Slash Magazine, Vol.2, No.7,
August 1979


Phranc, Michael, Edward & Giraldo
Interviewed at the Atomic Cafe,-
Downtown LA

Slash: Phranc, how long have you been playing guitar?

Phranc: oh a long time, since I was about 10, but I was a folk singer, I can't play advanced, I can only play folk music, I would Cheat, just play C, F, G over and over.

Slash: How d'you get that strange sound out of your guitar?

Phranc: Never tune it.

Slash: (laughs) What are some of your song titles besides Mama's Chest?

Phranc: Diptheria, Gestalt ... (pause)

Slash: D'you want to become one of the popular LA bands or would you rather just go on experimenting?

Edward: I don't think we even see it as experimenting.

Phranc: That's what comes out when the 4 of us get together you know.

Slash: What about recording and stuff like that?

Phranc: We made this tape for this record that's supposedly going to come out.

Slash: What is it, a compilation album?

Phranc: Yeah, it's supposed to be called Fun Ahoy and it has a number of different bands on it.

Slash: Where d'you think you fit in the LA scene?

Phranc: In the geek section (laughs) ...

Slash: What did you do before you were in the band?

Geraldo: Sat around and vegetated.

Slash: (to Giraldo and Michael) You were in another band? Which was it?

Michael: They were called The Snappers. It was just basic punk, I was playing bass and synthesizer and we had a guitar and drums.

Phranc: I was a lesbian folk singer, I played a acoustic guitar with all women sponsors ... all that ... I got really sick of the scene down here, I was with women-all the time, it got to be too much and I moved to San Francisco..

Slash: Are you some kind of a renegade now as far as the women's movement?

Phranc: (laughs) I don't know, they're very wary of me now I think, especially since this last gig where only the other band got paid. (Nervous Gender played at a women's movement benefit type of thing. Ed) I stay away from them now. I used to put my foot down on a lot of the songs, I wouldn't sing, I wouldn't have anything to do with 2 of the songs, I just went up on the side and sat on an amp and smoked a cigarette. When we played that benefit we were supposed to sing this song called Die Woman Die and I refused to do it and then when they cut our set after the first song, we were trying to decide what our first song was gonna be, I said 'Die Women Die'.

Slash: Do you think there's a lot of sexism in the punk scene?

Phranc: There's some ... I think in the punk scene the consciousness is a lot higher than in a lot of other scenes, it's definitely different than the basic rock n roll scene - course there's always assholes.

Slash: D'you see yourselves touring soon?

Phranc: That'd be fun.

Slash: What band would you like to tour with? What band d'you fell kind of close to?

Edward: Human Hands.

Slash: Have you heard yourselves compared with the Screamers?

Michael: We were expecting that.

Slash: How do you survive otherwise?

Phranc: By the skin of my teeth - I sell T-shirts, I usually have an art sale the day the rent's due.

Edward: I work, I design clothes for Penney's and Sears.

(Michael and Giraldo said they get social security)

Slash: Did you get paid at all at Club 88? Phranc: We made a little money - it's the first time we've gotten paid for anything ... Although when we played that benefit a friend of mine boycotted the door and collected $20, she ran around saying, 'They're not paying Nervous Gender, don't give your money at the door!'

Slash: Where d'you get your inspiration? Everyday life or what?

Nervous Gender: Yeah.

Edward: Television.

Michael: Every piece of shit that's on TV we watch.

Slash: What radio shows?

Edward: Just Michael Jackson and Dr. Toni Grant.

Slash: Who's that?

Edward: She's a psychiatrist.

Phranc: She's too much, she's a call-in shrink.

Slash: What about books and stuff?

Michael: No, we're too young to read.

Slash: Have you already been called 'art damaged' by anyone?

Phranc: Art damage?

Slash: (tries to explain) ... I've a feeling that eventually everybody that you see around at gigs in LA is going to pop up in a band.

Edward: We were hanging around a lot. Nobody would talk to you ...

