First read our cover story article on Black Rebel Motorcycle Club starting on page 39 of Issue 5 of Under the Radar. Below you can find plenty of bonus quotes that we couldnt fit into the article. We picked up the band at the Standard Hotel in Hollywood and started the interview as we drove them downtown to the photo studio where we shot them. They were also interviewed at the studio and on the way back to Hollywood for their next interview. As you will read in the article, this was when we almost got shot. A few days later we did follow-up phone interviews Robert and Peter.
Under the Radar:
Mark Redfern (M)
Nick Hyman (NH)
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club:
Peter Hayes (P)
Robert Turner (R)
Nick Jago (N)
No Pressure to Follow Up Debut
M: I guess one of the questions Im sure youve gotten a lot with the new record, but it has to be asked, is that do you feel a lot of pressure on this record because everybody acclaimed the debut record, and the whole second record thing, did that bother you guys at all when you were making it?
P: For me, it didnt really hit me that people enjoyed the first record until the idea of the second record. Whatever was written up about it, it didnt hit me. People write things up about it, thats what they do for a new band. It didnt hit me as strongly until after the second record was done, so it was kind of, so, did you beat it? Well not really. So that was it, I didnt really understand it.
R: Its like, you dont know the outcome of something until its kind of behind you a little bit. You dont know what damage youve made until youre through it. Its just a mess, it was a mess for us. This new album for us feels like a mess all over again.
M: A mess in what way?
R: Just so much shit, you know. Just talking to you in the back of a car right now, its a mess. (laughter all round)
P: Thats a good mess.
R: Its all great, fucking messes, I just cant make a thing out. I dont really how to like put all the pieces in place and see how its supposed to move and feel. Were trying to get it to as many people as possible and its a messy job, its a sloppy thing.
M: Thats good that you werent worried about that (following up the debut), because you probably wouldve second-guessed yourselves when you were doing the record.
P: Yeah, theres a lot of that anyways. Theres plenty of second-guessing, theres no way around that. Theres no-ones to blame but us. You can call it second-guessing, but basically the weights on our shoulders, which is good.
R: I think youve got to be on top of your own shit when you put on the title of producing or just not having someone there that is steering it like that, you kinda gotta think and be smart about some shit. It is your ass if it doesnt come out right and then they will take that away from you too if you fuck up or just get lost in it. Its a privilege, we know it, cause a lot of bands dont get that.
British Fans vs. US Fans/Obsessive Fans/Ty Cobb and Abstract Dragon/Virgin Records and the Death of Record Labels
NH: How are the shows over there compared to the shows over here, is there like a difference in the crowd or like how you guys are perceived?
P: Yeah, a little bit, it comes and goes, as far as I know, the difference.
R: You go to a Metropolis, you go to the head of, the center of the city, where all the people are at, every show comes through that part of town, people are a bit more guarded, I dont know, not jaded in a bad way, but just they have seen it all, you know what I mean? And you get that everywhere in Europe, the same you get it here. We were just doing New York and Boston and shit and then once we got out we went to Detroit, Minneapolis and Milwaukee and shows, people just immediately dont give a fuck if they dont look cool, or they dont give a fuck if they wear their heart on their sleeves cause its irrelevant. Its about having fun that night and listening to a band you like. And thats partially that whole thing where you just lose the buzz if every week theres another great band coming through that youre into, you gotta decide whether or not youre to go. In smaller places theyre waiting all month for that, cause thats the only one thats coming through in that time.
NH: Do you notice any younger fans there that might just be getting into music for the first time, that are attaching themselves to your guys music?
R: Weve only had a couple of all-ages shows on this tour, cause this tour we wanted to play really small places so most of that is just a bar. But in Detroit, it mustve been all-ages cause I swear there was like a six-year old girl, I could not believe it. Right in the front row. Not six, maybe like ten, the same thing. It was really freaking me out, she was right in the front.
NH: Do you think its time for a Christmas album yet?
R: Kids Christmas?
NH: BRMCs Christmas for Kids.
R: Shell buy it. I dont know how many more of her there are.
P: I bet she wouldnt buy it, shed say, those sold out sons of bitches! (laughs) Fuck them, I dont want their shit.
M: How would you describe your typical die-hard BRMC fan? Do you interact with a lot of your fans and what kind of people are they?
