Friday, June 12, 2009

Virtually Head To Head With Hooch From The Matadors...

Sometime back Kerry n’ Chloe at Rebel Music over there somewhere in Canada Town sent me the new Sweet Revenge release from the mighty Matadors( ), who’d be-smutted me a coupla years before with the top-heavy, full-house Horrorbilly 9000. Asking after interview possibilities I threw caution to your sins and spent some quality hack-time realizing that sending the fucker some questions might be at least faintly entertaining, if not kinda amusing and instructive. You should incidentally read the last question of this interview which made me realize Satan can tickle you from, like, y’know ten thousand miles away - Drop by, I dunno if he’ll sort out the shit with your boss, though a sicknote from Hooch would surely rock, and might even make that lass down the way arrive daily at 3 o’cock. Great big whisky to Hooch...

So El Hoochio, being the incandescent surveyor of all you cannibalise & calamitise, any offerings of scorn or succour to pour on the various strains of supposed Satan-incurring horrorpunk, sickabilly same old same old bands. Naming no names, of course, but like Canada’s own Gutter Demons ( ), The Meteors, Wednesday 13, goths like Fields of The Nephilim or the obviously Satanic Cradle of Filth, for they boast of smoking the crack, or the quite fabulously damaged hordes of black metallers – or are they a Clockwork Orange style state-plan to stop them raping & gut-bestialising the inmates of nursing homes, and most likely their own homes in spates of random Scandinavian band-cannibalising?
Why don't you ask a longer question?... any words of scorn for these bands? Fuck no. I don't really care what they do. The only words of scorn I have for The Gutter Demons would be "I wish to fuck you never stopped".
Canada does not have a lot of great bands and The Gutter Demons were certainly one of the greats.. and now they are gone and that is a major disappointment to me. As for the other bullshit bands you mentioned... Do I support them because we are somehow united in the service of Lucifer? No. For one thing, most of these bands you mentioned sound like they have Cookie Monster on vocals and I find that hilarious. How can you REALLY take that very seriously (not that you are supposed to take The Matadors seriously mind you)? As for Black Metal...I think if a lot of these guys got out of their parents basements for a little while and got some air they might begin to feel better. Take a break from your D+D campaigns fellas, go outside, kiss a girl...
Short q! – The Matadors started before the general resurgence, or glut, of self-same horrorpunk. Always some great stuff amidst the detritus but do you think you were instrumental in this current crop, or rather due to the clone attack, maybe detrimental would be better? Any bands whose swagger you’d ask after?
I KNOW I was instrumental in this new nasty rash of bands. This is the price you pay for greatness I suppose.
What I find a little embarrassing though: since I created the term Horrorbilly in 1998...there has been a huge wave of bands using that term to categorize themselves, In a sense they are saying "we are like what The Matadors are..." And frankly, these bands are nothing like us. I coined that term as to not be lumped in with shitty bands but then the plan backfired when OTHER shitty bands lumped themselves with us... You can't fucking win out here.
Ok, so when indeed did you come to realize this rock thing was true? Was it a case of devout parents or perhaps too much acid while Sabbath 4 & Buttholes played…? What set the young hooch to hollering?
I was raised on a steady diet of blues,traditional folk, country,bluegrass and whatnot by my hippy parents as a kid but had always yearned for something more.
When I was about 10 or so I happened upon Carl Perkins and it really opened my mind about what a guitar's role could be in music. If you go to my website and read "The Mysterious Rise of The Matadors" you will better understand what happened next.... To sum up: I was approached by The Lucifarian Brotherhood of Baphomet and asked to trade my soul for super-human powers on my guitar and total control over any audience...
But as for early influences, my big heroes were" Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, Freddy King, Buck Owens, Johnny Horton,Screamin Jay Hawkins, and then a neighbor kid and his parents moved from California down the street from me and he had hundreds of records and a subscription to Maximum Rock and Roll...It it set me on my ear. I was then exposed to The Misfits, TSOL,The Damned, Crimpshine,Minor Threat...this woulda been '84,'85... I have not been the same since.
