Freshly minted on 180-gram vinyl, No Doctors recently released a new album, Origin & Tectonics, which bears the gravity of a purposeful collective experience in experimental rock ‘n' roll. Its notability lies not only in the literal heft of the beautifully packaged record (which features a stunning cover illustration by Mr. Tony Millionaire), but also in the statement that flows from the grooves contained on sides A and B. Origin & Tectonics seems far flung compared to the unforgiving noise rock that these four oddly named Bay Area transplants pioneered between 1999 and 2006.
To be sure, Elvis deMorrow (guitar/vox), CansaFis Foote (sax/vox), Chauncey Chaumpers (guitar/vox), and Mr. Muthafuckin Brians (drums/bong/vox) are as esoteric and challenging individually as they are collectively. Having moved to the left coast nearly three years ago, something -- in the fog, or perhaps in Oakland's gritty improvisatory urban attitude, or perhaps in San Francisco's self-aware vanguard of the healthful future -- has rubbed off. The destructive Midwestern oblivion noise rock that characterized their sound during their Chicago era is hidden now, left to pit fires or shamanic back-door band rituals. In its place arrives a new category: proto-rock neo-orthodoxy, an amalgam of the central fields and streams of rock lineage which are bleeding through the silkscreen of this band's photo negative.
They have brought us a surprise in O&T -- I don't think anyone saw an album this, well, quasi-normal coming from the black, anti-rock blues noise destruction that they previously had perfected in live rigor and on pressed plastic discs. Not to be outdone by the curious, engaging, and downright lovely sound of O&T, the four recently sat down in a tiki-bar tucked into one of the corners of the Bay and engaged me in an epic interview, a rigorous game of pass-the-rum phone.
I tend to like to describe music in terms of evoked images or feelings rather than specific genres. For example, on some of these songs I'm seeing giant hot dogs wearing party hats playing badminton for an army of dedicated teenage marching rejects. I guess that's pretty ridiculous.
ELVIS (E): Well, it's fantastic is what it is.
Yeah, but I find myself, instead of classifying it in the fantastical, classifying the music on Origin & Tectonics in terms of genres like art rock or classic rock or avant-rock. My question is, is there a need for genres here? It seems like there is a need to use basic words like rock and roll to describe the music that's there.
CHAUNCEY (CHX): I think genres are limited, and obviously there's only so far you can go in that sort of phraseology. I understand where it can be useful, to the neophyte who's got a very limited scope of the broad spectrum of what rock and roll can be, to offer some genres as reference points. I think as far as what No Doctors does, we're definitely engaging rock and roll as a genre as opposed to polka or any other genre. I guess we really do engage art rock, avant rock, classic rock - all those are sub-genres. It's like family, genus, species, it's like getting down to the super-microscopic levels and we try to operate at a much greater appreciation of the diversity of what rock can be.
CANSAFIS (FIS): I always feel bad making that decision for someone. Here's an example: I have a boss at work, right? He asks me, what type of music do you play? And I say, well, we're a rock and roll band. But I'm nervous and kinda queasy afterwards because it's not true. It's a lie. I feel like a lot of what it means to be part of our band, and part of a lot of bands out there, is ignoring any regard for being part of a specific genre. I won't argue a value above the other to either approach - being genre specific, or being varied - but for me, and for us, I think the diversity of what we can do in the broad medium is one of the most exciting things about working in the medium. What's important to me is to transcend the origin or the specifics of the idea as I grow and to seek out new ways to present and create the sound.
E: I think the strange balance in being a rock and roll band right now is that it's such a young art form - the electric guitar is very young, the medium itself is very young. Cast aside any ideas of genre, even as rock and roll itself is a genre, and the electrical medium is very young. You're looking at 50, 60 years, which is still in the cradle. I feel, as a rock and roll musician, that it's well examined, but at the same time quite under-explored – it's understood to a depth that belies its actual applications. It's analyzed to a point where it seems to be older than it is. You can't get away from it using a six-string electric guitar through a tube amp with a drum set. You're inevitably going to align yourself with this lineage that's very short but also very deep in a lot of ways.
