from you people about post-modernism yadda yadda yadda for so fucking long and it's clear that you don't know what the fuck you're talking about. How do you handle people who have really good, really fresh-ass ideas and combine it all together into this monstrous fucking tome?" I would just love to say, "Okay, dissect this. Go ahead. Try and dissect this." I think those guys are geniuses.
Yeah. I agree with that.
That's the kind of band that excites me. I don't know - the whole idea of a band having such weird ideas. With bands I've been in, it's always been kinda like flying by the seat of your pants kinda shit. Half-assed in a lot of ways. But they seem to be incredibly gifted at just coming up with, taking an idea, taking it out and examining it from like 30 different angles and then spitting it out in the absolutely best way it could be done. Like they could have gotten any goofyass person to sing "Smells Like Teen Spirit," but they got Leif Garrett. You know? How genius is that? You couldn't do a better, wittier repudiation of that whole dufus grunge rock vibe than to have Leif Garrett sing on it.
I just love how willing they are to - I mean, when you buy a Melvins album, you never really know what you're getting.
The first couple of albums you could tell what you were getting, but boy they really took a lot of left turns and kept taking them these last 10-15 years or so.
Always something fresh. I had always liked them, but I hadn't paid anywhere near as much close attention as I should've until after Kevin joined. Because of course he's my friend and stuff. But then I really started taking close heed to what was going on there, and I was like, "Wow!" It just really gelled in an interesting way. And I think he adds a lot to them too; he has all those weirdass toys onstage - the dolls and the fire alarms and all that. It adds this kind of out-of-left-field dada element to everything. It's just like added energy.
I was a little - not bothered - but I was kinda like, "Ah, it's too bad that the bass isn't as important in this band as it was in the Cows, because he had such a big part in the Cows." And then I was talking to Kevin when I interviewed him like a year ago, and he was talking about all the bass stuff he did on "Hostile Ambient Takeover." And I went, "Really? I didn't really notice it much." And he said, "Listen again. All the stuff that sounds like guitar is bass." And I listened again and -- he's right! It's just that there's a ton of distorted bass stuff going on that I thought was guitar!
Isn't that cool?
Yes it is.
He sent me some - When we started talking about, well we'd been talking about recording as Teenage Larvae again for a long time, and finally he was like, "I'm just gonna send you some CDs of some noises and stuff on bass, and you can use what you like and don't use what you don't and turn some into songs and whatever." And he sent me these little things he'd recorded at his house, and it's like, "Wow, that's a bass!? What the fuck is that?" I swear he's a totally frustrated multi-instrumentalist. I mean, he could be - obviously he could do other stuff if he wanted to, but he's just hellbent on getting the most out of that instrument he can. Which is pretty cool.
Yeah. I hope he sticks it out. It seems like every other bassist kind of -
Well, it seems to gel so well, I can't see why it wouldn't. They all seem happy with the directions in which they're going, which is nice. I'm glad there was - well, there's a couple worthwhile outlets for what he does. Obviously post-Cows - I like Tomahawk a lot too, but I'm really happy the Melvins thing happened. That does put it all to very good use. He wouldn't fit into just another alt-punk band anywhere, you know?
Yeah. Yeah, that's a good point! If you try to think about him trying to form another band - like a NEW band - the people with him would probably think they had to do something crazy and weird to keep up with Kevin. But he's playing with people who are ALREADY crazy and weird, so it's not like they have to change a thing. Nor does he, really.
Well, that was the nice thing about the Cows. It's like this - and all the best bands form like this - where you just wind up absolutely... because the person who answers the ad or the person who shows up just happens to be somebody who has a really unique signature individual style. And somehow it manages to dovetail and you get four people like that. And obviously it doesn't happen 99% of the time, which is why most bands suck. But then when it DOES, it's just like.... And it was so awful; I was so heartbroken when the Cows broke up because I was like, "Wow, where's there gonna be another one of those?"
Yeah, I know.
And happily, for me at least, he's found a new band like that.
Do you think the God Bullies are gonna tour? Will you have time?