R: I dont know, we see such a weird side, its like the kid you meet on the street, the kid you meet at the show, website whatever-internet people, which I dont know what breed of people they are, and then press, who like you, but theyve got to spin on it. So its all different, its all weird. Everybodys got a different place theyre coming from with it and a different way it entered them and affected them, their eyes and ears.
M: Have you had any really obsessive fans that have taken things to an uncomfortable level?
P: Uhhh, well, kinda. Actually theres this, well
NH: Theres something here.
NH: Weve just scratched the surface havent we?
R: And thats all youll get.
P: Im actually thinking about this, Im more thinking about this one guy that would show up with five different, hed show up at every show we did between LA and Arizona and hed have a couple of copies of the album and hed have a bunch of printout things that hed made himself. Hed have eight or ten things for us to sign.
M: At every show?
P: Yeah at these shows youd see him repeat himself over and over again. And then we just realized, youre selling this shit on E-Bay, or whatever youre doing. Its like, how dare you? Its like dont ever fuckin do that again. So that was kind of uncomfortable. That wasnt obsessive, that was just a guy makin money. We called him on it.
M: Right when you said that I was thinkin, he must be selling it on E-Bay.
NH: What was his reaction when you called him on it?
P: He just hemmed and hawed, and said, uhhh, uhhh. Yeah, you are, arent you. Uhhh, uhhh. I was more pissed off that hed xerox a photo from a magazine and then blow it up and put it in color and then have us sign it and then treat it like it was something you could never get anyway kind of thing. I dont like that stuff that much. Then he showed up last night actually and he had a full length something that someone had released that was a bootleg or something. So, at the same time, he's got his ears open, whatever he's doing, which is kind of cool, I dont know how he's finding shit like that.
R: There's a lot of like obsessive in a good way. It was weird on this tour I didn't expect it as much, but there was a couple of girls who came to like seven shows, you know, and all of them kept traveling on their own and they would just show up and they wouldn't really..
P: They drove from Boston to Minneapolis.
R: You've got that all the time. People who like The Cure, they'll follow them around. Oh, these poor guys flew from North Carolina, no, was it Texas, no Nashville, I think, to this Detroit show, cause that was the closest we came to it. And that was really lame and they were there like at 1:00 in the afternoon, waiting all day. It's just crazy. And these people from London flew to Chicago.
M: Wow - that must be kind of flattering for people to go to all that trouble for you guys.
P: Yeah, it's fucking great.
R: Last night. Vegas and LA are a bit easier, but there were a lot of people from there.
M: A lot of people drove out there?
R: I thought it was just a couple of people, so I was like, in the middle of the show, I want to thank you guys who came from LA, who came all the way out here, and then like half the room erupted like Yeah! And I was like, holy shit, all of sudden, like half the room. And then I talked to them, and everyone kind of planned their week around it, to come down on a Thursday or whatever.
M: Well, I guess it was a Saturday night, so it was pretty easy to go down there. Is there any particular reason you didn't play LA on this thing?
R: Its the first place we go when we come back in September.
P: We couldn't find a place to play, either.
M: I wanted to ask you about your label, Abstract Dragon. We interviewed Ty Cobb in our magazine and I was curious if you guys were going to do anything else on your label besides the Ty Cobb stuff, or is it just something that's on the wayside right now.
R: No, we're not going to do it anymore. It was always there, this kind of something. Someday down the line, we'll get into that shit, but I just want to focus on this now. It takes so much energy just doing this band anyway. It's good though with Ty Cobb. We kind of jumped the gun for a good reason, cause they're a great band. We kind of handed them over to James Oldham at Lou Records and he's going to put their stuff out soon. I don't know, if we didn't, than maybe that connection wouldn't have been there, the music wouldn't have kept going.
M: Yeah, I mean you really helped them out, if it wasn't for their connection with you, they probably wouldn't have gotten the press.
R: No, they're a good band, they would've come along.
P: That's the hard thing about it - we can get in the way as much as we can help. I bet they can't do an interview without us coming up. I am sure that's going to bug the fuck out of them. So, that BRMC, they helped you out, they really made your career happen. Its like, come on now, please. It aint about that, you know? Its not at all about that. As if it had nothing to do with the music. It's hard not to get in the way that way, you know. They can't tour with us now, I mean they can tour with us but at the same time it would even build up things like theyre our band, would make it that much more. Its hard to step aside for them.
M: When our writer interviewed them, they said that they'd just gone bowling with you guys. Is that true?
