Sometimes, it is necessary to take an oppositional stance. Take a look around, and ask yourself if what you see is something you really want to go along with. Don’t like it? Do something else. Anything. There is also much to be said for weighing up a list of what something isn’t in order to clarify exactly what it is, especially if you are describing something to an individual who may be unfamiliar with it.
Some "nots" for Some Girls: this band is not brutal-for-brutality’s-sake. It has no part in posturing bully-boy sub-metal, nor does it exist in the same sphere as the formulaic blueprint some pass off as "punk". It has nothing to do with whatever ’scenecore rules’ a committee of conformists come up with, and quite frankly, Some Girls probably does not care about any of the above. Importantly, there is no manifesto beyond what is contained in the grooves of their records.
What Some Girls IS: please refer to the aforementioned grooves of their records. It will become abundantly apparent very quickly.
A year ago, one of the 84 Tigers undertook a full US tour with Fantomas, Trevor Dunn’s Trio Convulsant, and The Locust. The only act with which this particular Tiger was previously-unacquainted with was The Locust; though, like most of 84 Tigers, had been a long-term admirer of their work, and of variously-associated artists like Crimson Curse, Holy Molar, and the Swing Kids. The tour was great: good-spirited, fun, and everybody was fairly tolerant of everybody else’s bullshit for the most part.
Now, Justin Pearson is the bass player and prime mover of The Locust; is also in Head Wound City, whose debut 10" we urge you to investigate; and he co-owns the Three One G label, which has put out some stunningly-good records in ever-more-inventive formats (the Flight Of TheWounded Locust puzzle edition is a particular 84 Tigers favourite, as is etched/battle khaki double 12” of Monkey’s Uncle remixes). That equals what you’d assume would be a pretty full schedule, but Mr Pearson — or JP for convenience’s sake — is additionally one of Some Girls, along with other San Diego underground luminaries Chuck Rowell, Sal Gallegos, Wes Eisbold, and Nathan Joyner. Anyone with more than a passing interest in the anti-conformist sonic devastation emerging from SD within the past decade will recognise some of these names.
Like many motivated and proactive people, JP simply does not have patience with fools, time-wasters and other sundry idiots commonly encountered when you play in a band — even some of those actually on the Fantomas tour felt the sting of his ire when they pushed things too far. So, when the chance of a Some Girls interview came up, 84 Tigers decided to carefully formulate some rude, idiotic questions designed to infuriate JP, hoping to elicit from him the sort of scathing, darkly comedic, but, nonetheless, extremely enlightening responses 84 Tigers had witnessed him witheringly dish out to all manner of knuckleheads and their inane bullshit on tour. These we spread amongst “regular” questions so he would not suspect this was anything more than another irritating series of enquries from a long line of under-informed, opinionated, try-hard interviewers (though a couple of things may have hipped him in to our identity, had he the time or inclination to look closer). It worked — the sharp answers that came back to us were sneering, barbed, honest, and unfettered by politeness or familiarity, which seems altogether appropriate. Like somebody once said, being oppositional is not the same as being negative.
OK, it could be considered rather unfair of us to pull a childish prank like this on a pal – especially one who has always been very generous with his favours and gracious with his time. And yes, JP now knows who was (ir)responsible – and being the kind of guy he is, is fine with us posting the interview unedited.
Q: “Some Girls is a bunch of screaming noise”. Please discuss.
This is an odd way to start off an interview. For one, how do I discuss this via email with myself? Two, this seems to be a pretty uneducated comment that, in my opinion, requires no response. So ill leave the "discussion" up to the cock-sucking bloggers and message board residents. Oh, no offence to cock-suckers.
Q: It seems that all the bands you have played with share an aesthetic which includes – but is not limited to – total destruction of conformist notions of what music is about. To what degree is this intentional, and how does it represent your own tastes?
