S.A. - Oh shit! I'm supposed to drive!
K.H. - Drive where?
All - Ahhhh! You wanted to leave early!
J.B. - And now we have you in our grasp!
H.D. - She was supposed to drive. (Approaching the toll booth) Someone's got to fork a dollar over....
S.A. -I was totally going to drive. Ohhhhh, how bad....
K.H. - That's good. That means that you were having so much fun you forgot about other things.
K.L. - All your work and responsibilities....
H.D. - Forgot about getting up early in the morning
J.M. - Is driving a special treat for you?
S.A. - No! I have to work tomorrow....
G.S. - I have to work tomorrow too, I start a new job.
K.H. - I have a test tomorrow.
S.A. - Ken's got a job.
K.H. - I have a test tomorrow so shut up. Were all in it together.
S.A. - We're all in it together....You should just start in with your interview.
J.B. - Yeah man, you got to be aggressive with us.
J.M. - Starting off really quickly by introducing yourself, who you are, what you do, kind of describing your personality. (Dead silence). How about you Kris? Or you Ken?
K.H. - I'm mute, I can't speak.
K.L. - Oh, that wasn't true five minutes ago.
K.H. - O.K....I'm Kris Langan, I'm the singer - you can tell by my voice - I don't have a job, I'm never going to have a job, I step on mice and I eat whatever I can find in my backyard.
G.S. - I'm Ken Holt and I'm an insensitive asshole.
J.M. - Is that it?
G.S. - Yeah, that's it.
S.A. - I'm Jerry Brownrigg and I'm a rugged individualist.
H.D. - I'm Sarah Arvey and I have to get up early in the morning.
J.B. - (In his best Heco voice) I'm Heco Davis and I grumble a lot. Aaarrrgh!
K.L. - That makes me Geoff Soule.
K.H. - What's it like to be Geoff?
K.L. - Well...
K.H. - Are you the best drummer in Oakland?
K.L. - I'm the best drummer in Oakland. And if anyone's not going to get a job it's Geoff.
G.S. - I got one, I'm working....I mean, aren't you working tomorrow, Geoff?
K.L. - I got this job but I didn't pass my drug test.
G.S. - That's a bummer.
S.A. - His pee was too hot.
J.M. - O.K., here's a different question: How does being in Fibulator add to your life?
K.L. - There's nothing else to my life.
J.M. - Is it the only component?
K.L. - Yeah, if I didn't have this I wouldn't have a life.
H.D. - Now he used a math term there, he talked about "add" to your life, so I think we should think about that a little more.
K.L. - Oh, I think it subtracted me.
S.A. - Ken's thinking...
K.H. - I can't think of anything that adds to my life.
J.M. - How has it affected your life? Let's expand the question.
K.H. - Let's see, let's go through this....I haven't gotten any drugs from being in this band, I haven't got any babes from being in this band, I've put a lot of money into those stupid records that don't sell, we have to run around on school nights the night before tests and stay up late, I'm trying to get my life in balance here...
H.D. - And you're paying for the P.A. and you only sing once a month.
K.H. - Yeah, I had to pay for the P.A. and I don't even sing that much.
K.L. - We hardly ever let you play the songs you really like.
K.H. - They never let me play Nirvana, it's totally unfulfilling. I'm trying to get out of this band and into Jesus Lizard.
G.S. - I hear there hiring.
K.H. - O.K. I'm done.
K.L. - That's the job that Geoff failed the drug test for.
G.S. - I didn't take enough drugs.
K.H. - Plus everyone in this band is a dick. Did you get that part? I hate everyone in this band, they all...
S.A. - Hey!
K.H. - I like Sarah because Sarah is really nice, but everybody else sucks.
K.L. - Oh my god...
J.B. - Is this turning out like you wanted it to go?
J.M. - Oh yeah, exactly.
K.H. - O.K., in that case I want to rethink my answer.
S.A. - Well...
H.D. - Go ahead Sarah.
S.A. - I'm trying....We've gone on a lot of really nice trips together.
K.H. - That's true, she's right about that.
H.D. - Yeah, the swimming holes...
S.A. - Mighty great swimming holes, especially the one with the rope swing. And the blueberry milkshake.
H.D. - In Oregon.
S.A. - We always eat together, that's fun. It's fun. It's good.
K.L. - Ken was lying.
G.S. - (Confronted by the mic) I can't think about this right now.
J.M. - Is this too deep?
G.S. - Yeah, that's too hard.
J.M. - O.K....Would you give up your musical integrity for popularity?
J.B. - For money, yeah.
All - Yeah.
K.H. - Didn't we already?
H.D. - Were trying but no one will give us any money for anything we do.
K.H. - I think were doing something wrong.
J.B. - We're consciously doing it all wrong.
K.H. - Maybe you can tell us what were doing wrong.
J.M. - Well, tell me what you're doing?
K.H. - Um, I don't know.
J.M. - That's it.
K.H. - I'm trying to get the band to play Nirvana songs. I don't know...
S.A. - Let's see how many times we can say "Nirvana" in this interview.
K.L. - Nirvana, Nirvana, Nirvana...
S.A. - Let's do our "Monday, Tuesday..." thing.
K.H. - Yeah, why don't you guys sing a song or something?
J.M. - Very easy to transcribe.
K.H. - I though this was for CBS or something.
S.A. - Heco, are you listening to this interview?
H.D. - I am, and I'm driving, too.
G.S. - Have you noticed all these billboards?
K.L. - I think we've been compromising our musical integrity...
S.A. - Were each trying to compromise it but we compromise it in different ways.
J.M. - You need to compromise it together, in unison, to get success.
G.S. - The first thing you see when you come in to San Francisco are all these billboards.
K.H. - And were not on any of 'em.
J.B. - It's a sure marker of our "insuccess".
K.H. - "Non-success" I think is the proper term.
G.S. - Yeah, "missuccess" is what you mean to say.
K.H. - Anti-success.
S.A. - Unsuccessful.
K.L. - I thought we were kind of trying to be unsuccessful.
K.H. - That's what people have accused us of. Do you think we're trying to be unsuccessful?
K.L. - What's our image that were trying to portray?
S.A. - What did our marketer say?
K.H. - He said I look like Evan Dando.
J.B. - Who? Who said that?
K.H. - Our marketer. Our agent. Or he said I should look like Evan Dando, I'm not sure which.
K.L. - Who is Evan Dando?
K.H. - He's with the Lemonheads.
S.A. - (To Kris) He's going out with...
H.D. - He told me I was supposed to look like that guy from Midnight Oil.
J.M. - Evan Dando? Juliana Hatfield.
H.D. - I was supposed to shave my head.
G.S. - Heco. Heco! You ran a yellow light.
S.A. - What's your next question?
K.H. - It was red. Why's that cop following us?
J.M. - How would you describe your "sound"? As in compared to other people.
K.L. - I refuse.
G.S. - Thrash-punk-speed metal...grunge.
K.H. - With typical guy vocals.
