Thursday, March 17, 2011

Interview with David of Picked Clean

On the evening of March 15, 2011, the bands Long Pigs, Picked Clean, No Class and Nomos were billed to play 538 Johnson. As usual, in contraire to what Adam Whites promised, the show started two hours late. Out of boredom I interviewed C****, drummer of Nomos. After watching Picked Clean have a kick ass set, I thought, "Interview them as well, Zed." Scott, their singer, agreed to do an interview after the set, but his voice was a little shot so I interviewed David instead.

Picked Clean is a Midwest band based out of Indianapolis. This class of up and coming bands has been labeled as the Midwest Wolfpack. (David described the Midwest Wolfpack as not being, "...a crew or something violent...just coremen who like hardcore.") Scott recently put on My Friends The Pit Fest II in Indianapolis. Twenty punk/hardcore bands, mostly Midwest based, playing from 2 PM until Urban Blight finished their set.

Tonight's show would mark day four of their tour. When asked what food was the best they've had on tour answers such as one dollar pizza slices and calzones were thrown out as possibilities, but David finalized his answer as mashed powdered donuts in the loft of their van. When asked where they acquired such treats, the answer was Dylan (of No Class)'s parents' kitchen pantry in Kansas City. The touring diet for a hardcore band is peppered with the best foods ever. When a bandmate threw out the possibility of a burrito as an answer, David said, "Those burritos were fucking dumb. You disgust me." Tensions were getting high tonight.

Eventually the question of masturbation came up. The inevitable release of liquid tension. When confronted about masturbation on the road I was informed that at the Legion of Doom in Columbus there was a Free Shelf. In this Free Shelf there were condoms and everybody took some. It was on the long haul from Columbus to Albany that Dustin, bass player of No Class, masturbated inside of a free condom. He then "snapped" it "off" of his dick and "threw it in the back of the van among the gear so somebody would find it." And was there any other known masturbation? "That's the only jerking off I know about. Unless someone jerked off in the shower last night." Everybody agreed that he was probably thinking of Neil, singer of No Class, at some point while masturbating. "He's got a real tight ass and a pretty face."

The interview with C**** had to get pulled down (he didn't want it on the was a little too real) but you still get the remainder of the worst interview ever.

Zed: What's your name and what do you do in the band?

David: My name is David and I play guitar in Picked Clean.

Zed: Why is your bandmate laughing when you said that?

David: Because he's a fucking asshole.

Zed: Why do you say that he's an asshole?

David: Because he wishes he could play guitar.

?????: You play guitar.

David: I play guitar.

Zed: Your bandmate put quotation marks around the word "play" with his fingers. Why does he do that, does he not think you play guitar?

David: Because I'm a fucking asshole and just fumble around most of the time.

Zed: So why Picked Clean?

David: We got the name from a Rites 7". We wrote some lyrics around it because we thought it was a cool phrase. It just kind of stuck and we needed to call our band something.

Zed: Yeah, yeah. Did you mess around with alternative spellings?

David: No, no. We're too fucking regular for that shit. It would just look stupid. We don't want to be Piked Clean. We could do the double "e" but that would look stupid.

Zed: Pickeed?

David: Pickeed, yeah.

Zed: Pickeed. Are you guys a straight edge band?

David: Everyone in the band is straight edge, I'm not straight edge. That's not for me.

Zed: Why are you not straight edge?

David: Because...that's a deep question, homey.

Zed: This is a heavy interview.

David: I'm not straight edge problem is not with sobriety, I think the alcohol industry sucks. There's a lot of shit behind that that really sucks but I feel like I operate just fine fucked up. Smoking weed makes me a little less angry most of the get through whatever. I use it like medicine.

Zed: Do you think less of people when you find out that they're straight edge?

David: No, I think it's fucking awesome, it's just not for me.

Zed: If I told you I was straight edge would you think less of me?

David: No, I think it'd be fucking awesome. I think straight edge is cool. I just wish more people thought in depth about straight edge. I think some people think the issue is about sobriety, but there's a lot of fucked up things about drug culture and the alcohol industry in general and I think it sucks that people are so short sighted, that it's about some drunk guy acting like an's bigger than that.