I think we'll do some stuff. It's gonna be kind of interesting because Mike Corso's down in Texas, and he's already said he'd be willing to come out and tour. So I expect that we'll do predominantly short trips to places like maybe long weekends or a weekend rather than four or six weeks at a stretch. Because Mike Hard has a family, and I've got my business stuff.
What do you do? PR?
Yeah. I basically own a company called Orwell Media, which is basically guerilla marketing/PR stuff.
Oh okay. PR is what I do. I don't do guerilla marketing, but I just do -
Oh, do you?
Yeah. Yeah. I'm one of them flacks! Oh yeah!!!! Writing the press releases and lying, lying, lying!
Nah, I haven't had to lie. As far as I know, I haven't had to lie.
Oh, I've worked for some creeps and I've had to lie a few times.
Like who? Well, you don't have to tell me who.
You know the type. Well, I'll tell you one. I used to work for Deloitte and Touche. I was working for them in a PR capacity, and they are the most evil fucking company in the world basically. I hate them too. But you know, I don't know, you might have heard of it -- I did this thing called Babes Against Bush.
What against Bush?
Babes Against Bush.
What was it.
Basically we came up with the idea last Fall to do a pinup calendar against George Bush.
And it took off like a motherfucker, and we got press coverage on four continents, got two different German TV crews flown over to interview us. I got on Hannity and Colmes, and I got to call Sean Hannity a crackhead and a liar on national TV, which pleased me to no end.
Really!? How did he react?
Oh, he was all flustered and mad. I got 1200 hatemails in 24 hours.
Oh, come on!
I hope you have it on video.
"All over America, we follow Sean Hannity. He's a great human being; you're nothin' but a commie little faggot duh duh duh" 1200 times. It was like, "Man, I struck a nerve here. Not bad!"
You should put that out as a book - all those emails!
It was fuckin' awesome. People from the Republican National Committee would be called up to comment on it in press conferences, and it was just like totally they had their noses rubbed in it, which just made me so happy. I mean, it was a goofyass idea, it was a dumbass idea - a pinup calendar with girls against Bush - but naturally, the media loves novelty and that's what I kinda bank on with this kinda shit.
I know it's increasingly hard to trust any politician, but from what you can tell, can Kerry be trusted? I know at one point he could, because he was like an activist and stuff.
I think more than George and at this point, all we can do is hope to get rid of George, however it has to be done. Getting John Ashcroft out, getting fucking Donald Rumsfeld out - right now we've basically got Nazis running the country, in a very literal sense. I mean, I don't think it's any exaggeration to say that. Their attitude towards the underclass and other religions, other nationalities, is nothing short of genocidal, as far as I'm concerned. We basically wasted God knows how many thousands of people in Iraq for no apparent reason. And given half a chance, they'd be happy to repeat the same exercise in Syria, in Libya or wherever. Add I think it's just evil incarnate.
There was actually an AP story today about how apparently -- it says, "The majority of people living in Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan and Turkey say they believe the U.S. is conducting its 'Campaign Against Terror' to control Mideast oil and to dominate the world."
And they're absolutely right. That is what it is. And there is no arguing away from it. If you step slightly outside the - if you just logically step back from any of their assertions and try to deconstruct it from a logical standpoint, "Okay, what is the logical basis for doing what you've done?" Is there any other logical underpinning other than to basically get control of natural resources and to basically hijack political power from the rest of the world for the sake of it? I mean, this whole thing about mercenaries in Zimbabwe is just the most fascinating story, and it's absolutely underreported here.
I haven't heard about it.
Oh. Well, basically the Zimbabweans grounded this plane and found that it was armed with mercenaries who were on their way to - what other country... I'm trying to remember -
They were basically hired guns on their way over to this other country to overthrow the government.
No. Some country in Africa that happens to be the third largest oil producer in Africa.
Wait, there's more! It turns out that the guy they were meeting there was a former member of the British MI5 and an FAS operative, and the Zimbabweans also tied him in to the CIA. The plane they were flying was chartered under Kansas and they were all South Africans. So do the math. Why the fuck is an MI5 guy getting a bunch of South Africans to fly a Kansas-chartered plane over to this oil-rich country and knock off the government?
Have you read "Lies My Teacher Told Me"?
