` ` ` Interview by Karen ` Venue: Sheffield Boardwalk` Date: July 1999 ` Taken from Issue 5

Clam Abuse
During the summer of 1999, Clam Abuse embarked on a short UK tour to promote their appropriately titled CD, ‘Stop Thinking’. On a mission to confuse, bemuse, surprise and entertain all who crossed their paths, Clam Abuse is another musical idea to escape from the warped and talented imagination of former Wildhearts mainman, Ginger, who, for this project at least, prefers the moniker of Clam Savage. Aided and abetted by Clint Abuse - aka Alex Kane - Clam Abuse is far removed from anything you will have previously heard - and likely to hear again! Not meant to be taken seriously, whether Clam Abuse is your cup of tea or not, one thing’s for sure - with their painted faces and comic American banter, this band is definitely one of a kind from a land where nonsense rules! Confusion reigns supreme here - leave reality behind before entering the hilariously mixed up world of Clam Savage and Clint Abuse… if ya dare!! Take it away boys …

 

Right then, let’s try and get to the heart of the matter. Cast your minds right back ... Clam Abuse, how did it all begin?
Ginger: How did it start? Well, a long, long time ago, there was an explosion ….

An explosion threw you two together? Was that exactly how your paths first crossed?
Ginger: Well, we met when we were eggs.
Alex: We were actually two failed abortions! We found that we’d got that in common!

So you first hooked up in the bucket then?
Ginger: We met in the bucket yeah!
Alex: We recognised each other instantly! We both had coat hangers coming out of our heads and so immediately I knew that there was something that we had in common. We helped each other get our coat hangers out and went on Jerry Springer talking about Clams. We’re a kind of gentler clam.

Who came up with the name Clam Abuse? What’s all that about?
Alex: I did.
Ginger: ‘Cos that’s the way it is and that’s all that there is and that’s it. Clam Abuse is Clam Abuse Abuse. It is what it is. It’s all it could ever be. It’s slightly removed from where it was…
Alex: Except it’s deeper than deep. It’s beside itself so it can locate itself with a mirror. You know what I’m saying!
Ginger: It’s close enough to either but so far away from itself that it sends itself post! Warm yet placid!
Alex: It’s squishy getting hard! Where do you get your inspiration from?
Ginger: Everyday life, this and that.
Alex: From just experiencing the beauty of life.
Ginger: As seen through the eyes of a fish!
Alex: Fish will be sending everyone everywhere!
Ginger: We’re all fish!
Alex: Therefore we’re all crustaceans.
Ginger: You’re a fish, I’m a fish ...
Alex: We all swim with fish.
Ginger: C’mon people let’s just swim with this!
Alex: Yeah!!
Ginger: Let’s swim with each other like we used to do! But this doesn’t include clams?
Alex: Yes exactly! Clams have no rights!
Ginger: Exactly! Worthy of abuse!

Ginger

Ginger: "... God made us do it! It
was from no effort on our part whatsoever!"

 

 

One of your alter egos appears to be American ‘trailer-park trash’. Where did that come from?
Alex: I’m not quite sure but I can’t fuckin’ stop!! We’re representational of all Americans from there and I figure since Jerry Springer can do it, so can I!
Ginger: I am an American man and that’s what I am and I am all American, man!
Alex: I am not at all a homosexual …
Ginger: My boyfriend swears different! I knew he was gay when his cock tasted of shit!
Alex: And that’s why Clams have no legs! Clams have feelings man!
Ginger: No feelings! No rights!
Alex: Don’t go there! You know this is an issue with us!
Ginger: They have no rights!
Alex: Clams have rights! Save the whale. Save the planet. Save the clam!

 

Alex kane

Alex: "We like to dress up! Our real personalities are kinda like schoolgirls ....!"

It’s that why Clam Abuse T-shirts are green ... ‘cos of a hidden environmentally friendy message?
Ginger: Yes! They’re all colours to all people! Some people see blue, some people see white, some people see green.
Alex: But that doesn’t mean any of the colours are wrong, they’re just different!
Ginger: Yeah, yeah. Green for go and also for lettuce. Lettuce go!

