While the band was notorious for their mis-treatment of reporters and other members of the press, occasionally they allowed themselves to be interviewed. The following interview was almost published in the Great Plains Music Journal, only to be accidently misplaced by the interviewer moments before deadline. Discovered ten years later in the back of a closet by the interviewer's mother (along with two copies of Winter-White Asses and a hopelessly dried-out bag of weed), this interview is priceless for its insight into CSATFCWB's evolving musical styles and the growing friction that ultimately tore the band apart.
(December 17, 1989--Clark Schpiell and the Furry Cockroaches Without Butts have been one of the biggest movers and shakers in the American music scene over the last few years, especially in states like North Dakota and provinces like Saskatchewan and the Northwest Territories. Their blend of high-energy rock, their lewd and lascivious on-stage antics, and the high-drama of their off-stage lives combine to make a group that is musically compelling and utterly psychotic.
Think of how excited we were to discover that they'd ended their six-month hiatus (although there were rumors of a break-up, it was discovered that Geiser just needed to recover from hemorrhoid surgery) with a tour that started in Powers Lake, North Dakota, long a haven of CS fandom.
In front of a crowd that made up in hair spray and bad perms what they lacked in number or enthusiasm, CSFCWB put on a hell of a show, proving that they are still the loudest band west of the Red River and east of Havre and north of Aberdeen and south of Winnipeg. After the concert, we caught up with them and their manager, Chris, backstage. Expecting the usual dousing-with-gasoline-and-igniting-with-a-butane-torch treatment that they often give reporters, I found them to be cordial and near coherent.)
INT: Great show tonight, didn't you think? That must have been one of your loudest concerts yet.
DR M: Woot? . . . Woot?
BIG J: Yeah, it was good, real nice, man, there was one little honey in the front, man, I could tell, she was looking me up and down, she saw that bulge in my pants and she knew it was for her, oh yeah man, she was checking me out, she was, like, "Is that for me?" and I was like, "You bet your camel-toe it is, you little slut." It was backstage backdoor time, if you know what I'm saying . . .
INT: Well, now, I noticed you didn't play any songs from your last album, "Boogaloo You Too, Bugaboo." Why was that?
DAVE: Well, that album was really us trying to be commercial, and we just felt like such sell-outs making that. I mean, that record sold something like eighty-nine copies, and we were just, "Whoa, slow down," it was all happening too fast.
GEISER: Where the hell's my inflatable seat cushion, the one with the little ducks on it? I left it right here.
ECK: To be fair, too, we felt like we couldn't do much of the music from that album because when we recorded it, Little J unplugged everyone's amps and mics, and so that was a problem. It was really just forty-eight minutes and twenty-three seconds of silence, plus a little buzz because the mixing board wasn't grounded properly. Besides, it's just as well, Dave was moving into some lyrical territory that was pretty offensive.
DAVE: It wasn't offensive, those lyrics were provocative, cutting-edge.
INT: Yes, I was hoping that the album would have had at least liner notes or lyrics printed, as it was, it was really just a jewel case with a blank CD inside.
ECK: Well, we were using second-hand discs, we took old Anderson Buford Wakeman & Howe CDs and scrubbed them with Comet, so they probably wouldn't have printed up that well anyway.
INT: But Dave did send some sample lyric sheets to the trade mags as part of your marketing packet, and I was very intrigued by some of the songs, like "Bananaman," the lyric: "I rape your mother/Bananaman, Bananaman/I rape your mother/Bananaman, Bananaman." I was curious as to whether or not it was the Bananaman raping someone's mother or whether someone was raping Bananaman's mother. I thought the musical context might have cleared that up.
DAVE: I think it was really the ambiguity that I was going for in that one.
BIG J: Dudes, we should have done that one, 'cause then I would have thrusted everytime we got to the Bananaman part, like Bananaman, boom boom, Bananaman, boom boom, like that. That would have excited that little honey, that would have oiled and lubed her, if you know what I'm saying.
