Shihad In Orange
SAMONE B taks to the Shihad kids while they're all stuck in Orange.
I remember it like it was yesterday, though, it was actually Wednesday 04 May, 2005. A day that was yesterday but once in that never-ending arm-wrestling match of old-skool Casio Radius watches we call ‘time’. So there I was living in downtown Shibuya, Tokyo, doing my daily kimonoed calisthenics before my Shihad shrine in the corner of a room that, such is Japan, consisted of little more than an actual corner. After folding four more origami cranes for the flock which, as per usual, I lovingly dubbed Jon, Phil, Karl and Tom, and downing a bento box and three clay flagons of sake to kick-start my morning, I got on that wild information superhighway we call the internet to see when Shihad were touring. I would be back in Melbourne around the end of July before flying out for a six-month spate of ale swilling and dart throwing in the Ol’ Blighty, as is my rock’n’roll lifestyle. After finding that the only places Shihad were playing in that brief window of opportunity were in regional NSW, I chose Orange as my destination to see, and I hoped, interview Shihad. Partly inspired by the fabulous 1987 concert vid, The Cure in Orange, (but instead of France’s Théâtre Antique d'Orange, monsieur/mademoiselle, this would be in the Orange Ex-Services Club, mate) which for the summer of 89–90, I used to hire most weekends from Mildura’s Lime Tree Avenue Video Ezy, the other reason was the name ‘Orange’ beat ‘Dubbo’ by 0.5 of an inch on my sliding goofy scale.
So, I rang the Mess + Noise hotline, reverse charges. After his manservant, Percy, couriered the brass and ivory 1920s candlestick phone out to the synchronized swimming training pool, Ed-in-chief, Danny Bos, emitted a rather nasal ‘Choice, bro!’ to my pitch through his nose-clip and gave, what sounded like, his darndest dolphin arc of approval. Then, fast forward to Thursday 28 July, 2005, I riddle you this, Batkid: What do you get when you throw an editor/sometime writer and her artist mate into Dad’s Magna Solara and have them drive up to Orange, NSW, from Melbourne (admittedly nudged to Canberra thanks to Virgin Blue) to interview their long-time rock heroes? Well, when nothing of note happens on the way, short of some uneventful raisin toast at a roadhouse just out of Cowra and lots of excited squealing and singing along to Shihad’s entire back-catalogue on the 10-stacker CD player, you don’t get the wild Hunter S. esque road trip that was the brainchild for this article. And, let’s face it, it’s probably better that way.
It was 6.30pm and sound-check time at the Orange Ex-Services Club. We found Jon Toogood in the corner of the parquetry-floored auditorium tapping away at his computer, trying to decipher the scrawls of squalls of punters in their fervent (read: drunken) desire to be added to the Shihad mailing list post gigs. ‘Yep, that definitely is yaksroksknoks@hotmail like you reckon, Jon,’ I confirmed, squinting at the Sanskrit. So rock front man extraordinaire, deft data-entry operator, youth cricketing champ (as I once read somewhere – surely it’s right) and cryptologist are among his many talents. We retreated to the tearoom whereby Jon noted and decided to ignore the NO SMOKING signs and lit up. After all, if our diggers could smoke in the trenches, then Jonny bloody Toogood can smoke in an RSL, can’t he? After my recording device suffered an untimely case of stage fright, it finally said a few ohms, chilled out, functioned, and we were underway.
Jon: It’s recording now.
Samone: Should we start doing this now?
J: Yeah, let’s rock. Cock rock!
S: So, you’re basically one-third to a half way …
J: [Looking at my notes] You even wrote the ‘so’, that’s so cool. [Laughs]
S: I did! I didn’t know if I was going to have a conniption. SO, you are basically one-third to a half way into your tour, how’s it all been going so far, Jon?
J: It’s been going really good, from everything like 15 pre-sales in Port Macquarie [laughs] to an absolute shit-stormer of a show at Splendour in the Grass in front of 27,000 people and everything in between. We did New Zealand tour, as well, that was like town halls and stuff. I think all the main centre shows have been really good on this tour and all the little places that I’d never heard of in Australia that we’ve been going to. [To Phil] What was that one that had 8000 people as a population?
J: Yes, so like I’d never heard of that and that was really …
S: A Neighbours character came from there, once … Craig McLachlan’s girlfriend.
