Steven Perkins; drums Eric Avery; bass David Navaro; guitar Perry Farrell; vocals
Perry: I like when things kind of go to hell.... Al: Did you think that tonight "went to hell"? Steve: I would say so... when the light went out I thought people were taking my drum set into the audience. Eric: It didn't go enough for my liking. Perry: I myself like to see violence sometimes, and then other times I just want things to turn into a great show. To be truthfull, I think every man wants to see some violence. Steve: But not when people start trashing... Perry: ...But at the same time I want to see people into it. I want a reaction of appreciation and letting us do our music. When it gets like that (trashing), the music goes to hell, and that's my first concern. I can't speak for everyone, he likes riots (Steve). I like the tribal, ritualistic thing where people don't hurt each other, but they are moving up and down with each other. I'd rather see that than people turing on each other. A spiritual thing, where people are out of themselves, not inhibited physically -but arn't violating each other... cause that's not productive, the worlds already fucked... Steve: I like to see people let go this much, especially at the University of Spoiled Children. (Ha ha). When people go ape shit that's the biggest complement we could get... Lawrence: Have you ever been attacked on stage? Perry: I have, at Fenders some girls were pulling my pants off! Eric: You must have hated that!! Al: Judging from when Psicom were around (Perrys previous band), this band isn't all that old. Perry: About a year, in this incarnation about 9 months. Could we talk about the state of music and the state of the youth movement? I just thought because Flipside seems to attract a lot of younger people who are searching for identities and is or was predominently hardcore... Al: Well we go for the action, same with you guys. You guys could be playing "hardcore" shows at Fenders and nobody would notice, but instead you seem to have chosen to avoid that and go a more alternative route. And you've become popular. Perry: We could play those shows if we did all of our fast stuff, but that's not all that we do. We'd be cutting ourselves short. Al: But you know those people out there were just dying for you to play that fast stuff. Perry: Yeah... Steve: Punk rock isn't fast or slow, its... David: Just bad! Steve: No, it's an attitude, it's not a speed. Perry: Well it wasn't, but I think it now. "Hardcore"... Steve: But "hardcore" isn't anything like punk rock, hardcore is...what's the word... Perry: Predictable... regimented... Steve: There's a certain code that you have to dress by, and listen to, and that is the opposite of what punk rock is - a state of mind where you can do your own thing, and it doesn't matter what society or any athority figure thinks about it. Perry: I myself am ready for something else. Not different than what I'm doing, but I'm ready for a change in the attitude of the youth. I would like to attempt to start a new attitude slightly. More of getting together, and easing up on each other. It's all got to be torn down again and started over. Everybody is looking at each other with such scrutiny - it's gotten so regimented. I think there is something happening now. Steve: The 60's were a real good learning period for us. We all thought life was beautiful, we had JFK, and things were looking up - we looked at the future optimistically. We are at a time now where we can see that didn't work - it wasn't reality that we all love each other... Now it's a good time for something new to come out because there is a good balence between optimism and whats happening now... Perry: I'm looking for more of a forceful optimism in the decade to come. Like the reaction I want from a crowd is as a community, it's aggressive, but not upon each other. Now they hit each other, what are you going to accomplish when you go to a show and people are hitting you? Lawrence: Do you think there is something you can do to control that? Perry: Yeah. The sound of the music itself. To tell you the truth, I myself have failed a little bit. The reaction I wanted was not to have people turning on each other - but it seems to be a hard habit to break. Especially if they go to a show and hear fast music, they immediatly think "I know what to do here". Eric: Plus when they're slamming they are not paying attention at all anyway... Perry: Yeah, and neither are anybody else because people are concentrating more on the crowd, than the music. The first thing I want to maintain is artistic integrity with the music - but sometimes it falls short in situations like that. We never played standard punk rock beats or standard speed metal beats, we try to go past it. Steve: The bands you play with have a lot to do with the crowd. Perry: I've seen so many bands that just arn't that good, but people are just smashing all over the place. If you've ever seen Fela or gone to a reggae festival, the feeling that they leave with is so much better than that reaction, because people are in such a good mood and they just want to groove. Women are there, guys are there, the feeling is much higher. Lawrence: I get the feeling with the tribal drum beats and the chanting that have some kind of a spiritual value... Perry: Yeah, but I won't get into those... I don't mean like believing in god in that sense but I definitely have ideas grounded in a lot of thought. Lawrence: Like old Pagen religions... Perry: Yeah, more like that, it's closer, it's my own. So I couldn't classify it. I have thought out my life - and I have thought about the stars and the moon... Al: I'm sure you heard people compare you to bands like Led Zeppelin. Is that a conscious influence? David: