Ah, maybe they were just trying to get me excited for no reason.
I’ve had enough of the band. I’m just coming down. I’m just coming down to look around. Go to the movies. Yeah, if we tour and we tour, we’ll definitely come down.
Hell, I hope you guys tour.
I’m not sure about it right now but I’m having too much fun making music.
Well, all right. Tonight we’re going to talk about sex, drugs, and rock and roll.
I was reading something interesting. I was 17 years old when I lost my virginity and I was the first in my group of girlfriends to do that. So I thought I was really cool and then I read that you lost yours at 13. I feel like a late bloomer.
Nah, you’re not a late bloomer. I definitely think girls should store it up. Losing my virginity at 13 was like having a dream. And one of those head scratching, not a good dream or a bad dream, just like what happened? What did I do? It should note in the story that after I did lose my virginity it was at least four years before I did anything else again of merit. I just kind of stewed on it.
How old was she?
Oh, she was 16.
An older woman.
She was 16 and two heads taller than me. It was insane. It was in a swimming pool. One of those back yard stand up swimming pools and it was me like a monkey holding onto the side because I was so short. I literally had to climb up with my legs on the inside of the pool and my hands on the outside of the pool. It was crazy. In the blazing sunlight of a summer afternoon. Crazy.
At least your first time was fucking wacked out. That’s cool.
The only thing that saved me from a total complete disaster like a premature ejaculation kind of thing was the fact that the water was cold. It was weird because the next time I actually did it, two seconds. I don’t know if it’s possible to actually go back to being a virgin but I felt like it by the next time I did it which I think I was 16 or 17.
Your virginity was handed back to you.
Damn right. I was like yeah, this doesn’t happen all the time.
I was reading somewhere that at some of your shows, you guys have nude dancers and that’s gotten you into trouble. I don’t understand in this day and age why people are still not used to the fact that people get naked and fuck and shit like that. Come on.
It only happens in the States. The rest of the world doesn’t care. The rest of the world is like “we’ve got a lot more problems than having a couple of naked people on stage.” The stage is a weird place. You live in a country that is so schizophrenic with its morals.
Puritanical I think.
Well yeah, it’s puritanical but it’s only lip service paid to the puritanical. I’m not one of these guys that believes that the morals people are professing today are anything more than…when they crack down on the stuff it’s just an extension of their own guilt. It’s hypocrisy and there’s a big guilt trip going on in the Bible belt. Look at what all their kids are doing. Look at what they’re doing. They’re out there trying to pass laws to ban this and that but they’re at home on their computers looking at porn and their daughters go berserk and do meth and gang bang guys that are on tour buses. I’ve been there. In the Bible belt is where it’s the most out of hand.
What I got a charge out of was these politicians run around all hysterical about gay people and then it’s some fucking politician who gets caught in the bathroom of an airport wanting to suck some guy’s cock.
That’s what I mean. That’s exactly what’s going on. It’s a lot of pressure on a lot of people for a really, really long time. It gets passed down from generation to generation. Religion. Man made religion in the laws. It makes people spontaneously combust. They’re locked into it. It’s their tradition but what we’re seeing is that it’s shaking itself apart. Rather than naturally like in Europe, it’s like okay, you fuck. That’s good. Oh, what’s happening? A 17 year old girl is fucking a 35 year old guy. Yeah, and? Then on and on here, some people do and some people don’t. That’s just one example of something that may be somewhat taboo. There’s more taboo stuff than that but they let it go. People get over it and they grow up and move on in life. Here everybody says “oh my God, blah blah blah.” What happens in the good old American way, the more you say no the more people want to do it. Now we have this totally schizophrenic…we’re the only country in the world that would have a promotion like “what goes on in Vegas stays in Vegas.” What is that? What are you talking about? It’s a bastion for infidelity. Go ahead and lie. It’s okay. Go ahead and lie? Only in America. Religion, I’ve got to say I was raised a Catholic. Religion made sex so much fun for me because I put all the don’ts in the do pile. Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Don’t to the other. I was like I’m doing all that stuff they told me not to do. It turned me into a complete sex fiend. Don’t do this. Well, okay.
It’s like this forbidden fruit. “Oh my God, you don’t want to do this, that, and the other.” It just makes it that more tempting.
Oh, yeah. The only thing is, unfortunately there are not a lot of people that can handle that kind of game. There are plenty of people who really, really travel around with Catholic guilt and religious guilt forever. They’ll break down and have a bunch of really good dirty sex or something and then feel really bad a few years after. More with women than I think guys.
Both of my parents are like atheists so I was totally raised without any kind of religion at all. My parents never made a big deal of sitting down and telling me not to do drugs and not to have sex and not to do this, that, or the other. I guess because of that I never really did any of that shit. I definitely never touched drugs. As for not drinking, when I was growing up if my parents had a glass of wine at the dinner table then I had a glass of wine at the dinner table. I never felt this need to sneak behind their backs and get drunk and shit like that.
That’s great. That’s the way it should be. The only reason I keep bringing up Europe so much is I spent more time in Europe than anywhere else.
My mom is from Switzerland.
And that’s what they do there. You know something? It’s fine. Things work out fine. There isn’t nearly the kind of crazy psychosis that goes on like in the States over crazy medications. Experimental medications. Mood altering medications that are prescribed day after day. I’ve been out on the road for 15 years and I’ve seen the most insane stuff. It’s not just sex and it’s not just drugs and rock and roll. It’s a combination of weird mood altering drugs that don’t react like old drugs. When I was a kid and somebody did cocaine or something like that, you knew what was going on. Now, you get these subtly mood altering drugs that are mixed with alcohol and people just burst out crying and then laugh. And you’re like “are you all right?” I would sit down with a girl and then if something weird was going on, because there’s always something crazy going on at a rock show, I would go “what’s the matter? Can I take a look at your pocketbook?” I would take a look and I would find just this crazy mix of prescribed drugs. It happened way a lot. Like more than four or five times I’ve done the random drug test. It’s a random drug check. There they have something like a Zoloft or Prozac or Wellbutrin or something like that. Plus Xanarex plus some other thing for some probably nonexistent thing. Then alcohol on top of it and you get these weird reactions from people. Not good.
