The Red Chord - Exchanging opinions on bullshit topics
When I went to see The Red Chord in Arnhem, I suggested to bassist Greg that we could do a interview about totally nothing, since I hadn’t had the time to prepare anything. He was up for that, so after the performance of Sengaia we went backstage with Greg and guitarist Mike to talk about stupid shit. With me at this interview is my partner in talking bullshit, Allen, who’s last name I will not type here because you’ll wont believe it anyway.
Considering this is not your regular interview, and considering it lasted for about 55 minutes I chose to type this out in a different way than you’re used to. You’ll soon understand why.
We start out with discussing the French song Aïsha, which they consider to be hot and tight. They’re doing well and they both enjoyed the show Sengaia gave a couple of minutes earlier and they both agree that there’s a monstrous drummer in that band.
It was great for them to play the Persistance Tour, the only problem they had was that they had no merchandise to sell due to German authorities taking it. They had an entire pallet, but they weren’t able to sell anything. So the crowd reaction on that particular tour was mainly a lot of blank stares so they don’t know if they hated them, or didn’t get them, but the only way you can tell is by checking how much merchandise you sell, so they have no idea. But it still was a great tour, was a lot of fun touring with all those bands.
They notice that I’m recording with my camera and are amazed by its capabilities. ‘Camera’s have everything nowadays, telephones, a fax machine’. I inform them about the venue (Goudvishal) which has the nasty habit of turning the volume up way to loud. Their response: ‘rock ‘n roll!’. I tell them how High on Fire blew everyone away when they played there, and they tell me they toured with them. ‘Awesome guys’ they tell me.
So I suggest we should start the bullshit questions, which they seem to be very keen about. We start with my legendary question; who do they prefer, Schwarzenegger or Stallone? Both answer Schwarzenegger immediately, how cool is that! This is where everyone gets exited and starts shouting about that Rocky and Rambo were all right, but Schwarzenegger has way more better movies than Stallone. We discuss this for like five minutes or so, it’s hilarious to hear it back again. The worst Schwarzenegger movies they pick are Eraser and Collateral Damage, which Mike hasn’t even seen. But they did see the overdubbed version of Schwarzenegger’s first movie Hercules in New York.
Next question; what do they prefer, apples or banana’s? ‘Bananas, because they go better on a peanut butter sandwich. But an apple stays fresh longer than a banana does, Mike suggests, and when a banana isn’t fresh they don’t like it anymore. Also, you can fuck people with bananas, to which I suggest that you can do that with apples as well.
Their favourite junkfood while on tour. Back home they have the In and Out burger (from that movie The Big Lebowski) and that seems to rule pretty hard. Taco Bell is a hot topic as well, but Pizza Hut definitely not. We all agree that KFC makes you sick.
They both like Holland, they spend three days in Amsterdam straight, staying with some friends. They get the best response in this little country while playing shows, they prefer the smaller clubs, because you get the core audience to watch you. But they are not into drugs, not even weed, except for their drummer (who’s out of the band already). They never tried it and never had the intention to do so. We suggest to keep it that way, because we are quite big fans of expanding out horizon with some magical smoke. Greg uses nothing, he just rocks! But they’re not against it either, ‘you do what you wanna do, we do what we wanna do’.
They have plans on coming back in April already (that’s been cancelled) so we chat about that a little. I might be in the position to book them in my hometown, and I hope to do so one day. Their booking agency are a bunch of huge scary guys, they love ‘em, but they could be bodyguards.
I ask them if they have a question for us then, to which Mike replies: ‘yes, where can you get the best stroopwafels’? The first time they came here, they landed on Schiphol and he bought some stroopwafels and he’s crazy about them now. They don’t have them in America, and they imply that there aren’t any outside of Holland, which I kind of doubt. But tomorrow they’re getting fresh warm ones, from the store.
Miraculously, they are Americans that eat their fries with mayonnaise, just like we do. What are the odds. I hear the words mayo and pudding on your fries, and it’s considered ‘fucking gross’. Mike saw a video on-line of a guy eating a jar of mayonnaise and Greg thinks that is an awful video and he doesn’t want to see that.