Zed: Yeah, there's something wrong with your personality beyond that if that's happening. I saw that your singer has a Picked Clean tattoo.

David: Yeah, a couple of us have them.

Zed: If I revealed that I had one, what would your response be?

David: I would be shocked as hell that anyone I didn't know liked my band. I would just be surprised. We didn't know what to expect with this tour because our record isn't even out yet. We've done shit in the Midwest but that's all of our friends, so that's just a real small circle. To roll out to Brooklyn and know that someone backs it...that'd be fucking cool.

Zed: They revealed the tattoo and you're ecstatic, if they pull the sleeve up higher and it's connected to a Swastika, what would you say?

David: Uhhhhhhh...that's a difficult question too, man. Swazis. Shit.

Zed: Let's say it wasn't connected to a swastika, let's just say it was connected to the n-word.

David: Dude, we fully fucking condone it. No, uh, swastikas are punk. You can't market a swastika, how are you going to market that shit? There's nothing commercial about that. It'd fucking suck, there's a lot of bullshit attached to it. We're not that serious. No Nazi skinheads like our band, there's not enough oi.

Zed: Would you veer in a direction like that on the record coming out?

David: Not really, we like to keep everything pretty fast. Shit that influences us is all fast hardcore. You know, Deep Wound kind of shit. We play it a little more clean than they did though.

Zed: But veering away from Skrewdriver.

David: Yeah...Skrewdriver isn't even that good. People like to listen to that band because it's funny and racist. It's not that good to look past the racism.

Zed: It's like how some people will say about the Nazis..."The politics are good but I don't agree with what they did. I agree with the anti-Jewish thing but not how they did it."

David: I don't know...I don't understand anti-Semitism, but that's because I'm full of Jew blood.

Zed: I am as well.

David: People is people.

Zed: How did the upcoming record come about with Six Feet Under Records?

David: Dave Sausage played in The Rites...Scott met him out at the Fest. He just started talking to Scott about doing a record. So we put some songs together and recorded them. That dude's cool, he's putting a shit ton of records out for a lot bands that bands that people might not hear otherwise.

Zed: A band like Expire that's in the middle of nowhere.

David: Exactly. I think it's crazy that he's putting Reckless Aggression's shit out, that's cool. A band from Australia. Nobody would ever hear that shit. To have a US release and have it blown up, that's cool shit.

Zed: If Dave Sausage wanted to join the band would you let him?

David: Honestly, if he could play the tin whistle as well as Neil, I'd consider it.

Zed: What's the tin whistle?

David: It's a penny flute.

Zed: So you're saying if Dave learned how to play this particular instrument you'd let him in the band?

David: Yeah, totally. Or a theremin. Theremin or a penny flute.

Zed: And what is a theremin?

David: It's that pitch instrument that you plug into an amplifier that goes, "woooo, wooooooo" and makes different pitches with your hand. It's a little antenna and the closer you get the frequency changes.

Zed: That's got to be a lot easier to learn than the tin whistle.

David: Definitely. He could plug it through our distortion. Fuck that, the theremin is really cool unless it's built into a helmet. If Dave Sausage gets a theremin helmet then he can join the band.

Zed: You guys are selling a tape, what's the meaning behind the name of it?

David: Three Songs? Well, there's three songs on it. It's also the pre-release before our seven inch comes out. The seven inch we're doing has six songs. Our record wasn't ready so we threw three songs from it on the tape.

Zed: But why three? Why not two or four?

David: Three's a great number, dude. I'll tell you why three...I won't tell you why three, man. I'm sorry, I'm really into symbolic geometry and I won't go there with you.

Zed: You have to.

David: No. Three's just the strongest number. You can't beat it. It's birthed out of two circles. One triangle. Three points.

Zed: So if we have to boil it down you chose the name Three Songs because there's three songs. There's three songs because of the two circles and the triangle?

David: No. I think that's how Nomos got their LP cover. No...we just figured we'd give them half the shit. We can't just put two songs on a tape, we want to give them something tasty.

Zed: Of course. And how tall are you?

