Cool Beans! #6
[left to right] Tim 12, Kyle 25, Ted 22, Geoff 23 photo by Michael Galinsky
Fuck interviewed in November 1996 by Matt
CB: So was the name FUCK chosen to assure radio play?
Ted: We wanted something that would contrast with the music. And actually, we've gotten some radio play despite the name. People have to be creative about it by spelling it out or using words that rhyme. We've been lucky, people have been supportive.
CB: What about all the other bands called FUCK, has there been any conflict? Any lawsuits?
Ted: Well, there's FuckEmo's, the Fuckups, the Fucklings, the F. Word.
Kyle: There's folklore. I guess Alice in Chains when they did their first gig, they were called Fuck.
Tim: A lot of bands say it. Kiss said they called themselves Fuck, but none of them really do that. Fucking idiots.
CB: I'm pretty sure there's been a million garage bands who never really did anything, but called themselves Fuck, or Piss or Shit.
Ted: The guy from the band Starship, they're playing county fairs now, I told him about our band and he said, "Oh yeah, back in high school we had a band called that." But they spelled it with a "P-H" you know.
CB: Oh yeah, and the band Fuct. So do people call you Kyle Fuck, and Ted Fuck?
Kyle: People call me Mr. Fuck.
CB: Tim, you live in New York, while the rest of the band lives out here. How do you do the band being spread across 3000 miles?
Tim: We cope by planning.
Ted: We just plan it out. If we're gonna do a tour, we're not going to just tour. We get together for a couple weeks and play some shows, then record. And we do a lot of tape
sending through the mail.
CB: I was going to ask about that.
Ted: Once we record here [at Black Eyed Pig studios in Kyle's basement] we all split up then there's a lot of tape sending and duplicating and that type of thing.
Tim: And when we're together, we use our time very wisely. See, we're doing this interview, and we're painting the boxes [for the reissue of their first CD which comes in a pretty neat box with more props inside], and we're playing a show tomorrow night, and tonight we're going to put up flyers.
Kyle: And we literally just got back from L.A. this morning.
CB: When did you start and has the lineup been the same all the way through?
Ted: Yeah. We started three years ago. It's kind of a funny story...
Ted: There was this really large party happening in East Oakland and somehow it got out of hand, or maybe the cops got out of hand or something. The cops came in and randomly started arresting people and they split us up into cars and they took us down to the Oakland Police department to process us. We'd never met each other, but we were all stuck in the same holding cell, and we were there for 36 hours.
Kyle: It was on a weekend, and for some reason they couldn't let us go or process us till Monday. I don't know, it was sometime really late in the morning Saturday.
Ted: And we just started talking about music and it just came up. By the time we got out of there, we already had a couple ideas for songs.
CB: That sounds like such a lie!
Ted: It does sound like a lie.
Kyle: It's such a crazy story, we've told it to a couple people and no one believes us. I knew who Ted was, but I'd never met him. San Francisco is a small place we had a lot of mutual friends. I knew the band that Geoff was in, Fibulator. But I didn't know Geoff personally.
CB: I'm not accusing you of lying, I just mean when this is in print it's going to look like a lie. I believe you.
Kyle: It's a pretty good story.
CB: So what about this studio? Is it yours personally?
Kyle: Yeah, this is my job. This is what I do. I had a little bitty place in North Beach for a couple years and now I've been here almost three years.
CB: It's got to make it a lot easier for the band to put out records.
Ted: It sure does.
Kyle: We're still under very severe time constraints, but it has more to do with where we all live. [Kyle lives in San Francisco, Ted and Geoff live in Oakland, and Tim lives in NYC] Most bands have to go in and record really fast because they can't afford to spend a lot of time in the studio. We could except that we're only together for a few days a year. So we also have to work really fast. We don't really even finish it all here, we finish a lot of it through the mail.
CB: So you end up using some of the tapes you send back and forth on records?
CB: So is it like 4-track tapes and you each add your tracks to it?
Geoff: 4-track, ghetto blaster... We don't take a tape and build it through the mail, it's more of an idea thing. It's more like writing letters as opposed to building songs.
