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My exclusive LCB interviews
Joey the Kid in Philadelphia 7/13/08 | Marty in Philadelphia 7/13/08 | Bones and EVO CBGB 6/9/05 | EVO North Carolina 11/24/04 | Bones 11/24/04 | Bones in PA 3/15/03
Joey the Kid in Philadelphia 7/13/08
Alex: How into Clockwork are you?
Joey: It goes with the times. I love the movie, but I haven't read the book because I'm not much of a book reader. I don't have the patience, I have the attention span of a fruit fly.
A: On the road you could read a little at a time.
J: I could probably pick it up and I've gone this long without reading it, so it's probably time that I should pick it up. I love the movie, I've seen it god, so many times that I probably wouldn't need to see it again in my lifetime, but I still watch it. It's not like a movie I would turn away from. As far as considering myself a droog I'm a punker through and through. I like the droog mentality and the unity of the brothers - until it all went to shit.
A: That's how life is.
J: That is how life is, definitely. Everything is concrete and before you know it you have to pick up and start a new path. Also it has a big effect on the punk rock community because of unity. Seeing that brotherhood people can respect it and relate to it especially if you are broken and young and don't have anything, but your friends.
A: Were you ever in a gang?
J: No, never. I means crews, you know, I had my friends. I grew up in Houston, Texas and they had gangs everywhere, I'm not talking droog style gangs, but your Vatos, Crips & Bloods. That made me sick because that's not a brotherhood, just straight up crime. They are cowards, what they do is strength in numbers. With us it's strength in individuals, everyone is treated equally, not you are the leader and blah blah. It's horrible, I've been jumped so many times in Houston. I lived 5 or 6 years on the streets there too. The gangs rely on each other and they do childish bullshit, they don't do anything good. They do drivebys, robbings, beat people, gang wars and drugs. All they do is infect an area and little gangbangers think that's cool. Instead of people seeing punk rockers and thinking that's cool. It takes a certain level of intelligence to be in this lifestyle. Dumbasses are really dumbasses.
A: I always hear guys saying you disrespected me, but what is there to respect?
J: For real. You show respect when someone shows you respect or when you think somebody deserves respect.
A: People want respect just for being alive.
A: Yeah. I'm not going to go over there and kiss someone's ass. I nod when I bump into someone and say I'm sorry if I step on somebody's toes. I'm courteous and I don't think a lot of people are at the same time especially when alcohol gets in the mix.
A: Do you have any favorite scenes from Clockwork?
J: I really like the scene where he goes into the record store and picks up the two girls because they don't see it coming. He knows exactly what he's going to do and how it's going to pan out. I really like when they are putting the drops in his eyes and feeding the films to him and he's getting brainwashed because there's nothing he can do it about it. Sometimes life shows you there's nothing you can do about it but sit there and take it. I almost went to prison for 2 years for a crime I didn't commit for being a punker in a small town. Some woman thought it would be a good idea to commit insurance fraud. There was no fingerprints, no evidence, so I relate to that. That was me in a straightjacket just taking it.
A: Do you think they should use the Ludovico Technique on the gangbangers?
J: It's bad because of the guns. In ACO they fought with skill. It takes a certain amount of skill to be a streetfighter. No one is a fighter now. You could be the best fighter in a room and the biggest coward has a gun and it's over, you can't do anything. That's got people so scared of getting shot and dying. There is no respect for each other, no good old fashion fist fights except in the punk community. They have their crews and little turf wars going on. In Houston there was a new crowd of kids who started trying to come in not being respectful, instead being really snotty, real nasty. These were rich kids. We were poor ass dirty mofos. They are trying to be snotty and we beat the shit out of these kids. They came into our place and started trying to kick us around. That's like me coming into your house and trying to tell you what to do, getting in your face, telling you that you are crap, getting snotty, breaking your stuff and stepping on your toes. Eventually we gave them a chance to have an end all crew fight. We showed up with 30 or 40 and they showed up with 4 and 1 was a girl. We squashed it right there. We told them you can squash it right there or we'll mess you up. There was no violence, which was cool. Fighting is fun, but at the same time how much do you accomplish? When there is no other way, beat someone's ass.
A: Get the point across.
J: Yeah, exactly. If they are just that stubborn and you need to fight it happens. I feel like I'm bad at answering questions because I ramble on.
A: In the Clockwork book the girls in the record store are only 10.
J: Really? That's different, in the movie he's more suave. In the book he's more sadistic, that changes it.
A: In the book he's 14, in the movie he has no age, but obviously he was older.
J: That's cool, I never knew that. I really should pick up the book and read it. What about you?
A: I've been into it for so long I became the Clockwork reporter.
J: That's your calling in life, that's awesome.
A: When did you first see the movie?
J: I saw it at a friend's house a long, long time ago, around 10 years ago I saw it and I fell in love with it instantly. I'm from Texas so I have that violent streak and seeing it quenched my thirst for brutality and all the other things.
A: How long did you know about LCB before you joined?
J: Being into punk rock LCB is a household punk rock name. If you are into punk rock you know who LCB are. Me being from Texas you want to support hometown bands and you get into it. I jammed their stuff all the time a long time ago. I was 17 years old and they were looking a drummer at that time and I walked up to Bones and said I can play drums, I'll be your drummer. He asked what my age was and I told him and he said no, you are too young. What's screwed up is if he let me in the band I would still be here. I got the tattoos because I like Clockwork and Bones's artwork a lot. I moved to Austin and was in a band there and that band dissipated. I was sitting at home and got the call to audition for LCB and beat out 3 other drummers. I love being here, seeing them around the streets, knowing who they are and everyone knows who they are.
A: It's the fourth time I've seen them and the fourth drummer.
J: I know! It's like a revolving door and really I'm stopping it. If they let me in the band they wouldn't have had to worry about it. They are an awesome band with awesome energy and how could you not want to be here? How you can you think you are better than what you are? This is rightfully my position and I'm the last you'll see, definitely.
A: So you don't have any felony convictions?
J: I almost did! I almost went to prison for second-degree burglary.
A: That was the trouble the band had before that some members couldn't tour with convictions.
J: I'm can so I'm golden and ready to go at any time. I've got to get my passport, but that's nothing. I don't have any warrants that I know of.
A: Where do you live now?
J: I've been in Austin for 6 years now. I love it, I was born and raised in Texas, it's home. Houston gets old fast, I've lived there forever. If you don't stay on top of things they'll get on top of you real fast. Luckily I didn't get an apartment there. I did most of my street living there and growing up.
A: Do you have a regular job?
J: Not right now. I've been in the band for 6 months and we're home for a month, then on tour again. I'll look for work, but by the time you interview, do it all and are processed I'm leaving in 2 weeks. I can work for 2 weeks, then I'm gone for the next month, they won't have it. It kinda sucks, but I don't care. If I was homeless I'd still be doing this. It's just how much you want it. What am I gonna go home, get a career and waste my life? I'd rather see the world.
A: Are you looking forward to recording?
J: Oh, definitely! I have been looking forward to it for a while. We are talking more and more. Marty and I live together, we live where we practice. We are going to start to get together and see what he's got. I'm coming on my 12th year of drumming so it's not like I have to sit there and write a drum thing, I've just got to hear it and I'll come up with something.
A: Have you written anything at all?
J: I'm trying not to overstep my place in the band. In my other band I pulled most of the weight - I wrote songs, lyrics and got it all together. In this band it's easy because everyone takes care of their own part. I haven't been messing with the guitar. I play bass a little bit. Playing guitar is like brushing my teeth with my left hand, it's hard. I can help write lyrics, but I'm waiting for direction. I'm in the groove with the music, but I want to see where they take it. I'm punk rock blood and will rock it all day. I like fast drums and clean guitars. Marty's an awesome player, but I also like music that grooves and rocks and I'm glad there's a melding of the two. I'm seeing where Bones & Marty stand with the music and what kinds of ideas they have and what I can do to amplify those ideas as the drummer. Clay was their drummer for a while, he's been on an album, he toured with them and they were comfortable with him. He stepped up the bar a little bit. I want to step up the bar because I'm not going to leave, if something happens like if I die or something it'll be twice as hard to fill my shoes. I'm trying to add the energy and I think it's good because they have young blood back in the band so it motivates them, a spark again. It's not the same repetitious ting over and over, it's like let's do this. With Jonny coming in I'm excited to see what comes of it.
A: Do you get 25% say in the band?
J: No, it's like If I say something they really respect my opinion as a member of the band, but at the same time 6 months compared to 13 years! I don't just want to say something, I hear things and put my input on it. They think about it and I'll listen and we'll discuss things. They really respect my opinion since I've proven myself musically talented to a bunch of guys 11 to 13 years older than I am. I am 25, Bones is 38, Marty is 37/38, they are all older than I am. Even the merch guy is older than I am!
A: They call you the kid?
J: Right, that's what the call me, Joey the Kid. Which is cool because it's kinda stuck. So I sign Kid.
A: What influences do you bring to the group?
J: I like really dynamic drums. You can have an awesome guitar player, an awesome bassist and awesome singer, and the drummer will just ruin it if they suck. I am angry with my playing too, energetic, sparky. I don't play stiff and sit there. I rock out with the music. I don't just stare at the crowd. I'll get into that. I noticed when we first start playing shows Marty would just kinda stand there in line where his amp and move back and forth, duck around and do his little thing, but now he's all over the stage with Jonny and everybody's rocking out and the crowd eats that shit up. In turn we take that energy and play badass music. It's undescribable really, it's great. It's like a drug you are addicted to and can't get enough of it
A: And it's legal.
J: Yeah, it's very legal.
A: How many times did you see them before you were in the band?
J: They don't play much in Texas. I'd probably seen them 5 or 6 times. My other band played where Bones was at a show, I think that's the first time he ever heard me play. I don't know if he remembers because how many shows has he seen? He gets drunk and kinda does his own thing, you gotta love him though, he's a good guy. I love all the guys, they're great. I'm happy where I am.
A: Are you into anything else that Malcolm McDowell did?
J: Like Tank Girl? (Laughs) I just saw him in TV…Heroes. I have a short attention span, if the movie sucks I will not watch it, like Tank Girl. I'll talk through it. I play more video games. I watch movies, but I like to do other stuff. My friend Will loves movies and we go to the dollar theater and he'd pick the most god awful stuff. Sometimes there would be good movies and he'll pick the worst thing. I'll sleep in the theater, I can't tell you how many times I've done that.
A: Is Tank Girl a punk staple?
J: I don't like it that much. I like comic books, I read them like crazy because I like art a lot. I like cool drawings. Tank Girl is a bunch of talking kangaroos. Ice-T? What the hell is going on here? (laughs)
A: Are you into retro video games?
J: I grew up in the techno age, so really I'm a kind of a nerd when it comes to that. I'll play it all, I have a PSP on tour with me. My friend the genius that he is figured out how to hack this thing. I have comic books, SNES, Sega CD. I don't have to pay for games, I just download them from the internet. I get music, movies, I can sit there and look at comics. I've been downloading Heroes, well I collect them too. I'm such a nerd with comics I don't like to take comics on tour and get them messed up. I'm just quirky, I'm a weird dude, but I wouldn't say weird. I don't drink, I'm kinda anti-social, rude sometimes, smoke weed, read comic books, play video games and hang out with my close friends. I've met a lot of cool people on tour, a lot stand out in my mind. I continue to gladly see them when we go back to those cities. It's like who the hell am I? I'm just a poor kid from Houston who can play the drums. It was a fun show tonight. I had a good time, my shirt is still wet.
A: Do you think some kids get the wrong idea about Clockwork by focusing on the violence?