It used to be you knew what all the drugs were. You knew what fucking cocaine was and LSD and angel dust and all that shit. Now it’s crystal meth and all sorts of shit you can’t keep up with anymore.
Yeah, I think the worse is the combinations of what happens with the very subtle effects but strong effects of prescription mood altering drugs because you can’t really tell. These kind of drugs stay in your system for a long time because they’re made to stay in your system all the time. When you see somebody freaking out on acid, when the trip is over you know it. Same with coke when it’s done. But the mood altering prescribed drugs stay in people’s system so people go through their whole lives acting a certain way when actually that’s not them at all. It’s scary, man.
That fucking Prozac and shit like that is so dangerous anyway because you have these kids going to school and shooting a bunch of people like at Virginia Tech and Columbine. Then you come to find out later on that they were on fucking Prozac.
Yeah, I can’t blame the people that prescribe that kind of medication for kids because basically it’s in the experimental stage.
What I can’t get over is that when I went to school and somebody acted up in class a little bit everyone was like “well, he’s just acting up in class.” Now it’s like if somebody acts up in class “oh well, you need to give him some drugs.” Who in the hell ever heard of drugging children? This is insane.
Very weird stuff. Not good. It’s not good. People have to really, really pay attention with kids. You really have to pay attention to what advice they’re getting. Hey, we’re starting to sound like Air America here. Blahbady blah blah. They really have to pay attention because the system is run by money and if you get a bunch of people and agencies who are pretty much in the game to facilitate medication and now that they’ve broken the fourth wall and are starting beta testing on kids, that’s it. That’s the end. You don’t beta test drugs on children. This is bullshit.
The pharmaceutical companies are just in it for the fucking money. They don’t really give a shit. I think it was Bush that passed some fucking legislation where you can’t even sue these assholes anymore if the shit they prescribe you fucks you up or kills you.
It’s funny you mention that because not that I was going to sue him but I went to a doctor about two years ago. I had a horrible sleeping problem and at this point in my life I’m not at home for more than a couple of weeks so I explained the problem to him really hard. He’s my regular doctor and he prescribes me these super benzodiazepine things called diazepam and what they are is like a super Xanax. I asked if these things are okay and he said yeah. He said they’re strong and I need them strong and that I’d get used to them. It’s great. Politicians take them, sports people take them. The people that really, really are wound up and really hyper and they need to sleep in order to do the game the next day. I was like really, all right. I’m not a get high guy. I don’t even drink. It’s been years and years and years since I got high recreationally. I’d rather be alive and alert. I’m not like a 12 step guy or anything like that. Just after doing tons of drugs when I was a teenager and early 20’s I was like all right, that’s it. I’m out. So I’m really concerned about what these could do. He goes “yeah, they can get addictive but you just have to watch yourself. Don’t take too much and when it’s time to come down we’ll taper you off.“ He gives me a prescription times four of 100 bottles because you’re going to go on tour and you’re going to need them. So I go out there with a whole drugstore. I was really good and I didn’t take over. To make a long story short this guy, I trusted him because he’s my doctor, just broke the law a billion times over. He’s not supposed to prescribe that stuff for more than a week. It’s horribly addictive. It has a horrible effect on your nervous system. Basically he just went to jail. The feds yanked him. They ran into his office and took him to jail. He’s basically prescribing highly addictive drugs in low doses to all of his patients and they would come back often. There was never an empty waiting room. I totally overdosed on them eventually. I was riding the pill train. It was horrible.
Yeah, I remember reading about that. I’m glad you’re still with us, babe.
Oh, man it was a horrible thing. This stuff is evil and it’s evil because it’s designed extremely well. This is not some rotgut drug although it has a rotgut effect on you. It’s designed extremely well for what it does. It’s the ultimate chill out thing. It’ll make anybody go to sleep within 15 minutes and not a groggy kind of sleep but a very, very dreamy nice sleep. You wake up and you’re a little hung over for a half an hour and then it’s gone. It’s gone. Amazing stuff. This is not rotgut Valium or old downers or stuff that stuck with you. When you have something that functions so well in the beginning, that’s the real key for becoming addicted because it’s not messing outwardly with your life. Again I’m a special case. I didn’t choose to get high. I chose to actually go to sleep. I’ve got this thing like all right, this is another problem out of the way. I do a lot of stuff. I travel all the time. I was going back and forth to Europe three or four times in one month to do shows in Australia and come back. Japan and come back. I was going three or four times over the course of a summer.
Jetlag from hell.
Yeah, you get to the point where you just can’t even talk because every night my job is to go “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, WUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU”. When you go “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, WUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU” every night and you don’t get any sleep, it finally comes out to be “aah aah” and that’s no fun. So I couldn’t go “ooga booga” so I took the pills and I really went “OOGA BOOGA” and here I am.
My day job is running the OTC part of the pharmacy.
That’s a good paying job I think, right?
Oh yeah, it is. It’s actually a lot of fun because a lot of the customers you see every day and they’re really sweet people and you get to know them. We sell a lot of stuff including sleeping pills and we have this one type of sleeping pill that’s the store brand. They send me tons of that shit because I sell tons of it every week. I can’t believe how many sleeping pills I sell in a week’s time. I don’t think people really realize just how fucking dangerous that shit is.
Is it over the counter or prescription?
It’s over the counter but I think people pop them like candy.
Yeah, they do. People love pills.
I hate pills.
