Real Talk: Memorable Moments from Antigravity’s First Ten Years

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Published  June 2014

AG has been privileged to speak with a lot of artists over the past 10 years and have them tell us their stories. Here are some of the most memorable moments as rendered by Osa Atoe (OA), Jenn Attaway (JA), Kevin Barrios (KB), Jules Bentley (JB), M. Bevis (MBv), Miles Britton (MBr), Leigh Checkman (LC), Derek (D), Dan Fox (DF), Bryan Funck (BF), Marty Garner (MG), Andy Gibbs (AG), Erin Hall (EH), Rev. Daniel Jackson (RDJ), Dominique LeJeune (DL), Leo McGovern (LM), Gary Mader (GM), Robert Offner (RO), Sara Pic (SP), Kate Russell (KR), Aaron Santos (AS), Brett Schwaner (BS), Jason Songe (JS), Gabe Soria (GS) and Michael Patrick Welch (MPW)


 

antigravity_vol11_issue8_Page_19_Image_0001“If I’m not getting laid, I’ll tell you I’m not getting laid. If something messed up happened to me, if I don’t have any money, if I’m living with my mom, that’s just the way it is. I’m sure a lot of people can relate to not getting laid and living at home.” —Ballzack, April 2004  (LM)

 

“I see a very diverse crowd, cutting across all kinds of demographic lines. Hipsters, hippies, rockers, punk rockers, liberal lobbyists, conservative journalists, frat boys, and tattoo chicks. Kids and their grandparents. Literally. This makes me happier than anything. The generation gap is bullshit and rock should cut across all party lines and be a uniter.” —Patterson Hood, of Drive-by Truckers, August 2004 (JS with help from Carl Passantino)

 

“I went stag to my senior prom, which was on a boat. I got seasick, so I left before the boat took off. I spent my junior prom at home watching the film Disco Godfather starring Rudy Ray Moore. I had a great time!” —DJ Soul Sister, January 2005 (LM)

 

“I see bands… they’re just hoping for something that’s not here. They’re in the wrong place. If they really want to try and get on the radio, if they’re chompin’ at the bit to succeed on those terms, they should probably move somewhere else. New Orleans is good for free time and workin’ on stuff, but it’s not good for a high profile. You’re just gonna frustrate the fuck out of yourself.” —James Marler, of Rotary Downs, May 2005 (JS)

 

“I hate that shit where you’re a shitty band with a nice package. I’d rather be in a good band with no package.” —Dax Riggs, Deadboy and the Elephantmen, May 2005 (MBr)

 

“I’m a big fan of Jimmy Buffett, and I understand he owns a nightspot there. I’ll just bet that’s where the action is, and I plan to be there with it. And that thing about women exposing their breasts for beads, does that happen everywhere, or just in the bead district? Because I’d like to participate in that. And the jazz, I’m sure you have really good jazz in New Orleans, because of all the brothels, and they all have pianos, right? So jazz. I’m really into jazz.” —Steve Albini, Shellac, June 2005 (AS)

 

“Our world sucks because our people suck. It follows that our people’s art sucks as well because our people create it. Are you getting any of this?” —Anton Newcomb, Brian Jonestown Massacre, August 2005 (JS)

 

“My guitar prowess is about the same as my pool playing. It’s something I’ve been doing a long time but have never gotten very good at.” —Luke Allen, July 2005 (MBr)

 

“The key (to the scene’s return) is people trying to really hustle and wanting to totally rebuild the scene from scratch. It’s gonna take more NOLA press to be less- biased on certain types of music, and recognize that it is still New Orleans music no matter what form of music it is, or scene it’s in. It’s gonna take all genres and scenes getting together, and tryin’ to do shit. It is gonna take completely starting over.” —DJ Quickie Mart, November 2005

 

“I hitchhiked from Hollywood. The first night in town, friends took me to the Saturn Bar. I walked in there and was like ‘Oh my god, this place exists here? I can exist here.’ All the people I met in the first 24 hours immediately put me up, gave me furniture, and my vacation became a reality.” —Jen Kirtland, Hazard County Girls, February 2006 (DF)

 

“It was a horrible tragedy in New Orleans’ case but for the other areas of homeland security, the more Mike Browns the better. They’ll have a lot more trouble spying on people and putting protestors in camps if they can’t get their shit together.” —Jello Biafra, March 2006 (DF)