J: Some, but they are just ignorant. We did a 10 hour trip to Vegas to play to some of the dumbest mofos I ever ran into. We drove from LA, I don't remember where and we were beat. I remember the 10 hours. We are tired, cranky and we get there and are unloading equipment and the first thing these kids say to us is 'You got a cigarette?" it was like what the hell!? Have some respect. We are carrying equipment, then we are sitting there minding our own business and this kid that lives at a house that they call the Venue, but it's a house in Suburbia Vegas comes in and is like 'what's up with the Clockwork stuff?' Bones is like not having to explain himself and whatever, dude that's what we did going with the times. The time they were doing it.
A: If you have to explain it, it's too late.
J: Yeah, exactly. It's like giving a mongoloid a razor blade and watching him go at it. He said 'I saw a droog the other day and I asked him what was up with that. He told me fuck you and I put a scar on his head.' I guess he felt like the most ultimate badass in the world saying that in front of us and I know all of us were thinking what a tool. These kids need to shut their mouths and open their brains a little bit.
A: With the music today it's so awful, it's sad that's all these kids know.
J: Yeah, these new kids come in and start subcategorizing punk. It's like all these different little genres start breaking up. What happened to good old-fashioned punk rock? What happened to that? I think everybody is getting confused. I hear these garbage bands trying to play fast and punk rock, but it's not working. It sounds sloppy and crappy. If you are going to do it fast at least play music, make it to where you can hear stuff is going on and it doesn't sound like a bunch of jumbled BS. Play as a band instead of by yourself. They don't get it.
A: You'll hear a newer Clockwork band playing something really fast that's over in a minute and wonder what was that.
J: For real. We still play songs about Clockwork. I made a joke when someone said you write a set list that's like Clockwork and I said that's half of our set. I try to keep it traditional LCB, I'm the one who writes the setlist. Yesterday I told Bones I wanted to play Clockwork Fuse because it's one of our strongest songs and people love it. I love it and everybody grooves, it's fun.
A: It has it's own sound and doesn't sound like their other songs.
J: Yeah, exactly, it's awesome. You heard them after we played it, the people loved, it's so sick. I told them I wanted to play Clockwork Fuse tonight and sure enough I put it on there and we played it. I'd really like to keep it in our set permanently.
A: It's great to go from that to Just Like Clockwork, to have that Clockwork medley.
J: Yeah, exactly. I love playing with the guys, but I wish Bones would wear his bowler a little bit more on stage. I'm glad Jonny is wearing his. I won't wear one.
A: It would fall off right away.
A: For real, that thing would be so disgusting. What's the point of having a Mohawk if you are just going to wear a bowler? I didn't put it up today. I usually take whore baths in the bathroom, washing my hair in the sink. There was no electrical outlet, I have to blowdry it and my hair is all soaked and I have to blowdry myself dry. That's life on the road.
Marty in Philadelphia 7/13/08
Alex: How big a Clockwork Orange fan are you?
Marty: I'm definitely a fan. I saw the movie before I read the book, like most people probably.
A: How old were you then?
M: I was a teenager…I'm 30 something now (laughs), probably 20 years ago. Actually I didn't read the book until I was 25. It definitely had an impact on me, just the intensity of the movie.
A: Are you into the book or the movie more now?
M: I'd say it's pretty equal, actually after reading the book I appreciate it more. It means more to me than just seeing the movie.
A: Did you feel it was mirroring your life, is that why you are into it?
M: In a way I can see that…I can identify not wholly with the character of Alex, more so in the book he was less one dimensionally portrayed, in the movie it was more violence. In the book he was more in depth.
A: Did you read the extra chapter?
M: Yeah, I did. The way I know and understood it, ACO to me is still basically the movie's ending, the extra chapter is weird to me, it's kinda long. I don't know how many times I'd seen ACO before I read the book.
A: Do you think that was the right way to end it?
M: I think it's another way to end it (laughs). It was a good way to end it, I know with the film it was more involved than what the author originally intended, it's the director's interpretation.
A: Do you like the film better?
M: It's hard to separate, it's ingrained in my mind, the visual. The differences like wearing the black are there. In my mind I saw the book like the film when I read it.
A: The thing I like about the 21st chapter is he grows up, that's how life is.
M: Yeah, I think the book opened up a different view. It's kind of backwards seeing the film first, having no expectations. It was a little broader, more expanded.
A: Do you have a favorite scene?
M: Yeah, in the film all the ultra-violence. The rape scene is pretty classic, Singing in the Rain - it's hard to watch, but to say it's my favorite, it makes me look…you know. It's a good piece of cinema.
A: They don't show the rape, the real power is what's in your head.
M: That generally tends to work better on the screen. The movies that have the most impact like horror are more implied, psychological, instead of just showing it. It numbs you after a while. When they don't show it, that messes with your head a little more.
A: Do you have a favorite scene in the book that is not in the film?
M: I'd definitely be interested in seeing the 21st chapter and how that would be portrayed.
A: Is there anything else with Malcolm McDowell you like?
M: I've seen Caligula…maybe I should've done this when I was more articulate, not that I ever was. I get anxiety over this kind of thing, I was kinda avoiding it for a while. Caligula is hardcore, I don't know what to say about that…
A: Do you have a favorite Clockwork song to play?
M: I still think it's Ultra-violence, it's the first one that we wrote and where it all started from. Clockwork Fuse - I enjoy playing the song, it's one of my favorites to play musically as much as the lyrics.
A: Do you want to write more Clockwork songs?
M: Yeah, I enjoy having that element in the band. For us I don't think it's 100% our theme like The Adicts or Major Accident, not 100%, you know they have the look, that's great, they were before us. For me to do that, it would be copying them. I think it's important theme we've always had.
A: Dress like in the book with the black and the black codpieces.
M: Yeah, that's true, funny thing is most people wouldn't get it. Would be original.
A: Do you think the fans are more responsive to the Clockwork songs?
M: Sometimes. You know it's weird, some places like in Europe we tend to get kids coming out dressed in full droog gear. That's definitely pretty cool. I don't know if they dress like that all the time! (laughs) I hope not. It's good, we appreciate that.
A: Do people tell you their favorite LCB Clockwork song?
M: Ultra-violence seems to be the favorite and Clockwork Fuse, Just Like Clockwork and I'm sure I'm leaving some out, those are the main three. Those are the crowd favorites.
A: When you write do you ever have ACO on in the background?
M: Not so much. In the past we got together fairly regularly and watched it, at least Bones and I did. We don't watch it to get song inspirations or anything like that.
A: Did you know Sepultura is putting out an all Clockwork CD?
M: Really? I didn't know that. I didn't even realize they were still together as a band.
A: The Cavalera's left to form their own band, so many fans say it's not the real band.
M: Neither Cavalera brother is in it!? I can see why. I'd definitely be interested in checking that out. I like a lot of their stuff, Sepultura that is, I don't know much about Soulfly or others.
A: Would that be something you'd like to do, a whole Clockwork album?
M: I don't know. We've always included the imagery, as far as a whole album I wouldn't say no, but we haven't planned on it. Anything is possible.
A: How does it feel to be 1 of only 2 original members left in the band?
M: I've always felt like Bones and I were pretty much the driving force of the band. Everyone that has been in the band had their influences. Bones and I have always been the creative main core writing team of the band. I write music, I really don't contribute to the lyrics. I will go through and critique him and tell him what I like and I don't like, but as far as actual writing contributions no, mine are pretty much just musical. That's the two sides of the band. The lyrics, the themes, the imagery and you gotta have the music to back it up.
A: Have you ever seen a Clockwork play?
M: I have not. Would you recommend them?
A: They are all different, some are better than others. Do you guys ever think about projecting Clockwork scenes behind the band?
M: Yeah, I've always been interested in doing more visual kinds of stuff. Since the Clockwork thing is a big topic within the band that would be a big part of it.
A: It would be hard in a small club like this.
M: I think it is hard, I've seen bands do it, but it's a bigger production. As far as taking it on the road, that would be great, I don't know if we necessarily have the means to do it. We would need somebody in control of that. We played a few shows with Rancid a few weeks ago and they had big video screens in the background. It was a separate video production.
A: They have a song called Clockwork orange on their latest CD.
M: I'm not familiar with that. As far as the whole visual aspect goes I'd love to attempt something like that.
A: You could design a Clockwork themed guitar.
M: That's definitely a good idea too.
A: On the Punks, Skins, Herberts, Hooligans EP, which are you?
M: (Laughs). I guess I'm the hooligan. Bones is the punk, Rick the bass player was the skin, Herbert was the drummer - the normal guy who was hanging out. It's a catchy title, but when you have to pin it down and explain it - it's like uuuhhhh.
A: Who are your main musical influences.
M: Mine are very diversified. Being in a punk rock band I'd say all the punk from the mid 70s to mid/late 80s that I grew up on. Definitely Ramones, Sex Pistols, T-Rex would go back to pre-punk like Bowie, Marc Bolin, NY Dolls, Thin Lizzy, Motorhead. Mine go back to blues, country, Robert Johnson old 50s rocakabilly, Gene Vincent. I love Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash. I grew up in Texas and my family was a religious Southern Baptist family, my grandfather was a Southern Baptist preacher.
A: Does he think you are the devil?
M: Well, he's dead now. I've pretty much come to terms with my family. For a long time I didn't talk to them, it was too much of a hassle. I grew up with the music in the church. It's a weird thing that my grandfather was playing guitar and harmonica and singing gospel. It still means a lot to me, not so much the praise the lord thing, if it's real.
A: If it's from the heart.
M: Exactly. The felling is, whatever else doesn't matter. Whatever a person's opinion or beliefs are I believe that.
A: Some are fakes.
M: Right, not everybody.
A: Where to do you want to take the band from here?
M: I just want to continue doing what we are doing. As far as the next level or making it bigger I would love to bring our music to a bigger audience without...some people calling it selling out, whatever. Without doing it musically differently than we do.
A: Like doing a ballad or turning into Green Day.
A: It seems hard to stay true and move up.
M: Yeah, it's definitely a grey area. A lot of people that seem to point fingers and say you did this or that have no clue what it really takes to make a band, stay on the road and do it full time. We are all in 30s now, we aren't 18 year old kids anymore.
A: Except for Joey.
M: Yeah, well he's 25, but still. We've been doing it so long, for 13 years, there has to be some return for it. (laughs)
A: You need to get a video out there, but how?
M: That's the tough thing, We are at that point where we aren't sure where to go. It does seem that we don't want to keep doing the same thing, playing to the same audience or same level. We are trying, you know?
A: Is there a time you will say that's it if it doesn't reach a certain goal?
M: I don't know that because I could never picture myself not playing music and doing what I love. As long as we are able to keep doing it on our terms, I don't see any end to that.
A: Is there a set goal you need to reach?
M: No, that's not really my goal. I'm happy to be able to do this. We aren't making any money, but we are able to keep going, to keep on the road. There's turnover, we are still able to pay the rent, we all have day jobs, except for Joey. He has a girlfriend with a day job! (laughs) I've been to so many places, seen so many things, basically been all over the world. There's still many places to go where we haven't been. That makes it all worth while, that and the 30 minutes to an hour we spend on stage and the response I get from kids. That means everything to me.
A: Do you think most kids get the whole Clockwork thing?
M: Probably not. No.
A: Are they too into the violence?
M: Yeah or the whole punk rock thing. I mean, some do. Whether they are in it for the Clockwork thing or the music hopefully they will be into it more than aaaah, get drunk and beat people up. There will always be those people.
A: Do people tell you that you turned them on to Clockwork?
