UPDATE: Pictures of the 8/27/01 BABYLAND show can be found at: http://www.atakra.com/pictures/babylandsf01/
This interview was done and broadcasted out of FAR, Free Arcata Radio (when it actually existed) in Humboldt county on June 3, 1996... the day after BABYLAND played Hefe's (now defunct) Nightclub in Eureka, CA. Participants were myself, (Atakra) and BABYLAND.
Atakra: We've got a special treat, we've got BABYLAND in the house and I went down to their show last night and asked people to write down questions forthem and so here they are for us.
A: So introduce yourselves
S: I am Smith
Dan: I'm Dan
A: So like I said, they're BABYLAND, and they just put out a new CD called "Who's Sorry Now" on Flipside records and it also has some pretty cool...
S: Digital videos.
D: For high-end home computers.
A: I got to catch a glimpse of it, although I can't get it to run on mycomputer.
D: I can't get it to run on mine either, except for the interactive thing.
S: Someday everyone's toaster will be able to play it.
A: the first question I have is how did you guys get on the soundtrackfor the Doom Generation?
S: There's this guy, Greg Araki, he's this independent filmmaker in LA for years and years, he's been working on stuff for the last decade, and um, he would see us at shows, and I guess four movies back he asked us to put songs in his movies. this is like the third or fourth film...(unintelligible radio static)...it was finally a film he made that actually had a fairly large budget and that there was going to be a actual soundtrack released for it and so you know he'd been with us for a while and vice versa and so he made sure that we were on it.
D: Yea, he was basically, we just became friends with him, and he was nice enough to help us out. I think it has helped us out a little bit, I mean, I think, you know, you can buy the record through Columbia tapes and record club, which was kind of funny.
A: Did you get to be extras in the movie or get to see the premier of it or anything like that?
S: Sure, um we're not in that movie physically, but he asked us to see a first cut about a year before it came out. So it's kinda cool.
D: Yea, it's really neat.
A: I can't exactly remember who wrote these down, because I just kind of passed the notebook around, but one person asked if either of you guys played role playing games in high school?
S: Of course, games were my life. Dan was into...
D: Electronic music.
|A: What did you guys think of
DYF (the opening band who played forever) last night?
S: I'm totally into bands like that, I mean they're just up here trying it and work hard, and it's fine with me, it's cool. It's different, it's better than a lot of the bands we have to play with even with all their technical problems (i.e. drunken antics) I mean they just changed their singer and stuff and that's just... you know.
A: Do you guys get tired of other pretentious industrial bands that are out there?
S: Tired isn't the word for it, unmitigated hatred, intolerance...
D: Yea, after a while it's like people think they deserve to be on stage and that you should give them all your attention. That they should be able to go up there, stand up there, and do their poses and have their thing, you know, stand behind their keyboard and look (Static interruption)...
S: Wear their fashionable attire.
D: And it's just plain boring pretty much.
S: And that's the same for any kind of music, there are just bands like that. But we despise being lumped with other keyboard bands that are like that, because at least if it's a guitar band that's like that, at least well, there's something different.
A: Right on. I know you are on the last leg of your tour, what was your most memorable show so far?
S: So far this whole year, we finally made it out to New York and playing in Manhattan was an incredible feeling. It was just cool to finally get out there.
D: Yea, that was nice, Probably the best show on the whole tour was, weplayed in Sioux City, and there was hundreds of kids there who had BABYLAND on their jackets and knew like all of our songs, and were singing the words to our songs, and were like "Man, I can't believe you guys came all the way out here, you guys are too big to play out here." It was funny, it was a good thing. These people were really into it.
S: There's good little scenes in places like Sioux City or Augusta, Georgia, or Yakima Washington where there's a small core of people who keep all-ages stuff going on, and if you're a touring band and you take the trouble to go out there, you'll be treated pretty well and it's good. It's what going on tour means.
A: I know some people in Albuquerque who saw you guys and they said that they'd never heard your music, they just went on recommendations from a couple of friends of theirs, and they said that you guys were incredible.
S: We've got to make it back to the southwest more often.
D: The whole thing is there's so many places to play and there's so many places that, I'm pretty much convinced that if we went there it would be really cool, and it's always the smaller places. Some of the Midwest... We didn't really make it up to Minnesota and all that and I know there'ssome cool places there.
A: Somebody here wrote down "is SYS EX the worst band you've ever played with?" (In reference to a show they had seen with BABYLAND and SYS EX at the Berkeley square).
S: No, No, no, by far they're not.
