Hank Shteamer (STATS – drums)
SPB: What do you remember of playing your first live show (with STATS)?
Hank: STATS started life as a band called Stay Fucked. The personnel was me, STATS guitarist Joe Petrucelli, and Tom Kelly (a dear friend, both then and now) on bass. Together, we came up with some of the core ideas that have carried through to the current incarnation of the band heard on the new STATS album, Mercy. Absurd humor and inside-joke-fueled riffing has always been a big part of the Stay Fucked / STATS M.O., and in 2002, when we were preparing to play out as Stay Fucked for the first time, I remember plenty of goofball brainstorming re: what we could do to make the show special. Not sure where this concept came from, but Tom floated the idea of us all wearing white pants. (Later, we were interviewed on an NYC public-access TV show called “Goomi Express;” Tom told the host, Blake Madden, something to the effect of, "If you wear a white shirt, that's one thing. But if you wear a white shirt and white pants, that's something else altogether.") At the time, we'd also for some reason become fixated on the idea of the Arnold Palmer, the half-lemonade, half-iced-tea beverage named after the golfing great.
I believe that the first Stay Fucked show, or one of the first, took place in the basement of the West End, a now-closed bar/grill at 114th and Broadway that was an integral part of campus life at Columbia University, where Joe, Tom, and I met as students in 1999. (The three of us had previously played together in Super Lucky Cat, an indie-rock band led by our mutual friend Zack, and some of SLC's most memorable shows were also at the West End.) We made good on our plan and wore matching white pants. We also brought a chair onstage, situated in between Joe and Tom, and set atop it a pitcher of iced Arnold Palmer(s), along with some plastic cups. I believe there was a photo of Palmer himself involved in the display, or perhaps we bought a can of the Arizona Iced Tea version, which features Palmer's portrait. I think the idea was that listeners could, at any point they wished, stroll up during our set and help themselves to an Arnie. I don't recall if anyone took us up on the offer, but I remember feeling like the Arnold Palmer display was a unique and charming gesture, especially in light of the loud, abrasive, at times willfully obnoxious music we were playing.
Rick Jimenez (Extinction A.D.)
SPB: Is there any specific restaurant you make a point to hit when you go on tour?
Rick: Kuma's Corner in Chicago. Metal themed burger bar with the occasional wrestling mural...Can't go wrong. My only gripe is that the Metallica burger isn't my favorite. Hopefully in time they'll be an Extinction A.D. burger which would be grilled chicken with chocolate protein powder served between two Auntie Anne's pretzels.
Mazz-1 (The Pests)
SPB: What was the first punk show you attended?
Mazz-1: If I remember correctly, the first one I attended was one that I played at 15 years old. I don't even remember the name of my band at the time. We opened for New Jersey band Catch 22 at Storyville in New Orleans French Quarter.
My very next one however was the one to remember. The Ramones played at Tipitina's. Dee Dee was still with them. I’ll never forget that one! Both of those are memories that I cherish, Storyville is gone but Tipitina’s is still open for business. Storyville, named after the famed red-light district from the 1800's, housed many awesome touring acts including the afterparty for the first Lollapalooza. It was sold to (ugh) Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville and was recently closed again, I believe. It was on Decatur Street which was at the time a scene oriented, locals only area. Margaritaville was definitely a harbinger of change. Any given night on Decatur had a random array of celebrities. Marilyn Manson was a regular and there was a famous fight with Roger McDowell, Vince Vaughn (I believe, my memory is fuzzy) and a doorman. I had seen the Ramones several times at Tipitina's, actually. The smoke machines and the intro from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, would send chills because you knew the place was about to go nuts. “Durango ‘95” would start, so would the fists and you better look out. That crowd took no prisoners. You eventually got used to the set list and after “Psycho Therapy,” hold on because “Warthog” was next. To this day, I never experienced a crowd as rough as that. Dash Rip Rock opened for them and I was a DRR fan ever since. I believe they were the birth of "Southern punk" for sure.
New Orleans was full of venues that had the classic bands. I was too young to attend, but I'll say my first flyer that I tore down and kept was for Samhain's Initium tour. The flyer touted them as "from the ashes of the Misfits." That was my introduction to Misfits, hadn't heard of them before then. I was probably 5 years old when the Misfits played there. That show was at Jed's. Around the same time, Black Flag did two shows on the same day there. The Dead Kennedys played at the 601 Club down the street from Tip's. Again, I was just a kid taking flyers at the time, but the city was heavy in the scene and the local scene was just as happening. All of the above mentioned clubs except Tip's are gone and there were probably 20 more that I could ramble about, but they are all gone the way of gentrification, noise ordinances, fixie bikes and overpriced artisan shit. Wait a minute, sounds just like my adopted home of NYC now too.
Vezzo (Sophie Lillienne)
SPB: Maybe it says something about my musical preconceptions, but I expected something entirely different when I first listened to Sophie Lillienne. Where did the band name come from - is it just me who was entirely confused by it at first?”
Vezzo: Well… a lot of people is confused at first by the name of the project: Sophie Lillienne.
A lot of times people think about a solo singer and in some ways I like it because, when I began with this project, I was looking for a name that sounded in some way sensual—suggesting the main features involved in this kind of music (trip-hop is like a woman). So I decided to join two typically French names: Sophie and Lillienne. Frenche language is always sensual!
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