("One Evening" is an old Jesus Lizard song. That was an awesome reference.)
My questions are in bold print and Qui's answers are thin and wispy. Forgive me for dicking around on MySpace for the last few minutes of the interview; you won't have any idea what I'm talking about there.
Also, "Little Buddy" is David Yow's cat. So I 'hilariously' asked to speak with him when I called.
DAVID YOW: Hello?
(in menacing mean-guy voice) Yes, can I speak to Little Buddy, please?
DAVID YOW: One moment. (pause) Hello?
Oh, hey! This is Mark Prindle from the Internet!
DAVID YOW: Hi Mark Prindle from the Internet. This is Little Buddy, David's cat.
Oh, hey, how's it going?
DAVID YOW: It's OK. I just wish that I could lick you and everybody else would bleed.
DAVID YOW: You know what, can I call you back? Because I don't know how to make the phone go on speakerphone.
OK, yeah. Go ahead. You have my number there?
DAVID YOW: Matt? I mean, not Matt, but, uh, Mark?
DAVID YOW: Um, we're gonna call you right back, OK?
DAVID YOW: Hello.
DAVID YOW: Can you hear us OK?
Yeah. I'm recording it, though, so be sure to get pretty close. So who's who?
DAVID YOW: You need to be really close. Get in there close, dude. Look, Matt and I just woke up. Took a little disco-nap.
Uh oh. Uh, OK. But who is who? How will I recognize your voices?
MATT CRONK: David will speak with an English accent.
DAVID YOW: (in English accent) Yeah, I'll speak with an English accent.
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Um, I'll -
MATT CRONK: I'm Matt Cronk. OK, Paul will talk normal, David will speak in an English accent, and I, Matt, will identify myself before everything I say.
MATT CRONK: How will we know it's you?
You won't. Okay, this is a question for David Yow. Now, you have been out of the music scene pretty much for, I guess, nine years now. Now, why are you coming back now and why this band?
DAVID YOW: Well, Mark Prindle from the Internet, that's a really good question. I don't know. (long pause) Hello?
DAVID YOW: Oh okay, maybe I should answer that better. Well, six months ago if you asked me if I wanted to be in a band I'd go, "Fuck no, Mark Prindle from the Internet!" But these guys, a couple months ago, they asked me if I would do a song with them - just fucking around, do a song with them. I said "Okay" and we did that a couple times, then we did a couple more songs and we got more and more into it. Paul and Matt are such nice boys, and they're so good at what they do and it's so much fun that, well, I can't help myself. This isn't a decision that I've made; it was a decision that was made FOR me. By me. You know what I'm saying?
DAVID YOW: You're not mad at me, are you?
No! Why would I get mad at you?!
DAVID YOW: I don't know.
Why no bass player? Anyone can answer this!
MATT CRONK: Well, when Paul and I started playing together, about six and a half years ago, we initially moved to Los Angeles and we couldn't find anybody that was good enough or had the time to do what we wanted to do, the kind of music that we were playing. So we decided to forego playing with other people.
And what made you decide to ask David Yow if he wanted to -
MATT CRONK: Well, we didn't ask him to join the band, like he said, but we got chummy just hanging out quite a bit, and we were hanging out one night discussing our mutual love of Frank Zappa, and Paul and I had for a time tried to cover "Willie the Pimp," and thought that David could sing that well, so I asked if he'd like to perform that with us at a show. Yeah, and so we did "Willie the Pimp," then we started doing a couple more songs, and then -
DAVID YOW: Well I guess we would practice and I started having input, you know, as far as like ideas for when we were doing stuff, and we kind of decided that once you start doing that, that means you're in the group. So I kind of tentatively asked, over and over, "Gosh, am I licking your balls alright?" and they'd say, "Well, yeah, I guess so, David."
I'm looking at your upcoming shows here, and you've got a pretty busy - I mean, did you have to change anything about your work schedule or anything to be able to make time for this?
DAVID YOW: Well, I do photo retouching for a living these days, and I had been really, really busy, and then since August I've had about 20 hours of work, so I told them to go fuck themselves. So, you know, hopefully in less than a year we'll be self-sufficient and not have to have jobs to worry about.
Where does it look like the album might be coming out? Who might put it out?
DAVID YOW: Touch & Go. Well, we're not a thousand-percent sure, but we're 99.987258316-percent certain it'll be Touch & Go. And it'll be coming out in September. Possibly late August.
Wow, you already know that much in advance when it's coming out?
