Lunachicks Interview from August/September 1995 issue of Flipside

Anyone who's been reading my reviews in Flipside for the past 3 or more years already know that the Lunachicks are one of my favorite bands of all time. Ass kicking, heavy, loud guitars catchy rhythms and some serious kick butt music. The Lunachicks were interviewed backstage at the Palace on 5/16/95 where they were on tour with Luscious Jackson and I didn't even take any of their beer while waiting for them! Things were pretty rushed and I didn't get a chance to ask half the questions that should have been asked, but that's the way it goes sometimes. I was just happy to be in their presence. (Interview by Ted)

Ted: OK, I got to match names with voices that will be on the tape, so why don't we go around with your name, what you play, and the most embarrassing record in your record collection.

Sindy: My name is Sindy. I play guitar and I have a really really bad late Suzi Quatro album that is horrible.

Ted: As opposed to her early ones?

Sindy: As opposed to her good ones!

Theo: I'm not embarrassed by any of my albums. Alot of them are really bad.

Ted: I'm not saying "bad", I'm saying embarrassing.

Squid: Oh I got a Smashing Pumpkins CD that's still in the plastic wrap that was givin.

Theo: OK, I have one. Theo. I sing. And I have like 2 Overkill albums.

Ted: Oh Overkill!

Theo: I cannot stand Overkill. I'm fully embarrassed. They are horrible.

Sindy: I listen to Manowar.

Theo: That's not embarrassing. See I love Manowar and I love alot of metal, but Overkill is the worst and it's embarrassing.

Ted: Why would Overkill be worse than Manowar or any other metal band?

Theo: Because they suck. I bought their album, or a couple albums cheap back...

Ted: "Feel the Fire"?

Theo: I don't even know what they are called.

Gina: Because Ross the Boss isn't in Overkill.

Theo: Well besides that... I saw the band live and I just can't stand them. I can't stand the singer.I think they're horrible. I love cheesy stuff, but they cross the line into crap.

Ted: Is that why you Manowar because you think they are cheesy?

Sindy: Yes.

Theo: Yes and also because I love them.

Ted: And you know Ross the Boss.

Theo: I liked them before I knew Ross the Boss, personally.

Sindy: But Ross the Boss is a plus.

Theo: But I like them because they wore cheesy loincloths like Spinal Tap and were very gothic, you know...

Sindy: They were so good that night we went to see them. "Ohhhhhh..." They were like...

Theo (singing): "Born to live forevermore. The right to conquer every shore..." (laughter)

Squid: That is a bad song.

Gina: Manowar theme song.

Theo: I got you, huh? Ha. Ha.

Ted: I got about 5 Manowar records.

Theo: I have them all. Did you ever listen to the Godz?

Ted: Yeah, I have um...

Gina: I love the Godz!

Theo: I have all their records too.

Gina(singing): "I'm livin' on 714. Got me trippin' out the door." On that prelude! It's so cool! Chip's going to tell you about all her Michael Bolton records.

Chip: You borrowed them! I can't call them mine anymore..You won't give then back.

Theo: She scratched them up because she played them so much, right?

Sindy: Gina has the entire Billy Joel discography.

Gina: (screams) I hate! Hate! Hate...Billy Joel. Actually I have a Frank Marino that's pretty bad. I also have a David Lee Roth album. Like on his own. The one he made after Van Halen.

Ted: Yeah, but that's better than Van Halen with Sammy Hagar.

Theo: Ewwww!

Sindy: That's true.

Ted: Well duh. What isn't?

Gina: My mom got it for me in school.

Chip: Well, see that's my excuse! I got a U2 album that is so bad.

Everyone: Ow! (laughter)

Theo: That is so bad. So bad.

Ted: You know I'm going to print this!

Chip: My mother got it for me it's still packaged and I can't throw it away, man. Bacause if she ever comes to visit, I want her to see it there you know?

Gina: She listens to U2 constantly. Don't pay any attention to her. She makes us listen to it in the van. She takes out my Phil Collins tapes to put on U2.

Theo: Alright Squid, what about you?

Squid: I'm trying to think. I'm pretty embarrassed by the fact that I have that Beatles album, "The Magical Mystery Tour."

Theo: I like that record.

Sindy: That's got a comic book in it.

Squid: That's why I have it because it was my Dad's...

Sindy: That comic book is like half of what made me what I am today.