That book? Well, I'm always reading these Feral House books and Disinformation books and things. This one though is actually written by a history teacher, and it's about why history textbooks are so terrible, and the things they lie about and don't tell. So most of it's about Columbus and the civil rights movement and all that stuff, but then it starts talking about the government. And the guy actually - this isn't a conspiracy theorist guy - the guy actually lists off seven or eight different occasions when an American, or excuse me, a multinational corporation either started a war by going to the President to complain about somebody fooling around with the resources somewhere, or they went to the government to complain about a leader who they were afraid were - like a Communist leader who didn't want to give them a deal on oil. And that's why we went in every time, because of corporations going to our government. And this isn't a conspiracy theorist saying this! It's really creepy. I had no idea about that.
Oh, it's totally true. Right now it's happening in Venezuela with Hugo Chavez - that whole campaign to destabilize him. There was an article in The Guardian a couple of days ago tracing the money back - no, pardon me, The Independent, a British newspaper - tracing the money back from these supposed opposition to Hugo Chavez demanding this recall election, and they've been funded to the tune of like 5 million dollars by the United States Congress. So you've got the United States Congress - an agency called "Something Something Democracy Project" - it's got like a four-letter acronym. Their charter is basically "to promote democracy in other parts of the world," which sounds all innocuous and shit, but basically what they're doing is funding political opposition groups to anybody who might be considered slightly Socialist. And in the case of Hugo Chavez, they're basically hiring people to run riots for them, to start riots for them, to run petition drives for them, to give lots of media exposure talking about how evil Hugo Chavez is, because he wants to redistribute wealth to poor party. And it's the same thing that just happened in Haiti. And the Royal Dutch/Shell/Standard Oil of California, which is now basically Amoco, I think - it's the same corporation - all have deep, deep ties in Venezuela and the oil situation there. They invaded Chile back in the '70s and booted the motherfucker out, but basically these companies go in and pump out as much as they want, not paying a dime to the Venezuelans.
So all these wars over natural resources - are they done in the name of making sure that the U.S. is on top of the world? Or are they done in the name of specific corporations?
Well, some of both, I think. But I mean, Halliburton for instance obviously had some wildly disproportionate influence upon the direction of current U.S. policy, just based on the person they've got in the Vice-Presidency. Who benefits from all the stuff that's happened? Halliburton does. Who's rebuilding Iraq to the tune of ten billion dollars of government contracts? Halliburton does.
Yeah, somebody a while back - I guess they'd heard it probably on Fox News or something - they were arguing to me, "Well, you know, I've heard that there aren't very many companies that could handle this. And Halliburton was shown to be the best one for rebuilding Iraq." And I just responded, "Well - the only reason we went in in the first place is so they'd have something to rebuild!"
It's not like - I mean, don't put your chicken before your egg here!
It's like any product. If you want to sell grommets, you have to create a demand for grommets. Somewhere way back in history, somebody decided, "Oh, we have to invent this. People stink too much! We have to convince them all that they stink too much, and we'll invent anti-perspirant and then we'll make them feel unconfident about themselves unless they buy the shit." It was -- you created the idea for the product, and then you created the demand.
That's what "Stinkfoot" is about!
Yeah. And it's the same thing with fast food, it's the same thing with anything you want to name. It's the oldest trick in the marketing book. If you've only got commodity X and you want to get rich, you have to figure out who you can sell commodity X to, and if nobody wants commodity X, you've got to make them want it. And that's why we have advertising. By the same token, if all you've got is a company that rebuilds after wars, then you damn well better have some wars. If all you've got is a company that makes missiles, you damn well better use some. And that's why Raytheon and Halliburton and Mcdonald Douglas and Lockheed Martin and Boeing and all these other motherfuckers make out like bandits every time we have police actions or peacekeeping missions or regime changes. That is the end goal - to enrich those people and thereby enrich the existing power structure. I hate to get all Marxist on you, but it seems to me absolutely transparent. All you have to do is see who benefits from these things. Well, it certainly isn't me and it certainly isn't you and it certainly isn't the Iraqis. Who's benefiting? Well, only one class of people is benefiting. Not the soldiers. They wouldn't be doing it without a reason, you know? And that reason is money. And power. I could go on about this for hours. I'm sorry; I'm probably boring you.
