Τετάρτη, 22 Μαρτίου 2006

MARKHONEY: Mark Arm (of Mudhoney) interview

words: John Simandiras

They survived the ups-and-downs of grunge. They even survived the flannel shirt haute couture! They’re as alive and kicking (ass, to be precise) as ever. They’re called Mudhoney, and they changed rockNroll’s face by not changing anything actually. Instead, they have been going back to basics; reviving that indestructible Stooges / MC5 sound.
Singer Mark Arm, guitarist Steve Turner, drummer Dan Peters and semi-new bassist Matt Lukin are among the first ones to …blame for the fathering of the much-talked about grunge movement, which became nearly as big as a cultural phenomenon. The Seattle foursome are back with their seventh studio album, ‘Under A Billion Suns’.

During their European tour on ‘Under A Billion Suns’, ’Honey are hitting Athens, Greece in May. This is Mudhoney's second tour of duty with Sub Pop. After helping launch the label, the band signed with Reprise / Warner Brothers in 1991. Arm’s primitive and raw delivery over fuzz-drenched guitars and pounding drums never translated into major record sales, and the big label dropped Mudhoney in 1999. Back to the Seattle label. At the time, that might have seemed like a wounded animal crawling home to die, but Arm’s men still had the guts to continue. 2002’s ‘Since We've Become Translucent’ was nothing but a pure prove that these guys can surely rock, and 2006’s ‘Under a Billion Suns’ is probably even better, already collecting rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.
Their metal-punk-garage sound hasn’t changed much, although ‘Under a Billion Suns’ features the occasional horn section (as did ‘Translucent’), and has some of Arm's most sardonic vitriol and political satire: “The little boys are dying / to preserve our way of life / It’s our patriotic duty / to make sweet love tonight.”
Having turned 44 last month, Mark Arm -who shares a West Seattle home with his wife- remains one of rock’s iconic figures. Please welcome him.

Hi, there! This is John from Greece. How’s things?
Things are great!

I've been a Mudhoney follower, playing your records on my radio show constantly, since the very early days, so it’s hard for me to hide my enthusiasm for getting to interview you.
That’s greatly appreciated.

Congrats on this new record of your, it sure rox! Great stuff and greatly performed!
Aw shucks, thanks.

Your previous studio effort, ‘Since We’ve Become Translucent’ appeared in 2002, and -before that- there was ‘Tomorrow Hit Today’ back in 1998. So, is this the way it’s gonna be from now on? I mean, are you guys gonna hit with a new studio album every four or five years or what?
I don’t know what the future will bring.

What do you think of the Bush administration?
It’s poopy.

What’s your opinion in the whole Iraq thing?
It’s a big poopy mess.

I asked you about President W, because ‘Under A Billion Suns’ stands as your most direct political step. Of course, there were -slight- political references in your records here and there, but this time you’ve done it straight!
Well, as straight as I can do it, which is through a filter of black humor.

Do certain political climates cultivate certain types of music trends, and if so, how does the political climate of today shape the music that is emerging?
I don’t know it that’s true or not. That’s a question better suited to a cultural critic or pop philosopher.

How come ‘Under A Billion Suns’ is produced by three persons? Why’s Conrad Uno absent?
We recorded it over three weekends, so we figured we might as well do it in different places with different people. Conrad doesn’t record bands very often anymore.

What does this -sometimes mindblowing!- horn section bring to the sound of ‘Under A Billion Suns’?
It brings “mindblowingness”.

OK, Mudhoney is an all-male band, but ever thought of collaborating with a woman? Would a female artist fit Mudhoney?
The background vocals on ‘I Saw the Light’ and ‘Let’s Drop In’ are by Christy McWilson and Amy Allison, both of whom are ladies.

You’re playing Athens in a couple of months, how do you feel about touring Europe?
We’ve never been to Athens, so we’re super psyched that we finally get to play there. Europe is cool. Every country is a little different. We’re going to some places that we haven’t been to in over 10 years.

Is there really any difference between the European and the American audience?
Every audience is a little different. Some are very different.

What will make your shows so special that gig-goers should be sorry they missed it?
Our shows are special because we’re special.

How long will ‘A Brief Celebration of Indifference’ (‘Under A Billion Suns’ ’ shortest track) last on stage?
About the same length as on the album.

Is there any venue or city in particular that you’re looking forward to playing at?
We’re looking forward to the whole tour.

Of the four, who’s the most difficult to get up in the morning?
Usually Guy or Dan.

Who’s the worst drunk?
The drinking members of Mudhoney are well-practiced and very good at being drunk.

What attracts you most to touring?
We love to play.

Aside from the essentials, what can’t you go on touring without?
Cream puffs.

Worst live performance-related injury?
I got my forehead split open by Jeff’s bass in Green River.

What’s on your average rider?
Water, beer, booze and snacks.

What’s on your average rider that it used not to be on your average rider when you were starting?
Our first booking agent was straight edge and she didn’t think her bands should drink either. After one tour of us buying our own drinks, we made her put beer on the rider.