S.A. - Typical guy vocals with thrilling harmonies and melodies.
J.B. - Typical guy vocals and typical girl instrumentals.
K.L. - Disappointing guy vocals.
G.S. - Snarling girl vocals.
J.B. - Snarling mid-range guy vocals.
K.H. - How about girl surf, I don't know.
S.A. - Sort of like "Pork".
K.H.- Yeah, like Pork. Did you just hit your head Jerry?
J.B. - Yeah.
K.L. - He was trying to recreate the experience of seeing Pork.
S.A. - Or more like Threshold.
K.H. - Yeah, I think we sound like Threshold.
S.A. - Comfy Chair. These are some of our favorite bands.
K.H. - Yeah, really.
K.L. - Oh my god.
K.H. - We've got to get some serious answers in here or nobody's going to buy or records.
J.M. - How many records do you have left to buy?
K.H. - We have like...
H.D. - A hundred.
K.H. - We printed 4000
J.M. - Yeah, right.
K.H. - (Kris reaches for the ashtray) She's trying to burn my penis, I hope you got that on tape.
J.M. - Well, now I did....So, who's idea was it to personalize each and ever copy of [Drankfromtheasphalt]?
G.S. - Jerry's.
S.A. - Jerry's.
K.L. - He though it would be easier.
J.B. - We though we could cost-cut a little.
S.A. - Cheaper and easier. The weekends, you know, the paint was flying around our houses, we all get together...
K.L. - Actually it was a lot of fun.
J.M. - About how long did it take?
S.A. - It's still taking.
G.S. - We're not done.
K.H. - We're up to about 4 months now I think.
K.L. - We got all these friends of ours, some of them are really good.
H.D. - All we had to do was buy them beer.
G.S. - Yeah, there all beautiful.
S.A. - Some of them are ugly.
K.H. - (Kris reaches for the ashtray again) She's putting out my penis, you feel better now? I know where we are, I've been in that store before, in that Safeway.
J.M. - Is it a good Safeway?
K.H. - It was a great Safeway, it was the night....Oh, you want to hear something stupid? I went and saw Little My at the Bottom of the Hill, and then before the Thinking Fellers played I left because I had to go home and study. (Incredulous mumbling from all).
S.A. - When?
K.H. - Two years ago when I was going out with Meg and I was being Mr. Student.
J.B. - You're a worthless gash.
K.H. - I know, but I was just a dumb shit.
G.S. - Still are.
S.A. - Thinking Fellers played with Little My?
K.H. - Yeah, and Bogbrains, and they were sold out. It was the first sold out show at Bottom of the Hill.
H.D. - Look at that station wagon.
K.H. - Right after we recorded Drank...no, the other album. The bad album.
J.M. - Which one is that? The middle album, or the tape-only one?
K.H. - No, the bad album was the first album, [Even from here I look stupid] (Appropriate laughter from all).
K.L. - When it first came out it was so good. Now it sucks.
K.H. - Then we listened to it.
J.B. - 50% of that I think is great. Like the "Slow Drain."
H.D. - A lot of people like that record, surprisingly.
K.H. - We have the wrong fans. We're appealing to the wrong people, did you ever notice that? Like you look out at the audience and you're like...
J.B. - Yeah, you want the fucking seventeen year-old bimbo broads.
K.H. - Yeah...Aww, you're following the red car, that's a beautiful car.
J.M. - So, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your recorded sound, compared to your live?
H.D. - I think we're getting it down, totally.
K.H. - Yeah, our last album I'm really happy with. It's been hard and we don't sound anything on record like we do live, but our last record I think sounds really good.
K.L. - It would be kind of nice if we sounded live a little more like...
S.A. - A little more like that record.
K.H. - We could try lip-synching.
J.B. - Maybe no one would notice.
K.L. - If would be good if it was somewhere inbetween...
K.H. - The recording was a learning process, though, but we learned.
G.S. - But we learned anyway.
J.B. - Stop, man, were totally fucking lost.
K.H. - Why did we let Heco drive?...Ask us more sincere questions, I like those sincere questions.
J.M. - Give me an example of a sincere question.
S.A. - Will you marry me? Do you want to have my baby?
K.H. - No, no, you should ask us why were such nice people, I think that's a good topic.
H.D. - Why don't you tell him Ken?
K.H. - I'm a nice person because I was raised properly, before I met these guys.
H.D. - We have to talk about Ken's mother Barb here.
K.H. - Oh my mom is the best.
H.D. - Barb is great. She came, she even gave us money for a tour.
K.H. - She gave us a hundred bucks...
H.D. - To go buy a nice dinner.
K.L. - No way!
K.H. - Yeah, she gave it for the last tour, I have it in the bank, it's accruing interest. I spent it on drugs but I earned it back.
H.D. - We're going to use it in Portland.
S.A. - We're going to go out for shrimp!
K.H. - She wants us to got out to dinner with it.
G.S. - She wants to pay Geoff back for the cassettes with it.
K.H. - She doesn't even know that you're in the band. Geoff who? She's still talking about Jonesy.
H.D. - And I crawl naked across her floor and she doesn't mind. She's a cool person, what can you say?
K.H. - I think she asked you to do that, didn't she? She's trying to wax the floor and she saw you crawling naked....in some sort of chaps.
H.D. - Put like cotton on my t-shirt and my knees.
S.A. - "A thin sheen of sweat and grease rubbed into her hardwood floor..."
K.L. - This is better than the sheep conversation.
S.A. - Oh, I missed it.
H.D. - We had a radio show last night and Sarah had a previous engagement so she wasn't there.
K.L. - But you know what? We told the D.J. that we forgot to pick you up.
S.A. - Did you?
K.L. - And Ken blew it by telling us we were bad liars.
K.H. - Well, you were bad liars.
H.D. - Then we tried to tell him that we locked you in the gas station bathroom
K.L. - He believed us.
J.B. - He was like totally agasp, "What! How's she going to get here?"
K.L. - "Sarah? Oh, there's no other singer."
K.H. - I'm the other singer. I'm Sarah.
J.M. - So how has your family and friends supported you in your endeavor?
K.H. - My mom bought me a Music Man bass.
G.S. - You're talking too much.
K.L. - Whenever we go on tour my mom makes us gourmet food.
All - Aaaaah!
K.H. - Her mom makes us the best meals.
G.S. - Shut up!
K.L. - She cooked lasagna and cheesecake just in case we were to come by.
S.A. - No way!
J.B. - In Denver, yeah.
S.A. - We should've gone.
J.B. - That's how I feel too. Just came by and got something to go. Pull up into the driveway...
K.L. -"Hi mom!"
J.B. - ...and toot! toot!
S.A. - My brother plays my record for all of his fraternity brothers in San Marcus, Texas.
H.D. - I bet they love that.
S.A. - No fucking way.
H.D. -"What is this shit!"
J.B. - My parents go "That's nice, that's really interesting music...."
H.D. - "Did he say 'fuck you, fuck you?'"