No, you're not boring me, because this is one of the things that I'm most interested in. I really didn't follow politics even at all a tiny bit until 9/11. You know, being a New Yorker and going through it and dealing with it, and then just seeing his reaction to it, and following everything since then. It's been a horrifying awakening for me as someone who never followed politics to realize exactly how horrifically evil these people are.
It is shocking, and you get to the point where you just think you can't be surprised anymore, and along comes something that totally surprises you. I mean, way back -
I wanna tell you what surprised me recently though! Can I tell you that real quick?
How come nobody is complaining - or does this happen every time - okay, we've got all these things going on, people dying and this and that, all kinds of things - and now Kerry is gonna run for president, right? I read in the newspaper that Bush's people are saying, "Oh yeah! Bush is 100% focused on re-election! Oh, he's got things planned; oh, he's so excited. Da da da...." It's in NINE MONTHS!
Shouldn't he be like kinda trying to concentrate on his job?
Yeah, like run the country?
Maybe actually DO something good so he'll get re-elected? Instead of saying, "Kerry's not gonna be hard on Homeland Security! And look at my ads! Look at the strong leadership I've provided since I completely failed to protect our borders from the worst attack in American history!"
Well, check out what the Spanish did. I'm so proud of Spain right now. Because they had the train bombing and the government tried to blame it on ETA and it immediately became obvious that it was Al-Queda, and the Spanish said, "Fuck you. You got us into this -- YOU caused this." I was so pleased and so proud to see democracy working in a way that it doesn't work here.
I saw that there was a march. What did they do?
Basically they booted out the Conservative party, and now the Socialists are saying -- it was on the front page of the USA Today; it was fuckin' beautiful. It had "Spanish Government to Quit Iraq." And then below it, it says, "New Leader Calls Iraqi Invasion/Occupation 'Disaster.'" Right above the fold in the USA Today, a world leader calling it a disaster.
Wow! I can't believe USA Today ran that!
Did they run it to make him look bad? Was the story about him being no good?
No, actually - I didn't read the whole story. I just read the part that was on the front page because I never buy the damn thing; I just read it as I was walking by. And it was just basically a verbatim account of what he said. Now here in Detroit, the spin is completely different in the similarly-owned Gannett newspaper the Detroit News, which had a headline something to the effect that "Spanish Socialist Election Victory in Spain Likely to Embolden Terrorists," with a subtitle about how terrorists are likely to feel encouraged by the fact that they were able to "influence a Western election." i.e. tried to diss it by saying, "Oh, those stupid Spanish; they played right into Al-Queda's hands. They didn't stand firm against terrorism." And it's like, well no. It was not a terrorist-influenced election; there's a tail-wagging-dog thing here. Basically their government was held to account. People were alert enough to realize that their government had gotten them into that fucking mess and gotten those 200 people killed. And of course the Detroit News turned it right on its head and made it exactly the opposite of what it in fact is, which is actually something I'm gonna write an article about tonight. I came home after reading that, just sickened.
I don't really know anything about - I mean why is Al-Queda pissed off at Spain? Is Spain helping us in Iraq or something?
Basically yeah. They sent troops to Iraq to help in the war. They, the British, the Italians and us are the four countries on Al-Queda's shit list right now.
Ay yi yi.
The Italians contributed about 200 people, the Spanish contributed like 2000, the British contributed like 10,000 and there's 200,000 of our guys over there. So basically this was payback for Spain for supporting the illegal attack on Iraq.
Is the new government gonna bring the guys home?
Yeah. They're saying that either the situation in Iraq gets turned over to U.N. control only by July 1st or else they are calling their people back home, which is beautiful.
But aren't you concerned that if they're not with us, they're with the terrorists?
Oh, okay. Wanted to make sure.
That's Ari Fleischer's line.
I know. Hey, why did he quit?
