Sunday, February 08, 2009

Ruta 66 Entrevista

I was interviewed at length several months ago by Alberto Lodeiros for the Barcelona-based rock magazine, Ruta 66. The interview was published in their December issue but I only recently received a copy in the mail here in Arizona.

Ruta 66 is a beautiful rock mag, full of great writing and full color photos. It's much more mainstream than the magazines I'm typically featured in. Since I'm not one of the better known punk musicians from my era, I was happy that Alberto took the time to research his subject and send me some very insightful and thought provoking questions. I did find it odd (to say the least) to see my name on the cover alongside Sir Paul McCartney. I showed it to my 14 year old daughter who is a huge Beatles fan because I thought she would be impressed. She smiled faintly and said "oh yeah, that's cool" in a flat voice. Then she went back to the latest M.I.A. remix on her Ipod...

Here are just a few of the questions and answers. Ruta 66 did a great job of translating my English answers to Spanish, but I'm lazy and will let you translate Alberto's questions from Spanish to English. It will give you some idea of what it's like to be a Spanish-only speaking student in an English immersion class.

31.En 1981 decides abandonar todo aquello, coincidiendo con la entrada
de la heroína en la escena Punk. ¿Hasta qué punto crees que las drogas
ayudaron a acelerar la muerte del Punk?

Punk isn't dead, it's just changed. Punk is more than a type of music,
it's an attitude that transcends time and space. The thing that did
end was the Hollywood scene as it had once been. I think drugs
contributed to it but I don't know if that type of situation where
everything was open and welcoming and creative could have lasted
forever. Change is inevitable and necessary.

32.Bandas como las Go Gos salieron del circuito underground y
vendieron miles de discos. ¿Por qué crees que otras bandas muy
superiores a ellas musicalmente no salieron de aquello?

The Go-Go's were marketable in ways that some other bands were not.
Not only were they cute, stylish young girls, they played upbeat
energetic pop. I don't think their music was inferior to anyone
else's. I think music is a matter of taste and if punk was about
anything it was about obliterating the whole idea of musical
superiority. Their music was different and more commercial but the
girls were true to themselves.

33.He visto algún video delirante de Cholita, una de los proyectos en
los que te metiste años más tarde. Os declarabais influenciadas por
Gloria Trevi… ¿Qué buscabas con ese nuevo proyecto?

I wasn't looking for anything. I never look for music, it seems to
look for me. I was at a party when a friend asked me to go see him
perform with a group called the Afro Sisters. He introduced me to
Vaginal Davis who immediately talked me into going on stage with them
that same night. I improvised and it was exhilarating. After that,
Miss Davis drafted me into The Afro Sisters and then into Cholita.
Cholita was performance art, improvisational comedy, social commentary
and music all in rolled into one big fun ball, in some ways similar to
Gloria Trevi. The Cholitas were all Trevi fans.

34.Te has dedicado últimamente a entrevistar a chicas de la escena
Punk. ¿Qué crees que tienen de especial las chicas que formaron parte
de aquello a diferencia de los hombres?

All of us truly believed that we could do anything that the guys did
and we proved it.

35.Voy a hacerte una de las preguntas que tú sueles hacer a tus
entrevistados. ¿qué legado ha dejado el punk en tu vida?

I'm not afraid to fail. If I want to do something I don't let self
doubt or other people's opinions stop me. I figure even if I don't
achieve exactly what I set out to do I am still ahead and better off
for having tried. The only failure is failure to act.

36.Tienes pagina web y myspace. ¿Cómo crees que habría cambiado la
escena Punk de los 70 y 80 de haber todos estos adelantos?

It would have been amazing. I think it would have been a global
creative revolution. Can you imagine the richness and diversity that
the internet would have allowed? We could have cosmopolitan
collaborations! I find most of my favorite bands on the internet. I
rarely listen to the radio anymore. Why bother with radio or record
labels when some of the most creative work is being done online and

37.¿A qué te dedicas hoy en día?

I'm taking my punk attitude and writing an autobiography. I am not a
writer but it's good therapy for me. I'd like to turn it into a
graphic novel along the lines of Persepolis or Maus. Any willing comic book
artists out there?