To Live and Shave in L.A. 2 was formed after the
group's members left the original To Live and Shave in L.A. due to what would
probably be referred to as "creative differences" in an official industry press
release. Weasel Walter, Rat Bastard, Misty Martinez and Nandor Nevai then went
on to release a stunning debut album and go on a US tour, stirring up confusion,
anger, and bewilderment the whole way. Their first cd, Kill Misty/Threnody:
$300 Silk Shirt, was self-released on cdr, and will be properly fed to the
masses (with 40 minutes of new carnage) by Belgium's X+Z=0 records in July, 2001.
The following interview was conducted in the informally christened "Michael Gira
Lounge" of the Millvale Industrial Theater in Pittsburgh, PA after a blindingly
short but explosive set of free glam catharsis which left the audience a full
six feet away from the stage, fearing for our safety and eardrums. The interview
was no less chaotic that the music, and perhaps this three ring circus is better
labelled a "conversation," as, between Nondor's "influenced" ramblings, Weasel's
attempts to steer the interview back toward the music, and my little recorder's
futile attempts to capture four people talking at once, most semblances of a conventional
interview fell by the wayside fairly early on. Like any good drama, whether tragedy
or comedy, we'll begin first with the cast of characters, color-coded for easy
identification, and in order of appearance:
Weasel Walter: 12-string guitar, sax
Adam Strohm: pipeline
Rat Bastard: bass
Misty Martinez: personal effects
Nandor Nevai: drums
Milton G. Compton III: pipeline
Brad Heiple: pipeline
Random, all too often indiscernible
members of openers The Weather Channel
Manny Theiner: Owner, MIT
(Any censoring is by request of the band)
WW: So, Adam, why did you make the mistake of interviewing this band? What interested you?
AS: You asked me.
Yeah. I'm a sucker.
Okay, do you got any questions for us?
Well, let's see, where do we start off?
Did you listen to the record?
What do you think?
I very much enjoyed it. It was very nice.
Cool. Alright. What? Who's doing the fucking interview?
RB: Which record lp?
Oh, that record...
The debut recording...
MM: Yeah, Rat didn't even know
NN: (interrupting) I don't even know who to trust anymore, Jesus or the devil... Jesus or the Devil...
Yeah, we played the record in the car, for Rat, he had never heard it before, and he was like, he didn't even know where it was from. He thought it was, like, recorded live on our last tour...
(In a British accent) I don't even know who to trust anymore, Rat or Misty, Rat or Misty...
It's very nice.
I enjoyed it a lot. I made the mistake of leaving it on my desk and my mom walked by and...
MM: Oh, did she think that you worship pain?
No, she just said "What is this? Who are these people?" and I just said "Uhh..." and she said "Don't explain it." I said "I won't."
NN: She's a fucking cock.
(To Nondor) We
should give you a separate microphone... We should give you a second microphone
in the left speaker spewing nonsense.
You can't explain it, even if you wanted to explain it. It's so [unintelligible... Wonderful, maybe?] Godammit.
All right, well, that was kind of a question...
Weasel's a cunt.
So, let's see, where do we start?
Why don't we start when you were born out of your mother's ass?
Was that a good show?
I don't know, we didn't watch it. Was it a good show?
Was it a good show?
(Referring to Nondor)Born between the piss and shit, that's what he says.
What do you think, was that a good show?
I enjoyed it, I want to know what you think.
We don't want to know if you enjoyed it. Did you enjoy it?
Was it a good show? I thought it was...
(interrupting) If you want to ask me if it was a good show, then I want to assault you.
We'll have to take that outside.
We don't have to, there are other options.
(after numerous attempts to being his sentence) It was a representative show.
Yeah. There you go.
Good is not...
I think we're satisfied
I don't think we're interested in judging whether it was good or not because I don't feel like I actually am... (pauses) I don't...
You tell me: do you like my baby picture?
Never seen it...
Here, here. You're gonna look at his baby picture. (Gets out his wallet)
Then review the fucking mp3...