I would hope it's because he sensed that he was on a sinking ship. I mean, it was a good time to get out, because I would not want to be the person in charge of damage control for George Bush over the course of the next several months. We're stuck in a bunch of wars we can't get out of -- we're stuck in Haiti now, we're stuck in Afghanistan, we're stuck in Iraq, and if things go any further South, we may get stuck in Venezuela too. It's a horrible time to be on Bush's side. Thank God. It reminds me of the old aphorism, "Give them enough rope and they'll hang themselves." Basically I think that's what's happened with this administration. They got too overconfident and they basically did all this shit, and now the chickens are coming home to roost.
Do you think it will make much of a difference if he - you know, everyone's saying, "Oh, he's waiting to catch Osama Bin Laden until right before his election." Do you think that would actually help him, considering everything else that's going bad? The economy and -
It all depends on how much control he has over the media. The media sorta dictates what people think here. But the good thing is that they caught Saddam and nobody gave a fuck.
After a week, it was like, "Oh, you caught Saddam? So what?"
That's true! I forgot about that! Ha.
It was supposed to be his big moment of triumph, and it turned out to be just another yawn. So that's kinda the nice thing. It's like six months ago, people thought George Bush was completely fucking invulnerable, and the only thing that gave people any hope was Howard Dean. And Howard Dean was great; I loved Howard Dean. Everyone thought, "Oh, George Bush is gonna win re-election in a walk." And the only reason they thought that is because the media kept telling them that. But then Howard Dean came up and started screaming. Al Franken came up and started screaming. Michael Moore came up and started screaming, with that "Dude, Where's My Country? book. And just based on like the calendar thing I told you about -- the thing that I learned from doing that is that people were just waiting for permission to laugh at this guy. And as soon as people started making fun of him - it's like The Emperor's New Clothes - all of a sudden, EVERYBODY was making fun of him. Now even Howard Stern has turned on him. And when you're being laughed at by a buffoon like Howard Stern.... When even Howard Stern can see through your shit - and he's the thickest son of a bitch on the face of the Earth - than you're in a lot of trouble. And once you've lost credibility, you don't get it back very easily. George Bush went from being invulnerable to being a laughingstock in a lot of peoples' eyes, and that is amazing. And that's what gives me the most hope. Because six months ago, nobody would dare criticize a damn thing he did. And now all of a sudden, people are doing - you know, like that USA Today headline I talked about. Could you hang on one second?
(*hangs on one second*)
Sorry about that.
I should let you go, I suppose.
No, it's no big thing. She's up all night, as am I. Sorry for the interruption.
That's alright. We were on Bush being a laughingstock - oh, I was just gonna ask you.... Not that I necessarily think this is gonna have much influence, but why do you think Nader - I mean why?
I think he's the best friend the Republicans have ever had.
Why is he doing it? Is he just an egoist or what?
You know, I can't decide. I mean, I'm sure he's very good at convincing himself that he's doing it for reasons of pure principle. You know, that he wants to bring the left back to its roots of supporting the working man and all that shit, which I think is admirable and would be admirable in any other year. However, we've got a bigger problem now. We've GOT to get Bush out of there. Everyone has told him so, yet he refuses to drop out, so.... I voted for Nader last time and I've been mad at myself ever since. Because obviously we got what we got. No one knew it would be as bad as it is, but I didn't like him from the beginning.
I really didn't know much about Bush, and I've read since that nobody knew much about him - that that campaign wasn't a whole lot about politics.
Well, there's a wonderful book by a guy named Kevin Phillips called "Dynasty." Check it out if you get a chance; it just came out about two months ago. This guy used to be years ago a Republican strategist, so he's not like a raving liberal by any means. But basically what he does is he goes back and he tracks the Bush family and where it got its money and where it got its power and all this shit it did in Texas and all this shit it did during the Dad's administration and all its ties to the Nazis during World War II, and basically they've been in bed with every fucking evil bunch of motherfuckers and power brokers you could imagine for the last hundred years. Basically getting support from Nazi Germany, basically totally tied into the Saudi Arabian government, which is a big reason that despite the fact that something like 13 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, we didn't do shit to them. By rights we should have invaded Saudi Arabia at the same time as we did Afghanistan, but we didn't. They were tied in to the Bin Ladens. They were doing oil deals with the Bin Laden family for years and years and years. And basically they've been masters for decades at hiding their tracks and hiding their money and hiding where their power bases are, hiding their supporters, and it's astonishing. They're an astonishing group of people. Back when Bush Sr. was running for president - was he running for re-election or was it right after Reagan, I can't remember - he was running for re-election. There was a guy named John Stockwell who had been in exile and living in Europe for many years. He had worked for George Bush Sr. in Angola when George Bush Sr. was Angola's station chief for the CIA, basically overseeing some of the most horrific genocides in Africa. And he came back doing this "Anybody But Bush" campaign and he went on the lecture circuit and just lectured about George Bush Sr. and all the evil shit he had done so that a bunch of corporations could benefit in Angola, and why he shouldn't be re-elected president. The guy was amazing, and this was like 14-15 years ago. Basically nobody listened, but 15 years later, everybody is now coming out with the exact same stuff that Stockwell was saying years ago.
