Let’s kinda talk about the history of the band, it’s history
with Fungus Boy, as I mentioned earlier the third interview we ever did
was with you guys and the first two were done the night before. So you
guys have been around for a long time as we have. How do you think the
band has changed over the last ten years since we first saw you?
Uhm, well we have some different members from the first time you saw us.
I don’t know, Jason, was he with the band, JC 2000?
Speedo: JC 2000 joined about seven or eight years ago, probably more like
eight years ago. And Ruby Mars joined about three and a half years ago,
so those would be the two biggest changes over the last ten or so years
since we first spoke. As far as the sound, how has the sound changed?
I don’t really know, I think it has but I can’t really describe
the way that it has. It hasn’t necessarily gone forward or backwards,
it’s going somewhere. We’re just kind of along for the ride
FB: I’ve been reading a lot over the last several years about the
different types of recording techniques that you have been trying out.
Explain some of the things that you guys have tried on the last few albums.
Speedo: I think we’ve tried everything you can think of, we’ve
tried it. We’ve recorded from everything from studios that were
like multi-million dollar facilities to recording on boom boxes and putting
them out, putting out those recordings. So, and everything in between
we’ve tried, we’ve tried hanging amps from the wall suspended
with rope, we’ve tried recording things under water, we’ve
tried recording things live out in open fields, we recorded some things
live at Graceland. We’ve done everything pretty much except for
actually record an actual live record. We’ve done everything that
we can think of and I’m sure there’s other possibilities out
there. I think on this last record it seemed like we kind of exhausted
everything so we just kinda went and did it ourselves on this last record.
We just bought ourselves some gear and just went and just kind of pressed
play and record and let it fly. You know we didn’t spend a lot of
time on it and we just banged it out. I like the way it came out.
FB: I think you just answered this question but I had heard the
vocals on “Ghost Shark” were recorded at the grave of Elvis.
Speedo: Yeah, that’s true. We hired a mobile unit and a friend of
ours, it wasn’t even a friend of ours, it was a cousin of a friend
of ours, was one of the caretakers there and allowed us to go in after
hours, opened the gates and we recorded the vocals to that song there.
It was pretty cool, you know, a pretty cool thing to be able to say that
you did too.
FB: I noticed that Group Sounds was recorded in like what four
Speedo: Yeah, three of four different places.
FB: Yet you can’t really tell, it works together so much
as a full album.
Speedo: Yeah, I mean we can kind of tell, but overall once it’s
mastered everything was kinda brought into the same realm, so that yeah
it made it seem a lot more similar, the recordings. Yeah, yeah you’re
right, you can’t really tell that much.
FB: Is that a little different type of recording versus going
to a studio where you know you’re going to do a full album, where
you just go and do a set of tracks and then go somewhere else?
Speedo: Well Group Sounds we recorded some of the same songs more than
once. We recorded them several times at different studios just trying
to find the best version of it. And then Ruby Mars joined the band about
halfway through the recording of that album, so then we wanted to get
him to re-do some of the stuff so that we could have him on the record.
But yeah, it’s a little bit different, it’s kinda neat to
know that you’re only gonna do a couple of songs in a place because
basically there’s not that pressure to really produce a complete
thing. You can go and concentrate on doing less.
FB: Wasn’t there suppose to be, I think on one of your Interscope
albums, like some stuff going on between the songs, is that right?
Speedo: Yeah, we had like full symphony. I fancy myself as a junior conductor
and so I conducted the San Diego Symphony and did these interludes that
kind of link some of the songs together and they didn’t really like
it that much. It’s probably cool that it didn’t come out that
way because we felt that it kinda took away from the songs, it made it
a little hokey. It was a little too campy, so that’s why decided
to ditch it.
FB: Speaking as a fan of the band for a long time I feel like
your last two albums have been a lot more energetic. It seems like maybe
you have a new freedom.....
Speedo: I think that’s exactly what it is, a new freedom. Yeah,
we’re just like inspired by our freedom and just make music on our
own terms. We always have been, I kinda spoke out of context because we’ve
always had that freedom but there was always a certain amount of weight
because there was the whole bureaucracy that we had to involve in order
to put out a record. Now it’s like we do our shit, we fuckin’
give to Vagrant, they put it out, they don’t ask any questions,
and that’s the way it should be.
