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Interview with Evil Mothers - 5/22/97, Suburbia, Portland, OR

Jester: So how has the tour gone so far for you?

Curse: It has been dazzling. Straight to the top, down to the bottom, and back up to the top again. We crash and burn occasionally but we always end up ahead.

Jester: How long have you been out on this tour?

Patrick: It hasn't been that long this time, but we are perpetually on a state of out. We try to avoid staying home for any long periods of time. This particular trip has another week left on it.

Curse: This is the first leg of the Auto Bondage Apocalypse Tour. It starts in Texas and ends in Krakow over in Europe.

Jester: Will this be the second time you will have toured Europe?

Curse: Yes.

Jester: How did the first European tour go?

Patrick: When we first went over there we didn't know how we would be perceived. Eventually they started to tag us as Texas Goth so we sort of ran with the label they chose for us.

Jester: How has the new album been received by fans?

Curse: It has been received very well and in larger numbers than our previous efforts both from American and European press.

Patrick: Of course it was only released about two months ago so we are just starting to get feedback.

Jester: So you are using the tour to help promote the album?

Patrick: Exactly.

Jester: On the new album, "Spider Sex and Car Wrecks", you choose to use a great deal more electronics than on previous releases. Why did you choose to go in that musical direction on the new album?

Patrick: We believe that we focused a little too much on our guitars on our first two albums and we wanted to use a great deal more synthetic noise on this album rather than just normal six string noise.

Curse: The lyrical content to the songs also tend to lend themselves better to the textures and ambience provided by the electronics.

Jester: I know that percussion is a major element of your live show with the two drummers on stage. How much of a role does the percussion play in the writing process of your music?

Curse: The drums are like this machine that you can use to pummel your music through to the audience. So it is challenging to avoid overbearing the audience with the drums. We try and take what is normally a very powerful instrument on-stage and make it sound right when it comes out of a tiny little speaker in someone's stereo. Sometimes it is very difficulty to accomplish but other times it can create some rather dynamic moments where we are able to make it all work properly.

Patrick: We try to wait to add the percussion until we have a solid direction for a song. We do try to push the drums up into the front of our music, but when we sit down and actually write the songs, we usually start with lyrics or a bass-line.

Jester: I know you use one regular drum kit. What does the second drum kit consist of?

Curse: It has metal percussion, electronic percussion which fires triggers to the samplers, a few toms and some very large low-end drums. So the drum kit is both organic and electronic.

Jester: The title of the new album, "Spider Sex & Car Wrecks", reminds me of the J.G. Ballard book "Crash". Is that where you derived the title from?

Curse: It wasn't necessarily taken from that book, but a large portion of the inspiration for the record did come from it. That particular book was just one of a few sources which melded together to form the vibe on the new album.

Patrick: A lot of the songs that Curse tends to write comes from ideas or points of departure from literature that he has been reading over so it is just a logical progression of things.

Jester: For titles on your other albums you often come up with creative, tongue in cheek ideas. Where do you come up with ideas for such diverse song titles and lyrics?

Curse: Mostly it is just the world that we are in. It kind of all gets siphoned out of it.

Patrick: We get a lot of ingredients from common every day events that occur during the writing process of the album. We also have a tendency to go out and find obscure sample material which is found in conventional media. We go out and talk to drunk, fifty year old drag queens, in Beaumont, Texas and sample them for tracks such as 'Never Trust a John'.

Curse: There is a certain authenticity to our music and we often dwell in strange worlds but it does all indeed come from inside of us.

Jester: I've read in other interviews that you enjoy recording obscure samples said by other people. Do you still carry around a tape recorder whenever you go out in public to find that type of material?

Patrick: You get the best samples from just walking around taping people. We also try and search out special events like a car crash and talk to the victims or witnesses.

Jester: What would be your most favorite sample you have found through this method?

Curse: The middle section of 'Never Trust a John' is probably my favorite.

Patrick: In that instance a street prostitute was trying to hitch a ride with us to try and do the band. He had to tell a story in order to be taken in and it was a good one. He told us about the hotel where we stayed in Texas which was nicknamed the "Murder Hotel". He was actually the first person to say, "Never Trust a John", so we kind of stole that from him.

Jester: Your lyrics are often composed in a stream of consciousness or tape cut-up style. Why have you chosen to write your lyrics in this particular manner rather than in a more traditional manner?

