|Interview with The
Screamers: Tomata du Plenty (vocals), Gear (synthesizer), K.K. (drums),
and David Braun (piano).
Due to the unusual nature of this group, this definitely was not your average run of the mill interview. For the sake of clarity, all giggles, shouts, insults and esoteric puns have been deleted. What remains is most of the important nonsense and the occasional profound remark here and there!
Slash: Describe your music in five simple words...(no reaction)...one word?
Tomata: In one word: anxiety!
Slash: Describe the response to your music so far.
Slash: True you have no guitars?
Tomata: We do have one. I use a guitar.
Gear: We don't use them as guitars, we use them as percussion instruments or as pianos, but not in the traditional sense.
Slash: Is this some kind of breakthrough?
K.K.: The guitar element just wasn't there...
Gear: I think there are alternatives to the guitar sound, to its symbolism.
Slash: But can you be sexy on stage without guitars?
K.K.: We're sexy off-stage without them!
Slash: Your musical influences?
K.K.: All kinds...every one of us has his favorite. We're somewhat influenced, but not really directly.
Tomata: I like a lot of bubble-gum, the Bay City Rollers...
Gear: I'm Nico's biggest fan!
David: I think James Brown is God!
Slash: The Monkees?
Tomata: Love them!
Slash: The Archies?
Tomata: I have all their albums. I like the Sadistic Mika Band too.
Slash: The Troggs?
Tomata: Definitely! "I can't control myself", fabulous song...
Slash: Are you a punk band?
Tomata: Wouldn't say so.
Slash: Afraid to be a punk band?
Tomata: It's really a press thing ... I would just say we make sounds.
Gear: I like to think of ourselves as Nouveau Vague.
Slash: What are your opinions about the new wave English singles?
Tomata: I like the Clash. "White Riot" is brilliant!
Gear: It's great, all these singles coming out. The goods are more accessible to people.
Slash: Short songs too, most of them.
K.K.: It's like the sound barrier, everybody's trying to break it down!
Slash: What of the local groups?
Tomata: We saw the Zeroes in San Diego last week. They're fantastic, like the Mexican Ramones! ...I like The Weirdos, they are sort of like the Seeds.
Slash: Sky Saxon is making a comeback...
Tomata: He used to be one of my idols.
K.K.: Love Love!
Slash: What will happen to Johnny Rotten?
Gear: When he makes some money he'll probably get his teeth fixed!
Slash: The Screamers are very mysterious about their music, aren't they?
Tomata: Yes they are!
Slash: Where and when can we catch them?
Gear: When we feel ready, in the right place, at the right time ... lots of people who might get turned on to us might be under 18...
Slash: Do you take your music seriously?
Gear: We do, but it doesn't mean we don't have a sense of humor. Humor is necessary in order to survive.
Slash: Are you a "musical" band?
Gear: I personally don't like music per se.
Tomata: It's more essential ... sensational...
Gear: I told you we're Nouveau Vague!
Slash: How long you been together?
Tomata: Six months.
Slash: Do you have many songs?
Gear: Quite a number but we're confining ourselves, we want a set that won't be too long, so that no one gets turned off ...when you go on and on it's not as effective as whe you are very strong and quick and hard.
Slash: Any solos?
Tomata: Definitely not!
Slash: Give us some titles.
Tomata: "Eva Braun" is a love song, "Going Steady with Twiggy", "You don't love me you love magazine"...
Gear: A song called "Punish or be damned", a song called "Peer Pressure", another originally performed by Billie Holliday: "Gloomy Sunday;"...
David: A song about the Blessed Virgin Mary called "Mater Dolores", Mother of Sorrow.
Tomata: It's one of our big dance songs!
K.K.: The watusi will be reborn ...!
Slash: Who were the Tupperwares?
Tomata: Gear and I were the Tupperwares, but we had some struggles with the name, had to change it.
Slash: Do you take drugs?
Tomata: Don't have the time!
Gear: Not any more. I can't afford it.
David: I have a whole medicine cabinet at home full of things l don't have time to take.
Tomata: Ever heard Martin Denny? He's one of our main influences.