LIVE NIRVANA INTERVIEW ARCHIVE October 22, 1990 - London, UK
- D Body
- Kurt Cobain
- Krist Novoselic
- Dave Grohl
|Tell Tales Records||Nirvana||Yes|
About three years ago, in a Sunday newspaper of all places, there was a review of "Sub Pop 200" (a compilation of Seattle area bands) which began by bemoaning the lack of a geographically related book about rock. A serious gap in our body of knowledge you might think, but it isn't. Imagine a big atlas of the world with which one could pinpoint what music emanating from a particular area might sound like, based on easily categorisable factors (like climate, culture, ethnic makeup, economics, etc…): yuck. The best stuff comes like a knife in the dark and gets you right between the shoulder blades. Nirvana expressed little sympathy for the idea of any coherent Seattle scene. What is apparent is a similar set of musical influences (Detroit sound) but they are available to anyone who doesn't have their head up their arse. Sub Pop Rock City can be anywhere you want it, right here and right now.
SR: I see, but what lies beyond the promise of the power chord?
N: Rhythm, melody, the Dorian mode, percussion, a good time, clean guitars and a sharp edge, augmented chords, over indulgent jack-off xylophones and absolute vodka.
SR: So what is your motivation?
N: Boredom really. Aberdeen where we come from is a really dull place, but we'd be the same wherever we came from. Recently we've been trying to get away from all this retro seventies metal thing, we've been listening to other things, trying to reinvent punk-rock for ourselves (Wipers, Flipper, Black Flag, Bad Brains, etc…)
SR: Do you consider what you do to be art?
N: What we do is creative so by definition we would definitely think of it as art. We aren't going to turn into some sort of elaborate art rock band though - no big orchestra, although maybe a little saxophone like the Sonics or the Stooges and there's going to be some cello on the next LP. Also, we are going to make a film sometime soon - not an obvious slasher movie, more a montage of weird stuff.
SR: Signed to a major, what would you do if fame and fortune beckoned?
N: We'd have trapezes and cannons and get fired across stage miming to the songs, and we'd have Jon Entwhistle playing bass for us backstage, in a red Naugahyde coat and flares…
© D Body, 1991
D Body: So you've been interviewed all day long?
Kurt Cobain: [yawns] Not really all day long.
Dave Grohl: This is about our fourth one.
DB: Yeah? Anything left to say at all?
KC: Absolutely nothing.
DB: Nothing? You just wanna sit around?
DG: Shoot the shit.
DB: I'll just talk rubbish.
Krist Novoselic: Do you know the history of our band?
KC: Please, God!
DB: Vaguely, but remind me.
DG: I'll tell it.
DB: I got a load of stuff from Anton, it's like…
DG: Well, they started out as these little fuckups from a small town, from Aberdeen, and all they did was smoke pot and spray paint the walls and stuff, and they're all rebellious and they didn't like their parents. They had to find a new outlet for all their rebellious energy, so they started a band with a drummer, and they kicked that drummer out, and they got another drummer. They kicked that drummer out, and they got another drummer, and they kicked that drummer out. Then they made a record with that drummer, they kicked him out and then they got another one. Then they borrowed one.
DG: Borrowed from the Melvins, this guy named Dale. Dale Griffin.
DG: And then he couldn't stay. Then they got another one, they kicked him out… and then…
KC: Oh, wasn't that you?
DG: Oh, yeah…
KN: I don't even know who all the drummers were…
DG: In the meantime, they toured a couple of times, put out some records and stuff, and people liked 'em.
KN: I could probably walk down the street and run into one.
DG: [laughs] Run into a drummer and not even recognize them.
KC: [inaudible] Nirvana ex-drummer club.
DB: So loads of drummers and another guitarist somewhere along the line?
KC: Ugh! Yeah, I thought it was a wet dream.
KN: That was a big… It wasn't a wet dream, it was a nightmare, it was a mistake.
KC: One of the main mistakes. He should have played drums!
KN: Magnitude, heavy magnitude.
DG: He got credited on the record and he didn't even play.
DB: So, it's just like you two, one's David thingie, and the other one's Nigel thingie - exploding drummers left-right-and-center.
DG: Right, right.
DB: Hmmm, so what question can I ask? Someone said to me, “What lies beyond the promise of the power chord?”
KC: The Dorian Mode.
DB: Yeah? That's good. What questions have other people asked you already today?
DG: Just… “How are you doin'?”
KN: Do what you wanna do.
KC: You really wanna do “What lies beyond the power chord?”
DB: The promise! The promise of the power chord.
DG: The promise of the power chord? Percussion. The promise of…
KC: A good time! Beer drinkin', girl fuckin', crack smokin'.
KN: Clean guitars, but with like a sharp edge to 'em, augmented chords.
KN: You never know.
DB: That's a good answer.
KC: Over-indulgent masturbatory jack off. Time signatures…
KN: And xylophones.
KC: Absolut vodka.
DB: Vodka? Somebody was gonna come down with me today, he said, “Ask them a few questions,” he couldn't make it cuz someone phoned him up and said, “You're gonna die!” And he didn't know who it was.
KN: Who said that? To Anton?
