Friday, November 30, 2012

A "No Joke!" Interview with Derrick Bostrom, November 3, 2012

Skype to Skype Interview with Derrick Bostrom
Meat Puppets
November 3, 2012

Matt- Last time we talked, remember, we went up to the recording of Too High to Die. Today we’ll try to go from Too High to Die to your departure from the band, at least through No Joke!. So, according to my timeline, it looks like around October 1993. . .I’m leading up to you guys finding a little success. You have this Wavefest in South Carolina where some industry folk take interest in you. You tour with Nirvana that same month. The next month Curt and Cris go on Unplugged. In December Unplugged airs, and then in January of ’94 Too High to Die is released. At what point, Derrick, do you start thinking this is going to be a pretty successful record?

Derrick- We were being told that “Backwater” was going to do well. They had decided on the single, probably, by late summer, and they had gotten Butch Vig to do the remix and they had sent out the various prerelease copies. They had passed it on to the various radio promotion divisions who had got the buzz going. By the time we had gone on that Nirvana tour it was reasonably certain that they were going to promote it well and that they were getting good feedback from it. So I would say that by the time we actually hit the road for that Nirvana tour we were expecting the single to do well. Obviously we weren’t expecting to do Elton John numbers, but we were expecting that the label was behind it and that they would promote it. Plus we had a local promoter, an independent promoter, John Rosen, who had the radio station down in Arizona. I believe they pay people to do local promotion. I could be incorrect about that. I certainly wouldn’t want to suggest that somebody was getting paid when they were not, but I believe that they hire independent promoters to work local areas. So they had John, who was an old Arizona alternative guy from way back and had been absolutely gaga over our prospects and was very excited for us. He was like, with the typical hyperbole, “You guys are goin’ somewhere. This record’s gonna take-off.” I expected it to do well. Ultimately, by the time we got done with the Nirvana tour the fix was in.

M- It sounds like they present this to you like a science. “We know this gonna be a success.”

D- By December, the single was out, they knew how many adds they were gonna get, they certainly know what they can expect to do.

We were still setting up road stuff. We had lost our manager. In early January we had come to a break with him. We were quite a bit more confident in the record and we were chomping at the bit to go out and work it, and our manager at the time had just had a baby, and he was not giving us the kind of attention we wanted, so we fired him. So we went into this project. . .We had signed with Nirvana’s manager. That didn’t hurt.

M- John Silva and Tami Blevins. Gold Mountain.

D- Tami had worked with our old manager, which was Hornblow, and she went to work for John, and John was the top Alternative manager at the time. So one of the things we did was go with a track record group that could get us what we needed. We were struggling with our old manager who had helped us out a lot in terms of getting us out of debt and getting us situated with the label. But there was a lot of pressure on us to do things we didn’t want to do. There was a lot of struggle and ultimately we felt that our old management had caused more problems than solved. We had been the ones to basically stick it out. We felt that our old management was a hindrance in getting the Too High to Die project done and promoted and that we had been doing the majority of the work. When I say doing the majority of the work I mean that the same shit we had always been doing when we were self-managed seemed to be working for us and this professional management seemed to be getting in the way. We never really bought into having management in the first place. Especially Curt and Cris felt like they were the ones that were actually making the connections, making things happen, making the agreements that would allow things to move forward, and our manager was just kind of a fifth wheel.

Well, that’s not entirely true cuz he did plenty to help right our ship in other ways, but as far as getting Too High to Die forward in a way that satisfied us, I think we felt that he was kind of a hindrance. When he was off having his baby or having his honeymoon and we were at the last minute given the opportunity to do this Nirvana thing and he was nowhere to be found, and he was more interested in having us do this show up in Telluride, we were like, “We’re gonna cancel it and you’re our manager so you call them and tell them we’re not showing up. Cuz we’re doing this.” And he didn’t want to do it, and we were like, “Fuck you. You do what we say. And we’re doing this. Don’t argue with us about it, just do it.”