Any funny / memorable stories from your Reprise / Warners era?
Funny? Danny Goldberg, whose company Gold Mountain, managed Nirvana, was briefly the president at Warners. He refused to meet with us after hearing ‘Into Your Shtik’. I guess that’s funny.

Have you ever thought of forming and running down your own label? A hell lot of artists do it these days…
Nope. Steve did it for a little while. It seems like an awful lot of work.

How many flannel shirts do you have?
Flannel shirts? None.

What pleases you the most: listening to music or playing music?
I like both.

Is there a record you don’t like to admit to owning?
Nope, I’ll fess up to owning any record in my collection.

What’s the best piece of advice to ignore?
Never ride a pony with your finger in a light socket.

Did you ever thing you’d be going strong for so long?
Not in the beginning, that’s for sure!

Peace and love and best of luck to all of you guys, thanks very much!
Thank you, and see you at the Acropolis!

A great deal of 'efkaristo' to Kyriakos Skordas of www.atraktos.net, and many-many cheers for him!

This interview was done exclusively for www.atraktos.net and for diamonds.explode.to.

Κυριακή, 19 Μαρτίου 2006

Senser live 18/3/06

Χωρίς φωτογραφική μηχανή έπρεπε να βρω τρόπο να φύγω με κάποιο λάφυρο από την Αποθήκη του Μύλου ψες βράδυ. Αν αναλογιστείς ότι έλειπε και ο Cman ε τότε καταλαβαίνεις ότι ήταν εύκολο να καβατζώσω ένα από 2-3 Playlists. Δεν υπήρχε σοβαρός ανταγωνισμός.
Πολύ fχάριστη η βραδγιά. Δυστυχώς δεν ξέρω τίποτε για το support [αν ξέρει κάπχοιος καλός άνθρωπος ας μας πει]. Συμπαθέστατη η ξανθιά τραγουδίστρια ντυμένη επιμελώς ατημέλητα φάνηκε να απολαμβάνει την κάθε στιγμή. Θα ήταν καλύτερα για τους ίδιους αν παίζανε σε μικρότερο χώρο ώστε να αναγκαστεί το κοινό να πλησιάσει τη σκηνή. Αυτή τη φοβία του κόσμου να παρακολουθεί τις συναυλίες από μακριά δεν την καταλαβαίνω. Λες και φοβούνται μήπως επικοινωνήσουν κατα λάθος με τους τριγύρω, μήπως τύχει και έρθουν σε επαφή με τους καλλιτέχνες.
Τέλος με το ζέσταμα και γύρω στις 23:50 βγαίνουν οι Senser στη σκηνή. Αρκετός κόσμος πλέον ώστε να μοιάζει ημι-γεμάτη η αποθήκη παρ'όλα αυτά με το χώρο που έχω τριγύρω μου ρίχνω και καμιά ζεμπεκιά αμα λάχει ασούμε. Το όλο set διήρκησε γύρω στη 1:30'. Μετά το 2ο κομμάτι έπεσε το πρώτο fχαρίστοου. Καλό accent του δίνω 7.5/10. Χοροπηδητά, 2-3 stage diving και όλα τα λεφτά βέβαια στο Age of Panic.
Οι Senser κέρδισαν τη συμπάθειά μου για δύο ακόμη λόγους. Το διάλειμμα πριν ακολουθήσει το encore κράτησε δεν κράτησε 1/2 λεπτό. Οχι σαν κάτι ντίβες που σου λένε και Goodbye για να ξαναβγούν στη σκηνή μετά από ένα τέταρτο. Τέλος εκτός των άλλων χάρηκα που είδα ότι εκτός από μπλουζάκια και cd's υπήρχαν διαθέσιμα προς πώληση και βινύλια. 4 από αυτά μάλιστα ήταν συλλεκτικά 7''.

[κι επειδή μπορεί να θελήσω κι εγώ στο μέλλον να πράξω καργιέρα στο εξωτερικό...]

Great Gig!
Cya next time

Τετάρτη, 8 Μαρτίου 2006

our blog gets SLUNTed

SLUNT website's newspage redirects you to our blog!
Just click http://www.slunt.net/news.php.

One more proof that our blog has become of truly international fame.

Thanks, Abby! I had an unforgettably great time interviewing (and, ermm, viewing) you. Also, I figure out that every reader is enjoying your answers.

Best of luck to SLUNT.

John S.

Παρασκευή, 3 Μαρτίου 2006

Abby Gennet (SLUNT)

Get A Load Of Her!

words: John Simandir-ass

SLUNT emerged from New York, with a clear rock-the-world philosophy and a take-no-prisoners attitude. Their first album, ‘Get A Load Of This’ is a hot, adrenaline-fueled, kinky, sleazy, piece of rockNroll, for all those who GIVE a shit! You may call it hard and heavy, too. Currently working on the follow up to ‘Get A Load Of This’, SLUNT are becoming popular here and there. They’ve also become one of the darlings of our radio show, thanks to the constant airplay they’ve been getting on ‘diamonds’ since October 2005.
Fresh from having sex (she claims she’s done it 7 hours ago, and it was -in her words- “juicy”), Abby Gennet, SLUNT’s guitarslinger and singer is providing us with her answers to our carefully-designed questions… proving that there’s much more than this little ‘N’ that makes the difference to SLUNT.