DAVID YOW: Yeah, we talked to Ipecac and we talked to Touch & Go, and both of them said that's when they would do it, because to get their publicity machine rolling and all that kind of shit they need time, and the summertime's not a good time to release it, so that's the soonest that anyone would want to do it.
When you play live, do you still do stuff from the band's first album - the duo's first album?
MATT CRONK: Yeah, we do one song called "Belt."
Oh, just one, OK. I was wondering if you did older material and David sang that stuff too.
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Although today at practice we talked about possibly resurrecting more of those. And in fact, that very song that David sings from that first record, we re-recorded it and it's going to be on the next record.
DAVID YOW: That's true. Like the Pixies.
MATT CRONK: And we've got some other stuff that we were playing prior to David joining the band that he might be thinking about singing on.
Is he writing all the new lyrics, or are you guys still writing lyrics too?
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Yeah, pretty much.
MATT CRONK: Yeah, yeah.
I listened to the ones that are on the MySpace page, and he said a really bad joke at the end of one of them. I just wanted to warn you guys that it wasn't a very good joke, and you might not want to let him make up jokes anymore. Ever.
DAVID YOW: I didn't make that up.
DAVID YOW: I got it where you live.
Aw, that's an old joke. I was just teasing ya. Who's that laughing about it, though? Someone's laughing his arse off.
DAVID YOW: That was the guy that - MATT CRONK: That was Marky Ramone.
Wow! OK! I love it!
DAVID YOW: Yeah, Marky was there hanging out. Not so much producing, just moral support, and he thought it was a really good joke.
That is AWESOME. Hey, David, are you on the outs with Rey Washam at the moment?
DAVID YOW: Am I on the couch with Rey Washam?
On the outs. Either one. Because I politely emailed him and said, "Hey, I'm going to interview this guy, and could you give me 20 or 30 questions?" Obviously I was joking. It was just a JOKE to play on one another! And he sent me back 20 questions that were, I don't know, kind of mean-spirited.
DAVID YOW: I don't know what the deal is with Rey recently. I spoke with him yesterday on the phone because I called him to ask him a couple questions, and when you call his house, the outgoing message says, "You've reached Rey, Yvonne, and Kirstin's house. Please leave a message." So on my message, I said, "Rey, Yvonne, and Christian, this is David Yow blah blah blah blah." And then he called me back and he says, "Yeah, so what's the deal? I'm not here anymore?" I said, "What are you talking about?" He said, "You didn't address me in your message." And I said, "What, are you kidding?" And he goes, "Yeah, you just said, 'Hey Yvonne and Kirstin.'" And I said, "No, you moron. I said, 'REY, Yvonne, and Kirstin.'" I guess he's just so stupid that he doesn't realize his name is Rey. But no, we're not on the outs. It's just that I think he's really jealous because he's actually talented and he can't make his money in music, and here I am about to get rich and I can't sing my way out of a wet paper bag.
Yeah, I was surprised that when you ended up getting back into music it wasn't in a band with him - I don't know, just knowing that he lived near you. Is he playing with anybody as far as you know?
DAVID YOW: Well, I don't want to be in a band with other old people.
DAVID YOW: Matt and Paul are - well, Paul just turned 30 a week ago, and Matt will be 17 in a few months.
MATT CRONK: Yeah. I'm a ward of the state.
Are you really only 16?
MATT CRONK: No.
God damn you people. You've got to stop doing that to me!
(band yuks it up)
MATT CRONK: No, I'm 29.
OK. Well, I'm still older than both of you, although I'm not as old as, you know, Oldie there that you're in a band with. So you guys, how long have you known each other then? Just six and a half years? Or earlier?
MATT CRONK: Paul and I?
MATT CRONK: Since we were 16. We met in high school.
Were you playing instruments back then, too?
MATT CRONK: Yeah. Paul, you want to field this one?
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Yeah, we met in 11th grade at a place called the Minnesota Center for Arts and Music. Basically we just kind of hit it off, and then about a year later we did, we played in a band together.
Were you fans of Scratch Acid and the Jesus Lizard at that time?
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Absolutely not. (laughter) No, no. We were very big fans.
MATT CRONK: We liked them.
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Very much.
DAVID YOW: One time when the Jesus Lizard was playing at First Avenue, apparently I touched - I gingerly put my hand on Paul's head. But I didn't recognize him when we became friends. I didn't say, "Hi, we had touched there in Minneapolis several years ago."
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Well, you've touched so many fans.
DAVID YOW: Yeah.
Oh, you two are from Minneapolis?