Squid: See, that's what...I was into that book when I was a kid. I listened to it as a kid. I don't listen to the Beatles anymore but I took the record because...

Ted: That's not too embarrassing.

Squid: When I was getting my tubes replaced they were playing the Beatles the whole time.

Theo: There's some amazing songs on that record, actually.

Squid: I know but...I loved the Rolling Stones and I don't like the Beatles. Even though I like some Beatles songs I won't admit that I like the Beatles because I love the Stones too much!

Gina: I love the Beatles.

Sindy: I don't like the Beatles either, but i respect their songwriting.

Ted: I'm a Stones person.

Theo: I've gotten to the point where I can't listen to them anymore because I listened to them so much as a kid. The Stones too, but I can still handle better.

Squid: That's the thing. I listened to them so much as a kid that I don't listen to them anymore.

Sindy: The White Album is so fucking hot.

Squid: I have plenty of fucking cool terrible records. My O.T.B record that I love because the fucking bass players like 50,000 pounds.

Gina: B.T.O.

(laughter, talk about bands from the 70s that had fat bassists and other embarasing albums.)

Ted: Ok, let's talk about Lunachicks stuff.

Squid: Oh, we're totally embarrassed by that.

Ted: Geez, I didn't know I'd get so much mileage out of that question.

Chip: My most embarrassing is "Binge and Purge". Actually, "Sushi Ala Mode". That's an embarrassment.

Ted: Now why do you say that's an embarrassment?

Gina: Because it was recorded like shit.

Squid: You know what? That is the most embarrassing records that are ours. For sure.

Chip: No. For the quality, yeah.

Ted: I didn't like the sound quality on that at all, but the songs were cool.

Gina: Yeah! We like the songs, but we recorded it in Japan and nobody spoke English in the recording studio.

Theo: It was horrible.

Sindy: We had a very reluctant translator.

Gina: This band did not need another bad sounding album. And they never had a rock band in the studio and the guy didn't know how to mike the drums. And that's why most of it is drum noise. Cymbal noise.

Ted: The guitars wern't loud enough.

Squid: She literally had to kick the guy out of the room for a minute and fix the mikes herself.

Chip: I did! I was turning the mikes around. He had the wrong mike on my bass drum, the wrong mike on my snare. I had to turn them around. He couldn't deal with it. I told him to leave. He had to leave and I changed the mikes.

Ted: So they just didn't know what they were doing.

Sindy: They didn't know what they were doing for he music that we were doing. It was a really expensive 48 track track studio with a heated toilet seat and a fuckin'...

Gina: ...sprayer.

Sindy: ...douche.

Chip: Like a Jetson's toilet seat, man.

Gina: You have like all these buttons. Like you're in an airplane chair and there's all these buttons and you can rinse, make it warmer...

Chip: ...warm water. Shoot it up your butt.

Gina: Wash your ass crack with it...

Chip: It ruled! It ruled!

Squid: Check this out. Listen to me. It doesn't just squirt water up your butt, excuse me. It shoots water up your butt, it starts there and goes (all over) and comes like around, you know...

Ted: Does it feel good?

Squid: Kind of.

Sindy: Well when your on tour and you're not getting any, yeah, it feels good.

Theo: I never felt so clean in my life.

Gina: And then this big tongue comes out...

Ted: Now how come that EP (Sushi Ala Mode) wasn't released in the US?

Squid: It was never intended to be...

Sindy: Guess what? It is.

Squid: No it's not.

Ted: I...

Chip: Where did you see it?

Ted: I saw it at Tower Records.

Sindy: Tower Records?!

Theo: Where? Here?

Sindy: Tower fucking Records?!

Gina: That's bad. That's really bad.

Sindy: That's REALLY bad.

Gina: Those songs, alot of those songs were supposed to be on "Jerk Of All Trades", but then we ended up writing new songs.

Sindy: That was supposed to be half of our record, though. We were probably going to use all of those songs.

Theo: That's true.

Gina: Only two of them made it on.

Squid: We just ended up writing other songs we liked better so we had to drop a bunch of them, but that was supposed to be half of our record and we were under the understanding, 100%, that it would only be distributed in fucking Japan and Australia and that (???) and that was it.

Theo: But surprise surprise.

Squid: That's the way it always is, isn't it?

Ted: So who paid for your trip to Japan? How did you get there? How did this whole thing come about? Did you play there?

Theo: We played this horibble show in New Jersey...

Chip: Asbury Park...