M: Yeah, I have kids say that all the time. That's cool, I'm glad they appreciate that. It's not my goal to do that, it's not my mission. Bones might have a different answer since he's the main lyricist of the band, but I'm just a simple guitarist/songwriter.
A mini interview with Bones and EVO at CBGB 6/9/05
Alex: When is the new CD coming out?
Bones: I don't know, hopefully the end of the year. We're not with Punkcore anymore. We're shopping two record labels, but it's too much to think about on the road right now. It'll have to wait until we get back home. One label has a lot of money, but is smaller. The other is bigger, has less money, but would give us our own label to find bands. One label has Sick of it All and other hardcore bands that are of like mind. We need to get out there, into new markets, get the word out and Punkcore just wasn't doing that. The other bands on the label have a similar message to out - get along, have fun with friends.
A: Kill your enemies?
Bones: (Laughs) Yeah! We need to reach a larger fanbase.
A: Is it all done?
Bones: We have 9 songs done right now. We need a few more.
A: What happened to Johnny Psycho?
EVO: It didn't work out. Because of his felony record he couldn't tour in other countries. We had to let him go. Now we have Clay - I used to be in a band with him. Since we've played together it works out well.
Bones: Did you like his Clockwork mask? I thought I'd give him something to wear to make it interesting, my girlfriend designed it.
A: Am I ever going to see you on two tours with the same drummer?
Bones: Probably not...
A: How does it work with your job being able to take off so much time?
Bones: It's run by hippies! It's like a regional chain of 27 stores and you can work at any of them. It's impossible to get fired too. I was working at one place and accidentally left my pot pipe out and the guy said he wouldn't fire me, but I couldn't work at that store anymore, so I went to another one. It's really cool, you can basically come and go as you want and people come from other stores to cover for you.
A: Is there any Clockwork on the Worst EP?
Bones: There's always something. Just so you don't think I screwed up, if you look at the lyrics in The Worst EP they are in French so they translated the nadsat wrong. It says mecs instead of vecks, just so you don't wonder what the hell that is.
A: The club where I saw you in Scotia, PA is gone. It's a mattress warehouse now.
Bones: Yeah, I heard about that. It's probably for the best. That was such a weird little place and the owner was on speed, he was crazy - bouncing off the walls. You know if one more person asks me why I like Clockwork I'm going to scream.
Alex: Tell them that was last week, now you are into Natural Born Killers now.
Bones: (Laughs) Yeah, it's just so frustrating.
A: I know how it is, I had to do an interview because people ask me so many of the same questions. Did you get to talk to Hilly about CBGB closing?
Bones: Yeah, they owe a bunch of taxes. It really sucks. I'm glad we got a chance to play here one last time, but I don't even want to think about it closing. It's so weird, I kept picturing my ex-girlfriend on the side of the stage during the show. She always stood there when we played CB's, this is the first time we've played there since she OD'd. She's the one that "Shot Up, Shot Down" is about.
Alex Thrawn: How did you get in the band?
EVO: A couple guys I knew who played bass and drums asked me if I wanted to join the band because they were going to quit after they went on a brief two week tour. I said sure and when they came back from tour they quit, Bones and Marty didn't know about it, those guys gave them my number and Bones called me. We set up a practice and they had a new drummer at the same time so the drummer, me, Bones and Marty had a first practice and hit it off pretty well. I knew some of the songs already because the bass player had given me a tape to practice with so I learned them. The drummer had gone on tour with them so he knew the songs, so we hit it off well. That was just over two years ago and since then we've got another drummer in April.
AT: Every couple of months right?
EVO: (Laughs) Yeah, because Mike, the drummer, has a seven year old kid, a family and a lot of responsibilities. Touring wasn't paying much, he couldn't pay the bills. That's cool, you know. He did well, he fit in really good and I've got respect for him because he had to take care of his own shit. We've got a new drummer, Johnny, and he's good. He doesn't have a kid, I've got nothing against people with kids, that's fine...I don't want any! Anybody out there who wants to practice...no, just kidding. Seriously...
AT: A Clockwork Orange - which came first for you the book or the film?
EVO: Probably the book. I remember in high school trying to search the racks for a book to read in the fiction category for a couple weeks. It is fiction...and there it was - Anthony Burgess!
AT: How old were you then?
EVO: Probably 15 or 16, 9th grade....was that the right age?
AT: Nadsat age.
EVO: Oh, yeah - totally! I never really...I don't know. I read it, but it didn't seem like I grasped it at the time. Do you know what I mean?
AT: You didn't have the glossary?
EVO: No...I'm sure it had a glossary if I can remember. Shit, I can't remember that far back! Whatever the reason, I read it and put it aside and went on with other shit. I had other things going on, meaningless things that meant more to me, if that makes any sense. It wasn't until a few years later that I saw the movie. I kind of came back and kept it in the back of my head since 1985 or so. That's 14 years?
AT: That's almost 20 years.
EVO: 19 years! Shit! 19 years of having that swimming around in my head and then Lower Class Brats...Clockwork...do you want to join? No brainer.
AT: Did you go back to the book after?
EVO: Oh yeah, I keep reading it. I still read it, I've got a glossary right up there. When I started getting into punk music in the mid 80s, The Adicts and Major Accident came out and I recognized that element. Seeing the movie, reading the book, seeing the bands come out in white, bowlers, what they sang about - the movie imagery - encompasses a lot of stuff. A kid, I'm just talking about myself, would rebel against maybe it would be authority figures, parents, bullies, everyone that wasn't your immediate friend. A little close group of people, for Alex it was his little droog gang and that was all he had. He didn't have any schoolmates, not that we know of, unless there was some other...
AT: They weren't even really friends, they turned really fast.
EVO: Yeah, right! (Laughs) They weren't even really friends. Before I even read the book, unfortunately, I'm sorry to a lot of people that I knew, it kind of went that way. I remember being in little groups of people where I'd throw rocks at them because they didn't do something I thought they should've done. That's really mean and fucked up, but I was a kid, what did I know? I was just under the assumption that this is how it's going to be. If I was going to hang out with somebody it should be like this. It wasn't, so I...not a big rock! I wasn't going to kill the kid, it was just to annoy him more than anything else. I probably ran away more friends that I could have had, good friends. My brain is not normal, to join the LCB, most people wouldn't do it. I'm sure someone with a more perverted mind would jump at the chance, which I did. I'm not saying I'm too severely perverse or anything, but touring in a band like this...I don't know.
AT: You have to really want to do it.
EVO: Yeah! You have to want to do it and you have to accept a lot of things that a normal citizen in society probably wouldn't want to do. The things the band does mirrors a lot of stuff in the book. Things that they did. We don't gang rape girls or anything like that. We just entertain thoughts and things and try to have a good time. We keep abreast of everything and try not to let ourselves fall on the ground. That's what Alex did, everybody wanted to implement new ideas, why? this is working. Don't even think about anything else, other than what we are doing. We are able to do whatever we want. As a band we are in the position right now of almost entertaining ideas of implementing new things, but we always go back to the basics. What Bones and Marty originally set out to do - the music, the attitude of the songs with the whole Clockwork theme.
AT: So you think if you did any sort of drastic thing it
would be an Alex change that wouldn't work?
EVO: I think so. If you asked me with my kid behavior when I was 12, now that I come out and I'm older than 12. As a group, especially as a group, the nucleus of me, Bones and Marty - I've already seen a change. We've gone through two drummers since I got in the band.
AT: You're not the new guy anymore.
EVO: Right, I'm not the new guy anymore. I feel like I fit well with Bones and Marty - their ideas and direction, what they are thinking and what I'm thinking. What we project. It's pretty similar, same kind of thinking. Johnny our drummer also fits it, he's new, that's the only thing I can fault him for, it's not really a fault. What was the question again?
AT: Change. Alex changed and got in trouble.
EVO: Right. We're even writing new songs now that are not what someone would expect. You would expect like say Van Halen, they were pretty hard and raw at first, then they went to keyboards. Who even knows what they are now.
AT: They don't exist.
EVO: Right! (Laughs). After Rather Be Hated, Plot Sickens, A Class of Their Own - now, what are they going to do.
AT: It's hard because there is no real punk history to follow. Bands come and go - like the Sex Pistols.
EVO: They come and go. The reason why is because it goes back to, we're not trying to, it's what comes out - songs that are back to basics. A lot of songs sound like between Rather be Hated and Plot Sickens, that time, the 1997 era. 97 or 77, one of the two.
AT: That's not a conscious though to go back?
EVO: Not even. It's just what's coming out when we make it up. We think of a melody, Bones comes up with these words that fit in with the feeling of the songs, he comes up with an idea, we've got a riff and there it is. You'd be surprised.
AT: Punk is what it is. You can't just say 'let's throw in a keyboard', it's not really possible. You have to say in the framework?
EVO. Right. We're going to have a couple different instruments on it.
AT: Violin, like The Adicts?
EVO: No. No strings. We're maybe going to go with some ivory.
EVO: Yeah. We've got some piano possibilities.
AT: Are you going to be able to take that on the road?
EVO: Maybe some local shows. Maybe within Texas. Who knows? If the piano player...I'd like to play that live. A lot of songs we've recorded with piano like 'The Difference' I wish we could have someone out there playing those parts with us live. To me it sounds better. We'd have to find someone with the duel job of piano player/driver or merch guy. We haven't found the right person - man or woman. Actually it's a girl we're thinking of who plays the piano, she's really good.
AT: Do you have a job like Bones to go back to?
EVO: I do. I have two jobs I might go back to - high school teacher or tattoo artist. I kind of do both.
AT: That's opposite ends of the spectrum!
EVO: Yeah, I get a lot of flack for being a teacher. Kids don't realize that...
AT: You've got to have something that makes money.
EVO: You've got to pay the bills if you don't want to live on the street. I don't want to live on the street. I want to live in a house or an apartment or something with a roof. To have a roof, carpet, 4 walls, you've got to pay for it. I'm interested in helping kids, so I became a teacher.
AT: What subject?
EVO: All subjects, special ed kids. High school kids. A lot of people see that as you are just like a cop, or whatever, or I might as well be the president in their eyes. People who that think like that...it makes me laugh. First of all lots of kids who think like that couldn't be in my classroom. If they were, they'd understand. Everyone that comes into my class has a good time - and they learn. If not, I attempt to help them learn. I'm not a dick teacher. I had a lot of teachers that were horrible and I didn't learn a thing and dreaded the day I'd go into their class, waiting for the end of the school year. That's not the way I am, I don't think I am, I try to accommodate a lot of type of different kids. You can't please everybody, but I feel like I do a pretty good job. It's weird because the kids see me as a guy who's in a band, into Clockwork, we're not a political band, but they say fuck the system. Well, the system keeps you alive. Without the system - I'll run you over in my truck because you're in the street. Why should I care if I run you over? I'm not going to go to jail. There is no jail, anarchy right? Everyone for themselves.
AT: Survival of the fittest.
EVO: Survival of the fittest. I want to survive and I'm going to survive. It just so happens that being a teacher is something that my grandmother did, my mother did and I'm doing. It's in me, I can't help it and I feel that I'm a good teacher. If people don't understand that...
AT: I guess they can't picture someone like Sid Vicious being a teacher.
EVO: Sid Vicious couldn't be a teacher. He did too many hard drugs that prevented him from thinking correctly. I don't do hard drugs, that part's not there. I've got some kind of a brain and I graduated college. That right there is enough to...I don't know...it's stupid what some people think. Most of the people who think that way are underage, they're minors. They don't know, they just know what teachers they have. They get some teacher that has no idea what this kid is about, he listens to punk music or whatever. I've got kids in my class that listen to punk and I play CDs for them. Not a lot of kids are like that in my school, some of them are. If you asked one of those kids how my class was I'm sure they'd say it was all right. They just stereotype a lot of things and don't look into the specifics of it.