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Yup.
Oh, so were you big fans of the Cows?
MATT CRONK: Very much, yeah. They were one of my favorite bands growing up.
Oh, yeah. I love the Cows too. Well, who else was there then? Halo of Flies? Guzzard?
MATT CRONK: Yeah, Guzzard were very, very good friends of mine growing up. In fact, Pete from Guzzard lives out here now and lived with Paul and I on our couch the first several months he was in LA.
MATT CRONK: Yeah.
Is he still playing music?
MATT CRONK: Yeah, he plays in a band called the Burning Brides.
Oh, I've heard of them!
MATT CRONK: Yeah.
I had no idea he was in that band. OK.
DAVID YOW: Yeah, things are coming together, Mark Prindle from the Internet.
Yeah. You know, I'm not really from the Internet. I just didn't want you to think I was a telemarketer when I called.
MATT CRONK: That's what you SAID.
I know, but I just wanted to distinguish myself from other Mark Prindles that might call you here and there. Speaking of which, did you see on the Internet that there's another David Yow? Some Republican guy?
DAVID YOW: There's other David Yows other places too, but yeah, that one, if you Google `David Yow' you might find this politician guy who lives up in Sacramento who's a right-wing Christian politician. And I wrote an email to him one time just to say, "Hi! My name's David Yow too!" And I told him that I doubt that we would see eye-to-eye on much of anything, but nonetheless I wished him luck in all his endeavors. And he wrote me back saying, `"re you David Yow from the Jesus Lizard? Because I get that all the time."
DAVID YOW: Poor fellow.
He would! Now, I was reading something today that said you were responsible for the graphics for some of the Jesus Lizard stuff?
DAVID YOW: Yeah, I laid out most everything we put out, except David Sims did Pure and David Sims did Goat. Everything else I laid out.
What was the idea behind Blue?
DAVID YOW: Oh, I don't know. There was that little swamp near my house, and I took a picture of it in the wintertime with snow on it, and drew this weird thing falling from the sky. Oh, and all the weird little pictures that - No, I was kind of a pervert living out in the woods and having pictures of men and women's lower portions in their underwear.
(laughs) I was wondering if those were intended to be like band-member photos, or -
DAVID YOW: No, those were photos of me in my underwear and my wife in her underwear.
Oh, OK. Because the front cover looks so menacing and creepy, and then on the back you've got all this underwear.
DAVID YOW: So it was creepy?
I think that the front cover is pretty foreboding-looking, yeah.
DAVID YOW: Well thank you very much, Mark Prindle from the Internet.
Is that what you were going for? Because it is a pretty creepy cover.
DAVID YOW: I suppose. God, it's been so long since I saw it.
Are you happy with - Looking back at all your - I know you probably don't listen to it much since you sang it so many times, but are you happy with pretty much all the Scratch Acid and Jesus Lizard stuff, or are there things you would -
DAVID YOW: Oh, not all of it. Of course not. Although, doing that reunion this summer, when we were getting ready to practice and stuff and refamiliarizing ourselves with the music, particularly the first record and the last record, I was kind of stunned. That last record, Berserker, it's a really fucking good record from start to finish. I don't have a problem with any of that. Just Keep Eating, however, sucks from top to bottom.
DAVID YOW: Yeah, well.
I think the first half's pretty strong.
DAVID YOW: Well, there's some good songs on it, but the sound of it is just awful.
Yeah. Berserker definitely sounds at least produced, which the first two don't really. Berserker is much, much louder than them.
DAVID YOW: Yeah.
What about the Jesus Lizard stuff? Basically I was thinking, like, the later stuff that people - that I guess some people weren't so much into, I really liked Shot a lot.
DAVID YOW: I liked Shot AND Blue. I like both of those records. I think that except for the drumming on Blue, I think it's a pretty cool record. There are a lot of cool textures on there that I think are really cool. I thought that Andy Gill had a lot of good ideas. My only real complaint with the Jesus Lizard is that Down record. It's kind of like the Jesus Lizard's version of Just Keep Eating, where some of the songs aren't so bad, but it sounds like poop.
Did he do that on purpose?
DAVID YOW: He?
Mr. Albini. That's what I was wondering at the time, because I was reading all the gossip. Because it does sound like, dull, sort of. The production is just - not the songs - the songs just don't explode, but it doesn't seem like it's because of the songs themselves.
DAVID YOW: Yeah. There were some weird things that went on with making that record, that I don't want to delve into.
Yeah. OK. Is David Wm Sims still playing music?