CB: Like, "Here's a couple songs I wrote, and you can play along with them and when we get together we can record?"
Kyle: Then when we get together and record, maybe we need a dozen songs so we'll record twenty. Then everyone will take all those songs home and listen to them and we'll start conversing on the phone and through letters with things like "Oh, this is no good, lets chuck it." or "This is cool, but it would be really cool if we slowed it down." Or if we chopped off the beginning or chopped off the end. So we really do a lot of the editing and sequencing or our records though the mail.
Ted: That takes the most time.
CB: That seems to me like it might be more complex than most bands. This is such a planned out band. Ok, now onto the theme of this issue- Drinking and Driving.
Kyle: I used to live in Texas.
CB: That's the drinking and driving state.
Kyle: In Texas they make the rules county by county. And the county I lived in you could drive your car and drink a beer. That was not a problem. You didn't have to have it in a bag or anything. But you couldn't walk around a drink a beer. I always thought that was really crazy. If you were on the sidewalk drinking beer, you were busted. But if
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you were in your truck, on the highway, it was ok.
CB: What county was that?
Tim: I was in a car once with a friend of mine and he was really drunk. I was drunk too, but I wasn't driving, cause I don't drive. I try not to drive at all, but especially if I've had one beer, I say "I'm sorry, I'm drunk!" I don't really like to drive. So we were driving along and we had to get on the interstate, but he got on going the wrong way, after he jumped over a two foot median, and he started going up the off-ramp towards oncoming traffic. So when he realized he stopped and started laughing. I jumped out of the car and just decided to walk home.
CB: Passengers always seem to be the ones who die in drinking and driving accidents too. Drivers often live.
Tim: A couple years later he died. He was driving and went off
the road. His body flew out the sun roof. He was on a deathtrip. He was a fun guy though,
as far as going over to his trailer and shooting albums with shotguns.
CB: That fits my stereotype of the South. Tell me about the song we put on the 7".
Ted: That was one of those songs where we did the whole process. We sent the tapes around and no one was ever happy with it, so we just kept on adjusting it and trying new things with it. That's how the backwards thing came about.
Kyle: Actually, it started with the idea that it needed a backwards guitar solo. Then that sounded so good we decided to make everything backwards.
CB: How much of it is backwards?
Geoff: The guitar and vocals... the whole first verse is backwards.
Kyle: That made it stand out, because we haven't done that with anything else.
CB: How did this record end up coming out on three labels?
Geoff: Walt, Ester and Rhesus. Rhesus is our label, and Walt and Ester are small New York labels. We basically split the costs up three ways and then split the records up three ways.
CB: How did you decide who gets to send records to distributors and that kind of thing?
Geoff: They sell them to distributors, and we sell them at shows.
Tim: But Ester just took on a partner, so they changed the name of their label to Lamplighter.
Geoff: But it's not like we're signed to a label or anything, it's just a financial agreement.
CB: Before I got the new album, I listened to it on the Internet. That was pretty cool, how did you set that up?
All: Really? What?
CB: Yeah, it's this web thing called Sonicnet. WWW.SONICNET.COM, they broadcast all these concerts and you can listen to music and stuff. It's pretty cool.
Kyle: Oh yeah, we met them in New York.
Geoff: The whole thing?
CB: Yeah! It sounded pretty good. You should see the looks on your faces right now. You're all freaked out that people could get copies of your new album for free right?
Kyle: No, it's a good thing. You meet people every day who say things like, "Hey, I've got this deal, I can broadcast you straight to Italy" and you just say, "Yeah, right, whatever" and you give them a record.
Geoff: See I just thought it was going to be one track, or a sample of a song.
CB: Nope, the whole thing was up there. The internet is going to change the way the whole record industry works. People won't have to buy records anymore, they'll be able to just listen to it through the internet. This is a nightmare for a lot of people, and I'm sure there will be tons of lawsuits and everything, but it's getting to the point now where this is a completely viable way to distribute audio. I'm looking forward to seeing exactly what happens. Of course after I listened to it I really wanted a copy of the CD, knowing that it was really good.