AT: They should know you aren't going to go out on stage in a suit and you aren't going to teach dressed like a punk.
EVO: Yeah! Exactly. I'm in the band. When I teach, I'm not going to school looking like this and have to deal with principals and parents. That's useless, a 16 year old kid won't understand that. A 16 year old kid coming to the show, it's just the opposite, they're coming in to see a Clockwork band singing punk songs. When they go to school they're expecting some certain thing whether they know it or not. I'm sure they'll like to see...Ice Cube teaching them. Hell, I'd love to have Ice Cube as a teacher, he'd probably teach a lot of stuff. He's experienced, obviously making right decisions, making a lot of money.
AT: He could teach economics.
EVO: Yeah, Exactly.
AT: They should have a course teaching people about being in a band. Not how to play an instrument, but the business side.
EVO: There is a class - social skills.
AT: Like how to write a check.
EVO: I teach that. "What do you want to do?" I give them the opportunity. Sometimes they draw from a hat, a certain job that I make up, an actual job, so they can't all just be drug dealers. Some stupid ass shit that isn't legitimate. A lot of the kids realize that they can't pick choose to be a hitman or drug dealer, then they have to think what they like to do. They want to be an artists. That's when it comes out and they start to learn things. So you want to do this business, you have to this first, get a business license.
AT: You're not going to just paint a picture and make money.
EVO: Right. I'll let them do what they want to do with their own lives. I won't dictate what they have to be, it's up to them and I'll let them know - look at me. I wear short sleeve shorts that show my tattoos, maybe that helps me a little bit because they see another guy in a stuffy shirt - and they see me, a normal guy on the street type person.
AT: It's not their parents.
EVO: Right, I'm not their parent. Then again I say the same things that their parents say, because I hear that. "My mom said the same thing." Well, maybe you should listen to your mom, you'll get your allowance. You want that two dollars to go to the mall or 20 bucks, whatever it is today...I got two bucks.
AT: With Clockwork do you prefer chapter 21?
EVO: 20. 21 is like anti-climax, it sucks.
AT: You don't think that's like life where you eventually grow up?
EVO: In the movie where it cuts off at the end and you are like augggh! You're not really sure what happens, but that's the whole point. It could be any possibility, but with the 21st chapter it's like "oh, that's the way it is." He's kind of becoming normal now which will happen unless he becomes a total psychopath. Unless some more traumatic incident happens and his brain is really screwed up where he becomes a lunatic. I don't thinks he's a lunatic.
AT: He knows what he's doing, a lunatic doesn't.
EVO: Yeah, he knows exactly what he's doing, especially with the 21st chapter. It's kind of nice to know, but maybe he gets crazier from the bad when he's cured.
AT: You don't see yourself that way, that you've grown up, have a responsible job and still can have the fun of band?
EVO: Ask a lot of people that are close to me or were close who still don't think I've grown up at all. I think I'm going backwards...sometimes I think I'm going backwards...it's cool, I don't mind. I definitely don't feel my age. I feel like I'm still in high school pretty much. I know in my mind what I've got to do to take care of my business to get through the days, weeks, months and the years. I know how to, not exactly, to pay bills, I'm still learning of course. That kid side of me makes me spend my rent instead of saving it. I'll say I'm buying this guitar and I'm buying it right now. I have $400 and I'm buying it, I should save it for groceries, but I need it right now. I'm not going to wait until next week. Those kind of sporadic, instant decisions come to me, I still take risks like that it's not a life or death thing.
AT: It's something you need anyway.
EVO: Exactly, but whether I needed a second bass guitar...I probably didn't, but I had to have it. I remember I got in trouble with my ex-wife about spending my own money, actually I wrote a check I couldn't really cash right away...
AT: Post date it?
EVO: Yeah...but I wrote that days date on it for the bass, I had to have it. I ended up eventually selling it. It was a rare Flying-V Kramer bass that I needed to have. If I waited a week it would be gone, it wouldn't be around. I got on trouble on the homefront, from time to time. I know I shouldn't have done it, but I did it, I couldn't help myself. It's that little kid behavior like Alex wants to go...
AT: Drive the Durango 95?
EVO: Yeah, he wants to cause trouble. 'Oh look a car, let's take a car, take a drive.' Nowadays you take a car and take a drive, you get arrested, I wouldn't do that. In 2004 you're going to jail, you'll have a felony record. I don't want that.
AT: You're going to be the clean guy in the band without the record?
EVO: Right. Well, there's a couple others. I have a record, but it's not too bad. I can pretty much go where I want to at this point. The experience comes, Alex was 15 he stole a car. When I was 15/16/17 I could've probably stolen a car. He's a minor, what's going to happen?
AT: A slap on the wrist.
EVO. Exactly. Nowadays you are gonna get slapped somewhere else. You're gonna be in prison getting slapped by somebody. I try to mind the seriousness of things. I can't divulge too much of that. I try to maintain legalities in life.
AT: They don't say it, but Alex in the 21st chapter must have his own place, he's working, probably has a job in the music store.
EVO: Yeah, right. They don't really talk about. Probably the same music store. I don't think they mention a different place. Then again they should've had more chapters or a sequel. That could've been the next book. He has his new friends, but it doesn't tell much.
AT: Pete is grown up.
EVO: Yeah, but it doesn't really talk about Alex, what he becomes.
AT: He dreams of having a kid.
EVO: This is all dreams and thinking.
AT: He carries a picture of a kid around all the time - that's his goal.
EVO: You've got to assume that's what's going to happen. I'm glad they didn't make a part 2. That would've ruined it.
AT: You are glad the way the movie ended?
EVO: Yeah, I am. Burgess didn't really like the movie too much.
AT: He switched. First he did, then he didn't.
EVO: Yeah, there are some misgivings about it.
AT: You can read the interviews he did back then and see he changed his mind.
EVO: There is some controversy there. Take the book and the movie - there's lots of opposites there. Black and white - their dress.
AT: The codpieces with the hand and flowers.
EVO: Yeah! It was made more visual.
AT: If you are sneaking around at night in black, you won't see anything on the screen.
EVO. Right. So it won't be "oh, they are wearing black." Didn't Dracula wear black? Didn't all those other scary people wear black? It's like you wear white and oh, shit!
AT: Good guys are supposed to wear white.
EVO: Yeah, it's very ironic. Because they were good guys.
AT: And the bowler hat was worn by the upper crust of society.
EVO: They were rich, nice guys. (Laughs!)
AT: They took it and made it their own.
EVO: Exactly. I'm a rich, nice guy. Email me!
AT: What's your favorite parts from the book or the film?
EVO: I kinda like the parts when they are in the bar and buy the old ladies all that stuff.
AT: Which wasn't in the movie.
EVO: Yeah! That's in the book. I guess the only comparable scenes are when they are in the Korova - when lady sings, when he hits Dim. Before they go out...there's another scene.
AT: When Alex gets the milk?
EVO. Yeah. They should've had more of that like the scene when they go into the store.
AT: And attack the shopkeepers and the attack at the library?
EVO: Yeah, they left all of that out. The library would've been a good one. It would've been interesting to see what books he would've pulled out.
AT: Then they would've had to show the guys from the library attacking Alex. Everything in the beginning turned out opposite in the end.
EVO: Yeah, Stanley Kubrick had to make the movie 2 hours or so.
AT: It was 2 hours, 17 minutes. But he made longer movies than that like Spartacus.
EVO: I mean to get the public's attention I guess he didn't need to make an epic movie. He made it point blank. I thought it was a good movie. If you've seen the movie before you read the book it wouldn't have been a problem because you wouldn't think about the store, the old ladies...
AT: You wouldn't know.
EVO: Right, you wouldn't know about the parts they deleted. Even if they added those little things in, a 2 minute clip stuck in here or there. It probably wouldn't have been enough to get it all in, it would've needed 15 minutes.
AT: Then they would've had to add it at the end.
EVO: They would've had to tie it all in. Maybe they filmed it. I don't think they even tried to film those parts, they did edit a lot of things out.
AT: They did the library scene.
EVO: They did? OK. He had a certain budget, and the industry wanted a certain amount of time, so he cut parts out. It's a random thing he did when he goes and robs the store and comes back. It would've been cool to see.
AT: Then they would've had to have the women in the bar in the beginning.
EVO: Yeah, plus when they are at the bar, what I liked in the book is the certain types of drinks they mention that are pretty weird. I've gone to different big full bars to try to order these drinks, but they've never heard of them of course. I try to describe what's in them and they go OK, I can try. They don't come out right. I guess I've got to go to Britain to try that. Veteran was one.
AT: I remember Kid from The Adicts told me the same thing about a really good whiskey drink in there.
EVO: Yeah, I think it's got cherry brandy, rum and a little bit of lime. I think that was it, maybe it had whiskey in it as well to sharpen it up a little bit. Those were non-hallucinogenic, non-drugged drinks. Those were bought from another bar, I think the Flying Dutchman?
AT: The Muscleman with Will the English?
EVO: Right. Will the English, where they got the other ideas from.
AT: It seems like there are more and more up and coming bands doing the Clockwork thing. Does that dilute it?
EVO: Yeah, it does. But when I talk to some of the people they're really sincere about it. You may not notice it when they're singing it. You may not hear the nadsat, you may not know appearance wise, how they play or even song titles other than obvious ones that mention Clockwork in the title. I still think a lot of them are well aware of The Adicts, us, Major Accident - the main bands that portray a Clockwork theme. That's kinda cool that young bands are still talking about it in 2004, over 30 years later.
AT: Do you think it'll ever change your band if too many bands become associated with Clockwork?
EVO: No. I don't think so. The Adicts are still Clockwork more than ever. A lot of bands are still there, Moloko Men, Clockwork Crew...
EVO: Yep, Horrorshow Malchicks those guys.
AT: Hat Trickers.
EVO: Definitely those guys. I'm sure there are others I'm forgetting. All of those bands are new, pretty widespread, not in the forefront, in the public eye, but they are still there. Plus a lot of younger bands I'm not even aware of. It's cool. It won't change us. If anything it'll make it a point to...
AT: Go farther, do it better?
EVO: Yeah, we'll have to keep ahead of them.
EVO: That's right. We'll have to do it better and faster. (Laughs) Not faster, but better. I don't care if there's...next?
AT: What are your main musical influences?
EVO: Shit...bands or genre?
AT: Bands, bass players.
EVO: Bass players...I'm not sure. I started out listening to classic rock and metal, back in the early 80s.
EVO: Yeah, when they first started. Motley Crue, Iron Maiden when they first started. Judas Priest. Things like that, then I got into Sex Pistols, Misfits, those kinds.
EVO: Yeah, old stuff. All those old 70s bands, especially the British bands, of course the Ramones. Then the LA stuff. All the bands started hitting, it was like a snowball effect. Then it started expanding. Listening to other things that influenced them. Nowadays I still go back to...where is it? (He digs through a pile of music on the dashboard). Sweet, AC/DC...70s.
EVO: Yep, 70s, 60s even.
AT: New York Dolls?
EVO: Yeah, all those bands that we all listened too. Slade, stuff like that.
EVO: Yeah...they are alright, I don't own anything by them. All that old 70s stuff permeates all of our listening. For Marty it's Motorhead. That's what really drives us - listening to punk. Old punk still. All of the old basic, original bands that started out in the 70s. All of those we listen to this day. We try to listen to new bands - a lot of them are good and a lot are not.
AT: No bass players influenced you?
EVO: I can't think of any.
AT: There's nobody who made you say 'I want to play the bass
because of him'?