S.A. - "Is he angry or something?"
G.S. - My dad bought the record and he took it to church.
All - What?
J.B. - Did he put it on the altar and try to de-demonize it or something?
K.H. - They had the record-burning week then?
G.S. - I think he just passed it around.
K.H. - "Heal these people! Heal these people!"
H.D. - The collection plate. That's great, I didn't know that. What kind of church? (Sarah cracks up)
K.H. - Scientologist?
J.B. - A steeple, all that shit...
H.D. - open the doors, and all the people
K.L. - My parents are on the Electromotive mailing list (cheers all around)
J.M. - Do they buy other records?
K.L. - I think they're going to buy the Little My 7"...10". I don't know if they ever did.
H.D. - My uncle Jack will put us up in his place in Milwaukee and drink coffee with us the whole time we're there.
J.B. - That'll be great man.
K.H. - Will he drive us around and eat hot dogs?
J.B. - Tell an Uncle Jack story!
J.M. - Please.
H.D. - An Uncle Jack story? Well, I don't know what to say about my uncle Jack...
K.H. - If you're driving in the car with him...
H.D. - What would he look like....Well, he'd be sitting in the van and then he reaches down to his bucket of raw hot dogs, and he always has coffee, he drinks coffee all the time.
K.H. - What's his favorite breakfast cereal?
H.D. - Breakfast cereal? Oh, bread mashed up with milk in it.
J.B. - Ahhh, that sounds good.
H.D. - A big bowl. He's had quadruple bypass surgery but he still smokes two packs of Camels a day.
K.H. - So he's pretty healthy, does he jog a lot?
H.D. - His whole metabolism has changed to like a different way of being.
K.H. - So is it like that of a cow?
H.D. - He actually like processes the caffeine and uses it for useful energy.
K.L. - Calories out of caffeine.
J.B. - O.K. hit pause we should unload.
J.M. - So when did you start singing?
S.A. - I started singing when I was...let's see...in middle school, because it was a way to get into a good magnet school in Houston, Texas. Otherwise I would have had to had gone to some horrible suburban tracked-housing, temporary-building middle school so I went....No! You know what it was? I remember exactly what it was. It was when I got denied, cut off the auditions for Oliver Twist in my elementary school. It was horrible! I just couldn't sing on stage, I had to sing that song "there's a little ditty, there singing it in the city." But then I went to a middle school for music - I actually went to a performing arts high school for music - and then in college I decided that I never wanted to sing classical music again. It was so rigid. I had to do exactly what they wanted, with perfect gestures.
J.M. - So how was the rest of school for you, besides singing? Academics and such.
S.A. - Oh, I'm very good. Yes....(laughter).
J.M. - Did you get a degree in the arts or music, or did you have a degree in something else?
S.A. - No, I have a B.A. in literature. English Literature. I graduated last year.
J.M. - From where?
S.A. - Ohhh...from U.C. Berkeley.
J.M. - Yeah? That's where I graduated from, actually. From the Rhetoric Department.
S.A. - Really? I actually went to Mills for two years, then I transferred to Berkeley. Don't do much with it. Well, actually I'm a very developed critical/analytical thinker, but I sit all day at a desk and type, print mailing labels.
J.M. - Where do you work at?
S.A. - I work at a second language acquisition program/company thing. It's a non-profit organization that makes books and tapes, and it provides a methodology for teaching Spanish, French and Japanese to elementary school children.
J.M. - Japanese, I do Japanese.
S.A. - Do you really? No way!
J.M. - Do you speak Japanese?
S.A. - No. Actually, I can say irrashaimase. Irrashaimase!
J.M. - You could set up a shop or something. So, when did you join the band, when it was originated?
S.A. - No, I came a little later. Well, what I normally say I don't think I want in the article.
J.M. - O.K. Then just say what you don't want...
S.A. - No, I....Let's see, I met Jerry and got into the band when Kris Langan was not singing for a little while, and then she came back and we started singing together.
J.M. - How long was that before 1991, and your first tape album?
S.A. - A few months before that, actually. Yeah, I think 5 or 6 months before that? I can't remember, we did that in January...
J.M. - I'm not sure when...
S.A. - I don't know when it was either.
J.M. - How do you feel about that first, self-titled album?
S.A. - Oh, I love it. It's great.
J.M. - Why do you think so?
S.A. - Because we didn't know what the fuck we were doing! It's cool, it's great, it's sort of at the essence of us that will never happen again.
J.M. - Why do you think that's the case?
S.A. - Because like I said we didn't know what we were doing, and the songs had just very strange starts and stalls, we didn't think of how to put them together.
J.M. - So how are songs put together now?
S.A. - We think about them a little bit more I would say. That's something we're working on, how to put songs together. We got up to the point that the songs that we would write, we would keep wanting to add something, and they would become these incredibly long, strange songs. Right now I'm trying to concentrate on having a little teeny thing be a song, not always trying to add something to it, going to the next phase and making it a finely wrought tangle.
J.M. - Are there any examples in other groups that you think accomplish this?
S.A. - Sure. Sure...(laughs) I don't know if I could remember them. Sure.
J.M. - Well, what are your favorite bands, sources of inspiration? At least presently, within the last half of a month.
S.A. - It's probably pretty obvious, the Thinking Fellers, because we always talk about them. The Thinking Fellers Union Local 282. When I first started liking music it was the early Throwing Muses...
J.M. - (excited) I sensed that when I was at the Infoshop show, I was like Kristin Hersh, Tanya Donelly!
S.A. - Yeah, I know....I hate that comparison because comparisons are never totally valid.
J.M. - Exactly. There's a difference, but there's a similarity.
S.A. - Yeah, I don't know....I've been listening to this really cool Indian music tape.
J.M. - And what's that called?
S.A. - I have no idea. I could sing a song off of it (laughter) That doesn't translate.
J.M. - So, are you into musical sources from other parts of the world?
S.A. - Sure, oh yeah. Chris [Heco] Davis likes wacky music. He always buys records like "The Sound of the Sea", "Sounds of Sea Mammals", "Race Car Driving." He's a "noise" guy.
J.M. - Would you consider the band to be a family?
S.A. - We love each other (laughs).
J.M. - If it is a family then how is it configured? Who plays what role?
S.A. - Ah, the hierarchy....That takes thinking. A family not in the traditional sense, but a family in that we do something creative together that is hard to come by. Most families don't do things creative.
J.M. - Does everyone live together, or do people live apart?
S.A. - Just Ken and Jerry live together, and they've lived together for quite a while, in West Oakland, and Heco lives across the street from them. Kris Langan lives in West Oakland too, and Geoff and I live within blocks of each other, in Oakland. Oakland... Oakland-Oakland.
J.M. - As opposed to just Oakland....(laughter) So what are you other interests? There's your music, and then there's your work...would you want to continue your work on a more advanced level, or your music...
