FEAR OF BLUE
THE PYRAMID CLUB
( SIC )
RELATED PROJECTS >
CATS ON HOLIDAY
HOT TIN ROOF
THE LEISURE SET
THE HOLY COWS
Transcribed by Innerturmoil
If you wanna just scoot in and we'll get a check or if you want to move that over to you.
I usually...ok...is that good?
Yeah, you can hang back, you don't have to be right on it. Wherever you're comfortable.
Yeah okay...i'm not going to be comfortable no matter what i do but...how's that.
If you want to just introduce yourself.
I'm Kevin from Prick.
I guess the first thing that i want to start with was just some of the songs. Normally I wouldn't start with that but i've been listening to this album all weekend long and all day today in the back of my mind as i was making phone calls and my favorite is Crack. I think it's a great great song.
I wanted to talk first about Animal since it is your first single coming out and if you can just tell me...I mean these songs go back..way back. I mean have you been writing..
Well some of them go back. Maybe 3 or 4 of them that extend over several years and up to the recent, last two years. Which, I don't know, is that far back? I guess I had a large gestation period for songs. Not so much that they were written a long time ago but they've taken a long time to seed properly. Get produced properly and get to the point where I think they're the definitive versions.
So how far was Animal going back?
Animal is about two years maybe when it started I think, maybe two and a half.
This kind of music it seems is not a normal progression where someone can just sit down and write it and three days later throw it into a studio. Are you already starting to write your next stuff?
Oh yeah I'm always writing. It's just a matter of when I have the opportunity to record. What I decide to do at that time, what seems to be uh...what songs will fit together you know, for the particular mood or where my mood is at. It's also a matter of who's involved if i can get the production people i'd like to get or the musicians I want. I mean if I had the opportunity to get a philharmonic orchestra or something then I don't think I would do a certain song that I would do if I would, you know, have somebody else produce. I don't want to mention any names because then it's a name dropping affair isn't it?
It usually happens.
So you're not on a timetable. It's given you the freedom to pretty much, take your time until it's right. It's not like a typical project for a band say who's going for columbia records where you've got four months to get this album out. It sounds like you can take your time.
Yeah I think I can take my time. I've had a lot of songs in the works for awhile and as I say i'm always writing so it's not a matter of having pressure to do it. I think that's pretty much my main past time and vocation at the same time.
Now are you taking this on the road, I assume?
Well, I don't know why'd you assume that. but I think we are. Maybe everybody does take it on the road after awhile. i've got a group together. When it's going to start performing i'm not sure. We've done some opening gigs for Nine Inch Nails on their last tour and I don't know exactly what the format's going to be this time around for us because I would like to do the solo headlining spots but wether or not that's practical...we'll see.
Is it hard to bring something like this on the road?
Well, to try to get the record when there's a lot of studio technique involved using noise and sound from the board itself and processing equipment. That kind of thing is not that easy to duplicate exactly but there is a live element that makes up for anything that's not there. I've got some pretty talented guys who do a good job of getting a lot out of the instruments they play. Not to mention the sampling, we do have some sampling equipment. Where we take some of the, what would be sound effects or processing from the studio. We would use that maybe on some sampling devices rather than sampling performance of guitar tracks or something like that. We have real guitars playing the guitar parts and we have drummers drumming. Although he will use some electronic pads every once in awhile and trigger some sampling.
I just remember watching Marilyn Manson awhile back when they opened up for Danzig and not that their music is somewhat like yours but I just remember the keyboardist who was using sampling..all of a sudden nothing was working. I guess that's just like the chance you take..I would be nervous as hell..'cause all of a sudden the samplers weren't working..nothing was working and he was just like...you know...and all it was was just live guitars 'cause the drums weren't working and he was just like...I guess you take that chance when you bring that type of thing. It's not a matter of plugging in.
I think that it depends on what level you take it to. Where we're at if some of the sampling went down I think we still would be able to play because a lot of that stuff for us is just an effect. It's a reinforcement of what is there more than it's the body of what we're doing.
Not the song.
Yeah it's not the song and it's also when you're a guitar band if they're generators go out or something like that they're gonna look pretty silly strumming on their electric guitars too you know.
You have many things. Another song that I thought was...your songs..two of them No Fair Fights and Makebelieve are very haunting and beautiful and you know just very free flowing and...um.. Now No Fair Fights is another one of those songs that does go way back but i'm sure it's progressed and changed at that...since now.