 

“What gives me, ‘as a restaurant writer, the right to espouse any edicts about the motivation and civic-mindedness of a million-person populace?’ Well, to start with, a lot more training and experience than you can muster as an authority to critique me, but that’s not the point, is it? Let’s just say my right is based on 30 years of observing New Orleans, mostly in despair.” —Alan Richman, food writer, debating editor Noah Bonaparte, December 2006

 

“The 15 year-old inside me was like ‘Fuckin’ right, we get to play with GWAR; I’ve wanted to do this my whole life.’ And then you get up there and you realize ‘Wait a minute, I remember when I was 15.’ It’s kind of like going to see Kiss, you know? Who gives a fuck who opens for Kiss?” —Durel Yates, Suplecs, December 2006 (DF)

 

“I will never be born and bred New Orleans. There’s something about you guys that will always and forever separate you from us. I don’t have a problem with that, but too many outsiders who move here get hung up on wanting to be born and raised here. There’s something in the water that makes y’all a certain way, that you have something over us, a magic power that people who were born and raised here have. What makes this city work, and function, and is beautiful about New Orleans is that it is a melting pot and accepts outsiders. I’m here for a reason, and I wouldn’t live anyplace else. I consider this my hometown, and I’m a military brat and I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived anywhere, so in a way it is my hometown. But I’m not Jude Matthews.” — Quintron, February 2007 (LM)

 

antigravity_vol11_issue8_Page_20_Image_0002“Growing up, I remember being in junior high and I got in fistfights with other black kids because I didn’t ‘talk like a black person was supposed to talk.’ Because I used diction, I got in fistfights… Around Lafayette there was no great second line jazz scene like there is in New Orleans but there was this rock music that was fresh and original and I started to discover bands like Fugazi and The Minutemen and all this amazing, original music… So, being black and loving that music was definitely a challenge. And I had to get in fights about it. I literally had to beat people’s asses! They would not leave me alone about that shit… It’s so funny, isn’t it? Race and music… for some people it’s everything and for me it’s nothing.” —Bernard Pearce, One Man Machine, February 2007 (DF)

 

“If a person is used to going to McDonalds, and they got running water, and they can go to Wal-Mart for clothes and a plasma TV and they’re watching cable, what hard life do they have as opposed to people a hundred years ago? Blues and soul came out of real, tough experiences… so that’s one of the reasons the effort in blues seems contrived today, not coming from people who’ve  really been through it.” —Chuck D, April 2007 (MPW)

 

“If you somehow like being a fat piece of shit, then do what you’re doing. If you want to change, then do it.” —Henry Rollins, September 2007 (DF)

 

“I’ll take on any skinhead, I guarantee you… my brother and I are just about as nasty as any motherfucker would want to be. If we got any adversity, we’d take people out. And that’s part of how we got our reputation, too. We’d create serious  mayhem around anyone who showed adversity to our music. It was really easy to do, once you’re incensed. I can get myself pissed off; I don’t need to rebel against Mom and Dad and society. I hate myself already, you know?” –Curt Kirkwood, Meat Puppets, September 2007 (MG)

 

antigravity_vol11_issue8_Page_21_Image_0002“I used to watch a lot of soap operas with my mom, and when I was four years old I told her that I wanted to be a stripper. She got really mad at me, and I didn’t understand why—I thought they just danced around the stage in sparkly costumes.” —Reverend Spooky LeStrange, The Billion Dollar Baby Dolls, December 2007 (SP)

 

“In the early ‘90s, it was cool to dress like a hobo. All these dudes in these bands, at that time and today still… the whole motive is to look like a bum and stare at your shoes and be like, ‘I’m so depressed that I’m in a band.’ Who wants to see that? We want to entertain people, we want people to get their money’s worth if they’re paying to see us; we want it to be fun.” —Matt Uhlman, Royal Pendletons, February 2008 (DF)

 

“I must have a horrible look of desperation, like every cell in my body is going to explode, because that’s the look I get back from people. It’s what comes out of me.” —Shaun Emmons, haarp, April 2008 (DF)

 

