🎸🤘 Reconnecting with Morat! 🤘🎸
I had the heartwarming experience of being interviewed by Morat, a dynamic journalist and author (Punks Snot Dead) who who did a killer interview a while back and life’s incredible weirdness has brought us back together in the most unexpected way!
🎶 Unexpected Reunion at the Punk Rock Museum, Vegas In a twist of fate, Morat and I reunited at the Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas. He’s an organizer, and I’ve been a tour guide! It’s amazing how our paths have crossed again, in Las Vegas of all places.
🔗 Relive the Moment: Full Interview Attached! For those who love a good grunge story or want to dive into a piece of punk rock history, check out the full interview.
Here’s to unexpected reunions and the timeless bond of time! 🎵🖤
SQUARE PEGS IN ROUND HOLES
SQUARE PEGS IN ROUND HOLES
LA’s raucous L7 don’t fit comfortably into the music biz conception of what an all-girl band should be. They’re not blonde or cute, their name means ‘square and unhip’, their lyrics strike uncomfortable chords… and they’re infamous for throwing tampons from the Reading Festival stage! Now bludgeoning UK shores as support to Faith No More, bassist JENNIFER FINCH has plenty of stories to tell – MORAT could barely get a word in edgeways!
FOR REASONS, best kept quiet, I was watching children’s TV the other day, some shitty American ‘comedy’, when one of the characters stuck his hands together in the same way as the L7 logo. He went on to demonstrate how the sign means ‘square’, as in ‘boring old fart’, and suddenly the world was a slightly brighter place. The band were not, after all, in some knees — bent — trousers — down secret sect with funny handshakes like the Freemasons; they were still the four foul-mouthed female noise yobs who seem to get bigger and better every time they hit these shores. With this mystery safely out of the way – don’t pretend you knew all along – I ask bassist/vocalist Jennifer Finch the other question that’s burning everyone’s lips: was that a real tampon they threw at the crowd when they blew most of the other bands offstage at the Reading Festival this Summer?
“Of course!” laughs Jennifer. “They threw mud, Donita (Sparks – guitar/vocals) threw blood! It was just a sign of appreciation.
“We had a lot of fun playing,” she recalls, “but frankly, we’d just arrived. We’d flown from America to Berlin, played a festival, and then got on another plane immediately after and went to Reading. The airline lost our equipment, so we were playing on all borrowed stuff except for a few guitars, so there were a lot of things to worry about up there.”
I NOTICED a couple of the Lunachicks up there during L7’s set, catching mud pies: do all girl bands stick together at times like that? “I just think a lot of bands stick together,” shrugs Jennifer. “We stick together with the Lunachicks cos they’re friends of ours, but we also stick together with other bands; like, Nirvana helped us out, Teenage Fanclub helped us out, Mudhoney helped us out, The Melvins helped us out – and Bjorn Again helped us oat,” Finch adds with an unnerving laugh. “We borrowed their costumes!”
“Y know,” says Jennifer conversationally, “we just came from Australia, where they’re from, and it really is a huge phenomenon with cover, bands over there. We saw a Sabbath cover band and a Fleetwood Mac cover band – it was incredible!” How would you feel if there was an L7 cover band?
“Funny you should ask,” grins Jennifer, as if she’s been leading me straight to the subject, “but there actually is an L7 tribute band in Chicago, called Corduroy. We saw an ad for it when they were trying to put the band together! The ad said, ‘L7 tribute band forming’, so we each called it up. Donita called and said, ‘I’m interested in being in the band: I play a Flying V just like Donita from L7, I have the same hair as Donita from L7… I AM DONITA FROM L7’! It gets boring on the road – we have to entertain ourselves somehow!” So what other games do you play on the road? “I’m not gonna tell you,” Finch feigns coyness. “That’s very personal. No, we do very mundane things – you’re just putting me on the spot because we don’t have anything exciting to tell you! But we’ve just started this tour with Faith No More, so I’m sure by the end of it we’ll have plenty of stories…”
NATURALLY, IT turns out that L7’s idea of mundane isn’t a definition you’d find in any dictionary.
“In Australia,” relates Jennifer, “we actually made a commitment to each other that we weren’t gonna fall into loaf mode, where all we can do is play a show and then lie around all day on the bus. So Donita and I went bungy jumping, and we all went surfing, and I went horse riding. “Julian Lennon bungy jumped where we jumped,” she adds, “and it was so violating! They had this wall dedicated to him, with pictures of him getting out of the car, registering to jump, getting the ropes tied round him… every step was documented. It was a real violation of privacy.” Foot in mouth, I mutter something about how they should have cut the ropes. “We’ve met Julian Lennon,” Jennifer continues, ignoring my dumb comments. “You know that we have a Yoko Ono sample on the beginning of ‘Wargasm’? Well, Julian Lennon came to a couple of our shows and bought a ‘Smell The Magic’ T-shirt! He got kicked out of a French club for wearing it too!
“In Australia,” Jennifer barely pauses for breath, “Suzi (Gardner – guitar/vocals) was doing an Interview for a university paper.
You know how they have Popular Culture classes? There’s a ‘Popular Culture in Modern Music Class’, and the topics are Madonna, Elvis and L7, so they had a whole chapter on L7. What do you think of that?”
Weird, to be honest. What do you think? “I don’t really think about it,” Finch muses briefly. “I’m very honoured, but at the same time there’s disbelief and I don’t have any feelings about it. I’ll tell you something else as well…”
And she’s off again, bubbling over with a lust for life and telling me about the all-girl rock ’n’ roll high school where pupils are taught to play everything from Guns N’ Roses to…
“We saw a nine-year-old girl doing a private recital on drums, doing Mudhoney songs. They have these song lists – and we’re on one of the song lists. That was an honour!”
I N JUST half — an — hour we discuss everything from American politics to punk rock, from music business rip-offs to anthropology (Finch has just finished a book on the subject and is now reading Tom Robbins’ ‘Still Life Of A Woodpecker’).
Eventually we get back to the subject of L7, and I ask about that infamous tribal paint they’ve been sporting this year.
“That was just something that we did for fun,” Finch tells me. “Originally, we started doing it because we did this performance in about 1987 where it was a spoof on female wrestling. “We played our set, and Donita and I were the bad girls, and Suzi and this other friend of ours were the good girls. They were blonde and got all dressed up in pink, and Donita and I were, like, the road warrior gas-guzzling bad girls – and we wrestled them!”
Is that the side you’d chose in that ‘Mad Max’-type situation? “I’d be whoever could survive the longest,” says Jennifer, “and the most callous always are able grab the hot coals.”
What? You’ve been watching too many episodes of ‘Kung Fu’! “I’m giving you quotes!” protests Finch. But they don’t make sense.
“I know,” she laughs. “That’s the best part!”
“We actually made a commitment to each other that we weren’t gonna fall into loaf mode… So Donita and I went bungy jumping…” – JENNIFER FINCH on L7’s offstage relaxation technique!