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The Spores - Puppets of DOOM
First of all I would again like to apologize towards The Spores and Bidi, for we did an interview with this band at their show in Amsterdam when they played with Eagles Of Death Metal. We had a great time chatting with them, but unfortunately I didn’t get the time to work out the story and when I did, it appeared to be so noisy in the background I could hardly figure anything out. But I kept having a bad feeling about this, so me and my colleague Napalm Lex felt that it was necessary that we sent some questions over. Here’s the result:



For those not familiar with The Spores, could you introduce yourself to our readers?
 
‘Molly McGuire: vocals, bass
Greg “Stunbunny” Biribauer: guitar, loops, backing vox
Eric Micheal Pearson: drums, backing vox  (new member)’
It's obvious the entourage on stage is very important to your live experience. If you had a couple of hundred thousand dollars to spend on the tour, what would your live show look like?
 
‘We would try to provide a more intense, spectacular experience for the audience members. Utilizing a wide range of visual and audio, we could expand dramatically on the performance art aspect of the band. 
First off, we would provide the best concert sound available, eventually providing special bass-heavy booths complete with tele-prompted lyrics in real time, for the hearing-impaired.
 
The puppets would be developed into a broader range, (incorporating additional puppeteers). We’d have stilt-walkers come out in giant Eyeped costumes. Something akin to Iron Maiden’s “Eddie”, only there would be a bunch of them, and they would be more graceful. Molly and Greg would also perform on stilts at some point.
We would install a number of small security cameras in various secret spots on stage, broadcasting them with new ingenious video displays (video light tubes, moving video cyber-lights, etc.)
 
We would provide recordable video and audio in-house broadcast streams for sanctioned bootlegging, or for audio-philes with their own headphones. These streams would include multiple channels, with different camera angles and video-switching, and then, say, separate vocal, instrument, drum and fx audio stems, so people could mix their own audio and video bootlegs with maximum results and quality.
We would have our friends at Hanson Robotics (Dallas), build us a giant “Mandible” or “Eyeped”, (i.e. Spores logo), with a beam of light and smoke coming out of the TV-eye, eventually upgrading it with lasers, strobe-lights, a robotic arm or teeth, etc. 
 
There would also be more musicians on stage to create all the “electronic” sounds that Stunbunny created, instead of just loops. Then we would turn off all the bombastic shit, and play a couple of songs acoustically.’
 
The Spores' albums are filled with bizarre effects, samples and computer stuff. What's your favourite song in terms of experimenting?
 
‘That’s a hard one to answer. Just like someone’s kids, all of our songs have special and unique qualities that show up every time we create or play them.’
 
Lyrically Molly can be quite poetic and un-rock 'n roll. Does she get inspiration from literature or poetry? 
 
Molly’s inspiration comes mainly from life experiences and dreams. The lyrics are steeped with subliminal messages. Strangely enough, they’re written mostly through stream of conscience and some of the messages reveal themselves long after the songs have been written.’
 
Can you share some of the effects used in recording your music?
 
‘We use the standard echo, delay, chorus, reverb etc. everybody else uses, but Stunbunny likes to bend and manipulate the audio as if it were made with clay or putty. He’ll use pitch shift, reverse, vari-speed, time manipulation and anything he can get his hands on to give the sounds their own special place in the Spores universe.’
 
Where did the whole puppetry thing come in to play in the live shows?
 
‘Originally, The Spores were supposed to be a puppet band exclusively. Then people wanted to join and pushed the puppets aside until they figured out how to play the music. Once that was established, the puppets seemed to find their way into the live act.’
 
Last time we attempted an interview with you guys, you shared some hilarious anecdotes with us. Care to share the Nicole Richie story with our readers as well?
 
‘Here’s the story in a nutshell:
 
Molly has this other puppet entity/show called ARUGULA...
 
http://www.myspace.com/0ARUGULA0
 
They’re basically a death-glam puppet band from Germany looking for a drummer, so they hold live human drummer auditions in front of an audience. They feed their songs (sans drums) through audio monitors on stage to the drummer “hopeful”, making “comments” on his playing. It’s more or less a live improv send-up. Anything can happen.
The first “auditioner” is usually a guinea pig, then everybody gets the joke and has a total hoot. Some of the world’s most famous and accomplished drummers have auditioned along the way.
The Spores and Arugula teamed up for a month-long residency at the Viper Room in Hollywood. We were in our 3rd week, and the improv centered around the fact Arugula couldn’t find a drummer in L.A. and that Los Angeles was lame with all its celebrity smoke and mirrors. Molly and Greg had no idea Nicole was there. Molly didn’t even know who Nicole Richie was at the time.
As it happens, one of the part-time puppeteers mischeivously insulted Nicole about the tabloid headlines circulating at the time. His joke insult was, “Are you as drunk as me? I’m so fucking drunk I almost fucked Nicole Richie! Proof that you can have all that money and still can’t buy food!” 
 
Greg responded with a stock line he used whenever there was a lull, changing, “I’m so bored I’m going to go backstage and sniff some blow off a groupie’s ass and wrap my dick around her waist”, into, “You weren’t fucking Nicole Richie because I was wrapping my dick around her waist back in Johnny (Depp)’s room!” 

Remember, Greg had no idea she was there, he just thought they were generic celebrity bashing. These are the exact quotes pulled from a video-tape of the show.
 
Understandably, Nicole didn’t take kindly to the “joke” insults. She stormed out of the Viper threatening to sue the club. 
 
We issued statements the next day saying that Arugula was responsible for its own actions, and that no serious harm was intended... but anything can happen in a live improv situation.  The Viper Room stood behind us and let us perform the rest of the residency.
 
By the end of the week, 60 million people had read the story on those celebrity blog sites you hear about, causing thespores.com to crash from all the traffic. 
 
SAMPLE:
 
http://dlisted.blogspot.com/2006/08/spores-is-my-favorite-new-band.html
 
“The Spores is My Favorite New Band!”
 
“I really want this to be the truth, but apparently Nicole Richie went to see a band called The Spores at The Viper Room in West Hollywood. Once she sat down and the band noticed her, comedy ensued.”
 
Popbitch reports:
 
“After an altercation with a photographer, Nicole went to drown her sorrows in the Viper Room, where LA art-pop band The Spores were playing. Sadly for Nicole, the band spotted her diving into a booth and used their trademark on-stage puppets to take the piss out of her inability to afford food, culminating in one of the puppets saying, "I screwed Nicole Ritchie... and wrapped my whole dick around her waist." Nicole stormed out telling doormen that she was going to sue.”
 
Oh and what ever band member has the dick that can go around her waist, call me!”
 
 
It was absolutely surreal getting caught up in that kind of celebrity culture. It was something we weren’t prepared for, especially in connection with The Spores. As you can see, Arugula isn’t even mentioned here, which was The Spores-spawned side car show that evening.' 
 
Your new album Doom Pop is about to be released, what can you tell us about it?
 
DOOM POP represents The Spores for 2007 and beyond. We worked hard on capturing the sonic bombast we were creating at our concerts.  We started incorporating live drums, heavier guitars and more live elements into the pure pop songwriting and twisted electronica we were known for with our first record, Imagine The Future.’
 
In movies, who do you prefer, Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone?
 
‘We prefer the vision of Stanley Kubrick.’
 
What will the future bring for The Spores?
 
‘We can only imagine.’
Do you have anything to add to this interview?
 
‘We’d like to express our gratitude to the ears, eyes, minds and hearts of Europe that search out and support musical truth, uninhibited by genre, cultural differences or commercial propaganda.’

Keep an eye out for their upcoming European tour if you think you like music.