FB: There was a pretty quick turn around from Group Sounds to the new
Speedo: Yeah, and there will be even a quicker one for the next one now
that we’ve got our own place up and running.
FB: Let’s talk a little bit about Camp X-Ray, I’m sure that’s
a response to September 11th, not only the title but some of the songs.
Speedo: Yeah the title would have never existed if it wasn’t for
George Bush naming the holding facility at Guantanamo Bay Camp X-Ray.
I think ultimately we just liked the way it sounded, it’s not necessarily
a political statement but it obviously can be taken as one People are
always asking us to do a live record so we did Live From Camp X-Ray.
FB: You have a song like “Outsider”, is that a direct
relation to September 11th and to all the media attention?
Speedo: I think it’s more just yet another song by Rocket From The
Crypt. It’s just about the alienation, not knowing what to do, where
you belong, where you fit in on this planet and life. What you’re
suppose to be doing, how come you don’t like all the things that
everybody else likes, how come you don’t like all the big movies,
how come you don’t like the best seller books that come out, how
come you don’t like all the radio stations. Am I being negative?
How come I don’t feel like a lot of the times I fit in you know.
I think a lot of people feel that way, you know, and that song in particular
is just like wanna be left alone because it feels like nothing really
relates to you, you just want to do your own thing. I think a lot of people
feel that way politically or non politically, you know. Whether it’s
politics and you feel like you’re not being represented or it’s
the fact that you turn on the radio and can’t stand the shit that
you’re hearing. It’s the same feeling just not knowing where
you fit in in the scheme of things.
FB: Has anybody asked you about the cryptic writing an you had
the “Long live the dead” above the picture on the album. Has
anybody asked you what that is suppose to mean?
Speedo: Yeah, well it’s just more of my rambling you know, I didn’t
write the liner notes but I wrote those, the “Long live the dead”
and it was specifically about punk rock music. It is a dead music in the
sense that its something that happened, you know punk rock was about that
late seventies explosion of music and yet it was basically just rock ‘n
roll but maybe a little bit more rebellious, a little bit more direct.
It didn’t have the symbolism, people just came out and said what
they wanted and there was no rules just different people doing what ever
they wanted. That freedom of expression that came with punk rock and that's
gone you know, and for people to say like punk rock music it’s just
kind of like well punk rock music now is like bands on MTV, on the radio,
they’re using those songs to sell tampons and Budweiser, how can
that be punk? I don’t know how it can so I say it’s a dead
music and only lives in the people that are re-living it like our band.
Our band Rocket is inspired by and we’re just like feeling, what
we are is the shock waves from the initial punk epicenter that happened,
these are the shock waves. It’s basically just rock ‘n roll
music. I don’t like to really like pigeonhole or even think about
it too much because I’m not the Einstien of punk rock, it’s
not up to me to say this is the dictionary definition of what it is. But
I do know it’s not about a drum beat, and it’s not about a
hairstyle, and it’s a lot more than that,and so when I see it become
something like a mockery it pisses me off and maybe makes me want to play
music that sounds a little bit more pissed off.
FB: I’m sure you guy have never really cared about this
but you guys have never really gotten the attention that you deserve.
On TV you........(Speedo cuts me off)
Speedo: I think we did, I think we do. I think we play nasty music and
I don’t think it’s really suitable for all audiences.
FB: I was kind of surprised when I found out that you were going
to be on the Craig Killborn show...
Speedo: Yeah, I was surprised too and I was glad that we did it, it was
fun, really fun. And I take the opportunities to do stuff like that because
I want to spread the word of what we’re doing, you know, I want
to infect people but at the same token there is definitely some things
we won’t do. I think we got good attention and I think still think
we get good attention. The people who come out, they may not be huge crowds
but there’s an importance behind it, people think what we are doing
is important and we feel what we’re doing is important. There’s
definitely no regrets and there’s definitely no jaded like kind
of animosity or any cynicism, we’re still very positive about what