“Basically, the football players were upset because of the purple and gold confederate flags, and the student council and the whole school [LSU] was not going to reprimand people for using confederate flags, so we said, ‘Fuck it. we’ll burn one.’ So we called some people out and we burned it. It was on the cover of the paper and sparked a little controversy, but the point is that somehow we were getting credit for that kind of thing. Our teachers were like “You want to go do theater, that’s ten percent of what you can do with this stuff.” —Nick Slie, Mondo Bizarro, May 2008 (DF)

 

“The Japanther dudes stood around for close to an hour after The Pharmacy had finished before they even set up, which is a dick thing to do, especially after you’re already super-late, but I forgave them as I was so excited to see them again. Dancy punk really isn’t my thing either, but every time I’ve ever seen that band it’s been a super-fun and positive experience. None of that was present at this show. They didn’t play any of their best songs in the twenty or thirty minutes that they did play, there seemed to be bad attitudes all around and after someone accidentally got pushed into the drum set during a song, the drummer flipped out and started throwing pieces of his set around. He threw his pedals onto the stage, which ended up breaking a rather large mirror that was hanging there. That effectively ended their set and also the show. Adding insult to injury, Japanther lectured the audience, making the interesting point that tardiness is punk rock and all of us Katrina survivors should be used to it.” —AuraLee Petzko, “Burn the Scene” column, June 2008

 

“I use the looping pedals to record myself live in real time as I play the song. I record snippets of different instruments and layer them to create a bigger sound. I am constantly pulling pieces of music in and out, recording and undoing, overdubbing, turning knobs and stepping on pedals with my toes all the while singing or playing an instrument. Naturally, mistakes happen, as sadly I am only human.” —Theresa Andersson, August 2008 (JS)

 

“I don’t really miss the exploding drum kits and the shotgun blasts. I kind of prefer a mellower show… It was fun for a little while, but you see one shotgun almost blow your fucking head off and you start thinking, ‘Gosh, I could do without this.’” —Paul Leary, The Butthole Surfers, October 2008 (GS)

 

“We can be totally acoustic and sometimes it works great. Playing outside is awesome. We played a fun show in Atlanta that was on the sidewalk. It was a beautiful night; the stars were out. And, God, not to have to carry amps around! That’s the whole reason I started playing acoustic music in the first place.”—Walt McClements, Why Are We Building Such a Big Ship? December 2008 (DF)

 

“People used to say there would never be another Monaco Bob’s. Or another Faubourg Center. Or another Abstract Cafe. Or another Jimmy’s. Dixie Taverne may be gone, but there’s always somewhere else that comes around.” —Bobby Last, Face First, January 2009 (BS)

 

antigravity_vol11_issue8_Page_22_Image_0001“I done got in a buncha fights, but it’s always with other fag rappers. Not boys. Cause they know not to play with me. They know I’m dangerous.” —Katey Red, February 2009 (MPW)

 

“We get so many people laid. That d.b.a. show, some dude was sitting there, he went and fucked his girlfriend in the bathroom—while we were playing. They came out half-an-hour later; her hair was all messed up. That’s when I realized, ‘This is actually what we do.’” –Marvin Hirsch, Guitar Lightnin’ Lee, February 2009 (DF)

 

“Charlie had the kind of personality that was super happy-go-lucky, easy-going, gregarious, garrulous, outgoing party guy, life of the party, center of attention… He would say the mole he had on his chin was the center of the universe—and it was, in Chicago and in New Orleans. He was also the kind of guy who, if he were having problems, wouldn’t want anybody to know about it because it would show a sign of weakness. And that’s an old school, alpha tendency he had and that’s fine; that’s not a problem. But if you’re in a really dark place, your friends and family are there  to talk you out of your tree. So nobody will really know what was going on in his mind, not even me and I knew him like a brother.” —Josh Eustis, on the death of Charlie Cooper, his partner in Telefon Tel Aviv, March 2009 (DF)

 

“Everywhere I went in New Orleans I saw these giant tags, often on the back of billboards. And on the front of the billboards were all these saccharine messages  like ‘We can rebuild!!!’ It really made me want to puke, because I didn’t feel positive or uplifted by it at all. And then on the back there would sometimes be this huge word that just said ‘HARSH’ looking out over this totally destroyed, desolate wasteland. And I thought: ‘Yes!!! That’s the message.’” —Skylar Fein, September 2009 (DF)

 