DB: No, somebody who was gonna come down with me to interview you. He got a phone call at his house.
DG: They said you were gonna die?!
KN: Something fishy.
DB: Yeah, just someone phoning up. He's a bit worried, so he couldn't make it, but he asked me to ask you, “Do you like Metallica?”
KC: We used to. I used to like Metallica when “Kill 'em All” came out. But that's just about the only Metal I've ever appreciated besides old stuff, like Led Zeppelin, stuff like that.
DB: Yeah, absolutely.
KN: Yeah. It's funny. I don't have like a total animosity, a hatred towards them, as I do for most Metal bands. I just look at them and say, “These guys are fucked up! They're really bad!” Then I see Metallica… It's like, I have some… there's some...
KC: Because they write good songs…
DG: Yeah, well, I don't think they ever had to kiss anybody's ass, y'know? I mean, they kind of made it doin' what they do, and I respect them for that.
KC: They make Heavy Metal on a street level again, in a real way. Metal's a good idea, it's just too bad that it's saturated with bullshit right now.
DB: Always has been.
DB: Hasn't it always been?
KC & DG: No, I don't think so.
KN: Judas Priest was a damn good band.
DB: Was it? I don't remember them being any good.
DG: It's just a matter of opinion.
KN: I bet I could put on a good Priest record…
DB: Yeah. I'm sure there are.
KN: I could find a good Priest record and we'd all sit around and go, “Yeah, this is pretty cool,” y'know?
KN: But could you do that with a W.A.S.P. record?
KN: Or anything there…
DB: Poison. Guns n' Roses.
DG: Iron Maiden, KISS...
KN: Pile of shit.
DG: Well, KISS, look at KISS, man!
KN: KISS is cool, KISS is Heavy Metal.
DG: KISS is Metal.
KN: Yeah, but that was more with the glammy stuff. Y'know, stuff from the…
DB: British Metal.
KN: Yeah, from the late, you know, from early '80s on. Well, Judas Priest is '70s too, so…
DB: What about Saxon's stuff?
KC: [retching noise]
DB: The new wave of British Metal.
KN: Saxon is garbage!
KN: Early Iron Maiden is cool, before they got that Luciano Tom Jones.
DB: The fat kid.
KC: The Melvins are the new wave of Heavy Metal.
DG: Fuck, yeah! The heaviest band in the world.
KC: They're actually a Punk band…
DB: That sound like Metal?
KN: …but slowed down.
KC: They could appeal to a Metal audience if the Metal audience would just open their minds a bit.
DB: If they have a mind to open.
KN: Yeah. Well, maybe they'll take some mind expanding substance, “Ahhh, things are different now!”. Then they'll start talking about...
DB: Yeah, but then you end up with something like all these British bands like the Stone Roses and all the kiddies who follow them, “dadada, dadada, dadada”
KN: “Abada, abada, abada”
KC: “Aba, aba, aba” ABBA! There's a good band!
DB: I just find it weird, like, a couple of interviews I've done recently, I did one with Soundgarden, they were just so knackered, cuz they’d done five or six interviews in a day. I can't get down until this time in the day, they were flaked out.
KN: You get answers from those guys, heavy-weight answers…
DB: Well, [inaudible] arrogant. Maybe I didn't have much to ask them, but they certainly didn't have much to say. Do you like stuff by Soundgarden?
KC: We love them. Nice people.
DB: As a band?
KN: As a band.
KC: As a band, sure, sure.
KN: Soundgarden's one of my main bands.
DB: So you like them a lot?
KN: There's room in my heart for Soundgarden.
DB: How about The Vaselines?
KN: There's room in my heart for the Vaselines too! I love 'em.
KC: Well, my heart's pretty much filled up with The Vaselines. I'd say my heart would hold this much Vaselines and that much Soundgarden.
DB: Yeah? More Vaselines than Soundgarden?
KN: Yeah, but, I dunno, y'know. Speaking of my heart too, Soundgarden has a place in my heart because my heart has a backwards ‘R’ on it and that's for “Opinions ‘R’ Us.” I judge bands really heavily, a ruthlessly opinionated prick, opinions up the ass, I guess my ass has an ‘R’ on it too.
KC: For ‘Rectum.’
KN: I'm just gonna wreck 'em.
DB: What other bands do you like, or maybe feel empathy with?
KC: The Pixies!
DB: You like The Pixies? Did you see them last night?
KC: Not last night, the night before. Loved it. I was blown away. I'd been wanting to see them for years.
DB: I've never seen them, myself.
DB: They've played in England so many times but I've never ever seen them. Maybe I should.
KC: You should.
DG: They're excellent.
KC: Sure. Yeah, maybe a Fear record, The Wipers, Devo… just stuff. I don't know. Most of the stuff that I find myself listening to is just stuff I've been listening to for the past ten years. I'm always reverting back to it because there isn't much going on right now. There really aren't many contemporary bands that I really like besides the Pixies, Vaselines… Mudhoney.
KN: Love Mudhoney.
DB: They split up.
KC: [inaudible] ties with Sub Pop, definitely.
DB: I mean, do you like all the other bands on Sub Pop?
DB: The Dwarves?