S.A. - Well, I sort of think that I have to be doing a lot of things that I like in order to keep myself happy. But, I'm not going anywhere because I'm here with Fibulator, and that's one really clear sign for me...because I would be living where it's hot and humid and I would sweat every day and speak Spanish all the time, but I'm not doing that right now.
J.M. - Would that be your preference, to go to South America?
S.A. - Yeah. Yes. Yes.
J.M. - What would you want to do?
S.A. - Well, that's a really good question. I don't know if I'd really care as long as I'm there for a while. Of course I would be struck with some sort of guilt and try to do something good, but...I've lived there before.
J.M. - For how long?
S.A. - Six months in Ecuador.
J.M. - When did you start studying Spanish?
S.A. - In high school.
J.M. - Is that the only language you speak, besides English?
S.A. - Yeah.
J.M. - Do you want to keep it that way?
S.A. - No! I'd be very open and willing, but I think that you have to go to a country pretty much to learn the language. I think language is more than words.
J.M. - It's the whole culture, the feeling.
S.A. - Yeah, exactly....You have to ask other people things!
J.M. - Exactly (laughter all around).
Kris Langan and Geoff Soule
J.M. - So Sarah was telling me that you were interested in making books and things of that nature.
K.L. - Yeah. That's what I'm doing right now, to pay my rent. My friend, my oldest friend out here, that I moved out here with, makes books, he's a hand book-binder. And I work for him.
J.M. - So what do you do exactly?
K.L. - Learning how to make hand-bound books, and editions....He's teaching me how to bind theses right now.
J.M. - Is that exciting?
K.L. - Yeah, it's cool. He doesn't like to do that, so I get to do that. It's nice, repetitious work. I used to do repetitious...
G.S. - Ooh, nice shot!
K.L. - Geoff!
J.M. - So what did you used to do that was repetitious?
K.L. - I used to work in a dark room, slide film. Which is repetitious...and dark (delayed laughter). O.K. I have to...
J.M. - Feel free to complete your game. It'll be an alternating interview. And so Geoff, tell me about what you're doing now, besides the band.
G.S. - Well, actually I'm starting this new job at the Art Warehouse in Emeryville, I'm not sure what I'm going to be doing there. I had to take a blood-test yesterday, I mean a urine test, for drugs, so I guess there's always a chance that I won't actually get the job (laughter) But I don't think so because I don't smoke pot or do any of those other illegal things. But you never know. Those poppy seeds might show up.
J.M. - Those bagels.
K.L. - So we were talking about jobs...
J.M. - Exactly. Your dark and repetitious...
K.L. - Yeah. Dark and repetitious and large. No, it's nice to work for just your friend (to Geoff) Did you just win?
G.S. - Yeah.
K.L. - I set you up, you know.
G.S. - Yeah, I saw that
K.L. - I'm going to hit these last balls in...
J.M. - And so you're trying to get a job at the Art Warehouse. Where did you work before?
G.S. - I've been unemployed for quite awhile, about a about a year and a half, living off of savings and odd work here and there, not too much.
J.M. - How did you join up with Fibulator?
G.S. - Actually, a friend of mine who's now my housemate hooked me up with them.
J.M. - How long ago was that?
G.S. - About a year and a half ago, about as long as I've been unemployed (laughter).
J.M. - There's some connection between those two events?
G.S. - Yeah, the two events are related.
J.M. - Is Fibulator your first band?
G.S. - No, I was doing a lot of different things. I was in sort of a sixties rock band, in San Diego, when I was in high school. Up until I joined Fibulator I was doing a lot of different jazz stuff, all kinds of different things.
J.M. - When did you start your music?
G.S. - When I was 14 or 15.
J.M. - Did you do drumming then? Why do you think you chose it?
G.S. - I'm not really sure.
J.M. - Do you have any aspirations for playing the guitar?
G.S. - Yeah, I've been playing a lot of guitar lately, more than I've been playing drums. Guitar and singing, I want to get good enough to play out in the subway.
K.L. - Did you ever do that thing when your bus came....
G.S. - Yeah, I did it once. I made $1.12.
K.L. - Where was that?
G.S. - Just on the street, over by Matt's house, downtown Oakland.
K.L. - Didn't you do it when we were on tour?
G.S. - Oh yeah, yeah. I did when we were on tour, but I didn't do it in front of anyone, just on the side.
J.M. - I gather that you're into art as well. What do you do exactly?
G.S. - I do a little painting, a little drawing.
J.M. - What sort of little drawings do you do?
G.S. - Nothing really, just whenever I feel like doing something. I'm not too serious about it.
J.M. - So you're more serious about your music?
G.S. - Yeah, definitely.
J.M. - Where do you see yourself going with your music?
G.S. - I don't, really. I just want to keep doing new, interesting things. Before I joined Fibulator I pretty much had written off all contemporary music, I thought that nothing good had been done practically since 1970. I listened to nothing but old jazz and some old '60's rock. Fibulator has given me a whole new view of things.
J.M. - So what do you enjoy now?
G.S. - All kinds of stuff. I'm really into Jesus Lizard right now, they're really cool.
J.M. - What's been your touring experience?
G.S. - We went up to Portland which was really fun, and just recently... (Kris interrupts to comment on her amazing pool shot)
J.M. - So we were talking about the Portland tour.
K.L. - That was really fun. The best thing for me was that we got to see the Sun City Girls.
G.S. - Yeah.
K.L. - That was cool. We played the Satyricon and the Sun City Girls were playing on Sunday night, so we got to come back. It would have been better if we were playing with them. We played with Bird Songs of the Mesozoic. I ended up going across the street to another bar, a record-label guy, this guy from Soleil Moon, wanted to schmooze. Nothing came of it.
J.M. - Did you want something to come of it?
K.L. - Well, see Charles from Soleil Moon was who picked up Sound of Vigilance - which was the record that Electromotive put out that has paid for a lot of other records that they've put out - and what happened is that after it did pretty well Charles picked it up and put out a C.D. and made a lot of money off of that. I heard rumors that he liked us and I was hoping that there would be something....
G.S. - I heard that he only likes the drummer. That's what he told me.
K.L. - I heard that he used to not like us because of our drummer.
G.S. - And now he likes us because of our drummer. That's me.
K.L. - What did I say before? That you're the "best drummer in Oakland." Do I have to say that?
G.S. - Yeah, as much as possible.
J.M. - So when did you begin your singing?
K.L. - Well, I never really.... I started singing with this band. There was a period of like two months when I had a vocal-vocal coach, a long time ago, but I just been kind of singing during my life, to myself, walking down the street. When I first met Jerry we went and hung out at the end of this dock-thing, some of my friends from school and Jerry, and one of his old high school friends who was going to college with me - he's now in this band called Railroad Jerk - we just all like happened to converge and went under this bridge, and played music, and I was singing then. Years later, me and Jerry hooked up again, and he said "Why don't you come sing for our band?", it wasn't even a band then, he was like "why don't you come over Saturday night and get drunk and sing?" So I did.