J: Oh really?! [Laughs]
P: There were lots of farmers and stuff …
J: Yeah, they really loved it. Actually, people came from Tamworth, which was close, to actually see the Narrabri show. I think the band has always been at its best when it’s had heaps of shows to play. You don’t sit around and have time to worry about shit, you just do it, and it makes you have a mission and you get tighter every show, so that when you do come to a show like Splendour, you can just walk on stage and go KABOOM, you know?
S: I guess everyone would agree that you’re a hard touring band, and as you just said now you’ve been doing a whole whack of regional centres as well as cities. How do those regional gigs tend to differ from city gigs?
J: Well, the regional centres can be anything from a ‘Oh my God, what is this?’ sort of reaction to ‘Let’s just absolutely cut loose’. And we tend to be able to even get the people who are going ‘What the fuck is this?’ to loosen up by the end of the show so they’re actually going mental. But I think that they are a little bit less jaded …
S: And not sort of standing there trying to be too cool?
J: And also they haven’t seen people play guitar from the bar and all those stupid little tricks that I do to entertain people, so it’s good shock value. They’ll usually hang around. And they’re the ones that buy more t-shirts than everybody else as well. [Laughs] It’s really weird, they all just go mental afterwards. But, the town shows have been really cool on this tour, too. The Brisbane show, I remember, was really good, Hi-Fi bar was really good … how do they differ? Well, they’re smaller, for sure. Tonight is going to be pretty small. I think it just gets back to that whole thing where the band sort of learns its shit when it’s put in that situation.
Shannon: Have you played in Orange before?
J: Never. And I’d actually never heard of Orange. What a great fuckin’ name for a town?!
Sh: We were wondering if they’d go off and if we’d get to the front or not.
S: Yeah? The Orange People!
J: We’ll see, we’ll see. [Laughs] That’ll be interesting …
P: I think there’ll be lots of room.
S: I actually grew up in regional Victoria, in Mildura, and when I was about 11 Angry Anderson came to town with the Chantoozies. We went sick.
P: You would have been about the same height as him!
S: I was. [Laughs] Okay, so Love is the New Hate is touted as grassroots Shihad or more Shihad than Shihad – accessible for old and new fans. Do you agree with that? Was that on purpose?
J: Well, what was on purpose was doing a record that absolutely took into account nobody else’s opinion apart from our own. We found that when we were touring with Pacifier throughout America we’d be talking to people afterwards who’d be going ‘Fuck, how come you sound totally different than you do on the record when you’re live?’ and we’d never had that sort of thing before, and we just went ‘Yeah, that is fuckin’ weird’. And, we are just not going to let ourselves get into that situation again. We came back from America and recorded that live record for zero money and it sounded way more exciting than the album we’d spent millions of dollars on in America and it was like, ‘Right, let’s not fuck around this time round, let’s just write music we love and go into the studio and keep the urgency and just get the takes and stuff.’ And the only thing deliberate was to make sure that we were happy, I think, and we’re fuckin’ stoked. I’ve seen new kids come along to the shows and I’ve seen old Shihad fans that hated us when we sold out and shit, coming back and going ‘Oh, yeah, that’s pretty cool …’
S: I don’t think anybody hated you.
J: Well, you know we definitely copped a lot of shit, though, and we were giving ourselves shit around that time. I felt like a piece of shit, you know? So, we hated us. We knew that when we were on stage we were still the shit. But the whole thing around it just fuckin’ made me sick to the stomach. We just definitely needed to do this or else we weren’t going to be in a band anymore. And then there’ve been strange reactions from people in the industry, I think. Peter Holmes – from some fuckin’ Sydney paper – who loved the Pacifier record, he fuckin’ hates this record!
J: [Laughs] Yeah! I was supposed to do an interview with him and he kept on putting it off and putting off, and I just thought ‘I wonder why he’s doing that?’ and I finally got to talk to him and he was like [assumes pompous dithering voice] ‘Yeah it’s a very dark record, I think it’s Gothic …’
S: [Laughs] Gothic?
J: And I said, ‘Yeah, it’s dark, but I think it’s colourful’. I mean, maybe dark blues and stuff, but it’s still colourful to me. And he was like [resumes voice] ‘It’s too heavy, it’s too nasty.’ And I was sort of thinking, ‘What’s wrong with Gothic anyway?’ I mean I loved Disintegration when I was growing up, I was a Sisters of Mercy little dweeb. I was right into that sort of stuff, and I still wear black all the time …
S: Yeah, we’ve got some skulls happening over here … [counts at least three on apparel]
J: Yeah! Personally, I’ve always been into music that’s sort of heavy, but heavy emotionally, anyway. Anyway, he didn’t like it, but on a whole I think people have gone, ‘Fuck, this is exciting,’ at least or ‘What are they going to come up with next?’ which is what we needed to do.