That was probably the final tipping point with him. So he was gone and we went with John. John hired the day-to-day person who’d been working with us from our old management, so the transition was good. We were able to concentrate on doing shows and not have to worry so much about that stuff. Our old manager was picking at us. He seemed to be more worried about getting his cut, and our new manager more like, “You guys do what you do and I’ll do what I do and don’t worry about a thing,” which has its own potential problems. But we didn’t have any problems with John Silva.

So that all went well through the Spring. We were working our tails off and doing ridiculous amounts of shows all year round. We were pretty much on the road from January straight through the Summer and then continuing on through the Fall. We had to cancel our second leg with Nirvana in Eastern Europe after he had attempted to commit suicide, and so we went out with Soul Asylum. We had left for Europe thinking we would be out with Soul Asylum and that we would join Nirvana after that, but halfway through the Soul Asylum tour Cobain tried to commit suicide, or got sick, or whatever, went back to the U.S. and so we cancelled that leg. So a couple of weeks later that tour ended. And while we were in the air flying from England to San Francisco, by the time we got to San Francisco it was like, “Call me. Call me. Call me. He’s dead. He’s dead. He’s dead.”

So as soon as we got back from Europe the shit started to happen. We went out on the road with Cracker.

M- You were the supporting act for Cracker?

D- Yep. That was May, I think. The Stone Temple Pilots tour was put together while we were doing that. We went off for ten weeks on that tour, throughout the Summer. That was the number one album and number one tour. So we delivered on that obligation.

M- Do you do any headlining tours at this point?

D- We did a small headlining tour after the Stone Temple Pilots tour in September or October, I don’t remember which.

M- You were in Chicago on October 14, 1994.

D- That sounds about right. We went back East, the New York area. I’m sure we did a couple of one-offs here and there as support, but for the most part it was a headlining tour. We went to Minneapolis and then we drove up through Canada and then we came back down. We ended up in France. We did a week in Europe. We did three or four shows in France and one or two in the Netherlands, and that was pretty much the end.

M- You were playing bigger venues on your headlining tour in the U.S. The Vic is bigger than the Metro and Lounge Ax.

D- Plus there were a bunch of radio promotions in there. We did a really big show in Minneapolis. . .God, was that that year? It must have been. I don’t remember. We did a big radio promotion show in California with, like, Hole, and Jesus and Mary Chain, and some others. So we were doing bigger shows, some of them were promotions. Our headlining shows were bigger, but it was small theaters instead of clubs. It wasn’t arenas that we’d been doing all Summer long. It was still scaled back.

M- Were you beginning to think that you might become the rock stars you thought you might become? Did you think you might get big?

D- Probably not. I don’t think so. That was not the way I was viewing things. I was more looking at what was going around at the time, working on doing good work, making sure I was getting enough sleep, becoming cognizant of the pressures, the workload.

Also, it was real obvious that we were on this Nirvana coat leg after he had died. We were starting to do more television. Cris, in particular was becoming somewhat more erratic and Curt was becoming much less tolerant of that. I was trying to stay out of it, making sure that I could hold up my end of the bargain, which was to do a year’s worth of shows and do whatever promotions needed to be done. Plus we were dealing with money issues which was usually Friday afternoon and Monday morning phone calls with the accountant which were really fun. We didn’t actually get any payday from Nirvana until, like, ’95. So we were still struggling to make ends meet. Working day after day after day on the road, you don’t have a very wide horizon.

So as far as getting big goes, let’s see, we had the “Backwater” video. That was picked-up. That was doing well. We had Unplugged on T.V. Our follow-up video was rejected by MTV.

M- “We Don’t Exist.”

D- Right. And the single tanked. Then they attempted to do a single of “Lake of Fire.” It was pretty clear that it was gonna be a one single deal that we weren’t going to be able to follow up. Even by mid-Summer, as much as we were working and doing all this stuff, it was pretty obvious that we weren’t gonna follow-up with a second single. So we started goin’ Gold around the end of Summer and that was as much as we dared to celebrate.