We start discussing about pets and I tell them I have a cat that weighs nine kilos so he bigger than most small dogs. He’s called Dikkie and Greg asks why, so I inform him about the old Dutch cartoon Dikkie Dik, which must sound really dirty in English. And yes they know who Dick Hurtz is. I tell them that Beth Hart means something really nasty in Dutch too, thus moving the conversation to the subject of eating pussy, in Dutch known as beffen. Greg wonders if Beth knows about this and if she got her pussy eaten over here. Allen asks if she’s on heroin, because she looks like it, but they consider she just got her pussy eaten really hard once. Ate out, and dug out.
Let’s move to a more decent subject, videogames! Greg recently bought Zelda 2 for his gameboy like thing (I don’t know what that shit’s called nowadays), so he’s playing an old Nintendo game on his new machine. Mike has a game with a weird name that consists of being an alien and flying through space while attracting all kinds of stuff thus creating stars and planets. Sounds quite weird. The goal of the game according to him is to make giant balls of crap. It’s his new favourite game. Greg’s new favourite game is Resident Evil 4, it’s the best ever. He’s on his second run because he can’t stop playing it.
So I ask if that is what they mostly do while sitting in the bus riding to shows, but they drive around in a van. They don’t like to tour in busses, you can’t go anywhere, there’s smoke all the time and they all don’t smoke except for, again, their drummer. If they’re touring in Holland they want to see Holland. They want to see the windmills, the tulips and of course the wooden shoes. In a bus you don’t get to hang out with friends, you don’t get to meet anyone, so thy prefer vans.
For some reason we start to discuss our prime minister for a very short while, who looks like Harry Potter, to which they both agree. I’ll skip that.
I ask them with a loud laugh if they have anything important to add to this interview, since it has been about practically nothing so far. But they have nothing to add because we talked about all kinds of interesting subjects already. So since we got all the important stuff already according to them, I ask them to say some bullshit. I hear ‘flikker op’ and ‘moederneuker’. Ow how they have sucked in the richness of our language. All they asked their Dutch friends where the dirty words, like fuck off. Mike still can’t say dank je wel. He can hear it but can’t say it so we help him with that a bit. He asks us if we can tell the difference between an English person talking Dutch and an American talking Dutch. I think it’s possible to hear, agree to disagree.
So I ask them if this is the lamest interview they’ve ever done to which they immediately disagree. ‘The lame interviews are the ones where you get all these serious questions that you have answered over and over again so that in the end you keep regurgitating the same shit. We like different questions like how many broads did this dude (pointing at their other guitar player) fuck today? It’s eight by the way’. Mike prefers to read interviews like this and Greg’s never been asked how many push ups he can do. So I ask him and he has no idea. But next time when he comes to Holland I have to ask him and he’ll tell me, and he’ll prove it too. He’ll work out until April and he’ll show us. He’ll do it shirtless too, and we can break glass all over his back. And we’ll videotape it, for the DVD I suggest, “the push-up challenge”.
As I ask Greg if he likes whipped cream, Mike notices the brand name of my beer, of course Hoegaarden. Which they like to pronounce as Ho Garden, and I explain that in Dutch you can also make something funny out of it, namely Hoe Gaar Dan, which means something like ‘how wasted are you’.
Greg mentions something about a wet log, can’t figure out exactly why, but everyone finds it extremely funny. It’s fucking gross, and perhaps their band should be called The Red Log, thus moving the conversation to the subject of shitting blood. Oh yeah, the juicy stuff, however you want to interpret that. Greg worked somewhere where he used to cough up blood at the end of the day, doesn’t sound cool. Mike seems to know the situation of shitting blood all to well, in fact he once as shitting blood right before a show, they almost went on without him. And he also did it three days before this particular tour. Yummy! But the main thing is, they’re not dead because of it. God only knows what they look like on the inside, but they’re not dead!
