WEEDEATER: A PIPE, SOME PORNO AND A DILDO

August 13th, 2009 | Interviews


themegoman

Download: Weedeater “God Luck And Good Speed”

[audio:http://larecord.com/audio/weedeater-godluckandgoodspeed.mp3]

(from God Luck and Good Speed out now on Southern Lord)

North Carolina’s Weedeater are unflagging primal monstermen who convert weed and bourbon into simple energy and don’t stop touring til at least three things burst and deflate. They are working on a new album for Southern Lord and speak now from the road. This interview by Matt Dupree.

No offense but your website’s a little old…
“Dixie” Dave Collins (bass/vocals): Is that weedeatertheband.com? Yeah, that’s not done by us. It’s done by this kid in the Cape Fear area and he’s had all kinds of medical issues. He had some giant brain tumor pulled out of his head. We’ve tried many times to tell him to take the damn site down but he just leaves it up there and I don’t have the heart to break his balls too much on it. So the updated site would be the MySpace site that our management takes care of. I don’t mess with computers too much—they tend to fuck up and freeze every time I touch ‘em. They hate me, for some reason and that’s fine, because I don’t like them either. We’ve done everything the old-fashioned way for thirteen or fourteen years now so we’ll stick to it and let other people handle that.
There’s mention of a High Times article where you get into a naming debate over ‘stoner rock’ and ‘weed metal.’
The term ‘stoner rock’ has been thrown around since day one around us, but it just sounds like a ridiculous term to me. Everybody that’s ever played rock has been stoned on something. I mean even people that didn’t play rock, you know—Louis Armstrong. Chuck Berry is stoner rock to me. I just think it’s weird, and people were always calling us stoner rock. There’s a skateboard company called Speed Metal Bearings and I ripped off their logo and changed it to ‘Weed Metal’ and decided to use the moniker ‘weed metal’ instead of stoner rock just as a joke. Since you have to name your music, you know? People always ask you what genre you are—you must pigeonhole yourself so why not come up with your own term?
I like to make up fake genres when describing bands to friends.
That’s the basic idea. Dwell Records released the first Hail!Hornet record and there was a little sticker on the front—it’s supposed to sell the record, and it was like, ‘Torturous oppressive grime metal!’ ‘Wow, that makes me not want to buy this—let me buy this torturous oppressive music that’ll hurt my feelings… and make me cry. Make me have to take a shit.’ You have to overdo it.
And you have to take it really seriously.
You must take everything really, really seriously. Which is totally of out-of-context in all we’ve done in Weedeater for sure. People always ask me what’s the number one thing you need to be in a touring band and second to the actual vehicle that gets you from show to show, I would say a sense of humor. Without having that, you’ll never stay together. We’ve been the same three guys without a member change for 14 or 15 years and touring for 13 of them, and touring pretty heavily. None of us would survive and we’d have killed each other just today if we didn’t have a good sense of humor and a bag of weed. That’s pretty much where we’re coming from on that one. It works well for us.
You’ve recorded albums with both Steve Albini and Billy Anderson who are both legends of record engineering. Do you have a preference between the two for the new record?
I really don’t. Both of those are great. Their styles are a little bit different, but for the most part they’re very similar in that they’re both incredible producers who work well with analog, which we like to do. And they’re very good at capturing live sound, which we like a lot, too. We don’t even know who we’re doing this new one with—it’ll most likely be one of those two guys though. It’ll be the second of three records that’ll be on Southern Lord.
How many instruments do you play?
Piano or organ, bass, guitar, banjo, ukulele, lap steel, fiddle, a little bit of drums. That’s probably about it. Melodeon. Clarinet.
Is there any chance for some clarinet on a future album?
We’ve discussed that for sure. A distorted-to-hell clarinet.
I would be shocked if it wasn’t distorted.
It just wouldn’t be right.
You’ve used the word ‘uncareful’ to describe how you write lyrics. What exactly did you mean?