DAVID YOW: Not very much. He spends a lot of time working. He works really hard as an accountant there in New York City.
Oh, I didn't know that was here. So were you happy with how the reunion went?
DAVID YOW: Oh yeah, it was a fucking blast. It was a lot of fun. It was extremely emotional; it was really flattering to know the amount of people that thought we were worth a shit. It was cool.
Was there any chance of - Did you even think about having the Jesus Lizard play, or were the two other guys not around?
DAVID YOW: Well, I didn't want to do it. I'm not going to say never. Doing that Scratch Acid thing taught me to quit saying `never.' But I think it's highly unlikely it would ever happen with the Jesus Lizard. Although, if we do get back together, I know who I want to open for us. There's a band from Portland called Monkey Trick who are a Jesus Lizard tribute band. There's a band from Austin called the Jazzus Lizard who do jazz versions of the Jesus Lizard songs. And there are some girls in LA who are trying to get together an all-girl tribute band that would go by the name of Puss. I'd for those three bands to open for us if we ever get back together.
Wow, that's pretty flattering!
DAVID YOW: That would be good.
MATT CRONK: They're not going by 'the Shesus Lizard'? That seemed to be their main choice.
DAVID YOW: Or Puss.
How many songs do you guys have written together for the new band? Well, not the NEW band, but you being new in the band.
DAVID YOW: Only one completely that we've collaborated on, but there are nine songs on the new record and I think I'm on six or seven of them.
Oh. Do they come together pretty quickly since you don't have to worry about a bassist?
MATT CRONK: Yeah. We all know bassists slow shit down.
You know what I mean. You don't even really have to tune your guitar.
MATT CRONK: Yeah, I still have to tune my guitar.
MATT CRONK: Well, do you really want to know the answer to that?
MATT CRONK: You see, each string has a pitch that's set, right? E, A, D, G, B, and then E, and those all have to be tuned in relation to one another. So the chords won't sound right if your guitar's not in tune.
Oh, that's not true.
DAVID YOW: It IS true, Mark Prindle from the Internet.
MATT CRONK: I'm pretty sure it is. Also, if the guitar's out of tune, then we would have to sing out of tune and we don't like to do that.
DAVID YOW: Especially Paul. He's a real stickler for all that gay shit.
I'm just kiddin' around; I play the guitar too. It's just, you know, when you get -
MATT CRONK: No, I see what you're saying. Like, I could have all the strings tuned the same amount up or down from what would be standard tuning, but I don't.
DAVID YOW: What did you think of those songs on the Internet, Mark Prindle from the Internet?
I'm getting tired of hearing you say that. It sounds so condescending and angry at me.
DAVID YOW: I like it.
DAVID YOW: I like you, too.
You want to know what I really think?
DAVID YOW: I wouldn't have asked if I didn't.
I don't think you really - I would say it sounds like you have an incredibly - Listen. Honest. Honesty here. You have an incredibly awesome-sounding drummer. You have a classic singer that people have been waiting to hear again for a long time. You have a guitarist who plays some really creepy and neat, slithering kind of guitar-note lines up and down, creepy and memorable. But it sounds like half a band to me. It sounds like there's something not there, like. There's just not enough for me to listen to.
DAVID YOW: Listen harder.
DAVID YOW: Also, to be perfectly honest, those songs, when we loaded them up to the Internet - where you live - they were mp3s as it is, and then after MySpace condenses them further, and also you're listening to them on your computer. So it just sounds like doody poops.
Yeah, that's true. Also, I haven't seen you live.
DAVID YOW: When you hear the real record on a real stereo, it's going to make you have diarrhea. Or something good will happen.
Oh, I like the songs. So I know that that - Wait, diarrhea isn't good!
DAVID YOW: It can be, if you have time.
That's true. If your stomach hurts or whatever. Now, I was looking online for the first album, and is it available? I mean, is it available through an Amazon or something?
MATT CRONK: Yeah, you can get it through CDBaby and you can get it on iTunes, too. I believe you can get it on iTunes, and you can get it through Heart of a Champion Records, whose web address is heartchamps.com.
Oh, OK. Where is that label based?
MATT CRONK: Minneapolis.
Oh, OK. So, you guys, when did you move to LA?
MATT CRONK: 1999.
Oh, Jesus! So, why were you on a Minneapolis label? Because the guy knew you?
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Yeah, we're old friends with the guy.
OK. Lemme see. So you've already got the nine, and there's no chance you'll be coming up with more songs for the record? You've got the record set and ready to go, you've already recorded and everything?