J.M. - Do you really believe or feel that your singing now is something important to you, something that you really want to continue?
K.L. - I always sang before, never believed that I could make up a song. Now it's a lot more structured...being in an "alternative rock" band and having to play shows and having a press kit and all that stuff. And you start thinking about how you appear, which is just suicide, thinking about that is real stupid.
J.M. - Do you and Sarah collaborate on the lyrics, or is it the whole band together?
K.L. - Well, it's pretty much whoever sings writes the lyrics, generally. Me and Sarah had a technique set up where we both just sang whatever and it probably went together. We would write different lyrics and really didn't care if they went together; I mean they do, you put two sets of lyrics together and they relate to each other. Recently we been starting to do stuff that's not as happenstance, more calculated, which is good, I mean it's an exercise...
J.M. - I noticed especially at the Merchant's show that sometimes you would go to the far back wall, or walk down into the audience, when the rest of the band was playing. Do you have some sort of particular problems with performing, feel some sort of tension with the audience?
K.L. - I went to the far back wall? The back of the room?
J.M. - Everyone was playing there part and you sung your part, and you walked back behind the drum kit, or you walked down to the audience and talked to your friend.
K.L. - It's funny, because I don't mind performing, I try not to think too much about the people that are there, but sometimes I get bored, I mean we've played the songs a lot. Actually it's funny, because before when I was really nervous I would be much less inclined to move, and now I don't really care and so I'll go and try to talk to Geoff and make him screw up or go to the bathroom or something. When we played in Phoenix, what was funny was that Friday night we left to go on tour, and by Saturday morning I couldn't talk, I got larningitis - I could just barely talk. We played the show anyway, and I was constantly running off stage and going to get tea....I don't even think about it.
G.S. - That was great. I wanted to get you a horn, and set you up like Harpo. She was walking around writing notes whenever she wanted to say something.
K.L. - Don't you wish that it was always like that?
G.S. - I do, it was so cool! People would walk up and ask her things and she wouldn't say anything and they'd get all nervous.
K.L. - There's this really great scene in Tuscon; the guy we stayed with, Steve, who runs the downtown performance center, also has this art gallery where he does his work and a bunch of other people do, people wander in and look at the work. So Steve wasn't there and we were all hanging around, and this guy wanders in and I was the only one that was there, and I'm trying really hard not to talk because I wanted my voice to get better. He comes up and started to try to talk to me and so I start writing these little notes and finally he tries to talk to me in sign language. "No, you don't get it. I'm sick!" Sometimes I wish...I been thinking a lot about pretending that I have laryngitis.
J.M. - So, how did you feel about your Southwestern tour, did you enjoy it?
G.S. - Yeah, it was fun. It felt more like a vacation to me than a tour, actually. We did a lot more hanging out and hiking and swimming and goofing off then actually playing shows. I think we need to do a tour that's like play a lot of shows, and maybe make enough money to cover the gas.
K.L. - It's funny because that's one of the tours we've done that's had the highest percentage of shows. We were gone for...
G.S. - A week and a half?
K.L. - No, for about 8 days...9 days, and we did...
G.S. - 4 shows, and a recording session.
K.L. - What did we do? Phoenix...
G.S. - Tuscon, we recorded in Tempe, Denver and Taos.
J.M. - What did you record in Tempe?
G.S. - We recorded on Todd's 4 track, he was in a band called the Obsessives, in Phoenix, and we recorded a bunch of stuff and we're hoping to release some of that this summer, while Ken's away.
J.M. - So Ken's the one that's going to Europe?
G.S. - Yeah, I'm sure he'll be glad to tell you about it.
J.M. - So during that time what are your plans, in terms of the band?
K.L. - Well, we do this thing where every once in a while someone gets this thing in their head that there going to go off six months travelling. So kind of the idea is for everyone else to get it out of their system then, if they can. I'm going to go to life with my friend in Santa Fe, and work for him, and then I'll be back in August. I guess our plans are to try to put together a cassette and a single, and release that. We'll probably still play togheter - we won't play out until next year, or if we do it will be probably under an assumed name. I already wrote on the mailer that we're not going to play any more this year.
J.M. - Is there a C.D. in the works or in the planning horizon stage possibly?
K.L. - We probably should do one, but you know we're stubborn. The thing is like I'd love to put out a C.D. if we put out vinyl too. We can't afford it, so kind of our next big thing that we're planning is to do a more extended, heavy-duty kind of tour next spring, where we play more than 50% of the nights.
J.M. - What would be the ideal tour?
K.L. - What would be really great to do would be to go all across the country, visit the East Coast which we've never done. It's kind of hard, though, because you go to a place once and you've never been there before and no one shows up. What we've been trying to do lately is to go someplace, come back...so I guess the ideal tour fo me would be to tour with a band who has a big draw, so people would see us, and make enough money for gas, beyond that I wouldn't care.
G.S. - Let's go to Europe with the Thinking Fellers. With the Breeders.
J.M. - That would be a good show.
K.L. - Fun and embarrasing!
H.D. - Hey! What's happening here?
J.M. - Sit down a moment.
H.D. - So we just got a burrito, at 16th and Mission, it was good.
K.L. - What kind of burrito did you get?
H.D. - I had a vegetarian burrito.
J.M. - Very good.
H.D. - I'm a vegetarian.
K.L. - (Laughs) I'm sorry, I set him up.
H.D. - Are you a vegetarian?
J.M. - Yeah.
H.D. - Good, I'm glad that someone else here is.
J.M. - I'm not vegan, I'm just a lacto-vegetarian.
H.D. - Not me at all, I eat cheese all the time.
J.M. - So how did you start with Fibulator?
H.D. - You know that was kind of funny because I lived across the street from the original Fibulator house - Ken and Jerry's house on Peralta at 7th down in West Oakland - and I had actually lived across the street from them before they moved in. I had lived there for years, had friends come over and jam, and then one day this guy, Jerry, comes across the street and I had this wood out front - because I'm a carpenter - and he says "Can I use this wood for my garden?", he was building this garden in the vacant lot next door, and I was like "well, give me a few bucks" and he gave me like ten bucks, and he took the wood and built this garden. We sort of became friends, and then Fibulator invited me over to play horns with them, right before the old guitar player left and moved to New York.
J.M. - So who was the old guitar player?
H.D. - Perry Yung. It was really fun to play that one show with the whole band, with Jerry on drums and Perry on guitar. We played one show at Ken and Jerry's house, it was spring. Then I went away for three months and came back, at that point Perry had left and Jerry switched over to guitar and found a new drummer, at that point I started playing with the band.
J.M. - How did you start your musical...
H.D. - When I was a kid I played clarinet in school. You know what's funny about it is that nobody ever played me good clarinet music, I just played the band music - written music - that was really dumb. I didn't like it that much; I loved music, but I didn't like the clarinet. So I gave it up in like 11th grade after 6 or 7 years. Later on I picked up a sax because I knew a lot of good sax music, but then sure enough, 7 or 8 years after doing the sax, I stated getting back into the clarinet again. I discovered all of this cool clarinet music, really loved the tone of that instrument. It started a love...I just can't leave music alone.