“Rock’n’roll throughout my life has picked me up, slapped me down, kept me from doing anything else that might make me any money or do anything for me, and I didn’t go to college because I thought I was gonna be a rock star… I imitated all the people I felt were the heroes: Keith Richards, Johnny Thunders—meaning I’ve made big mistakes, and rock’n’roll brought me to the brink of death on more than  one occasion.” —Rik Slave, September 2009 (MPW)

 

“We’ve been offered thousands of dollars at this point to participate in TV shows and sell our music places. But those kinds of things really cheapen the art and kill the life of its importance.” —Jarrett Dougherty, Screaming Females, February 2010 (AG) 

 

“I am not immune to watching these reality show train wrecks. In fact, I love it. I love it as much as anybody. It’s amazingly entertaining. But, one thing that gets me a little bit angry about the Jersey Shore thing in particular is that it’s so fucking easy for people, especially people who didn’t grow up in New York but who live there now or people from other parts of the country, to look at this group of people from New Jersey and laugh at them. And it’s kind of an important element to the success of all these ‘human train wreck’ reality shows that you get to watch this crazy stuff and feel good that it’s not you—that, ultimately, you’re better or better off than these people. And you know… that rubs me the wrong way.” —Ted Leo, March 2010 (EH)

 

“We played an all-ages show in Mississippi. People were shouting, “Bummer pie, bummer!” And they were all singing along and I went down to dance with them.  They were high school kids. I’m skanking with them and I was sweating and I was trying to get back up onstage to play bass. That was a cool crowd.” —Dani Maurice,  The Local Skank, June 2006 (JS)

 

“I constantly question whether or not my efforts are supporting a scene that,  rather than elevating consciousness and arming us with fuel to create a firestorm to purify, exists simply to perpetuate the status quo, entertain white people, enforce sexism and all the rest of the bullshit that makes me want to puke like a frat boy after a night on Bourbon Street. Often I need look no further than most of the shows I attend—or the pages of this magazine, quite frankly—to see there’s a lot of mindless complacency and not a lot of meaningful dialogue going on.” —“Slingshots, Anyone?” column, July 2010 (D)

 

“Some guy comes up on stage to bring us all shots of whiskey. Mike trusts no drink  given on stage due to getting dosed with something wrong at our 20th anniversary show. The guy does Mike’s shot with us and walks offstage. 20 minutes later, the same guy gets on stage, rips the mic from the stand, throws it on the ground,  gestures “fuck you” and starts walking off stage, only to catch a good shove from said vocalist that sends the guy flying face first off of the stage and into the ground.  He falls so hard that it looks like a cartoon, followed by crowd applause. We could not have ended this tour on more of a solid note.” — Gary Mader, Eyehategod Tour Journal, July 2010

 

“I had a backpack and milk crates bungee-corded to the rack of my scooter. And that’s how I got my records to Mod Dance Party (was on the back of a Lambretta), which I thought was super mod… but also super dangerous because I would sometimes do my radio show at WTUL—and I tried to do all vinyl at the radio station as well—so I’d end up having to go straight to Mod Dance Party. And one time, when Broadway had all those huge potholes, these crazy craters, I hit a bump and all of my records went out of my crate onto Broadway. And I’m stopping traffic, yelling “Stop! Stop! Stop!” —DJ Kristen, August 2010 (DF)

 

“this is what Gestapo used to do; this is the genius: KGB knew all our names  already, because if you are a little bit different or you have a little history of gulag in your family, KGB automatically keep track. At that particular festival they made an advertisement for all the bands to submit names, addresses, lyrics to your songs. KGB made their work so easy! They have all these poor heavy metal or punk rock guys thinking ‘Great, this is perestroika time, we can speak our free minds!’ So KGB doesn’t need to do anything, you just bring them your information, and your lyrics about ‘stupid communist party’ and ‘how long we gonna suffer with this shit?’” —Yegor Romantsov, Debauche, October 2010 (MPW)

 

“We were going to come off the road at 30,000 records being sold, which is a lot today but back then it was ‘okay.’ Geffen was actually happy; but once Beavis and Butthead started playing ‘Thunder Kiss ’65’ it was all over. We had to go touring for a couple hundred thousand more people. Then it just snowballed. I can’t not give them credit!” —Sean Yseult, December 2010 (DF)