EVO: No, I can't think one of a single person.
AT: So how did you get into playing bass?
EVO: It's four strings and a friend of mine had one. The guitar I suck at. I'm not coordinated enough to play it.
AT: And everybody plays guitar.
EVO: Exactly. Years ago somebody needed a bass player so I answered the call in different bands. Since then, I've been with that. I attempted the guitar, I owned a guitar, took lessons, but there was no way. I can say I'll never play guitar.
AT: Is it because it's easier to play notes instead of cords?
EVO: Yeah, I'm mean I may play with two fingers to play a power chord, but that's it - it's extremely rare. One finger, one string at a time. It seems to work with me, I'm satisfied with it. I'm having fun with it. When that loses its fun and I feel like I should pick up something else, or put everything down, I will. I haven't gotten to that point yet, nothing but bass.
AT: Can you read music?
AT: So how do you write?
EVO: I don't write, I just play. When we make new songs I'll make it up. I'll play it over and over and over again. I memorize the pattern like it starts here and ends here.
AT: Do you have a good ear then?
EVO: Yeah, pretty good. I can hear a song and pretty much figure it out and play damn close. We're not perfectionists, we never said we were. If we are going to cover a song we'll pretty much try to get it right. If I make a song or I like that song, and I want to play a riff, I'll play it just like that. I don't give a shit what key the song is in. I don't have a desire to learn. At least not now.
AT: Has it been hard going through drummers?
EVO: It's kinda weird bringing in new drummers. You've got to get used to him hearing me and me hearing him, how he accents. With Johnny we worked out some kinks the last few months before the tour. It's working good. He fits in well. If he didn't I would say something, it wouldn't work out, we couldn't play the songs. We're making stuff up, playing old songs, new songs really well, so I'm happy.
AT: Are you writing partners or on your own?
EVO: We are a group together and make it when we practice. Bones comes up with some words and kind of an idea of how a song will sound, or a beat or tempo. He'll tell Marty or me and we'll think about it. He'll sings some part of the lyrics and we'll come up with it right then and there, it's like a spark. We'll look and that's it. That fits the lyrics and that's gonna work or shit, that's not gonna work. Trial and error sometimes. Usually it clicks right away if it's going to work or not. If we're messing around and just don't get it we'll move on to something else. Then we when get to that point, we'll get back to it.
AT: What would be the best advice you can give to a young punk wanting to start a band?
EVO: Be committed because I know all of us in the band have gone through some shit that's been quit to the band or this. We've made decisions over the past few years. I can only speak for me. Do I want to continue with this band or do this with this person or do this other thing? Like with teaching. I didn't quit teaching, but I did not go back to teaching this year because I want to try and pursue this band. To be able to tour more than 2 weeks a year or just the summer I can't be teaching. I know that and it's something I had to give up for right now. It kinda sucks, but I like being in this band way more. I'm giving it my all to try and make this thing work, to have fun with it. It's a commitment, I went to college for it. I put my career aside to do this thing, to drive around the country and make music. It's a commitment and a love of music. You have to really love music, you really have to love it, it's not a hobby. It would be a habit, not a hobby. It's something that's in your blood. Anyone who knows what I'm talking about will know.
AT: You have to want it?
EVO: Yeah, if you have to question whether you should be doing this or not or is this right for me or whatever.
AT: You can't be in it for the money, because it's not there.
EVO: Yeah! Definitely not doing it for the money, that's true. You are doing it to be able to play music and show off your songs to people. Just to say 'hear listen to this.'
Alex Thrawn: Last time we covered Clockwork. This time let's talk about the music. How does the songwriting process go?
Bones DeLarge: I do all the lyrics. EVO comes up with some lyrics too...now and again. It's generally me. The music comes out of the band. The only thing I can do is sit there and go, "Do this - da na na na na na na." Because I can't play anything (Laughs). I can barely sing.
AT: Do you write on the road?
B: Sometimes we write on the road. I write lyrics on the road, I don't know about them coming up with music.
AT: Do you have a notebook?
B: Yeah, I jot shit down. Most of the time when I come up with stuff is when it's quiet, it's night, and I'm sitting in the van driving and the music's down low because everyone's sleeping. So I get ideas in my head, but I have no light to write with so I have to try to remember ideas in the morning.
AT: Use a lighter.
B: Yeah, exactly (Laughs). Burn my fingers.
AT: Do they look at your lyrics and try to come up with a riff for it or do they have something written already.
B: They'll have something written already. I have my 10 cents worth, a plethora of lyrics. If they come up with a riff I'll go, "play that over and over again" and I'll go through my stuff because I know I have something that fits. If I don't I'll take something I like and work the lyrics fit it. That's about how it goes.
AT: How does the recording process work? Are you all in the studio at once?
B: No. We'll go through and do scratch tracks to get the drums down. Drum and bass usually first, then it goes to guitars, then lead guitar, then main vocals, then backup vocals at the end. That's usually how it works. It's a pretty time consuming process, especially when you are doing a whole LP.
AT: Did you ever do it garage style where you all play live?
B: No, because I don't like to put out a shitty product. I want everything to sound good. We might sound shitty live sometimes (Laughs), but it's all right. It's live. I wouldn't put out an LP live in the studio unless it was a live LP recorded in front of people. I wouldn't do something live and have someone to buy it and say, "Man this sounds like shit." I don't like that. I don't like to buy records that way.
AT: How does it work with the drummer Johnny Psycho since he can't go on tour?
B: Johnny Psycho is at home. We just recently recorded 6 new demo songs. He's back home beating them into his head so when we go out to California in a couple months he'll be able to record them with us.
AT: He'll be freed up?
B: He'll be nice and free then. (Laughs)
AT: Can you say what he was in for?
B: I'd rather not.
AT: I've had people ask me what you were in for. Do you talk about that?
B: Well...I'd rather not. (Laughs) I'm a nice guy really. I killed someone for asking me too many questions. (Laughs)
AT: Do you control your merchandise?
B: Absolutely. No one else has any say in it. We stopped the white Ultra-Violence shirts because the black looks better. We made a long sleeve Ultra-Violence, but they screwed it up. They just copied the eyeballs to the sleeves instead of making them more bloody like the movie. I'm stopping those until they get them right. We make an exclusive tank top for the girls because they weren't allowed to wear the other styles to school because of the text, they had to cover it. We've got the new voodoo droog doll image which I've got tattooed on my leg. We're working on making an actual doll that comes with pins and it'll have a surprise inside. I'm the addict of the band, EVO is the business guy - he's got a good head for it, but it's my band so he runs everything by me and I say yes or no.
AT: What happens if he comes up with the idea to get a new singer?
B: (Laughs). We have a deal that if Marty and I go the band is over. They are not allowed to continue without us.
AT: Were you there when Cheap Sex had the accident on the road?
B: No, we were about 100 miles away. We were going to go down there to be with them, but we had to make it to the next gig. What were we going to do stand out there in the middle of the street not knowing what was going on and making even more chaos for those involved in the accident? We went on and John O Negative had almost a 5% chance to live is doing fine. He looks like, we just saw him in Las Vegas last month. Cheap Sex just did a tour of the East Coast, they were supposed to do it with us, but we couldn't make it. Now we have Gabe Sex from Cheap Sex with us on the drums and he's doing an awesome job. When we get home Johnny Psycho will be back on drums with us.
AT: What was the controversy about he Canadian tour getting
B: We've got two convicted felons in the band. You've kinda got to come clean and I don't want to get thrown in a Canadian jail or plan a tour and got get up there and find out we can't get in. That really sucks to leave people waiting. So we've got to do it the legal way, we have to send in our paperwork, I think it's a couple hundred dollars a felon to get into the country. We have to get visas and blah, blah. It has to be done legally, can't have convicted felons coming in their country illegally and shipping merchandise over the boarder so we don't have to pay charges on it. I don't need any trouble. I've done enough of that already.
AT: So right now you are trying to get that worked out?
B: Yeah, eventually. Today here, tomorrow the world.
AT: Last time you told me about an Australian tour. Was it the same thing?
B: No, it was a money situation. We didn't have money for the plane tickets. There is still stuff in the works, but I'll believe it when I see it.
AT: You could take a slow boat?
B: (Laughs) No shit, a raft.
AT: It seems like every time I put tour dates up there are cancellations. What about the Russia tour?
B: The same thing happened with the Russia tour...I don't know. It was just poor booking on our part. There was stuff we didn't know about. There was stuff we'd get happy about, just throw it up like 'yeah!" Because it was all booked, then we had to cancel out two months before we went. It really sucks because I feel like I've let some people down. Things have changed! It's going to be all right now.
AT: And the German tour dates?
B: Yeah...I'd rather not talk about why that couldn't happen. It's nothing...I don't want to name any...I don't want to talk about it, I might get in trouble with the band.
AT: The great punk swindle!
B: (Laughs) It's getting there.
AT: Any other tours that are going to bounce back?
B: I fucking hope not! We've got California in January and Europe in February. Those are all confirmed and booked, so we're going.
AT: Are those going to make up for any lost European dates?
B: No, it's going to be mostly Germany and France. I think we might be going to Italy. I'm pretty sure, maybe Poland since we didn't go there last time, no dice. We hit the Czech Republic which is close. A lot of people came over from Poland which is pretty cool.
AT: How many people do you get at those shows?
B: I don't know. It's been almost 4 1/2 years since we've been there. We've had a couple records come out since then, a lot of people have been writing us from there. Back then we didn't have a website. It's really good now, hopefully it'll be good. We're touring with this band Antidote, they're good friends of ours from Amsterdam, Holland. They're really big over there.
AT: They'll be hooking you up with the good weed?
B: You know it's funny, they don't smoke! They smoked when they were here, but they were like 'when I'm at home I don't smoke.' I guess the grass is always greener! (Laughs) That's my joke.
AT: Can you talk about the new 6 song demo?
B: Yeah, we did 6 new songs. More rock and roll influenced than the other stuff. With the music we play I think we can get away with that more than other punk bands because we've always been a mid-tempo punk band. Nothing we play is hardcore really.
AT: Any specific bands?
B: Not really.
B: Well, of course T-Rex. We're fans of all those bands. There's one song has a big AC/DC influence. It's like AC/DC meets Minor Threat maybe.
AT: Whatever that is! What would that be like heavy guitars and raunchy vocals?
B: (Laughs) Kinda like the sing along stuff we do mixed with heavy, crunchy guitars.
AT: But not political?
B: No. We've never been a political band.
AT: Any new covers?
B: Yeah, we're going to do a cover of a band called Mack Lads, always keeping the sex in our songs somewhat. It's called "God's Gift". The chorus is like 'spread your legs and get your knickers down. I'm god's gift to women in this fucking town.' We recorded that for the demo, I don't know if it's going to end up on the LP. It's definitely on the demo which only 4 or 5 people have heard.
AT: Have you gotten any feedback from the covers you did from the original bands?
B: No. but we've always gotten permission.
AT: Do you have to?
B: No, but we try to. For the Mack Lads we emailed them and asked if it was all right to cover their song and they said 'sure' and that we couldn't figure out all the lyrics so they sent us the lyrics.
AT: Are they still together?
B: Yeah, I believe so. I'm pretty sure, they've got a website up and they check it regularly.
AT: There was an announcement that you are planning something big for the website next year.
B: It's pretty much all in the works. Since we put up that news page we've been on the road. We haven't thought too much about what's going to happen. Everything is going to change little by little. Our webmaster was based out of Ireland. He did it as a favor because he was a fan of the band and he sent the rest of the stuff to a friend of ours in New York. They scanned all the album covers. He's going to be doing an overhaul of the website. We're not really sure what it's going to be. All websites tend to look the same after a while. You know?