It seems like with this album there is a tightness or a clarity of musical intent that suggests you really practiced hard and took the song-writing extremely seriously. Yet, I also get the impression that not one person was shouldering the majority of the song-writing burden
MR. BRIANS (MB): It's interesting you say that because we approached this album where every week someone would present some kind of a backbone, and eventually it was passed along like telephone. The message got mixed up along the way, but we'd pass it around the whole band and reached an agreement. The album contains songs with statements that can definitely be attributed to one member over another, yet there's always an accord lying underneath. Almost like an acceptance. Not like acquiescence, but a challenge to collaborate. To make it work. Because you trust these people that are in your band.
You wanna sacrifice your own vision to make everyone happy. There were huge bones about the acoustic numbers. Trying to form those was pretty taxing, especially because with those there's not a huge blanket of sound you can use. It's more like a thin sheet. Those took a long time but they ended up being two of the more interesting tracks on the album because they're somewhat left field but definitely introduced proper elements.
It fits in also with the general feeling of clarity. It doesn't make sense compared to the nihilistic, chaotic stuff of the past, but it fits in with the clarity of the vocals and instruments and the ability to discern what's going on. It makes sense that there would be some stripped down campfire songs.
CHX: The way we work, the creative process is integrated with all members of the group – the word organic would be a fair way to describe how we work – we start from dirt and water and try to come up with a very intricate garden. We pour ourselves into our work. We're very committed, and we have a very serious history with the group, same people, we have roots together, we're very intimate and connected as friends, beyond what the band is as well, and that is part of the power of our music.
I like to imagine that your band is some kind of immutable yet constantly shifting force. Like it exists beyond just noise or rock or being a cool kids' club, but that it exists as a testament to your collective will to create something that has unity but clear voices. You know what I mean?
B: You know, I've been thinking a lot recently about day jobs and how they relate to a band. We're all totally working, and that's some serious noise, dude. That's the noisiest part of my life.
The flawed theory is that everyone gets what they want at any given time, which obviously turns into a lot of complicated ideas that never happen.
B: Yeah – it creates this crazy noise I have to deal with in my brain – I want to take it and use it appropriately. Whatever you're doing beyond the 40 hours to counteract that feeling is highly relevant. We're all on that same page, too. In the past, we'd always be floating around, not bogged down in the working, class morass, and we'd create the noise because there was no noise. We had to make the noise because everything was so ideal. Living in college, taking classes every day, totally self-indulgent, and seriously pushing psychedelic noise limits. But now, these enclosed, imposed needs that serve to show society you're capable of earning money, and being part of the structure is the new noise. Therefore, logically, this leaves room to explore the finer side of music because the noise is being dealt with outside the music. The music has become a reaction to something different and almost opposite from the methods of the past. It's all yin and yang.
And the cover's just black and white.
B: Yeah you like the cover?
Surely. I like Tony Millionaire and Maakies a lot. It's an awesome coincidence for me that you ended up getting Tony Millionaire to do the cover.
B: What a great artist. His architecture's flawless; I've never seen architecture the way he draws it. He studied Victorian homes in Boston, where he did all his awesome crazy house designs.
Yeah – when I was a kid my parents used to drop me off at the Public Library for a couple hours and I would pull down all these Maakies books and sit and study them. I was impressed by his ability to get all that definition and quality without having it look too clean or bland, there's a roughness to it.
B: One of my favorite strips has Uncle Gabby in a raceboat with the captain's daughter and she says to him “Oh Gabby! You smell so good!” The next panel shows the boat crashing through a pier perfume store, with the daughter asking “What have you got on?” Then in the last panel, Uncle Gabby says to her, “I got a ‘hard-on' but I didn't think you could smell it.'” You know, he does work really well in black and white – and all those Sock Monkey books are really brilliant. I was really glad he did that for us. He told us: “I finally heard you guys and you're terrible!” He didn't hear the new album yet so that will change, I presume . . . He's in Pasadena with two kids and seems to be doing well. He's kind of a beast of a man, pretty funny too. Supposedly he prompted a building in Berlin to get bombed by Reagan.
Many of the songs, especially the lyrics of the songs, like “Yardin' “, or “Tuning th' Sundial”, suggest an outdoor-friendly vibe. They almost have a campfire or a giant cliff or huge pools of pristine water resting right in front of them. Yet the rock is so totally electric and present. It makes me wonder if you have been this in tune with the essence of the world all along, or maybe that California's abundance and beauty and awareness of these things has worn off on you?
E: Since we moved here in November ‘04, I think it's safe to say that for all four of us there has been a realization of a more healthful way of approaching life that is directly related to the abundance of the state, and the fact that California is pretty all-encompassing as far as a possible sustainable way of living. I think we are healthier because of that. It's funny you mention those two songs – in the Blastitude review he mentions that “Tuning th' Sundial” was like some kind of green living aesthetic.
