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Flesheaters interview conducted by Katie the Cleaning Lady and Jimmy Johnson. Photos by Angela. Taken from Forced Exposure 4.
The Flesheaters are: Chris D.: vocals, Don Kirk: guitar, Robyn: bass and Wahly: drums.
Jimmy) How come you're playing the Rat, it's not a typical venue except for AC/DC clone bands.
Chris) We tried to get booked into some thing different like Spit. Spit we thought would be too much of a New Wave disco. We hear now the Channel wouldn't book us cause they said they had trouble with the Circle Jerks and the Paradise said we weren't big enough just to fill the place and uh...
Don) The real answer to the question is that we are a heavy metal band, that's why we are playing the Rat.
Katie) Is this touring version of the band a semi-permanent version?
Chris) Yes it is a semi-permanent version.
Jimmy) Is this the first time you've tried to tour?
Chris) Well with a couple other lineups a real long time ago we went to San Francisco but no where out of California.
Jimmy) Have you been looking for people all along?
Chris) No, not really, for a long time I did some recording but I wasn't really looking for a live band. When we had the previous lineups, we played dates in LA and never went outside of CA.
Jimmy) Did you put ads out looking for a band or what?
Chris) Actually, John Doe from X had introduced me to Don and I didn't really remember the next day, I was really drunk and I can't remember if I called him up or if he called me after that cause we'd met at this show. So we got together a couple of weeks later. We met Robyn and we had another drummer for a while but he didn't work out because he had to go to school or something. The only time we really put an add out was for a drummer after we couldn't find one for a really long time...
Wahly) and I answered it so they got me.
Chris) Wahly saw it in this record store.
Wahly) I played tamborine in the school marching band so they thought they could work me into the act somewhere.
Katie) So you went to film school?
Chris) Yeah, I can't believe everybody knows this stuff.
Katie) Do you ever see the Flesheaters as a film concept?
Chris) Well, I'd like to do some videos that are like story videos, alot of the videos I've seen other groups do are really bad. I just want to make sure that when we do video, it's good. It has to be real visually interesting. Katie) Any real disappointments or surprises this tour?
Chris) Yeah, the first gig was probably the worst. We had a really good time driving the first few days out and like the first day I got my wallet stolen. Wahly's drums fucked up and we were kinda tense with each other but...
Jimmy) What kind of a response did you get in the midwest?
Chris) Well, it was really weird, there weren't too many people and we played Milwaukee and there just weren't too many people. But we got a real good response and we played with a band called die Kreuzen and they were really good. They're a hardcore group from. Milwaukee and then in Minneapolis we got a good response, and Detroit... It's kind of escalated with every gig, it's gotten better. Chicago was good.
Jimmy) What kind of crowds do you get out west? Do you play alot out there?
Chris) Yeah, we play alot out there. Alot of the places we have to play in LA are over 21 places cause there are not that many under 21 places cause under 21 places are hit or miss. One weekend they're there, the next they are gone. The Whiskey's about the only place you can play on a regular basis and they're kinda hard to get into sometimes to play.
Jimmy) What do you think of the horror rock bands in LA?
Wahly) Extremely horror, horror.
Chris) 45 Grave is good, I don't really go for the makeup stuff they wear. Christian Death I like the record they put out, but live they're pretty bad. The only group in LA now that live in LA are the Cramps, they're real good. They are the only ones I don't mind dressing up that way.
Katie) What's your favorite horror movie?
Chris) The Flesheaters is a good horror movie but it's not my favorite one. My favorite was The Cat People.
Katie) Which version, the first or the second?
Chris) The second one. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Beast Within...I like almost all of Roger Corman's 50's movies like Attack of the Crab Monsters, that's one of my favorites, buckets of blood and stuff like that.
Jimmy) What inspires the lyrics you write, cause they're not typical.
Chris) They're just like personal things, it's that whole thing. Charity starts at home and uh, personal politics and relationships and friends.
Jimmy) Do you write all the songs yourself?
Chris) I write all the words but we collaborate on the music.
Jimmy) Do you still have the saxophone?
Chris) Naw, not on tour. I don't know if we are going to have the sax on the next record or not. Probably not. We want to have a metal chair. There's a band from NY that we played with the other night called Chain Gang and they're good. They played a metal chair that was like miked. The place we played with them was in Hoboken, Maxwells.
Katie) Where else are you going on the east coast?
Chris) We're going to Providence tomorrow, the Living Room.
Katie) So do you have jobs or do you live off the band?
Chris) Don and I do, Robyn helps run this rehearsal studio. I work for Slash and put stuff out on Ruby and projects and when I 'm not doing that I do shit work.
Jimmy) How come after the World Update there wasn't another issue?
Chris) Cause at that time there were only three people working at Slash records. I was one of them and the guy that was doing the advertising for Slash was also the accountant for the record company and he didn't have enough time to get advertising and I was.... Claude had left to go to England, Kickboy and I was doing the sole editing of the magazine. There were all these writers who were moving away that wern't writing for it anymore. Jeffery Lee from the Gun Club, he was a writer who didn't want to write anymore. There was other people who had gone away, either to school or just left LA, you know one or the other and we weren't making any money on it. It was just like a break even thing. I didn't have time to work on it anymore either. It was just like a decision not to put it out anymore.
Jimmy) Are you doing any writing anymore?
Chris) I haven't written for anyone else since then. I might start writing for Village Voice if they like what I write. I was asked to do it but I don't know if they'll like what I'll do.
Wahly) He doesn't use enough periods or commas.
Chris) Yeah, I'm not to good at punctuation.
Jimmy) Are you going to write about music or something else?
Wahly) He was an English teacher...
Chris) No, it'll be about music, yeah, I was an English teacher.
Jimmy) What are your favorite bands from California?
Wahly) I like Fear, I think they are one of the great bands. They're nice guys, they're great muscians. I know they're not supposed to be cool. If people take that kind of music seriously, then it ruins all the energy.
Robyn) 45 Grave are good, I like B-People, they broke up.
Chris) I like the Meat Puppets and Salvation Army.
Katie) Did you have any preconceived notions of Boston?
Chris) It's kind of like what I thought it would be like. I didn't really know what the music scene was like.
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