AT: There's only so much you can do.
B: Right, yeah. Just try to make something a little different, there's always some movement though.
AT: Message boards?
B: Yeah, maybe a forum instead of a guestbook.
AT: The guestbook gets ugly.
B: (Laughs) Yeah, the guestbook turns into a forum and they get really mad at each other or us.
AT: I've seen some really angry people on there.
B: (Laughs) I mean how mad can you get when you're 14? Just kidding.
(Suddenly a fan comes by and says, "Thanks y'all for coming to a shit town like Hickory." Bones: "Thanks. Check out the back of this guy's jacket. Turn around. (It's a big LCB Droog Skull painted on his leather jacket) There we go, that's nice. Thanks bro. That's cool.)
AT: What's it like when people get your Droog Skull tattooed on them, something you drew?
B: It's pretty flattering to say the least. Sometimes I'm like, 'how can you do that to your body?' There's a kid in Houston and he's got all the different Droog Skull logos - piss off, the safety pins and the one on that guys jacket. He's got them all tattooed in a band on his arm. I've tattooed bands that have influenced me and if we've influenced them that much that they want to tattoo it on their body then I've done something right. Hopefully they're not all degenerates. (Laughs)
AT: Which bands do you have?
B: I've got quite a few. Sham 69, The Germs, which is where are name came from, Rose Tattoo. Shit...I know there's quite a few more, but I can't think of them right now.
AT: It seems it's time for The Decline of Western Civilization IV with the new generation of punk.
B: I think there should be. They did one a while back. It was with crusty punks. It was punks again, but it was LA squatter punk and stuff like that. Actually, it was a pretty good flick.
AT: What kind of sound was it?
B: Hardcore, mostly noisy. We tend to play more rock and roll punk as compared to thrash, noisy, hardcore. It was a little bit dirtier, but I like to take baths once in a while. (Laughs) I might not look it, but yes I do
AT: Is there a rivalry between the different styles?
B: There used to be, in a way. Sometimes in bigger cities there tends to be a lot. I think the smaller cities tend to be tighter. You latch on to what's close to you - a freak's a freak and a friend's a friend. I don't think it's as much as anymore. It's dying away. I think all punk should be untied, united with anybody - punk rocker or not. Don't be a dick. (Laughs)
AT: How do you remember all the lyrics when you are playing?
B: As long as I can remember the first line to each verse I am OK, otherwise I am screwed.
AT: That's when you put the mic to the audience?
B: No. (laughs) That's what happened tonight when I screwed up Orphans Don't Run. I forgot one verse.
AT: How is the tour going?
B: Long! I can't wait to get home. It's over next week. Tomorrow's Thanksgiving and I wish I was doing the turkey thing, but I'll be in a hotel somewhere.
Since we are both major ACO fans that is what I focused on in my exclusive interview with Bones DeLarge on 3/15/03 in Sciota, PA.
Alex Thrawn: What came first for you - punk or Clockwork?
Bones DeLarge: It's kinda weird. I got into punk earlier when I was 13. I lived in southern California and I went to see The Adicts in 1983. I had seen Clockwork Orange before and I saw them play and just snapped and it changed my life. I've worn a derby ever since basically. Even before I was in this band, obviously you've seen my tattoos, it means something to me. In 9th grade, around the same time, they made us read A Clockwork Orange in school.
AT: That's a great school!
B: You gotta remember it was 1983. You could still paddle kids in school back then. My English teacher wanted us to read it to be able to understand languages. You know Nadsat - half of it is made up and half of it is real Russian. I think it was her idea of getting the gist of what people are saying.
AT: It's much better than having to read something like Tolstoy that you don't want to read.
B: Thankfully it was back when all the issues of Clockwork had the Nadsat dictionary in the back of the book. Now they don't. They include the 21st chapter without the dictionary. Back then you could look up words in the glossary and find out what it meant.
AT: What can you tell me about your new music video?
B: We did a new single "Just Like Clockwork". We already filmed the live footage for it and we're gonna go back home and do the acting. It's basically a punk rock take on the whole lifestyle - adapting it to punk. In the beginning there will be a scene of me laying in bed and the covers flip back and there's a girl with a bright blue or pink wig. Alex's mom worked in the wig factory so we put a really weird wig on her. She'll be laying down on her back and you'll see her butt right there and all around there is spilled blood everywhere. I just murdered her and I'll get out of bed and go along the streets and do the whole thing. Instead of a bum laying there we'll have a crusty punk kid in the tunnels and we'll get plastic chains and spray paint and beat him. It'll be different than the scenes in the hospital. It'll be me strapped to a gurney and the rest of band sliding down with clown masks on. It'll flash back and forth between real doctors to clown masks with blood dripping. The band will be in different rooms going crazy.
AT: Why not have the kid singing a Kelly Osbourne song while you beat him?
B: (Laughs) Right! That'll be it basically. There's a line in the song at the end that says, "Now I'm gone." I'll make it look like I've been up for a week and I'll shave half of my head and make lobotomy scars - like in Planet of the Apes. When I take my derby off they will be there. It'll be good fun. My girlfriend works at a costume shop, she supplies us with all our derbys.
AT: Where can you show it though?
B: We'll send it to the access stations. If we can get it done in time we'll put it on our singles collection called "Real Punk is Not an Endangered Species" with all of our singles. With our last CD "The Plot Sickens" you put it in your PC and can watch two videos. If we can get it done it time great, if not it'll be on the next CD.
AT: Have you seen the Rob Zombie ACO video "Never Gonna Stop?"
B: No, I sure haven't, but I have heard about it though. It's a nice nod that anyone can give. I'm not a fan of Rob Zombie. Is it realistic looking?
AT: Yes. There's also a club in New York called the Korova.
B: I've been there. I believe their Moloko Plus is rum and vanilla ice cream served in a beaker glass.
AT: The owner was worried about a copyright on the Korova name.
B: Kubrick was one to copyright everything he could.
AT: "Clockwork Fuse" sounds totally different than any other LCB song. Was that an experimental thing?
B: The outtro to the number was experimental in the sense that the music goes in & out. We thought that it sounded good, but too bad that there's no way to do it live!
AT: Which do you prefer the book or the film of ACO?
B: I think both are equally as strong. The book is incredible and there is so much stuff that happens in the first chapter that the film never shows or touches on. They leave the pub and beat up a woman and then go back and pay for the drinks. The people don't even know they are gone. "Oh no, these are nice boys they've been sitting here the whole time." There are a lot of things that make the book more intense that they miss in the film. If you've never read the book and have seen the film it is just intense.
AT: They did film the attack on the man at the Library.
B: They did? Did they film that whole scene? I was incarcerated for a while - my life follows the book and is still doing it. When Rolling Stone printed the 21st chapter I remember reading that when I was incarcerated. I was like, "Now I know what I'm going to do when I get out of jail!" Straighten out and find a whole new gang!
AT: So you prefer the 21st chapter?
B: It's good. I think that it rounds out the story. The film ending is like, "What's going to happen?"
AT: It can go either way.
B: Exactly. He just turns into a psychopath. "Cabbage!"
AT: I like the 21st chapter because you have to grow up some time.
B: Right. You have to grow up. He starts thinking about his son, "Oh my son's going to be this way and that way." First he has to get a woman so you know he's going to do the woman before he meets any of them.
AT: In the movie it seems like he can't even get aroused unless he is raping, but in the book the girls are 10, so it is obviously rape.
B: Right. Exactly. When you are living in a society where the story is being told in, basically after a nuclear war. It's probably every man for himself. Fucked up war babies is what they were.
AT: Did you ever run with a gang?
B: No. Evo? Evo's not saying anything! (Laughs) I run with the LCB army. This is my gang.
AT: What is your view on P2P file sharing and being able to download all of your songs?
B: I don't think it is so bad. I don't mind. What we did on our site recently was to change it down to you can't download the whole song - it starts to cut off. It gives people the taste of the music and if you want to purchase the CD, here you go, you can have one if you like the music. It's a double edged sword all the way around. The bands want to get their music out to the fans and let them hear it, but there are other people ripping them off. You can download all our songs off the Internet if you look hard enough. Even stuff that was on demo tapes can be downloaded. I'm sure it is all there. I don't mind it. I'm not going to support it like saying go to lowerclassbrats.com and take all of our shit. As far as going to what Metallica did - that's just bullshit. That's bullshit because they are fucking over bands that are even smaller than us. There are little itty-bitty bands out there that are striving to get their music out. They are from the middle of nowhere and they can't get their stuff out there and it is their only means of communication with the rest of the world.
AT: You mean they're not close to a label like on the coasts?
B: Right, right. If you are not close like you guys have it up here (NYC area), they have it in California, we have it in Texas where we are. Bands make use when they go through small towns.
AT: Towns with no venues to play?
B: Not just no venues. A lot of times there’s not a whole lot of people that come out to the shows. The kids that do come out are die-hard fans. There’s really not a whole lot of them. These kids are doing bands too. They need to get put out. They need recognition too as much as people can get noticed in California or New York. People can hear your stuff. There the kids don’t have anything. People make fun of places like Hot Topic or something like that.
AT: The mall.
B: Yeah, the mall. The kids in the Midwest they don’t have it. There’s nowhere they can go for punk stuff like that. So they buy a pair of bondage pants
AT: They can go online now.
B: Yeah, that’s true. I was just bringing that in. You see my point?
AT: If you are not close to a scene you take what you can get?
B: Right. Exactly.
AT: If you have a computer – you can get the stuff.
B: Well, not everyone is rich enough to own a computer though. I don’t own one myself – my roommate does. I work at a sandwich shop.
AT: Is everyone in the band into Clockwork?
B: I’d say it’s just about equal. It’s something everyone in the band can relate to, definitely. The Lower Class Brats before any all types of punk rock we’re a Clockwork band. That’s what we do.
AT: Do you ever think you’ll dress in full Clockwork outfits on stage?
B: I have before with the shirt, but to do everything? I actually looked into purchasing codpieces and they run a lot. They are really hard to find and they are expensive - especially the phallic mask. I have one at home and it’s just straight white and it’s got kind of a hook on the nose. I’ll wear it in the video. I saw on your site how to make it and everything because in the film you can’t see how it is painted because of the quick camera moves. All the black on the eyes is kind of hard to see because he’s got the derby on – you think it is shadows. Did you make that?
AT: Yes, it is one of the most popular pages on the site. It is amazing how many young people email me about it - 15 or 16 years old. It's like the next generation.
B: You see so many kids at the shows with derbies on. It's a really popular thing with punk rock and the skinhead culture. It's a movie that meant a lot to a lot of people. You think a certain way - your brain is a certain way. This is what you are going to do - right or wrong you are going to live your life. For people to try to change you and put you down like these kids with their parents yelling at them and sending them to boarding school because you have a mohawk or something. People can relate in this type of culture to that film.
AT: That's how it was for me, we were doing those kind of things before we saw this film like running around in masks and wrecking havoc. It made me think, "that's going to be me if I don't stop."
B: People were doing that two days after the film opened in London right? There were gangs of skinheads dressed up Clockwork style just bashing people.
AT: They called it the "Clockwork Defense" in court when they blamed the movie for their actions. I feel like I was influenced by something I didn't even know existed after I saw it. If you start going down that path you are going to end up killing someone or going to jail so I stopped.
