Pat Briggs and Char-Fucking-Lee 10/19/96

Interview with Pat Briggs conducted at the Warpt Club, Baltimore MD 10/21/96, by Char-Fucking-Lee

Char-Fuckin-Lee: You talk a lot about cats in the album, do you really hate cats? [laugh]

Pat Briggs: Um, no, um, I imagine you're referring to, um, Starfucker Love?

CFL: Right

PB: No, It's about eating pussy. (pause) It's a metaphor.

CFL: Uhh...

PB: It's actually more in depth than that, it's about how great men think they are at it, and how women when they get alone talk about how bad men are at it. So, it's kinda like that.

CFL: Um, you want to talk a little bit about the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame thing? I mean, I read over the press kit last night, and it's like, you guys are moving really fast. First Lollapalooza, then Tool, signed before your first record deal. Do you think things are moving too fast?

PB: I don't know, I mean I sorta tried to curtail it a little, that's why we did this club tour now. We've taken a lot out of the production, because I personally think that it's a good musical band too and I sorta want to focus on that too, and people haven't been. Over the passage of the last couple of months things have been more focusing on the surface stuff of it, and although, you know I've always liked putting on a show and I've always been theatre oriented and stuff like that, but there's a lot of good music in there too. So that's why we're doing this club tour before we go out with Tool. Because, you know, once we get on a big stage with Tool again, we're gonna bring back all the productions and stuff like that, you know, make it a big fiasco. But, I wanted to, you know, let the kids at least to get behind us more musically.

CFL: Yeah, I was surprised. You talk so much about putting the "entertainment back in the entertainment industry", but there's so much good stuff in there musically. Like, where'd you get the idea for an electric cello?

PB: You know, I wanted to bring in Henry and I say Henry in a club two years before Psychotica was formed, and I wanted to play with him for that long and I tried at different points to put things together and nothing really came of it and , you know, I would always invite Henry to come up and jam for a rehearsal and see if we could pull something together you know, and it wasn't until we put together Psychotica that we actually fell into place with it. So, but, you know, the cello is a great instrument and he utilizes it really really well. I mean he gets sound, I mean like it sometimes acts like a second guitar; or you know, keyboards.

CFL: Do you want to talk about--I heard about Squeezebox, I wasn't sure if that was a band or like a night... PB: No, Squeezebox is my night in New York, I started with my partner Michael Schmidt, and um , it was prior to Psychotica, about six months prior to Psychotica, and what happened is it ended up breaking down all the wall, all the sorta subcultures in New York, brought together the rock scene and the art scene, and the gay scene...celebrities, performance artists and all these people and brought them all together in one room which is something that hasn't been done in New York in a really long time. So,

CFL: And there was "R U Ready", which I guess was a band before Psychotica...

PB: That was way way way back! We don't need to dig that far.

CFL: Alright, let's see, well it seems that a big part of your message is the "sexlessness", are you trying to get a specific idea across, I mean, obviously...

PB: Well I mean you know it basically comes out of Squeezebox. Like I said Squeezebox was the start of it...Well through my experience, well alright we'll dig into R U Ready for a minute, okay, because it was an important lesson for me anyhow because that time in rock was very incredibly oppressive unless you were like a white long hair butch testosterone guy. Okay, women were not included unless they were bimbos, freaks were not included...

(At this point the drums from sound check are getting a little bit too loud to talk over, and it starts to interrupt what he's saying.)

PB: Maybe we should go somewhere else. Freaks were not included, anybody who was different was not included, and you know it was very oppressive for a lot of people, and you know, you basically weren't allowed to be yourself. You know.

CFL: You had to fit the mold.

PB: ...and you had to fit the mold. Um, when Squeezebox came it shattered all of that. You know women, freaks, and even like drag queens and everybody was included because there are a large number of rock fans that aren't just like beer drinking dudes, you know theres all kinds of rock fans, you know. And those people often feel intimidated going to a club you know to see potentially their favorite band because they don't want to deal with the people there, you know. You know, I have, I've felt that way I don't want to deal with some asshole and he's drunk and whatever, and I think that sort of is the message of Psychotica. That now, the other people can come out of the closet and enjoy a rock show, and be in a room with other people like them. That was Squeezebox's initial message and I think Psychotica carries throught too, I mean if you look at our audience there's everybody out there. There's long haired metal guys, there's drag queens, there's goth kids, there's middle aged people, there's everybody.

CFL: Do you think you fall into any kind, like do you associate yourself with any other kinds of bands, or what influences do you have, I mean because it seems like you don't really...