R: They fucking kicked our ass, too. Double or nothing, or you know, double and triple, thinking that theyd break sometime and then wed call it and then ditch them with the bill or whatever.
NH: Did you guys gamble in Vegas?
R: Hell, no. Theres worse things to do.
M: So how are things going with Virgin? Is everything cool with those guys?
R: Yeah. Well, its strange times because, I dont know, its like record labels are all
NH: Theyre all dying?
R: Dying a painful death.
NH: Are you guys going to put your stuff on Apple?
R: I don't trust like any of the whole, you know, internets going to save you or internets going to be the revolution that's going to take it away. Because the money people always find a way of leaching on once they find it and it will be there. If it's in Apple or something else. I don't know if its all like
I've got my problems with record labels as they are, but still.
NH: I thought in terms of maybe more people hearing you. It's a little more legit. You guys would get a cut off of each download.
P: Weirdest thing that Ive
we're just meeting these people for the first time on this tour. So we really don't know much about it. Except for that they know the rumors of, I don't know what happened, but I guess Virgin cleaned house. A lot of people got fired.
NH: I think every label that happened.
P: So these people came in, they know the bad news, so they're trying to be as polite as possible to us, which is nice. We'll see how it goes. The greatest thing about it is that we survived, and that's the point, you know. And anybody that works at a record company should know that, that the artist and the music is what is supposed to survive, you know and we're lucky as hell that we didn't get dragged down that hole.
NH: So are they like demanding a single or something?
P: Thats just the business. I mean it's fuckin' harsh. But if you don't fucking pick up rags when you're mopping at a mechanic shop, you're fired, you know? If you don't sell records, you're gone.
R: No, it's not like that. Its nothing like you said. No, no what he said. They didn't hear the record until it was finished and singles are - we're proud of the record, pick what needs to be. Well, I have a say here and there, but we didn't make a crap album. We didnt make a hit and miss album; that wouldve been a waste of time. I dont know. Theres no need to get into all that.
M: Is the label pretty optimistic about how the record's going to do, or how you're going to grow with this one?
P: That's their job to be optimistic.
NH: Did you guys pick Stop as the first single?
R: Actually kind of because there was this other one, Six Barrel Shot Gun, which seemed a bit more predictable - like, oh, that's the single, go with that. And thats like BRMC sound. But I don't know. Im really nervous about that shit, cause it's great on its own, but you gotta think of people that only hear those singles and don't pick up a record and they only know Punk Song, Spread Your Love, Love Burns, whatever and it's like that's all good, but we kinda do more in the music than just that. Just like rock and roll, straightforward, there it is. And it's good to stretch it and let people know there's more going on. Because thats not for everyone. That's not all we do anyways. We're kind of conscious of that. It's about rock and roll, but it's about doing more with it too.
NH: The b-sides that are on that single, were they done at the same time as the album?
P: What single?
NH: The Stop single. There are a couple of songs on there that arent on the record.
P: I forget
NH: Like the title track is on there.
P: Oh, really?
NH: Saw that on the website.
M: Yeah Take Them On, On Your Own, I thought that was interesting that you put the title track to your record as a b-side. Was that originally going to be on the record and you just took it off, or you thought it'd be interesting to do it that way?
P: A little bit of both. No, it started as a b-side and then turned into a title track. It was always kind of a b-side song.
M: Does it frustrate you guys that you record b-sides and they don't put singles out here any more really, so they don't really come out over here just in England.
R: Yeah, it's weird actually cause the other song on there, High/Low b-side was actually made for the record. We put it as a b-side because, well one of the main reasons was like we kinda noticed something weird that happened like with some of the b-sides on the last album. You get like all these different people coming to you in the course of whatever, going we want a song, we want a song, but we don't want one on the record. So in this weird way some of the b-sides get heard a lot more than album tracks, you know what I mean? Put on like cover mounts and all this different shit.
M: Like compilations?
R: Yeah. And it's strange, cause it's kind of the halfway thought with High/Low, cause it's like really a strong song, but we kinda have hope that it will get heard as much as any single, you know?
M: Like with Q magazine and all that stuff?
R: Just the way it works over here in the states since theres no singles.
Singapore Sling/The Warlocks/Low Flying Owls
M: I was curious if you've heard the band Singapore Sling from Iceland. They are comparing them to you. They sound like you guys, and Jesus and Mary Chain and all that.
P: No, I've heard the name, but I havent heard the music.
M: They're pretty good.
P: Do they have a CD out?
