` ` Interview by Karen
` Venue: Sheffield Boardwalk`
Date: July 1999
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?
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?
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
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
Alex: Except it’s deeper than deep. It’s
beside itself so it can locate itself with a mirror. You know what I’m
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
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
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!
"... God made us do it! It
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!
"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?
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
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
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!
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
Ginger: Is the fact
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.
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!!
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.
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 ….
"Our real personalities
slightly more retarded!"
Okay, lets explore another
avenue… How about a bit of word association. Ginger, describe Alex in
Ginger: An American
Alex, describe Ginger in 5
Ginger: Yeah, keep pondering!
Alex: Taller than me ...
Ginger: Taller than me by far!!
Ginger: You asked him!! Would you just like
to direct the questions to me from now on?!!
Does anything scare you?
What scares you?
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
Alex: Then again, this is why clams have
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!
anything annoy you?
talk about what annoys you ...
Ginger: Fear! When
I get scared it annoys me!
We’re taking a firm stance on something right now. Anti-annoying stuff!
Do you ever get nervous before
going on stage?
No, I’m too busy being terrified!
Alex: The best place to be in the world is
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!
".... 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
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!
I am the scene! The scene revolves around me!
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?
Gr-eet! Fuckin’ gr-eet!
At this point, Alex breaks into
another one of his personalities, this time a Scottish accent emerges ….
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?
Eee-gr-eet! Gr-eet! I’m gonna turn into Kermit!
turning into fuckin’ R2D2 by the sounds of it!
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!
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.
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
Ginger: Impossible question to answer for the fact that
we haven’t a clue.
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?!
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
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! **