Yeah it's um...it's got a little bit more... introverted I guess. When it was written it was written. It's been developed over the years and I've had a couple different arrangements done, this last one is pretty stark. Makebelieve I guess is a newer one and it's pretty much in the same mode though. I don't know whether or not we're going to be doing those kind of things on the road. I think that's going to have to be decided down the line. We haven't rehearsed those songs yet because they're kind of...
I feel like I would really need to be in control of the situation to do those songs.
Yeah they're gorgeous. I Apologize is a...Who are you apologizing to? Or is it just an open letter to someone?
Well I don't know how much any of these are completely autobiographical. Maybe they're somebody apologizing to me. And I'm just mimicing them. I don't know. If it was that i was apologizing to anyone am I supposed to mention their name?
No because it would be...As we were listening a lot a bunch of people were listening to it in my office I could just hear it being a dedication on Casey Kasem.
I Don't know what that means. So...sorry.
Um it's...nevermind. It's a top 40 countdown.
One quote that I read about you that you have a propensity to fuck up just when things seem to be going your way. Is that true?
That kinda gives the indication that I make a mistake doesn't it?
What I took it as is being bad luck. Something looks like it's going to be happening and then all of a sudden. The deals going through, it's not going through. Going on the road, we're not going on the road. Album's coming out, it's not coming out. Has it just been a long delay?
Well I think the album came out. I'm not positive. They might've been able to put it in the stores i've been going into. Actually it wasn't in the store that I went into the other day but um...
No or maybe it was. Wouldn't that be nice. I don't know really if I fuck up as much as I become disinterested. Maybe that is what is interpreted as fucking up. That I kinda turn my back on a situation.
You just let it go.
As your background since we've never done an interview with you, you're living in L.A. now, did you grow up in Cleveland.
Yeah I grew up in Cleveland.
And do you still go back there? Are you involved in the scene or anything?
Well i'm not involved in the scene. I was going back there for several years after I left to perform every once in awhile because I still get on with the band members that I had and the clubs if I needed to play. If I had that urge where I had to play out and try out a few new songs or something like that. There I could say well I'm coming into town this week can I play friday or something they'd say sure. Where as here it takes a little more bureaucratic ladder.
What do you think of the scene here in L.A.? I just recently moved here from Boston and it's kind of a non-scene actually. You don't know what kind of music is happening.
Yeah it changed here.
Used to be hardcore, thrash.
It seems to be imported from other places. I think there is a independent movement that's going on whether or not that's just where I end up hanging out i'm not sure. It seems like there are a lot of bands from other towns that are on small labels which to me is maybe the scene here because it's not such a local, everybody grew up here small town ya know.
Right, everybody plays in everybody's band.
So on and so forth.
I mean I don't know because we haven't played here. I think we've played here once. it's definitely we're not in the scene here. But who knows, maybe we will end up being in the scene.
I don't think you want to. Are there any special guests on this album that aren't listed?
That aren't listed, no.
Everything's on the credits list?
Yeah, pretty much. There's not...most of the instrumentation was done by me and the vocals. The songs that Trent produced he did the majority of the engineering, programming type thing. The same for Warne Livesey for the sessions that were done in London.
Some of the live drumming all of the live drumming actually, was done by Andy. The guitar player who is with me now, Chris is on the album for some of the tracks that we did in London.
How long did it take total to do the record?
I guess about two and a half months. It was spread across 27 years.
But I think it was a year and a half maybe since we put down the first note to mixing the last note.
How long were you in London?
About four months.
Did you love it there?
Yeah, I liked it.
I spent a lot of time in London, living in Brixton and I just loved it.
I don't know Brixton where's that.
On the outskirts, on the fringe it's not a very good neighborhood but it was great.
Yeah I like it there too.
Would you like to move there or is L.A....
Yeah i'd like to live there but I'm not sure whether or not...I'm don't know what the visa type thing is or if i'm allowed to just move there I don't know what the deal is over there. 6 months you're allowed to stay.
Yeah. I could stay 'til they get a little worried about it, but I supposed if you were just hanging out so if you're working, I'm really not sure.
I don't know what I would be doing, maybe I would be working in a bakery or something.