KC: [makes a noise]
KN: No, I don't like the Dwarves!
DB: Don't you?!
KN: Fuck, no.
KC: I like to watch The Dwarves.
DB: I liked the single.
KN: Well that's it, that's all you're getting out of it.
DB: But there's, like, other… the album before that.
KC: Do we like the Dwarves' music?
DB: Yeah. If they weren't on Sub Pop would you like them? Would you be aware of them?
KC: Absolutely not, never.
KN: They're on Sub Pop, I don't know why.
DB: What about this thing you've been shackled with, “you're the best band on Sub Pop.” Everyone thinks Sub Pop is brilliant and you're the best band on them. Do you feel a lot of pressure on your shoulders?
KC: I'd actually consider it an insult because that's only about five bands! How do we compare to other bands?
KC: [laughs] I don't know.
DB: Well, like, I mean, there's that compilation…
KC: Yeah, well, yeah. I don't know. It doesn't matter because we don't think we're the best band on Sub Pop. At least I don't. I think Mudhoney is. But I don't like to compare bands like that. We're different bands, we're different from each other.
DB: So are you gonna stay with Sub Pop for the foreseeable future?
KN: No, no.
DB: No? You don't like them or…?
KN: Nah. It's time to move on from those guys.
KC: They're pretty much done backing… what we've got right now… promotion.
KN: They've done pretty much everything they can do for us [chuckles]. They've done that about a year ago [chuckles].
DB: I'm not necessarily surprised, but [inaudible] a lot of other bands, and you haven't for the second album. Was there any reason, just like apathy or…?
KC: For the second album?
DB: The second album is coming out on Sub Pop, presumably?
KC: No, it won't be on Sub Pop.
DB: It won't be? The one…
KC: This next album.
DB: Yeah, it's not gonna be on Sub Pop?
KC: It will be on a major. We'll have a deal in a month, at least a month.
DB: Any names? This isn't gonna come out until Christmas, so…
KN: No, no. Not at all.
KC: Names of labels? Just about anything. We've talked to just about all of them, except for Warner Bros. We talked to Slash, Warner Bros subsidiaries. I can't remember all the names. The album will be called “Sheep.”
DB: Sheep. Why?! Just… why “Sheep”?
KN: We wear wool sweaters. It's open for interpretation, y'know.
DB: Was it Jack Endino who did the last one?
DB: Are you going with him again or someone else?
KN: Jack Endino and Nirvana did the last one.
KC: We're going with Butch Vig in Madison. This Killdozer record's fantastic.
DB: [offering a smoke] Do you want one, sorry?
KN: No, thanks.
DB: Umm… Do you think you're more popular here in England? Well, Europe?
KN: Yeah, definitely more popular.
DB: Why do you think that is? I was reading some stuff the other day about how bands from the Northwest live in the same environment as the British do…
KN: The way I figure it though, if you look at it per capita, we're just as popular in the United States, judging by the amount of fan mail we get. You know what I mean?
KN: See, here, we come here, it's a lot smaller, the population, so it's easier…
KC: It's easier to recognize that.
KN: Uh huh.
KC: It's like saying, “the New Kids On The Block has sold more records than The Beatles.” Well, there were less people twenty years ago…
KC: Well, there were! [laughs]
DB: Well, there were, but…
DB: So… so what?
KN: It's just a per capita thing,
KC: Yeah, right!
KN: You've gotta look at the pie graphs, y'know!
KN: In Aberdeen, the people are eating more beans!
KC: We're eating more broccoli!
KN: We're eating more broccoli, here's a pie graph.
KC: We're eating more New Kids On The Block.
DB: Could you cope with that, the adulation that they get, if that ever happened? Screaming brats…
KN: I'd eat it up, cuz I'd go up there…
DB: The money, yeah, but…
KN: I'd just get really drunk and say, “Well, you can't hear me playing anyway, so it's life…” Oh, y'know what we'd do, if we were gonna do a New Kids On The Block, we'd do what they do - just have a CD play and lip-sync to it and just be totally pissed out of our fuckin' heads.
KC: Or holograms, you don't even have to be there.
KC: And then go up there, just kinda move around. Then you can do real acrobatics, have trapezes and trampolines…
DG: Get shot out of a canon!
KC: Wow, that'd be great!
KN: And not miss a note!
KC: Because he's a fantastic bass player! Look at him… look at him go!
DB: Flying through the air, into a safety net.
KN: It's all lip-syncing. I'll not even play the bass, I'll hire someone to play bass for me.
DB: Behind the scenes.
KC: “This is Krist's bass player.”
KN: John Entwistle, he needs the money, I heard.
DB: I don't think he does, actually.
KC: You can show him onstage, you can just say, “This is Krist's personal bass player for the lipsyncing… show”
DB: The dance segment.
KN: The what segment?
KN: Yeah, they're dancing.
DB: Dances offstage.
KN: John Entwistle would be there in like a brown naugahyde- no, a red naugahyde coat, he'd have these flares on. It'd be so great, he'd be standing there [hums bass line]…
KC: Wearing eye makeup.
KN: And I'd be there, going [hums nonsensical sloppy bass line] “Oooo,” drunk.
