What would happen if you turned a regular band interview into a cross section of Family Feud and Truth or Dare? We invited the members of the local bands New Luck Toy (singer/guitarist Steve King, guitarist Ken Jarvey, drummer Kellie Payne, bassist Steve Csutoras) and Tractor Sex Fatality (singer Rob Fletcher, guitarists Dave Bessenhoffer and John Laux, and bassist Karlis; Eben Eldridge and Ward Reeder couldn't attend), who share a bill at the Funhouse this week, to the Canterbury, scribbled 10 questions on 10 slips of paper, set the bands on opposite sides of a long table, turned the tape recorder on, and tried not to interrupt.
Back in the day, bands and musicians covered each other's songs all the time. Why don't bands do that anymore? Whose songs would you like to cover, and why don't you?
Dave Bessenhoffer: People in the '60s were dumber. And the drugs weren't as good then, either.
Rob Fletcher: There were only, like, eight songs in 1965, and everybody did them because that's all you heard on the radio. But every time I say, "Let's do a cover," you guys shut me down.
John Laux: I wanna do "Cannibal" by Scratch Acid.
Ken Jarvey: You guys have never covered a friend's band's song?
Fletcher: We covered Cheap Trick once.
Seattle Weekly: And those guys are your friends?
Bessenhoffer: Yeah, yeah they are.
Fletcher: I'm from Rockford, Ill. I actually hugged Rick Nielsen in an art gallery in high school.
Whom do you think your singer most resembles in terms of style and stage presence?
Steve King: Moses.
Bessenhoffer: What band was he in?
King: Moses and the Dudes.
Jarvey: I just can't think of anyone I've ever seen before who is as Steve King as Steve King.
King: Not even that one dude from Lord of the Rings?
There is only one woman at this table, aside from the one who wrote the questions. To make up for that, please name the top three women in music.
Laux: There's the girl in Veronica Lipgloss. And Jarboe [from Swans].
Fletcher: Poison Ivy [from the Cramps]! And the girl who played drums topless in the early days of the Butthole Surfers, I can't remember her name.
Laux: It was Kira.
Bessenhoffer: And there's Kira from Black Flag.
Fletcher: Yeah, the two Kiras and Poison Ivy.
Bessenhoffer: And Lacey Swain [from the Charming Snakes].
King: And Kim Warnick. She's the top three dudes and the top three women.
Whom has your band been compared to? What comparisons have you welcomed, and what have you been put off by?
Kellie Payne: All the comparisons I've liked: the Buzzcocks, the Germs, fans of the Germs getting in a fight with fans of Adam Ant.
King: I don't remember not liking any of them. I don't remember understanding any of them though, either. Kim [Warnick] was obsessed with the Jam. And the Buzzcocks. I don't see that at all.
Steve Csutoras: Van Halen, now I don't understand that one. . . .
King: Iron Maiden—that would make sense to me. But nobody says that. We get compared to, uh, Fairport Convention a lot.
SW: [to Tractor Sex Fatality] What about you guys?
Bessenhoffer: Pussy Galore—which I don't really hear.
Karlis: When we had two drummers, Butthole Surfers.
Fletcher: When we have a saxophone player/backup singer, we get the Fishbone comparison.
Payne: That was me, I'm sorry!
Bessenhoffer: Hey, a black guy, jumping around with a sax: Fishbone!
Who has hidden in their personal history a terrible band from high school or something that they would never want anyone to hear?
Karlis: My first band was a ska band; I sang.
Fletcher: Fuck, we are Fishbone!
Bessenhoffer: Is that the band that opened for the Screaming Trees?
Karlis: Yeah, we were called the Güys.
Fletcher: You had the umlaut??
Karlis: Yeah, it was so embarrassing.
Both of your bands have been known to cut loose a bit onstage. Discuss a time when you did something dangerous or stupid onstage.
Fletcher: Dave lit his pubic hair on fire upside down hanging at the Funhouse. No, wait . . .
Karlis: Didn't you almost take your clothes off at one show?
Fletcher: I got completely naked at the first attempt of making a band. The first real show was just me with a garter. That was at the Rendezvous.
Karlis: Back when it was the punk Rendezvous.
Payne: Did you guys break up that night?
Fletcher: I had to re-form the band with people who hadn't seen me naked.
Full-length records, 7-inches, comps, splits, MP3s: What does your band have out?
Fletcher: We more than 80 hours of home recordings, yet only seven minutes of it have actually made it to vinyl— hopefully—by the record release party.
Bessenhoffer: We have a video you can rent at Video Vertigo.
Fletcher: We have two videos. Two live shows. We have video, we have audio. We have comic books. We're a multimedia kinda thing.
SW: But you do have a single coming out, right?
Fletcher: Hopefully it'll be here. If not, we'll just hold up the test pressing.
Often, unless we're talking about folk singers, songwriters aren't necessarily writing "about" anything in particular. Are your songs usually about something?
King: ["Kittens Start Sparkling"] is about kittens jacking off on my face and then exploding. "Magic Squares" is about fleas attacking me while I'm acid. "Rotten Little Beauties" is sung from the point of view of maggots in a body in a pool. "Japan Is Edible" is about eating Japanese people, but I read the song and it doesn't make any sense to me at all. The songs always involve eating, fucking, and killing.
Pick a movie, any movie, that your band should be able to resoundtrack.
Laux: Why, though? That has a great soundtrack already. What's a good movie with a shitty soundtrack?
Fletcher: Burial Ground.
Karlis: How about The Bodyguard?
King: I was actually thinking that!
Nobody really wants to know how your band met, so make up a good ending instead. How or why is your band going to break up?
Payne: Eat, fuck, kill, and that'd be the end.
Tractor Sex Fatality and New Luck Toy play the Fun House with the Bringers and the Spiders at 9:30 p.m. Fri., April 23. $5.