The whole pill thing, maybe I’m looking at it personally here a little bit too much but the promise of a quick fix is quite a large promise. It’s enough for many people who may be a lot more rational in their lives about other things but still hope to think that “if I can get something that’s going to fix it quick, I can just get on to fixing everything else.” That’s how I got into it. This thing can help me through. That’s the way my doctor explained it to me. He’s quite a philosopher this guy. He told me to use it for what I need to use it and then leave it. I was like “yeah.” It got to the point and the whole reason it got so out of hand is because I was just too embarrassed to tell anybody that I had a problem. I was embarrassed to say anything. I’ve got a drug problem. That was the worse thing in the world for me to admit which is really stupid when I look back on it. I almost died because I didn’t bring it up. If I would have brought it up, it would have been no problem. Also I think if my doctor would have warned me in the beginning before I had gotten strung out on pills, this guy actually passed my physical that year. I was there not even realizing that if I stopped taking this stuff I would go into a seizure which I did eventually. I stopped taking it and that’s what really caused the problem. I was like “fuck this, I’m stopping it” and had a seizure. My whole body screamed “I want benzodiazepine now”. I took it like a crazy man. This guy passed me in physicals. He said “okay, you’re good to go. Clean bill of health.” What really he should have been saying on the physical is “this man is addicted to benzodiazepine, one of the most addictive drugs on the face of the planet.” It’s more addictive than heroin.
Is that guy fucking insane or something?
Well, he’s in jail.
I think he needs to be in a fucking loony bin.
Well yeah, he was insane. He’s quite a fellow. He’s one of these guys like I have to write about this guy. His character is just too amazingly weird.
You can’t pass that up now.
Because he’s just a really weird character. He has his own philosophy on everything. He was a good looking guy. He didn’t look like a quack. It’s insane. When you go into him I would say this guy is out of his mind but I like him. He’s cool. You don’t like too many doctors. I’d go in there and see him once every four or five months or once a year when I got off tour so I’m going to write about him. What a bizarre thing and now he’s in jail which makes it even cooler. Well, in a manner of speaking. Not cool but what a story.
No shit, he’s probably philosophizing in jail. Whenever someone tells you that this is what politicians take, that’s when you really steer clear of it. That’s why they’re so fucked up.
Yeah, he was like “executives, politicians, people who have to travel and blah, blah, blah”.
It just blows my mind how many sleeping pills I sell. If I suffer from insomnia I just go with it. I don’t like the idea of swallowing something that’s going to make me conk out.
I would have never considered it unless I had so much at stake. Everything I had was at stake. If you don’t sleep you can’t sing. I didn’t even have more than a day to consider anything else but sleeping. When you go out on the road and you’re paying people. I’m paying 10 or 11 people a lot of money. If I miss a show I have to pay these people. They’re not going to say “oh, it’s cool. You’re sick.” The loss of revenue is ridiculous. The fans are mad. Everybody is mad. It’s a business no matter what happens. If the singer can’t sing it’s a bad, bad thing and that’s how I got into it. I was like “hey, I need something to fix something. Roadie, get me a giant pill.” It’s so weird because I didn’t do this outside. It wasn’t me scoring pills at gigs. I went to a doctor and did the whole thing right. Right into the loony bin, baby.
I have this doctor and she’s told me a lot of times people will come in and it turns out they have a potassium deficiency. She tells them to eat some bananas and it should right things. “Oh, no! I want a pill.”
People love them. Pill, pill, pill. The magic pill. The marketing of drugs in the States…
Have you seen these crazy ass commercials on TV? “If you have this disorder or your dick is limp or you can’t stop walking, here’s a fucking pill. Tell your doctor.” Isn’t my doctor supposed to tell me if I might need something like that?
Yeah, that’s a great one because that really fits in a lot with malpractice insurance. If someone goes and asks, it turns the whole affair into another light. That’s what I read about that kind of stuff. I love those commercials. You’re never quite sure what they’re selling.
What’s even funnier is when they list all the side effects. They’re worse then the actual illness.
Possible side effects include diarrhea, projectile vomiting. I’m like ew.
Yeah, really. Shingles.
There’s one pill where they state it may have fatal consequences. Oh, yeah. I’m going to go after that one.
It’s the way the stuff is sold. The pill has been sold in America for the last 100 years. A little bit more. Probably since the early 1900’s or before that. The whole snake oil salesman if you go back to cowboy days. That’s as far back as I go with it. I’m sure that I can remember but there was always a guy going “blah, blah, blah. It’s Uncle Charlie’s magical elixir. Blah, blah, blah.” People want something that’s going to make them feel better even if it’s just a placebo. Now it’s gotten so out of hand it’s like science fiction. These guys are inventing boner pills. Who would think that when you grow up there’d be erection pills? That’s insane. “Here you go.”
Are you suffering from limp dick? Here’s some Viagra.
It’s really, really science fiction.
My dad is Native American and of course his people were into all the herbal stuff and he has this absolute aversion to what he calls chemical drugs. I agree with him a lot on that because these pills have more chemicals in them to make you feel better.
Yeah, people are playing with fire with this stuff. The last thing you need is more chemicals in your body. You get enough from the food that you eat.
Oh yeah, Franken food.
Franken food. That’s really great. Where did you learn that?
My mom started calling it that because she was reading about all this crazy biogenetic food and we’re going to put this with this and see what we come up with. She’s like “oh my God, Franken food.”
That’s awesome. You’ve got to tell her that’s the coolest thing I’ve heard in a really long time.
It’s so fucking scary especially if you have an allergic reaction to strawberries. They take the gene out of strawberries that make them a deep red and mix them with tomatoes so the tomato is redder.
Yeah, it’s like nice going genius. Glad to see that you’re thinking ahead.
That’s just insane. It’s like oh my God, if I eat this shit will I grow a third arm?
That’s that whole concept that they call beta testing which is really irresponsible. It’s basically let’s not wait until we know exactly what everything does. Let’s let the people who are buying it find out.
If they keel over dead, so what. That’s some fucking creepy shit. You guys released Monolithic Baby and then in 2006 you were supposed to go on tour and shit except that you had a bad experience.
I went on tour with Monolithic Baby. That’s all I did. That’s how I got in trouble. We toured Monolithic Baby from the week it came out. There’s just more in the world than the States. We toured so much but the States is just a bummer.
The music scene is so fucked up here.