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Yeah. It's done.
MATT CRONK: It's mastered and everything.
Who was the guy who recorded it?
MATT CRONK: His name is Pete Lyman. He's fantastic. He's also starting a very small label out of his studio to put out singles by bands that he records. We're going to be the first release on it.
MATT CRONK: They should be getting it back from the plant this week.
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Yeah, we're going to have it along for South By Southwest.
MATT CRONK: And I know they've sold some to distributors, and it's available online at iTunes as well.
DAVID YOW: Actually, I don't think it's available online yet. I think they've got some more figuring-out to do.
MATT CRONK: Well, you can order it from them online.
DAVID YOW: Oh. But it's not on iTunes yet.
OK. What has the reaction to your live shows been since David joined the band? Is it around the same as it was before, or do you get more people who used to be into his older bands?
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Well, I mean, there's certainly. there's obviously an additional pull of excitement that wasn't there before. Not that we weren't exciting before, but I don't know. It used to be a pretty straightforward music performance, and now it's more of a crowd-pleasing show.
DAVID YOW: A little razzle-dazzle, the shmaltz, the moxie, if you will.
When you guys are trying to concentrate, though, he doesn't mess you up by jumping around?
MATT CRONK: You know, a lesser player would probably be distracted by that, but people of my and Paul's caliber really don't have that problem. (
Great! David, do you still do the whole drinking-before-you-perform thing?
DAVID YOW: I do the whole drinking-while-awake thing.
Hmm. Is there any concern about your liver?
DAVID YOW: Not - Not as - I'm not.
DAVID YOW: I gave up on health quite a while ago.
DAVID YOW: I made it ten days on my cleanse.
What'd you do?
DAVID YOW: Well, yeah, I made it a few days on my cleanse.
On your what?
DAVID YOW: Cleanse.
Oh, your cleanse. Cleanse.
DAVID YOW: You know, those cleanses where you have a weird diet and stuff?
Yeah. I thought you were saying `plants,' and I just didn't know what your plants were.
DAVID YOW: Yeah. My vas deferens.
OK. So are you no longer married?
DAVID YOW: Pardon me?
You. Because you were talking about your wife earlier, and then on MySpace it says you're single. So either you're trying to -
DAVID YOW: I am married. I am married. But we've been separated for - Holy shit! Today's the 5th! Today we've been, as of a year ago today we no longer live together.
Oh. I'm sorry. Unless that's a good thing.
DAVID YOW: Oh, don't be. I'll always love her, I'll do anything for me, but we don't get along.
Oh. But you got the cat?
DAVID YOW: Pardon me?
You got the cat?
DAVID YOW: I do have the cat. And I love him. But we have a platonic relationship.
Yeah, well, I hope so.
DAVID YOW: But he doesn't even know what platonic means. He doesn't speak English.
MATT CRONK: Well, he's only about a year old.
DAVID YOW: He's only about a year old.
MATT CRONK: Wait until he's a little bit older; I'm sure he might start feeling a bit more amorous.
How is he around dogs, do you know?
DAVID YOW: The only time there was a dog in the house, it was one of those Italian greyhounds and he beat it up.
Oh! Yeah, a cat next door to us made Henry's nose bleed once.
DAVID YOW: What kind of dog do you have?
I think he's mostly a mix of German shepherd and greyhound.
DAVID YOW: See, he'd probably beat my cat up.
I don't know; your cat has claws. Your cat is really cute. I love that picture you have of him in `People You'd Like to Meet.'
DAVID YOW: Yeah, that's just about the cutest cat picture I ever saw.
So what are your plans for the rest of the night? Oh wait, you said that you wrote a song tonight?
DAVID YOW: We had a really, really productive practice. There's an old riff that the guys had from a while back, and we started fucking around with it the other day, and then today we made a ton of progress on it and I think there's a good chance we'll be doing it on this new tour we've got coming up.
DAVID YOW: It's called "Prison Braid."
DAVID YOW: "Braid," like braided hair.
DAVID YOW: It's really good, Mark Prindle from the Internet.
Oh, God. OK. So how do you pronounce the band's name again? Could you say it?
DAVID YOW: It's called `Qui' [pronounced KWEE]. I think a lot of people will probably make fun of us for calling ourselves-
DAVID YOW: Yes.
How did you come up with the name Qui?
MATT CRONK: It's a colloquialism from our neck of the woods back in the Midwest for, uh, `fag.'
DAVID YOW: Is it?