S: And how long has the ‘All the Young Fascists’ single been topping the Triple J Net 50 charts now?
J: [Laughs] Well, embarrassingly, three-and-a-half months now. So, I mean, it’s fuckin’ great, but it’s almost like we’ve got to tell them to calm down a bit. [Laughs] Our fans are pretty rabid!
S: Pretty intense.
J: Yeah, they are pretty intense.
S: How long did it take you to write and record this album, and where were you? You buried yourselves away in the countryside, didn’t you?
J: We wrote it in the countryside in the north island of New Zealand on a farm called Ngamatea and it was fuckin’ beautiful. Beautiful in a big fat desolate sort of way, surrounded by mountains and lots of sheep. We set up a PA and took a tape-deck and just jammed for about three weeks in total and fuckin’ had a blast just making music at any time of the day or night. And then recording was in Vancouver with Garth Richardson who did The General Electric album. That was, again, in the countryside, on an island called Gibson’s Island, which is actually a peninsula off the coast of Vancouver, surrounded by this big fuckin’ North American forest with stars … it was awesome. And yet we were making this really heavy record, written in a beautiful place and recorded in a beautiful place. Then we re-mixed in Melbourne with a guy called Lindsay Gravina whose done the Birthday Party live albums, the first Living End record and all the Magic Dirt stuff. And we just used him cos he turned the guitars up loud!
Tom: It was good writing it, writing it was awesome.
J: Writing it was the fun bit. Recording was work. Purely because we couldn’t decide on exactly what tracks were going on the album, so we recorded almost two albums worth of stuff, in the space of what we should have taken to record one album worth of stuff, so we gave ourselves a huge workload. But it was good because it did keep that urgency I was talking about of the live record. It really kept us on our toes.
Sh: I want to know about the praying mantis motif.
J: Cool. Basically, the title of the album came first, Love is the New Hate, and that came from touring around the States while the Bush administration persuaded everybody that invading Iraq was an absolute imperative, and that there was no way they couldn’t do it and we were just like ‘What the fuck is going on?’ But, basically, the whole idea of selling shit ideas is good ideas. And also it tied into a lot of our friends who are … well, we’re all lefties, I mean just naturally, because we’re fuckin’ artists, you know? We were noticing and being guilty of this attitude of ‘Oh those guys are fuckin’ crazy, those right wingers, fuck ‘em, we just don’t want to have anything to do with them!’ and sort of took the piss out of it. But, it’s actually got to the point, when we were in America, where it was just like, well, you can’t actually sit around and just laugh at them anymore. While we’ve been sitting around laughing and smoking cones and shit, those guys are in office now. We’ve got to fight back a little bit … I can’t just not say something. So, anyway, Love is the New Hate, that title came, and then the idea of praying mantises fucking, just because of how it’s done. For a joke I said to a photographer friend of ours who had done mainly advertising in New Zealand ‘Could you photograph some praying mantises fucking? If she eats him, bonus, [laughs] but if not, that’s cool’. He, without my knowing, went and saw a breeder in the north island of New Zealand and actually learned how to look after them and photograph them over a six-month period and basically got the shots … exactly what we wanted. It was fucking great!
S: And what happened to the praying mantis in the end?
J: Well, he looked after them really well! But the guy … the male … he got eaten pretty seriously … though apparently it doesn’t happen every time. It’s only if the mood strikes her, or if she’s hungry, and sometimes he gets off without a scrape. But other times, yeah, she eats him. [Laughs]
[Phil adds something I can’t decipher on tape.]
J: What?! She eats him if she doesn’t come!
S: Okay, so this tour is dubbed the Homeland Security Tour …
J: Oh, the next tour is.
S: Yeah, sorry, I’m a bit confused about which tour starts when.
J: Well, basically, when we start touring with Cog, that’s the Homeland Security Tour. We laugh about it because our management call this the concert run, yet we’re playing some of the same shows that we played on our gig run [laughs], but it’s a concert run now. But, yeah, the Homeland Security Tour thing came out of that whole thing of, ‘Oh, what a fuckin’ joke’, and it was a bit of a laugh, really. The reason we’re touring with Cog more than anything else – well, Tom’s a fan – but I found out that on their last tour instead of a support act they had a John Pilger documentary about Australian history. I think that was really brave because a lot of people don’t talk about the history of Australia over here, especially not contemporary rock acts. I think it’s a really fuckin’ good thing they’re doing that, so we’re sort of likeminded, and they were down with that tour name as well.