M: Yeah, they have a CD out. We interviewed them in the last issue. They are touring with the Raveonettes and Warlocks right now.
P: Oh, really?
M: The opening Act.
P: Singapore Sling?
M: Yeah. There's another band from Sacramento called Low Flying Owls - have you heard of them?
P: I've heard that name.
M: Once again, some of their stuff sounds a bit like you guys.
P: I think we've actually done a show with them in a small place called Old Ironside or something like that in Sacramento. I think that's where I've heard their name.
M: Are there any other contemporary bands besides the Warlocks or Stratford 4 that maybe you'd align yourself with - you like what they're doing, feel the vibe or sound?
P: Paik, a band called Paik. P-A-I-K. Yeah, from Detroit. Other than that, whoevers got the spirit.
Robert on Touring and Opening for Spiritualized:
M: Do you find it hard to balance friendships, romantic relationships, and family and all that stuff with the touring life?
R: Yeah, and that's kind of what - that more than anything is what all of us have or lost or go back to. Or it might not be there when we go back the way it was before. So, yeah, there's all that and I think that's what Nicks, probably more so than anything, going with right now. Because, you know, we started it - it was just like fun, well go out and then it became like the endless tour. We made a record and came right back out again and another endless tour and that's kind of the daunting thing. But at the same time, I'm kind of up for the adventure and if we make it back alive then it would've been worth it, you know.
M: Yeah. Do it when you're young. Or, when you're old, too?
R: Apparently it can be done.
R: I dont know if its all that worth it though for anybody.
M: The twenty-year reunion tour for BRMC.
R: The paying the mortgage tour.
M: You never know. A lot of those bands probably didn't think they'd be doing it.
R: Yeah. You cant even talk them down, cause they got shit you know. They got to pay whatever they gotta support a family now, whatever. So, you can't diss the reunion tours too much. They are what they are. It makes people like feel good to see a band like come back. It was weird seeing The Sex Pistols, we were in Vegas playing last night and I saw an ad for Sex Pistols coming to Vegas, I was like - if that's not the fucking sign of the
M: The end of the world?
R: Yeah. What is it? The rapture?
M: Yeah. Sex Pistols in Vegas
R: The raptures coming!
M: You guys opened for Spiritualized, who we're listening to right now. They're a pretty well-renowned live band, do you think you guys learned anything from watching them play every night -like how to be a better live band or anything like that?
R: Yeah, we stole this drum thing they do. It happens right in the last song on our record its like for about 10 seconds or so - it's this pounding, pounding thing that they did. Why dont you just take that then, go with it. Don't be ashamed! We pretty much lifted that straight from them. It was amazing though.
(side one of the tape ends)
Every instrument just pounds like a machine gun for like, you know five or 10 seconds and its just, I dont know - there's nothing like it. They probably got it from somebody, so we're taking it and passing it on but, it's cool - it's a great moment.
M: Did Jason Pierce give you guys any good advice, cause he's been in it for a long time, with Spaceman 3 and all that.
R: He gave Peter advice. We didn't talk much after we got in too many disagreements about what the music that should be played before the show was. So we didnt talk much after that. (laughs)
M: (laughs) What was that all about?
R: No, no. It was just like - it was just funny. It was just like two differences of opinion about what music should be played before the bands go on and, but you know, he's Jason Pierce, he should probably decide.
M: What did you want played and what did he want played?
R: He had this thing that was like, it's hard to explain, it was like orchestrated kind of free form stuff and it was really like, it was two hours of like this thing that it was pretty amazing. Some nights I really got into it but other nights, I just wanted to like, come on, let's kick it in. And, that was just our disagreement, but I'm just fucking around. That was just our first like row was that but he's a really cool guy. I hope we maybe play again with him. Peters, I mean we're all friends with him but Peter's stayed pretty close.
Nicks Visa Problems and What They Missed Most About America
M: Nick, I wanted to ask you about your whole visa situation which Im sure youve been asked a lot about but how did it feel to be stuck in the US when the band were touring the UK for the first time?
N: Really good. I was in Hawaii for like 11 days, living the good life.
M: Is that true, or are you just fucking around?
N: No, no it's true. 11 days and there was
M: It must have at least been cool to have The Verves drummer filling in for you out of all the people who could have done it, right?
N: Yeah, he's a nice guy and I respect The Verve and you know, the music.
M: You sorted out your visa problems, how did you finally get them sorted out?
