Wednesday, March 26, 2008

DEATH PUPPY interview from July 1985

This was the VERY FIRST interview I ever did. DEATH PUPPY, along with N.O.T.A. were a pretty big deal for my friends and I. I think part of the appeal of DEATH PUPPY for us was because they were teenagers as well, skated, etc. And they were an active band. I still have their demo tape, and played it heavily in the summer of 1985. Some label called Sound Company put out a 2 song seven inch of DEATH PUPPY in the early 90s. The two songs were from their demo, "Dress For Suckcess", and "I Skate".

Before DEATH PUPPY, they were called DIET OF WORMS, who had two songs on the "Brain Of Stone" compilation cassette from BCT (some other bands on this comp were RAZOR BLADES, ACCUSED, POWER OF THE SPOKEN WORD, YOUTH KORPS, and VICIOUS CIRCLE - worth seeking out!). After DEATH PUPPY split up, three of the members, Mark, Richie, and Jason started FACE FIRST, with Darren Mock on bass (who would later go on to play in VERBAL ASSAULT). Mark would later go on to play in KILL WHITEY. No idea what any of them are up to these days. If anyone knows, I'd be interested to find out.

I think this ran in the fourth or fifth issue of False Pseudo. My first attempt was over the phone, and totally naive to it all, I tried to write everything down they were saying, then Mark suggested I send the questions through the mail and do it that way. Lo and behold...

Mark answered all the questions and pretty much "spoke for" the rest of the band using their names.

Who are the members of DEATH PUPPY and where did you get the name?

Mark : Starring in alphabetical order; Scott (future Dunkin' Donuts employee) Burnett - bass, Jason (cross my legs and pound the floor) Hadley - skins, Writchee (mammoth dick) Knapp - and Mark (where the buffalo rome) Smirl - cranking out the twin axe attack, and last but not least, Todd (born to be a little crazy at times) Willige - rounds out the outfit with his impressive crooning.
And as far as the name goes; "Hey, what's in a name any how?"

Who writes the songs, and where do you get the ideas for them?

Writshee : I write the songs that make the whole world sing.
Mark : I write the songs of love and special things.
Todd : I write the songs that make the young girls cry.
Jason : I write the songs.
Scott : I write the songs.

What kind of responses do you all get at gigs?

All: Well breasted women throw their half naked bodies across the stage screaming in rapturous howls of ecstasy.

Do you have any plans to record another tape soon?

Mark : Yes, we have a greatest hits LP in the works. No, but seriously, we're too busy trying to get Jason home from Europe. You see, he's been a victim of a tragic hijacking incident. The terrorists claim they will kill the hostages if their demands are not met. And we're just worried sick and 'sides that, we don't have enough material anyhow.

In your opinion, what do you think the "scene" is like here in Oklahoma?

Mark : Look, the scene is what we make it. Now I know that sounds like I'm trying to avoid the question, but that's exactly what I'm doing. The scene will work for us if we work for it. But I will say this, there's a lot of senselss nit picking and name calling, of which I'm guilty of too, but there's no excuse or reason for this. So unite people! Let's cooperate for the good of us all (yeah I listen to 7 Seconds, so what!).

Final question, where can people get your tape at?

Mark : Well, forget about skipping down to the local Record Bar 'cause it aint there. But if all you boys and girls wanna lay your hands on this master piece of recording artistry, just write me, Mark'o at **** Downing Ct, Edmond, OK 73034, and send 3 bucks in American currency only. In case you have a phobia against sending cash through the mail, then make checks or money orders out to me. Well, what are you waiting for?!!? Thanks.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

PSYCHO interview from September 1985

My memory is a little fuzzy on this one... I think this was for an issue of False Pseudo that never happened. So I might have used it in the second zine I started, called Schizo, which lasted for about 2 issues (culminating with interviews with the Meat Puppets and Face First - which will appear much later if I can find the cassette tapes!).

Another mail interview. This time with Psycho, who put out a slew of vinyl from the 80s well into the 90s. I first became aware of them through Unclean Records (Sand Springs, OK).

I forgot all about the term "trendies" until I started typing this out. I can laugh about it now.

I did see these guys live eventually. They shared a bill with Rorschach at Gilman in Berkeley, summer of 1993.

Without further ado....

Questions were answered by Johnny X.

Who are the members of Psycho, and how long have you all been together?

Johnny : Johnny X - guitar, vocals, Bill Norman - bass, Mega - vocals, Charlie Infection - drums.
This line up has been together since November 1984. The original line up (John & Bill) plus 2 former members formed in October 1981, In our four years together we have played over 100 shows and toured the east coast and the midwest.