From my perspective I'm not saying that you guys are being environmentalist, so much as it's like the spirit of the world is coming through – like some of these songs evoke scenes in my head of epic battles or archetypal scenes. Maybe I pick up on that because those things are important to me.
E: I think it's a pretty successful communication, and I think it's exciting that that's what you get out of it because to a great degree that's the intent going into it. I'm not the lyricist, so I'm struggling to discuss the larger intent behind it lyrically.
FIS: We went out of our way to obscure lyrics on past records, and it was more of a search for the sound. We came to sound and came to music looking at it from musique concrete, looking at it from an abstractionist point of view. When I was in high school I realized the sound of the road and driving my car was just as cool as The Who. It broke down all boundaries that I had. I had grown up and been taught that music is only that which is theoretically judged to be so. Black and white, what you get to read in this book, practice on your instrument, sing in a play, and hear on the radio. It's a developed thought form where you either understand these ideas or you don't. You are right or you are wrong. It's like anything – there's a bureaucracy and an elitism. But that is only true if you believe in it. Which, at this vantage point I think, “Yeah. That's true. That knowledge is absolutely worthwhile and worth noting.” But at that point in our career, when the music and lyrics came from a more chaotic space, it was like, “Yeah. That's probably true – but fuck all that bullshit.”
B: California has been very good for us on a personal health level. We enjoy living in healthy environments. It accommodated trying to find a personal focus that was not band derived, but still kept the band as the primary supplement to our lives. The west coast flavor has made the band incredibly focused. We had a lot of our contemporaries out here; we had a lot of people to play with, which was great. It turned out being the best move we could have made in my opinion. What do you think? I'm paying 70, 80 cents for an organic apple – and it's totally awesome. I'm was finding Chicago apples for a buck and they were no good.
CHX: Speaking for myself, coming to California, the Bay Area, specifically San Francisco, has put me in touch with those energies, and one of the things I love about San Francisco is that it's this thriving urban experience. It's very unforgiving, in the ways an urban experience can be, but in the same ways a lot of healing goes on here. As far as me, the food I eat and the way I spend my time is far healthier than anything I could have found in the Midwest. This record is definitely a product of our environment and our decision to come out here and everything we've absorbed in the process.
I guess that organic or down to earth vibe is more of a lyrical thing than necessarily coming from the guitars or the drums, since there is a certain ferocity to some of the songs like the hard rockers that doesn't really pretend to be flower power or natural foods or those typically San Francisco Bay Area type healthful things. Like "Joe Houdini", which is more of a drunken party song than a testament to the wonder of existence.
E: It's interesting for me as primarily a guitarist in the band. As far as the lyrical aspect on this record, I had more of an editorial hand than a fundamental creative hand. On the guitars, I have much more of an authorial hand. And then on the design for the songs even beyond the guitars, depending on the song I take much more of a dictatorial role in what needs to happen when where and why. The flawed theory is that everyone gets what they want at any given time, which obviously turns into a lot of complicated ideas that never happen. Simultaneously, we try to adhere to this foolish theory that every man gets everything they want in the outcome of four men making one thing together. It's certainly a strange dichotomy.
Who are some of your contemporaries that you feel are on the same wavelength?
B: You know that band Racco-oo-oon? They're pretty clear, their albums are really good, but they all have a high regard for each other's individual spaces and their contributions to the piece. Cause you can kinda hear all of them individually but they still have fused focus. I saw them a couple weeks ago live and it was totally mind-blowing. You try to sell something or present something that people wanna buy, and how long has that been going on with music - was it the early 1900s, or were people doing this in the 1600s? We're actually living in an economy where these artifacts of music and live performances give us rewards, and you put in the hard work and you get to live freely off of it. When did that start, and who is doing that with integrity and discipline? I still do like the noise jazz ensembles that happen out of nowhere. It's kinda like our peer group, where they all bring what they have to the table and they're all doing what they want, but it gels almost too correctly. It makes for a very interesting experience. Like I've seen Weasel Walter do a collaboration with two cellists and they were all on the same page but they're all doing completely different things. What you get from witnessing that is something very satisfying and complete, which is something I'd like the band to work towards,
CHX: That's a tough question. We have friends, people we like. Everyone we respect and enjoy are doing different things, whether its Numbers or the Flying Luttenbachers or Nautical Almanac, those are very different sounds, and very different ideas those groups are engaging, and very different values that are important. Mr. Brian and CansaFis will probably have a laundry list for ya. They're much more saturated in what's going on in Oakland.