N: A lot of people were working on it - lawyers and stuff - got helping hands here and there.
M: You guys were living in London for a while, right? Over there through that whole thing - does it feel good to be back in the States now, after living over in Europe?
P: Yea, it's a good thing. We've still got a lot of - yeah, you always want to do, like American culture and the way things go inspired us to start a band and helped us, inspired us, some of the music and all that. So, it's nice to be back here to the place that sparked a bunch of things. And see what happens, you know.
M: What did you miss most about the States when you were over there? And what did you miss least when you were over there in Europe?
N: I missed the weather and just the general better living - you kind of get spoiled out here.
M: Was there anything...
R: Jack in a Box.
M: Jack in a Box?
R: That stuff spoils you. And 7-11 and all that stuff.
N: Yeah, Whataburgers from the east. Its the equivalent to In and Out but on the East.
R: Ah, yeah.
N: I had one of those in Milwaukee.
Turning On BRMC
M: How is it being the English guy with these two Yanks?
N: Its Good. I don't know.
M: Have you turned them on to beans on toast and Weetabix and all that?
N: No. They've turned me on to like grilled cheese sandwiches and stuff. And, I don't know what Ive turned them on to. They're hard people to turn on.
NH: Come on, you had to have been turned on by something.
N: Oh, I dont know. Indian food, I guess.
M: Indian food?
N: Indian food, that's English.
M: Yeah, well, thats a big thing over there, much bigger than here.
Misconceptions and What the Band Do on Their Days Off:
M: What do you guys think is the biggest misconception about the band?
N: That we're an English band. I'm English, but these guys aren't. And thats one.
P: And that we're from the nearest town that the next coolest band is from. It seems always to be that wherever the next cool band is from, that is where we're from. You know, its like, if there's something cool that comes out of NY, Oh, you guys are from NY. If somethings from Detroit, Oh, you guys are from Detroit. That's a joke. I don't care about it too much at all.
M: I would say that the band is generally perceived as kind of dark and mysterious. Is there a lot lighter and more humorous side to the band then people usually dont see, that you guys keep under wraps? Or, is this some sort of image you are trying to maintain?
N: I don't know. I think there is, yeah.
P: Yeah. Definitely. We are.
M: I mean, there seems to be a mystique to you guys.
R: That's just another fuckin' like thing that, you know, peoples misconception or whatever, that's just when it's painted all that one kind of stereotype or whatever. Cause there's more to any person, theres more to any band than just one thing.
R: I don't think we're the type of people that walk down the street and start joking with strangers. Some people are like that. I don't think any of us are like that, so, we might come across as were not that. That's fine.
M: I've read a lot of interviews on you guys to do this piece and a lot of the interviews basically say that you guys don't like to do interviews and photo shoots and all that. Would you say that's true?
R: No, well, I don't know. You get into anything anybody says then, you know, there's no absolutes, really.
P: What the hell else are we gonna do really? I mean, there's a lot of other shit we can do. Of course we can fill up our day with other things, but...
P: Yeah, sleep would be
N: Write songs.
P: Yeah, write songs and try not to talk about it too much.
M: But you say generally you guys would, you'd rather the music speak for yourself instead of speaking for yourself?
R: That would be the hopes. That would be great if thatd happen but I have a whole thing about thinking whatever about interviews, really. We always just go by the people that are, we respond off of the person we're talking to, not the magazine we're talking to. It's more about that individual and having a conversation, and sharing appreciation for different music or not sharing that and debating that. And clawing for it and scratching. There's different ways interviews go, it's just about the person. And then we get tagged with not liking em even though we just
M: It's kind of based on the vibe of the individual situation?
P: Yeah, you can't get along with everybody. You could try and then youre just kissing ass, you know. I figure your job's pretty hard, too, you know what I mean? Its like you gotta be a conversationalist and at the same time, if you run into somebody you don't really have much to talk about with them, what do you do? You start scrambling and kind of not meaning a whole lot.
M: What do you guys like to do on your days off when youre not doing interviews and shoots?
N: Random things.
P: We don't really have time for it. I dont know, maybe hes got an internet thing he does.
R: Secret internet life. He sells stray cats on the internet on tour. He finds cats and takes them on the bus and sells them over the internet, after he signs their back.
M: Is that a lucrative business for you?
N: Not as much as a BRMC.
P: Hes going to make drumsticks out of them, right?
R: Thats another misconception that we skin cats for drumsticks.