J.M. - Did you study music in school?
H.D. - No, I studied math. I have a degree in Algebraic Topology.
J.M. - What happened with that, are you doing that now?
H.D. - No, now my job is I'm a carpenter, I have my own business, I do construction. And that kind of like is good because it frees my schedule to do other pursuits like music or sculpture, I like sculpture too.
J.M. - What kind of sculpture do you do?
H.D. - I'm interested in musical sculpture, I've done a few pieces, very large, musical things. I'm trying to combine those two things, and one day, especially since Ken's taking off for 6 months, I think I'll have some time to work on some musical sculptures.
G.S. - (Scrounging for pool table money) Heco, you got a quarter?
H.D. - A quarter?
J.B. - Oh, we got one.
J.M. - So what have been your musical influences?
H.D. - I like a lot of old folk music. Punk music really influenced me a lot, I graduated from high school in like '77.
J.M. - Where did you go to school?
H.D. - In a suburb of St. Louis. Punk music really influenced me....I like a lot of different types of music, a lot of different styles. But who has influenced me the most? I don't know, there are a lot of bands...I remember when I was in junior high school I was blown away by [Houses of the Holy] by Led Zeppelin, especially that song "Dancing Days". It's a weird song, I generally like weird music. Now I even like electronic music and weird sound music, that just comes from no...it could just be a noise.
J.M. - It seems that sound has always been a large part of your life. Why do you think that is?
H.D. - I have a developed "sound" sense, I mean I have bad eyesight, not that great of a sense of touch, and my taste buds aren't that great but I have a good sense of sound. I've always noticed sound through the years. In fact some friends and I, when we were in like 7th grade, we once recorded a marble roller that we made - we made the blocks and you roll marbles down - so I had a early interest in sound.
J.M. - How has your experience in Fibulator been?
H.D. - It's great, I love being with Fibulator because it's a band of people that really create their own music. I mean it's not like we're like anybody else's music, we not trying to play like Nirvana or the Throwing Muses, we're not trying to be anybody. We're really like enough out-there people, stable enough people to just go out on a limb, and try to do what comes from us. That's why I feel so strongly about Fibulator. I've played with other musicians and they were always playing the blues or this or that, while Fibulator plays what comes from Fibulator and that's what I love the most.
J.M. - What do you add to the musical process in Fibulator?
H.D. - Well, I think it's good in a way, most of the band might argue with me, but from the usual guitar sound of a band I add clarinet and saxophone, which I think gives a different feel to the music that I think gives it a little unusual edge. But then again the guitar, bass and drums like to have just some songs sound very....but I think it adds a very interesting element to it. I also try to play in an unusual style; I don't try to mimic Be-bop or Jazz styles, I try to come up with my own style of playing.
J.M. - What has been your touring experience?
H.D. - That's great. We go swimming every day, we eat at a lot of greasy spoon cafes, see the open country - we got windows all the way around in our van - meet all sorts of different people and hang out and go for hikes. I always go for hikes, I'm into going to see the wilderness, all the beautiful places around the country. I fix the car, too.
J.M. - Always a good skill to have...I think that Sarah said that you have C.D.'s or albums of nature sounds, whales and stuff.
H.D. - Yeah, I have a collection of unusual sounds , of things like whales, sounds of sea animals, sounds of dog heartbeats...any record like that, if I see a record like that I will grab it immediately. I have a pretty big collection of weird records, speakers-swinging records, really strange stuff. Long Aeolian harp records where people make music out of wire. I like buying records because they're so cheap right now.
J.M. - Records as L.P.'s as opposed to C.D.'s? What do of think of the move from analog to digital that seems so prevalent?
H.D. - It's O.K., I think analog still has it's charm and it's warmth. But I think digital's getting better, to tell the truth I think they're getting the warmth into the digital that was missing the first couple of years. Now might be the point that digital might take over analog, but analog at this point is still a viable medium, and I love my record player, and the 12" by 12" art that comes with the records.
J.M. - Do you play a part in the recording process?
H.D. - Do I do any of the moving of the dials and stuff?
Well, not really. I tried to learn, I was talking to this guy Jerry Schneider - I've been trying to learn a little bit about engineering because I feel like somebody in the band should have some idea what's going on. But I'm pretty much an idiot, so I'm still learning; I try to pick up what I can here and there, setting up PA, or setting levels for the shows.
J.M. - Is there a particular engineer that handles your work?
H.D. - We've been working with this guy at Polymorph Studios in Oakland - Dan Rathbun has actually been the main engineer for all three of our releases. He's a really good friend of ours, Polymorph's a really good place for us because we feel so comfortable there, they have a great coffee machine, and we feel that it's like a home away from home. He actually made our last record when he was breaking up with his long-term girlfriend, and I don't think he slept the whole week he was recording us, but he was still dedicated to like being there with us regardless of how bad he felt. We appreciate him.
J.M. - What does "drankfromtheasphalt" mean?
H.D. - I think it has something to do with getting an emotional experience out of the urban experience - that's what I think, I don't know if that's what it means.
J.M. - Why did you decide to become a vegetarian?
H.D. - It was sort of natural for me, I always try to explain to the band - there always asking me why, because they all love to eat meat. I'm not really dogmatic about it, I don't really care that much about what other people do. When I left home - I'd been served meat all my life, when I was a kid - I just stopped. It took me a while to stop eating certain things, like hamburgers were hard to give up, and chicken held on for a few more years, and then I gave up fish. It was just like a natural progression, an easy thing for me, and I don't miss it. I think I was meant to be a vegetarian. Also, I'm a little bit of a political person, and I feel good about not eating meat.
J.M. - So what are the extent of your politics?
H.D. - Well, I've occasionally done a little political work, I've done some grass-roots stuff for various organizations, and I just kind of like to stay in touch. One of my big political things is not being a super consumer - I don't like to buy new things a lot. I like to get used things, to reuse things. I mean I'm not perfect by any means, sometimes I buy new shoes, but I do get a lot of used things, and I feel like this country, or maybe the West, or the world, is so into taking things and using them up - short term, making things that don't last a long time, and I want to use things that last a long time.... They have a charm if they can last that long. The way they make cars, and all sorts of stuff - they want you to buy a new thing a year later.
J.M. - It's interesting that on the one hand, you like things that last, that are enduring, but on the other hand you have this fascination with sound, which is by definition transient, and fleeting.
H.D. - Yeah, it's a momentary thing. Recordings aren't though. Alright, maybe they are. Do records deteriorate after a 100 years? Actually, I did get a really old record once, it was so brittle it broke, it just broke apart in my hands.
J.M. -What do you feel is your role in Fibulator?
J.B. - I'm really not sure. Sometimes I feel like its as a hyper-catalyst, a hyper organizer. But I'm not really sure about a set role, because I feel like the roles if there not changing right now, they're going to just turn over, just for the sake of equity.
