Screamers interview, Flipside Magazine #8, March 1978

(Note: some spelling and grammatical corrections made for sake of clarity)

screamers interview a la flipside

TOMATA: This isn't going to Sweden is it?
F.S.: Yeah! And Denmark, Poland, Japan. Oh, yeah and the coast of Czechoslovakia!
T.: How come you guys changed your format? You made it bigger.
F.S.: We couldn't afford the little one anymore.
T.: It looks so good.
F.S.: Did you ever see the movie A Boy and His Dog?
K.K.: I wanted to see it. Mr. Kimble from Green Acres was in it.
F.S.: What did you think of the Screamers in it?
T.: I didn't see it.
F.S.: What's the idea behind your band?
K.K.: A boy and his dog.
F.S.: If you guys were Chinese, would you change your name to the yellers? (dead silence) Oh, you don't think that's funny huh? How much thought is put behind your band.??
T.: We're constantly putting thought into our music and it shows in our displays and style. It's a constant work effort the idea behind the band is progressing you know, umm what wer're doing now isn't what we'll always be doing. We like to think that we'll be constantly changing. In a year from now, I would'nt want to be doing the same music, words and things it's hard to tell, some people say we're trendy. I like to see us grow like everything else around us. I would like to be universally liked, or universally disliked. No middle crowd.
F.S.: Isn't that hard to do?
T.: Yes, it's very challenging.
F.S.: Okay, how many of you guys went to art school????? And took jazz dancing? (to Gear) I heard he was a dancer, and you look like on on-stage.
T.: Gear's a dancer, but I've never been one. yet. I'm unconscious of those moves.
K.K.: I studied dirt in school.
F.S.: What school?
K.K.: At an agricultural and mining school in Oklahoma.
F.S.: (to Tomata) So what town did you grow up in?
T.: In New York.
F.S.: Really?
: Yeah.
F.S.: When did you move to L.A.?
T.: About a year ago.
F.S.: When you went to high school, you go to Garfield or Montebello High?
T.: ............... ...... ... I don't want to answer............
K.K.: Oh, come on, you went to school somewhere. you were born, you had a mother, you did grow up.
T.: I went to Montebello.
F.S.: how were your roller skates?
T.: I went there too.
F.S.: Were you a cholo?
T.: I was more of a beaner.
F.S.: What kinds of bands played the Montebello Ballroom?
T.: Bands like the Midnighters...too funny.
F.S.: You didn't think I knew that.
T.: No, I'm trying to forget those years.
F.S.: It's no big deal, cause we're right next door to where you used to be.
T.: Yeah, Whittier, Quaker territory.
F.S.: When did you go to New York?
T.: When I ran away from home. I was born there, then we moved out here and I ran away and went back there when I was seventeen.
F.S.: Well, how long were you there?
T.: About three years. Then I traveled around and went back.
F.S.: why don't you guys make a record?
T.: Who wants to make a record?
F.S.: Why don't you do anything with Dangerhouse?
K.K.: They haven't approached us. I'm no longer with them.
F.S.: How come?
K.K. We decided 6 people couldn't run it as efficiently as 3 people could. It's now Rand, Black Rand and Black David.
F.S.: Why are they all black?
K.K.: It's hotter in the valley.
F.S.: So what's going on with the Randoms?
K.K.: There is no Rand-oms.
F.S.: Melody Maker said they were the best band in the Dangerhouse.
K.K.: That's not saying much. Pick one out of four. What do you do?
F.S.: It certainly wouldn't be Black Randy.
F.S.: (to gear) You're certainly quiet over there?? You haven't said one word yet.
GEAR: I haven't heard anything worth responding to.
F.S.: O.K. we want to clear the air 'cause your name has been dropped in every coffee shop after 3 a.m.. In the area. What's the story on you and Amber??
G.: Well, she said she wanted to pay for for me to go to San Francisco. So we flew up and came back and that's it.
F.S.: then all the stuff she said about you being a good fuck isn't true?
G.: Well, it may be true. But I haven't had any intimate engagements with her.
F.S.: That's the big rumor around this town we wanted to clear the air. We can't start all the rumors.
K.K.: Can we start some?
F.S.: How about the Screamers album on Dangerhouse?
K.K.: You like that one?
F.S.: You guys been approached by anything?
K.K.: I was approached last night.
F.S.: Record companies.
K.K.: All the time.
F.S.: Have you ever thought of playing in New York?
T.: Yeah, we'll be playing there at the end of this month, or the beginning of next month.
F.S.: Do any of you have jobs? Where do you get your money? (long pause where they keep shooting "should we tell him?" glances back and forth)
G.: None of us have jobs.
F.S.: What do you live off?
T.: Street corners.
F.S.: You're lyin'. What kind of job you got?
T.: This is rediculous. Save it for the Wierdos.