What, the one of what Nondor looked like when he was 12, that one?
Check the mp3.
Right. This is what Nondor looked like when he was a kid. (Shows picture to us)See that shit?
(chuckling) Yeah, I saw that old high school picture of yours in there, too...
(laughing) Is that for real?
Do you enjoy that picture?
Yeah, it's a nice picture.
It's a great picture.
I was born out of my mother's ass, I fucked her inside-out with my head, it was kind of a thorn shaped thing...nothing much but bone and a hank [sic] of hair. Blue eyes and LSD encrustments... Scabs forming on anything that made contact.
Right. We give the performance we would like to see, ourselves, is what he's saying.
Ebert...Ebert gave a thumbs up, the fucking asshole critic.
Ebert liked it?
But we would be the only ones in the audience if we were to see ourselves. Okay.
Yeah. I don't actually know what happens at our shows, so I can't tell you whether it was good or not.
Yeah...Did you see, I found a little kind of icepick thing?
Yeah,it was pretty gross.
Yeah, where was that?
Misty puts an icepick up her ass, and pulls out a steaming [unintelligible].
I found it on the ground...a rusty icepick.
Man, this place is a dump.
Yeah, we have real [unintelligible]
So how are fans of the original incantation [should have been incarnation, obviously... I must have had metal on my mind] of this band feeling about your group? Do they like it?
John McEntee is from Ohio.
What? Wait, what's the question?
People that are fans of the original To Live and Shave, are they enjoying this?
I think they're split.
I don't think we know anyone who are fans of the original band...
They're starved, because they live on
a diet solely of $#@meat.
I've never talked to anyone who likes the original band To Live and Shave in LA...
That's not true... That's not true.
Who? Name a person who likes To Live and Shave in LA.
Not the music, but they like us...
But we're not To Live and Shave in LA.
Didn't Thurston Moore? Didn't think so.
I'm currently interviewing Carlos from Monotract, and he said he likes them.
He likes To Live and Shave in LA?
I've never talked to him about it.
You lie, he lied. He lied. You always say that [unintelligible], but the truth is, no one does.
I've never seen him [unintelligible]. I don't think he's ever been to a To Live and Shave in LA show.
We're so utterly unrelated to...
(interrupting) Except for fucking Bette Midler. She was... We fucking toured with her. Remember? Fucking Canada, Alberta. Three dates.
We don't have anything to do with To Live and Shave in LA. We did, but that band is defunct. And we're sort of a different band.
Because we're not thieves. We're not criminals from Georgia.
But you kept the name to keep it alive, in a way? To...
We earned the name. We earned it.
Well, we had to steal one thing.
We did what we had to do.
Exactly. We did what we had to do, to take it back. We took it back.
My view is that there was an aesthetic
schism , and that's why we're called To Live and Shave in LA 2. He can have a
band called To Live and Shave in LA, and he's entitled to it, it's his band.
Anyone can. Anyone can.
But we're not called To Live and Shave in LA, we're called To Live and Shave in LA 2.
Right. Do you want to see some people who were trained it art school playing with a casiotone, or do you want to see some free death metal? I don't know, you tell me.
We're trying to give people more options. On our last tour, we so fucking obliterated every place that we played. That had more to do with these four people than another guy who's not in the band.
I think you mostly obliterated your pants.
So, I guess, speaking of seeing you live, what do you think...
This is going to be an unusable interview.
No, I'll use it.
Adam's like "I'll tape over this...Uh, I could do a Reynols interview..."
No, I'll sell this.
Limited edition on eBay...
Yeah, it's our new release. To Live and Shave in LA 4, live at Millvale.
Along with that Ken Vandermark reed [in reference to a broken Vandermark reed someone once tried to sell on eBay, starting at $10.]
Starring, uh, Greg Chapman.
Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Rat Bastard is still with us.
Rat's in a band called To Live and Shave in LA 3, so...