KC: “Look at him, he's making a total fool out of himself!”
KN: Piss- a big piss stain, I'd have pissed my pants right here.
KN: “Oh, you pathetic mess!” But I'd have a lot of fun, so I wouldn't care.
DB: So, I mean, is Britain the best place to play?
KC: Yeah, it is! People here, they know how to respond. They know how to get drunk and attack us onstage.
DB: And do you mind that, the stage-diving and stuff?
KN: If they don't just… You know, if they're respectful, they can come up there, but some guy has to come up and bump into you. He's not even watching. Or people, they get on stage in a state of “heyheyheyhey,” you know what I mean?
KC: There's always a few who just don't give a rat's ass of what band's up there, they just want loud Rock 'n' Roll, and they trip over your effect pedals and stuff like that. We just have to put up with it.
DB: Do you get frustrated with them?
KC: Well, after a while.
DB: Start kicking them?
KC: Yeah, I start kicking.
KN: Kicking is [inaudible]
DB: I saw Rollins a month or two ago, he was fine about it, he was like, “You've got that much and I've got this much room.” I didn't notice anybody coming up there and messing around with him. Then some people did get up onstage and got near the bass player and the bass player started kicking them out.
KC: If you're playing instruments, it's a lot harder than if you're Henry Rollins, singing with no shirt on.
KN: Eww, who'd wanna touch his sweaty…
DG: I heard a story about him in Germany, last time they were in Europe. This guy, this drunk German guy came up onstage and - Henry was just wearing shorts and nothing else, y'know - he came and he started taking off all his clothes. This drunk German guy, taking off his shirt, taking off his pants, until all he had on was his underwear and then he went over to Henry and tried to pull down his pants! [laughs] Henry just turned to him and went “thump,” punched him right in the nose. So there's this drunk German guy just goin', “ughh,” with blood all over his face. And Henry got arrested and thrown in jail!
KC: Shit! Jeez, he was being raped…
DG: I mean, it just gets to the point where… we played this show a couple of weeks ago where my bass drum is two-feet away from the edge of the stage and there's kids falling in, I've got cymbals hitting me, there's kids with my sticks…
DB: Where was this?
DG: In Washington state. Kids with my sticks who are…[stupid voice]
KC: Playing the drums.
DG: Playing my drums for me, it's like…
KC: Well, after a while…
DB: Well, would you play behind a chicken-wire cage?
KC: You bet.
KC: …it's all over.
KN: And then, people are running at you, and you can't close your eyes or anything because you have to watch, walk around.
KC: Make sure you don't get the microphone smashed into your face.
KN: Yeah, it's really nuts.
KC: But it's really hard to decide whether you want that to happen or a bouncer standing in front of you the whole time.
DB: Yeah. That really pisses me off, actually, you're watching a band and you try and move a muscle or something and a bouncer comes over, “You're causing trouble, you're out.” Is there a line that can be drawn between that and…
DG: Fugazi! Fugazi's all…Y'know, they just want…
KC: There can be, if the audience just has respect.
DG: They want people to dance around and not kill each other, y'know? And I think that's cool and everything. Kids want to come up and jump off a stage, stage-dive or whatever, more power to 'em.
KC: Just have some respect and get out of the way.
DB: Get on and get off.
KC: Get up there, have your moment of glory and jump off.
DG: Right. You've got people who get up there and really [stupid voice] “TONYYYYY! TONY, LOOK AT MEEEEE!” Then they dive off, they come up to you and they go “fuck yaaa!” as they turn around.
KN: As long as they don't spill my beer by my amp… or steal it!
DB: There's a thought.
KC: As long as they don't steal our effect pedals. That happens too often.
KN: They steal straps…
DG: You get spat at.
KC: Don't even mention that. I don't want to start that crap.
DB: What? Spitting or talking about it?
KC: Talking about it. I mean, it happens, but I don't want to start- I don't even want to talk about it, cuz people may read it and go, “Oh…”
DB: “Oh, we'll spit on them.”
KC: Yeah, right!
DB: When people do spit on you, you can just…
KC: Not too often.
KN: That's gross!
DG: Now with all this AIDS thing going on, I don't want someone spitting on me! Have to wear these rubber suits.
DB: If you've got a cut lip or something. . DG: Yeah, right. You've gotta cover up people.
KN: Remember the “Naked Gun” with Priscilla Presley? They wore those condoms, those giant condoms?
DB: [laughs] You could wear that.
KN: He just like takes off his clothes… [makes peeling sound]
KC: This velcro front opens…
KN: That was funny.
DB: Oh, umm… Where else have you played apart from Europe and America? Anywhere else?
KN: Nowhere. Tijuana, Mexico.
DB: Is that any different than America?
KN: It's a little bit.
KC: Montréal goes for…
DG: Some parts… Montréal is a lot like Europe. It's the closest thing to Europe.
KN: You know you're not in America, though, it's weird, but then, you know you're not in Europe.
DG: Just because the people are dumber.
DB: The French?
DG: Not the French, just… some Canadian people have this…
KN: Those French are dumb, you wanna… No, I don't want to start any nationalism.