 

antigravity_vol11_issue8_Page_24_Image_0001“I really didn’t know much about my dad or his past at all… he was in and out of our lives. But he wasn’t doing well, my family were taking care of him, and we were cruising through Sacramento on our way to a show in San Francisco, so we stopped to see them. We pull up and as all these clowns are jumping out of the truck, my dad sees me and is standing there with his cane, crying. He’s happy to see me but once we’re in the house he immediately pulls me aside and says, ‘I need you to come into this room; there are some things I have to tell you.’ And he pulled out all of these photos and he’s like, ‘I used to be a clown. I used to hop trains. I lived in New Orleans.’ —Michael James, as Stix Duh Clown, December 2010 (MPW)

 

“I was in Memphis, just started school, getting my life in order and Jared called me and said ‘I got two questions: do you want to join the band?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He’s like, ‘We leave tomorrow, can you come?’ I said ‘Come get me.’ —Ian St. Pe, Black Lips, February 2011 (DF)

 

“One thing I do that might seem kind of weird is I don’t really chow with my guys on tour. You need a little space, I think. Because all of a sudden the smacking of the lips is getting on your nerves or you’re smacking your lips… things like that. It gets the little short and curlies. You stay away from those and you keep the eyes set on the big target, which is playing this piece for the people. They work all week to get the bones up to come to your gig and so you want to do good for them. I want to get my guys home safe. That’s the first promise I make myself when I start a tour.” —Mike Watt, March 2011 (DF with Isidore Grisoli)

 

“My ass crack: that’s my tip jar. One time I got home from a show and took a shower and found two dollar bills stuck to my ass and thigh. I’ve gotten cigarettes. That was cool. But that’s another thing about my deal: I don’t wear no underwear or socks to the show.” —Mike Schadwell, Dummy Dumpster, May 2011 (MPW)

 

“I had this Urkel impression really down where I would hike my pants up here and just entertain the whole family. Me and my sister would make top hats out of cardboard and do little dances for them.” —Meschiya Lake, August 2011 (EH)

 

“The Sloppy Seconds show we had in July was crazy. It was the first time they’d played NOLA since the early 2000s and the place was packed. Midway through their set this bonehead punched a huge hole in the gray painted sheetrock wall and when I grabbed him, all he had to say was ‘Dude man, I’m sorry… I thought it was concrete.’ —Matt Russell, Siberia co-owner, October 2011 (DF)

 

“We always thought one of the cool things about being gay was that you didn’t have to serve in the military. We wanted to abolish the military, not join it.” — Gregory Gajus, Fringe Festival, November 2011 (SP)

 

“New Orleans music is all about energy, and that’s what the hi-hat does. So I am all about the hi-hats. The hi-hat moves all the way through the song, even if it’s triplets. You think you’re not paying attention to the hi-hat when really it’s the driving force to a lot of songs. You’re hearing it whether it’s syncopated or 16th notes or 32s… That’s why I cranked the hi-hat up to 1/32. You can have a crappy track and if you give it a good hi-hat, it’ll still make you move.” —Mannie Fresh, December 2011 (MPW)

 

“I’m not a journalist, I’m not a photographer. The characters in my songs may be a little of someone, a little bit of myself and a little bit of a character from a book. Maybe they’re a little bit of a gum wrapper.” —Cass McCombs, January 2012 (EH)

 

“I don’t really consider myself a badass; I’m just a guy trying to make a living. I’ve got a stage presence, you know? It’s like my great-grandmother told me when I was a little kid. She grabbed me by the shoulders and said ‘I’ll shake the shit out of you boy!’ And that’s what I’m doing to my audience.” —Scott H. Biram, February 2012 (RDJ)

 

“I think the media floods us with images of women who are self-conscious, insecure and ultra-concerned with the wants of men or other gender constructs. And the women in my music are more like the women I’ve known: powerful, sassy, outright, humbler, compassionate and dynamic. They’re heroines. And so my music is sort of a toast to that.” —Charm Tayor, The Honorable South, February 2012 (MPW)

 

“In most cases, we decline free lodging from strangers. Generous, lovely, well- meaning people offer up their homes to us almost every night so we don’t have to pay for a hotel. An amazing and gracious gesture; and though we very much appreciate it, and where I’m sure that most of these people are perfectly sane, there’s always that teeny tiny off-chance you might wake up with a rubber ball in your mouth. Choose wisely.” —Cary Ann Hearst, Shovels & Rope, April 2012 (DF)