David: Five eleven. With my boots I'm nearing six two. I've been dreaming of six three. Including the hair, six four.

Zed: What's the perfect height in a mate?

David: Just underneath the chin. I should be able to put my whole head on her head standing.

Zed: A cinderblock shorter?

David: That's a great increment of measurement. Just one cinderblock shorter.

Zed: Why don't you guys write any straight edge anthems?

David: We do, man. Me and Scott work on lyrics together. He writes them and I'll sometimes rearrange them. We always fucking play with it. In Indianapolis it's a pretty fucking common trend, it's probably common everywhere, cats will show up with a forty ounce but have no cash for the show. So shows will end up flopping a lot. In Indianapolis with wavering interest in attendance anyways it's a real bummer to the few people who are actually into hardcore that someone wants to drink instead of go to the fucking show and hang out. So we have a song that's kinda about that. Why did you come out? I understand that you want to drink but that's not what we're doing here. Band got to keep going. You gotta make sure things are self sustaining.

Zed: Gas isn't free.

David: Yeah.

Zed: Why is there a word crossed out in your lyrics for the tape?

David: It was probably a typo.

Zed: If you had to be racist who would the race be?

David: First off I am a nationalist. I just tend to like everything American more than anything else ever.

Zed: But if you had to choose a race to hate, who would it be?

David: Fucking Euros. Fucking Euros, with their white skin and fucking...uhhh, disgusting.

Zed: They're stupid, right?

David: Yeah.

Interview With C**** of Nomos (PART I)

Note: this interview was conducted in February 2010. Keep reading.

Nomos self released the best demo cassette of 2009. Deranged Records was smart enough to rerelease the demo on 7” vinyl soon after. Fast punk/hardcore with feet in the coffins of bands like Cold Sweat and Citizen’s Arrest. What’s in store for Nomos in the future? In this unofficial interview with C**** ****** (name withheld per request of legal repercussions fear) we find out as much information as he is able to to divulge. Of course anal sex and masturbation are discussed. And somehow it manages to be both uncomfortably awkward and awkwardly comfortable. Thanks to the patrons of Orwell Coffee in Bushwick for putting up with this highly intellectual conversation.

Zed: This is the beginning of the interview. What’s your name?

C****: C**** ******.

Zed: And what do you play in Nomos?

C****: Percussion.

Zed: You’re the percussionist, okay. Is this an official interview?

C****: No.

Zed: So, this is an unofficial interview with C**** ****** of Nomos?

C****: Correct.

Zed: First of all for Nomos, do you guys have a manager?


Zed: You can be honest, you don’t have to make up jokes.

C****: Uh, no, we don’t…what is this going on? What are you…

Zed: I’m just asking you if you have a manager.

C****: I don’t want these questions to be on a tumblr with these answers. I’m going to get in trouble with everyone else.

Zed: No, you’re not, if you’re just honest. You can say, “We can’t answer that.”

C****: Don’t use my name.

Zed: Do you guys have a manager?

C****: Can we start over?

Zed: Yeah, yeah, I’ll edit this.

C****: No, there’s no manager.

Zed: There’s no manager?

C****: Do you want to be the manager? Nevermind.

Zed: Could I be the manager?

C****: No.

Zed: Are you guys looking for a manager?

C****: No, we’re not.

Zed: If you guys were looking for a manager, what are qualities…

C****: We’re not looking for a manager.

Zed: But if you were, what would you look for?

C****: Fat guy. Just to keep up with the general fat guy theme. Chest hair. Free drugs and alcohol.

Zed: Are you guys a mysterious band?

C****: Yeah, mystery guy hardcore.

Zed: So you’re…

C****: I don’t fucking know. I don’t like this at all, Zed. I’m going to get in so much trouble.

Zed: Is doing this interview going to get you in trouble?

C****: Yes, it will. I shouldn’t even have…I’ve been in an interview before that got me in trouble.

Zed: What in that interview got you in trouble?

C****: The interview itself.

Zed: There wasn’t a sp-

C****: Although I will say, that compared to the fucking interview that Garrett and Mike did with that Australian zine, mine was so much less retarded.

Zed: But what about your interview got you in trouble?