MATT CRONK: Yeah.
Why would you want people calling you that?
DAVID YOW: Because we're gay.
Ooooooooh. So you're kind of reclaiming it for yourselves.
DAVID YOW: Yeah!
MATT CRONK: Paul and I are, you know, gay.
DAVID YOW: Well, if you were in the room with us now, Mark Prindle from the Internet, you'd understand that we're being perfectly honest seeing as how none of us have any clothes on and all three of us are sporting fucking blue-steel erections.
No, that's fine, you know, I have nothing against the gays!
DAVID YOW: It seems like you do a little bit.
DAVID YOW: No, I'm just messin' with you.
I've been playing Elton.
MATT CRONK: Paul and I have been playing music together for about six and a half years, but we've been romantically involved for going on eight.
DAVID YOW: Matt's going to get a tattoo on his chest of Paul and three other homosexuals.
So really the only reason you wanted David in your band was to look at his balls.
DAVID YOW: And because I'm older and wiser, I can help them out with questions that they have about the earth. And women.
Why would they need to know about that?
DAVID YOW: Say that again?
Why would they need to know about women?
DAVID YOW: God, because hot chicks like gay dudes.
Oh, hey, David Yow from the music band?
DAVID YOW: Yeah?
What was I gonna ask you... Oh. And I know you did, so I'm not even going to ask. Tell me about this thing you recently did with Tom Hazelmeyer.
DAVID YOW: Oh, wow. Well, he was doing - what was he doing - he was providing the music for some little animations that a friend of his was doing, so he came to town and he wanted the Melvins to play the music for these things. They were short, like a minute and a half or something. But he had a whole lot of them that needed to be done, so he and the Melvins asked me to be involved with it. So we would just go over to their practice space and make shit up on the spot and record it. Some of it was really pretty good, some it was really horrible. But it was a whole lot of fun. And I tell you what, that boy Dale Crover is pretty funny when he's improvising lyrics.
What did he write?
DAVID YOW: Gus, I mean Mark, I don't remember specifically, but one of them was over the top racist. Like, really getting-me-in-trouble kind of racist.
Did you sing it?
DAVID YOW: Pardon me?
Did you sing it?
DAVID YOW: No, no. He did.
Oh, he did. Is that one going to be released?
DAVID YOW: You'd have to ask Hazelmeyer.
OK. Now had you missed singing in a band? I know that you said you didn't really when you -
DAVID YOW: No. My stock answer for that is that what I missed about being in a band is being on the road and seeing old friends. And now that we're fixing to take over, I'm very excited by the fact that I'll get to see a bunch of people around the country and the world that I thought I may not ever see again. I tell you what.
Were Touch & Go interested because of - I mean, were they interested even before they heard the music? Or did they hear the music and go, "Wow, we've got to get this?"
DAVID YOW: You'd have to ask them.
Oh, OK. Had they heard your first record, do you know?
MATT CRONK: Doubt it.
DAVID YOW: Corey hasn't heard it. I imagine there's probably a couple of people on their staff maybe who have.
So did this - Oh, never mind.
DAVID YOW: There are no bad questions, Mark.
Only bad interviewers. Is there any chance we'll ever hear the version, or any version, of David singing "Willie the Pimp"?
MATT CRONK: Yeah, it's on the record.
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Yeah.
Did you have to get permission from the Zappa estate?
MATT CRONK: We are going to have to. There's a pretty simple legal process you have to go through. It's not that big a deal.
DAVID YOW: There's a Pink Floyd song on the record, too.
Which one? "Learning to Fly"? Is it "Learning to Fly"?
DAVID YOW: No, it's called "Echoes."
Oh. Did you play all 20 minutes of it?
DAVID YOW: No, just about eight. No, I think the original was -
MATT CRONK: 25.
You don't do the part that goes AAOOOOOHHH?
MATT CRONK: Ha ha, how's it go?
DAVID YOW: No, we do that part.
OK. And how long is "Willie the Pimp"?
DAVID YOW: It's also sort of a deconstructed version.
Was that one of the ones that Captain Beefheart sang?
MATT CRONK: Yes it was.
DAVID YOW: Way to go, Mark Prindle from the Internet. You get a gold star.
That's on the Hot Rats album, isn't it?
MATT CRONK: It sure is.
Oh, man, you guys should read my Frank Zappa page. It's huge! You could find it on the Internet!
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: What's the URL?
Oh it's just my name, you know, www.markprindle. David Yow has been there. I think he's got my site as his front page on the Internet. He's always readin' it.