If the devil has all the best tunes – took his time finding em, mind - how comes there are seemingly few biker bands? I mean, I don’t think we’re missing ‘em (besides the mighty Hammerlock) but they can’t be all bashful. And the Stones were allowed to do Satanic Majesties, lest that was just to show he didn’t need no sympathizing…& then there’s Cradle of Filth & Deicide…
Actually, there are tons of these bands out there but it can be very dangerous for your health to talk about motor cycle enthusiast clubs. I don't think these bands are bashful at all. I just think that most music journalists are smart enough to know what to fuck with and what not to...hint hint.
So new album Sweet Revenge details & was recorded amid some mountains of egregiosity that has been shovelled on your stash the last few years. Never having done sweet revenge how’s it tasting so far? Any pointers? Is it really so sweet or any god-fisting taste you want it to be cos you earned it?
Getting your sweet revenge on those who have fucked you over is a really great feeling. My suggestion to anyone who ponders the idea of getting revenge is: Do it. Wait long enough to get a sure fire plan together and the exact your revenge with impunity. I wake up with a smile on my face when I think of the revenge machine that I currently have rolling now...its just been great. Two of the parties I set out to get even with I have left their lives totally empty and with almost of no way of setting things right for them again. This is extremely satisfying to me. I cannot tell you what an incredible sense of accomplishment this has given me in my life.
There is a third party that is slowly and painfully unraveling before our eyes right now as I write brings such joy to me.
I think a lot of people (and i was certainly one at the beginning) wrestle with the idea of revenge. People think "...should I? will I feel guilty later?...what comes around goes around....If I just wait, won't karma take care of it?"
The reality is: karma may or may not take care of things but, wouldn't you feel a lot better KNOWING that you took care of it yourself? And as far as guilt goes... the sense of pride you will feel of fucking over someone twice as hard as they have fucked you over will TOTALLY outweigh any speck of guilt you may feel are going to have to trust me on that one.
So what happened, label and ex-band members? Seems from web & sleeve notes twas a betrayal across the board? Do the songs have a revenge hex? Are they not treading on slippery floorboards at crossing you? Would you go as far as that Norwegian band & eat ex-members or desecrate their families with intestinal extracts for their mantelpieces & parents’ hairpieces?
What happened was: I had this one player for a few years...who was JUST that: a player nothing more. This guy was barely able to string two words together let alone write a song....needless to say he never wrote any in The Matadors. While The Matadors were going strong he started this awful prog-folk band as a side project and I mean this was AWFUL!!...
In the adverts for this band he would write "featuring members of The Matadors..." I found this insufferably embarrassing. So I gave him the choice to either be fired or to respectfully bow out. Now he embarrasses himself doing other things musically. Sometimes, you can convince people to carry out your revenge on themselves without them even knowing it but, it takes a very adept hand to achieve this effect.
What’s the rockin’ / billy / punk lalalalala scene like in Ontario / Canada at present? Tell us about the brilliantly named Legendary Klopeks (The Matadors do their Bush Party Handjob on SR), if you will?
The Billy scene in Canada is a ok I suppose....I don't know really. When you are this high up its hard to see what's going on so far below. I find most of it pretty disappointing when I go out to a show. I see these guys up there playing guitar and bopping around talking about graveyards and boppin with their babies...etc and I am blown away how inept they are on their instruments. It's sad really because I know they are really trying but, it's terrible. It doesn't help they get up on stage looking like they just got off work at a local recycling plant either. I mean there is Hooch on guitar....and then there are no challengers. TLK are great I go way back with them. Just a great band and great guys all around. If you get a chance to see them live you really should. Although sadly, they have really mellowed over the last few years there are still worth seeing.
Are you feared, revered or seen as a pretentious spanner like the Goths with their fangs & red contact lenses? Do you consider yourself evil & self-serving or just-a trying to be true to yourself in a necessarily cruel world, as you seem pretty damned principled – (in your own way)?
I find that mostly people are just jealous of me and frankly they have every right to be. At this point in my career I just get out there and do what I do and say what I say and I do not make any apologies for any of it.