That may not do it justice. ‘Haphazard’ might be more appropriate. We’re very fond of wordsmithing—putting weird words and bending sayings around, and we write lyrics out in that same vein. I like wordsmithing without words missing and I like for things to be clever and different. You know, we’re supposed to be stupid hicks, so we kind of play on that. At the same time, if you get it, they’re pretty clever and put together pretty well in my opinion.
I’ve heard your hometown Wilmington is just a city full of bars.
Pretty much correct. Downtown Wilmington sits on the Cape Fear River about two or three miles from the mouth. We’re just surrounded by beaches and the college is there—University of North Carolina Wilmington—so the whole Cape Fear area is just jammed full of bars and drunks and crazy fuckers, pretty much. They filmed Dawson’s Creek there and some other shitty… One Tree Hill… or whatever. I actually lived on that creek. It’s actually called Page’s Creek—that’s the real name of it. It’s where I put my Jon boat in when I go island hopping and drinking and smoking and swimming. But I prefer to think of all the Stephen King movies that were filmed here. And David Lynch’s Blue Velvet. I guess Screen Gems is getting ready to move back to Wilmington—they’ve got the biggest soundstage on the East Coast from what I’m told.
You still run a head shop, right? I’m sure that means increased traffic from the Hollywood transplants.
The shop that I work at is one of a chain of six, and we’re consistently the top-seller. We make about double what the next store does per day. We’ve got the tourists coming to the beach, we’ve got the college students and we’ve got just all the burnout crazy drunks there. We also sell porn and sex toys and all that as well. And with the economy like this, with the recession and all, people aren’t gonna go out to the movies and go eat. They’re gonna go home, and so they’re gonna need a pipe, some porno and a dildo. So actually if anything we may have seen a spike in sales while all the other retail stores were in decline.
On the newest album, God Luck and Good Speed, you borrowed ‘Alone’ from your side project Barstul.
Me and Shep—our guitarist—are Barstul. I wanted to re-record it for God Luck and Good Speed because I thought it fit very well with the flow of the record, and Albini heard it and he said, ‘Man, we can place mics all day and maybe get something close to as good as that sounds. I think we should just put it on there as is.’ That’s actually a four-track recording from my garage when me and Shep were completely wasted one night. I asked Mike Dean when we were on tour with COC and he kinda mobile-ly mastered on their bus, and it came out sounding great.
Is Barstul gonna make a proper record?
Yeah, we have a demo that I haven’t really shopped around to anyone yet. We’d like to re-record all that stuff. We’ve got a full record worth of stuff at least—all original songs. Actually on our record Sixteen Tons, the song ‘Whoa Is Me’ is also a Barstul song. That’s just me playing acoustic bass and the pedals on my organ, and guitar and vocal. It’s probably something we’ll do in the future—incorporating that into Weedeater but also have Barstul be a separate entity.
Do any other bands consume chemicals as capably as Weedeater, or are you guys the gold standard for chemical consumption?
I guess we’re pretty hard at it. We try and take care of ourselves but it’s not so easy to do, especially touring around as much as we like to do. But everybody in the genre is at least partially involved in it. We may push the envelope a little bit, but envelopes are there to be pushed, I imagine. I’m sitting in the van right now, drinking whiskey and Pabst Blue Ribbon and doing an interview with you. It’s definitely easier to speak my mind and just say what I feel if I’ve had a few drinks. It’s actually easier for me to do anything, even get out of bed, if I’ve had a few drinks. I could use to burn one right now but I don’t know where everybody is, I think they’re in the club. They need to come out here and load one up so I can get high, ‘cause that’s the next step.

WEEDEATER WITH DOWN, THE MELVINS AND DANAVA ON SAT., AUG. 15, AT THE WILTERN, 3790 WILSHIRE BLVD., LOS ANGELES. 7PM / $30 / ALL AGES. LIVENATION.COM. WEEDEATER’S GOD LUCK AND GOOD SPEED IS OUT NOW ON SOUTHERN LORD. VISIT WEEDEATER AT WEEDEATERTHEBAND.COM OR ON MYSPACE AT MYSPACE.COM/WEEDEATER.