Wax has been touring (with Gwen Mars opening) with
Catherine Wheel on the Wheel's American tour. Having never heard
them play before, I was impressed by their show. This foursome
dresses very cool - I felt like I was in a scene from Pulp Fiction.
If you haven't heard of them, get down to the local cd
store and give 'em a spin. Their songs have high energy, a punk
edge, a taste of ska, and interesting lyrics. I was surprised to
hear their song "Who is Next" played on Pete and Andre's Guerilla
Tennis show one boring Sunday afternoon.
Their album, "13 Unlucky Numbers," is two years old,
having been originally released on Headhunter Records. Now
Interscope has picked them up and released that album on their
label this year. So if you want something new, Wax will do the
RAD got to speak with Burdie Cutlass, bass and vocals,
and Soda, guitar, and they just wanted to talk so I let the tape
player run. If this interview seems chaotic, it's because they
spoke at a frenetic pace and kept jumping from subject to subject
about things they wanted to talk about. Plus we met so many people
during the interview that little informational lines are inserted.
- We just went to a Yankees game.
- How was that?
- We just saw the Yankees play the White Sox, Chicago White
Sox. We were guests of Jack McDonald, "Black Jack," he's
a friend of ours. It was the day that he actually
flipped off the crowd that evening. Have you heard about?
It was in all the newspapers.
- They lost that one, but they've won 10 straight games
- Yeah, 10 games since then. It's almost like our 10 show
streak. We've been doing 10 nights, 10 shows without a
day off. So tomorrow's our day off on our way to
Vancouver. We're on tour with Gwen Mars opening and
Catherine Wheel headlining.
- Can you mention the breakthrough video that was played
- Oh yeah.
- With the man on fire? It was the "California" video.
- Have you ever shot a video with a man on fire?
- The whole video was a guy on fire, Sam Bradley, a
- So why don't you tell us a little about your band? How
did you start, when you got together?
- Loomis is the drummer and Joe Sib is the singer. We've
been together for four years. This is our second album,
"13 Unlucky Numbers." Our first record is "What Else Can
We Do" on Caroline Records.
- We played selections from both records this afternoon.
- Where are you guys from?
- Chicago, but...
- ...we live in L.A. now. Our singer's from San Jose.
- One of our writers wanted to know about your song about
moving to L.A., what's so bad about it?
- "California." It's not bad.
- It's not bad. The song ends with a question.
- Yeah, why did I move there. I think I moved out there
for the sunshine but it turned to be very smoggy. But
I still like it. I'm not from California, you know, why
did I move to California?
- Yeah, but it seems like a big thing moving from Chicago,
home of the great deep dish pie, y'know...
- ...and I haven't had a good deep dish pie in ages...
- well, the song is actually about pizza in California
- (sings) why can't I get a slice of pie, Southern
- ...but we changed it.
- Let's talk about hats?
- Anything you want....do you guys have any major
philosophies for your band?
- I think you can go to a show and have a good time.
You're not going to leave pissed off. We're not
political, we just pretty much write for ourselves to
let some of that ANGST out of us.
- We're very angry.
- No, no, no we're not. I think we're really bored. We're
pissed off that we're so bored.
Wax's roadie came up, and he and Burdie went off to do some
administrative stuff to get into Canada so Soda and I continued
our conversation (on and off the record) till he got back.
- OK. Let's wrap this up.
- What's your favorite canned food?
- Most English bands say canned fruit.
- They're very serious those English bands, except for
- Catherine Wheel is great.
- Catherine Wheel are the coolest English band that's ever
- Catherine Wheel is the only English band.
- It's like Paul Revere and the Raiders.
- They weren't English.
- That was a long time ago.
- It was before your kids time. They were from Boston.
- How would you categorize your music?
- It's hard to explain because it's all things that we
enjoy. Anything from punk rock to Dean Martin. I'm a
big bluegrass fan actually. Patsy Cline, Hank Williams.
Just about everything.
- What kind of music do you like to listen to?
- All morning I've been singing this song "Bad Rule Third?"
by Elvis Costello. I can't remember what record it's on,
but I think it's on Blood and Chocolate, and I have to
find it today or tomorrow. I love Rusty, they're a new
band from Canada. I love Hagfish from Texas. I like the
Everclears that are playing today.
- What do you do in your free time?
- We do laundry. And send boxes home of records that we
- Like old 45's.
- I collect all kinds of records.
- Just any kind?
- Dean Martin
- I collect a lot of Dean Martin. Any Dean Martin.
Then Lee Popa walks up and they introduce us to him. Lee Popa is
a producer with many talents. He is also very amusing and relates
many funny anecdotes.
- Lee Popa now lives in Amsterdam, and he's going to
produce our next record.
- We're going to Jimi Hendrix's studio to record it.
- In NYC. He just produced a single that we played this
afternoon called "No Receipt" that's going to be on the
Mallrats soundtrack with Jason Lee and Shannon Doherty.
We start talking about "Clerks" and quoting funny lines from the
movie. Burdie hasn't seen it yet, but he still continues to quote
lines he's heard. We make him promise to watch the movie this
week. I compare Burdie and Soda to Randall and Dante on the show.
- I like to think of us as Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis.
- You got the styling hair and you kinda look like him.
What do you think?
- I think of them more as Martin and Lewis when they're
off the set. Not Lewis when he's like "Aaaaaoooohh" but
more like, "Hey Dean, you cocksucker, let's drink."
- I have the whole Dean Martin collection. I have the test
pressing for the commercials for the movie "The Caddy."
Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis are saying, "Hey go see our
movie, 'The Caddy,' and Jerry will say, "with a big cock
on it." It was great. They're really drunk and trying
to do advertisements and shit.
- What kinds of songs do you write? Who writes the songs?
- Anything that no one else can play but us.
- I just have to interject right here. What's going on
right now is everybody has a little personal studio with
them on the road. And we've got about 18 songs done.
We're going to try and do 50, and then go make the
- Maybe make three.
- Maybe make three records.
- We're just going to keep recording and make however it
should happen. That's really our concept.
- What's your name?
- Lee Popa. So that's what they're been doing now, so
everybody's been writing together. It's a big
transitional period for the band. I like to think of
myself as the Yoda of the band. It kind of helps to fuse
the musical statements between everybody and help clarify
what they want to do.
- Can you talk like Yoda too?
- Sometimes, we have to put him in a little bag or sack
over his head.
Then an imitation of Canadian government officials ensues as Lee
Popa talks about all the paperwork required to bring in t-shirts
to sell at the shows. He laughs that although Nafta was passed,
there is no free trade.
- So do you want to talk politics?
- No. The only politics I know is "The Politics of
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