We suppose the cause of their bad entrails is the fact that they eat a lot of junkfood, but they confess that they don’t eat as much as they used to, especially not after seeing Supersize Me (a documentary that in my opinion is obligated for every junkfood-filled fat American).
I hear the word peanut butter and all the sudden we’ve returned to the In and Out Burger, where we further discuss The Big Lebowski, which is Mike’s all time favourite movie and the restaurant’s menu. You can choose a burger, fries, or a soda or shake. Doesn’t sound like much, but you can order something called a secret menu, and you can order a double double, which is two burgers, a three by three, and so on. WE NEED AN IN AND OUT BURGER IN HOLLAND, I’d say. They both can eat a five by five but they’ve seen people eat a ten by ten. Sick! The subject moves to red meat, something we all love. But we move on to fastfood corporations, like Wendy’s which we don’t have over here either. We all hate McDonalds, in my opinion I can eat five hamburgers over there and be hungry like an hour later. And shitting blood. Of course Taco Bell needs to be discussed once again, because you can get taco’s and burgers! Then there’s this pancake restaurant (not buttcake!) called Roscoe’s chicken ‘n waffles, which sounds very nice too. But then there’s something I can’t quite figure out (since there are a lot of other people running around backstage and there’s a loud band called Massive Assault playing downstairs). But it has something to do with a restaurant where there’s two old black dudes working. You just order, and you can’t even understand them, but the meat is really good there. You can just sit there all day and eat.
Greg notices that they’re starting too look like stereotype Americans, talking about fastfood and videogames, so why don’t I ask him about guns. So I ask if he has one, so he says ‘I was in McDonalds the other day, shooting my gun and driving my SUV, ruining the world, bombing some countries. Nobody cares anymore anyway, I say.
Greg asks us which was the last show we had seen, so I tell him about the Devildriver show, the Chimaira show, some jazz band called The Carlos Nardozza Quintet or something, and we’ve both recently been to the Dutch hip hop act Pete Philly & Perquisite. We inform him that we’re going to see Hed P.E. soon, which raises a question with Greg. Hed P.E.? Hed physical education? But they know them, and they actually played with them once. They’re not fans, so we defend it ans say we love the lyrics.
Now comes something I would have never expected from these guys. They ask if we know Fieldy’s Dreams. We immediately start laughing, and for those who don’t know who it is, it’s Korn’s bass player’s attempt to put out a rap album and it sucked so incredibly bad that he probably sold none at all. So I recite a lyric that goes: ‘smoking on the ganja’ and Greg screams oh my god, holy shit as if he had just seen a cow fly. Mike considers it to be the best record ever, they listen to it all the time, analysing all the lyrics. I even hear Greg say Fieldy’s Nightmares! He contradicts himself every three seconds, since for instance one song is about being rich and how he’s got all this great stuff, and then the next song is about how he hates materialism and shit and so on. Mike hates that record, but loves it at the same time. They get so mad while listening to it, one night they spend eight hours analysing the lyrics. Weed raps to him, they inform me… okay? It should be called Fieldy’s Wet Dream. They can’t believe that some record company executive decided to release this stuff. Greg always has the album with him, it is in his book constantly. But the album has been released on a major label like Universal or something, but we thought it was like on Korn’s own label. If they had a label and one of their bandmates would want to release something like that, they would say; no.
But then again, Mike has this idea for a joke-grindcore band with ridiculous lyrics based on rules for children. Like ‘don’t talk to strangers’, ‘always brush your teeth’ a fire safety song, bullshit like that. So it’s gonna sound like a lot of the grindbands we have here in Holland, only with educational lyrics. The project doesn’t have a name yet, but if Metalblade wants to put it out they’ll do it that way. I believe the line-up is Mike, Kurt from Converge (if there is a Kurt in that band) and a drumcomputer. So there will be guitars, death grunting (educational lyrics…) and a drumcomputer, and maybe they’ll dress up like kid orientated characters when they’ll play shows.