 

“New Orleans was actually more receptive to us than a lot of the places we played in the South. Actually, it was the most receptive other than what we had in NYC. People seem ten times more open-minded than anywhere else. We played there and in Houston, but Texas was certainly not having any of our long-haired bullshit.” —Buzz Osbourne, The Melvins, April 2012 (GM)

 

“I completely understand the reasoning behind band reunions. Being in a band is exciting. For many people, it fills the role—once occupied by vaudeville or the merchant marines—as the easiest route to adventure and travel.” —Sam McPheeters, May 2012 (DF/BF)

 

“Every new parent anticipates the first accident with their child. Literally up until  the moment she was born, I imagined my daughter being placed into my arms, then springing out like a slippery bar of soap.” —Skwirl and Adele, “10,000 Ways to Kill Your Baby – And Other Nightmares of New Moms,”  July 2012

 

“I really believe that go-go is a reflection of the community itself. As long as there’s violence, it’s going to be reflected in the culture. If the community’s hurting and it’s having problems, then it’s going to be reflected in the music and the expression and the poetry of the community.” —Natalie Hopkinson, author of Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City, July 2012 (LC)

 

“I don’t think I have the stomach to chase down fame. I think I probably did when I was younger, but now it doesn’t really fit in with other goals like sanity and daily stability.” —Madeline Adams, August 2012 (DF/EH)

 

“We’ve been around the block and I like to think that we blow some of these 20- something bands off the stage. I don’t know if it’s because it means more to us, or if it’s because it’s not a fashion thing; maybe it’s because we can write some good tunes?” —Dimitri Coats, OFF!, September 2012 (MBv)

 

“I’ve  never used the n-word in my music or the b-word. I just don’t want a company making money off me using those words, degrading women or putting a negative tone on my people, you know? Somebody has to make an example.” —Dâm Funk, interviewed by The Buttons, September 2012

 

“New Orleans is the queerest city in the South. When you talk about New York, when you talk about San Francisco, you talk about New Orleans. I came out in the Northeast. I didn’t need to migrate anywhere to come out, but I feel most comfortable in my identity here in New Orleans. A friend once said New Orleans is a lifestyle city as opposed to a train city, industrial city or commercial city. That’s why it’s so queer.” —Allison Gaye, Endless Gaycation, October 2012 (SP)

 

“The inclusiveness of punk was sweet…until boys got all sweaty and spikey and started pushing us out of the slam thrash.” —Trish Herrera, Mydolls, October 2012 (OA)

 

“I think there’s nothing wrong with romanticism and the South is definitely the most romantic of American’s regions. We love our hero stories and our sentimental bits, but romanticism is really dangerous if you don’t interrogate it. If you don’t acknowledge it for what it is or subvert it in some way…if you’re treating romance as fact, then you’re just misunderstanding the place, really.” —Lee Bains, October 2012 (EH)

 

“I remember looking around an hour before the show at the space we had created in the studio. We were all dressed in suits and I thought, ‘at least no one can say we didn’t overdo this.’” —Leo DeJesus, Vox And The Hound, November 2012 (DL)

 

“I first heard shive on the streets. I went to McDonogh 15 and my mom worked at McDonogh 15, so every day I would take the streetcar or the bus and would hear it there… When I was trying to name the record, I can’t remember who, but someone brought it up. Somebody said ‘Shive.’ It just reminded me how I really liked the meaning of that word and the context of it that I had been confronted with on the streetcar and bus going to and from school. That word was never like a safe place. Every time I heard ‘shive’ it was in a situation where my ‘shive’ shoes were getting ripped from me. I liked the idea of it being a compliment, meaning your shoes or whatever are awesome but now I’m going to take them from you.” —James Hayes, Lovey Dovies, November 2012 (KB)

 

“The lead always sounds so much better if you make the proper faces while you’re playing them. If you grimace like you’re being shot in the gut, people go ‘gawd, he’s good, what an awesome lead!’” —Bill Davis, Dash Rip Rock, December 2012 (MPW)

 

“I always thought it would be cool to play guitar in a band, but I don’t know if I ever committed myself to doing everything that was really necessary to do that. Hell, I may not have yet.” —Mike Cooley, Drive-by Truckers, January 2013 (EH)