Phranc: Nobody ever would.

Giraldo: Nobody'd talk to me either.

Phranc: (to Slash) I saw you the first time when the Bags played at the Lace Gallery. That was the first time I saw the Bags play and they quickly became my favorite band.

Slash: (to Phranc) I used to see you - now that you're blonde, you're not so incognito.

Phranc: Blondes have more fun.

Slash: (laughs) Are the Bags still your favorite band?

Page 2:

Phranc: As far as local bands, yeah.

Slash: D'you try and set up gigs yourselves?

Phranc: Things have kind of been happening.

Slash: D'you think of yourselves as the new babies on the scene?

Michael: Yeah.

Edward: I first thought we were hard-core, we were gonna be the new Fear.

Slash: (laughs) Then you got kind of slick ...

Nervous Gender: Oh yeah, we overproduced ourselves at Club 88 ... We'll have lights, well have costumes ... I think the color scheme is the best 'cos we decided we'd all wear white and it turns out in 4 totally different geeky whites.

Slash: Are you going to get a manager, or anything?

Phranc: I'm wary of managers - I just keep hearing horror stories from other bands.

Slash: What are the instruments you use?

Edward: 2 arp synthesizers, 1 moog satellite, 1 rhythm box, 1 untuned guitar.

Phranc: We wanna play in front and have 5 platforms behind us, all the guest drummers at once - a drum quintet.

Slash: Who's going to be your guest drummer?

Phranc: Karla. Michael: Bruce from Middle Class.

Phranc: Tom Haychon?

Edward: Don from the Germs.

Edward: (later) You should tell them about our fans out in East LA.

Phranc: Oh yeah, our little baby Chulos, this one guy, he wanted my sunglasses, 'Hey Phrankie' (I didn't even think he knew my name), 'I want some of them punk rock glasses!'

Edward: At first they were real hostile.

Michael: After the massacre at Elks Lodge, there must've been something on the news, they saw me the day afterwards, they started saying 'punk rockers!'

Phranc: And then they started coming, they'd stand outside the house for the entire set and scream songs they wanted to hear, one time a guy screamed, 'Let me sing, let me sing!" I was ready to go and grab him, his other friends made fun of him, we yelled through the microphone what did he want to sing ... then he shut up. If he does it again .. We want them to come to the concerts ... great hairdos, y'know, white T-shirts and leather jackets, just great, they looked really cool.

Slash: You should get them to go to the gigs.

Phranc: Oh yeah ... but they're not old enough to drive yet.

Giraldo: They didn't start hearing the end of our set until we started practicing earlier.

Phranc: And then they used to run around and sing the lyrics ... 'Hate my Mommy, hate...' The lady in the back made us turn it down. I kept forgetting that she can speak English; I'm so used to being able to say anything at Giraldo's house, 'cos his mother doesn't speak English. But we were practicing while his sister was over ...

Giraldo: At her friends.

Phranc: Yeah ... and they all speak English real well so we couldn't practice Jesus Clone ... 'Jesus is a coscksucking Jew' ... you know.

Michael: A lot of people mis interpreted the chorus of that as 'homocidal nymphomania' wheras it's 'homosexual nymphomania'.

Phranc: Shows what they wanna hear.


("Parts of the song were lifted verbatim off a conversation overheard in a restaurant..." Phranc)

Sittin' in a burger joint
Feeling hungry and mad
Sitting in a burger joint
The smell in shrinking fat
I order and humburger
I order some fries
I order a pizza
And I bite it hard
Then a two-ton white trash lady
Drags in her fat son
Nudging him and bossing him I could have sworn
Before I looked again that she was popyline black
I'll have a short stack
And a milkshake
Set that down go back and get the coke
You always love to fix things
I don't want no pancakes
I don't want no grill cheese
No English muffin
Please please please
Now look here you're not in the school cafeteria
Use your fork, lean over, sit up straight
I'm not a baby anymore, not a baby anymore
chorus ...