Curse: It think we kind of take the stream consciousness that you see and warp it into a pop style of writing. It all goes back to personal literary influences by writers like Burroughs, Bukowski, Ballard, Bouledaire. Obviously your brain filters through all of that material and incorporates into whatever creative process you might be involved in.

Patrick: A lot of the noise and music that we make seems to go along better with the stream of consciousness styles lyrics rather than a well composed ballad.

Jester: The title of one of your previous tours was "Route 666", and one of your previous albums was "Pitchforks and Perverts". I can sense a large volume of Satanistic reference in your song titles but not as much in your lyrics. Are you simply using Satanistic references as a convenient tool to interest people in your music?

Patrick: That tour was a few years ago and I feel like Satanism has kind of gotten a little out of control in regards to music. With us it was more used as a fodder for our material rather than any type of seriousness.

Curse: I think that those references sort of captured the live essence of the band when perceived as a whole during a performance. Evil Mothers on Route 666 makes perfect sense to me. It's not like we are Electric Hellfire Club and it's our schtick. We are a very well rounded band and we choose to draw from many influences for our music.

Patrick: We are getting rather weary of using all the blasphemous and sacrilegious material that we have used in the past so we are trying to look elsewhere for ideas in the future.

Jester: How did did Evil Mothers originally form?

Patrick: We all met about fifteen years ago at a bar where Curse was DJing. Originally it started as a noise project that was more of a hobby than a band. Eventually it sort of involved into what you see today.

Jester: Have you been in other musical projects besides Evil Mothers, or is this the first time you have been involved with music?

Curse: Evil Mothers is my first real endeavor into rock.

Patrick: We messed around with other things but it never went anywhere. Evil Mothers really was our first real musical outlet.

Jester: How did you meet Martin Atkins of Invisible Records and get signed to his label?

Curse: There was an advertisement in the Chicago Reader. It read, "Straight, white Englishman, looking for two far flung Texan boys for percussion and calf roping." In actuality it was just a musicians wanted ad in the local music newspaper in Chicago.

Jester: Curse, how did you get involved with Pigface?

Curse: My hog tying techniques impressed Martin so much that he asked me to join the band. He asked me if I could play a keyboard and I couldn't, but because I could hogtie all the other band members so well he asked me to join.

Patrick: Martin said something about any monkey being able to play the keyboards.

Jester: You've also worked with with Mark Spybey in SPASM. That project seems to be rather distant from the music you make with Evil Mothers but more similar to your early noise roots. What is it like doing that type of music?

Curse: The whole SPASM thing is done all on the fly. We get together once a year, drink too much, and press record and start making music.

Jester: Do you enjoy working with other musical projects besides Evil Mothers? Is it a good creative outlet?

Curse: I know that I have tons of material, so that any opportunity that would allow me to burn through a bank of samples that have been sitting around for years is good. If that opportunity ends up being released that is also great because that means it was documented, accomplished and achieved. It allows me to get rid of excess baggage and to move onto other musical ideas.

Jester: Is there anyone in particular that you would like to collaborate with in the future?

Patrick: There are lots of people we would like meet, so we would pretty much collaborate with just about anyone. Outside of one of our shows a few days ago there we a bunch of drunk guys banging on stuff and we joined in after the show. It is just kind of fun to make noise regardless if we are actually recording it or not.

Curse: We just like to work with whomever happens to be around. The whole SPASM thing evolved because we were all friends and had free time. So we just decided to make some music.

Jester: What would you consider your favorite track that you have ever written for Evil Mothers?

Curse: I like 'Give Up The Ghost' quite a bit on the new album. Actually I like most of them.

Patrick: It is hard for me to choose which one of our songs I like the best. I can talk about other people's music rather easily but when it comes to my own, it's difficult. However, I suppose that I do like 'Crucifix' quite a bit at the moment.

Jester: What can we expect from your live performance tonight?

Curse: Midgets and Drag Queens always get in free. That is one of the most important factors of our live shows. The more of them we have, the more of a party our live show is destined to become.

Patrick: We do try to throw out a spell when we first get on-stage and sometimes it works and other times it doesn't. There is one particular song that when we play it, has the effect of causing people to get naked. It is always something we hope for, but it doesn't always happen.

Jester: Is there anything else you'd like to add in conclusion?

Patrick: Being that Evil Mothers are the last temptation of the 20th Century, you might as well start listening to us now before it becomes a prerequisite to gain entrance at the gates of hell.

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