We were out there so it’s not like we didn’t tour. We toured and toured and toured and then I toured a little bit too much and got into the pill thing. Then in 2006 I almost got to do one final tour before we went in to make this record. That happened to be the time where I just woke up one night and couldn’t sleep. Really, really couldn’t sleep and I took two pills and went back to sleep. Woke up and took two pills. Woke up and walked around the house and went back to sleep. Woke up again an hour later and I just took the pill vial and I can’t remember really doing it but I kind of remember and just like a shot glass. Just clogging an amount of pills and that was it.
You almost went on the rainbow ride. I hope you steer clear of shit like that in the future.
Oh, I have no desire believe me.
That had to suck. That hangover must have lasted for weeks.
It lasted for a year. It takes six months as opposed to heroin I found out later on. Heroin takes about three days to get physically out of your system. This stuff takes six months. It takes a good year and a half to two years for your neuro receptors to grow back. I didn’t know I was hurting my neuro receptors. What the hell are my neuro receptors? Now I know what they are. They’re something that makes you make rational decisions.
You guys re-released some of your albums which I got some of those to review and absolutely loved them. What made you guys decide to re-release some of your shit?
We got the rights back to them. We signed a record deal in the early ‘90s with this German record company called Glitterhouse for release of those two early albums and they disappeared off of the face of the earth. Ran away with our money. At one point I was like “screw this, I’m going to publish the songs.” I’ve got the masters. I just put them out and said if anybody has a problem with the contract on anything like this, let them come. Nobody’s stepped up yet.
That’s something I don’t understand. You think up this shit and you create it and put it out but somebody else feels like they own the rights to it.
It’s nothing new. Intellectual property is not very well respected these days. It started back then but these days especially now, I don’t even think your average person could even understand the concept of intellectual property. The whole world is encouraged to just push a button to get what they want which is cool but they don’t have a system that actually pays the people for coming up with this stuff. Basically you’re going to have a whole generation of thieves who don’t even know they’re thieves and that’s what’s happening now. It’s the worse time ever for writers of any sort. They get very, very little monetary compensation for anything they do. People really don’t care what they do and people feel that that should be free. You watch how it turns out when the actual quality of writing of music, books, and all that kind of stuff goes downhill which it will. If you don’t pay artists what they deserve they will write shit and go away. It’s already starting to show up. Look at the top music now. Look how much it sucks.
There’s no mistake. It’s not because I’m older or anything. There’s no mistake. I know exactly what’s going on. It’s just that the people who write good music deserve to get paid a certain amount and they’re not getting paid. There are no rewards. This downloading shit is horseshit. The genie is out of the bottle and nobody is going to ever be able to put it back in there.
Of course some of the shit that people illegally download is such abject shit that I don’t know why they bother.
Well, it’s not what they’re downloading. It’s the fact that it’s available. I’d like to say that this is bad and this is good. It’s not downloading that’s bad. It’s what happens to the perception and respect of art. There’s not a lot of respect for the process of art. Not that there should be an inordinate amount of respect for art people but there should be at least some sort of respect in the physical sense of “I had to get this and pick it up and this is what it is.” You put these things in cyber land and it becomes less and less something to them and just more and more of a notion. Add to that a really, really fast way of getting which is just pushing a button unaccompanied by any serious art or anything with it. Representation. You get a mentality that’s growing which is “yeah, this is great. Next.” The fastest of the gear in technology right now encourages people to collect things more than actually investigate them. With iPods you can download I think 25,000 songs but I bet you that people are listening to less music. They’re more busy filling up their iPods with stuff than they are listening to it.
Yeah, that’s true. With my iPod I take five CDs from my CD collection and load up five albums of songs because that’s about as much as you can listen to before your battery starts needing to be recharged.
Yeah, and of course this doesn’t affect hardcore music lovers. It’s not like everyone has gotten dumb overnight but it’s set like a priority. A priority to American gear lovers. Get the gear that can get you the most stuff. Download everything and then listen to it later. I don’t think later comes.
Not at that point, no.
I think it’s always whatever’s at the top of the pile. It hasn’t really changed that much except for the fact that it’s the process of actually paying attention to what you have unless it’s seriously, seriously emotionally close to you. Knowing what you have isn’t that important because it’s there. They know it’s there. It’s a strange little psychological thing that goes on with people when you give them stuff easily or cheap or if you open the door to actually free if you’re so inclined to go in there and take it. There’s an instant lack of respect for free things. It’s the American way. “What do you mean it’s free? Something’s got to be wrong with it.” People have more respect for stolen things than they do for free things. It’s crazy so speaking as an artist and a writer who would love to make a ton of money or any money from writing, for my ideas and stuff, it definitely rankles me that the industry itself didn’t have some sort of a safeguard before they let all of the air out of the balloon. That’s what I do for a living. These guys could make off the studio stuff and they could make up their profits on making big deals with computer companies and iTunes and stuff but that money rarely reaches the artists.
Oh, I know. You get paid like two cents for every record you sell.
Yeah and that’s why I signed old school deals in Europe where I know I’m going to sell lots of records. Crazy times. And as much as I bitch and moan, it’s also the greatest time for music lovers because anybody who knows their shit has access to more different kinds of music. It’s faster. In the past they made their own amazing compilation things that used to take forever. Now you can make it in three seconds.
That’s the neat thing about the Internet. In a way the Internet has made musicians’ lives a lot easier and in other ways it’s made their lives harder.
Yeah, well it’s made music lovers’ easier. It hasn’t necessarily made musicians’ lives easier.
The cool thing about the Internet though is that you can get your shit out to more people now than in the past.
Yeah, but my point is that nobody cares. Literally nobody cares. All the shit you hear like “oh, it’s great. You’re reaching the whole world.” No, you’re not. The whole world doesn’t give a shit. They don’t have any respect for it. The only people who have a lot of respect for new music are little kids because they have the enthusiasm. Once you get past the 18 years old, these people don’t give a flying fuck anymore about this stuff. They’ve got other things to do. The Internet is completely taking up their time in everything else. The real star of the 21st century isn’t music. It’s communication with other people. People are more concerned about blabbing to each other than actually getting poetry out of art which maybe it’s an antiquated system but there are a bunch of fallacies running around. One of them is that the Internet allows for new bands to be heard by a lot of people and helps them. It’s horseshit. The Internet is nothing but a flier. Like a show flier. Like a demo tape. That’s all it is. It’s a demo tape. “Yeah, I got my demo tape around.” But it’s still a demo tape. You would think with the absolute infinite channels that the Internet has, that bands would just be coming out left and right being hugely popular but hey, you don’t see that. It’s horseshit. It’s hype.