Who writes the songs?

Johnny : We all write the songs, but Bill Normal and I have written most of the current songs we use in our live set.

I understand you all did a tour not too long ago. Could you tell us how the tour went?

Johnny : It went great. We played Green Bay, Chicago, Detroit, Allentown, PA, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Morgantown, West Virginia. It was a very successful tour.

What kind of reactions from the audience do you get at the gigs?

Johnny : We get really good responses from just about all our shows. We get a better response at all ages shows naturally, but even over 20 shows we play go over really well. We seem to play the best shows in Boston, Philadelphia, and Rhode Island.

Is there any violence at your concerts? If so, have you ever had to stop playing the concert because the violence was real bad?

Johnny : Well, only a few times have we had to stop playing because of the cops. In Boston, we got threatened with arrest if we didn't turn our volume down. In Harrisburg, PA, the cops just walked in and stopped the show. It was ridiculous. Most of our shows have been real cool on the whole. We've played over 100 shows and only a few have been trouble.

What is the scene like in Boston? Are there a lot of "trendies" in the scene?

Johnny : Yes there are a lot of trendies in the scene, The scene here is really good. There are a lot of shows and the crowds are not violent for the most part. Sometimes, there is a little trouble, but most of the shows are really without problems. I like Boston a lot.

Are there any really great local bands in Boston that are their way to underground success?

Johnny : Yes, Boston has many great underground bands; Psycho, the Freeze, Gang Green, FU's, Cancerous Growth, PTL Klub, Salem 66, the Odds, and First Strike.

Do you have any plans to tour soon?

Johnny : Well, we constantly tour the east coast on weekends all year long. Next summer we will do a two week tour that could lead us to Florida or the west coast.

Are you getting ready to release an album or EP soon? Or are you going to take a long break?

Johnny : We will have a new 6 song EP released on Unclean Records of Oklahoma sometime in September 1985. We are already at work on our next project which could be a full album. We are weighing a few different offers right now. We will also be on the next Mystic "Party" album Volume 3m and the "Best of" BCT album.

Do you have any jobs besides the band?

Johnny : Yes, we all work day jobs. Bill is a furniture salesman, Mega works in an ice-cream store, Charlie is an auto parts warehouse foreman, and I am a supervisor in a vitamin mailorder factory.

Any closing comments? Also, is there an address for people to write you all at?

Johnny : Yes, thanks to Matt for this cool interview. We have a 12 song cassette available for $3.50 (Zany Adventures) and T-shirts (medium or large) for $6.00 ppd. Send a stamp for stickers and info. Send all mail to: Psycho c/o John Wolfe, PO Box (doubtful still current 23 years later!), Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02142.

N.O.T.A. interview from 1985

Here's another stellar mail interview for a zine I did called False Pseudo. FP was the first zine I started, at the age of 16. It started off as just a zine full of opinions on music, the town I lived in, some music news (culled from Flipside, Okie zines, and whatever they said on "Fear Of Music" and "My Tunnel" (radio shows on KGOU) at the time), and comic strips about fighting jocks, rednecks, and metalhead. Very much a product of its environment and times. Surprisingly, despite there being no punks at my school, I had a few subscribers. This zine never made it out of Oklahoma, and maybe had 10 copies of each issue printed at the time.

The issue that the N.O.T.A. interview ran in caused a bit of a stir for the printing company I took it to. This was while I was still living in Moore, and across the street from the main post office was a print shop that offered cheap copies (opposed to the 10 cents a copy I was paying at the library!). I dropped the master copy off there and started my lunch time fasts to raise money for the printing. A couple days later I get yanked out of school, my mom is enraged and saying some shit like, "I can't believe my own flesh and blood would do this to me.."

The copy shop read over my zine and decided they did not want to print it because it was "against God, disrespectful of authority, and pornographic." I remember walking into the shop and the owner is pissed off. He threw the masters my way and told me he never wanted to see me in his establishment again, and told my mom she needs to do a better job of raising me. And some shit about how he should call the police on me. Whatever...

The only pornographic thing was the ad for the A.S.F. "A Sure Fuck" EP and shirt which has a man with an erection and three spurts that have A.S.F. written in them. Then there were drawings of cop cars on fire, "I hate all cops" written in the borders, and shit like that. Not to mention stories about fighting rednecks and jocks and my complete disdain for Oklahoma in 1985. My mom gets home and reads it. "I can't believe such filth is in my house! What kind of son have I raised?!? I don't even know you anymore!" She then starts ripping the master pages up. From that day forward all my zine activity was completely hidden from view and never mentioned around my family ever again. I think I made about 5 copies at most of this one. They were all sold at Starship Records in Tulsa, OK.