DAVID YOW: I've seen it!
Yeah, did you see the old 20-years-ago Scratch Acid reviews that I wrote as if I was a guy stealing my computer?
DAVID YOW: I think I did. I think that I've come across your page a few times when I've -
Been drinking, yeah.
DAVID YOW: - Googled me, or Scratch Acid or stuff. So yeah, when you first wrote to me, you were very nice and explained who you were, and I thought that was cute because I already knew who you were. Your reputation preceded you.
Well no, I guess that was good because you didn't turn me down and that was nice.
DAVID YOW: That must be exciting for you to know that I already knew who you were, huh?
I thought that was pretty neat, yeah. I always go around bragging, telling people.
DAVID YOW: Also, when you interviewed Rey, he told me that he was going to be interviewed by Mark Prindle from the Internet.
DAVID YOW: Yes.
He was really nice. I wasn't sure what to expect, because he has such a bad reputation from the 80s and 90s. You know. Same with Steve Albini. I was really kind of scared about that one.
DAVID YOW: Yeah. Well. Yeah.
DAVID YOW: Both of those boys can be very accommodating if they want to be.
So how often do you guys practice?
MATT CRONK: We've been on a little bit of a hiatus because I fell down a flight of stairs about three weeks ago and sprained my wrist pretty badly. It's just been in the last few days that I've been able to play.
Ew. How did you do that?
MATT CRONK: I was walking down what I thought was a dark hallway at a party, and it turned out that it was a staircase. So I took a header face-first down the whole sumbitch. Landed on my hand and I fucked my left wrist up but good, banged up both my knees, broke my glasses, bit through my lip, got a huge gash on left nipple opened up. Really fucking painful. I would say avoid that if you can.
DAVID YOW: That was from me, though. I bit his nipple in an effort to revive him.
Oh, OK! Well, that sucks.
MATT CRONK: Yeah, so we haven't been able to rehearse. Prior to that, it was three or four times a week. Now, in preparation for our tour, we're going to be getting up to everyday speed as soon as we're able.
How many songs are in your setlist? Just the nine?
DAVID YOW: Ten or 11? 11 or 12 now?
MATT CRONK: Yeah, something like that.
I'm intrigued now to hear "Echoes."
MATT CRONK: It's good, man.
Hey, drummer guy. How long have you been drumming? Because you've got a really, really good sound. I'm not saying there's any imitation going on here, but when I heard it today for the first time, I was like, "Jesus, that's kind of what Mac MacNeilly did," you know, kind of hitting really hard, just jagged kind of. Basically, I don't know any drum words. But it had a really aggressive, assertive sound that I thought sounded pretty great.
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Thank you very much. I've been playing since I was ten and I just turned 30, so over 20 years of life. I was a jazz drummer as a teen and I went to college for percussion. In my early 20s I was, and still am, a huge Mac MacNeilly fan. He's very inspirational. I like the way that he would be able to play simple beats but really hard and aggressive.
Where did you go to school?
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: I went to Lawrence. The Conservatory of Music at Lawrence University.
Wow. Very cool.
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Well, thank you very much.
DAVID YOW: You know, Judah Bauer from the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion is from Lawrence, Wisconsin.
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: So is Harry Houdini.
Hey, now that you mention it, I saw the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion open for the Jesus Lizard at the Cat's Cradle in North Carolina.
DAVID YOW: I remember that.
DAVID YOW: Yep.
Do you remember the guy in the back with the shirt?
DAVID YOW: Were you wearing blue jeans?
DAVID YOW: Aw, I remember, yeah.
I didn't get the memo about the tuxedos. I felt like an idiot. So, is there anything else? I know you guys have got other crap to do than talk to me for more than 45 minutes.
DAVID YOW: I look forward to shaking your hand, Mark Prindle from the Internet. I like you.
Oh! You too. I like how you list your occupation as `jerk.'
DAVID YOW: Oh, I changed that. Now it's just `Autopsy Turvy.'
Oh, no, your occupation. Down in your details. But yeah, `Autopsy Turvy' is funny too. And this `Have a nice day, go join yourself.'
DAVID YOW: 'Go FUCK yourself.'
Yeah, where did you find that?
DAVID YOW: I found it. On the Internet. Over there by where you live.
And where did you find the one that I chuckled heartily at that says `several photos'?
DAVID YOW: Oh, I made that.
DAVID YOW: Yes sir. I know my way around Photoshop better than any other nigger on the planet.
That's pretty witty!