A number of the bands that I review, I review a couple of CDs and then you never see them again which is sad because I get some real gems across my desk. These guys ought to make it big and they never do.
It’s a shame. It’s just because of the system for selling records and promoting bands. It was never updated when the digital age came in. They updated the gear and the way it’s presented. Digitizing music and making it fast and making it easy to manufacture. Faster and cheaper although you’d never know by the prices they charge. When CDs came in, they’re actually really, really cheap. Cheaper than vinyl. The record companies, instead of passing that along, actually charge more. This is why music is in such a horrible state now. These guys got so greedy that they did everything wrong. They made the wrong decisions and they didn’t prepare for what was eventually going to be the biggest piracy thing they would ever face in their lives. Like I said before, if they would be prepared in the digital age, the Internet would be a quite, quite different place for bands right now. I would imagine major record labels who have the clout and the money to bankroll promotion for bands, because bands need promotion no matter what they say. “The Internet, that’s promotion.” No, it isn’t unless you’re on page one. When you get on a site and you go to www.google.com, unless you’re on that first page you don’t exist. Nothing comes from nothing. Record companies always have the money and the power to get into technology to widen their selection and to completely control the Internet as far as downloads. They didn’t need iTunes. They could have done it themselves. They could have done everything the right way and made a ton of money. And made a ton of money for the artists and passed the less costs onto the consumer. They could have actually done an amazing thing which is offer a better variety of music from really strong, experienced record companies at a cheaper price on a more consistent basis direct to your house. But they didn’t do any of that. They pretended that none of this existed so the world took over. Napster and all that. They just gave the whole circus away.
Yeah, and now they’re sitting there bitching about it.
It seems to me that ever since the year 2000 was ushered in, greed has gotten so out of control. It’s like pigs at the trough.
Yeah, the money making is absolutely out of control. Greed. More for me bless my soul. I’ve got mine, fuck you. That kind of attitude is back and it’s been back for a while but now it’s totally embraced by millions and millions and millions of kids when for the longest time that was discouraged. The whole fuck the man, I don’t like this stuff. Natural distrust of authority. All that kind of stuff that you should have when you’re a teenager doesn’t seem to happen anymore. There are kids going “yeah, I want to grow up and make a lot of money too.” You’re supposed to be a kid. You’re supposed to question these things.
I want to be so obscenely wealthy that I can’t spend all this money in my lifetime or even 10 lifetimes and I need more of it.
Yeah, it’s weird because it just sets people down on a path of just not good feelings. You have to be a little idealistic when you’re young. I’m not asking people to be total hippies but come on. And then the whole gangster rap mentality that just took over rock and roll in the ’90s was really, really a huge example of where the public’s heads were at. The public really, really identified with that. “Look at these guys just take what they want. Fuck it man, I’m all about the money and the bitches.” There’s no conscience here. No conscience whatsoever. Just fuck you. Just completely anti-human. Like the worst kind of example that rock and roll has ever portrayed. The gangster rap thing was just the worst. It was like a cartoon bad guy kind of thing. “Fuck you. It’s me. I’ll kill you.” Basically “I’m going to rape women and kill people.”
And then the rap killings with Notorious B.I.G.
Yeah, that’s show business. It really, really worked. If millions and gazillions of people buy their stuff, what does that tell us about these people? That people are frustrated and they’re tired of doing things within the system the right way. They want something free and then the gangster rap stuff works within the system making the system lots of money and that makes people think that yeah, maybe this is a new way of doing things. Just have a hard ass attitude towards things. Obviously you don’t have to kill people but go out there and just kind of fucking fuck you. I’ve got mine, fuck you. Really, I thnk it revealed a lot about what was going on in people’s heads. It just got so out of control because it made so much money. There was no control. Not anybody thought “oh, this is horrible.” A couple of people would bring it up and say maybe this is not the best kind of thing that should be played for the kids. But it’s America. You get away with that stuff. You just let it go. You don’t stop it. You can’t physically stop that kind of thing. The whole world went along with it. If anybody brought up anything against it, the Black community would come back and go “fuck that, we’re from the ghetto.” Yeah, and that’s cool to murder people? “Well no, but I got problems.” Yeah, you got some fucking problems, man. You’re making $3,000,000 talking about murdering people. Go get a conscience dude.
And then you never take that money and invest it in the area that you came out of. That was something I always thought was so sick. You’ve got these rappers coming out of the ghetto and now they’re multi-millionaires. Well, what have you done for the people you left behind in the ghetto? Nothing. They’re still there.
And their big excuse for that is “well, you know I’m from the ghetto and I don’t know. Here in the ghetto, it’s a concrete jungle and you just grab what you get and then you run. And then you’re a millionaire but you’re still from the ghetto.” What? You’re making less and less sense. What ghetto are you from? Are you from the ghetto or the United States of America, dude? It’s not like you’re from the ghettos of Eastern Europe. You still live in the States. Your ghetto is a million times better than some people’s main streets around the country. It’s absolutely insane. I always pay attention to the NAACP. All these venerable Afro-American institutions that have been going for years and here’s a group of people just shaking their heads going “this gangster rap thing has set race relations back 50 years.” They’re horrified. They’re like “would this guy get off TV for two seconds?” It’s hysterical.
It was funny because at work today we were talking about the war in Iraq and how we’re running over there and killing these people and taking their oil from them. Somebody goes “well, if we want to continue living the lifestyle that we’re living…” and I sat there and said “are you out of your mind?”