F.S.: You like the Wierdos?
T.: They're fun.
F.S.: That's a harmless answer.
T.: So, do you think your magazine's better than Slash?
F.S.: No. Yes.
T.: I do.
F.S.: Well, they got better layouts, better print, better graphics, better pictures, more distribution.
T.: You broke those windows.
F.S.: We didn't!! X-8 and Black Randy did. Black Randy ran away so our whole magazine got blamed. Just for what two drunk Mexicans did. Just 'cause one of them belongs to us. Gear? Where'd you get training as a ballet dancer?
G.: I was with the Royal Ballet. I'm not a jazz dancer. (pause) This is the worst interview I've ever been on.
K.K.: You said that before. You're getting as bad a Tomata saying "this is my favorite band."
F.S.: Why do you think we're assholes? It's obvious you do.
: You're wasting time. I mean, if you're going to do an interview, you should have a good reason to do it. You obviously want to sell your magazine. So if your going to interview these jerks, it will sell.
   Who wants to read about what we say? It's wasting their time and ours.
F.S.: okay, what do they want to read?
G.: I don't know. I'm not in the business of putting out a magazine. What I'm trying to get at is your readership. Why do you put out a magazine in the first place? You want to tell them something about music? Bullshit. Is it a gossip magazine? I'm just curious as to see what's so sellable about your magazine?? Why would anyone want to buy it?
: In other words you can't figure out what we're selling, and so you think we're assholes because you don't know why we ask the questions.
: no.
F.S.: Then what makes you think this is such a horrible interview? What makes you think we're assholes?
G.: Aside form the fact that you are..........
F.S.: Besides that, put that aside!!
G.: Oh, it's a waste of time to talk about this!! Amber... and what ever else.
F.S.: You don't know how many times your name has been dropped as having fucked her a million times !!!You're her boyfriend!!
G.: I don't care.
F.S.: Everyone else does and that's partly what sells us.
K.K.: You can't deny having said National Enquirer is one of your favorite magazines.
F.S.: Now we've got two sides to the story. She says she's fucked you, and you say you've never touched her.
K.K.: Bullshit!!
F.S.: Now we have three sided.
G.: Unless you're going to sensationalize it, it's worthless. Unless you're going to put a big headline that says I've never touched her.
F.S.: What do you think of Amber?
G.: She's about as neurotic as most Jewish girls. She's a nice person. I don't dislike her by any means.
F.S.: How much writing do you do for the band?
G.: We all work on the words and music, we'll steal stuff. We do a Germs song.
F.S.: How long have you been playing keyboards.
G.: Two years. I originally played piano for the Tupperwares. They went through several personnel changes. Tomata and I were always the same ones towards the end. We just had a synthesizer, rhythm generator and a bass. We try to get someone who knows us, otherwise our sound gets destroyed. In the Germs song, we do use the rhythm generator to sound like Lorna Doom, Bobby Pyn and and whoever is the drummer for the week. When we heard Sex Boy, we were so amazed. cause it portrayed Gear and Tomata so well. He really is a prophet, Bobby Pyn.
F.S.: How'd you guys like Devo?
K.K.: They're just like any other band. If you see em too much it wears thin.
F.S.: What do you think of reggae?
ALL: I hate reggae!!!!
F.S.: We do too. It sucks!
K.K.: Reggae is so slow people can pretend they're hip. They sit on their ass and talk about their ass.
T.: You should be careful, you just shot down a whole country.
F.S.: What's so good about Jaimaica anyway? (to Gear) Still bored?
G.: Look at it this way. You don't like to drive all that way to see a lousy band. It's the same with us.
F.S.: What it amounts to is we don't know your background, so you're safe.
T.: What's with this background stuff? I don't quite get it.
F.S.: (lash) Everybody in L.A. has an image they're trying to project, and a background to protect. It's funny, pointless, but real. He's safe. We don't know his background. he can sit there on his fuckin' throne with his crown on, and tell us how fucked we are cause we don't know how he jacks off in the shower five times in a row. Let's face it, we don't know your fucking background. That's why you're acting so fucking superior!!
K.K.: How long have you known him?
F.S.: Since X-8 started balling Amber.
K.K.: So ask him that.
F.S.: We did. Since we're obviously doing such a lousy job, and you must know a superior form. Ask yourself a question, and then answer it.
G.: The question is, when will this interview be over. And the answer is... now!
F.S.: That's as stupid as all our questions! See, you're just as horrid as we are.
T.: You're such an equalizer.