CHRIS: It turned out for the best, though, Little J just stole that melody from George Harrison, so we probably would have been sued over it.
INT: Dr M, I noticed you taking a lot of extended clarinet solos during this concert, something you haven't done much of, and I thought what was interesting is that you were really exploring new sonic territory. In fact, it seemed like you were playing completely apart from the rest of the band, stopping songs after they did, playing in different keys and time signatures.
DR M: I was zhust trying to . . . trying to flow with it, groove on it, get it deep and get it, just, fucking . . . ROCK AND ROLL!
INT: Yes, but--
DR M: ROCK AND ROLL! ROCK AND ROLL! ROCK AND . . .
LITTLE J: Settle down, M-daddy.
DR M: wuzhishnow . . . ?
INT: Okay, well, I'd like to talk about the sound quality tonight. In the past you've been criticized for having a pretty limited sonic spectrum, with really only drums and keyboards being audible, along with your signature booming, feedback-laden, incomprehensible vocals, but tonight you really seem to be changing that. Is there a reason behind that?
ECK: Having the instruments plugged in helps.
LITTLE J: And I've been learning how to play my instrument, which I found surprisingly helpful, especially in a live setting. I have about four chords right now, and I've got two more that I should be able to incorporate when we start the European leg.
CHRIS: I want to make it clear that Clark Schpiell will not be traveling to Andorra, Spain, Italy, Germany, or Sweden, since all of those countries have threatened to proceed with criminal charges if we ever even said we were going to play there again.
INT: I had thought England had also banned the group.
CHRIS: Only Wales and most of the London boroughs. At this time.
BIG J: I gotta tell you, I really thought you could say stuff like that about the queen, I just didn't . . . I figured she'd take it as a compliment. Truth is, I figured everyone would want to do that with a queen. She's a fucking queen!
GEISER: But all that's behind us now. We're trying to stay focused on the music.
INT: I noticed that even more so than in most concerts in the past, Eck's solo number "Dream of Me Tonight, My Lilac-Skinned Beauty That I Love So True," was, as always, a huge hit, and in fact eighty percent of the audience left immediately afterward.
ECK: I suppose.
INT: One can't help but wonder why . . . well, why more . . . similar songs haven't been recorded and performed by the group.
LITTLE J: I'll take this one. I think that, as the other half of the group's songwriting members, that while that song is a nice counterpoint, and it's nice to take a quick double-whiskey-shot break during the second set, the group's songwriting focus is really upon two things: loudness and lewdness. Or lew-oudness, as I like to say. That's not like a Hawaiian luau, but--
INT: I get it, I understand. But, Eck, it seems that your vocal strengths might be more--
(At this point, we were interrupted by a roadie, in fact, the group's only roadie, Cobble T. Turnip--the middle initial also stands for Turnip--came in and give an envelope to Eck. He opens it and a pair of panties fall out. He pulls out a note, reads it and then gets up, excuses himself and walks out.)
BIG J: He better not be getting any from my little Camel-Toe. All you fuckers stay away from Camel-Toe, I ain't double-dipping with any of you pieces of shit.
INT: Dr M, during your normal solo on "Jizebel," you really kept that one going, the entire solo clocked in at about forty-eight minutes, in fact the last fifteen or so you just stood frozen on stage honking and bleating so loudly that the audience went outside until it was over. What was going on there?
DR M: Colors.
INT: I'm sorry?
DR M: Colors. I was painting this rainbow, man, I was moving through it and so I started taking the colors and I put them in the horn and I blew them out at everyone out in the audience. I gave them colors, and then with the light they all became like angels, like avatars, you could see their flaming swords, and then the swords became bent and crooked and their wings fell off and they withered and they all bent over, they were getting old and dying. "I'll save you, rainbow people," I said, "here's more color, I'm playing more color, more color. The color will save you." But then I was giving them bad colors, the wrong ones, something, I don't know, they started getting little horns and fangs and they started looking at me and they knew I had all the color. "Don't get greedy for the colors," I said, but they kept coming up towards me, snaking up towards me, I couldn't breathe, I COULDN'T BREATHE!!!! I CAN'T BREATHE.