I think the difference between me and any other "billy" band that is TRYING to make a name for themselves in Canada is: I don't give a fuck. I'm not trying to impress any label or win any popularity game or say the politically correct thing. I don't bend over backwards for corporate sponsors I run everything grass roots, no managers, no agents, no major label-mined ass-kiss douchebag representation on either end of any of my products at this point....I fired all those people.
You will not see The Matadors on any corporate suck-off events like warped tour (and believe me we get asked all the fucking time) you will not see us licking sack and trying to be a support band on some major label band's tour. Check my road record and you will see that every tour The Matadors have done....WE have been the headliner. Not a lot of bands can say that.
I have never used someone else's steam to gain momentum for this band....EVER. I do not owe anything to anyone! I see a few bands right now that got their eye on what they think is the brass ring but what they do not realize is: from this distance it may LOOK like a brass ring but in reality when they get up close....they will find that its not a brass ring at all but rather, a bloody asshole....their OWN bloody,stretched, lacerated and repeatedly raped bloody asshole at that.
There is this new trend where bands are signing to a label but then the label owner is ALSO their manager... does this seem like a bit of conflict of interest to you? I mean normally your manager goes to your label guy to get stuff FOR you....and asks to see the books etc. Now, these guys are the SAME guy....AND this same guy ends up owning a piece of your merch?!?! This is like getting fucked in ALL holes at the same time. Does Hooch want that?...
No. No he does not. Because i'm way fucking smarter then that. Here's the kicker:I have never taken a dick in this industry, I have never fucked anyone over, I have NEVER compromised one fucking iota and yet I out sell every one of these bands by a long shot....proving: you don't NEED to be a filthy,groveling douchenozzle to get somewhere.
Was there a conscious intention to bring in some slower elements on this album? y’know the more country stuff like the intro to opener That’s How She Died, closer Lied, Texas blues That Kind Of Love and the Southern butt-scuttler If You’re Gonna Bitch (I’m Gonna Drink) you obviously know your shit, was it just the way it goes or did you feel you’d stamped the more psycho edges on ‘Horrorbilly 9000’ & taken that to it’s darkest place…it does bring to the fore the lilting Mexicali / sorrowful, almost Everlys & Roy Orbison melodies that swoon through all your stuff, but makes it all the more seductive.
Horrorbilly 9000 was balls out from the the get go and it does not let up from start til finish basically and that was cool for sure but I wanted to make this record bend and move a little more. I did not want another record that was a flat line. I have the next record already mostly recorded and its more similar to HB9G then it is to Sweet Revenge in that its fast, heavier, darker and hilarious but don't expect to see that one for a little while. The thing with Sweet Revenge was: there was this huge rash of what I thought to be really boring,cookie cutter,run-of-the-mill, just-as-you'd-expect 'billy records that came out there over the last year or so and I hated it.
Here's a genre that supposedly has its basis in roots music and yet not one of these retards know a fucking single thing about this music they are supposedly referencing. I thought I should give the kids a lesson in music history a least from MY perspective. My hope was (and is) that kids will listen to these musical idioms that I am referencing, trace it back and do some research. Then maybe, just maybe they will find Buck Owens and Little Walter and then that music will become THEIR music.
This way when a kid goes to HMV my hope is that instead of picking up a Tiger Army record he/she picks up a Merle Haggard record. Then perhaps future generations will no longer be inundated with shite music... I see a LOT of "rockabilly" bands around these days and I ask them who their main influences are and almost as though like robots they all say "Stray Cats".... which is fine....I guess but, why not get off your lazy corn-fed asses and take a look at what Stray Cats listened to, to become Stray cats? That goes for your current wave of lame-assed "punk" bands.... When your punk history goes back only as far as Greenday's Dookie record.... You are drawing from too shallow a well to be worth listening to and go fuck yourself. I mean it.
Stop taking a passive role in what music you put in your ears. Do you like Johnny Cash? What did he listen to to become johnny cash? What did Hank hear to make him hank? Most of these cocksuckers are not EVEN trying.