When did this obsession with clams first manifest itself? Tell me about your childhood ...
Alex: When we were little people?!
Ginger: We were never little! I was born 6 foot!
Alex: As a child, I was taller than I am now! Well, with the coat hanger, I was like 7’ 2”! But I’d been stretched on a rack as well.
Ginger: Yeah, so we were both pretty tall. I used to play music avidly, rabidly and monumentally, like religiously! The music I used to play used to feature a lot of stuff, chords and tunes and things. There was just a lot of stuff going on! Always a good beat, always a good tune! There was always a good tune in our house! It was a happy house, there was a lot of singing! My Grandad, who had a tracheotomy, he used to sing and my sister was born without a head but she used to sing. My dad was an opera singer, he was fantastic, he really was. He left at a very early age before I got to meet him but his spirit was there! And I think some of that came out in me! It rubbed off on me in kind of a bad way but kind of a good way and then from opera, obviously yodelling!
Alex: It just leads on and on and before you know it …
Ginger: You’re a full on love God 24-7!

You both seem to be displaying signs of obsessive, compulsive behaviour clearly brought about by a belief that you are in fact Swiss mountain goatherds! Tell me about the yodelling ….
Alex: Worship false cows!
Ginger: Yeah! You can quote us on that! C’mon everybody…. let’s blow! We’ve had whole audiences yodelling! We’ve had over a thousand yodellers!
Alex: A thousand yodellers, strong! Putting yodelling back in the hands of the people!
Ginger: Side by side, one thousand yodellers! From here to Switzerland. Lo-oook at me!

It’s interesting that you, Ginger, chose to mimic Ginger Spice. It seems that you could be deluding yourself as to some sort of connection between the two of you. This could be due to something simple, such as sharing the same nickname or maybe something more sinister! Let’s look into this further. In the song ‘Message To Geri’, what’s the message that you’re actually trying to get across?
Ginger: Lo-oook at me! The message I want to send to Geri is basically this.…Yodelyodelyodelyodelo! Yodel for me Geri, yodel! You know we will do great things!

If you met Ginger Spice, what would you say?
Ginger: I’d say, “Fuckin’ hell, it’s Geri Halliwell!! ‘Ello!” And she’d go “Shift!” And I’d go, “G’way, giz a kiss first! Hey Geri baby, it’s been a long time …”

Do you prefer her in the Spice Girls or as a solo artist?
Ginger: I liked her in the Spice Girls, on her own, I liked her when she was singing in Peters & Lee, [dodgy 70s duo that my mum used to listen to ... Ed!] I liked her when she was in Warrant, I thought she was seriously ...
Alex: She was the best singer Van Halen ever had!
Ginger: She was fantastic in Titanic and she bakes exceedingly good cakes!!

How then would you describe the sound concocted by Clam Abuse?
Alex: Well how I would describe it ...
Ginger: Well how I would describe it ....
Alex: Hey! Well, hey!
Ginger: Well how I would describe it ...

Alex interrupts here with another of his multi-personalities. This time a laughing Scooby Doo makes a brief appearance...
Ginger: Well I would say in certain situations ...
Alex: Well I would say in certain situations ...
Ginger: In matters such as these...
Alex: In matters such as these...
Ginger: Is the fact that ...
Alex: Is the fact that ...
Ginger: That Alex is ...
Alex: One of a kind!
Ginger: Pond scum!
Alex: Taller than rumoured!
Ginger: What!! Rhubarb? Y’see they’re both pretty short anyway aren’t they? They’re only twelve inches. So I’m taller than rhubarb and I would describe the music as having something to say to a lot of different people at the very same time. A myriad of voices, a veritable palatal of sonic delights.
Alex: Jollitility!
Ginger: Eh? Jollitility! It’s a long time since you’ve heard that word isn’t it?
Alex: It’s a long time before you’ll hear it again!

Tell us about this ‘ere album then, it’s very ...
Ginger: Absurd yes!! Tepid!
Alex: It’s the inside and outside, it’s all of us and all of you ...
Ginger: It’s an album by people made for people. It’s about people, people who need people, people who love people. We’re people people.
Alex: There’s no fun.
Ginger: It’s supposed to be serious!
Alex: You think saving the world is easy?!
Ginger: You think we enjoy this life?!

Why chose to cover the Partridge Family’s ‘I Think I Love You’?
Ginger: Why did we do it? God made us do it! It was from no effort on our part whatsoever! We were guided by spirit - nay challenged - by John Lennon himself. You know when you’re sitting on a chair and you’re just about to fall over and you go "Whoah"? It’s like that all the time!
Alex: Yeah exactly!