I can’t believe…it just totally freaks me out. “You know, freedom isn’t free dude and if we want to continue the lifestyle we’re living, we have to protect it.” Are you really as much of an idiot as you sound?
That fucking blew my mind. I was like “so you want to continue to drive your gas guzzling SUV so we need to run over to Iraq and kill those fucking people and get that oil from them since they aren’t going to hand it over willingly?”
We’re not even getting the oil. Look at the oil prices.
The whole idea behind that really was for the oil companies to get rich. It’s not like they’re doing us a favor.
I think it was more than that. I think the whole idea behind it was there was no idea behind it. As usual, there was no one conspiracy. There wasn’t any well thought out conspiracy by the Bush administration or anyone else. “We’re going to go in there and this is what we’re going to do.” It was just basically a bunch of people making really, really bad calls, overreacting, and then trying to capitalize after it was done. In a lot of ways I would rather prefer that they come up with some sort of a conspiracy because then you can bust the people that were part of the conspiracy and move on. This is just another example of bureaucracy out of control. Business coming in and picking up on bad political decisions and capitalizing on them and the whole thing being tied into eventually what will turn out to be a money making thing and also a political save face thing and also an obvious inferiority complex when it comes to terrorism. It didn’t have to happen. It’s so stupid and it’s allowed to happen by stupid people who should know better. Who vote for people like George Bush. It’s like come on. Where did you get this person who said if we want to continue living this way, where was that?
This is somebody I work with. I looked at him and said “you know what dude, if people have to die in order for me to drive my little Volkswagen around then maybe I just need to park that motherfucker on the side of the road and use it as a planter to plant plants.” I don’t think people realize how sick, psychotic, and really callous they sound. There are these people dying. They’re getting their homes bombed and their kids bombed and he’s worried about his lifestyle?
I guess it goes back to everybody wanting all these little gadgets and the latest in electronics.
Yeah, we’re used to it. America’s blessing is their curse. We’re the only country ever in the history of the world whose garbage you live on. You can live a decent life on free coupons, deals, food stamps, luck, gambling, and even our garbage is edible and you can live. The amount of stuff we have is overwhelming and people don’t realize it. They think it’s their right to have that at any cost.
Even if it means killing the next door neighbor.
They’re so used to having life that way, they don’t really pay attention to the facts. When it’s sold to them, when the facts are modified by politicians which is nothing new but in this case, in the 2000’s the big difference is corporate media is playing ball with the government. That’s a new thing. Corporate media never played ball with the government before to the extent that it does now.
Yeah, but right now the media is all owned by fuckers who are friends with George.
Yeah, that’s what I mean and it’s just good for business to not rock the boat that much. Everybody is worried about the economy. These guys figure that they have a vested interest in keeping the economy going for everybody so let’s not scare anybody into dissent. The media learned one thing from the Vietnam war because the media during the Vietnam war just acted like the media. They said it’s a horrible thing and they’re going to report it and they did. In a lot of ways the American people had a lot to do with ending Vietnam when it did and I think it would have gone on further and the media had a lot do with informing the people about what was going on.
And that’s exactly what should happen.
Well, yeah but what they learned was their dealings with government and their access and their ratings were totally unpredictable during that time period. They didn’t really make money. They suffered alienation from the government, from the Armed Services, everybody just froze them out. They were pissed off. They were like “you lost us the war” which was really ridiculous. But they did so and by the time the media guys learned that lesson, by the time the first Desert Storm came up they were pretty much in line. “Okay, we promise you guys we won’t give you so much shit and we’ll be fair and balanced” which means “we’ll hold off on stories. “We won’t go guerilla crazy with our reporters” and then they finally agreed to this embedded reporter thing which is basically having a reporter on a leash.
Yeah, and you’re going to report what they tell you to report and you’re going to make all this nasty shit over there look all nice and neat and “we’re going to shock and awe these people for three days. Kill 100,000 of them and they’re going to come and thank us with roses and candy.” Do you remember hearing that?
The Iraqis are going to give you flowers and candy and I’m like what, after you kill their kids and their cousins and their sisters and brothers?
Yeah, totally crazy.
And people fell for that shit.
Yeah, they fell for it because they want to fall for it. There’s something with Americans and I truly think that the main of America has finally gotten to the point where they realize what’s going on. They realize that once again we got lied to.
“We got suckered again and again.”
But they won’t admit it because they’re embarrassed. If the media doesn’t report everything on a regular basis and stir people up with the facts, then people are going to just hide behind this freedom stuff and all these abstract concepts like “our lifestyle”. “Our lifestyle is threatened.” Just look at the whole ways that terrorism was sold. Bush came out and declared war on terrorism when it should have been just a police action, not a war. These guys aren’t armies. You don’t go to war with terrorists. You hire cops to track them down. Just the use of the word war. When he came out and said “we’re going to declare war.” That was the worst thing that ever could have happened in this country. The worst because it’s not a war. These are terrorists.
What would you do if every time somebody got murdered in Dallas if the police department instead of following leads and tracking down suspects would just bomb everybody in Dallas because “hey, we’re at war with crime. “We’re going to bomb this whole neighborhood because one of those fuckers might live there and who cares about the collateral damage.”
Unbelievable and crazy on how the timing of the outrage and the anger of the American people over 9/11. It got them in such a fever and they would react to such an old cliché thing like “we’re going to declare war.” I remember watching TV and going “I can’t believe he’s saying this. This isn’t a war. This is police stuff.” What’s going to happen with a war. What do you mean?
“If we don’t go after the terrorists, they’ll take our freedom.“ With this whole freedom thing, if the troops want to protect my freedom they need to go to Washington D.C. and take out the trash because those are the people who are threatening your freedom. It’s not Osama Bin Laden who sigend the Patriot Act. It’s not Saddam Hussein who passed legislation to read our e-mail or listen in on our phone calls and keep a bunch of fucking data about our spending habits in a computer in Langley, VA. Come on, that’s George Bush doing that shit.
Yeah, and I hate to say it, it’s not even easiest blaming it on George Bush. It’s a system.