DG: [French accent] “Don't talk bollocks!”
KN: That's all we need, more borders in the world. “We wanna have an independent Québec,” you know, “Oh, we need more borders.” Let's have our neighborhood and you have to cross it. Checkpoint Charlie.
DG: In every state. “You are now entering Tennessee.”
KN & DG: “Please have your passport ready.”
KN: Fuck! Wouldn't that be a bitch job?
KC: People don't wanna go to Tennessee anyway.
KN: That's one of the nice things about travelling across the United States, you can drive for twenty hours and not come across any borders or anything.
DB: Mmm, in Europe you drive ten hours at the most…
DG: Smoke your hash before you fuckin'…
KN: Smoke your hash or throw it away.
DG: Or stick it in your ear, put it in your hair, put it up your crack…
KN: Oh, fuck that! It's just too hairy.
DG: Skeeter had these little pockets in his head. This band I used to be in, this other band, the bass player had dreads, he'd put it up in his hair.
KC: I can just see the DDR…
DG: [laughs] We'd always say, “Skeeter, did you get rid of everything?” “Yeah, yeah, it's cool.” Cross the border, two seconds after we cross the border… Ho ho…
KN: [generic European accent] “We know you don't have any hash, ‘shit,’ you know? But do you smoke it? It's okay…”
KC: “Do you smoke? It's okay to tell me, I smoke it myself sometimes, you know?”
KN: “No, no! That stuff's for the birds! That's not for me!”
DG: “That's not for me, it's bad for your brain.”
KN: “No, no.” They think you're really stupid!
DB: [laughs] I do take it a lot, actually, yeah, but I haven't got any on me.
KN: “Oh, sure!”
DG: “You want some?”
KN: I told them that, everybody was just looking at me laughing, “Heh heh heh.”
DB: Are you going to Eastern Europe? I mean, presumably you're going to Europe.
KN: We'd like to. We played in Budapest, Hungary once. We wanna go there while it's still different, before they…
DB: Yeah, I suppose it's gonna become more European, money money money.
KN: No, they're gonna be the workforce.
DB: Yeah, that's true, Mexico and America.
KN: [generic foreign accent] “People will work for a dollar a day!”. Yeah, Mexico, that's right.
DB: Cheap labour, bring 'em over.
KN: Capitalism, running rampant.
KN: God bless you, Ronald Reagan, for all you've done!
DB: What about the Gulf? That's a good one. Fight Saddam.
KN: Yeah, he's good, he's pretty good.
DG: The Americans are just gonna try to be badasses and end up getting their asses kicked!
KN: You know? It's all for cheap oil.
DG: It's all for fuckin' gas.
KN: Everybody… But hopefully setting the stage for the total collapse of the Western economy, y'know, I hope so.
KN: Just cuz it's all artificial, y'know what I mean? Everything's on credit, y'know? It all depends on oil and it all depends on Saudi Arabia and Japanese investment, y'know what I mean? It's all just phoney. It's not real, it's just a skeleton structure. It's not even a skeleton, it's an artificial thing. I don't even care. I want a big war to happen. I want a lot of dumb soldiers to die over there, they're so gung-ho and stupid, “I'm gonna fight for my country.” Let 'em die in the heat, if they're that stupid. If nobody… Y'know, I'm never going to join the army invading a country…
DB: Do you get called up?
DG: He could get called up. I wouldn't fucking go.
DB: Why could you and not him?
KN: Cuz I'm older.
DG: I'm twenty-one. So I'm still…
KN: I'm twenty-five, so, yeah.
DB: What would you do, if it came to that?
DG: Fuck it, I mean…
KC: Instant homosexual pill.
DG: You could either… you could go; you could say, “hey, I'm a faggot;” you could go to Canada, you could just completely dodge the whole thing and try to get away from it but the system would end up catching up to you; or you could be a conscientious objector…
DB: Carry stretchers on the frontline.
DG: Yeah, or whatever, work in a hospital, shovel shit…
KN: Change bedpans.
DG: But you shouldn't be forced to fight for something you have no interest in whatsoever, y'know.
DB: Do you drive a car?
DG: No, I don't. I don't own a car. I don't even have a fuckin' liscence.
KN: There's plenty of buses, y'know.
KC: I think we should go back to the horse and carriage until [inaudible] flyers and diagrams of how to make an engine that runs on water.
KN: I know we need oil, but there's enough oil to at least run the lorries…
DB: So what do you make your money out of?: Selling records.
KN: Selling records, right. CD is plastic.
DB: Yeah. CDs are plastic too.
KN: Yeah. Tapes. There's enough… y'know? It's just all artificial.
KC: Well, you know… Art should be one thing that we can consider- I mean, Art should be something everyone should be wasteful with.
DB: Do you consider what you do Art? Do you think Rock 'n' Roll is something separate?
KC: Sure. It's a distraction. Sure.
KC: Of course. I mean, some people are getting worked up about how much paper is being used with CDs because the packaging is being thrown away. There are plenty of other things we could worry about in wasting paper compared to… Art, it's “okay” waste or use. We want to put CDs inside of album jackets, actually. LP jackets.