Given that some of your more puerile lyrics have been picked up on (eg, the rather succinct ‘You got fired from your job cos you look like a drunk maggot / It turns out your best friend’s a faggot’) do you think (or care) that new listeners would be surprised, given the genre, at the amount of soul, spirit, passion there is in Matadors songs, even something as, on face value, typical as I Love You When You’re Dead?
It's weird, I never really think about new listeners. I have caught SO much shit about that line in Faith in Booze that I don't even know where to start with that really. I have a lot of college and university stations refusing to play the record, i've had people demanding that I do radio edits for these songs...And frankly, these people can eat shit as far as i am concerned.
I took parts of that song from a real life story of a friend of mine who was having one bad thing after another happen to him. First, his girl was preggers and it came out that it was not his and they got in a big fight about it and then she kicked HIM out!... if that wasn't bad enough he went over to good buddies place for place to stay and support.....well, this buddy of his and him end up getting wasted and the guy tells him that he's in love with my friend loses it and beats the fuck out of this guy and ends up going to jail for the night on an assault charge.
That's when he called me and made his bail.
Now, if people have a problem with my terminology for homosexual when I say the word "faggot" in that song....too fucking bad. I am not sorry. I don't care. This is not a term of hatred but if you want to think it is so you can feel further marginalized or so you can take up the cause of human rights or whatever....go the fuck ahead. But that aint the case. Go fuck yourself.
Im also getting my balls busted about "if you're gonna bitch...i'm gonna drink" where I tell my wife to "shut yer fucking mouth" Apparently that is sexist and/or misogynist... but in reality, who has not told their significant other to "shut the fuck up"? I bet even faggots are guilty of this....HAHAAH!!!! But seriously, everyone needs to take a shit and relax. I Love You When You're Dead is just a good song thats all. I'm not trying to be fucking Sting or Bono or whatever other piece of shit like that. This is The Matadors The World's Greatest Lucifarian Gospel band!!
Being mates with Big John Bates I assume you be aware of Lightning Beat Man? I have a DVD where he (LBMan) recounts how, after meeting the Devil one night he solemnly declined the devil’s offer of guitar virtuosity, returned a few days later having thought things thru & told the devil to fuck himself so he can do it his way. A guy gotta defer to that, right…?
Yeah me and John are good buddies but I have no idea who this guy is you are talking about but I will have my assistant look it up for me. This guy sounds like a damn fool to me though but what do I know? Furthermore, I don't have to defer shit to no man.
Talk of the Devil - Is there an expiry date on your contract, no record company style hidden clauses? I mean, you aren’t a-fearing you’ll end up like Crowley, a preening pathetic old skag infested pederast in a bedsit in the piles-riddled arse-end of England?
There is an expiry date on all of this for sure....As, we were recruited by The Lucifarian Brotherhood to spread the gospel of Lucifer. I sold my soul to Lucifer in exchange for superhuman powers on the guitar as well as complete control over all and any audience. My function is to harvest souls for Lucifer… it’s a great deal. The Lucifarian Brotherhood is an ancient order that goes all the back to the dawn of man. The fact is, they were here long before man as know ourselves now. To sum up their purpose very simply: The world is set to end very soon in fact: december 21 2012 is the precise date. Our goal is harvest as many souls as we can before that date… You see, what most people don’t know is: the universe has been created and destroyed an infinite amount of times. It happens over and over… god creates the universe and then inevitably the design is flawed and shit goes wrong… then he destroys it. What The Lucifarian Brotherhood is trying to do is: stop this destruction of the universe from happening again…. If we collect enough souls for Lucifer the brotherhood will be able to use this soul energy to overthrow god from his place as supreme being and take over… if we fail, then the whole process starts over again. Will I end up like Al? I sure hope not but you never know.
Good show, 9 Shots of Bourbon has one of my favourite ever lyrics, (‘& if you think it’s a sin that I wanna get high agin you can take my balls & place them on your chin’), one replaced on the lyric sheet by a very kind geriatric transcription… - besides my mate’s Kamikaze Death Bastards’ Felch Death Fuck Storm – just wanted to say cheers for that, it makes me grin in the street.