The U.S. government has wanted to spy on the American people for ages and ages and they finally have the perfect excuse.
The Patriot Act. The fear of terrorism. The declaration of war allows for so many things like the Patriot Act to go through. It’s just a horrible shame.
And then if you speak out it against it, it’s like “well, one of these big bad boogey men are coming after you because you spoke out against this.” Well, you know what? Let them. Bring it on. I will deal with big bad boogey men in my own fashion but stop pissing on my Constitution.
I was about to say the same thing. The United States Constitution is an incredibly well thought out document. One of the best political documents I think I’ve ever, ever read. When people start messing with that thing, it is dangerous. These guys are messing with the Constitution in a way that it may never come back. Everything can be interpreted differently. It’s really dangerous bullshit.
It really is but of course if you read the Constitution you come to the realization that there is something in it that really set us up for a dictatorship.
Well, they do but they don’t. Like anything, there is a certain amount of interpretation. It’s up to the people and Congress and the Senate to decide whether or not a situation determines temporary dictatorship or what would amount to it. I don’t think the guys who wrote the Constitution could think that that many people would get fooled in such a stupid situation like this. It’s not like it can’t go back. The Patriot Act can get repealed. I think it will be.
I think we have to get these crooks and thugs out of office and get some decent people in there before you can do that.
I don’t know about that but I think the system itself, the people have to vote accordingly. They have to pay very close attention to what they want and what’s going to happen. We can get decent people in there to have the system do its checks and balances but the first thing to do is to vote and stop things like the Patriot Act. You have to have a Re-Patriot Act which I’m sure people will say “you can’t go any further on this. This is it.” They’ve already got a leg up. They’ve already got a little bit more spy time now and they’ll never give it up. Terrible. Miserable. What the hell were we talking about? We were talking about sex, drugs, and rock and roll. God damn shit.
We’re going to talk about everything. You guys put out 4-Way Diablo which came out this month.
That’s not interesting. Yeah, we’re a rock band and we have a new record out. Big deal.
What was the mindset behind it?
It was really simple for me. Every record I do is pretty much a diary of my head. Writing music is like therapy for me. It’s the only way I know how to do it. I just go in my head and I explain what I’m thinking and I try to put it into metaphors of excitement or whatever. Some people will be completely bored by my life and it’s just this natural thing that I do. It’s like hey, write music, put it together, try to create an atmosphere, and then go. On this particular record I had just gotten over probably one of the worst things that ever happened in my life. Like I said, with the pills it pretty much put my nervous system on the outside of my body. It caused massive clinical depression which I’d never really felt before in my life. All this kind of stuff that I’ve read about in books and I hear people and I see people have it but I didn’t really realize what it was. Almost to the point of suicide. That’s what happens when you take these drugs. Coming out of that I wasn’t like “hey, let’s fucking rock dude.” While it’s a rock and roll album, I think a lot of what was going on in my head and emotions came out on the record. So in a lot of ways it’s probably one of my most embarrassingly honest ones. But, it’s good for you.
And for some people out there, it’s good for you too. So don’t just buy one. Buy two and give one to a friend.
That’s true. That’s what I like about a lot of bands. They sit there and they write music about passionate, emotional things that really matter to them. I guess sometimes when you hit rock bottom and you go through some really bad shit, that’s when you come out with your best stuff.
Yeah, sadly to say. The trick is almost getting there but not going over. You’ve got to have enough brain cells to write this stuff after it’s done. The best thing to do when writing is writing about what you know. The more in touch with what you know, the more sensitive the material is going to be and hopefully the more that material is going to translate to one person or another because it’s honest. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes that kind of a severe experience to get the honesty out of these bastards like me. “Okay, I’ve nowhere to go. I have to be honest now. Sorry.”
Well, at least you’re still here to be honest.
Oh, yeah. I never was a pessimistic person. Cynical, yeah. But never pessimistic. This was the first time in my life I actually felt pessimistic so it really rattled my cage in a big way. Coming out of it however, is like I just woke up. It’s like “hello, Mr. Bird. Hello, Mr. Squirrel. I love you. I love you all.” You know? Literally like walking out in the street with a straw hat on. It’s really cool. I like that feeling.
That’s cool. Hopefully, you’ve got all the pessimism out now.
Yeah. It’s like you have to get to the near death experience. It always makes you appreciate what you have more.
Yeah, it seems so. I don’t think people appreciate shit as much as they should. With me it always takes someone dying. I lost a friend a few weeks back to a heart attack. It was really hurtful because we had all these grand schemes and plans that we were going to do. Go visit each other and all that shit. I hadn’t talked to her in a while and then that happened. It made me realize that I need to stay more in contact with my friends and see my friends more often. It just humbles you.
Yeah, it really is something. That appreciation of basic things tends to get lost in the world that moves so fast and the main advertising world that we live in the States basically tells people that they’re always behind. “Hurry up, hurry up.” You tend to lose sight of the small things. When it takes something like death to bring it back, it’s like something is wrong with the whole system. It’s like “nah, come on. People shouldn’t die. This is bullshit.”
Exactly. Does it have to get that far? When you guys wrote Monolithic Baby, that was a different mindset too, wasn’t it?
Yeah, Monolithic Baby was me sitting in Los Angeles as we were about to invade Iraq. Just as we were about to launch that whole thing and I was in Hollywood. Hollywood is insane. I love Hollywood because it’s just out of control and stereotypical and perfect. The great thing about Hollywood is that it’s a lying, manipulating town and it admits it. There’s not really a lot of bullshit going on there. You know what the game is. It always puts me in a really, really American mood like “wow, insane place we live in.” And that’s what that record was about. Living in Hollywood at that point with a war going on and me hooking up with these girls who were the daughters of movie producers that are completely out of their minds with spending money. You know, big cars. Trying to be like little Paris Hiltons and me sitting in the hotel room at four o’clock in the morning going “we’re going to war. Look at this.” And they’re like “what? What do you mean? What do you mean, war?” I’m like “oh man.” It’s something about the combination of that kind of stuff that really gets me.