As far as getting big goes, the artist just looks at his next project. We were thinking about the next record.

M- Here’s a question having to do with the coattails of Nirvana: There are things that look like label suggestions. For instance, you have the “Lake of Fire” secret track at the end of Too High to Die just like Nirvana had a secret track. That sounds like the label came up with that idea.

D- I guess. Once we finished recording the sessions we did not really work too hard on putting the record together. They would present stuff to us and we would generally approve it if we could live with it, which we generally could.

M- How about adding a second guitarist, as Nirvana did. Is that a label thing?

D- That was more or less a label thing.

M- I’m going off what I read in Prato’s book. . .

D- Cris hated the idea, Curt and I loved it. It was great to bring Troy along. Cris did not like it. Pretty much what Troy says in the Prato book is what I recall as well. I liked Troy. I enjoyed him. You know, it was always Cris and Curt. They were always hanging out. I was never Mr. Hangout anyway. When Troy came along it allowed the Kirkwood brother estrangement to not take the forefront of the project ‘cuz Curt was otherwise unoccupied. But, as you can see, while Curt was off having fun with Troy, Cris was left to his own devices and he managed to get into trouble without the structure. I used to always say that the first week or so of any tour throughout our career was fine until one of Cris’s tent posts came undone and then his tent flaps started flapping in the wind and then all the posts would come undone and the next thing you know he was a freakin’ mess and unbearable to be around. So without the structure of being tight with his brother, with Curt going off with Troy, I’m afraid that had as much to do with Cris getting into trouble as anything else. And into trouble he got.

M- At what point are you the odd man out?

D- Probably once the first album is done. Like ’81, ’82. Once Laurie O’Connell from Monitor came on and started really blowing smoke up Curt’s rear-end and calling him a genius and all this stuff he was much less amicable. And once we started getting out into the world and he started getting his due he didn’t really need as much logistical help. So I’d say ’81.

M- And then, sometime in the late eighties, when you decided to stop using drugs.

D- Well, that was good for everybody. I was able to engage more with the band then. It wasn’t so much of a struggle on my part after that. That didn’t represent me pulling away. The only bone of contention there would be that after a gig I wouldn’t stay up all night with the label hacks doing drugs. I would go back to my room and try to get some rest so that I could continue on. I do not do well without rest. I learned that on the road. If I don’t get enough sleep, I can’t function. So after a certain point I was like, “You’re gonna do the 4:00 am record promotion.”

And Curt used to try to pretend that it was a huge burden. Like, “You need to be there!”

And I’m like, “If that’s what it’s gonna take, I guess we’re gonna fail. I’m not doing it.”

M- Were you enjoying yourself, at this point, after Too High to Die?

D- More or less. More so than the late-eighties. I liked working with Tami. I liked having the accountants to help us with our stuff. I liked having our finances more or less in order. I thought we were doing good shows. I enjoyed having Troy around. I very much enjoyed working with our tour manager, Ben Marts, during ’94. Cuz we didn’t like the first one we got for the Forbidden Places tour. I mean, I liked having a guy but he was more or less ineffectual and we got one guy who fell through and at that last minute we hired Ben Marts who was essentially out of our pay grade, used to bigger and more professional shows as we used to hear him tell it. He did not much care for the Kirkwood shenanigans. There was a certain amount of friction with that. But his attitude was to work around it and get stuff done regardless. Curt didn’t like his attitude, didn’t appreciate being treated like a child even when he was behaving like one. So I knew that once this tour was over we wouldn’t be working with Ben anymore. And that was a real shame because I thought that he brought a huge amount of professionalism and stability to our tour life, and we badly needed it.

M- When do you record No Joke!? Do you know what month?

D- Are we moving up to No Joke? now?

M- Are you ready to?

D- Let’s see. Between the end of our tour and the starting of No Joke! we cashed in on Nirvana. One day in early 1995 we got the call saying “We need to go to New York, we’re gonna have our Gold Record party, and we’re gonna sit down with the accountant and go over just what you guys got.” That trip was like, we had a party, got our Gold Records, and the accountants told us that we were gonna see millions of dollars. So that was nice.