CHRIS: He's fine, just let me get him a pill . . . No, not that one, not that one . . . not that one, where's my little yellow ones?
DR M: AIR! AIR! I NEED AIR!
DAVE: They're on the table!
CHRIS: No, the little yellow ones with the X printed on them. Here it is. There you go, big boy.
DR M: I need . . . streaming little flakes of sunshine, look at those . . .
INT: Dave, tonight there were several songs in which some of the lyrics could actually be made out. For instance, during "My Gym Teacher Stole My Girlfriend" I could clearly make out the entire verse of "My baby stays after school/Running all them laps/But I ain't no fool/He's thumping her flaps." This seems like a new direction.
DAVE: Well, I want to make it clear that I'm still very much into incoherence, but I want to grow as a vocalist, move in new directions.
GEISER: The whole band is expanding its horizons. I wanted to introduce a classical element, and considering the limited instrumental talents of the members, we did an acapella version of "Moonlight Sonata." I mean, that's something we never would have done.
DAVE: No, never.
GEISER: It's about all of us growing as people. Before my operation, I thought heavy metal was it, but now I see that we can all of us grow musically and share that with each other. I mean, hemorrhoids really opened my eyes.
INT: I was intrigued by the new direction. Although I think some of the audience were confused. I spoke with many people who thought that you were merely all being electrocuted and screaming in agony for eight minutes.
CHRIS: Well, the band grows and the audience has to grow. They will. We're confident of our fan base.
BIG J: Although Dave says we still can't do "Hard Day's Night."
DAVE: I've told you, man, I won't sing a song written by homosexuals.
BIG J: What the fuck did you just say?
DAVE: Are you kidding me, those two were butt-buddies, everybody knows it.
CHRIS: I want to point out that the band is really coming back strong from its--
BIG J: I'm not going to sit here and listen to that, you hockey-haired fuckwit.
DAVE: I'm just not gonna sing a song written by one ugly British fag to another, okay?
(Big J breaks a bottle of whiskey on the edge of the table and lunges at Dave and begins strangling him and tearing at Dave's Hammer-pants with the bottle. They hurl epithets at each other. The rest of the band scoot their chairs out of the way to avoid being hit by broken glass, and just then Dr. M, now seemingly calm, begins saying the word "Zoompf!" over and over again. It's becoming increasingly hard to hear, but ever since the infamous "Molotov Cocktail Fight" between brothers Big J and Little J during the "Your Daughters Are Sucking On Us Right Now" tour--which would spark more anti-obscenity and indecency laws in the tri-state area than any other rock band--reporters have become accustomed to the group's backstage antics.)
INT: So what are the plans for the future?
CHRIS: Well, more touring, of course. The schedule is really booked solid right now, the band knew this was going to be a long, hard tour, and they're gearing up for it. The next show is in five weeks in Sherwood at the elementary school, and they'll be appearing at a gun show in Bismarck over the Christmas holiday, where they'll be debuting a new single which will appear on the NRA's upcoming "Jesus' Weapons" LP, "Handgun Accidents Are Part of God's Plan." So watch out, this band is on the move.
GEISER: And I should add that the band will continue to grow musically. I've recently become interested in klezmer and Hungarian folk songs. I'm also moving to a new drum kit which will consist entirely of trash cans filled with different amounts of water, and I'll play them by banging their lids down on them, so I think that will have a significant influence on our future direction.
CHRIS: The band's had a successful formula in the past, but they don't want to just rest on their laurels, they want to move themselves and genre forward into the next decade.
LITTLE J: They'll also be two new chords coming, G and E, so stay tuned.
INT: We will. Thanks for your time.