I’m not sure that I would agree with this. Artists such as Quintron, or Chinese Stars, or the Yeah Yeah Yeahs don’t seem to be all that "destructive" at all. I think we choose to surround ourselves with creative and innovative people. You know, ones who actually have something to offer art or even on a larger scale, have something to offer humanity. I think for me and for the others that I play with, we are always thinking outside of the box, for a lack of a better metaphor. I’d just like to avoid the mundane mumbo jumbo that we are all bombarded with in mainstream facets. I get enough garbage from commercials and advertisements that I don’t need anymore run of the mill "art" in my life.
Q: Is the musical past of any relevance to Some Girls? Even their own?
In my opinion, not musically. Sure, it was a documented portion of the life of our band, but we since then have evolved into something else. We tend to try to avoid the older material in a live setting to focus on new and more creative aspects of our music. Older material tends to become boring and over time, and is seen in a light where it could have been better written. So we choose to move forward.
Q: It is very easy to assume there is a common ethic shared by groups whose music has ostensibly-similar characteristics. Is there any kinship felt by you in relation to other bands?
Sure, but who those bands are is what is up for discussion. But yeah, there are other bands and artists to whom we feel a connection. There is this sort of family or community that we are a part of: bands that we can identify with and feel connected to in some way or another, such as Daughters, the Plot, Year Future, Moving Units, Cattle Decapitation, Rah Bras, the Blood Brothers, and so on.
Q: Can you please tell ‘the people’ that despite their romantic notions gleaned from the fact that 31G, GSL, and a bunch of cool bands have originated there, San Diego is actually a shitty hell-hole just like anywhere else, not some mecca of ‘cool’?
Well, I can’t actually say that. You see, there are the good and there are the bad aspects, as is with larger cities. So lets start with the negative shall we? You have this uber-conservative city run by fascist Eurocentric republicans who are trying to shun our neighboring country, Mexico. Then you have the fact that this is a tourist city and it possesses tourist industry aspects. There is not a lot of room for the arts and the cost of living is very high here. But I think that the negative have paved a way for the great art that has come from here. You have some really great bands from here. Also, San Diego has birthed a lot of amazing bands in the past, and over time, has shown that there is an amazing sense of community here. For instance, its rare to be able to have bands like Rocket From the Crypt share the stage with The Locust. Or once, I booked a show that was billed as Cattle Decapitation, !!!, and Fast Forward. This sort of thing doesn’t happen in too many other cities, but for us San Diegans, its natural. Growing up here, it was always like that. I remember seeing Amenity play with Tijuana No. Or going to the Che Café for an all you can eat and seeing Heroin play with a traditional three-piece jazz band. Then you have places like Pokez, Off The Record, and other businesses that tend to be musician-friendly and have bands play in their establishments. To sum up my reply to your question, I’d have to say that when I leave on tour, its always so amazing to come back to a city such as San Diego. We have beautiful weather, great food, and the city doesn’t consume you like a lot of larger cities do.
Q: Heaven’s Pregnant Teens is actually the first Some Girls album. Did this require a different battle-plan to making EPs?
Yes. With the EP’s, it was rushed and just thrown together when the band could get together. They were all recorded in Sal’s studio and done with no recording budget whatsoever. With HPT, we managed to rehearse and write like a band should. Granted, we think there are some turds on the album, but in comparison we took more time writing and developing the music and we were fortunate enough to work with Alex Newport to help deliver a better sound without compromising our aesthetic. Even now, with the newer material, we are writing differently and taking our sound in a new direction. This is something that a lot of artists tend to avoid and then they end up creating the same record.
Q: How does the group touring dynamic of Some Girls differ from The Locust?
Well, the people involved in each band are different and therefore each band possesses different qualities. But I feel lucky to be in both bands. Each band’s members all get along when on tour. I hear horror stories of bands breaking up, fighting, fucking each other over, and so on. These are aspects that I have avoided thus far. The bands are very similar and tend to be professional when needed and then not very professional when not needed. It’s quite perfect. You have to do your best and make the best of tour and we all manage to do this.
