22 May 2013, 21:11
1. Tell us about the bands beginnings? How did it transpire to come from Greece and then move to L.A.?
We were playing shows in Greece and we watched this documentary film about Rodney Bingenheimer called “Mayor of the Sunset Strip” and we imagined that he would “discover” us. Like magic really, two weeks later we got an email from his assistant requesting our demo CD. Rodney invited us to Los Angeles for a KROQ radio show so we sold everything we could and worked night and day for a few weeks and bought tickets to California. Rodney was the the first in the USA to play records by The Ramones, Blondie, Sex Pistols, Germs, Nirvana, and more so this opportunity was a life changer.
2. Is the name of the band inspired by a comic book character which was later made into a movie with Pamela Anderson?
Yes in a way. We wanted to name it after the movie but we also loved the New York Dolls, so we added a small twist to the name. It also has some other small meanings and puns. It’s just a name though.
3. You came from Greece, whats the scene like there? Can you make comparisons and differences with that of Los Angeles.
In Greece there is no scene. There are a lot of bands in many genres, but only the metal and electronic pop music is big in English. The punk scene is mostly anarchists who live in squats with their rich paretns money and instead of fighting back against the tyranny of the dirty politicians, they end up fighting each time with the nationlists and the politicians sneak away again with horrible actions on our people. In Los Angeles, there was a small punk scene left over from the days of the Germs, Black Flag, Circle Jerks, etc but it became too Pop with the OC sound. When we got there, we did everything we could to make the scene bigger and stronger and help out other punks. The Sunset Strip is where L.A. punk started but for over 20 years they closed their doors on punk. We brought it back with a vengeance and made some noise for sure there! We upset a lot of the softer indie music lovers who don’t like loud distorted music that screams the truth at you!
4. Are there any plans to return and play shows at Greece?
Yes, we return for three shows in mid June. It has been almost three years since we came to America and we are going back after over 300 shows across the USA and some new music. It is going to be a riot for sure.
5. Slit was offered as a free download, and is also available on vynil and cd. What are your opinions about internet sharing? Is it hurting the bands, or helping them promote their releases?
We offer it free as a download because not everyone has a credit card or money, so it is simply a way to get the music out there to those that want it but can’t afford it. Many people still buy the CD and Vinyl because they appreciate the album and want it now on something physical. I think it works well for us. People get to know the music first for free and then connect to it, then come to a show and become part of it all.
6. You embarked on a great tour this year, seen and met lot of people and places, has there been anything out of the ordinary that you expirienced while touring?
We have driven after a show all night until the morning, slept in the van, got snowed in, ran out of money, ran out of food and water, been stuck on the highway waiting for a tow truck to help us out for days. It is harsh at times, but every time you hit the stage and the crowd goes nuts…then it is all worth it. It’s a wild world to tour to new places every day in a new country.
7. Band sports an image similiar to the early punk bands, is that your way of reminiscencing the old days?
We are influenced by the first wave of Punk with bands like the Sex Pistols, Clash, Bags, and more because they sang about change. They tried to change the political climate and minds of the general people who are stuck in a mundane, boring existenc following and being slaves to the system. Black Flag, Dead Kennedy’s and others inspired us to be DIY and to tour in a van to little towns and to wake up the people from their zombiehood. Too many people in America are part of the Slave Generation, living just to consume and spend the money they work for. They have no passion for living life to its fullest and celebrating it. They just want to get drunk and stoned after working all day. That is an early death.
8. Steve Albini recorded and mixed Slit. What was it like to work with him on the record? And also did you have the chance to play poker with him?
Working with Steve was effortless. He records as fast as we play the song. We did the whole album in two nights recording it all live and in one take, including the vocal track. Pyn added some guitars after. We had no time to play Poker with him, but we talked a lot about his other recording projects. He told us about Iggy Pop and the Stooges, and some Nirvana stories, and some PJ Harvey stuff. It was great.
9. Is there any band which whom you would like to share stage and tour in the near future?
The Sex Pistols or PIL. Most of the other bands have too many egos and money issues and cant reform in their original line ups so its not the same. Its good to see a lot of the first generation punk bands still out there at least playing. We honor those bands. They inspire us to never give up and keep doing it.
10. Recent release of the band is a 7 inch single with OFF!. How did you meet and how did this 7 inch came to fruition?
A great magazine in Australia put out the 7 inch vinyl split with OFF!. We are friends with some of the members of the band and have many mutual friends, so I guess it was just good fortune to have it come out this way.
11. On this current tour, this will be your first time in Serbia in no less, than 3 ciites (31st. May Senta, Mojo Club, 1st. June Novi Sad To Be Punk Festival and 2nd. June Beograd, Gun Club) and what can the public expect from you?
All they can do is get to the show and be prepared to go wild and have the night of their lives. There is a powerful raw energy in music at live shows and we want the audience to be a part of that process of exploding wildness. We are ready and on our way, so get ready!
12. Any last words for the readers of TIme Machine Music?
In unity there is power, in power there is change, and in change there is freedom. Freedom is worth fighting for, so stand up for your rights and fight back against all tyranny and oppression. You have the power within. Always. Live your life to its fullest. Celebrate it. See you in the pit!
Isis Queen/Barb Wire Dolls singer