J.M. - When did you start with your music?
J.B. - When I was 19 I just bought a guitar.
J.M. - Why do you think you did that, you just wanted to play?
J.B. - Yeah, totally. I just totally wanted to play music and had been turned on by punk rock, dropped out of school and just wanted to play music.
J.M. - Where were you living then?
J.B. - New York.
J.M. - What bands were a particular influence?
J.B. - When I was 19? The Replacements - the first couple of records - Husker Du, The Clash, probably The Jam. And Joy Division.
J.M. - How did you end up from New York to San Francisco?
J.B. - I just got sick of New York and left.
J.M. - Did you come straight to the West Coast?
J.B. - No, I stopped in Minneapolis for a few weeks, that's where I'm from.
J.M. - What is Minneapolis like, did you enjoy your life there? How did you end up in New York?
J.B. - Minneapolis is great. Except if you in a place for a while, sometimes it's important just to get away, to take off. That's why I left, it wasn't because I had any bad thoughts or feelings about Minneapolis, I just wanted to go someplace different. And I ended up never going back.
J.M. - Do you plan to take Fibulator as far as it can go?
J.B. - I don't really know. It depends on what everybody else is doing, because there's 6 of us. Sometimes it feels like "yeah, let's try to tour March..." It's good to be ambitious, but being ambitious is a pain in the ass. Being ambitious sometimes just isn't fun; I want to make sure that it's fun, if it stops being fun then I'll stop doing it. We plan to just keep making records, try to do one a year, besides that I don't know. We want to tour but everyone's doing stuff - school - and it's really hard to organize six people, because to tour you really have to commit a whole year. You have to quit jobs, and find jobs when you get back.
J.M. - Has your touring experience been positive so far, when you went to Arizona and Portland?
J.B. - Oh yeah, totally positive. Most of the premise of touring is going camping, swimming and being rowdy on the road, not being so intense about playing the shows. We try to promote ourselves but there's only so much you can do.
J.M. - Are you working now, what are you doing besides the band?
J.B. - School, and I work sometimes.
J.M. - What are you studying?
J.B. - I'm trying to get into the School of Environmental Studies at Santa Cruz.
J.M. - What made you want to do Environmental Studies?
J.B. - It's just something that I always wanted to do, something in the back of my mind - I just wanted to go back to school, learn stuff in that realm.
J.M. - What do you plan on doing with that, if you're accepted?
J.B. - I don't know, there's a lot of things I could do with it. Environmental activism, I could work for the park service...there's really not that much I could do, to be honest. If I do something else to supplement the degree, I could do environmental impact statements. The advantage is to work outside and get paid for it.
J.M. - Is the outdoors a large part of your life?
J.B. - Yeah, I'm always drawn back there, I think that everyone's drawn back to the beach, the desert, or the side of a mountain rather than an urbanized environment. My ideal is to be out there rather than in here, every time I go out there I get totally energized, like being on acid or something. You don't need drugs, you don't need anything.
J.M. - So what does city life make you feel like?
J.B. - Makes me feel like a lot of different things. Makes feel sad a lot of the time.
J.M. - Why do you think that's the case?
J.B. - Because I feel trapped. And the smog, that's really depressing.
J.M. - Hypothetically, if everyone could locate, would you like to somewhere else besides Oakland?
J.B. - Yeah, we talk about that a lot. Relocate...
K.H. - Oh, yeah.
J.B. - We've kicked around Tuscon, Portland a little bit, Amsterdam.
K.H. - Mainly Tuscon though. Excellent weather...
J.B. - Skateboarding all the time...
K.H. - It's the desert, nice places to hang, you feel like you're in Mexico practically - it's an hour from the border, and it's a really cool town because there's like 600,000 people that live there, but you'd never know it because it's so spread out, there's vacant lots everywhere. There's like a cool Hispanic, Creole, and its's just a really neat town.
J.M. - Was that the first time you'd been there, when you were on tour?
K.H. - Our last two tours we played there, and the shows were all right. It's not a real supportive town for music, unless your nationally known. It's like a college town, Mexican town, mixed with a working-class town.
J.M. - Where are you from originally?
K.H. - Seattle. I moved down about 8 years ago, and I was living on the streets of Berkeley, and Jerry was too at the same time. We sort of met through being on the street, and ended up becoming friends and living together, and then learning how to play guitar at the same time, and then forming a band together.
J.M. - What was your experience like on the street?
K.H. - Well, it was really fun. I was like 19 years old - I just turned 19 - and I was going to college up in Seattle, hating it. I hated my job, and I was just tired of Seattle, so one day I was riding to work on my Vespa, to a job I hated, and it was a beautiful sunny day at the end of the semester. I was just riding along and all of the sudden the decision came to me to just leave and go to California. So I got my friend to come down with me, down to Berkeley, and he took off so I ended up on the streets by myself. It was during the summer, and I got a job doing landscaping so I had money. Jerry and I found a place to stay, to squat at, so we actually had a place to live and we both had jobs, and it was during the summer, so it was really cool. We could eat, buy beer, and go to movies, but we really didn't have a place to live, and we couldn't do our laundry very often, so we generally smelled. But other than that it was really cool, for two or three months it was really fun, and then the weather started getting bad, so we stopped doing it. We ended up getting a place to live.
J.M. - So when did you start the core band?
K.H. - When it first started it was just me and this guy who's no longer in the band - I don't know if you got this part of the story - I was going to Laney College, and there was this guy in my film class who looked really cool so he and I started talking about music during class, and one night after class we hung out and talked. We were both into the same groups at the time - The Replacements, Echo and the Bunnymen, and REM - and so we were like "Aww, we should get together, play some guitar and learn some Replacements' songs, and we'll play some open mics." So we were like O.K., and we'd get together - we wrote some really sappy acoustic songs, didn't learn any Replacements' songs. Then Jerry came back from Minneapolis - this was Perry, our first guitar player - and so we had 3 guitar players, and so Jerry was like "I'll play drums!" and I was like "O.K., I'll play bass!" So I switched to bass, Jerry switched to drums, and Perry played guitar, and we started trying to write songs and started thinking about having a band. At first we just played generic rock songs, but then, as we got more into it, we tried to do something a little more weird and original, we wanted to try to write something that was different. But we hadn't really conceived of what we really wanted to do that was different. Then Kris Langan - Jerry knew Kris from back East - she was living in San Francisco, she just moved out here, and he said to us "I have a friend who wants to come over and scream into the microphone, do you mind?" I was really into Pylon and the Throwing Muses at the time, so I was really into female singers - intense female singers - so I was all for it. She came over, and immediately it was really cool, really good. Once she came we started trying to write songs, made more of an effort to write songs, and as we really started focusing on it and thinking about it, we deliberately tried to make them quirky, and off-kilter. We never sat down and said "Now we're going to write quirky, off-kilter pop songs" but that was the general feeling, to try to write things that were melodic but definitely off-kilter. And from there we started....I had some friends who at that time were more musically advanced than I was, and they were really into playing at odd time-signatures, so from hanging out and playing music with them, listening to what they did, I started getting into doing weird things rhythmically. So we just started from there, getting more...not quirkier, but more disjointed.
