IF YOU HAVEN'T HEARD THIS BAND YET WHAT ARE WAITING FOR. THIS HAS TO BE ONE OF THE BEST BANDS GOING THESE DAYS. FUNGUS BOY CAUGHT UP WITH MIKE @ THE REPLAY LOUNGE ON MARCH 31, 2004. INTERVIEW BY MIKE {FB} & JEFF {FB2}. LIVE PHOTS BY JEFF WATTS
FB: I was going to interview you guys back in October but some bad things happened?

Mike: I got Chlamydia.

Mark: Mike got mad at Patrick.

Mike: No Pat’s real good looking and he was getting attention from all the ladies and it made me angry. While we were playing a show at the Clark side I got mad and swung around a mic and broke out some of his teeth. Smile so they can see your teeth.

FB: I want to go on the record as saying the intro page on your web site you guys look like the Hanson brothers.

Mike: That’s cool. I’m down with that.

Pat: You mean the actual Hanson brothers from Slap Shot.

FB: Yeah, If you guys had hockey sticks in there (the picture). We were going to buy some studio make up to black some teeth out, so you guys wouldn’t feel bad.

Mike: I’d do it, I’d wear it. Much like the Hanson Brothers in the film. We play with toys on the road, Our back packs are filled with toys.

FB: I was sadden but understood why you didn’t play the Replay, but I think you played some shows within a week after you were supposed to play.

FB2: I think it was like three days later in Texas.

Mike: It was kind of a weird thing he was pretty, even though it’s just a tooth missing now, he was pretty fucked up. When it happened his lip was huge and he had to go get surgery and stuff like that.

 
     
 
 

THE RIVERBOAT GAMBLERS ARE:

MIKE "TEKO" WIEBE - VOCALS

FREDDY CASTRO - GUITAR/VOCALS

PATRICK LILLARD - BASS

JESSIE 3X - DRUMS/VOCALS

COLIN AMBULANCE - GUITAR/VOCALSN

(NO LONGER IN THE BAND) REPLACED BY

MARK RYAN - GUITAR/VOCALS

 

 
         
 

FB: How did you manage to play three songs after it happened?

Pat: I played two.

Mike: No he played four.

Mark: He played six.

FB: I’ve seen the pictures of the blood flowing out of your mouth.

Pat: They threatened me. I wouldn’t get my five dollar a day per diem.

FB2: You were gonna get fired from the band basically.

Mike: Yeah, were slave drivers. Our management keeps all in line.

FB: So what happened to Colin.

Mike: Mark killed him.

FB: I hear he’s going to school. Is he out of the band for good?

Mike: Yeah, he’s got a baby girl. He studying babies and child rearing.

FB: So Mark has double duties in Marked Men and now in Riverboat Gamblers?

Mike: Yeah but we’re probably just gonna beat up the other guys in the Marked Men so they can’t play shows. We’ll just call and threaten them constantly.

Mark: I don’t mind.

Mike: Kinda like the mafia. Were going to strong arm them, “Mark Ryan’s not playing any more shows”.

FB: How do you feel about the first album compared to the new one? I feel like the newer one is more a representation of the live show.

Mike: We go it more right, the first album we went in...

Mark: Documents of the time.

Mike: We were like whoa, were in a real studio. Tim Kerr is here, and he’d never seen us before. He was like “I don’t know, do what ever. What there’s wind chimes put ‘em in”. We didn’t really know. We were more focused on the second record. We knew a lot more what we wanted to do.

FB2: You said last time Speedo (from Rocket from the Crypt) almost produced it.

Mike: We e-mailed with each other but I don’t really know him or anything. Maybe the next one.

FB: The second album has a lot more energy.

Mike: We went for a different guitar sound and just went for it bigger. We spent a lot more money on mastering it. Which helps a lot. I really don’t understand what mastering is , but I just makes it louder. We spent a lot of money on that. Subjectively, not really a lot of money but a lot of money to us. Eleven dollars is a lot to us.

         
       

           
         

FB: How do you guys feel about the jump to bigger distribution with Gearhead? And a know name versus the label the first album was on.

Mike: Yeah that helped a lot. Gearhead did a real good job and they helped a lot. A lot of it is jut how horrible the first label is. Their the worst fucking label ever! Horrible we fucking hate them! were not joking. We owe them another record, it’s coming out. I doubt anybody will ever hear it. He doesn't distribute it, he won’t do any ads.

FB: Talk about the Chop Sakis?

Mike: The Chop Sakis…

Pat: That’s it I’m outta here. (laughter) (The rest of the guys get up and leave)

Mike: Jealousey, Chop Sakis is me and not Mark but the other guitar player from the Marked Men. Then this guy Chris Pearce who played in a band called Tilt Wheel that has records out and stuff. Then Jeff Burkes brother. We recorded a record in 2000. Actually we started recording in ‘99 we finished in 2000. It sorta came out in 2001 and basically just now it’s getting ads and reviews. It’s kinda weird, it’s not something we work on real hard. Since the Marked Men are really busy and the Gamblers are really busy. It’s just know starting its momentum and rolling. So its kinda exciting and cool. That these songs I didn’t think anybody would get to hear are creeping out there.

FB: How many shows have the Chop Sakis played?

