Thursday, January 27, 2011
or as her parents probably call her...bliss blood
you...the SGM reader...know her as the voice behind the pain teens
but she also had a past with the melvins...new york grind band exit-13...swans vocalist michael gira...
and now...the lady herself will tell her story
SGM: my first exposure to the bliss blood experience came via the radio back in the early part of the 90s...it was the song "sexual anorexia"...that was a point in my life where i was recording songs from off the radio...i was living in iowa and had happened on a pretty kick-ass show that's played all kinds of "alternative" hits and whatnot on sunday nights...but i digress...i recorded that song...and anytime i'd listen to it wearing headphones...it would make me feel slightly uneasy...so...first off...what was the idea behind the song?...is sexual anorexia possible?...and was it meant to make folks uneasy?
BB: It was a guest on a talk show. Scott just recorded the audio and used it because we thought it was funny.
SGM: where do you see the pain teens in the history of texas music?
BB: Post Butthole Surfers.
SGM: seeing as how you're from texas...and were part of that whole "texas thing" back in the mid 1980s to mid 1990s...and you were on the TRANCE SYNDICATE label run by butthole surfers drummer king coffey...do you have any kooky wacky gibby haynes stories?
BB: No, I don't really know Gibby. Although once I was wearing a latex dress to a Buttholes show and we went backstage and Gibby pulled out the top of it and looked down and said "Sweaty."
SGM: and since we're on the subject of kooky wacky texans...do you have any david yow stories?
BB: One he put his finger up my nose. And we used to stay at his house in Chicago on tour.
SGM: after essentially becoming a duo on the 1995 BEAST OF DREAMS album...the pain teens split up....what happened?
BB: We spent 18 weeks on the road in a year and a half, and I was fed up with touring, not being heard onstage, touring with people who seemed to have no priority but getting drunk. I think Beast of Dreams is our best record, back to the original format of the band which was Scott and I recording together and not worrying about playing the music live. We had been living together for 6 years, I had moved out 2 years prior to 1995, it had just wound down and it was over.
SGM: you then moved to new york city and eventually hooked up with the band exit-13 and recorded an album of jazzy lounge odes to the pot called SMOKING SONGS...how did all of that business happen?
BB: Actually I recorded Smoking Songs with them in the summer of 1995, before I moved here. I was friends with Danny Lilker from Exit-13 and I wanted to do a jazz record and they came up with the idea to do a covers record of those songs. Originally I think I was only supposed to do 2 songs, but I pushed it up to 6 or 7. That was when I had just started playing ukulele and I didn't even bring it with me -- I wish I had, I could have played it on the recording, and practiced all week while I sat around listening to the other guys laying down the tracks. I did all my vocal tracks in a few hours.
SGM: you also hooked up with the melvins for a song on their THE CRYBABY album called "the man with the laughing hand is dead"....the title of that song reminds me of the horror movies of the 50s...what exactly did you and buzzo have in mind with that song?
BB: Jim Thirlwell of FOETUS told me he was going to sing a guest vocal on the Crybaby and I told him I wished I could too. He gave me Buzz's phone number and they sent me an 8-minute long track which was like a funeral dirge. I got the idea for making it about Senor Wences because he had just died (he was a famous Spanish ventrioloquist) and did some research on him, rented a video tape with him performing on the Ed Sullivan show (he just happened to be talking about music, ironically) and sampled it, then I added some saw tracks, ukulele, and sitar guitar to it and sang my surrealist lyrics about him. He's the guy who used his hand for a puppet.
SGM: also...you made the melvins sound kinda sexy
BB: That's because I make everything sound sexy.
SGM: you also hooked up with swans vocalist michael gira for his angels of light project...what was that like?...and did he like to sit in dark rooms a lot and sulk?
BB: It was a nice experience but I don't think I'll work with him again. I respect his work.
SGM: you're currently in a band called nightcall with lubricated goat vocalist stu spasm...how did that get started?
BB: No, Nightcall broke up in 2008. Stu called me up and we played together and wrote songs for about a year, played some shows. It was a fun band, and we still have some tunes up on our old Myspace page if anyone's interested in hearing it.
My newest project is a duo with a jazz guitarist named Al Street called EVANESCENT. He has played with the Sweet Divines and Sugarman Three as well as hundreds of jazz musicians in New York. All of our songs are very sensuous and he's a brilliant musician, and my lyrics are very sexual, kind of a continuation of songs like "Indiscreet Jewels" or "Swimming" by the Pain Teens. Sexual songs are something that really turn me on and I don't think enough people write songs like that, it's always about the breakup or falling in love, not sex. You can download all of them for free on our Reverb Nation page.
SGM: a lot of your musical influences seem to run through the 1920s and 30s...do you feel as if you live in the wrong time?
BB: The MOONLIGHTERS (my 1920's jazz band I've been playing in since 1998) and DELTA DREAMBOX (my 1920's blues band I started in 2002) are really cool and I love writing original songs in that style. I found that my voice was much more like the singers from that era than a loud screaming metal band singer like David Yow or something. I enjoy being heard, I'm a great singer, and I love writing original songs in that style. Have you heard my bands?
SGM: why have you not done anything with tom waits yet?
BB: Sometime soon, I hope. I love him!
SGM: are there any bands out there nowadays that tickle your fancy that you'd like to name drop?
BB: Lunarians, who opened for the Butthole Surfers in Brooklyn on New Years' Ever, were awesome.
SGM: well...i do believe that i've taken up more than enough of your time...is there anything you'd like to say to the kids?
BB: Buy my music. I love you.
and yes...as a matter of fact i have checked out some of her other projects
and it's a good way to spend a sunday afternoon with the windows open (though i'd suggest doing this only during warm weather)
and this is the place you can find out all about her new project