I've never liked Led Zeppelin ever! (Laughter). Of course there is an influence there, you can't help an influence that you've grown up listening to. It's second nature when you pick up an instrument to play like a particular person but I'm not going to way I'm duplicating it. I think I have my own style. Then again our bass player really does hate Led Zeppelin. Perry: I not going to say that's a bunch of garbage, because we probably do sound something like Led Zeppelin. But I don't sing or look like Robert Plant, they compare me more to Iggy Pop but I don't move like Iggy Pop. BUT, I don't deny the feel. I really do love funk, more than rock. These guys like metal (Eric, David), so that's where that blend comes from, funk and metal, and that's also what Zeppelin was doing. Eric: I wouldn't say I like metal, I'd say rock. 4 years ago I was in a metal band. Perry: I'm more into black music and African music, so the contrast and variety is there. One thing we never play is blues, and that's something that Zeppelin did. Our music has a very hard vein, it's very raw rockin'. So how do you get an intelligent audience out of that? I'm really into the poetry, and the slower stuff, and I'm really into that and I don't want that end of it to drop off. That's what I think keeps this band from falling into the catagory of bands that can only do one thing good. It's easy to make people slam, but it's harder to make them literally enjoy slow, beautiful music. That is a higher art. And to be able to both is very rare. It's kind of like life - you don't always walk around wanting to fight. You fall in love. What are you goig to do, deny your feelings? So if a band can touch every single feeling that you have, then they are for me anyways. I'm in love, you know? Then I feel like I want to kill somebody. Sometimes I want to be serious, sometimes an idiot. All the great bands have touched on all of these and done them well. Al: Have you always sung with the echo or reverb on? Perry: Yeah, I enjoy it... Al: Why do you think it is that you've become so popular so fast? Not only in terms of your audience but with all the attention of record labels? Perry: This is why we wanted to do this interview with Flipside, this is on the record, if you EVER see me do anything different, you can come and fuck me up the ass, man! My artistic integrity and the whole bands artistic integrity comes first. And as far as popularity it can become contrary because... I get nervous sometimes because of the popularity, but it is popular and I'm not going to slow down. I've never gone to be a comercial guy, and never have gone out to try to get the record companies to fall in love with us. I was in Psicom for a long time (that basically fell apart because of religious beliefs), and I was underground, I put my own record out. But this band is way more popular, and I don't want people to think we are not street credible because something might happen in a big way with money. I've basically been a street kid all my life. But wait till you see what we do with our money, it's gonna be really creative as far as helping people. The rock star shit is fucked. I hate that shit. People come up and think "rock star" because we're getting popular, fuck that shit. Al: Well popularity means having to deal with people like the girl at Fenders tearing your pants off, how will you deal with that? Perry: You just go, fuck it's a pretty good gift, and you suck up everything you can like a fountain, AND you give it back as much as you can. I feel if I get lucky and get a bunch of money then I can start to push my money around in the right spots. Maybe we can become friends with some political leaders... Kids hate people with money, because the people with money are the ones that are fucking them up - so why don't we get a bunch of money and push them around? Lawrence: Well the theory being that money changes you so that when you get it you will no longer be radical. Perry: I don't believe that though it doesn't have to be that way. Lawrence: Do you think with millions of dollars you'd still be that way? Perry: Fuck yeah. Because I've waited it out. I've thought it out. I know what makes great art, it's definitely not money. Money can change a lot politically, but it is not congruent to making great art. This has taken a long time to come, and I've thought it all out. I have my ideas. We can use the money right. I want to be a Robin Hood. I'd love to drop a bundle of money off of a building down town to let a bunch of bums eat. What do you do when you have more money than you know what to do with? I've never felt comfortable in rich neighborhoods. I'm not wanted. Even when people watch me like I'm going to steal something. I can't go into a store without people looking at me. I don't feel comfortable around the rich anyway... Al: To change the subject slightly, your record will be coming out on Triple X records, not exactly a major... Perry: Yeah, we did have all these record labels coming at us... I had this idea a long time ago but the guys in Psicom weren't quite so daring as this band, my favorite recordings are really simple ones, like Little Richard, recording that get that feel. And being that we are getting popular, I wanted to record the band live. It's risky, and we still don't even know how it sounds (recorded at so it might not work, it's a gamble. But if you don't do things differently you will look like everyone else. Right now we can take the chance because I know there will be a big budget in the future. There were all these A&R people there that night (at the Roxy in January), but we were already recording for ourselves. It was a little of a slap in the face.
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