I did get "Fortunate Son" - that book?
I haven't read it yet. My wife read it and said it was pretty amazing. She kept looking up at me and going, "He never did anything! He had everything done for him his entire life!"
And then when he did try to do something, he was a failure. I mean, how bad do you have to be to run a major league baseball team almost into the ground? You've gotta really suck if you can't manage a baseball team.
I should actually get off the phone now.
I know I didn't need to tell you all that, but as you can tell, I like to talk about politics.
No, that's good. It's important stuff and it's killing a lot of people.
Well, if you want to do me a favor, check out another site I'm doing called Voter538.com. It's a site we're just starting up, and basically Bush won by 537 votes. So Voter538 is the person who's gonna kick him out on his ass. So basically that's what the site is all about. I'm trying to get some props going for that; this is the next propaganda push we're doing. Check it out and if you like it, drop in a mention of it.
Okay, I will.
I appreciate your interest in the God Bullies and all this shit. It was nice talking to you.
It was good talking to you too. If I could email you some time...
Oh absolutely. Let me know when this is going to appear too. I'd be curious to see it.
Thanks again for all your time. And I'm looking forward to both of your new records!
Well, thanks. Hopefully they won't suck.
And Mr Livingstone if you are reading this, can you PLEASE try to re-issue Daddy has a tail and have it remixed? that would be awesome! Cant wait to hear some new God Bullies , and Teenage Larvae !!!
I forgot what a strident anti-American Livingstone was from back in the day when I was producing the God Bullies merchandising. But of course what he left out of the equation was the fact that Tom Hazelmyer and everyone at Amrep including myself were and are conservatives and we all vote Republican. And we didn't hold the fact that the bands on the label were leftists against them. Dave spews pure HATE. Like a Klansman. Like a southern Democrat.
And to make the statement that Clinton offered nothing to complain about? I mean c'mon let's get real. We faltered back into the Carter era appeasement ethic of self hatred and grabbing the ankles to get our asses gored by third world thugs. Giving Red China the ability to target their missiles at us thru a Clinton supporter at LORAL. Giving North Korea an atomic energy plant at US taxpayers expense so they can start cranking out plutonium in order to threaten us now. ( they promised to only use it for peaceful purposes, but only a moron makes deals with commies, oh wait Democrats ARE America hating commies!)
Showing the middle east that we were too weak to go after terrorists, keeping our immigration policy weak............ I could go on for a week.
Don't get me wrong, I love great nasty music, BUT you fools are musicians and druggy ones at that. Your brains are way too deluded or shallow to see the big picture.
Just remember, to paraphrase Andy Partridge; " there is no youth culture, only masks and clothes we let you rent".
Saying this band "rocked" is an understatement; they were among the most riveting bands ever to come out of the underground scene, and they can be appreciated on many levels. This stuff still holds up today, even merely as a barometer of weirdness (the name alone). I think of them as the evil twins of the Butthole Surfers.
They plunged deeper into the dementia the Surfers merely alluded to in a tongue-in-cheek manner. If Locust Abortion Technician is darkest psychedelia you have ever heard, check out God Bullie's "Plastic Eye Miracle", it makes that sound like a party record. You knew these guys were not being outrageous and then winking at you; this was for real.
Mark, Thanks for topping yourself again with an incredible interview. Your taste and knowledge of music never stops impressing me.
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