N: I tend to listen to a lot of music. Try and avoid the TV as much as possible. I dont know.
BRMC and Politics
M: Politics - how political do you feel the band is? Or, as yourselves. How politically aware do you feel you are, and are you trying to get any of that out in your music at all?
R: We've got things bubbling in our mind and bubbling in our bellies, you know with shit going on. But as far as the band or the album, its kind of like there's one song on the record called US Government. Thats pretty literal of whats going on. That doesn't make us a political band, it's just another side, you know.
P: I can see us, I dont know. The thing is, it turns into being more than it really is. That's a main, theres a huge fucking problem with music. There's not enough fucking political, in the main stream anyways you know, a lot of political I mean I guess punk bands think theyre political somehow in whatever way they're doing it. But there's nothing on KROQ as you would say nothing at all political about any of it. So thats very lacking. And we're just riding a thread kinda underneath that stuff and so it's easy to tag us with that. And I think its, I would hate to be pigeonholed with that but at the same time, the ideas should be out there. There should be, well you know, Rage Against The Machine. They were basically the only ones doing it really. I mean that was in the main thread, on the radar. (laughs) Its the same as the drug thing. I dont know.
M: That song, US Government, I heard that song was going to be on the first record, but then you took it off because of 9/11?
P: It was going to be a b-side on the first record, the release date was like 9/12 or something like that or 9/13 so we took it off.
R: A lot of that was just feeling a bit insensitive to the people that were kind of lost in that. Just right at that moment everything was really fucking sensitive, not like politically it was just a fucking tragedy you know. It wasnt anything more than that at the time, really.
Distrusting Our Leaders
M: Do you guys generally distrust our leaders, or do you think that majority of them are actually good people trying to do a good thing, or do you think most of them are corrupt?
P: I don't know. That's when it comes down to one person at a time. One person at a time if you - I think Ive lost faith in it. That's the main thing. Dont have faith in them. Im surprised. I don't know, man - what is the statistics? I was -- That was the whole thing - something blew by when Clinton and Bush were getting elected. When Clinton actually got elected. Something theres like only 55% of that people actually voted. Theres some ridiculous number where
It might have been 49, something really fucking weird, like how the fuck can anybody be in office?
NH: Didn't they say something like more people voted for American Idol? Outrageous.
R: Ten times the amount of people or something.
P: How can you have a government, even if these people are honest and are there to make a difference; how can they honestly sit in their fucking chairs and go I beat him, you know. No fuckin' way. That's ridiculous.
R: That's what it's going to become, fucking- put your three candidates up and then press red button or green button, or blue button on your remote and vote for your president. That is what it will fucking become!
P: How can they honestly feel like they've actually earned it. You know, there's another half the fucking population that didn't fucking bother because they don't care.
NH: They dont care, there's no one worth voting for either. Theres no candidate.
P: For all their honesty I can't really give it to them, you know, even if they mean well. They should step down and say hey, folks, we need to do this over again. That should be a common thread too anyways. Thats the last Ill say there. But that should be a common known thing. Everybodys doing this. Everybody knows that we're not saying anything new. You know what I mean?
M: All right, Ive got a few strange questions to ask you guys. Do you guys have any phobias or fears, like fear of heights or whatever else?
R: Buried Alive. I saw this Twlight Zone once when I was young that was like and this woman was visiting and she set up this deal with the grounds keeper guy from the prison and she's like I'm going to fake my death. And then when the prison guards come and they put her in her coffin to take her out, she's like Dig me up and as soon as I'm on the other side of the fences, you know. And the graveyard was outside the fences so she tells the guy and hes like this old guy she tells him, Yeah, dig me up when you get outside like after a certain amount of hours. And then she does the whole thing and she's in the coffin and like nothings happening. And shes kind of freaking out and then she finds this lighter and she flicks on the lighter coz she feels something in the coffin and it's the fucking groundskeeper guy coz he was like this old man, and he died the day before or something, so she was buried with him, And yeah, she was buried with her last hope to get out. That fucked with me man.
M: Did you see that when you were a kid or something?
R: Yeah. That kept me up a couple of times. But the thing was like - karmically - she did it to herself. Cause she - see the thing was all going down this one week. And she was kinda like friends with this groundskeeper guy and she noticed he had these letters and stuff but he couldn't see very well, he needed people to read letters and so she saw these things from his doctor saying you need to come in, you have this and that you need to come in this week so we can like get you checked out, your tests didnt come out good. And she would lie to him and she wouldn't read em, because she wanted to get out that week. So, she karmically did it to herself -winding up in the box was like, that was her own justice.