Gina: And nobody was there.

Chip: It sucked big time.

Theo: ...and the promoter and the record dude and woman were there for the record seminar or whatever, the CMJ, and they loved us so they said "We want to take you to Japan". Remember when they came down to our dressing room and it was like "Yes we want to talk to you" and we were like "Yeah, yeah, yeah..."

Sindy: The woman has a record label in Japan, an all female label, and she had some bands that she works with and she wanted us to come to Japan and play with those bands.

Ted: Now...I don't want to get into the male/female discussion, but I would say that you guys are above, your (or any) music transcends...I mean to say that your music blows away 99% of the bands that play, wouldn't you feel kind of insulted that someone would ask you to be on a label that had only female bands on it?

Chip: We didn't know that they were all female.

Squid: You know what? We had always wanted to go...

Chip: No, we didn't know it was all female. We just wanted to go to Japan.

Squid: We didn't know that until we got there anyway. We knew we were going to play with some other female bands, but we just wanted to go to Japan, and you know what? We experienced that kind of bullshit so much and so much of the time it works to our disadvantage, that on the few occasions that it works to our advantage...

Theo: Take it.

Squid: go to fucking Japan and get to play for people, we wouldn't think twice about it.

Gina: And also, I don't think there's anything wrong. I personally don't think there's anything wrong with having female dominated things...

Ted: Oh yeah! I have no problem with that.

Gina: ...I think that it is really cool. The name of the record label is Benton. Benton is the name of one of the seven Japanese gods...

Theo: ...The only woman.

Gina: ...The only woman and she's the goddess of music and instruction.

Theo: And art.

Gina: And all the other bands are female bands, and I think that's really cool.

Ted: But what I'm trying to say is that...

Squid: We understand what you're saying.

Everyone: Yeah.

Ted: Ok. Good. I mean you blow away 99% of all the guy bands and girl bands...

Everyone: Thank you.

Squid: We are constantly compared to bands we have nothing in common with except for the fact that they're women...

Gina: Yeah, that does suck.

Squid: ...and they play a totally different kind of music and yeah, we do feel like "Man, can't you just listen to us and you know, forget it already?"

Chip: Yeah, forget about the girl band thing.

Ted: It's not a gimmick at all.

Gina: No. But it can go both ways. You know, that's true and at the same time it is nice...

Squid: We're not ashamed to be an all girl band. I mean there was four of us in the band at first and we could have gotten a guy as a drummer, but we wanted to get a girl as a drummer because we were like "Well fuck it! Let's be a fuckin' killer all female band! We're all female..." Why get a guy to play the drums when we know there's a girl up there that we know who plays killer drums and we found her.

Chip: That would be really weird! To have a guy in the band, huh?

Ted: So I was going to avoid this question, again, but do you think being an all-female band has been an advantage or a hindrance?

Everyone: Both. Totally.

Squid: We got our first break clearly because someone was like "Wow! A girl band!" And that started our careers. They bought us amps! We didn't have anything, you know, in the very beginning.

Gina: Now it goes in the opposite direction. It's like "Oh! A girl band! A novelty."

Squid: Really, it does. We get grouped in the sense of  the business, too. I mean like how much money other bands make that are signed to certain labels and shit, determines what people think of us!

Chip: The biggest hindrance is when like you can't get on a label because they already checked out a girl band. You know, they already have their one token female band.

Ted: Oh man! That's when you be insulted.

Squid: In Europe we were literally, they told us they denied us...We had lots of coverage in Europe before...

Theo: In England.

Squid: ...before like a lot of the know, they started profilling a lot of American girl bands at the time. They told us flat out "we can't give you a feature article in our magazine because we have too many all girl bands this month." Which means "one" or "two". And then we got refused a gig, headlining, because they said "we can't book them (the Lunachicks) because Babes in Toyland played here a few weeks ago."

Ted: You know what's bullshit about that? How many bands in a row that they put on that had all guys in the band?

Squid: Every one.

Ted: That (way of thinking) is bullshit.

Squid: That's the way people think.

Ted: I mean, if those are the best bands playing, that they're all guys, then fine!

Squid: Of course. But you asked if it was a hindrance...

Ted: But whether they're guys in the band or girls in the band, so what?

Squid: It's a hindrance.

Ted: I feel stupid and embarrassed that I asked questions like this, but as long as the message gets out.