Yeah what would you do if you weren't doing this?
If I wasn't doing this?
Yeah what would you do otherwise?
Well, I've worked in factories. I've worked as a chef. I was a counselor and a humorist.
What kind of counselor?
Like a personal head kind of counselor.
And what's a humorist?
You know it's just a word that I thought of right now as an occupation. It sounds like something that I would like to do for a living though.
That was really good. It sounds like a cartoonist.
I think that i'm a humorist on some of that record, maybe on.....
I Got It Bad?
Yeah there's some humor in there, it's my kind of humor you know. Fucked up career ending humor.
Yeah it sounds like I Got It Bad is kinda...I don't know if the songs are personal or not but it sounds like me yelling at somebody or letting someone have it.
Well it's the sickness of going after anything too. That's what I get kind of frustrated at. Why one would continue to go after something that is ultimately upsetting to them is kind of a baffling mystery.
Who did the artwork for the album?
The artwork is done by Roger Von Golling who used to do all the local flyers and did backdrops for my bands in Cleveland. He's living in Boston now as a matter of fact.
Oh really, I was going to say that this reminds me of the bays of Nantucket.
Maybe it is.
He's more interested in Boston?
Yeah he is. He lives across the street from that park on Beacon street. What's that park?
Um...there's commonwealth park, there's the middle...does he live dead center like Fenway? Charles River?
Beacon street wherever that is.
Beacon runs the whole gamut.
So it could be...but it's beautiful. It's beautiful. But he's there now, freezing his butt off.
What is an aural sculpter?
It's something that the publicist thought of.
I love publicists. Every bio you read, you know they're lying.
Maybe they aren't lying I just don't know. I think I may be an aural sculpter somewhere on that record but certainly not in interview.
Probably in the song...what is it?
Am I making it difficult?
No. In Animal I would think maybe you're an aural sculpter. Just go with me.
On your thanks, who is KooKoo BoomBoom? What is that?
It's my own personal secret.
So you're not sure if you're going on tour?
Well I have a band and I have an agent and I have a manager so I think that kinda means I am.
Are you concerned at all about the comparisons with Nine Inch Nails?
By the press, by critics, maybe you don't care.
Well sometimes I care, othertimes...I guess I didn't count on people not reading the credits and finding that half the songs are produced by Trent but for the most part I thought it was a good working environment and artistic kind of thing. After all Trent was the other part of the band on the songs that he produced. He and I were the band so there's going to be some kind of similarity there. I'm certainly not going to ask him to not do what he does best so that I won't have any indication of any sound like that. I don't think the live show is much like Trent's group.
How do you know it'll differ.
I think it's very different. We're just different as far as the way we perform. I think there's a lot of things about the songs that in a live setting will take the listener somewhere they won't go on the record. Or a similar place but not the same.
What was it like working with Trent in the studio? Have you guys been friends all along.
We were friends, he played in my group. He was a keyboard player in one of my bands in Cleveland and we wanted to get together and do some recording back then but that's one of the times that I left the situation. He started writing at that time and got his Pretty Hate Machine record out. So he kind of disappeared for a few years. Although we still wanted to work together in the studio and we would see each other in town..telephone. So yeah, we've been friends for awhile so in the studio it was just hanging out with somebody I knew and I've played with before it wasn't like I stepped into...
Some producer that was thrown at you from your record company.
Sounds like you had a really great deal going on with that and Interscope just kind of backed off and let you do whatever you wanted to do.
It wasn't even a Interscope project at the time. We were just doing it to do music.
I think maybe that even helped. It wasn't a....I don't have like a problem...I don't know what I'm supposed to compare it too because it was just...
Sounds like it was actually perfect.
You know, just laid back and no pressure. Obviously that's how you'll do the next on you think?
There's probably going to be pressure. If there is a next one.
If you don't get that propensity thing.
Propensity for what?
If you just want to drop out.
Yeah, well...I'm sure I'll get that.
That comes every 60 seconds. But what kind of pressure it will be I don't know. Part of the reason I wanted to go to London was to just get away from any kind of pressure if there was going to be any here. I wasn't getting any from any labels or really anything here in L.A. but just in case I was about to...I thought I would get the hell out before it started. So if I feel anything like that where it's infringing on anything artistic then I will have to split.
Cool. That's all I really need. Thank You.