July 11th, 2008 | Interviews

Luke McGarry

The Trashwomen picked up the beer cans left half-empty by the Pleasure Seekers and helped drag surf back from the sewer to the beach. They will be reuniting at Mr. T’s bowl Saturday. They speak now to Dan Collins.

Let me get this out of the way—why did you form, and why did you break up?
Tina Lucchesi (drums): We got together as an idea from Mike Lucas of the Phantom Surfers to have an all-girl band called the Trashwomen who do Trashmen covers open for them one New Year’s, oh, like 1992 or so.
Elka Zolot (guitar): It was supposed to be a joke that was for one show, but it just kinda took off.
Dannielle Pimm (bass): Since I already had a bass, I became the bassist. And since Tina was going out with a drummer she became the drummer. Elka was the only one who knew how to play her instrument. Tina and I had only 4 weeks to learn how to play before the show. We were only planning on playing that one show but we got calls after to play more shows. So we started practicing weekly and started writing our own songs.
T: We broke up because I think we ran our course and we were kinda over it and each other!
E: It was over some stupid argument in Japan and we just never played again after that. Try keeping three opinionated girls in a single venture without hormonal upsets getting in the way. Add long plane trips and tiring tours to the mix and you have three whiny, grumpy girls in matching outfits!
D: We started fighting for the same things at the thrift stores and it got ugly.
How was the Japanese tour?
E: The Japan tour was so much fun! It was like being on another planet. I’m like a little bird so all the lights and Blade Runner scenery scared me a bit. I had a bad cat allergy to the cats where we were staying—it didn’t help that the biggest furriest one insisted on sleeping on my head, so actually one of my favorite parts was getting up in the wee hours when everyone was still passed out and walking through the little neighborhoods by myself. The rest of our days were filled with shopping trips and shows, so this was a nice little time to have for myself. The crowd in Japan is the BEST! They really get into it, genuinely love music and nobody has that ‘too cool’ attitude. I met some of the greatest people I ever met in my life in Japan!
After all that time, why did you decide to get back together?
E: We reformed for the millions of dollars that await us… errr…
T: Now we’re all into each other again, and Chris from Budget Rock offered some good cashola for us to play last October for Budget Rock! So what the fuck, right? Plus, it’s fun to play those songs again! I think we’re ready to have some rehashing fun, ya know what I mean?
I can guess that the Fender Four, the Astronauts, Annette and the Trashmen influenced your sound. But what bands from the eighties and nineties made you want to make music?
D: My first ‘rock concert’ I went to was the B-52’s.
T: I think the Cramps, the Ramones, Nikki and the Corvettes, the Mummies, and the Phantom Surfers also—they were our bros!
E: I’ve played guitar since I was about eight. One of my first lessons was a record my dad had: Learn to Play Guitar with the Ventures. He lost the sleeves to the records, so I did it all by ear—the reason I don’t know notes, it’s all by ear. So that was the first influence for sure. Then over the years I turned into a teenybopper, listening to the Go-Gos & Joan Jett. I played air guitar and sang into a soda bottle in front of the mirror pretending to be in the band. I was known as the girl who brought her guitar everywhere. Once I saved enough money up, I bought a crappy electric guitar and a tinny sad little amp from a school garage sale. I took every Ramones tape I had and played every day after work for hours and hours.
Were there bands or guys (or gals) in the garage-rock scene who were total assholes to you for being an all-woman band?
T: Actually the bands that were closest to us—our bro friends—would get weird and say stuff like ‘Oh, people only like them because they were girls and wear sexy outfits, blah blah.’ They were right, kinda! Ha ha ha! Because man, we sucked for a long time! Elka was always the skillful one! Me and Dannielle sucked!
D: We also had people make fucked up flyers of us. One time we had a show in L.A. at the Jabberjaw and some fucker made this really messed up flyer of us and put it all over the club just when we arrived. It was actually really funny. It was of us in a bathroom crapping all over the floor. There was some really funny stuff going on in the flyer. I think I have a copy somewhere. Also when we went to Holland to play there was a flyer in the club’s window of us as pigs. I decided I was going to get the bastard who made the flyer back, so during one or songs I tried to drench him with my water bottle, but when I went to spray him, the bottle flew out of my hands and landed on some other dude’s nose. Great—he had a huge welt on his nose afterwards!
What’s the story behind the Wongs’ ‘Jerkin It to the Trashwomen?’ Did they really send a copy to you covered in blood and ‘other’ fluids?
T: Yeah, they did that song. And no, we never got a copy of that so-called grimy 7” from those dudes! Ryan Wong is sooooo hot by the way! I chase his ass all over every time I run into him! Ha! He’ll give in one day!
D: Hey, they are more than welcome to resend the record now with their unidentified ‘fluids’ on it. Maybe we can trade the record for a free haircut. Tina and I are both hairdressers.
Do you think that Dick Dale’s inclusion in the soundtrack to Pulp Fiction single-handedly drained all the fun out of playing surf rock?
E: No way—nothing could drain the fun out of surf! I totally respect Dick Dale for what he does. I think sometimes it was my Dick Dale records that made me work even harder to play even better.
T: He’s awesome! I think ‘Misirlou’ made the movie! Surf rock got overblown in the garage world in the ’90s. It happens with everything! It just got tired with too many copy-cat bands. It got booooorrrrrring! Now it’s happening with power-pop bands! So many skinny ties, polka dots and stripes and chick singers doin’ the same thing. Get creative, people!
Who was the absolute worst band of the ’90s surf-rock revival?
D: The Trashwomen!
After your show on July 12, will you be playing lots and lots of shows so we can all come see you? And when?
E: If I told you, I’d have to kill you.
D: Nothing is set up yet. We are really green now, so we would like to do a Save the Earth Day concert.
T: We are goin’ for the green now! Hahahahaha! No, I dunno, if something sounds awesome and funtastic, we’re in! A little cash wouldn’t hurt neither!