PB: I mean, I think we've worked hard at developing our own sound, I mean with the incorporation of Reeka, and she has an incredibly unique vocal style. She kinda reminds me of Nina Hagen, in a way you know. And Henry on cello, and even the guitar player comes from an area of like an old school punk rock background, but he's not limited to that. I think, I think [Noise is getting way too loud to really talk now] I think because we've been playing together for X amount of time now we've sorta figured out what our sound is and how to get it you know. I expect only incredible things....

CFL: There's also a big, I guess, religious message with "What is God"...

PB: Well those are my things, I mean I do those things very tongue in cheek, maybe we better go inside....

[this time we move, and a wonderful drum solo fills the intermission...]

CFL: Well, I know you played a couple shows with Iggy when you first got started how'd you get hooked up with him?

PB: Well, Iggy had heard about us, and he called us up and asked us to come out with him, so, um, you know, I think he's a really incredible performer.

CFL: Do you think you'll work with him in the future?

PB: Yeah, I, I would imagine that we would, I mean, I don't know what his plans are um, you know we did a 12 or 15 show run with him. It was really fun, we had a really really great time with him.

CFL: What other kinds of media things are you interested in, or aspects...

PB: Yeah well, actually, um, if I can pull it together for Tool, which I doubt, but possibly for spring doing a 3d film presentation with the old like 3d glasses and stuff so that you can see Psychotica in 3d.

CFL: Wow, that would be at the show, like in between bands?

PB: No, it'll be combined while we're playing, so they'll be like big screens and monitors going on and you know everything will's a new technology that's developed called stereo 3d, and they can make like a rocket fly over somebody's head, it's really incredible.

CFL: A bunch of people, on line at least, are talking about worries that Tool will be upstaged.

PB: Oh no, I don't think so.

CFL: You don't think so?

PB: They're an incredible band and good friends of ours, and we're very happy that they asked us to come out with them, and they're...believe me, I mean, I'd put them up against anybody. I'm a huge fan.

CFL: Um, well what are your influences?

PB: Actually, I have very strange influences. The first album I bought was one nation under groove by Parliament, and you wouldn't know it by listening to us probably but, just like vibe-wise I was really influenced by like George Clinton and Parliament and that glam set I found really incredible. And then later on I got really heavily into new-wave in the early 80's. People like Nina Hagen, and Devo, Bow Wow Wow, things like that. The great thing about the early eighties was there was an enormous emount of different bands to choose from, and you know, they all had their own identity, was a really fun time in music and it was non-oppressive. You know it was like anybody could put out their own, you know, do their thing.

CFL: I guess most of that stuff was before anything I was exposed to.

PB: Yeah, it was a really great time in music, and hightly underrated. A lot of people sort of pushed it off as a joke time in music. You know, because a lot of the music and the sounds sound really dated now but it was some really great stuff there. And, you know, if people dig back there was some really great shit back then.

CFL: Are people...I mean, you've got a very different show, are people being open to that.

PB: Oh yeah, I mean we don't get any shit. You know why? Because we don't warrant any shit from people, it's like you know, I don't put out this stupid negative vibe you know, be out to be confrontational to the audience. I'm not confrontational to the audience, you know, there's no need to be. I'm there to bring them together, you know, and not push them apart. Even this summer playing in front of Metallica, there wasn't a single instance of, you know, negativity from the audience.

CFL: That's great.

PB: People, you know, people are a lot smarter than you think. They're just, rock audiences are a lot more intelligent then they used to be. They don't go to a show to harass people. They go to a show to have a good time, you know, that's what they paid to do. And if you can deliver that, no matter who the fuck you are, then you're fine.

CFL: Yeah. Um, it seems, well here's my attempt to understand the lyrics, and

PB: It's alright

CFL: It seems that there's a bunch of pessimistic messages on the album like the message "We are the dead", like that song you played last night (the non-album track). What is that all about?

PB: That's sort of my tribute to all my friends in New York, because um you know they're all sorta like night life vampire creatures. You know, it's just the scene I came out of. I mean, believe me, we're far from dead, but their were times I'd go out with my friends and I looked around and I thought like, we're like ghouls at like four o'clock in the morning, you know. It's the way we live our life in New York, I mean, we don't go out during the day, I mean, we get home at daylight, and that's what happens.

CFL: Is there any mainline ideas, I mean you talked a lot about the sexless thing, is there anything else that I've missed here that...

PB: No, I mean we've been really blessed so far, people come and see us, and a wide spectrum of kinds of people. I like not being locked into a type of audience. I was looking in the audience last night, and there was someone that looked like somebody's mom, not to be insulting. But you know she looked like a mom in the audience and she was singing every word to every song, and I was like that's really cool. It doesn't just appeal to an older teenage kid, it appeals to someone in their thirties and they can identify with that.

CFL: Well thanks

PB: No Problem.