C****: The fact that there was an interview. It’s not mysterious. Although, I guess Garrett’s answers of the formation of the band were just as fucking retarded.

Zed: How did you meet Garrett?

C****: This is the question that was so retarded that Garrett answered. We met at a show in Brooklyn.

Zed: Okay, we’ll skip this subject. What are the upcoming Nomos plans?

C****: There’s a show tomorrow…in Baltimore. We may or may not play a secret set during a birthday show coming up soon. We’ve got ten songs that we’re going to bring in the studio in two weeks. We’re trying to get some sort of release and then a split tape out of that.

Zed: Can you say what the other band is?

C****: I could say but I’m just not going to.

Zed: It’s allowed? This is public information? Or no?

C****: I’m just not going to say.

Zed: But you could say?

C****: I don’t know…that’s why I’m not saying. If I knew I was allowed to say, then I would, but I don’t know if I can. So I won’t. But we’re touring, we’re doing a weekend with them in April.

Zed: With who?

C****: This band.

Zed: The band the split’s with?

C****: Yeah.

Zed: Who is the band?

C****: I’m not going to say.

Zed: Do you have a guarantee for your shows?

C****: No.

Zed: Do you have a rider?

C****: No.

Zed: If you were to have a rider, what would be your requests?

C****: A thirty rack of beer.

Zed: Thirty rack of beer. Okay. Are you guys a mosh pit band?

C****: No.

Zed: Why didn’t you play the Fucked Up show in Toronto?

C****: I had forgotten that my passport expired a couple weeks before the tour date. The night before, maybe two nights before, in a panic I realized this. Frantically attempted to assemble the required documents to get a new passport. Because I couldn’t just renew it. But it wasn’t possible in the time frame. So, I fucked that up.

Zed: Was the rest of the band mad at you?

C****: Yes. I was in the dog house, I believe the term is.

Zed: Are you out of the dog house at this point?

C****: It still comes up whenever anyone makes a mistake, I can’t call them out because I fucked up.

Zed: Why didn’t they kick you out of the band?

C****: Looks. Because I have good looks.

Zed: Alright, that is definitely going in the interview. What happened in Albany after the show at the house…?

C****: So, this was the last show…or second to last show of our week and a half, however long, twelve day tour. We were in Albany. We played this basement show with some other Albany bands. And we were getting a little wild. Drinking some Joose, drinking some beers. We had recently come back from South of the Border, which is a fireworks place in the South. So we had a shitload of fireworks. Alex, the dude who went on tour with us, lit off a shitload of fireworks during our set in the middle of this basement. That started everyone wanting to light off fireworks for the rest of the night. A couple other bands played after us, we shot off fireworks during them. After the show was over, we went to some party in Albany, the town next to where the show was. I guess this was the weekend before the first day of school. That part of Albany is just college students, it’s purely residential college students. So there’s ton of parties, and tons of bro kids looking to hang out. So we went to some party, someone had heard a band was playing there, and they thought it was a cool thing. So we all went to their backyard, where there were three hundred other people in this person’s backyard, it was jam-packed. Nate…or Mike…just decides to light off a firework nonchalantly. Just throws it over his shoulder. No one knows who does it. This firework goes off. It’s not a huge explosion, but it startles every one. Some dude who owns this house gets on top of some keg and is like, “Who the fuck did this? Everyone needs to get the fuck out.” And this dude with us, Chris who plays in The Men, went up to the dude and sweet talked him. You know, “Yo, that’s bullshit. People shouldn’t be fucking throwing fireworks. How dare they. You’re in a band, we’re in a band. It’s chill if we stay then?” And the guy is like, “Yeah, for sure. You’re in a band, I knew you were coming,” but he had never heard it, he had no idea what was happening, he was just some drunk idiot. Chris knew we were lighting off fireworks, but he just wanted to keep us in there for as long as possible. We keep lighting off more and more fireworks. And it starts to turn into…I don’t want to say a riot…but all these little tiny fights break out. There’s about thirty punk dudes…maybe a little more than that…and the rest of them, a few hundred, are these college frat bros and random people. So there’s fighting starting. It’s kind of turning into punks versus other people, and then all of a sudden a free for all brawl. So we all move out of this house because cops show up. But it didn’t really mean anything, because every house on the block, every house was packed with kids, so the cops couldn’t do anything. I remember going outside and seeing some dude standing on top of a mini van…jumping—-it was like a wrestling move—-elbowing some dude as he jumped—-this is completely serious—-elbowing some dude after he jumped off this mini van. There was some girl who had just been punched by some dude, who’s lying face down on a car, unconscious, who knows what. So we wanted to get away from there because cops were showing up and everybody was getting pissed, realizing we were setting off a fucking shitload of fireworks. Nate went back into the house one more time, because he left something, I don’t even know why he went back in there. He lights a firework and throws it at the kid who’s house it was, or throws it over his shoulder, something happened to that affect. And the kid whose house it was saw this, grabs Nate and puts Nate in a headlock immediately or starts fighting him, doing something. So Nate starts fighting this dude, pummeling him. This dude from Albany, an older dude, comes and starts fighting this other dude. There are a whole bunch of people beating each other up in the front room of this house. Nate’s hood gets ripped off his sweatshirt. I guess he was really bummed that night because it was a good sweatshirt. So we all eventually left and went onto some other party or our own ways for the night. But the crazy thing about that story is, maybe two months later, we get this myspace message from some girl in Albany. And she’s like, “I know some shit happened at a house up in Albany, but I’ve got the hood from a sweatshirt from someone in your band. Where do I mail it?” And so she mailed it back, and he sewed it back onto his sweatshirt. And yet again, he has a hooded sweashirt. But it’s got a sick story behind it. That was Albany.

