I Met The Meat Puppets And Lived To Tell About It
Early December, the Meat Puppets drove in from Phoenix in order to record some tracks at SST Records and perform around town. Chris, Scott, Kelly and I spoke to the M.P.s after a rousing set at Al’s bar. Our talk was very disjointed and extremely entertaining, but don’t count on the interview to help figure out their perplexing and rather demanding form of music/noise.
F.S. : What’s your biggest influence in music.
Curt : Mommy. My mommy made me what i am.
Derrick : My mommy’s heart beat.
F.S .: What gives you more satisfaction, live performance or studio recording?
Curt : I like live performance, except I want to be able to hit people with my guitar. I like it ALL a lot. Most of the time in interviews people deal with “like” and “dislike” and recently I’ve been thinking of things more in terms of “up” or “down.” Today when I was driving here I couldn’t figure out if I was right side up or up side down and i couldn’t figure out how to pull the car over. i lost all my will. My will to drive. My will to steer. Only my motor reflexes were working.
F.S. : How do you feel about your recent recording session on SST?
Derrick : It was wonderful. SPOT’s a real nice guy.
Curt : I like this picture i saw today in this book. It was picture of Charles Manson. It was the only picture I ever saw of him when he wasn’t staring real mean at the camera. They got a picture of him with this guy he went out in the desert to collect lizards and stuff with. You can tell he respected the guy because he was older and he’s got a western belt.
F.S. : How do you like Gary Gilmore?
Curt : He’s dead.
F.S. : Do you think SST is aligned with Manson?
Curt : No way. The recording session was super.
F.S. : And so was the Manson picture. Did you see the interview with Tom Snyder?
Curt : Yeah. i thought it was an accident. It was the only accident that ever happened.
F.S. : I there some deep basis for your music or is it just for fun?
Curt : It’s deeper than we can figure. We hear it the same as you do.
F.S. : What are your vocal influences?
Curt : Almost 23 years.
Derrick : Our main influence is the desert.
Curt : The main influence on my vocals is smoke. I have a natural ability to sing. I was born with that talent.
F.S. : Do you believe there is a God?
Curt : I believe there are many gods.
F.S. : Do cowboys hassle you in Arizona?
Curt : There’s no cowboys there. I am a cowboy.
F.S. : What do you do when you’re not doing music in Phoenix?
Curt : Well – we smoke pot, trade pornographic magazines.
Derrick : Draw pictures, read comics.
Curt : My uncle Jack says that any kind of reaching out is good because there’s no handbook on communication.
F.S. : Thus far, you have played at the smaller clubs like Cathey de Grande, Al’s Bar, and the L.A. Press Club. Is this a choice?
Curt : No. We even get invited to play at notoriously small places like Whiskey A Go Go too. They begged us. They sent us different colored yarns to try and entice us over. They were refused a lot of times. Until they send us enough yarn.
F.S. : ?????????????????
F.S. : What constitutes a good performance for you?
Derrick : Our liking it.
Cris (finally): We came here to play the freeways. With regards to audience, we play it with all our hearts.
F.S. : What is your favorite local L.A. band?
Curt : I can take just about anything. It just depends on what I’ve eaten.
F.S. : Your favorite movie actor?
Curt : Clint Eastwood.
Derrick : Robert Reed.
F.S. : Do you have a fan following?
Curt : Just flies.
F.S. : What’s your favorite food?
Curt : Bee pollen.
F.S. : Who don’t you like?
Curt : It’s too much of a pain in the butt to think about things I don’t like.
(from FLIPSIDE No. 29, 1982)