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.

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