Tell me about the weirdest dream you ever had ...
Ginger: I woke up in the middle of the night sweating ‘cos I was actually sleep running! It was a bit of a shock when I woke up just as I was about to hit a lamppost! So I avoided the lamppost, ran on the road and was hit by a bus! Last time I ever did it! I’m not proud!
Alex: You ever get that dream when that thing flies out of the water and starts screaming? It’s sorta like a bat with my mom’s head …
Ginger: Yeah, yeah, we all get things like that and I think the best thing to do is just to talk about it ...
Alex: Just go up to strangers and say, “You know that feeling when you’re sodomising yourself with a 2 by 4?”
Ginger: And you’re thinking this is not right ...
Alex: Seriously, if there’s anything that we can tell people it’s go up to strangers and tell ‘em that you sodomise yourself.
Ginger: You’d be surprised the amount of people that turn round and say exactly the same thing back. “You too?”!
Alex: Yeah, you’re not alone! “What do you do with the splinters bro?” You get a lot of that! We’re not your God … but dammit, we’re tryin’!
Ginger: We will be! If you need any emotional, spiritual guidance, come to us! We got all the guidance you need!
Alex: We got beer! We got guidance ….

Ginger

Ginger: "Our real personalities
are slightly more retarded!"

Okay, lets explore another avenue… How about a bit of word association. Ginger, describe Alex in five words.
Ginger: An American fool!! An-American-currently-in-England!


Alex, describe Ginger in 5 words….
Alex: Erm...
Ginger: Yeah, keep pondering!
Alex: Taller than me ...
Ginger: Taller than me by far!!
Alex: Yeah!
Ginger: You asked him!! Would you just like to direct the questions to me from now on?!!


Does anything scare you?

Alex: Yeah!
Ginger: Yes!

What scares you?
Alex: We can’t tell ya!
Ginger: Fear! That scary shit that makes you go ‘Whoah!’
Alex: Yeah, exactly!
Ginger: You know that feeling in the morning when the telephone rings and you feel like ‘Oh my God!’
Alex: There’s bugs crawling all over me!
Ginger: I’ve just come out of my own chest!
Alex: Or another one when you wake up in the morning and there’s like little blood stains on the bed … do you ever get that one?
Ginger: Hmmn, yeah, yeah, I do, I do. Yeah and then there’s a camera what’s filming it! You know what I’m saying? I think we can all concur on this one! I think you can all relate to what we’re saying!
Alex: Then again, this is why clams have no legs.
Ginger: No rights!
Alex: No they have rights! Look this is an issue man! I know what you’re doing, I know what you’re doing!
Ginger: Death to clams!
Ginger: No! Scare us? We’re rock guys!
Alex: No c’mon! We’ve seen everything! We’ve been from one end of this galaxy to the other and now we’re back here! Fear? How dare you!

Does anything annoy you?
Alex: Yeah!
Ginger: Yes!

Lets talk about what annoys you ...
Ginger: Fear! When I get scared it annoys me!
Alex: We’re taking a firm stance on something right now. Anti-annoying stuff!
Ginger: Anti-stuff!

Do you ever get nervous before going on stage?
Ginger: No, I’m too busy being terrified!
Alex: The best place to be in the world is on stage.
Ginger: Being nervous and scared is for woosies!
Alex: Pimps n’ pussies n’ cock suckin’ homos! We’re butch fucking macho fucking rock heroes man!
Ginger: We the man, we the man!

 

 

Alex Kane

Alex: ".... ever get that dream when that thing flies out of the water and starts screaming? It's sorta like a bat with my mom's head ...."

 

If you weren’t rock n’ roll heroes, which of course you are, what would you do?
Ginger: Become rock n’ roll heroes.
Alex: Yeah, by any means possible.

But what if you couldn’t make it? Cue a conversation à la the cult film documentary about the late 80s LA rock scene ‘Decline of the Western Civilisation Part 2’...
Alex: But we would though!
Ginger: We would! If you saw us, you’d know!
Alex: Yeah, you just have to … we just know!
Ginger: We are it!
Alex: And we don’t care! We don’t care. Y’know, when we see bands putting up flyers man, we’ll put up flyers right underneath it and stuff! But we’re huge!
Ginger: Yeah, we’re big. We’re bigger than the Beatles! Just ‘cos the Beatles sold more records than us, it doesn‘t really matter! We’re bigger and better stars! The Beatles aren‘t even going anymore!
Alex: We‘re still together!!
Ginger: How many people are the Beatles pulling in in Sheffield tonight eh?! I rest my case!
Alex: How many Beatles were yodelling? You know what I’m saying? Exactly!