DAVID YOW: Thanks.
Wait a second-
DAVID YOW: I also contemplated putting - oh, uh, never mind.
I just realized something! So this cat that you'd like to meet isn't Little Buddy, is it?
DAVID YOW: No, no. That's Samantha's cat. I think his name is Purry McFlurry.
Ooh, now I'm looking at Little Buddy. He's cute! Big blue eyes.
DAVID YOW: Yeah, see, the reason that he's the one who I'd like to meet, if you click on my fourth friend, Sam, she's a girl who just turned 20, and on her page under who she'd like to meet there's a picture of ME, so I'm reciprocating.
Aw! Who are all these women? Do you actually know all these women?
DAVID YOW: Hell yeah I do. And I've been inside every one of them.
Wait, what'd you say?
DAVID YOW: I said I've been inside every one of them.
Oooh. There's Rey Washam, and Brett, and Matt Cronk of course.
MATT CRONK: Hey, check out my page. It's pretty sweet too. Paul doesn't go on the Internet because he's a drummer and he's afraid he'll hurt his fingers.
Is this you? This picture? Or no?
MATT CRONK: Who, me?
Is that you? What are you spitting out of your mouth? Just water?
MATT CRONK: I'm throwing up.
You're throwing up.
MATT CRONK: Yeah. It was in California after a show last year. We went down to the bar at our hotel to get breakfast, and the night before I'd had a lot to drink and somebody gave me some Vicoden, and I also had a lot to eat. So I got up in the morning, I chugged a very cold glass of water - which will always make me throw up if I'm hung over and I've had pills. Then I started puking.
Ew. And you had someone take a camera out.
MATT CRONK: Yeah, well, I didn't ask him to. He was there. He's a buddy of mine; his name's Dan. He's a photographer.
Is this actually Bill Murray's site? Or just -
MATT CRONK: I don't know. I don't know what that is. I wrote him once, I was like, "Is this really Bill Murray?" He never wrote back, so -
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: I doubt it's him.
MATT CRONK: I've gotta go to work.
Oh! OK. Thank you guys.
DAVID YOW: Monday nights here in Los Angeles is Cronkeoke night at the Cha Cha, where Matt's hosting a karaoke thing. That's what he's gotta go do.
Oh, OK. Well, have a good time. All of you. And I'm looking forward to hearing the record.
DAVID YOW: When will this be up so we can look at it and read?
I don't know. I've got to figure out how hard it is to transcribe. I've got this friend of mine transcribing for me because he's much quicker at it. I take forever.
DAVID YOW: Thanks for your interest, Mark Prindle from the Internet!
Yours too! I think the main problem he's going to have is figuring out who was who. But we'll set a deal where you guys can - You know, maybe we'll just put the band name. Who cares who says what.
MATT CRONK: Yeah.
You're all just like one guy now. It's a collective!
DAVID YOW: It is one guy, that's right. We're fucking married.
MATT CRONK: We're thrice the man we used to be.
DAVID YOW: "See -"?
Oh, I don't know. I just couldn't think of anything else to say. Well, you've gotta go to work. I'll let you go. Thank you very much.
DAVID YOW: Cheers.
PAUL CHRISTENSEN: Bye, Mark!
MATT CRONK: See you.
DAVID YOW: Yeah, we'll see you probably this fall.
Ooh, good! All right, I'll come up onstage with a bass. Play some bass. Like Matt's uncle in that one picture.
DAVID YOW: OK, Uncle Mark Prindle from the Internet.
All right, so long.
DAVID YOW: Peace.
MATT CRONK: Take care.
Also, don't know if you got to check out the Touch and Go/Quarterstick 25th anniversary festival thing this past fall. I put myself in hock and flew from Little Rock to Chicago just to see it, and holy SHIT was it worth it. Scratch Acid blew the damn roof off the house. I actually took some video of it, which is on youtube under my videos (look for leeharvey43 or leeharvey, I forget which), and it came out pretty good I think, considering video cameras weren't allowed, and I had to use a still. Got some good stuff from Big Black, Shellac, Killdozer, and Pegboy, too, if you get a chance to check it out. Also got some awesome pictures which I can email you if you'd like.
BTW, I love Just Keep Eating and Down. The "bad production" doesn't ruin anything for me. I never really noticed it on Just Keep Eating, and Down has a swampy murkiness I love. Much spookier than their previous stuff. Only like bits of Shot and hate Blue, though.
Anyway, better quit screwing around on the Internet and get back to my soul crushing cubicle job. Take it easy.
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