M- I’m thinking back to the Prato book. The story you’re telling. . .The last show you do together is a New Year’s Eve show at the Hardrock in Chicago.

D- That’s ’95-’96.

M- Oh, right. That’s ’95.

D- We worked all through ’95.

M- So sometime in early ’95 you get some money.

D- Yes. Now about this time Curt’s doing demos, Cris is strung-out. . .

M- And that starts with the Stone Temple Pilots tour.

D- It didn’t become apparent to me until we started to reconvene and get back to work. The real problem seemed to start, in my opinion, when Cris started insisting that his songs get put on the record. The standard kind of M.O. for Cris would be to get up in the morning, smoke a bunch of pot, and then start calling managers and labels and agents and stuff and doing various business things. At a certain point Cris was starting to go into his studio, record little demos of songs, and next thing you know he’s angling to get them on the record.

M- He had two on Too High to Die.

D- Yea. And they were. . .What can I say. He didn’t have good things to say about my songwriting. It would be foolish of me to hold back my opinion of his. . . BAD!

So, anyway, Curt didn’t like it. He was seriously unhappy with it. In the meantime he was breaking up with his girlfriend and spending a lot of time in California presumably trying to find another second guitarist cuz we weren’t gonna use Troy again. It was decided that Troy couldn’t cut it. We wound up with Kyle, who was a friend of Tami’s, I believe.

M- Kyle. . .

D- Ellison.

M- Who plays with Curt in later incarnations of the band.

D- Right. He’s in the reboot of the band from the nineties.

M- Royal Neanderthal Orchestra.

But Troy claims to have been in the studio for No Joke!, in the book. Although he says he doesn’t record, he says he was there every day.

D- It’s very likely, but I think by the time we were gonna go out on the road it wasn’t gonna happen.

So at some point Curt was in California ostensibly looking for a guitarist, but he had also hooked-up with another gal and was kind of avoiding his current girlfriend who was still living with him in Phoenix. At some point our label and our manager got wind of the fact that Cris was strung-out. I didn’t tell ‘em, but somebody did. The next thing you know they were like, “Curt, Cris has gotta go.” And Curt wanted to get rid of him. So at some point this looking for a new guitarist became looking for a new bass player and a new guitarist. In the end he couldn’t go through with it and then the label and the management basically dropped us because Curt wouldn’t go through with his promise to get rid of his brother who was strung-out on drugs.

M- But this is after No Joke!.

D- This is after the No Joke! sessions. During the No Joke! sessions Cris’s drug problems were in full effect. Meanwhile we were trying to make a proper major label record with lots of money and lots of big nerdy engineering stuff. I put my best foot forward, recording a pretty good set of professional sounding drums. But the whole thing was put together in such a cut-and-paste way with Curt and Cris being at such odds that I don’t think the performances really gelled. I was enthusiastic about the tracks at the time, but now I listen to it and go, “Oh, man, this is hard to sit through.” I don’t have a lot of good distance from it. It sounds pretty dire to me. But the performances are definitely. . .Everybody’s playing good. But the band is not playing together and the vibe’s not there. And there was terrible fighting during the whole time between those two. I just stayed away.

M- Was it as usual? You came in and did your drum tracks and they dismissed you?

D- Well we were in Phoenix this time, so I was around. There was just nothin’ to do. Once you’re recording that way, you do the drum tracks and they all sit around and pick over their own little parts and use the drums as a bed. It’s not like they were interested in my opinion of how their tracks were gonna go or how to make the mix work.

M- How did you decide on Paul Leary again?

D- That was just “second time’s a charm.” There was never a question. We had a hard enough time finding Paul, we weren’t gonna let him go. He was willing.

M- And the label was happy because the other record did well.