D: Somebody asked me last night why we always have such shitty opening bands, whatever. I was kind of like well... I don't know, we don't really have that much of a part in picking a lot of the bands we play with. We like to give other bands a chance.
S: No matter what, someone's gonna hate it. So we just try to play with someone we don't hate.
D: Right, I mean we are kind of like, "Well whatever, what do you think?" We ask the promoters. As long as they aren't exactly like us. We want to have a little bit of a diverse bill.
A: Did you happen to check out that lady with the big blond hair lastnight at your show who was dancing up and down, I think she just walked in off the street?
S: I think we caught a glimpse...
A: She seemed to be enjoying herself.
D: Yea...I guess apparently she was stabbing herself with her water bottle.
D: That's kind of nice, that's part of the reason that we want to play on diverse bills because people who are not even exposed to the type of thing that we do, they see it, and it might just click with them, they mightlike it, and they have every right to be a part of it.
A: What are your favorite bands, you know, influences.
S: We love all kinds of weird strange stuff, lately like most of the records I've been buying have been like Afro-Cuban Jazz from the 50's, because of the percussion. I love, these guys were like the masters of sheer rhythm and percussion, so I'm trying to get into that, get to know a little more about it.
A: Do either of you have Casio keyboards or anything like that?
D: Sure! On stage we use like some sonic drums you know, we use, try to use what I call low-end technology that actually produces sounds and you're able to manipulate them. A lot of people wouldn't think of using something like that because they think it "Well, I bought it at Radio Shack, it's not as cool as the one that..."
S: Cost 800 dollars!
D: Right! yea we use a lot of things like that, there's a lot of just any kind of noise that is basically produced by something you wouldn't normally think about putting in electronic music or sampling. I don't know...
S: You can find these weird old things and they're good at something, they're good for something.
A: Have either of you been to Disneyland lately?
A: A girl named Cathy wanted to know..."Dan, do you put on your makeup during the show because you like to, because it looks good, or because it makes you look more subversive and insane than you already are?
D: Uh...it all depends. Sometimes it doesn't happen, sometimes it does. It's kind of like an energy pellet.
S: And it's not really makeup as much as paint.
D: Sometimes I get it on me, sometimes I get it on...
D:...on the people sitting in front of us, sometimes I...
S: put on a little bit.
S: Or sometimes it's just huge gobs of it.
D: The whole idea is, what we try to do when we play live is we set up everything the same each time, and then we have all these things that we can go through
S: At random.
D: And then at this part, if we feel like it, we can go and whatever, make this noise, or have paint. All these different things. We lay out the tools, and just see what happens.
A: What's the reason in your mind for your existence as a band?
S: Uh...For me, it's always been this way, I've had to exert some kind of performance based communication, some sort of exhibitionist existence and this is just fulfilling that same course I've been on for like 25 years or whatever, since I was a little kid, in a lot of ways. And we don't even really think about that much, we turn around and look at the things we've done, that we couldn't have even dreamed of doing even 5 or 6 years ago.
D: It becomes a thing that, it's just what you do and my thing personally is I just want to continue on, and to see how far I can go with something and actually stick to it. It's just a part of what I do, I don't know if I could really stop doing it. It's kind of odd, but it's just something that we have to do. It's weird. It doesn't matter if there's ten people at the shows or if there's 2000. It's irrelevant. We just have to go out and...
S: Answer the compulsion.
A: What are those Flipside desert shows really all about? Are they fun?
S: They're fun, they are an incredible experience, but they are the hardest thing to do. It's out in the desert, about 200 miles north of LA, and people just go out there all night long, and everyone just gets loaded on all forms of bizarre intoxicants, and it's amazing that more people don't get hurt because it's pretty freaked out. Last year was pretty cool, we had Nik Turner from Hawkwind and it was really cool. Really spaced-out and upsurd, it's just extreme. -At this point we were told that the sound quality is pretty low due to the shitty mics by a concerned listener.
D: Well we've just done the whole interview with the mics like this...
S: WE'RE COMPLETLY OFF MIC FOR THIS ENTIRE INTERVIEW! Hey hey everybody. laughter all around.
D: We want everyone to be quiet.
S: Come whisper with BABYLAND!
A: Were either of you spanked as children?
A: I think I'm gonna bring this interview to a close, but first someone wanted me to ask you What's god's real name?
A: Roland, well with that we're going to play a little BABYLAND...
A: Yea, well here's a little BABYLAND for the listeners out there, and you know...Free Arcata Radio.
S: ROCK ON!
A: And we're taping this so that people throughout the next week will be able to hear this interview, so I don't know...
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