Thanks I'm rather proud of that one myself.
What wins in your rock’n’roll list of misdemeanours? – Chuck eating shit, Jerry Lee murde, sorry, misplacing spouses, Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Yellow Submarine, Fred Schneider interrupting the 52 Girls, Ozzy failing to kill Sharon, Judas Priest suicides, …
I like Gene Vincent killing Eddie Cochrane in a drunk driving accident. That's always been a personal fave....They were in a cab together and Gene is in the front seat beside the driver and Eddie and this girl were in the back....Gene and Eddie were fucked right up and Gene gets it in his head that since he's in the front and on the drivers side...if they were in the states...which they were not, they were in England when this happened.
So he figured should be working the controls so he jams his foot down on the gas and grabs the wheel... laughing his ass off. Then, BOOM! they smoked this other car. Everbody's fine, even Eddie's guitar survives the accident without a single scratch on it....except Eddie...he's dead. Gene fingers the cab driver as the out of control one and walks away scot-free. What a great story....
My friends Paul & Lisa are getting married in Vegas sometime soon, would you care to co-opt the ceremonies? Not all of them…(Hooch advertises his fatherly wares as a marriage personage in the new album)
Yeah sure. Get them to contact me The only thing that I ask for that is specific to a Vegas service is: they pay me in quarters....I like to spend most of my time at The Pinball Hall of Fame when I'm in Los Vegas!!
Cindy Wilson sang ‘The Devil’s In My Car’…with the mongasmic refrain of ‘Ooooh where you taking me devil…?’ - How much of your soul would you need to trade to achieve that???
All of it. The Devil is with you in all your endeavors everyday all you need to do is open yourself up to him and if you sit very still you can literally hear him talking to you....try it.
In fact here's something everyone can do to speak directly TO the Devil: turn your TV to a channel where this is just static, black and white fuzz....make it loud enough so that you can hear nothing else in your house. Get comfortable, and sit in front of the TV and concentrate on hearing and seeing the can even call for him by name if you want. If you can truly clear your mind and focus...before too long you will hear him and mostly likely see images of him on the screen.. no shit.
Hooches heroes? Villains? Historical Character?
Heroes: P.T Barnumn, T bone Walker,Chuck Berry, Ted Nugent, Robert DeGrimston,
Villians: Sting,Bono,
You seem to be a well-versed proselytiser & purveyor of spirits, scuse intended pun, but with mucha mention of whiskey in your tunes, any arcane or otherwise brands you favour? There’s a great whiskey bar in Manchester & also a venue called Satans’ Hollow…- you are invited over the threshold sir!
Right now i'm a fan of Jim Beam Black... this is a sipping bourbon. Honestly though, my preference is beer. I'm a beer guy. Currently in my fridge: Boddingtons and Wife Beater...and not much else.

Stu Gibson

Astro Zombies - Convince Or Confuse

French psycho’s shake a shovel at the overflowing, yawning mass grave of undead ditch-hoggers and squat somewhere between the older school splatter sounds that spawned the progenitors of bonkersbilly and the country-polluting tang left by the recent Frantic Flintstones queasy picnic classic, befitting their mid-nineties vintage. Ploughing some gypsy-punk fiddle onto, um, Fiddling And Picking and their flamenco’d blanching of Margarita, laden impressively with sultry strings, they still keep the sway-ful in faithful mind with some psycho-steamers like Mr. Huricane and Thai Paradise. Some may call that same ol’ same ol’ usual but there’s more here to get the streamers and steins flowing than them now having Long Tall Texan mainman Mark Carew in tow and Hey Gyp featuring The Creepshow’s Sarah Blackwood. The creepy noir of Reality Junky, the garage-surf sleaze of Psycho Bitch Party secrete and caress sand into the skin, just as the stomp through Bang Bang (c'mon, you know the one) flays it, but allay fears of a moronic stampede. Hell, even when they do that they knock off quality quiff-creasers like Changes and Waiting.