N.O.T.A. were, and still are, a favorite band of mine. The fact that a band that awesome could come out of Oklahoma was something in itself. It actually gave one hope. The majority of the world thought we were all a bunch of assbackward people and living out in the sticks (I have letters from bands asking if we had running water and indoor plumbing in 1985, and if we have much trouble with the Indians!). So, in some way bands like N.O.T.A. were de facto ambassadors of the state.


Who are the members of N.O.T.A., and how long have you all been playing together?

Jeff - N.O.T.A. is Jeff (me) - vocals, Bruce - bass, Russell- guitar, Bob - drums. We've been together since April 1980. Russell joined in June 1982.

Who writes the songs and where did you get the ideas for them?

Jeff - Russell and I write the bulk of the songs, but everyone contributes and Bob and Bruce have both written lyrics.


What is the name of the new album and when will it be released to the public?

Jeff - It doesn't have a name, just N.O.T.A., and it should be out around September 15.

Do you have any tour plans for the album?

Jeff - Yes, we're planning a tour of all points east of the Mississippi starting around October 1.

What do you think about bands such as Suicidal Tendencies putting videos on Mtv?

Jeff - I think it's great! Otherwise that channel is a total piece of shit. Let there be more.

In your opinion, what do you think of the scene in Oklahoma?

Jeff - I wish it was more steady and contained fewer "tribes". We need to have a scene first then we can all find shit to fight about.

Is there anything you would like to say to the people of Oklahoma, and where can people write to you?

People can write us at PO Box (invalid at this point I'm sure), Tulsa, OK 74157. Anyone that's been around already knows us so I guess there aint much to say except COME OUT TO THE SHOWS AND SUPPORT THE SCENE YOU MAGGOTS!!!




Tuesday, March 18, 2008

ASF interview from February 1987

A month ago I was going through an old trunk of things I have collected for the past 25 years or so. The entire trunk was packed full of punk memorabilia that I have amassed since I was a teenager. Some of it good and most it bad. Anyway, I used to do various fanzines over the years, and in the 80s I did a lot of mail interviews. Since I lived in Oklahoma and not many bands came through, so I had no other real choice.

One of the zines I worked on, which never came out, was called Trapped In Moore. The name referenced the town I was living in at the time. Moore is, or was (I hear it's changed quite a bit over the past 20 years) a bedroom community south of Oklahoma City. Your typical suburb of the 80s, where the jocks ruled the day and the rednecks kept the weirdos in check. Punk rock, or more aptly, hardcore, at the time was definitely not the cool music. You've heard the story a million times by now I'm sure. So anyway, Moore was a dull and boring place to live. So I did fanzines and wrote to bands to feel a little less trapped in that town. Four months after this interview was conducted I moved out of that town and never looked back.

This interview was with ASF, an all female trio from Boulder, CO. Unclean put out their EPs and they had a LP on Flipside around the time this was done. One of the members, Leslie Mah, went on to be in Tribe 8.

Who are the members of A.S.F., and if you want, give your ages.

Leslie - bass, vocals.
Shannon - drums.
Tracie - Vocals, guitar.

How did A.S.F. get together and how long have you been together?

Tracie - Me and Leslie started playing about 3 years ago and eventually got other members. We've been together for about 3 years.

Do you have any jobs other than the band?

Shannon - Shannon and Leslie work in a groovy neck tie factory where we make the most expensive ties in the US.
Tracie - I work at a printing shop doing bindery work. Real exciting.

What are some subjects you write songs about?

Tracie - Just about how we feel, and things going on around us. Personal experiences.

Are any of you straight-edge? Any opinion on straight-edge ideologies?

Shannon - Pass me another beer.
Tracie - No. Straight-edge is fine and I think a lot of people need to be that way because they can't handle themselves. Whatever people want is fine as long they're happy.

From the picture in Flipside #50, I noticed two of you have skateboards. Where are some good places to skate at in Boulder, and what is the skate scene like there?

Tracie - There's not really much of anything in Boulder. Not even many punks, so of course nowhere to skate. No place to have shows anymore unless you have lots of money.

What made you start A.S.F.?

Tracie - Me and Leslie always wanted to be in a band so we did it together.

Where did you find the word "scrunti"?

Tracie - Some friends in Kenosha came up with it. It's a slutty girl.

Who are some of your favorite bands?

Tracie - Exploited, Ruebella Ballet, Gash, Frightwig, Super Heroines, and a lot of others.

In what direction do you see hardcore heading?

Tracie - Toward uncaring, toughness, fashion, and just really not having any sort of message any more besides, 'Let's get drunk and fuck'.