KC: Yeah, gatefold or whatever. Just because we like the idea of the LP.
DB: It's a nice size.
KC: The package being this big and looking at it - we kind of miss that. I mean, even if it isn't on vinyl, it doesn't matter, there still should be a 12-inch package you should get with it, for the album.
DB: What about the Poll Tax? Were you here on Saturday?
KN: It's all a fucking scam, fuck it.
DB: Did you hear about the semi-riot?
KN: In Brixton?
DG: A little bit.
DB: Well, were you here in the Spring? This Spring?
DB: Or was it before Christmas?
DB: Cuz there was a big march in Trafalgar Square, the police steamed in and started beating people, saying it's their fault. The march on Saturday was a consequence of that. Do you know anything about the Poll Tax?
KN: Everybody has to pay the same tax. If you're rich or…
DB: Is it like that in America?
KN: Well, you're in tax brackets, depending on your income.
DB: This is separate, I mean, there is Income Tax.
KN: Oh! No, there's nothing like that in the United States. We just tax the hell out of you everywhere. [interruption] A stick of gum is ten cents, but you pay eleven cents for it, because of the sales tax. All kinds of fees - there's tax on everything…
DG: Alcohol… The price of cigarettes goes up every week.
KC: It's crazy people here are still so concerned with this Poll Tax cause cuz when we were here last year it was a big issue and it's still going on, people are still…
DB: There were a lot less people there, there were like five thousand people there on Saturday, about a tenth of the people that were there in the Spring [inaudible]
KC: It's too bad. That's the way it is in America - worse. It's worse there, people don't care at all. People don't even care enough to protest. When they do, it's just about few hundred Middle American ex-hippies.
KN: They don't care enough to…
KN: Next question.
KN: Television's cool. Television was developed as an educational tool. It can be an educational tool - you can be a modern day cultural anthropologist just seeing what's going on and how stupid developed man is by what's on TV and how stupid they'll watch it, you know what I mean? They have forty channels where I live.
KC: Forty examples!
KN: Forty examples of stupidity, so it's a good reminder, y'know. But then again, being the weak person that I am… I want to be entertained! I DEMAND to be entertained!
KC: [stupid voice] I demand my entertainment!
KN: There's gotta be something here, dammit!
DG: Oh, fuck.
KC: And sometimes there is.
KN: Yes, sometimes there is! Something goes through there. Maybe check yourself… that's on there you know.
KC: Not something contemporary. A re-run of an old movie.
KN: The news on CNN.
DB: What about “Twin Peaks”? It's only just starting tomorrow in England…
KC: Yeah, it's fine for the first few episodes. But after a while, it turns into a typical…
DG: If it didn't have so much of a soap opera taste to it, if it wasn't such a blatant, like, “ooh, I can't wait till next week” kinda thing…
KN: See, I watched it in hopes that I was going to find out who killed Laura Palmer, and now…
DG: It doesn't even matter!
KN: No, it doesn't matter.
DB: I saw- cuz over here, it's been available, there's a video of the first episode and a little tacked-on bit at the end where you find out it's some bloke called Ed…
DG: No, Bob.
DB: Or Bob, even.
DG: Bob killed her. Bob's the one who killed Laura Palmer.
KN: There's good images.
DB: There's a dumb dwarf dancing about and singing.
KC: Yeah, that's such a great… that was really cool.
DB: Talking backwards and stuff.
KC: Yeah, that was the best episode, definitely.
DB: That was actually in it, the dwarf?
KC: That was like the sixth episode or something, wasn't it? The third, maybe. It was really good.
DG: What happened?
KC: I mean, you can't expect every episode to be in that quality. It's every week. That's what the problem is with series: you can't have quality stuff if you're expected to put something out once a week. It's just impossible. What if we had to put a single once a week, you know? It couldn't be done. There should be time. I quite like television over here because you never know what to expect.
DB: That's what I was thinking about it. Like, a couple of friends of mine in America are saying, “It's brilliant! It's so amazing that this thing is coming out on national television.” I saw this video and thought, “Well, it's really not that exceptional.” Cuz over here we get that sort of quality television on a fairly regular basis.
KC: Well, they showed an original David Lynch movie just the other night, a really old one.
DB: “The Grandmother.”
KC: Yeah! It's fantastic! They wouldn't show that in America - maybe in some late night cult programme.
DB: It's like “Eraserhead.”
DB: It's a bit like “Eraserhead” but before that.
KC: Yeah, it's even better than “Eraserhead,” I find. It's amazing. Cinema is really looking better, in my opinion.
DB: What, at the moment?
KC: At the moment.
DB: Or just in respect of the low quality of television?
KC: Uh, well, no, just in the spectrum of cinema itself, mainly just movies. I think the movies themselves are getting a lot better because people like David Lynch and John Waters are being allowed to make commercial movies, they're getting financial backing.
DB: Mmm, Jim Jarmusch?
KC: Things are mainly just getting more surrealistic, and that's what I prefer. It's… it's cool! It's really good! I'm surprised at cinema now, and I haven't been excited about movies for years. It's really nice. At least there's that medium of art to look forward to.
DB: Would you see yourself moving into something like that at a later stage?