We move on to dissing the new Ozzy Osbourne record where he covers all these old songs that were an inspiration to him, like Mississippi Queen, which immediately gets imitated by someone. We further discuss some songs he does and when I mention Changes by Black Sabbath that he does with his terrible daughter, Greg confesses yet something even more horrible. He actually has both her records, for about the same reasons as Fieldy’s Dreams. So I ask if he owns any Limp Bizkit albums, but that just goes too far. Back to Kelly Osbourne then, according to Mike the music (written by Linda Perry) is actually pretty good, but she fucks it up, she makes it sound like shit. So we diss her some more, and Greg confesses that he actually even has the re-issue of the first album with live tracks on it (he didn’t pay for any of them by the way) that also featured that Changes song and he thought that it would make him laugh, but it only made him mad. He wants to fucking hit her in the face. Who doesn’t I’d say. So my companion Allen ask if they have he Ashlee Simpson record, to which Mike immediately replies no, but Greg again has to say yes. He informs us that every song on that record is a single, what a piece of shit.
Mike really likes pop music, girl pop music especially. We ask them about the Pussycat Dolls, of which the redhead looks like a dude, which is another topic to joke around about. The Pussycat Dudes. They’re both really into Kelly Clarkson and Mike says he likes Christina Aguilera.
Now somehow we move the conversation from the Japanese noisepunk band Yummi Yummi, to Melt Banana which they love, to the touring drummer for that band, David Witte, who is an amazing basher who was of is also in acts like Burnt By The Sun, Municipal Waste and Atomsmasher.
From there one we start to discuss my favourite musician ever, mister Mike Patton and his bands, like Fantômas, Mr. Bungle and Tomahawk, which Greg all saw a lot of times and I envy him for that. But I saw Patton with Rahzel two times and they missed that. Of course the Björk album gets mentioned here, which Greg loves, but Mike couldn’t get into, because he has an issue with Björk having a self-indulgent song on every record that doesn’t really go anywhere. But he’s willing to give the record another try, Greg advises him to put his headphones on with it.
We both are into Gwen Stefani but they’re not. Greg doesn’t like California, so he doesn’t like Gwen Stefani either. They think it’s stupid of No Doubt that, being a band, they put in all these electronic things. They’re all awesome musicians but they don’t do anything with it anymore. What the hell would they do when they are on stage, stand around and whistle a bit? Greg suggests that that is what they should do too. Hang out, have couches on stage and just roll a tape, yelling at people ‘check this part out’. Mike saw a band once that goes on stage like they’re going to play, and they just eat a meal.
We tell them about a project we have in mind, where we just use everything in Allen’s room as instruments, and there’s enough to use there because it’s always a big mess there. They can relate to that, their rooms are messy, so are their cars, but they try to impress us with their bigger mess, so I quickly put them in their place by telling them that I slept at Allen’s place the night before next to a banana peel with fruit flies circling above it and stuff. That’s too much for them. He tries to defend it by telling them is wasn’t on the floor but on a plate, why he did that I still wonder about.
Somehow we moved to the topic of phantom poop, and Greg tells us he had a huge shit right before this interview. I ask them how the toilets are on the road, they’re pretty much all right they say. But in France you have to shit in a hole in the ground, which they’re not too happy about. You just have to lean above it, but Greg always shits in his pants when doing so. I tell him to like lean against the wall to prevent that from happening, but he says there’s like diarrhoea all over the wall. The dirtiest toilet they’ve ever seen was somewhere in Iowa, and I don’t even want to go in details about that. At least it didn’t say Slipknot was here.
We share our experiences with festival toilets, which are always good, and they inform us that there is a website that rates toilets and describes them too, and they’re right on it (interpreter as you will)!
At this point the band finishes playing and they have to go to get their stuff ready for their show. This is the longest interview I’ve ever done and it’s about absolutely nothing. It cost me quite some time to work it out, but I had a great time doing so. I hope you all understand a little more about the sick and twisted minds that are The Red Chord and hope you’ll address them sometime to talk about bullshit, which seems to be one of their biggest hobbies. Guys, I love you and I hope to see you all soon. Cheers!