J.M. - How did the final transformation to the sound of your last album happen?
K.H. - There's a few steps there....Well, once we got Kris we still had Perry playing guitar and Jerry was playing drums, and at one point Kris said that she wanted to leave the band, she had a lot going on with her personal life and she didn't want to try to play music at the same time. So she left the band and we asked Sarah to start singing with us. Then, after a few months Kris decided to come back, we asked Kris to come back so we could record those old songs for the cassette tape that we did, and so we got together, practiced those old songs - at that point we were a five-piece - and we recorded the cassette. Then, Perry decided to move to New York, to pursue his goal of being a dancer, and make a living dancing. So Jerry went back to playing guitar, and we got another drummer, wrote some songs, and recorded our first record. It was sort of at a transition phase, we hadn't really jelled between what we were doing before...we sort of started to progress but we hadn't really jelled in that progression before we recorded the record, so it sort of came out at this half way point. Then that drummer quit the band, to focus and get really serious about school, so we tried having Sarah play drums, but after we got to the point of being pretty tight to having to go back to someone beginning on drums, wasn't really working out for us, it was just stressful. We started looking for a drummer, and at the same time Geoff had heard about us from a friend of his, that we were looking for a drummer. So he was calling us at the same time we were trying to get a hold of him - we were chasing each other around in a circle at the same time - and eventually we got together. Played a few times, and it just worked out great - he brings an element of subtlety and jazziness that really has lifted us up, helped us to mature with what we're doing, be a little more subtle. And to improvise more, because he's really fluid, and with that fluidity....we're all into this frame of mind of improvising, at this point.... So that's how we got where we are now.
J.M. - So are the songs that you produce now largely improvisation, or are they more planned?
K.H. - The last record's songs were very planned. At this point we're doing a bit of both. Jerry started the main songwriting at this point, he'll bring songs to practice that he's written, and so we'll work on those until we have a song, but also I'll bring ideas to practice and we'll jam on them and improvise around them, and we'll sort of hammer those into songs, as another means of getting songs. Or we'll improvise at practice, and sometimes we'll get songs out of that. Sometimes at practice or on stage we'll just improvise, and maybe never come back to it.
J.M. - You're going to Eastern Europe, is that right?
K.H. - Yeah. I'm a college student, graduating - this is my last semester - and I'm doing this photojournalism major and history minor. I want to make a living as a photojournalist, working for magazines or whatever, and as I've been doing the minor in history I've gotten really interested in the Balkans and Eastern Europe, because their history there is so convoluted, and so....between the various empires, and the Russian Empire, and all the things that they've done in the past 2000 years, specifically in the past 100 years, it's become a pretty convoluted area, as you see in the war in Yugoslavia - ex-Yugoslavia. As I studied it I've gotten to this point where I keep reading about it and I can't imagine what it's like there, I'm boggled by what I read. At one point I just decided that I should go there, and see it, and try to be a photojournalist - try to document it - but also as a person interested in history, and culture, just go and see it. It seems so weird, and so alien. I decided, now that I'm graduating, to go for 6 months, and take my camera, try to set up and do some stories while I'm there, try to sell some stories and just live there for a while. Try to take enough time to get to know what it's really like there, meet people, and see how they experience it, get to know there lives.
J.M. - When did you start your photography?
K.H. - About three years ago. I transferred to State from Laney...(Jerry chimes in) Laaaaaney College! And I decide almost randomly to do journalism as a major. I thought History and I thought English, and I decided that when those weren't working I'd give Journalism a go. I decided to do a photography class while I was there for fun, just to learn how to do it. From the moment I started taking it I really enjoyed it, and just got more into it over time. The first couple of semesters were pretty rough because I wasn't very good at it, but as I started developing, and getting decent pictures here and there, I started getting really excited about it, and thought that if there's any way to make a living doing this, and sort of use it as a means to explore the world, and to meet people and get into situations I wouldn't otherwise normally end up in, that would a really cool to be able to do. To see the world, explore the world, and at the same time maybe eek out a living - I don't know if I'll be able to do it, necessarily, but that's the goal.
J.M. - Would you rather eek out a living and maintain your values, or do something which you don't really care about, and make lots of money?
K.H. - I'm not very good at doing things that I don't care much about. This is going to sound funny, but it's hard for me, if I don't have much interest in doing something, I'm so lazy that it's really hard to get myself to do it, at all. It would be hard for me to do something that I didn't really care about for very long. Unless the money was so good that I could do it for a while and then stop, do what I wanted to do. I've never really been in that position. The basic answer is that I rather eek out a living do what I wanted to do, because it would be a lot more fun. Just on an explorational and hedonistic level, I'd rather be poor and able to travel and see things that I really want to see, than be wealthy and stuck in the Bay Area.
Fibulator can be reached at 3871 Piedmont, Box 102, Oakland, CA 94611. Besides being a really cool bunch of folks, they're one of the best bands in the area, period. This interview is meant to serve as the exhaustive primer on Fibulator, not a factoid-filled press puff-piece designed to move units. Do yourself a favor and pick up a copy of [drankfromtheasphalt], preferably on vinyl (the extremely limited hand-painted copies still available) which is one of my favorite recordings, period. Specifically, "her hair all one thing", "where do you think I'm from cowtown", "sandwiched" and the simply resplendent "horace hemlicke" should prove once and all how wonderful music can be when trusted to individuals who really care about what they're doing, and aren't afraid to experiment. Kris and Sarah have voices not to be missed, bouncing off the ceiling one minute, growling underfoot the next, while Jerry and Ken groove into a sonic oblivion, Heco's woodwinds and Geoff's masterful drumming adding structure to the mass that seems on the verge of flying off the stage and into the audience. I first saw them quite by accident at 924 Gilman St. for the Infoshop benefit show, and after finding myself mesmerized by their set, all I could say when asked by my friend about the show was that "Fibulator's really cool." Their show at Merchant's Saloon in Oakland only verified this point, and as I took notes during the songs, grasping for lyrical fragments amidst the beauty of it all, I knew I had found an honest to god "favorite local band" to champion wholeheartedly. After snagging some tapes of their 1st and 3rd and playing them to death, I was amply prepared for the fateful night at Bottom of the Hill in S.F., where the interview took place. If you weren't at any of these shows then repent by buying some of their cool stuff, so you can be prepared when they start touring again.
Fibulator's newest CD, [unhammerlike], was one of my favorite records of 1995. You can get it for $11 (or $7.50 for cassette) from Sillybird Records, P.O. Box 14604, Berkeley, CA 94712. Make the money out to "Ken Stockwell". Also see the fuck review, not to mention the [Oakland Yak] for what Geoff's been up to lately.
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