B: Yeah, it does happen. When I was incarcerated, I got put away for a year in the TDC, the Department of Correction, in Texas. I was in the main prison system and got ten years probation and I finished it all. You have to straighten really quick. It is a really hard adjustment back to that especially when you lived your life on the edge the whole time and then you got busted once. I'd never got caught for anything in my life and then I got arrested one time and I was thrown in fucking prison. It follows the lines. I see myself when I look at the movie for however many 1000s of times I watched it. I always see that. It's like "Straighten out! Straighten out! Straighten out!" There's this proverb in a magazine I just read about a little scorpion crossing a desert and he comes upon a lake and he sees a turtle on the side of the lake. He needs to get across the lake so he goes to ask the turtle for help to get him across. He can't swim and knows he'll drown. He asks the turtle and the turtle says, "No. I know what you'll do. You'll sting me in the back of the head and kill me. It's in your nature." The scorpion replies, "No I won't because if I sting you in the back of the head we'll both drown." The turtle says, "OK, that makes sense." So the turtle takes him across and then BAP he stings him in the back of the head. The turtle says, "Why the hell did you do that?" The scorpion tells him, "Stupid fucker. It's in my nature." It's just what you are gonna do - the way your life is going to go. I don't know, I think it's just normal.
AT: You think it's planned out and we have no choice?
B: I think we have no choice - it's in your nature. It's what you are going to do. It's what you are going to end up doing. Society can't bend you in a way to make you think differently. I'm that! What else is there - brainwashing to make you think differently? It's all brainwashing. I think kids can relate to that.
AT: Was the prison in ACO the same in real life for you?
B: No. I didn't go from that to good boy. (Laughs)
AT: Were there many people in a cell with you like Alex had?
B: No, no, no. It wasn't so bad. I was only there for a year and most of the time I just stayed in my cell in read and tried to just stop - stay alone, be by myself. I was scared. I was 21 years old. I think it helped - it definitely helped me. I'm still doing what I'm doing, but at least I can think a little bit now.
AT: You are not institutionalized. You don't have to ask to go to the bathroom?
B: Right, right. There were people washing their shirts in the toilet. Bad, bad news.
AT: I know the Texas prison system. It is pretty hardcore. I was in a hospital going into an elevator and suddenly was staring John Wayne Gacy in the face. He was sick, near dead, and they still weren't fooling around. He was chained and cuffed in a wheelchair with two guards.
B: God! That's crazy, pretty fucked up. He's is fucked up anyway. That's crazy to see him. "Well, hey! (and wave)" You might have to check yourself after that staring John Wayne Gacy in the face. Wow. Nice. He totally looks like a nice guy right?
AT: No, he was drugged, on his way to surgery. What's the point in saving him?
B: He seemed like normal. He was drugged? But it was free. He could have a pardon. It could happen!
AT: In Texas!?
B: No, in Texas...(laughs) I could never think that would happen.
AT: Did you come up with the skull logo?
B: I came up with it at 16 - when I drew it. I was sitting on the trolley in San Diego going to see my girlfriend at the time who lived in Chula Vista down by the border. I was just sketching and I drew that up. He had an 8 ball spinning on his figure instead of the piss off English thing. I had stopped seeing her, but she kept the picture on her wall and a girlfriend of hers saw it and asked me to paint it on her jacket. So I painted it and I kind of liked it. When the Brats were forming I wanted it to be a Clockwork band. I wanted people to know the influence and that it was really a major part of the band. So I was thinking back what to do and - perfect. I redrew the logo again knowing it was an older drawing I wanted to reuse for this band.
AT: Does he have a name?
B: The Droog Skull. (Laughs)
AT: No official mascot name like Iron Maidens' Eddie?
B: No. We've been trying to come up with a name and shooting that back and forth talking and being stupid with each other. "Let's name him Boogaloo or something" (Laughs). There's been names said, but nothing...just Droog Skull logo. I want people to see that and think of the band.
AT: I saw the Clockwork influence on the Ultra-Violence shirt and since I'm into anything ACO related I found Punkcore. I tried to order some stuff, they say they have it on their site, but they really don't. They just send you whatever. What's the point? If you don't have it - don't list it. Say it is out of stock.
B: Yeah. We took the last five "Deface the Music" singles from Punkcore and sold them right away - they were gone. It has "Just Like Clockwork" on it. There is another band you should check out called Major Accident. They are an awesome, awesome band. They have a great website - really Clockwork. And Cockspar - one of their first songs was "Droogs Don't Run." They have a video of them all in white playing against a white backdrop with their logo spray painted on it. Full droogs - the whole band dressed like that. The video is hard to come by, but it is a great song.
AT: I have a shirt that has Droogs Don't Run with the boys in the tunnel. Is that related?
B: No. I know the shirt you are talking about.
AT: Have you seen the latest version of Clockwork Orange from Russia with The Cramps cover of the yellow screaming face?
B: Is it on your site? Bad music for Bad people. Really? I think the last copy I saw at the bookstore was with the guy screaming and the flames. It's like OK - it has the 21st chapter, but no glossary. U put it back on the bookshelf in Barnes & Noble. I'm still looking for the one that I read in high school with the orange cover. The plain orange with the text - when was that printed?
AT: From 1972-79, then they changed the cover to black.
B: I'm also looking for the one with the blank face and the gear eye. There was a HC one I saw that was embossed that I want. I was looking around online, but I couldn't enlarge the picture to see the cover.
AT: The gears is the British version from the 70s. The HC doesn't have a dust jacket, it is just black with gold lettering and a sun on it. I like the original 1962 version too.
B: I have seen that. Yeah, that is cool.
AT: In "Chaos, Riot & Ruin" when you talking about "arriving at chapter 21" are you talking about growing up?
B: Yeah, "Chaos, Riot & Ruin" is obviously a nod at The Plasmatics right there. It was definitely written about that about arriving after prison. "After I viddy back my years/as all the droogs were go/There was me your humble narrator/the others decorate the show/Now I'm haunted by ghosts of the past." I was thinking that I remember those times and it's changed now. Now I've arrived at chapter 21 - I'm here now. I'm out.
AT: At a crossroads?
B: Yeah, coming to a crossroads. Still thinking of the past. I had a great time, but now we are at chapter 21, we can't go back. This is it, this is my life now. That is what it is about.
AT: When people tell me they don't like the 21st Chapter I tell them that you must not have lived that life because nothing is more true. You can do a crime and do it 100 times, but that one time you get caught, it is all over.
B: Right, right. I did so much bad shit when I was a kid like ripping off houses of VCRs. I remember walking down the street in San Diego with a VCR wrapped in a towel so I could get some speed. We had some connections. We took the VCR back and we'd call a guy. I'm sitting in this hotel room with all this stolen stuff and I'm like, "Man, I'm the luckiest motherfucker that has ever lived." And I'm smiling too, because I'm stupid - I'm a kid. I don't know any better - this is whatever. It happened one time, one time dude I got busted right after I moved to Texas. You'll see the signs "Don't Mess With Texas". Trust me - don't do it because they'll ream you.
AT: You saw the movie before you read the book. Did it overwhelm or influence you?
B: Yeah. The first time I saw the film it that disturbed me really bad. I kind of couldn't sit through it. It was making me squeamish, which is the point. It is reality. There is such minimal blood in the film. I think the only blood they show is on his nose and in the (Ludovico) films. It was brutal and I was young. I didn't really get it. The first time I saw it was on HBO and I was really, really young. It was so strange, but after seeing the Adicts and having read the book it was like "Woah!" - a total blow. Being that young and going, "Let's go." Maybe that did influence me a little bit how the rest of my life ended up. I was wrecked from then on! Thank you. I appreciate that you fucking assholes! You ruined my life! (Laughs)
AT: You need someone to blame.
AT: What are your favorite scenes in the movie?
B: One of my favorite scenes has to be between Billboy and his droogs. Everything going along with the orchestrated music, the smashing of the windows. They were (Alex and his droogs) the anti-heroes of the film and you only see the derby come off once, but all of a sudden it's back on his head! A good cowboy never loses his hat, right? Like in old westerns.
AT: They come in like the good guys, punishing the bad guys for trying to rape the girl.
B: Right, kind of. I just think they were looking for a fight! (Laughs) They could've just beaten them and taken the girl, but they didn't. They left hee alone. Who knows what happened to her...cutie! I wanted to ask you why in the film they never touched on the writer writing A Clockwork Orange? That was important in the book.
AT: Mr. Alexander. In the book Alex pulls the paper out of the typewriter and learns the name. I guess it slows the scene down and instead Kubrick had the Chaplain explain it.
B: I might've missed that. What is that?
AT: When Alex is on stage after the display at the Ludovico center. The minister has his hand on Alex's shoulder and then the Chaplain comes up on the other side. "Choice! The boy has no real choice, has he? He ceases to be wrongdoer. He ceases also to be a creature capable of moral choice." He is saying it is better to be able to choose evil then not to be able to choose at all. If you aren't capable of choice, you aren't a live - A Clockwork Orange. On the outside you look real, but on the inside you are a machine. That is a fast way of doing it since the film is 137 minutes anyway.
B: Have you seen a full cut of the film?
AT: Yes. There wasn't much cut out. I saw the new print of the film last year and they only changed some of the orgy and some scenes from the rape film at the Ludovico center. It is so minute that it doesn't really matter. It's barely 30 seconds. It doesn't change the film either way.
B: Can you make a copy for me if I pay for postage?
AT: If you have the DVD, you have it.
B: My roommate that I lived with has a DVD player and I really want to see it, but I can't really kick back in a room all the time and watch stuff. I'm not rich enough - I don't even have a VCR! Mine broke. I'm lower class my friends, lower class! (Laughs). My roommate has the computer. She's got the DVD player...I don't have shit. I'd really like a copy of it though.
AT: Just get the DVD or VHS when you can.
B: I do have the Kubrick Collection that came out after he passed away and I have the video of that that comes with postcard. That's not on it is it? It has the trailer. Our new video, by the way, has the flashing in the chorus with the text. It's like "Funny" "Violence" "Sex". When Marty gets to the guitar solo it'll flash "Just" "Like" "Clockwork". It'll go a lot faster than on the trailer. It'll flash a lot faster. It'll be more subliminal.
AT: I'm posting the trailer frame by frame on the site how many frames each picture and each word are. It goes up and down - 5 for one word, 3 for the next. That's the trick.
B: Really? Tell me when you get that on. When we get the video finished and I'll talk to the guy who's making the video, he's a computer nerd, maybe I can get him in touch with you. I told him before we go and film the video to go back and look at the film again - the cinematography in it. I want the shots to be good, to be pretty close. I can tell him about that and I when it gets done I can give you a link to post so people can download it.
AT: Sure. What is your favorite line from the book or film?
B: I think my favorite line from the film is when he has the old man on the floor, "Viddy well, my brother. Viddy well!" That sums up the whole film right there. Here's reality mother fucker kicking you in the face.
AT: You have to watch it. There's no way out. When I was little I saw it on HBO in 1980 and thought they taped his mouth and thrown up.
B: We're the same age basically. You know how to edit this shit? I'll trust you.
AT: When I post this interview you are free to expand on any answer of anything you want.
B: That sounds fine. Whatever is good for you. We're making you the only Clockwork site linked from our site - malcolmmcdowell.net! We'll make it perfect for you. Your site is the most informative Clockwork site. I went back on your site and looked down everything. I went down through every link - bam, bam, bam, bam! It links off into everything and you start expanding and I'm like, "Dude, this site is so informative of everything."
AT: There is a lot. I've gotten emails like, "You just took three hours of my life reading your site!"
B: I've heard Malcolm has a place in Austin, TX. Is that true?
AT: No. He has three places - Ojai, CA; Tuscany, Italy and London, England.
B: Someone had told me that and I actually went with one of our singles because there was a premiere happening at the Paramount in Austin. I knew he was in town for the Austin Film Festival - the big South by Southwest rock festival that is going on now. I brought the ultra-violence single looking, waiting, hoping he would sign our record. Never met the man, probably shit in my pants if I did. Does Malcolm have an official site?
