RC: First off, going back a few years, what started the whole Triclops! project?
(Christian) Ever since the first time I saw John perform with Fleshies in SF, I thought he was the best singer out there for a multitude of reasons. I was in love with Fleshies from that moment on, and hooked up some small weekend tours with them and my band Bottles and Skulls. The more I got wasted with John, the more I realized that one day I'd try to form a band with him that would be totally different from anything we were doing at the time.
(Johnny) We conspired, realized that we needed to do some new stuff together, and actually started writing in mid-2005. I liked the stuff this Christian guy was doing with his guitar and Bottles and Skulls band. Then we looked for a rhythm section that could keep up with us and take it to the next level as a band rather than a project. I liked the stuff that Larry Boothroyd was doing with bass in his Victim's Family band, who I had been loving for years, and who Fleshies got to do a split 7" and tour with in 2002. I had never heard Phil's band Lower Forty-Eight but I saw real quick that he was one monster of a drummer, and there we were.
RC: But for a while it was just a two piece, with you two?
(Christian) For at least a year, we conceived the basic foundation over the phone for longer than most old ladies chat about hip replacement. Then we took to practicing at "rock time", the hour of noon, in the s**ttiest part of San Francisco, the Tenderloin District. We applied the early hour and imagery of crackheads shooting speed into their gangrene-filled toenails to our approach, and these freaks would be smiling at us as we'd walk by with these peyote-soaked riffs and noise pedals strapped to our nuts. It worked so naturally, we had five songs in a couple months. We should go back and thank them all, when they are done street poopin'.
(Johnny) It pretty much started by default/impatience as a conspiracy/recording project between the two of us, and when Larry and Phil came into the picture it really became a band.
RC: So what prompted you to go from the two-piece to making it a full band?
(C) It was gonna be a band from the very start. We just couldn't find the right people. We tried out a bunch of drummers and bass players, but we knew we needed some people that were above and beyond anything resembling normal rock influence. We found Phil online, through a very snotty craigslist ad we posted with some extremely high demands. He exceeded all our demands, and remains our personally elected MVP. And Larry is a bass legend, and we fearlessly asked him to join. After some serious consideration on his part, he came to a practice after having a rough CD to listen to and joined that night. We were beside ourselves with joy.
(J) Yup. It just took a little while, and by that point these guys were the only people who could handle playing with us and our wall of weird, loud bull***t. On a side note: actually finding Phil through craigslist was totally bizarre, and the "last resort" ad turned out to be a gold mine in Mr. Phil Becker.
RC: Cafeteria Brutalia (which is a great album by the way) is actually the songs that were spawned while you were a two-piece, rounded out with the new guys?
(C) Yes, but the initial songs were so nekkid compared to what they became after Phil and Larry joined. They became epic. They walked on their own and grew teeth and snarled back at us through a sour diesel haze. We became a band, we gelled together from the first practice, and it's the same s**t you've heard from all the bands who've claimed the same sensation from their first jam. It's totally true, though, so we nailed the EP's material faster than anticipated and got to growing a whole other organism.
RC: How would you describe that sound?
(J) Whale penis.
(C)That's a fun part of being in this band, cause we already heard so many mixed opinions of our "influences" that no one, not even the band can pin it down. Because we are not going for a sound or an image. We are going for musical freedom. The only musicians I shamelessly rip off are two of my best friends. A guitarist named Stoney Greene from St.Augustine, Florida who's rumored to be the illegitimate son of Allen Collins of Lynyrd Skynrd, and Brent Jones who was the singer/guitarist of Bottles and Skulls. We've heard we sound like Rush meets Butthole Surfers, we've heard Janes Addiction f***s Jesus Lizard, and we've heard The Mars Volta with a male singer. All of those descriptions are hilarious to us but in a good sense none of those proposed freak-babies would have any sonic limitations.
(J) Wider-than-it-is-long whale penis.
RC: Although I like all of Cafeteria Brutalia, I think "Bug Bomb" is a THE standout track on there. First off, it's 10 minutes long, plus there is so much transition going on in the song. It seems like it's a musical piece, not just a song. What's the story behind "Bug Bomb", and the themes going on in the lyrics?
(J) I'm an archaeology student, mainly focused in Mesaomerican/Maya archaeology. As such, when I do fieldwork, I gotta go where the mosquitoes are, in the Yucatan jungles. No matter how loaded you are, it is amazing how much mosquitoes can kill your buzz (no pun intended).
One of the best things about the third world, however, is that they have all kinds of extra-strength bug killers that actually work, unlike the ones in the U.S. These miracle-mists are freely available since all our pesky anti-cancer regulation doesn't exist down there. BOP is the best, and much like chemotherapy, you turn on the nozzle and just hope the nasties die before you do.
Along with industrial-strength bug spray, you can also get codeine and ultram over the counter. Of course, I wouldn't know anything about that, though I've heard (secondhand) that these OTC delights can increase the length of one's attention span, musical and otherwise, to epic proportions.