KC: Yeah, we want to make a movie soon, in fact.
KC: Yeah, definitely. We love the idea. We've been toying around with ideas.
DB: “Scandi Sex Slaves From Hell”?
DB: “Scandi Sex Slaves From Hell”…
KC: Well, it wouldn't be like an obvious cult Slasher movie or anything like that, it'd be just pretty much on the same lines as a David Lynch movie - not much of a plot, maybe just imagery, just a montage of weird stuff.
DB: [inaudible] What about drink and drugs? I remember somebody saying that you don't drink at all or much.
KC: No, we don't [two of them laugh quietly]. Well, when we do…
DB: You do?
KC: We indulge, yeah, sure. Actually, we've somehow got an image of being total drug abusers…
DB: That t-shirt you had, “Crack smokin'…” and all that.
KC: Yeah. Right. And the first few interviews that we had were pretty… I don't know.
KN: I dunno, I think…
KC: We weren't very prepared for it so we just used obvious Rock 'n' Roll clichés as a tool to try and start an image. Just like, ‘backward rednecks who take a lot of drugs,’ simple as that. It was really an image given to us by Sub Pop.
KN: Sub Pop put up, yeah!
KC: I mean some people think being on independent labels is great because of its artistic freedom, but I think Sub Pop has…
KN: Taken it upon themselves to… do some things for us.
KC: Yeah, they've taken it upon themselves to do a lot of things for us without our consent. So we may as well go for a major.
DB: Yeah, do you think that's because they got so many groups who are… for example, TAD… he's the epitome of slobbish Rock 'n' Roll dementia or whatever you want to call it…
KC: Right. Well, there's an image that's… good, I mean…
DB: … Rock 'n' Roll, get drunk and shag a few women after…
KC: Those guys, they live out the role better than we can. Just because they're good at it, they're really good storytellers. They can…
KN: They like to get drunk!
KC: They can play along with it. They like to do that kind of stuff, but they're definitely not the largely retarded rednecks that they've been portrayed as.
DB: One of the things Anton sent me was something about you being Satanists, that's just the same nonsense?
KC: Yeah, it's bullshit, yeah [chuckles]
KN: I don't know nothin' about Satan! I don't know nothin' about religion either.
KC: All I know…
DB: He's a nice guy.
KN: What's that? Yeah, he's Satan's pretty good.
DG & KC: [sings] “Satan's just alright by me”
KN: Yeah, Satan's okay… Yeah, he's okay.
DG: Satan's been exploited, man.
DB: You don't have any backward-tracking with messages?
KC: Sure, yeah.
DB: Black Mass.
KN: Rat's ass.
DB: … some of your influences, what about motivation? Do you wanna talk about that at all?
DG: I think that half of the motivation is boredom.
DB: Is Aberdeen your hometown, do you still live there?
KC: No we don't. Not for years, for a few years.
DB: Was that the main reason you started a band, it's boring?
KC: Yeah, sure.
DB: Would you have been bored anywhere else?
KC: We like music, we're music fans. I'm sure that if we'd lived a fast paced life in a place like New York, we'd be doing the same thing. we'd be exactly the same people. Wherever your environment is, it doesn't matter. Inspiration. I've been inspired just recently by some new friends that I've met who have helped me to pretty much reinvent Punk Rock again. Because for a while…
DB: For yourself, or…?
KC: For myself, yeah. And for our music, because for a while we got sucked in into the Sub Pop grunge, long haired, retro '70s mold that wasn't very fitting for us. It's easy to fall into something like that, like a whole scene, if you're totally into the scene. Now I've made just a few friends lately, new friends of mine, who have really helped me to reinvent Punk Rock. So I'm listening to Punk Rock stuff that I was listening to five or six years ago.
DB: Like what?
KC: The Wipers, Tales Of Terror, Flipper, Bad Brains, Black Flag, all that stuff… '77 Punk Rock, The Saints…
DB: Ed Kuepper is playing on Wednesday.
DB: Ed Kuepper is playing on Wednesday.
KC: Oh yeah? Cool. I don't know about his new stuff.
DB: Or maybe Tuesday, I'm not sure. Yeah, it's all a bit ‘horny’.
DB: Horns, with horns.
KC: Oh. Yeah, he's a horn guy, isn't he? After a while The Saints were…
DB: Hmmm. Some of it's alright.
KC: I mean, that's one of the only bands I really like that have horns… that I can think of.
DB: Yeah. Mmm. Sonics?
DB: The Sonics?
KC: The Sonics?
KC: The Sonics, yeah…From, from…
KN: That was a really raspy saxophone.
KC: Oh, yeah.
DB: Iggy… saxophone here and there.
KN: Yeah. It was just a saxophone, but it wasn't like a horn section, “E-E-E-K”
KC: Yeah, it wasn't like… just as much as the Saints use a lot of brass.
KN: Fear had a saxophone…
KC: It was nothing like Chicago or something. I could never deal with anything with brass or woodwind instruments on it… But The Saints was one of the only Punk Rock bands that did it with taste that I know of.
DB: Do you see yourselves expanding the instrumentation?