Squid: But you know what, there are alot of people in bands who won't talk about it because they're so pissed off about it already, but you know what? It's true! And it can't be said enough fucking times. That kind of shit exists and it's wrong. And it's fucked up. (somewhere during these last few comments Gina yells at Gregg from Go-Kart Records about the shitty selection of beer that he brought in.)

Ted: Miller. I'm so glad you got upset over that! That's so cool!

Gina: I fucking hate Miller!

Ted: Well drink it because it has alcohol in it!

Gina: Well it's beer! And I need beer, so I will drink it, but I fucking hate Miller.

Chip: We've been getting alot of bad beer lately.

Gina: Tonight is bad beer night, man.

Ted: Aren't you guys big time? Can't you just say in your rider that you want uhhhh...

Gina: Uh no! We were in Alberquerque. That was the first time that they gave us Miller and Reverend Horton Heat had been in the club the night before and I was like "Can't you just give us a case of Bud or Rolling Rock?" and they were like "No, Miller's the only thing we have left because the whole band and the whole crowd drank all the rest of the good beer." So we had to drink Miller and that really sucked.

Ted: No, Miller's better than Bud! Come on!

Gina: No way! No!

Ted: Yes.

Chip: Not in New York. Bud's different out here than it is in New York. Bud sucks out here.

Ted: Bud Ice is cool over here, and that's like 5.5% alcohol.

Gina: Why are we even talking about Bud? Eww. Canadian beer. Mexican beer.

Ted: You're right. There's alot of really good micro-brewed beers going around. (talk resumes to some less serious stuff...)

Ted: Ok, let's talk about your amazing new album.

Gina: Do you really think it's amazing?

Ted: Duh! Of course! It's the best album of the year so far. At least until Rocket From The Crypt puts out something. Maybe. I picked out "Brickface & Stucco" as THE song of the fucking year!

Sindy: Yay!

Gina: That's so funny because me and Chip are like...God!

Ted: But why would you think that? That's one of the rare songs that I can sit there and listen to 10 times in a row.

Squid: Why?

Ted: Because it fucking rocks!

Sindy: You are my friend!

Ted: Why is there this division here?

Squid: No, I really like that song, but I don't KNOW that...

Chip: Musically, for me to play it, it's like it kind of does this thing for awhile and then you get your little part. So I mean musically...

Ted: So you're saying that being in the band it's different than hearing the music...

Chip: It's definitely different than listening to it.

(we start talking about the show that they just played last night...Theo leaves sometime earlier in the interview and we call her back in...)

Ted: Theo, we were talking about the show last tonight and what I want to ask you about the show tonight is about your outfit. I heard in San Diego that you wore that last night. Have you been wearing the same outfit the whole tour?

Theo: No. I have three different outfits with me and depending on the heat of the night, meaning the temperature of the club, determines what I wear.

Sindy: Absolutely.

Ted: Now you wore that dress last night and you wore it tonight, doesn't that kind of stink a little?

Theo: Plenty. That things been worn alot of times. It's going to stink a real lot after the tour.

Squid: You obviously have no idea what touring in a band is like.

Theo: If you like, you can touch it. It's like soaked.

Gina: And then times that by 5.

Squid: Do you want to talk about something disgusting? I wear the same bra onstage every night. For two months in a row!

Sindy: Stage bra. We all have stage bra.

Theo: Stage socks. Stage underwear. You can sell that shit.

Squid: Every single night. We wash it about once every two weeks. If we're lucky.

Theo: I can't wash my dress. I gotta figure out how...

Gina: If you walked into our hotel room, all the shit's hanging up and it all smells like one big fucking armpit.

Squid: And the vinyl shit? You can never wash. The vinyl shit smells like five years ago.

Gina: My grass skirt? You can't ever wash.

Ted: Can't you just put water on it and scrub it?

Sindy: We wear the same clothes. when we have 40 shows, we don't take 40 outfits with us.

Ted: I wasn't assuming that.

Sindy: Our bag is like two feet by one foot.

Theo: You know when we're as big as Madonna or something, we'll have our shit dry-cleaned everyday...

Ted: Ok. Ok. I know you can't take that many clothes with you, but I would think that maybe you could maybe do laundry like maybe once every week.

Everyone: No. No.

Sindy: You know what? We drove nine hours to get here today.

Squid: Going to a laundromat is like a fucking vacation to us.

Sindy: We played in Tucson last night.

Gina: No we didn't. San Diego.