AT: No, this is as close as it gets.
B: Malcolm, if you read this - we love you!
AT: It seems like there is a punk renaissance going on. I see lots of kids in Mohawks and punk clothes walking around lately.
B: Yeah, there seems to be. I was 13 when I got into punk and I was old enough to see the second wave of punk die out in the 80s. To see that die out and now to come back again....Yeah, it's actually a big resurgence - a third wave. You'd call it British style punk rock.
AT: The real thing?
B: I wouldn't say the real thing. There's a big other story we can get into with the real thing of punk. Iggy Pop and The Stones vs. Sex Pistols and The Clash.
AT: Who writes your rules?
B: (Laughs). Basically, who writes your rules. Rebellion happens for one thing or another. It all happened at the same time I believe. It happened in England and America.
AT: The Ramones went to England and showed them how to do it.
B: Rebellion happens for a reason. People were pissed at crap rock on the radio. You fucking' gotta take what's yours and bring it back to real. It's not arena rock my friend. I'm up there just as much as these kids are here for us. There has a been a big resurgence of punk, definitely. As you can see by the kids standing out here. These kids think this is UK '82!
AT: Did you think it was ridiculous when The Sex Pistols did a reunion tour?
B: That's all right. They had Glen Matlock on bass - their original bass player
AT: But they are playing in front of 1000s of people in stadiums.
B: But isn't that what they were in it for the first place? The filthy lucre! If you can have it - have it. Fucking take it. At the same time don't lose your integrity doing it. Keep your same face. Don't change face on people and do something else. There's so many bands I can think of that I know or have met personally that have done that and changed face. They're making tons of money off the kids and they say, "We're just a little band" and they've got big houses and nice cars and everything. Kids still dig it and it does happen from time to time...
AT: It's almost impossible because your whole lifestyle changes.
B: It does change. I'd like to live off the band. I'm not saying I wouldn't. Then again I wouldn't bow down and change my morals to make money. I'll keep my morals. If they want to pay me for my morals I'll do it. If not, fuck it, I'll take the high road you know?AT: If a record company throws a $250,000 check your way you aren't going to be hungry or angry anymore.
B: Yeah, but then again when they ask me to change my music or my views and what I'm saying to people and how I present myself on stage...say a music company guy says to me, "Yeah, you guys are great! We love the Lower Class Brats, but that Clockwork Orange thing is too violent, too much for the kids - you've got to cut that off." Fuck you! No, no way in hell. That's just taking everything...
AT: Ripping your heart out.
B: Yeah, ripping my heart out and some of my soul. We're gonna take you, make money off you, you're going to be rich and everything will be great, but you're not going to be happy.
AT: You're not going to be real.
B: Right, it's going to be real. I wouldn't do that. I wouldn't feel.... like myself, you know. I couldn't do that.
AT: If you get success you get can't get rid of it. You can quit, but then you are dropping out on who you are. Like Metallica making $20 million a year, they aren't hungry they can't relate to us, they aren't selling shirts personally at shows like you are.
B: Exactly. Most definitely.
AT: Are you hoping for some "real" success?
B: I would really like to. I work at a sandwich shop and make six bucks an hour, ok? I tour, but the shop will let me leave and it's cool. When I'm home I pay my rent and when I come back from a tour hopefully I'll have made enough to pay off my cable and phone bills. That's just enough for me and we get by. You work your ass off before you leave to make sure your rent is paid.
AT: So you have something to come back to.
B: Yeah, you have something to come back to and have enough to go down to the bar and buy a beer and relax for a little bit after the tour and then go home. Maybe have $50 to $100 dollars in your pocket after a tour. That is great for me. We just made it by on the skin of our teeth and we had a good time doing it. If it came up to where my rent could be paid by it and I could tour and still make it by the skin of teeth and do the band full time? Of course I would do it! There's no question in my mind. I would quit my job in a second. (Snaps fingers). I would love to do that, tour all the time and meet people. Every night another gig, another 50 faces you shake hands with. That's good. That's a good thing. I'd love to do that. I really would. Until that time comes I'll keep doing what I'm doing and stick it out.
AT: I think you're on the way. Just the fact that people are here and we are in the middle of nowhere. I was dreading I'd walk in the door and there would be three people inside.
B: We've got maybe 150 to 200 kids in here. It is in the middle of nowhere though. I'm having fun, we're having great time.
AT: Is "The Process" a tribute to Black Flag?
B: Yeah, in fact real title is "The Process of Weeding Out." It is very much a nod to Black Flag. I grew up in Southern California and seeing them play a lot they were very much an inspiration to me. We've taken from a lot of things. We've got a new song called "Road Crew".
AT: Like Motorhead "We are the Road Crew"?
B: Yeah, it's a nod to Motorhead. It's also a nod to The Ramones because there is a line "Touring, touring, it's never boring." A lot of songs are nods like to the Plasmatics.
AT: Wendy O' Williams.
B: Doll punk, she's the best!
AT: I can't believe she killed herself.
B: I couldn't believe it either. It's pretty crazy to think she would've done that to herself. She wasn't a drunk.
AT: When Joey Ramone died that was horrible.
B: Yeah, most definitely. I got this right here after he died. (Shows tattoo) The Pinheads and it says "Sad to See you go." It's pretty bad. On the new single "Deface the Music" there's a dedication to Joey and Dee Dee. These songs are for them.
AT: Dee Dee did it to himself, Joey died a horrible death.
B: Dee Dee was a junkie, you know. Joey went before Dee Dee...who would've thought? Joey had been sick a long, long time. I think that was why they kept saying "this is our last tour" over and over because of Joey. What did he have?
AT: Lymphatic cancer, horrible.
B: It's a tragedy, a real tragedy. To see someone who created real rock and roll in America didn't even get to see his name put in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Had to die before that. I want to say, "Fuck the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!"
AT: They put The Clash in there.
B: Oh, yeah. They had to put The Clash in after the members died. They had to put The Ramones in after members died. Fuck your rock and roll. Dude, you guys didn't know them in the first place and you don't get to ride on their coat tails now. Fuck you.
AT: Joe Strummer died too.
B: All of my heroes are dying on me. It's kind of sad, real sad.
AT: Have your heard Joey Ramone's solo CD? Especially "Don't Worry About Me".
B: It's awesome, yeah. It's really good. (Sings "Don't Worry About Me"). What was the first song on the CD?
AT: The cover of "What a Wonderful World".
B: Oh, god. It's wonderful dude. It brings a tear to my eye listening to it, you know? It's a great CD, every song on it I really like.
AT: It's like his last gift to the fans. He did the singing on the way from the hospital to the studio.
B: Fuck, dude he gave his heart and soul for rock and roll. If he really recorded that on the way to the hospital - he gave it everything!
AT: They never sold out.
B: Most definitely.
AT: Unlike Henry Rollins. What the hell happened to him?
B: I don't know. (Laughs) I couldn't say. He kind of freaks me out a little bit. I guess he's doing what he's doing to get by. Shit, he was in a fucking Gap ad!? We just saw Bumfights! Have you seen it?
AT: No, they were debating if it was illegal.
B: It's bad. (Laughs) First off they have these guys fight each other. They say "We'll pay you to fight go kick each others ass" and give them 50 bucks a piece. Then one guy gets "Bumfights" tattooed on his knuckles then another on his head. These guys are bums and one pulls out his own teeth. Then they have the Bumhunter, like the crocodile hunter taping them up. He tapes up their teeth while they are sleeping passed out on the sidewalk. He says, "Lookit 'is teeth mate! (Australian accent)" and he's pulling his teeth back showing them. They are afraid for their fucking lives. Evo's cracking up. I'm sure they pay them, but they are scared and saying, "Why are you doing this to me?" (Laughs). They've got them tied up at their feet and hands and he's like, "You shouldn't talk now mate." Then he puts tape over their mouths. It's so sad watching it, but I couldn't help laughing. This is not cool to do, it's such American entertainment. It's like "oh, my god they should do this instead of Jerry Springer." I guess those guys got really busted.
AT: They dropped it. It's all legal now. The judge just threw it out of court!
B: They did!? I guess the bums can't prosecute anybody. They're going up to bums and tagging them while they slept, spraying their names on them while they are sleeping. Guys are yelling, "What the fuck are you doing?" "Just go back to sleep" and then write on them. There are some people who got really scared and it made me feel off edge.
AT: They gave them food and money and they knew going into it, so they just weren't totally exploiting them.
B: Can you imagine being the people going "Hey, I've got this great idea?" (Laughs) We're going to go out and tie up people like the crocodile hunter! You got to have at least one guy doing it, one guy filming, sound, security sitting around and a scout. At least five people and all of them going - let's do it! You've got to have some fucked up friends.
AT: "Who Writes Your Rules?" Is that for the fake punk, rich kid crowd?
B: That was one of the first songs we ever wrote back in 1995. It's mostly about the crusty punk scene, the EMO scene and the garage bands that were big in our time in Austin overtaking our scene. I still hate them all though. (Laughs).
AT: Like when you go into the store and see the ripped jeans for 90 bucks?
B: It's kinda like that. Yeah, the hip hop kids. I've seen things come and go. I've seen punk come and go also. The whole big baggy jeans thing with the chains out to there. Is this the new thing? I know new things - this is a fad, this is stupid. Like one of the lines in the songs "With your fake blue dreads and you're wearing baggy jeans." It's like you are outta here, you're just a kid. Who writes your rules? Your grandma? What the fuck are you doing? Who are you trying to piss off? You look an idiot, a disco fag. You are just buying into it. They're like "Rebellion!" Wearing jeans that are 10 times too big for you is rebellious. It's like dude, who writes your rules, man you are stupid.
AT: You are rich, what are you rebelling against?
B: Right. Pay $80 for a pair of big, baggy pants. It's not rebellious. It's like another line in the song "You spend all your money on shit, look at yourself, you're a fool." They're getting rich off you dude and you are just a fool buying into that crap.
AT: There's a punk store around here selling duct tape wallets and Misfits lunchboxes. Where was all that stuff when those guys were first out? It didn't exist!
B: (Laughs) Yeah, yeah, shit dude. No, fuck. Growing up in San Diego you had to go up to LA to search for stores when I was a kid. Punk rock stores. In LA when I was growing up was Faster Pussycat and you know?
AT: Poison. Ratt.
B: Yeah, Poison, shit like that, Stryper...and it's like fuck, there was no punk. You had to go to metal shops to buy stuff. But why did metallers start wearing spikes? Because of the punks. So we had to go to metal shops to buy the shit. In San Diego there was nothing like that. I had to rip up my own shirt and put it back together.
AT: We used to have to rip up our own jeans and now you can just buy them.
B: Yeah. I remember being a kid, dude I was young, riding down the street. I bleached my jeans and I tied them to the back of my bicycle seat and road them down the street. Back and forth around the block trying to wear out my jeans. My parents had gotten me some jeans for Christmas and I'm like "Fuck that!" I was just trying to get them the way I wanted them! Right now you can just pay $70 for a pair of jeans like that! Good price! I'll make you some.
AT: Like those expensive button down shirts. If you are a punk you can't afford them! You have no money and are going to thrift stores.
B: (Laughs). Totally, It's hard. If you are a kid good luck man. I say just do it the old fashioned way. Do it cheap. (Laughs) You know what I mean?
AT: Do it yourself, don't buy it.
B: Do it yourself! I've got to get in there, smoke a cigarette. Just wanted to say thanks a lot.
Everything else © 2003-08 Alex D. Thrawn for www.MalcolmMcDowell.net