D- I don’t know how happy the label was, ultimately. I’m not privy to their motivations. None of these artists were repeating their success. It seemed like they were just giving us enough rope to hang ourselves. They gave us a big budget and let us do whatever we wanted whereas previously they were really engaged in what we were doing. This time they let us go on our own. Then they just released it without any argument, without any oversight.

Say what you want about our conflict with the label over Too High to Die, but that’s the way a label shows that they’re interested in a project. You gotta deal with that. It’s a double-edged sword. That’s as good as it gets. When you got a label looking over your shoulder that means that they’re involved. And they weren’t involved in that project. They let us make it in Phoenix. They let us choose our own shit. They let us choose our own cover.

It seemed like the writing was on the wall that they were gonna just put this out. Even before they decided that Cris had to go it seemed like they had other things that they were working on.

They wanted to bury the underground artists. They had other artists that they could make money with. They had people like Stone Temple Pilots. They had found their hits. They didn’t need to expend their energy greening untried artists after ’93, ’94. They already had their successes and they were no longer in an experimental or adventurous mode. They were going with the tried and true. They were gonna do another record with us, they were obligated to, contractually. But they didn’t have any stake in having it succeed. They had already had their successes.

Not to mention the fact that by this time your record industry is getting ready to consolidate. None of the parts of these conglomerates are making any money. At a certain point everybody is getting ready to jump ship. The only part of the company that’s making money is, maybe, the electronics division, the liquor division, the armaments division, or whatever. But the music industry is not. So it was kinda like, “Who cares?”

M- So total freedom on this record? No sending in demos. . .

D- Oh, yea. We were sending in demos, but they were like, “This is great. This is fine.”

We did the video with “Scum.” It went nowhere. I remember hearing the record play. Curt mentions in the book that one day it was like tons and tons of adds and the next day it was gone. It seems that once the decision was made not to get rid of Cris the label pulled the plug.

I wasn’t dealing with the day-to-day. I would do promotions, but I wasn’t working on the day-to-day of actually managing the relationship with the label. They would ping me if they wanted me to do some design or develop some sort of promotional chatchka or something more fan-facing. But when it came to actually doing behind the scenes work, I wasn’t involved. That was Curt’s baby. All I remember is finding-out that the tour was cancelled, and I was fine with that. The last thing we did. . . The tour that we did for that record with Primus was quiet in the sense that Cris was pretty much locked in the bathroom the whole time. So that was fine.

M- Was there a second guitar player on that one?

D- Kyle was involved on that one. My take on that tour is online on my website with the Prodigy thing I did. I had gotten involved with computers in ’94 and was much more interested in those at this point than what was going on with the band.

So the tour was more or less uneventful. For Primus, it was the end of their tour cycle, so their shows weren’t big. They’d been out for awhile. They’d been playing a lot of tertiary markets. It was just our opening thing, but nothing happened after that. The only other tour we were gonna do got cancelled. Curt and I did one final Meat Puppets’ track for the X-Files record, and Cris was not there. So Curt was like, “Here’s the demo. Learn it.” Go in. Work on it a little bit. Get an acceptable take. He did the parts. It was good. But Cris was not involved.

M- So, Troy, in the book says that all of Cris’s parts were overdubbed. Is that Cris’s bass we hear on the record?

D- I wouldn’t know.

M- And you didn’t go out to California with them to finish it?

D- I didn’t even know they went to California to finish it. Uhmmm. . .Maybe they did do stuff over there. I was working on getting the cover together.

I do remember them coming back. We were gonna do this contribution to a John Lennon tribute album, we recorded a version of “Well Well Well” and I remember him coming back with that mix, that I did not care for. But that was never released, I don’t think. There was a John Lennon tribute record that we weren’t on, but I don’t know if it was the same one. Either way, the mixes didn’t appeal to me. They were too loud, just not very organic. But I didn’t pay much attention.

M- So the story of Paul and Cris Shaw saying to Curt that they’re not gonna finish the project unless they leave. So they, without telling Cris, go to California. They didn’t tell you, either?