Sindy: Oh yeah. Four (hours).

Gina: She's got road fever.

Ted: Theo, you do all the art for the Lunachicks stuff?

Theo: Gina's been doing most of it, but we share it. She's the big one.

Ted: Who did the art on the drum kit?

Theo: Gina.

Chip: They're both major...

Ted: ...artists.

Chip: Yeah, totally. Fifty fifty almost.

Ted: Do you ever sell your art and put it in art shows or anything like that?

Theo: We've been planning a show, but we haven't had time to get it together.

Chip: Well the T-shirts sell.

Squid: Excuse me! Gina is an accomplished book cover artist.

Gina: CD covers! CD posters!

Squid: For other bands, even.

Ted: (feeling about 2 inches tall) What other bands?

Gina: I just did the cover for Buzzkill. Buzzkill is a local band from New York. They're really good. I did a poster for that band Bio. They're CD poster. What else? Well, you know, among other many many things.

Theo: She makes some really cool Barbie Art.

Squid: She makes and sells clocks and Barbie watches. She makes models and shit.

Theo: Barbie clocks. And her and Chip together make these (?) clocks, you know, this dripping thing...

Ted: Oh! Is that how you got your guitar with the dripping stuff?

Gina: No, that's just paint that I used that I can get...

Ted: From years ago. That wasn't the same guitar you used tonight? Was it?

Gina: I had that guitar for...

Ted: It looked different.

Sindy: New stickers. (everyone's talking at once and want to leave for the after party and wrap this up...)

Ted: Now for your new album, did any major labels approach you guys?

Everyone: No.

Squid: Not a single fucking one.

Gina: They will now, though. I mean considering how many...

Squid: Fuck them! They can go stick their heads up their asses!

Chip: They're all going to come begging...(everyone starts yelling at once, obviously enraged)

Chip: How many CDs have we sold so far?

Squid: You know what? Let me tell you something. We fucking sold 17,000 records records in the first 10 days. We are SO glad that we didn't fucking put it out with a major label that would be ripping us off every dime that we're going to make off of doing this record on an independent label. We are so glad we did this album on an independent label. We are totally psyched.

Chip: How many CDs did we sell before it even came out? We sold like 12,000 CDs before it was even out (in stores)!

Ted: I thought because of the last album that you guys would have been signed to a major label. I've talked to several friends that I have and they were all into you and...

Squid: Everybody that works in fucking every record company loves us, but anybody who makes like any decision about it, doesn't.

Theo: They don't know what to do with us.

Gina: "How could we market these girls?"

Chip: It's all numbers. It's all numbers.

Ted: I don't want to be insulting by saying this, but you guys do have an image. You guys do play amazing music...

Chip: But they have numbers from past girl bands and they don't sell.

Ted: And that's what they look at?

Theo: "Binge & Purge" didn't sell enough for them to be jumping on us, either.

Ted: But so what?! That was a great album!

Theo: It doesn't matter.

Squid: But people in the record business don't know anything about music.

Gina: They signed L7 and they signed Babes in Toyland. They have their token "female" bands. They aren't like making the millions and millions of dollars so...

Chip: So this album is going to be in their fucking face. And so here you go...

Ted: They can't ignore it now.

Squid: But you will find people that will even ignore this!

Ted: So what are you going to say when a major label comes up to you now?

Everyone: FUCK YOU! Sit and Spin!

Squid: We've been around for 7 fucking years. There's no fucking excuse in the world, man!

Chip: And after this we're going to start our own label.

Gina: Called Shit Fart Records. That's what it will be called. Shit Fart Records.

Chip: Fuck all of them!

Ted: What did Go- Kart Records have to do to sign you?

Sindy: Break out the knee pads.(most everyone in the band leaves to go to the after party)

Ted: Has the real Jan Brady ever heard your song about her?

Sindy: Oh, you're asking the pot head with no memory! But yes. I think so. You know we're in Brady Bunch book.

Ted: No. (Gina comes back in)

Sindy: Do you know something about Jan Brady?

Ted: Did Jan Brady ever hear the song "Jan Brady"?

Gina: No. I don't think so.

Sindy: Are you sure?

Gina: She might. She probably heard of it because it's mentioned in the brady Book and if she got the Brady Book, which I assume that she would, I mean any respectful Brady would own one, but I'm sure she's heard of it. I don't know if she's actually heard the song.


(C)1995 Flipside

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