In fucking four minutes, Rat will be so... (pauses) in such an alcohol stupor that he will put his ankles behind his ears and take a fucking ...
(making a valiant effort, but only
getting his ankles as high as his neck) Yeah, I'm not there yet. I'm close, though.
Yeah, To Live and Shave in LA is not to be confused with a band called To Live and Shave in LA.
Or, To Live and Shave 3. (simultaneously)
Rat's got a band...
Or, or I Live in LA or I was born in East LA. These exist.
But, the Dave Matthews band is very closely related.
I can't even tell the difference.
We used to have a black guy playing violin, but we kicked him out. Yeah, we had to sack him.
Actually, we had to kill him and eat his flesh, that's what I was talking about $#@meat.
So do you think...
I'm black, I mean I can talk about $#@meat. I'm a black female.
I'm also a lesbian. Mustache rides
are free. But being an amoral black metalist,I will eat your meat, and $#@meat,
(To Nondor) How much is human life worth?
One US penny. In other words, a fluctuation of currency value nearing nothing. But fluctuating.
So do you think listening to your band on cd loses anything? Obviously, the visual aspect is pretty important...
It's like, living in Pittsburgh, you lose sex life.
Hell no, man, that's where you're fuckin' wrong, man. The fucking sound, man...all that, all that...
The cd is completely different.
If you sit and listen to what we play, the sound is way more than the appearance, the action, man... Where the fuck you've been, man?
I was just asking...
The fucking ac-...the sound is way more interesting than the action is.
How are you going to figure out how we fucking made that sound, man?
Well, this is...
(Gesturing towards Rat ) Jack Kerouac, ladies and gentlemen.
Listen to that shit, godammit, man.
It is pretty heavy.
It's psychedelic in a way...
I mean, Weasel runs into his fucking amp and bounces off and hits a drum set, the drum set falls over, and...
It sounds fucking good.
And, I mean, that's good sound. We don't stand there and play with fucking tapes.
See, we've got cds...
You want to twiddle a knob, then suck this fucking negro's dick afterwards, 'cause I'm busy playing grindcore when the shit is up on the stage. [Nondor, at this juncture, pronounces stage more like stay-age]
(To Misty) Come here, I'm gonna spank
your butt. C'mon, c'mon bitch. (Pulls
Misty on to his lap and spanks away)
Write that out there...
(In death metal growl) Only when she pays for it.
Why'd you do that? Now I'm turned on...
The visual aspect...
So, this is Milton (points to Milton), and Brad (points to Brad).
Hey guys, I'm Weasel. (Points) Nondor, Misty.
Whoa.(Impressed with Misty's astute observation)
Very good, man.
I wanted to get two dogs and name them Martini and Rossi Aussi Spumanti, but I didn't. I'm too irresponsible to have a pet.
That's hard for a rock star.
I need new boots, I have better priorities than pets.
Yeah, he's got nails driving into his feet.
As long as that pet is two-legged...
Or at least walks on two legs...
(Showing us his battle-damaged boots) Actually, these shoes are so fucked up, as you can see, the like nails are coming through and actually impaling the heel of my toe, but that's where I get my, like, feelings onstage. We actually...We carry around.. This is kind of a secret, we don't like to brag about it, because we're not pedantic, but we carry around a dead raven in a jar and we inhale it deeply when we go onstage. Just like, reminding ourselves that we're gonna die real soon. It's one of the major motivations of our music...
I'm gonna puke.
Do Brad and Milton have any questions?
You've been stopped by an electric guitar.
What kind of questions could they fucking come up with?
I just kind of thought... I had a thought, like a question...
Oh. A thought, a question.
If you want to share a thought, then I can get this big old dick sucked tonight.
Big, old dick.
I...feel free to make fun of it...
No, it's okay. (Points to Nondor) He will, I won't.
That's cool. Uh, you have , well, you guys don't, but there's To Live and Shave in LA...
Not anymore, it's defunct.
Oh, it's defunct?
They're R.I.P., dude.
Okay, there is one, go ahead.