S: So, in the past, what sort of say have you had in who you tour with?
J: Well, in the past, it was always us completely 100%, and then we got really lazy around the Pacifier era – we got lazy on a whole bunch of fronts, actually – and ever since then, we’ve gone, ‘Oh, fuck that, we’re going to choose exactly how we’re presented and which bands we’re gonna tour with from now on,’ and it’s sort of back to the old days.
S: And with your music videos, especially the animated Alive clip, what hand do you have in how they’re done?
J: I’d first seen the guy’s work on another New Zealand band, Dimmer, and I realized it was an old friend of mine (Gary Sullivan) … he was actually a drummer in another Flying Nun band, the Jean Paul Sartre Experience and then the drummer in King Loser, but basically couldn’t get work as a drummer, so learned how to do computer animation and had done really well. I sent him a song and he went ‘Fuckin’ great – come down to Sydney and we’ll talk about what we want to do.’ Intially, I wanted – cos it’s all in triplets – I just wanted traffic lights [laughs] and he was like ‘Yeah, that’s sort of cool,’ and then he showed me pictures of crows … he wanted it as dark as fuck. And I went ‘Yeah, that’s okay.’ Then we basically drank a whole lot of alcohol, went on the net and talked about how the song goes really fast and then really slow and then really fast. He basically went ‘Okay, what’s really fast?’ We looked up Evel Knievel and then we hit ‘Land-speed record guys’, those guys racing in the desert.
He then showed me a Japanese animation of some fluffy bunnies and some birdies sitting on a riverbank with a leaf slowly floating down the river. At first I went ‘Well, that’s terrible,’ but then he played it with the music and I went, ‘Well, that’s perfect! Fuck, if you can tie that up with that idea, then just fuckin’ go for it.’ Then we went away to record the album in Canada and he’d just send me the wireframes at first, and finally it got more detailed. By the end it was like ‘Fuck, that looks a million dollars,’ and it cost $20,000 Australian. He just did it in his spare time because he works in adverts. You know, it’s funny how a lot of my really talented friends end up working in advertising because it’s the only way they make any money. But they love that opportunity to do some art …
S: Yeah, an outlet, after getting told what to do all day. I really love that bit in Alive with the paper bag floating around … that’s the leaf!
J: Oh yeah, that’s totally the leaf. And a lot of people have said American Beauty as well.
S: Oh, yep, yep, the plastic bag bit.
J: Which I always thought was a really pretty scene, anyway.
S: Yeah, it’s gorgeous. Okay, so which of your new songs do you enjoy playing or do you find get the best reaction?
J: A song called ‘Day Will Come’ gets a really good reaction, it’s fun to play because you have to really concentrate like fuckin’ crazy. ‘All the Young Fascists’ is really fun to play, ‘Traitor’ is really fun to play. It seems a lot of the heavy songs are really fun. ‘Empty Shell’ is a good one to start a show with. I’ve actually been finding that first song on the record is a really nice way to quiet the middle of the show down, because we are pretty full on all the time, it’s nice to bring it down a bit. And those lyrics actually mean a lot to me because it’s about a funeral of a friend. That’s called ‘None of the Above’. That’s been really effective in the middle of all this fuckin’ hard stuff.
S: Still playing ‘Home Again’ to make everyone get all teary? [Points at self]
J: Yep, ‘Home Again’ is still getting played pretty much … ‘Big Future’ is fun to play as well. The one we haven’t learned to play live, which I really want to, is called ‘Saddest Song in the World’ which is one of the best songs on the record. I wouldn’t want to play it without it being right, there’s quite a lot going on in that song.
S: So obviously the Pacifier time was very difficult for you, are you still playing those songs?
J: Actually, yep, we play ‘Comfort Me’ which is really fun to play, and we play ‘Run’ which is a bit of an arena rock sort of anthemy song, you know, and it’s surprising the effect that song has on people. It’s funny, they are two of the songs that we totally wrote by ourselves on that record. The live album versions of those songs so surpass the album versions … that’s how they should have been done in the first place. But, it’s funny, especially in the rural areas, when we play ‘Comfort Me’, and they go ‘Oh fuck, I didn’t know they played that song!’ and it’s like they didn’t realize we were Pacifier. We’re the masters of confusing the shit out of people. [Laughs] Mental.