Mike: We’ve played a lot over the year, We’ve been on two tours. Week, week and a half long tours. This year we’ve probably only played, this year from today if you go a year back we’ve probably only played like eight shows. Something like that total. The Gamblers are kinda the main thing, but it’s cool to have a band I get to play guitar in. Write songs that don’t fit the Gamblers.

FB: Who was the whole Europe experience for the Gamblers compared to touring the states?

Mike: It was good. I’d say our European experience was like our fifth us tour. It wasn’t great, great, great. It was really good. There were a couple shows that were outta hand good.

FB: I’ve heard a lot about the hospitality with the promoters.

Mike: Yeah, there was food at all the shows and usually we had a place to stay, beds. It was good, it was really cool. There is a place in Holland called Groningen that has club called the VERA that’s probably the best club in the world. That’s where this guy Evert from Grunnen Rocks lives and it was insane. We were the only band that played and four hundred people came out to see us. They knew the words it was just insane, awesome, it was so good. For the most part Europe is good. There are some weird, this is my weird Europe story we were staying in Belgium and they had a band room it was in the same building as the club I went to sleep and about four A.M. I hear these people coming in there speaking in French. This guy and this girl got in bed right next to me, I could reach out arms length and touch them. They start fucking and there making French noises and stuff. I went and woke up Mark and I was like I think French people are fucking over there, and he was like I don’t know. He was across the room. I was maybe I’m making to be a deal about this, so get back in bed and look over and see this hairy French ass and balls fucking up and down. I was like NO, I cant handle this. I went and woke up our tour manger translator guy. Can you tell the French not to do this here and find another room if that’s cool. The girl was like I speak French I speak English, we will leave I am sorry. I was like were sorry were really tired we just played a show we’ve got a long drive tomorrow . It’s kinda weird then she like I’m sorry but he is not. The guy starts cussing me out in French. Telling me “You can not tell me where to go, you can not tell me what to do. I work here for ten years.” I was I’m sorry if you wanted to have sex you should halved asked us to stay somewhere else. “Why don’t you go back to Denton Texas, I like your band but you’re an asshole”. I was like ok. You can’t really talk too much about Texas to a Texan it really pisses us off . The line I wanted say the whole time and mean it. I gotta say it now “Hey if it wasn’t for us you’d be speaking German right now”. It was great then he left and came back in and our tour manger talked him down. I spent the whole night ready to fight French people, French Belgium's.

FB2: So how much input did you have on the artwork of last album?

Mike: That was kinda all our thing. We didn’t design it but we wanted all cock fighting for our theme. Kinda of a metaphor, we feel kinda like the cocks in the ring, the dirty ass ring. You get thrown in everybody’s making money but the chickens. They scratch and claw each other and they get nothing. Every body making money but the chickens. We fell like the chickens.

FB2: It fits well, like the press photo with the hog.

FB: Also the KFC eating.

Mike: That was really weird that just happened to be, not actually not on a farm it’s like total suburbs in Sacramento in just a little condo apartment the next door neighbor just happen to have this ridiculous huge pig for a pet.

FB: What’s next on the horizon for the Gamblers?

Mike: We’ve got this uh, record it’s actually a collection of b-sides and some covers, and some new songs, also songs that never made it on record. We did kinda a cool thing and had some people write some songs for us. Jeff Burke from the Marked Men wrote some songs for us. Then you know they get Gamberlized. Jamie from the band that just played The Wednesdays just wrote a song for us and that’s on there. Hopefully it will come out on Dirtnap, if Dirtnap wants to do on vinyl. That’s what's were more excited about is the vinyl.

FB: Is the B-sides comp going to have the first 7” which is long out of print on there?

Mike: No, No.

FB: It’s still a collectors item.

Mike: Yeah that will be a collectors item. Worth over two dollars on E-bay, get it while it’s hot.

FB2: Lets talk a little bit about your Ramones slower songs influence, that comes across as something you’re into.

Mike: Yeah were definitely into the Ramones, I’m hoping every albums sounds a lot different. It’s recorded a lot different. I’m hoping every album is a little bit different, I like it how like Rocket From The Crypt every album is different you know but it’s still RFTC. Like a different direction and I like that a lot. We definetley like, pop, punk, just straight pop, I like hard core, like rock and roll, it all kind of the same to me in there. I hear the difference but I like to bounce around all in there. We got some new stuff that is definitely.. The Ramones are always in there. You know the Ramones are the template for a lot of bands that we get inspiration. Were inspired by the Ramones but the Ramones inspired all these bands. Were taking stuff from all these bands. So it all goes back to them, genius, now they’re all dead.

FB2: Well two of them are dead.

Mike Two are dead, the cool ones I think.

FB2: You have anything else?

Mike: Me and Mark Ryan and two other guys from the Reds have a recording project coming out called the High Tension Wires. Maybe will play some shows. I’m not sure. We played two shows. The bass player from the Reds that moved to Japan moved back and recorded his stuff, were trying to finish it and have it out some time this summer. Not sure who’s gonna put it out but, it’s cool. I play guitar and I sing on it. I didn’t really write it so it’s cool to work on a project and be objective about it. I’m too close to the Gamblers and Sakis stuff to say If it’s any good or not. This stuff was done so quick and other people wrote it. Wow this is cool I like this I can listen to it. Where I can’t listen to any Chop Sakis or Gamblers.

       
           

THANKS FOR PLAYING

GAMBLERS WEB SITE

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