Black Black Black
SPB: How do you approach writing/recording a song with a guest vocalist, such as “Let’s Bloodlet” with Dave Curran?
Jason Byers (vocals): Dave and I have been friends for over 20 years. We first met in Cleveland, Ohio at the legendary Speak in Tongues venue in 1995. Dave was on tour playing bass with Unsane. My band Disengage was just starting out and got the opportunity to open the show for them. Eventually Disengage played many more shows with Unsane and toured the States with Dave’s other band, Players Club. We kept in contact through the years. I’ve always been a big fan of his vocals.
When Black Black Black was recording the self-titled record I heard a good spot for some back-up vocals. I called Dave and he came in did it in one take. When I wrote the lyrics and melodies to “Let’s Bloodlet” I imagined his vocals alternating with mine. Once again Dave came in and made the song perfect. Who else would you get to sing an updated version about the process of bleeding someone to health? I also love hearing him scream the word “equestrian.” Ridiculously funny.
Jacob Cox (guitar): I / we have been friends with Dave for a really long time. I fondly remember having many many special moments with him on stage, and especially off. "Let’s Bloodlet" was chosen since it lent itself well to a call and response type vocal. It was a true joy to watch Dave perform Jason's lyrics, somehow making them even more poignant and powerful to me.
Seth Bogart (ex- Hunx & His Punx)
SPB: Do you read press written about you?
Seth: I guess if I see it and it starts off not totally boring or I feel like I did an interview and said something juicy, then yes.
Seth Decoteau (Topshelf Records)
SPB: Do you accept demos? What is the most suprising demo you've received?
I'd say the most surprising demo we've received was from Infinity Girl, which we ended up releasing.
James Burns (Let's Go to Hell: Scattered Memories of the Butthole Surfers)
SPB: In a book such as this, do you aim to capture the spirit of the band as a whole, or via specific windows in time?
James: The Butthole Surfers existed in a time when there was no internet, and literally no way of promoting yourself other than to just get out on the road and DO IT. They toured pretty much nonstop for three whole years to get themselves known. And while it certainly is easier to get yourself noticed today, it is also a lot more difficult, in some ways, to separate yourself from the pack.
What inspires me, even now, about the Butthole Surfers’ story is their perseverance. There was very little hope when they started that the band would ever be successful, and yet, they willed it into being by simply refusing to quit, despite all the odds being against them.
The older one gets, the more one realizes that times don’t change very much: politics, society, art. It’s like the Big Boys’ song says: “Punk rock’s not so far removed from Little Richard or the early Stones.” And while each generation has its own cross to bear, the spirit of independence, creativity, and willingness to fight for one’s art, or beliefs, is timeless.