Basic Black #1

Circa March 1978

The Screamers are: Tomata DuPlenty- vocals, Tommy Gear- synthesizer, K.K.- drums, Jeff McGregor- keyboards. We met with the Screamers on a rainy Saturday afternoon. K.K. could not make it.

BB: What did you eat for lunch today?

TG: Raw fish.

BB: Raw fish?

TG: Yes I went to Japanese, my favorite. I had raw fish and rice.

BB: Have you seen Roots?

TDP: I saw the one with Kissy, the one where she spit in the glass.

JM: Yeah, real lame.

TG: You started doing that ever since you saw it.

BB: How important is sex to your exsistance?

TG: It depends on with what.

BB: Aninals or females.

TG: Well, what's the difference?

TDP: Really, what is the difference?

BB: Well one has four legs and one has two.

TG: Yes, but they both have one of something else.

BB: Did vou read Hilburn's review of you at the Masque Benefit?

TG: No I avoided it.

TDP: I read it, yeah.

BB: Are you aware that he called your set the best of all the 20 bands?

TDP: I've alwys been aware of that.

BB: Do you get any thrill from that?

TDP: Oh yeah, sure, sure, sure.

BB: Has anything interesting come of that review?

TDP: Alot of pimps, and alot of sleazy phone calls.

TG: It's a good thing that they didn't print our phone number.

TDP: They night as well have.

JM: The whole world.

TDP: What did you think of the Benefit?

BB: I liked it. The only thing I really didn't like were the lights.

TDP: Friday there was no lighting. The second night there was so much lighting because there was all those Jananese guys that brought their lights.

JM: The Japanese always bring their own lights.

TDP: They were there filming for a Japanese T.V. special.

BB: Is there anyone in the world that you think deserves to be shot?

TG: Yes you, after a question like that, you deserve to be shot.

BB: Do you have a favorite artist?

TDP: I sort of like the girl who does those Mark C. Bloome signs. They're really good, I mean they really get your attention when you walk down the street.

TG: Yeah, those are good.

TDP: And we're sort of interested in doing something like that. He's a great artist, because you're driving down the street and you just see it.

JM: It hits you over the head and you remember it. You know, SHOCKS- $14.99.

TG: Art is a very strange subject to talk about because it's like talking about philosophy. You've got a million philosophers, you've got a million artists. I suppose what an artist is supposed to do is what? He's supposed to respond to his enviornment in a certain way, and definately what we are doing is a response to what we experience and what's going on around us. Alot of bands, alot of music I think is really alienated from the world, or alienated from people's experiences. I guess we're relating ourselves to a certain experience people have. Alot of people won't understand the experience because they won't be able to share it.

BB: What did you think of that interview you did with Search and Destroy?

TDP: Oh that was probably the most fun.

BE: Did you like the interview?

TDP: Oh yes verv much, in fact they didn't like it, they wanted to strike it because we were arguing with them constantly. The Editor of Search and Destroy wanted to strike the interview because it wasn't their usual type of interview, and they were missed because they asked us what type of magazine we like and we said tie like nothing but ads.

TG: They didn't want us to be honest, thev wanted something that would appeal to the intellectual, boring San Francisco crowd.

T DP: They were constantly asking, 'What kinnd of movies do you like? What kind of records do you buy?'

TG: They thought we were a cultural phenomenon so they asked us about culture. So you just have to dish out the bullshit that they want. Then they came over here because they couldn't stand it, they had to have more and more and more bullshit. So they come over here and they followed us around the house with their taperecorders for three hours. I was making the bed, going to the bathroom, you know, it was ridiculous.

BB: Do you find most of the magazines are 'out for bullshit'?

TDP: Well I just think that this is supposed to be such a phenomenon, why aren't the magazines being the same way? Why aren't they trying to destroy the ordinary type of publications, why aren't they trying to be just as creative or just as daring? You know if thev support it, you don't support something by watching it go by--- you become a part of it.

TG: It seems that most of the magazines have the same kind of format for dealing with something that's completely new. They're using and old perspective on a new experience. And like the interview format, you think they could come up with something more interesting than the question and answer. I don't know what, but I'm not a Journalist.

BB: It seems you hate journalists.

TG: I don't hate journalists, I just hate specific journalists. No, it depends on the person. How would you feel if there were these people that were sort of like vampires coming at you, I mean it's like you have to watch out for your neck all the time. They're just coning at you to suck you dry of information, of creativity, or what ever it is that they want from you.