Peter on the essence of BRMC:
M: When it all comes down to it, what would you say is the essence of BRMC? How would you sum up what you're trying to do w/the band? That's a big one.
P: Ahh. It's a - it changes, man, all this changes and all that stuff. I tend to take it more personally right now, my view of it.
M: In what way?
P: I just want to get more out of life, not be stuck in bullshit and worrying about crap, if you know what I mean? Just want more out of it, you know, just kind of want. And hopefully maybe, I don't know what the hopes are, maybe that theres a connection with people there.
Robert Returned Merchandise After Near-Shooting
M: So, I ran into Jim Merris the next day at the Longwave show and he said that after your interview, after we dropped you off, you found a DVD, or a Star Wars video game on the ground and you returned it to Virgin Megastore - is that true?
R: Yeah, we were walkin back down the street and it was just sitting in the middle of the street and we were like, oh shit, okay, this is what it was all about, slipped out of his pants. Cause it still had the protective security case around it. So, I guess Peter was like, take it back, cause the guys that were running after them, we figured they probably got their pride hurt pretty bad cause they were about to make the big take down and of course like they were left holding their dicks in their hands when the car sped off and they had a gun pulled on them. And so Peters like, that will give them the sense of, I don't know, just a little bit back. Little bit of their confidence, I dont know some sort of pride thing. I did it, and then I don't think they really gave a shit, actually and I was kind of wishing I hadn't, because it was all the way up the street. I walked a whole block for that.
M: Well, you did a good deed, that's a good thing, right?
R: Yeah, well, there's the karma for you. Well see.
Robert on the bands creative process in terms of songwriting and the democracy of the band:
M: How does the band work in terms of the creative process, like who writes most of the lyrics, and in terms of the music, is it pretty much a democracy or is there one dominant force in the band?
R: Shit. Me and Peter write the words and melodies, but the music, it's um, I just like to think of it like we're all involved, and it takes all three of us coming together to make it what it is. So, without Nick or me or anybody in the room, then it wouldn't, that's the way it's written. If it sounds the way it does because of those people, it should be credited as written from that. So, we do music written by BRMC and the words, yeah, it's kind of a struggle, you have to find them yourself. You kind of do that on your own. A lot of times me and Peter help each other in it as far as you know, you can't finish this line or whatever, so we kind of take it back and forth, and um, see if we can find a new angle on it. But for the most part, the ones we sing are the ones or the ones we write and even the times in songs where we trade off, like you know, Punk Song or Six Barrel Shotgun or something like that where we kind of go back and forth, that's the way it was naturally written. Like we're jamming it out, and I felt like saying something for these verses, and I sang the verses and then Peter's like here's a cool melody for a chorus and he spits out the words to the chorus, you know what I mean, it just goes back and forth like that. Then you kind of got to do your part and finish. (laughter) Sorry - someone just showed me a new haircut that they just got. Um, OK. You know what I mean? We were more so diplomatic in the beginning as far as everything was all three of us had to be on the same page, every decision, every question was like, we would just keep it really true, like the democracy thing. But after a while, not everybody cares that much about everything. Certain people care about different things more, so therell be like stuff that I'll take on more than Peter will or Peter will take on more than me, because I could care less about certain things, but other things really inspire me to take on, and those things maybe Peter's not as, we found that is a better way to it, because it's just too much for everyone to take it all on together.
M: On the new record, which songs did you primarily write the lyrics to?
R: Well, I don't have that long to talk to you, so I would really just say generally, the ones that I sing and if you can tell which ones we sing back and forth than you've got it. Generally, anytime I'm singing a line, it was written that way. US Government was, well, it's not always that way, Cause like I said, we finish off certain things for each other, but US Government was one that I thought Peter could sing it better - just purely his kind of style of singing and range would fit better for that song. So, that was the one where I wrote but he sang, but that's kind of odd thing for us actually. But he did come up with the bridge, and that whole ending was like you're gonna make it, youre gonna suffer, Ill wait for the sun to come, looking through the gates of Rome, you're gonna know you're never- all that was his, all the way.
Peter on: Lyrics, His Philosophy on Life, BRMC the Reality Show
M: I wanted to ask you about some of the lyrics on the record? I know that you and Robert both write, so I'm not sure who writes what, so if it's something you didn't write, just tell me. Like the line "we're all in love w/something that we can't see" - did you write that one?