D- I may have known about it. Like I said, Curt was spending a lot of time in California. This is all around the same time that he was staying with friends, seeing other gals, kind of life-styling it.

As I recall, we did a showcase show in California for No Joke! which didn’t go well. Cris was kind of out of control. Then we started the tour in New York. We were gonna do Conan O’Brien, and we had gotten together to do some rehearsals in New York before that, and they weren’t very intensive. We’d even rented a rehearsal space before this tour and we ended up hardly rehearsing at all because the guys just weren’t clicking.

But as far as mixing, I guess they did. Curt was in California a lot then, and I wasn’t paying much attention.

M- Speaking of your Prodigy tour diary, there is a little writing on the wall there, there’s a section where you write about people coming up to you and saying, “Wow! It must be great to be in a rock ‘n’ roll band and to tour.”

And you say, “I’d like to just have a house and hang-out and not tour.”

D- Work is work. That was the only job I had so I didn’t know any different from it. There are worse jobs in the world to do. But I did not like getting with fans and having them immediately try to put me on a pedestal and pretend that what I was doing was really cool and what they were doing was not so cool. So I rarely played up the, “Yea! You’re right. It’s great! I bet you really wish you had my life.” I didn’t care for that line. Beyond that it’s like, you know, there are other things that are interesting to do. I mean, what you’re doing is more interesting to me than touring. Researching a book project, much more fun.

M- I’ll take your word for it.

D- I’m sure you have your own struggles as well.

M- One of these days when my kids are older I’ll hook-up with Curt and spend a week or two on tour with him and then I’ll get back to you. Not to mention ten weeks or a year.

D- Maybe he’ll need a new drummer by then and you can join-up.

I’m not saying I wanted to be a parent, mind you. You don’t see that in my Prodigy diary anywhere. Like, “Yea, I really want to get saddled with a bunch of kids!”

M- What about the songs on No Joke!? You used the term “dire” a few moments ago.

D- Well, the recording is dire. The songs themselves, I don’t think they were given a good showing there. Some of the songs are good, some of them I didn’t care for.

M- Lyrically, do you see stories of what we’ve been talking about? Do you know when he wrote these songs? Were they written for this record?

D- Only “I’m Nothing” is from earlier, that I can recall. Most of that stuff was written probably after Too High to Die. I don’t recall there being any songs that we had held back for awhile. There’s some songs from the last couple records that I remember, and certainly if you listen to some of that shit that I posted on my website over this year you’ll see that there’s songs that we were working on back then that made it to later records. But I remember “I’m Nothing” being demoed in, like, ’93. That was something he did with Abby Travis and Geza X. in Los Angeles without Cris or I, and a drum machine. The rest of the songs, I think, are pretty current.

M- “Nothing” is a pretty dire song. It’s one of the darker ones on a really dark record.

D- Not a particularly great way to start a record with a six-minute long dirge called “I’m Nothing.” “Scum,” “I’m Nothing,” “Vampires” . . .

M- “Predator,” “Eye Ball.”

D- Some of that stuff. . . “Eyeball” is kind of a retread of the kind of stuff we used to like to do. Some of it is commentary on Cobain’s situation, some of it is. . .

I’m not really interested in participating in the analysis of the lyrics portion of your project. I can give you dates and figures but that’s your analysis. You get to live or die by your own analysis.

M- But you agree that, not just lyrically, it’s not a happy sounding record.

D- Much less so in retrospect than at the time. But, yes, I would agree.

M- Was it you, again, that designed the insert, they lyric sheet and all that?

D- I don’t have it in front of me. . .

M- Well, it says “Designed by Derrick Bostrom.”

D- Yea. I was tinkering with a lot of the textures and a lot of the parts and stuff. I worked on them on my computer and what was really fun about it was that we were able to transfer the files by EP dial up to the designer who finalized the project in New York. I did a lot of mock-ups of a lot of different covers. A lot of it was just goofy shit that I still have, like, a dozen or so mock-ups that I still have that I printed out in color that I should scan and put online. They’re pretty cute. But, ultimately, it was basically my design. I can’t remember which parts I didn’t do. I was working closely with their designer. This one was the first seriously new computer age, digital age, project in terms of the cover.