TDP: Most of them don't even care what vou say because they already set the answers that they'll put down anyway.

TG: Right, alot of it is preprogrammed in their mind, and however they're going to portray you is how they're going to portray you. What you have to do is sabatoge their preconceptions you know. And if they think your going to be real smart and real brilliant then you have to be real stupid.

TDP: There is a song we do called 'Better World' and there's a lyric in there, 'Why are we so stupid?', and it really has a kind of double meaning.

TG: I would prefer to talk to an advertising executive than a journalist.

JM: They can be very close to the same thing.

TDP: We practically spend all our time in the supermarket.

JM: What is it? 'They steal food and live in the supermarket.'

TDP: We did an interview for a Japanese magazine and they asked us how did we survive and how did we live and we said, 'Well we usually steal food from the store,' and somebody remarked, 'Oh well we practically live there. So in the magazine the headline said 'Screamers life in a Supermarket.'

TG: Yeah, we have a little tent right in there.

BB: Do you partake in any water sports?

TG: I don't know how to swim.

JM: Volleyball.

TDP: If I drink too much water I get sick.

BB: Tamato, are you doing a movie now?

TDP: I might be up for this part, but I don't know what's going to come of it.

JM: It's good, he's up against a guy that lost an Acadeny Award, and Tamato's never lost an Academy Award.

TDP: Really, I have a big chance. It's great, it's really a good part; I get to go bowling in the movie, if I get it, I get to peel rubber, I get to work in a restaurant, I get to make love to Lee Grant, and Iget to shoot a guy. It will be great-- I always wanted to do that.

BB: Do you want to act?

TDP: No it was accidental. This guy saw my picture in the paper. He's producing the movie and he called up and it's this play called 'Come back Red Rider', and it was a really big play. He asked me to try for the part of Red Rider, it's like a real good part. But I'm definately interested in the Screamers. I would say obsessed.

BB: What's your idea of success?

TG: Success, it canotes the idea that you achieved and then you have it. But I don't think success is something that once achieved you have it, it's something you have to continually work for, or strive for, or what ever it is. I'm never satisfied, so I don't think I'lI ever be successful, you know what I mean, I don't think I'll ever be happy with that. And I'm sort of glad, I mean, I don't think I want to be successful and become...

JM: Stagnant.

TG: Stagnant, and become ossified.

JM: Did you see the King Tut show?

BB: Yeah

TDP: Can you get us tickets?

TG: He came to our show.

BB: What was he wearing?

TG: He was wearing all this gold, it was amazing, but he brought these two fetuses with him.

TDP: Did you know that? When they found him they found two unborn fetuses embalmed in the tomb.

TG: We have them in the refrigerator.

BB: How was it playing at the Mabuhay Gardens in San Francisco?

TDP: We had fun there. The audience there is much older than the L.A. audience, like in their-

TG: 80's

TDP: In wheelchairs.

TG: Most of them are probably going to be dead next year. That whole city, it just breeds death.

BB: Do you guys ever plan to go to New York to play?

TDP: I think we'll go straight to Tokyo, and then to New York on the way back.

JM: I like the Soviet Union tour idea.

TG: Now you can ask some intelligent questions.

BB: OK, here's an intelligent question. Do vou think the Mexicans, as a people, have contributed anything to the world?

TG: Yes definately. They got rid of Cortez.

TDP: I think they probably have the best radio channels.

JM: I heard 'Fernando' in Spanish on this Mexican station.

TG: And Mexican wrestlers, their outfits are great.

BB: Did you write 'She Frightens' about anyone in particular?

TDP: Yeah..... not able to disclose-

TG: Everyone in particular.

TDP: Yeah actually, about everyone in particular. It's more of a conron situation.

TG: I think it's very avant-garde.

BB: What do you think of Disneyland?

TDP: I like Disneyland.

BB: What' s your favorite ride?

TG: No don't tell them please. He likes the ride with the Day Glow paintings.

JM: Alice in Wonderland?

TDP: Mr. Toad.

JM: Mr. Toad's wild ride. I love it.

TDP: It's cheesy.

TG: It's a cheesy ride.

JM: When I was nine years old I wet my pants in Toad's wild ride.

TG: You wait for ever, you go in, and it's over. Everything is spray painted with Day Glow Paint. Real fun.

BB: Where do you think the American Dream lies.

TG: In the gutter.

TDP: The gutter.

TG: Down in the sewer..... Today it's a rather wet drean, I must say