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“If anybody tells you there was a moment in their life where they didn’t feel like a freak, they are lying.” —Evan Spigelman, star of the Skin Horse Theatre production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, January 2013 (SP)

 

“I honestly just wanted to be in a parade––in a marching band––but I didn’t know how to play an instrument. I worked around it, creating an instrument that nobody knows how to play. So that way, I’d be the best at it!” —Matt Vaughn-Black, aka Mr. The Turk, Noisician Coalition, February 2013 (MBv)

 

“I really saw the potential—I did not have the personal desire to—but I saw the political potential when I was pregnant of having a public abortion. There  were a lot of things going on at the time, namely D.C. being used as a bargaining  chip in national battles about safe legal access to abortion, and abortion access [being] used as a bargaining chip in battles about D.C. budget autonomy. This was happening while I was pregnant and I really had fantasies about going down to the fucking White House lawn and aborting my child because I wanted to make a statement.” —Erin McCarley, Hand Grenade Job, March 2013 (DF)

 

“With food trucks, anywhere can become a Yelp-worthy White Zone within minutes. Blitzkrieg cultural imperialism allows previously under-Instagrammed areas of our city to fulfill their potential as playgrounds for the rich without the headaches of investment or community engagement.” —“Fork in the Road: Who’s Behind the Push for New Orleans Food Trucks?” March 2013 (JB)

 

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“I never signed a contract… When they decided to release ‘Shake It Fo Ya Hood,’ they wanted me to sign. I said no, I’m not with being locked in a contract. So when it was time to do the re-release, all I had to do was go back [to the label, Mobo Records] and say, hey, sign this letter stating that I own all my rights, all my publishing, everything ’s under me. And they signed it immediately because they knew, we have nothing on this guy. He’s registered his own music; he’s published his own music; we just recorded it and put it out. We don’t own masters; we don’t own any of that.” —Ricky B, April 2013 (JB)

“The last record almost killed us. This record almost killed us. Every record pretty much almost kills us. We finally decided to really write about that, about ourselves  and the relationships we have with each other.” —Zach Carothers, Portugal. The Man, June 2013 (KR)

 

“Music is my therapy. I wouldn’t give a mothafuckin psychiatrist two goddamn  nickels. Man, give me some mothafuckin James Taylor and a glass of Moet, and I’m good.” —Willie D, The Geto Boys, July 2013 (RO)

 

“I never liked kazoos! I don’t know why kazoos got thrown into the mix of our band––I hate them! I mean, hate is a strong word. Put it this way: I wouldn’t date a kazoo.” —Ryan Kattner, aka Honus Honus, Man Man, September 2013 (EH)

 

“Just because we’re on hippie drugs doesn’t make us hippies. We break shit.” —MC Trachiotomy, September 2013 (DF)

 

“Food should be available to everyone, and I don’t mean a can of corn and a package of baby formula at the neighborhood food bank. Good, nourishing, clean, unprocessed food is a luxurious privilege in our society and we are all raised to believe that the only way to access the key to healthy nourishment is through wealth, hard work, and walking the line. This is a lie, a meme that keeps us controlled and feeling hopeless.” —Nico, New Orleans Community Kitchen,  October 2013 (OA)

 

“When people talk about ‘artists,’ when there are resources available for ‘artists,’ that word so often seems to exclude us in the hip-hop community. Or someone says ‘cultural economy,’ and what they mean is ‘soul, funk, Americana, folk, swamp-rock’ economy. Then don’t call it ‘cultural economy,’ because it’s not that.” —Truth Universal, November 2013 (JB)

 

“When we had to be quiet because they were tracking, everyone was making obscene gestures trying to distract each other. Other than that,  everyone is pretty docile in the studio. No one really has an ego because we know that time costs money.” —Marion Totorich, Sweet Crude, November 2013 (DL)

 

“I had to make my mind up that I wasn’t going to have money for anything else other than this. That’s the attitude I have. Music is the most important thing in my life and that is where all of my finances are going.” —Dave Fera, Mahayla, December 2013 (KB)

 

“No one was going to spend $3,000 to put out a Die Rötzz record when we’re not touring all the time, when we’re not the most dedicated band. I mean, we play music for us, and people that will put out a record want you to go out and  make all their money back. And we’re definitely not a guarantee on making your money back… Business-wise, Die Rötzz isn’t a solid investment.” —Paul Artigues, Die Rötzz, December 2013 (MBv)