Zed: What were you doing the whole time?

C****: I don’t get super aggro when I drink, but I really like to yell. So during the fights when anyone would come near punk dudes I’d…I’m a pretty big dude…probably the biggest dude in the group…

Zed: Were you wearing underwear that night?

C****: Yeah.

Zed: Are you wearing underwear now?

C****: Boxer briefs.

Zed: Okay. Keep going.

C****: I would just yell, “Back the fuck up,” as loud as I possibly could at people and seem menacing. Because I don’t actually want to punch a person because I’m afraid they’ll punch me back. But just yelling, “Back the fuck up,” and seeming menacing was good enough. Also, my ex-girlfriend was there, so I was just making sure she wasn’t having anything happening to her that night.

Zed: I think you did the right move. What are the Brooklyn bands that are awesome right now?

C****: The only one I can completely back is The Men. They’re my favorite Brooklyn band right now. Yeah, The Men.

Zed: The Men. You played drums in The Men for a little bit?

C****: I just played drums for them for one set that they played in Brooklyn. I think I’m going to be recording with them in a month or something. And I might be playing a couple other shows with them. When they need me I help out.

Zed: The one show you played with them was a black metal show with a fog machine?

C****: It wasn’t purely black metal, but there was a black metal song. This place we played there was a sound/audio dude who also controlled all these lights and a fog machine. He was really into that. He must be a pretty good musician himself because he was able to hit right when choruses would come in or the music would get huge, he’d hit on a strobe light and a disco ball and pump the fog machine which was cool. Yeah, I love playing with The Men. They’re great fucking musicians, write awesome music, cool dudes.

Zed: What covers have Nomos done?

C****: We cover The Fix. We’ve covered…The Replacements. We cover a Swell Maps song. We covered Agnostic Front for a time. We covered…what else did we cover…

Zed: Nirvana?

C****: No, no Nirvana.

Zed: Descendents?

C****: Yeah…that was our first show. What song was that?

Zed: I don’t know.

C****: Maybe it was the Descendents. I know we’ve covered other bands but I’m completely blanking on that right now.

Zed: You play drums…Have you ever, while practicing or performing, gotten a blowjob?

Chris: No, I feel that would interfere with the music too much.

Zed: Do you think it would be possible to get a blowjob while playing drums?

C****: The question for that is, where would the body of the blow job giver actually be? Because right in front of you, in your crotch area, you’re smashing this piece of wood into a drum. So that’s not…I’ve hit myself in the balls so many times. Weekly, I punch myself in the balls.