Abby, how relaxed are you, when you’re answering interview questions?
I’m in my jammies right now.

-jammies? U call that jammies? (photo: scott s. clinton)

Have you ever left in the middle of a face-to-face interview, because you didn’t like the interviewer’s questions?
No, but you’re gettin’ fuckin close, buddy.

How important is ‘N’ to SLUNT?
Would you call YOUR mama a whore?

How do your parents feel about your being in a heavy rock band?
They love it. My mom wears her SLUNT T-shirt to all the gigs.

Is sharing the same van with the guys in SLUNT easy, when you’re on tour?
Only when they’re not gassy. We have a “no-fart” rule on the van.

Are women more loyal on the road than guys are?
Umm, what happens on the road stays on the road.

Is there something you hear all the time concerning SLUNT, that makes you want to put a screwdriver in your ear?
If anyone else asks me what SLUNT means, I’m gonna put a screwdriver in THEIR ear!

Do you think that SLUNT have something in common with Nashville Pussy? Have you ever met anyone from Nashville Pussy?
Guitar-wielding mamas playing dirty rock n roll! I met Corey, their old bass player, once. I photographed her blowing fire in a park. That was pretty cool.

Is Ron Jeremy, the famous pornstar, really one of your heroes, as you’re saying on your website, www.SLUNT.net? Have you ever talked to him or, erm, played in a movie with him?
I met him once & he squeezed my ass. He’s definitely a pro.

What are some of your turn-ons?
People who are secure with who they are. Oh, & young latin boys that don’t speak any English.

Is playing live a sexual turn-on for you in any way?
Hell yeah, especially cuz my guitar is at pussy level.

Have you ever experienced a wardrobe malfunction onstage?
Im always showin’ my ass crack to Pat & Charles, when I bend down to plug in my gear, but that’s about it.

What are you drinking before a stage appearance, what are you drinking during the show, and what’s the ideal after-the-show drink?
Jack. Jack. Jack.

Smelly boys & people that ask me what SLUNT means.

Who’s the sexiest male in the music industry today?
Brett Scallions.

Who’s the sexiest female in the music industry today?
Paulina Rubio could come over.

Have you ever dated women?
Umm, define “dated”.

No, I won’t. I’ll ask you my next question, instead: Lots of male musicians partake in the groupie scene. Is that something women rockers do as well?
I have this funny way of cock-blocking the boys in my band.

...cock-blocking the boys in her band

When was the last time you had sex? How was it?
About 7 hours ago. Juicy.

Do words come easier to you than the basic melody of a song?
Yes. I’m usually pretty bad with coming up with hooks. But I can rhyme, yo!

Who would you like to produce your upcoming second album?
We’re in the process of compiling our wish list. Would love someone like GGGarth Richardson or Butch Walker.

What’s the earliest take was a keeper on the first LP, and who’ll have the final word on which take will be a keeper on this second LP?
Probably ‘Not About You’. We’re just gonna record what we have for this next one & see what comes out the best. We’ll ALL have a say in the editing process.

Which song is the ideal show-opener for SLUNT? And which one might be the ideal show-stopper for you?
We usually open with ‘The Best Thing’, but now we have a new one called ‘Here To Rock’ that will be a perfect show opener. Now we’ll probably CLOSE with ‘The Best Thing’, since it’s most recognizable to our fans.

Do people in the audience often scream for an encore after your gigs?
Depends where we are. We usually have a time constraint, since we’re opening for bigger bands, so we just rock it heavy & leave em wanting more.

Lemmy or Nick Oliveri?

What’s so special about New York?
It’s the capital of the universe.

Do you regret having done any of your tattoos?
Nope. Will probably get some more along the way.

Are there any tattoos under your underwear?
Well, I had this little mouse tattoo but my pussy ate it.

What’s the most embarrassing thing male fans have done in your presence?
Things don’t really embarrass me. I DID pierce a guy’s nipple with a SLUNT pin once though. That was fun. Luckily there was no blood.

Female fans sometimes flash their breasts to male performers they admire. Has a male fan ever dropped trou?
Nope. I’ve signed a few asses though. I’m also down with boobie signings… but usually they’re sweaty & then my sharpie gets ruined.

boobie signings

What was the nearest to Greece you ever got to play?

What do you want to say to Greek people that have spotted and loved SLUNT by listening to them on ‘diamonds’?
Keep it loud & keep it dirty. And make sure ya come visit us at www.slunt.net!

Loads of hugs and smiles to Sophie from Repossession Records for making all this possible! JS