After a lot of backing and forthing, everyone’s in the tearoom from sound-check, milling around the hot-water urn, Liptons and dregs of what might be assembled into a series of ham and salad rolls. Jon plugs back into his iBook and updates my email address on their 7,300-strong mailing list. The guys take turns signing our Mess + Noise Issue #2 autographs pages. Phil draws a stick-figure self portrait with a guitar.
Shannon: Put some pants on that thing!
Phil: Geez Louise!
Sh: We don’t want it to be pornographic …
Samone: Nah, maybe we do.
[General frivolity ensues]
S: So you guys played at Splendour last weekend, and that was a pretty awesome line-up. Who did you make an effort to catch?
J: Bloc Party, Interpol … oh, actually, no I didn’t.
Tom: I did. I watched half their set.
J: Yeah, I sort of heard one of their songs from backstage while I was drinking, and then went, ‘Fuck it sounds good, [whispers] but fuck it, I’m too tired’. I really liked their first record. But the Finn brothers were my absolute highlight.
T: Yeah, the Finn brothers were really amazing. And the one dude I was dismissive of –and I did the whole ‘I don’t give two flying fucks about’ – but me and everyone I know who saw him went ‘Moby was amazing!’
J: Even though I still had about three or four people come up to me at the party afterwards saying ‘Jonny, I’ll give you some money if you go and bash that guy…’ [Laughs]
S: Did you?!
J: Naaah. I’m not much of a fighter.
S: Love is the new hate?
J: [Laughs] On the first day we saw Queens, as well. I was a bit nonplussed, actually.
S: Why’s that?
J: I think the drummer plays a little ahead of the beat, and that means the crowd can’t rock to it. It’s a really simple thing – and he’s really good, and they look like they’re having fun on stage – but the crowd really wants to bounce, and they can’t. He’s just too fast, too frantic. And they had that new guy and it’s just not as exciting without that bald guy with the beard who looks like a fuckin’ bikie.
T: Oliveri helps. He takes all that stoner rock and all that colour, and all the 60s’ fruitiness and then …
J: And that speed-freak fuckin’ trucker style!
T: And the amphetamines …
J: But he’s not there no more, they’ve got that guy that looks like Michael Moore documentary filmmaker. It’s just wrong.
T: I was about to give him 50 cents …
J: The Living End were really good. The Living End are always really good, they’re just a great live band.
T: I actually thought Sarah Blasko was really good at what she does …
S: [Laughs] At what she does?
T: I don’t really know what she does, but she seemed to be really nailing that thing that seems like what she does.
J: I found it perfect to go on after her. [Laughs]
T: She was prettily sweet like Felicity Kendall.
J: That’s why Tom liked her. [Laughs] Yeah, I thought Bloc Party were really good for the first half of their set.
S: Have you ever had the occupational hazard of playing at a festival when a band you really want to see is on at the same time as you guys?
T: So many times it’s ridiculous.
J: Yeah, Big Day Outs are always like that. That’s usually the first thing we do, we check out where we’re playing and then go straight over to all the other acts and go ‘Who’s playing there? Who’s playing there? Oh that’s okay. Oh that’s okay. Oh fuck!’
S: If you guys had your own festival organized, for whatever reason, who would you have on the line-up, dead or undead?
T: Can you give us 10 minutes to fight?
J: Headliners would have to be AC/DC.
T: What about Led Zeppelin?
S: AC/DC With Bon?
J: Led Zeppelin, for sure. Jimi Hendrix would be great to see.
T: Oh, gotta have The Who.
J: Yep, with Keith Moon. Oh no, we’re sounding retro …
S: That’s okay. Dead or undead.
J: Ministry around the time of ‘In Case You Didn’t Feel Like Showing Up’, that would’ve been good. Motorhead.
P: [Still on the autographs page] Do you want us to leave room for other people?
Samone & Shannon: No! No! We don’t want other people.
S: Who would you have at the festival, Phil?
P: Oh, who else? Aaah, Mozart … Beethoven …
J: [To Karl, talking to Dave the soundmixer who is scoffing at all the choices] Who would you have at our festival?
Karl: It just makes me think of dead people … Bob Marley.
J: Devo around the time of ‘Freedom of Choice’, I reckon. The Hives would be good.
T: How about Robert Johnson just playing by himself.
K: How about Leadbelly?
[Everyone argues about whether or not that would be boring or amazing or cheesy]
P: I’d have Bill Hicks come on.
T: Salmonella Dub with Dave mixing.