Stu Gibson
The Tropics Of Cancer - Introduction To A Rumour

Recently reissued debut collection from Flaming Star drummer and crew of nefarious nice guys,
The Tropics are Flaming Star Joe Whitney and a gathering of London’s kitsch cats and gangster chic underground gutter hounds (including Jake Vegas, Urbane Voodoo Machine P.R. Angel and brother Flamer Huck). This here is a collection of recordings from various speakeasies, cellar casinos and upstairs back-rooms of east-end back-alley boozers from 1992 to 2004. A low-key affair conducted appropriately at street ends so dark everyday folk are wary and speak only hearsay about what goes in the house on the corner...if it’s occupied at all. Restlessly inventive...intoxicatingly hypnotic...a sultry stew flambĂ©-ing the Flaming Stars further into flamenco flavoured Latino bordellos and sweaty oriental opium dens (the rather wondrous and beautifully sung Ue O Muite Aruko which sounds like Geisha girls dancing on rose petals while levitating on flute and xylophone mists)...rounds of cards played, deals shook...suckers shook down in experimental folk lounges of Eno ethereal swinging rags and raging voodoo vibes. Fittingly for such a master-class in midnight mores our first sip is a surreal shiver through Upside Down...yarse, Ms Ross’ disco diva classic magicked into an exquisite mambo jive, hot under the collar vocals whispered like incantations and curses by a private eye straight outta Chandler as the indigenous poison administered by his lap-dancing Laotian goddess takes full effect and heaves-ho the anchor on his hallucinogenic express taking in coconut growing hip-hop from Middle Eastern bazouks (The International Sweet 16 – which has a slightly amended chorus appended on this version), Schnapps soused Germans grimacing in shell-shocked delirium between murderous mortar blasts and nightmare nursery rhymes from a flatlining Brothers Grimm (Trollmors Vuggesang), sassily sardonic put-down Balls To Call – surface sweet as Rosemary Clooney singing a 1950’s TV ad for domestic products whilst delivering an earthy riposte to her handsome chap for not calling – and myriad mordant folk tunes plucked from hillsides, vineyards and decaying farmhouses. Oh, and goth-doggin’ as Bauhaus’ Honeymoon Croon spit-roasts (in the traditional tribal sense) Alien Sex Fiend on Angie! Even moreso than the ‘Stars this is evocative, unceasingly creative and cinematic soundscapery that’d perfectly accompany arthouse noir, Spillane style slick dickery and nocturnal Nosferatu wanderings (see the twitching Tricoteuse). Highly and heartily recommended. Awopbop yerselvises a copy on itunes, Napster or Amazon too.
Stu Gibson
The Chelsea Smiles - The Chelsea Smiles

'I get lost in your face you're such a beautiful mess' - Take You Away

'I like to be alone - please go away' - Nothing To Lose

Armed and cla-clas-class a calamitous with new blowtorch boogie rumbles these fully paid-up, gold-card carrying members of rock’s inner chambers (session-eers, ex-D Gen and Danzig among others - and that's just head honcho Todd Youth) swoop, sashay and sway in a sleek chassis that’d cruise into many a garage, its tough-guy despondency and top cat outsider status polished off with the stadium lick of heroes KISS and the gelignite gristle of Social Distortion. Taut and ready to combust, dauntlessly running the gauntlet with muscles flexed and elastic stretched like roadworn ode to rock On The Run ('Dirty face and pockets full of nuthin'...this lonely life is all I've ever seen'), prowlin’ blues So Low and preenin’ Little Misfit and few haul The Stooges tired TV Eye retread down onto street level, scratching new alleyways and shoving ‘em in linen cupboards causing the KISS schtick to scream out for room service with a few well judged psych passes from the gym class locker room copped off Cheap Trick while closedown weary ballad Broken Lullabies leaves Angie and Beth in airport departure lounges with endless delays and, as on debut 36 Hours Later’s - from where the re-recorded Nothing To Lose comes from - cover of the Dolls’ Chatterbox, here they awopbop The Stone’s The Last Time a plus one to this top-heavy tirade of score power.
Stu Gibson
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