What’s it like to be back then Ginger?
Ginger: Oh painful, very hungover! I’ve never been away! Back where?

Back here. On the scene. At the centre of attention. Back in the news!
Ginger: I am the scene! The scene revolves around me!

Clam Abuse gigs are packed full of Wildhearts fans keen to take a gander at Ginger’s new offering. How have the crowd taken to you Alex?
Alex:
Gr-eet! Gr-eet! Fuckin’ gr-eet!

At this point, Alex breaks into another one of his personalities, this time a Scottish accent emerges ….

Ginger: What do you think of Scottish Alex?!

Cool! Apart from the fact that he can only say the word ‘Great’! How about trying out a Yorkshire accent, being as though you’re in Sheffield tonight?

Alex: Eee-gr-eet! Gr-eet! I’m gonna turn into Kermit!
Ginger: You’re turning into fuckin’ R2D2 by the sounds of it!
Alex: Can we be serious for a second?

Yes, please, please be serious!
Alex: Well thank God that’s over!
Ginger: Lo-ook at me!
Alex: But yeah, it’s going great, I mean it’s my first time over here personally so I didn’t know what to expect but I know that I’ve had a great time! There are so many Wildhearts fans that have taken the time to come down and check us out but they are also really, really supportive considering that this is a lot different from what the Wildhearts was. They’re jumping up and down, freaking out and having a good time. No matter how hard we try and stop ‘em! Call security on ‘em, put guns on stage, I mowed a couple of ‘em down but they’re still out there partying!
Ginger: Partying hard!

How do you guys like to party?
Alex: Playing rock n’ roll for the people man!
Ginger: Rock n’ roll for the kids!
Alex: For the kids man, keeping it real!
Ginger: Our real personalities are slightly more retarded!

So why wear the makeup then?
Alex: ‘Cos we like to dress up!
Ginger: And because we’re both raving queens!
Alex: Our real personalities are kinda like schoolgirls y’know! We dress up a little bit on the bus and have some fun but we’re not actually imagining that we’re schoolgirls so it’s cool, it’s not weird! Y’know what I’m saying?!

What’s your favourite chat up line?
Ginger: Get your coat bitch, you’ve scored! Do you have to talk when you’re doing that? Can you take your clothes off please?

What’s a typical LA rockstar type chat up line Alex?

Alex: “I know that you’re into me as much as I’m into you. Why don’t you come back to mine and show me how much you care …” But you gotta do the wink and kinda little pout!

If you had 3 wishes, what would you wish for?
Ginger: I’d wish that I had something to wish for. The thing is, I’ve actually run out of ambition. I’ve fulfilled all of my ambitions.

What would your tombstone read?
Alex: This sucks, this sucks, this sucks!!
Ginger: God it’s dark in ‘ere! If I was alive now, I’d be going ‘Arrrrggggghhhh!’. Is that a worm I can feel?

Finally, where does Clam Abuse go from here?
Ginger: Impossible question to answer for the fact that we haven’t a clue.
Alex: Nay!
Ginger: Honestly. Would I lie to you?
Alex: Would I say something that wasn’t true? Would I lie to you? Yodelyodelyodelyodelo!

Well, the diagnosis shows that you’re both completely round the bend, raving loonies, a can short of a sixpack, nutty as a fruitcake etc. Any minute now, the men in white coats are coming to take you away - a-ha, hee hee …. Meanwhile, I need to lie down! My brain hurts! Where’s my pills?! ?
Alex: Exactly! I think we’ve succeeded! Fuckin’ gr-eet!

** After intensive therapy, Ginger returned fit and well with his excellent Silver Ginger 5 extravaganza before ressurrecting the Wildhearts. Alex Kane, on the other hand, escaped during electric shock treatment and can now be seen unleashing his hugely entertaining great new band, AntiProduct, anywhere and everywhere! Check ‘em out but treat with caution and approach at your own risk! This man will cause you to question your own sanity!! :o) They’ll be more on all these bands in future! **

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