Ted: Well, that's why we make our records so cheap and put them in interesting packages.
CB: It's pretty labor intensive. How many of the new record did you do? [The packaging is of an oversized matchbook, which you flip open to get to the CD]
Kyle: A little over 2000 and we just repressed that. Also, there's a company in Germany who put out 1000 CDs and 1000 LPs.
CB: Is it the same packaging?
Kyle: No, it's different, we haven't seen it yet. We're supposed to get those this week or next. Normal Records.
CB: Yeah, I've already gotten orders for this issue, I placed an ad in Factsheet Five and I got a letter from a guy in Germany who said he was a big fan of your music and your packaging. I was wondering if that was a German thing.
Kyle: He might have gotten one of the first records. We
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sent 600 over to Normal to distribute in Germany.
CB: All of your records are really interesting to look at.
Kyle: Somebody told me yesterday that this year 52,000 full length records were released.
CB: [to the readers] Stop sending them ALL to me. I think we got about half that number. I mean, we run maybe forty or fifty record reviews each issue, and I think we received
Tim: Yeah, we all like that one. I really like the way they do the city by city articles.
Kyle: There's this one in Australia called Circumstantial Evidence that's really good. It's huge, like legal paper with a comb binding or something. Steve Albini Thinks We Suck is a good one.
Geoff: Filth is good.
Tim: Screw is good.
Ted: I like that one from Minnesota called Milk.
CB: Yeah, they send me that sometimes. I like it too.
Kyle: Cometbus! Yeah, super writing. I would say he's on par with anybody.
CB: What does the future hold for Fuck?
Tim: A hand grenade.
Kyle: Well, if it's anything like this weekend, we're going to meet more and more celebrities. We played a show at Spaceland and Courtney Love was there, and she took a bite out of my sandwich without asking.
CB: I just want to go on the record with this. Isn't she thin?
Kyle: Well, it was dark. It's hard to tell when someone's wearing a muumuu how much they weigh.
monkeybeautyshotgun 7" on Rhesus
likebutterflysomewheres 7" on Rhesus
tetherfuckmotel 7" on Darius
split 7" with Fish or Fry on Academy of Chess & Checkers
Pretty...Slow CD on Rhesus Records
Baby Loves a Funny Bunny CD on Walt/Rhesus/Lamplighter/Normal Records
Follow the Bouncing Ball compilation CD on Ba Da Bing
Topps All-Stars #2 compilation cassette on 20-20 Sound
Come and Get it CD compilation on Hairy Records
Extra Walt! compilation 7" on Walt Records
`Lil Darla compilation CDs 4 & 5
Rock Scientist compilation LP
Circumstantial Evidence compilation cassette on Circumstantial Evidence
Cool Beans! #6 compilation
Tim: Gerard Cosloy is a very sophisticated playboy.
something like 2000 CDs for review since our last issue. And then I get calls from the people who send them out pretending they'll take an ad in the magazine if we just mention their record or write a review somewhere in the magazine. It's really hard to enjoy music when you're just swamped with crap. I never thought that free records would be a bad thing, but when you receive so many records a week, there's just no way to listen to them all. I'm getting jaded. I don't think I'll print this part.
Kyle: Yeah, I don't know how anybody can listen to all those records.
CB: Some labels put out really consistently good stuff, but then there are so many mystery labels that I've never heard of and publicity companies sending us faxes and calling us up...
Kyle: The other number I heard in conjunction with that 52,000 is that only 3000 of those records sell at least 100,000 copies. I thought that was a lot.
CB: Alright, what does Gerard Cosloy think of Fuck?
Geoff: You'd have to ask him. He comes to our shows in New York.
CB: Ok, what does Fuck think of Gerard Cosloy?
Tim: Gerard Cosloy is a very sophisticated playboy.
Kyle: He's a really nice guy. I met him one time, very briefly.
CB: What are some of your favorite magazines?
Kyle: I was reading Stay Free, and that's a really good one.
CB: Oh yeah, I like that one. From around DC or something right?
Ted: Yeah, they're really creative and funny.
CB: How about Snipehunt?
Cool Beans! #6