KC: Not very much. If we did, we'd use it minimally, like The Stooges. Just a little saxophone here or there or something. I could see it happening like that. We're gonna use a cello on a couple of songs on the new record. Strings.
DB: So, it's not actually recorded, the new album?
DB: The tape I got from Anton was just the single?
KC: The single?
DB: Or a tape he's got? It's got six tracks on it.
KC: Yeah, those are new songs. We attempted to record the record with our other drummer. Actually, we were pretty pleased with the whole performance, it's just that Dave's in the band now so we thought that we would just re-record everything.
DB: I mean, I wondered how many songs were on it, cuz it stopped halfway through, you didn't record the whole thing… I saw the cover of the single today, it has just two songs on it.
KC: Yeah, the single. It only has two songs.
DB: On the cover, is that you just getting really frustrated with stuff, or people knocking stuff about? It looks like the drum-kit is smashed all over the place…
KC: Umm, I don't know. It's just what we do a lot of the time at live shows. If it's a good show… if it's a really good show or a really bad show, destroy your stuff. It's a climax.
DB: Is it like a The Who fixation, or…?
KC: Sure. I think it's just a Rock 'n' Roll thing. It's a reaction. If you really like, if you really get intense, get into the music, I think a lot of people have tendencies to want to do that. But it's just expensive for most people. It's expensive for us as well…
DB: You don't set light to your guitars?
DB: You don't set light to them?
KC: Never have, but I probably will one of these days. But, you know, smashing up the equipment is something we've done for… I don't know.
KN: A couple of years.
KC: Since we've been a band. We do it for attention, frustration…
KN: It's kind of a good way to wrap up a show, it's fun.
DB: You can't do any encores.
KC: Yeah. You can't do any encores, there you go!
KN: That's another reason, too.
KC: Yeah, encores are kind of a bit too ‘rockstar.’
DB: “Hey, we're back!”
KC: “Yeah, OK, we teased you a little! OK, a couple more songs...”
KN: I remember Jellyfish walked offstage, nobody was even going crazy, and they walked right back on.
DB: I think if you're gonna play, just play what you want to play and walk off.
KC: Yeah, sure!
DB: Or until somebody pulls the plug.
KN: Some people are ungrateful, though, they want more.
DB: Yeah, sometimes people get really stroppy if you don't do an encore… in England, anyway.
KC: Right, yeah. We hardly ever do an encore but sometimes we have to because they want it that bad. You can usually just tell…
DB: That's about it, I think.
KN: Yeah, that Poll Tax is such a blatant rip-off!
DB: It is. I mean, the fact that you've got to pay just to live, the same as if I live in a flat and Mr. X lives in a mansion, I pay…
KN: You know what, England has North Sea Oil, do you think that's enough oil for the whole county to get by on?
DB: It would've been, but we flogged it off. Sold it cheap.
KN: It's all gone.See…
DB: Not much left. Unrenewable resources.
KN: See, you think… It's like… Oh, man, I'm so tired…
KN: I know. If a country will blatantly rip you off with a Poll Tax, don't you think they'll inflate oil prices just so they can…?
DB: Get more tax…
DB: I just really don't like England that much anymore, but I can't see anywhere that's nicer to live.
KC: Out in the woods somewhere.
DB: Maybe Australia? That's probably just as bad, but the climate's nicer. It doesn't rain as much.
KC: Maybe you could live a more low-key existence, where you can get by, instead of living in a filthy city where you have to have contact with people. [coughs]
DB: [inaudible] the place where you come from. Were you brought up there?
KC: Yeah, I was.
DB: You grew up there, was it in the middle of nowhere?
KC: Mmhmm, amongst all these woods. A really secluded place. Where the whole community was revolving around- I mean, it still does revolve around the wood industry, cutting down trees. Cutting down trees and forgetting to replant. And now complaining about…
DB: How there's no trees left.
KC: How there's no trees left and wanting to go into sacred rainforest territory. But the Spotted Owl won! There was a Spotted Owl. Environmentalists thought it was an easy way to protect endangered species and stop the loggers going into the rainforest. And they're mad as hell about it, I'll tell ya! They have bumper stickers that say, “The Spotted Owl tastes like Chicken!” and stuff like that. It's just like a big controversy…
DB: Oh, there's an owl?
KC: An owl, yes.
DB: So it's on the… West-side?
DB: Where the water hits.
KN: I think I'm gonna skip dinner tonight.
DG: I'm hungry.
KC: You should stay up, you have to get on a regular schedule.
KN: Well, what time is it?
KC: We've gotta do it, we've gotta go out with the labels.
DB: When did you get here… when did you arrive?
KC: Sunday. You should stay up, maybe you can find some…
KN: See, I haven't gotten any sleep really. Like, last-night I was up for six hours. The whole thing is that I haven't been getting any sleep, steady sleep. I think if I could go into a total slumber for twelve hours, I’d wake up tomorrow ready to go. I'm just gonna get some fresh air. It was a nice interview. Tell everybody, “fuck you,” and we hate 'em. I just don't really give a shit about anything. I'm just a sap, that's why I have nothing of concern, y'know.
DB: Good. Well, thanks so much. Is there a toilet around here?
© D Body, 1990