Dave: Yes, yes. But that’s not going to make up for the fact that was really lame, guys. I’m very disappointed.
T: Dave’s like our guru.
J: He’s the Andy Warhol of Shihad.
K: He’s our Svengali.
J: You know how At The Drive-In had Some Guy and The Strokes had Some Guy? Dave’s our Some Guy. He gives us our political stance.
P: He talks loudly and carries a small stick.
T: Who did we pick, Dave?
D: Led Zeppelin, Motorhead, AC/DC …
T: The Beatles?
D: Early in their career when they still played live …
[Further debate unfolds, but no final consensus.]
S: Okay, five years ago I was at the Continental in Prahran with my friend Nancy, and I was giving her a Shihad ticket cos we were coming to see you. The waiter serving us was a Kiwi, and he said ‘Oh, do you guys come from Wellington, too?’
[I now realize I must formulate this obtuse go-nowhere anecdote into a question.]
S: And, I was wondering, do people in Wellington now realize that everyone else wants a piece of you, too, not only people from … um … Wellington? [The band collectively super-sleuth the possible identity of this waiter. Karl’s wife used to work at the Continental, so a few names are bandied about. I helpfully add that the waiter was wearing a nice tie.]
J: When we first came over here we noticed that they’d always put ‘NZ’ in brackets after our name, and we thought that knee-capped New Zealand bands a little bit. Mostly because you’re not on the same playing field, it’s keeping you separated. So we would always go outside and rub off the ‘NZ’ from the chalkboards. Not that we’re not proud of being from New Zealand at all, but just because we wanted to be just another band. I think that helped.
T: I think it has actually turned around recently, I think that New Zealand has a cache. It’s weird because it’s going across all sorts of different genres, I mean Scribe has done a hell of a lot for that. Now with Die! Die! Die! and that, people throw it down and go ‘Oh, that’s cool’, but back in those days … no one would come and see you! [Laughs]
J: Well, there weren’t really many New Zealand bands coming over.
T: I think that formative experience of playing in Melbourne was great. We did this tour with the Mark of Cain. They broke down on the way from Adelaide to play at the Tote, which was our first show. We were there and they didn’t turn up. People were like ‘Who’s on tonight?’ and the woman at the door was going [assumes bored dismissive tone] ‘Oh, some New Zealand band’. [Laughs]
Sh: The Mark of Cain crowd would have been pretty intense?
K: There was a hardcore gig on at the same night, there was Toe To Toe, there were three Sydney bands playing across town on the same night. All 12 years ago. [Laughs]
J: We actually went down okay with the Mark of Cain crowd, eh? K: There was barely a Mark of Cain crowd, actually! It was crazy, they were one of the best bands in Australia and they were playing in front of 70 people in Adelaide, their hometown.
J: That was before they had their Rollins connection and it all blew-up. They’d been around for ages. And it was The Unclaimed Prize that we heard. And we really liked it because it reminded us of Outer Space, a New Zealand band, mixed with a Steve Albini Big Black thing which we liked as well … and when we got offered that tour we thought that would be humungous … and it wasn’t huge at all! But it was still good to watch those guys. We went back and wrote the Killjoy album after touring with them, and a lot of the ‘You Again’ riffs and stuff came from watching that band.
S: So, on tour, obviously you spend a lot of time on the bus, what do you do on the bus? Play cards, chess, backgammon?
J: No, it’s either drive, sleep …
T: Broken snoozes over potholes.
P: Read. Sometimes we get a three-hour lecture from our soundman. About anything, it’s quite interesting.
J: Dave reads New Scientist, it’s always the latest cutting-edge stuff … whatever they’re finding out about the world and reality. We gas on about politics and get all hepped up and then stick on some music and forget about it. A lot of talking. A lot of sleeping. A lot of listening to music.
S: Before gigs, if you’re ever flagging, what music do you put on to rile yourselves up?
T: Slayer would be the best.
J: Yeah, Slayer, Random Blood.
T: If you ever want to wake up it’s like an espresso. That album is 15 years old and still works for me. Twenty-six minutes, the whole album.
S: Earlier, while hanging outside K-Mart, Shannon and I spotted The Orange Freak …
Sh: Yeah, he had this pointy Satan beard, a crazy tuft of hair and about three snaggly teeth.
S: We’re hoping maybe he’ll be here tonight. Have you guys seen him yet?
J: The Orange Freak?
P: We came straight to the venue. We missed all the freaks, unfortunately.
J: Is he orange?