Those people just live in their own damn world. There was this big thing about Paris Hilton and oh my God she had to go to jail and they let her out of jail early. I was sitting there wondering who in hell this broad was outside of being the granddaughter of the people who founded the Hilton hotel chain. Who the hell is this bitch and why is everyone so concerned about what she does? What does she contribute to society?
It’s a pretty insane thing. It’s just what people’s priorities are. You can never argue with what people want to see on the front page. She’s a celebrity and she’s just a catwalk to freedom. It’s like wow, this celebrity culture thing has really gotten out of hand when she’s on the front page of every single news thing. That’s really not doing anything to help anybody at all.
Everybody is worried about what Paris Hilton is doing and George Bush has passed some legislation whereby if he thinks the country is in a crisis in 2009, he’ll just stay in office. “Oh, wow. Really? Well, you know Paris Hilton and Britney Spears…”
Did Bush really say that?
Yes, he really did pass a piece of legislation where if he feels that the country is in a crisis or there’s some catastrophe that happens, he’ll just stay in because he’s the only man that can save us.
He can’t get away with that. I must have missed this. That’s so outrageous. I can’t believe that. No thanks, man.
You’ve done enough already.
What a crazy world and most of the stuff that we talked about, the way people’s reactions are is all due to the style of the media. Because the facts are there for people to understand. It’s the way that these facts are presented. It’s not like anybody is holding back. It’s not only possible to get all the information you need, in fact, it’s easier to get information on everything now than ever.
At the click of a mouse you can find out everything you want to know and people don’t take advantage of that.
They don’t because along with all the information comes a lot of really, really fun self-satisfying masturbatory stuff.
Like on-line porn.
Not even talking about porn but yeah, of course porn. There’s just a lot of stuff to look at and a lot of fun to have and the more fun you’re having, you don’t want to go in and be responsible for God’s sake. That’s crazy. And so technology once again offers us the opportunity to discover more than ever before and right now people are choosing to discover less because it’s more fun. I know, it’s nuts.
So, what are your views on sex lately?
Oh, it’s the closest thing to magic that people have ever done.
I think if people would fuck more they would have less anger and anxiety and they wouldn’t want to run around killing other people. That’s my philosophy on life. Kill less and screw more.
Exactly. It’s pretty simple. The way sex is presented also by the media.
Have you seen that stupid commercial on television where these kids are saying “talk to me about sex. Tell me what you want me to know. Tell me to wait.” Then at the end of it some lady instructs you to tell your kids to wait to have sex until they’re married. Like being married is the end all.
That’s a little dangerous I think to say that. What kind of an idiot would want a commercial like that? Yeah, you better wait until you’re married. No way.
I like to test drive the car before I buy it.
Yeah, hell yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who waited to have sex until they were married and that worked out well for them.
What exactly is it you’re waiting on? I’ve had girls tell me they’re saving themselves for their husbands. I’m like “what the fuck is that?”
Saving yourself of course is great. The more you wait on something that is going to be good, if you handle that waiting right, the delivery I just imagine is going to be fantastic. My whole life I was like “as fast as I can get this woman in bed the better it’s going to be.” It took me years to realize that now the best thing is to wait. Just tease like forever. In that sense I can see it. To do it for any other reason because that the girl isn’t ready, because young girls often aren’t ready to get into emotional situations like that. Not everybody is tough as nails when you go into a sexual relationship, especially in the States, and be absolutely fine with it especially since the way things unfold. I can see that kind of thing but the way it sounds like they’re portraying this is like “well if you wait until you’re married, that means the sex will be good.” What they should say is “no, wait to have sex because you want to have sex. Not because you think you have to.” In a lot of ways getting married puts girls in the position of having to have sex. They may not even be ready for it. That’s the worst enemy to girls in the United States alone and the world is being peer pressured to have sex whether they’re ready to have it. That just sets them off on a road that they sometimes never come back. The most fragile creatures. In the beginning teenage girls really have to be treated with a lot of understanding because their moods go wildly all over the place. Just like anybody else they want to be accepted. They want to be loved. They want to think that they’re worthy of being on the planet. God knows that fucking American advertising doesn’t treat kids with respect or women with respect at all. Basically advertising says “you’re ugly but you’re only dollars away from looking better.”
You’re fat but if we give you this pill…
It’s okay. First tear them down. Scare everybody. “You’re fat and ugly.” Number two, “but, lucky for you I have this.” That’s the way they sell everything but women get it the worst because of the emotions. The amazingly strong emotional facilities of women cause them at an early age to really, really react harshly to criticism. There’s not a lot of encouragement and understanding by the advertisers and responsibility towards this kind of reaction. They take advantage of hormonal changes. They don’t help with them and there’s nothing better for sales than to get a teenage girl to cry and blow her nose in a tissue that costs them money, redo their makeup which costs even more money, and redo their hair. It’s great. Get them to cry. They break down and they have to dress themselves back up again. They don’t really say that. I said that. But if I’m saying that what are the guys on Madison Avenue saying?
“We can figure out how to get them to do that and phrase it correctly so they don‘t know they‘re being duped.”
Hell, yeah. Scare them and save them. Out on the road I will see so many examples of girls who are totally and completely dressed up to the nines. Completely hot or whatever. Sexy. Dressing sexy and when it comes down to it, I can tell. They don’t even know how to have sex for one. Although they’ve had sex many times, they don’t know how to enjoy sex and they really want somebody to say that they’re cool. It’s horrible and I wonder if they’re ever going to learn how to enjoy themselves sexually. I wonder if it’s too late. Are they going to meet somebody who is going to take the time to pay attention to them? Are they going to find out on their own before they’re 35 when they only have 10 or 15 years to enjoy it? It’s bullshit. Guys are like “I’ve got this thing. I need to stick it somewhere.” They figure it out pretty much quickly what’s going on but girls need such a delicate little operandus going on.
There’s so much more involved.
Yeah, which is why I love girls.
Yeah, women rock.
Totally. Way more fascinating than guys. I hate guys. I never hang out with guys. They’re so singular minded.