P: I was involved in that, yes. (laughs)
M: If you don't mind, what's the meaning behind that lyric?
P: Um, that's for the listener, really. Even me, I'm in the middle of playing it, I try to be a listener to it, and like, well, what does it mean this time? And sometimes it's a sad, lonely love thing and sometimes it's a happy hopeful, so you know, it changes. For me as a listener, just listening to it. I try to sing it that way and it changes every night. I like doing it that way.
M: So you're not really into like analyzing your lyrics and stuff like that when people ask you. You're just like, figure it out yourself?
P: Well, I am to a point. I believe it's all that talk about - I'm not too good at it and I'm starting to get a little worse at it. Because I don't want - I like to stick to the original idea. The more you do interviews the easier to talk, and the easier it is to start spouting off shit that's just not interesting. And I have a really, well, you know what I mean.
M: Here's a big question - do you have a basic philosophy on life and if so, what is it? Like on just how to live life?
P: At it's most basic, just trying to be a good human being. That's really it: to not be pointlessly grumpy about shit.
M: Do you feel you live up to that on a daily basis for the most part?
P: (laughter) Oh, man, on an hourly basis every once in a while I can live up to something like that. I don't know, I'm just trying, trying not to be angry about shit, but you know, it's real easy to be, about shit in the wrong way. I think there's a right kind of anger and then a wrong kind of anger, or it doesn't do anything. I don't know.
M: Well, I have kind of a funny question: Would a reality show, BRMC, be interesting or boring and what would the viewers see if the cameras followed you around 24/7?
P: I think it would be pretty boring. Yeah, it's not, you know. At the same time, if you're interested, then I guess it wouldn't be boring. I would never imagine, there's enough of those. I don't know - I've seen some of those, its interesting for a couple of minutes - not my thing.
M: After a while, it gets pretty dull.
P: I don't know - it's that form of peeping tom, or something, you know? Its like some sort of emotional peeping tom thing that's going on. I dont know, it might be really interesting. I would just happen to be in it, but at the same time, I wouldnt assume it would be all that interesting to people.
M: Can you not do something that most people can do? Like swimming or swallowing pills, riding a bike, etc.
P: I think there's a lot of things. Probably hold a conversation is one.
Peter on How Hed Like BRMC to be Remembered in 20 Years
M: How would you like the band to be remembered 20-30 years...?
P: Just as a band that added, that was able to add their own voice into the quilt which is music. (laughs) Hopefully we've got our own little patch on there somewhere. That would be nice. Main thing. Thatd be great. Id love to have that, but we're still working on it.
BRMC Are Trying to Avoid the Predetermined Path of a Band
M: Let me ask you one last question that somewhat relates to that - how concerned are the band about trying to do something fresh and original, like these days I can imagine it's tough to be in a rock band, because things have been done before..and everybody talks about their influences, and everything and influences seem to shadow bands these days. How do you try to escape that?
R: There's a pre-determined path for every band that's an industry standard. You make an album, there's the booking agent that you hire on Friday and then theres the art design company that you hire on Saturday and there's the website person you hire on Sunday and then by the end of the week you've just aligned this entire, you've begun this factory line of now you're on the factory line of every other band and you're client number whatever, client number six who gets this amount of attention with what you're doing and you kind of wait by the phone until they come back and go you're playing here, and you're album looks like this, and show up and shut you're mouth. And that's the only thing we try and stay away from and we're kind of killing ourselves right now, trying to take it all on. We hire a booking agent, but we're always side by side trying to find out a way to do it that's not like every other band. We're not every other band and it's got to feel right for us and kind makes us, well. We made our album artwork ourselves and now it doesn't feel like it's someone else's art that we're putting our name over, because we went that road, for better or worse, because we're not the best in the world at it, but I know it's got our fingerprint on it. That's the only thing that matters, is putting a little part of yourself in it. And, it's very important to me, very important to Pete, I know Nick often struggles with it because he likes to give things away and not be bothered. Its more where he comes from with things. But me and Pete can't, so we have to work harder. Nick's - not to make it sound like that - he does put a hell of a lot into and cares about it, but there's always that fine line of when did you just put too much of your time and energy and creation into something that was irrelevant, in something you could've put into music, or your own life, and not let this whole thing swallow you to death. He's got a good point and that's the only thing to be careful of to watch out, there's a snake behind you.