Zed: While playing drums? Or no?

C****: Yeah, while playing drums. So I think that’s just a hazard zone. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with someone there because I’d hit them in the face.

Zed: I should’ve started with this question, but have you ever gotten a handjob while playing drums?

C****: That’s more practical, but unfortunately, no.

Zed: If you had to give sex to someone in Nomos, who would you give it to?

C****: Give sex to someone?

Zed: If you were to be putting it in someone.

C****: I don’t want to have anyone else in the band be upset about this. But Garrett and I have a special relationship. He’s currently the worst friend I know. But he’s also a sweetheart. And I think he’d be really nice afterwards. I think we could cuddle and he’d bring me coffee or something.

Zed: So you want to have sex with him not so much for the actual act but for what happens afterwards?

C****: Everything that comes along with it would be great. And I could get through it okay, I think.

Zed: The relationship that you have with Garrett, is it the kind where you finish inside him? Or on his back? Where would you finish?

C****: That’s a good question. This is assuming I’m in the dominate position?

Zed: Yeah, you’re putting it in him from behind.

C****: Okay. See, this is the thing about Garrett. He seems like he might be a punk dude, he’s really not. He’s super straight laced. He’s clean. He’s way into scented candles. I think he wouldn’t like the cleanup associated with internal finishing. He’d probably have some sort of towel next to him. Or he would provide me with a Wet Nap or something I could actually finish in. Which doesn’t sound entirely pleasant, but then again, I’m not doing this for the act itself I’m doing this for the…we can go get a burger afterwards.

Zed: Are you good enough friends with him, where even it wasn’t required you’d reach around and finish him off too?

C****: No…I mean maybe months ago…maybe like a year and a half ago when we were good buds. But he’s so distant these days. He’s not around for me, so I shouldn’t reach around for him.

Zed: That’s totally fair. So I’ve asked you a lot of questions in this interview, are there any questions I haven’t asked you that you wouldn’t answer?

C****: Uhhh…I need to say something here, don’t I. I don’t want to answer any questions about whether you can come on tours with us or not.

Zed: That’s fair enough. Are you looking for someone to go on tour with you?

C****: I need to see where Dennis is.

Zed: For the record, C**** is not answering that question. Who’s your favorite roommate? You have two roommates, which one is your favorite?

C**** talks to bandmate, Dennis, on phone. Interview is on pause. C**** is heard saying, “Just jerk off later.”

Zed: Is he coming?

C****: He has to jerk off or something.

Zed: You’ve played drums for a while, what drugs have you done before playing drums? You don’t have to list them, but let’s just start with alcohol. How did that affect your drumming?

C****: I can’t answer any of these questions.

Zed: You can’t answer how alcohol-

C****: I can’t let this be on any record.

Zed: Not illegal drugs, just alcohol.

C****: I mean, as a twenty-year-old it’s illegal for me to consume alcohol and I’ve never done that.

Zed: We’ll just talk legal drugs. Have you ever smoked marijuana and then played drums?


Zed: Have you ever done that?

C****: I’m aware what the fifth amendment means but I feel if I use that people will just assume I’m saying yes, so I’m just going to say no.

Zed: You’re gonna say no? Okay, have you ever mixed alcohol with marijuana then played drums?

C****: I can’t answer this. You can’t put this on anything.

Zed: Okay, fair enough. Before I asked you when you were on the phone who’s your favorite roommate?

C****: Both my roommate’s are amazing.

Zed: Have you ever heard your roommate’s having sex?

C****: Yes.

Zed: Which roommate have you heard having sex?

C****: I’ve heard you having sex before, Zed.

Zed: How was it?

C****: There was guttural shit…it was very uncomfortable. I was listening to black metal at the time, and it was actually louder than the music, louder than whatever Darkthrone I was listening to. It was just uncomfortable. I don’t know.

Zed: Did you get hard?

C****: I don’t think so. I think I just got bummed.

Zed: Have you ever heard your roommate’s masturbating?

C****: No. I don’t think so.

Zed: Have you caught either masturbating?

C****: I don’t think so. But we might have different definitions of masturbating.

Zed: That’s the interview. Thanks.