M- What’s “SMAY VISION?”

D- Probably the designer.

M- “Design by Derrick Bostrom and SMAY VISION.”

D- That would’ve been the freelancer who finalized it. Basically, I just give them the pieces and let them put them together in a way that satisfies them. I didn’t deliver a finished design. They have designers who do that kind of stuff. I would give them the graphics and they would put it together in a way that they liked.

It’s a stupid looking cover. It’s computer graphics gimmickry circa 1995. Nothing good about it.

M- It has Curt’s kid’s drawings on it, instead of a Meat Puppets’ drawing.

D- This is true.

M- It’s not a picture of the band again. You had the one album with the picture of the band, and that was it.

D- It’s one of those things where you take a piece of art or photo or whatever and then you apply Photoshop filters to it and you think you’re fucking Rembrandt.

M- And then seventeen years later you say it’s not very good.

D- Well, I’m not ashamed of it, but I’m not gonna hold it up as anything other than a product of its time. I do better work now.

M- So at what point, Derrick, do you say to yourself, “I’m no longer in Meat Puppets”?

D- That was those guys. I never left. Those guys were the ones that left the band. I kept the band going until they decided to get back together. I put a website together in 1995 and I still have it. It wasn’t until ’99 or so, whenever it was that Curt decided that he was gonna change the name of the Royal Neanderthal Orchestra to Meat Puppets. . . “Whoa! Don’t do that! Leave the band alone, as it was. Don’t add something that’s not the band.”

M- You had this conversation with him?

D- I had this conversation with Davo. He didn’t call me. Curt does what he wants, remember? It wasn’t something they had my permission to do.

Curt moved to California. He cancelled the tour and moved to California. And it was like, “I’ll let you know if I need anything else.”

I was like, “Great. I’ve got money from Too High to Die and I don’t have anything lined-up with the band. Do you think I’m just gonna sit here at my house and wait for you to fucking call me!? No.”

So I got on with my life. Eventually he was like, “So, uh, yea. . .,” two years later or whatever.

And I was like, “I got other things to do. Here’s my schedule. If you can fit into my schedule. I have a life, too. I’m not just sitting around waiting for you to call me.” Once I put it to him like that, I was like, “I’d love to work with you again, but here are the things that I need to do.”

He didn’t call me back. He just got his own band together. He just wants people who can be at his beck and call. He had his roadie living out in front of his house in a van, running fucking errands for him.

I wasn’t into it. I’d be happy to be in a mature adult business proposition, but this didn’t come down that way. So he went and found his own things to do. And by the time they got the band back together I had another job. I wasn’t gonna quit my job so that I could go back to waiting by the phone. For no fucking money, I might add.

M- So they called you up in 2006, or whenever?

D- No. They had a third party say, “So, you wouldn’t really be interested I doing this, would you?”

“No, not really.”

“We didn’t think so. Thanks.”

It’s not like I had nothing else going on. I spent my whole twenties waiting for stuff to happen and it was great while we were doing it but eventually the work dried up. A man has to eat. It wasn’t like we were ever making any money. If it weren’t for the Nirvana thing there wouldn’t have been any money. And I got a small portion of that.

M- Do you remember the months that No Joke! was actually recorded?

D- I’ll tell you exactly when we were in the studio was during the Oklahoma bombing. Peg it to that. I think that was April.

M- Do you remember how long that took from beginning to end?

D- No. The summer. Probably early summer, and then Curt was mucking around with the mixes and whatnot throughout the rest of the summer. Then we got on tour, it must have been October. I’m not really certain. But we wound-up doing some radio things in. . . It must’ve been December cuz it was really cold. We left the Primus tour. We did a big promotion in Minneapolis with Oasis. Remember them? They were huge in 1995. That was the year of Oasis.

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