 

antigravity_vol11_issue8_Page_32_Image_0001“I think young people recognize me as that insane uncle they wish they had. They don’t want me to be their father and God knows they don’t want me to be their grandfather (even though I could). So I think they see me as that insane uncle. I’ll get you out of jail. I’ll get you an abortion. I’ll help you dig your way out of trouble, even though I’ll steer you in the right direction.” —John Waters, December 2013 (EH)

 

 

“The best overall lesson we ever picked up was from going on tour with the Truckers. And it was essentially that you don’t ever have to take shit from anyone, that the reality is that everyone’s telling you what you want to hear, but the hard part is finding out who actually means it.” —Carter King, Futurebirds, January 2014 (EH)

 

“I actually wanted to make cool musicals and then realized, once I got into the theatre program, how wretched it would be to be working with actors, and how much stress it would be with all the personnel, as opposed to music where you get to be your own director and your own writer and your own performer, and I probably would have had a heart attack by the time I was 30.” —Peaches, January 2014 (D)

 

“Pointing a camera at someone isn’t as threatening as pointing a gun, but it’s still a hostile action, and I don’t believe hostility towards one’s neighbors is healthy. Surveillance cameras, born of fear, create more fear, and I think there’s an excess of that already. Cameras of all kinds distance us from one another, and they even distance us from our own lives: when we interpose a camera between ourselves and our situation, we hand off to a machine the important responsibility of bearing witness to our lives and experiences.” —”Watch Me Do My Thing: Surveillance in New Orleans” January 2014 (JB)

 

“Band life is really kind of an artificial, weird thing because you spend time with these people all the timemore than you do with your own familyand having kids along kind of humanizes it. Just to remind you that, oh yeah, we’re human and there’s more to life than getting that note right.” —Rhiannon Giddens, The Carolina Chocolate Drops, February 2014 (EH)

 

“People always say really stupid simplistic things about everything. I do it everyday. I make all of those crazy kind of asshole-ish generalizations about [things] constantly. That’s just how we’ve come to process things. There’s just so much shit to process in the world that we generally have to label things with some sort of simplistic name or symbol to make it easier to move on and process all of the other stuff we are being bombarded with.” —Lou Barlow, Sebadoh, February 2014 (KB)

 

“I love New Orleans. I think the last time I was there was a day off on tour, which got a little debaucherous. Also, there was a pigeon eating a chicken wing in our hotel hallway. That’s not what I loved about New Orleans, but it was weird.” —Mary Timony, Ex Hex, March 2014 (OA)

 

“As our economy becomes almost entirely tourism-based, it’s a rare New Orleanian who isn’t at some level involved in hustle. We flirt, we charm, we smile to survive. Hustling is a dance that both parties, deep down, know they are engaging in, even when the interaction is based on a temporary suspension of disbelief.” —“Unfair BnB: What Unlicensed Short-Term Rentals Mean for New Orleans, March 2014 (JB & Dorian Commode)

 

“We eat punk rock, shit grindcore and wipe our asses with metal.” —John Angus Schexnayder, Fat Stupid Ugly People, April 2014 (MBv)

 

“On the ride home the next day, we came up on a white van with Louisiana plates, and as we passed it, who was it but none other than King Louie himself, high- tailing it out of Austin with the Missing Monuments. We exchanged some friendly  hand gestures for a moment before Louie pulled ahead and swerved in front of us, and for a moment I had visions of a fiery two-van crash, where two of Louisiana’s most prolific, powerful and polar opposite singer-songwriters died on a Texas highway, like some bizarro version of the Buddy Holly-Ritchie-Valens-Big-Bopper plane crash.” —“What a Way to Make Living: Taking on SXSW with Hurray for the Riff Raff ” April 2014 (DF)

 

“I normally don’t like musicians because they’re into the ‘sex, drugs, and rock‘n’roll.’ They don’t give a crap. They’re ruining their bodies, and then they die.” —Dick Dale, April 2014 (JA)

 

“Whatever sort of absurd things come along with hipster culture, I think at the end of the day it’s pretty romantic. It’s people that just want something more real feeling than what mainstream America is. The way people go about it might sometimes be silly, but I think it’s ultimately harmless.” —James Marler, Rotary Downs, April 2014 (EH)

 

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