Q: Without wanting to deal in sweeping ethnic generalizations, do you think that your music is particularly well-suited to the Japanese?
I’m not sure. For one, I’m not Japanese and not in tune with the Japanese psyche. Two, Some Girls have not been to Japan and I have no idea who we are received there. With The Locust, it seems to be fitting. But again, who am I to say anything about Japanese psyche? Maybe you can ask a music enthusiast who is Japanese.
Q: After attending those 20-odd Locust shows in a row last year, I needed my ears tested. How about you?
I’m not sure why you attended 20-odd Locusts shows in a year that seems to be quite a lot. Anyhow, I assume that I have severe hearing damage and loss. When its silent, I hear this:
Q: Fact number 1: The Birthday Party were one of the greatest bands in human history. To what extent did compiling Release The Bats: The Birthday Party As Heard Through The Meatgrinder of ThreeOneG album cause you to re-evaluate their music?
This album came from our love for the band and the fact that it was obscure enough to be part of Three One G. also it was a tribute compilation that had not been attempted yet. Same as the Queen one that Three One G had released. The compilations are a perfect mix of creativity, obscurity and then our musical family or community.
Q: I’m sorry, but Queen sucks — that is the only band that induces actual physical nausea upon my hearing them. However, the Dynamite with a Laserbeam: Queen As Heard Through The Meatgrinder of Three One G demonstrated that they have some use. Did any member of Queen actually hear these excellent versions?
Your opinion is valid, as opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. However, musically, artistically, culturally; queen was not only extremely talented but they crossed musical barriers, added cultural aspects to facets of pop music that were absent, and they managed to be successful without compromising their artistic visions. Oh, and to answer your question about a member of Queen hearing the compilation, yes, Brian May has been given a few copies of the release. However, I did not get any feedback from him.
Q: Why did Captain Gaydar have to “wind up his clock again”, rather than “turn on his radar” as was originally posited? [Note to reader: this is in reference to a Locust song title which changed for its appearance on 2003’s Plague Soundscapes]
You will have to ask Bobby this question. I have asked myself the same question for years. However I think it has something to do with the fact that people need to realize that they are out of touch, socially. So therefore, time to wind up your clock and get with it.
Q: Without getting too personal, what record in yr collection are you most ashamed of, but reluctant to part with?
Nothing actually. I have great taste. Even with nostalgia, I still stand behind that shit.
Q: The Locust had a song in John Waters’ Cecil B Demented. Let’s say that Schwartzenegger and Van Damme made a gung-ho Iraqi war movie and wanted to use your music. Your reply to their request?
Come on, this is just a lame question.
Q: What is the most confrontational show you have ever played?
Where do I start? You be the judge; getting a bottle smashed on my head, me head butting some dude and breaking his nose, the riot police showing up to arrest everyone, 3,000 people throwing anything and everything at us then getting escorted out by the police, the list goes on. I have been playing music and touring for 15 years now and there are many stories. However, at this point, it seems a bit trite to talk about it. Those situations were for that time and place. Its part of the past, so I just look forward to what the future holds.
Q: If suddenly a flood of imitators of your music plagued the whole planet, would you decide a reinvention was in order, or be happy to spearhead a “movement”?
Q: Nobody’s ever turned up at a Some Girls show and been disappointed that it wasn’t strippers, right?
I don’t know. But plenty of people have turned up thinking it was Juliana Hatfield and were disappointed. They were typically the mid 20 to 30 something college type.
Q: I have seen a photograph of you holding up a hundred dollar bill. What conclusions can be drawn from this?
It’s probably not me. I’ve never seen one of those things.
[Note to reader: we will post this photo. Yes, it was a joke at the time].
Q: Who can you trust?
My mother and my pup.
Q: I hate to ask, but are ‘friends’ electric?
I have no idea what you are talking about. Seems as this “interview” has lost its steam. Good job.