Mr. Brian – you and CansaFis live in Oakland, right?
B: Dude, we used to live in this house, it was across the street from hell. Our house number was 667, so you've got 666 across the street. But 666 was actually five freeways intersecting, a place called the Macarthur maze. There's this concept called infrasound, where it's the sounds you don't really hear but your body feels, you know? That was going on there 24/7. We'd all be in our rooms, and the freeway generated so much low frequency that you couldn't hear but you could feel it. So you were never really truly at sleep or at rest. And after two months or three months it definitely builds on itself, where you better go somewhere else to get rest otherwise you're bones are shaking very slightly all night. I think that leads to some hallucination or you see ghosts or whatever. CansaFis and his lady Amanda Warner [from the band TRIANGLE] both saw the exact same ghost at the foot of CansaFis's bed one night. And I was freaking out over there, cabinets slamming and bed shaking, all the stuff you've heard before. I want to generate the infrasound somehow, but that's years ahead of me. I think that's a lot of technology needed.
Yeah I'm sure the military's working hard on figuring it out.
B: You got Chauncey and Elvis living in SF and me and Fis living in Oakland. When we cross over it's kind of incredible – it's like, what are you doing in SF? Well, what are you doing in Oakland? They're kind of like divorced worlds. CansaFis and I are definitely warehouse-living scratching-our-butts types like that – and Chauncey and E are definitely more sophisticated, more personal, more self-aware, which is more the San Francisco vibe versus the loose collaboration that is Oakland.
Putting your heart on your sleeve, saying this is the way I think the world is and fuck you if you can't handle it. It's really important for young people to be exposed to that.
Switching gears, I want to talk about the lyrics and the clarity of the vocals. I guess since you can actually hear the lyrics, I feel like each song has much more emotional presence than some of the past work does.
CHX: I think I like what you're saying about the sound and the lyrics. I'm 26 years old and I'm living in San Francisco. And I came out here two years ago, and a lot of the things that I am interested in are out here, what I would call hippie ideas. Veganism, Yoga, organic food, respecting the environment, poetry, and at the same time, what really made me know that playing guitar and singing was for me, was punk rock. One of the first things you hear about punk rock is that punks hate the hippies. They're totally rejecting all that flower power and all that kind of stuff. I feel like today is a long time from the late 70s, where those hippie and punk ideas fit together in a way they couldn't in the past. I like the power in punk rock. There's so much sincere emotion, stating it like it is. Putting your heart on your sleeve, saying this is the way I think the world is and fuck you if you can't handle it. It's really important for young people to be exposed to that.
Yeah – there's some people that are out there who are too punk rock to be a hippie and too much of a hippie to be punk rock.
CHX: I feel fortunate that I was born late enough to see people taking punk rock up and making it this evangelical thing.
It's like you're cultivating an aesthetic based on collective experience, which is kind of spiritual in my opinion.
CHX: There's people who get it right away, and there there's people who think it's like we wanna be like the Beatles but our guitars are too cheap. No Doctors is a living breathing thing that four of us pour ourselves into, and we care about. And it comes through.
B: It's a very naked album; I think the poetry is almost hard to digest. Once you figure out what's going on with the poetry, it's very sincere. It does take a few listens, especially considering our past albums, which were nihilist and blown out. I think this might be our most clear and focused effort to date, and it makes me excited for building upon that and taking that clarity and integrating some of the past stuff aka noise and improv.
E: Chizz, you putting it like that - the combination of getting this unique personal imagery or emotional content, combined with these allusions to genre tropes that are clearly there and intentional as well - that's a very fair way to look at it. That's similar to the way we look at it. You're straddling this line between trying to throw out these recognizable allusions to things that are understandable to a listener but also trying to invest it with an emotional content that's unique or special as well.
That sound with the wiggle room, ambiguity, invited chaos - does that aesthetic still have a place in No Doctors, and if so, when does it emerge?
B: That comes at birthday parties and bar-b-ques and going to a bar together to talk about music and we end up talking about the latest stupid movie we saw together. The noise is still there, and it's definitely primed to come back into the music. We don't forget these things at all. We don't forget the lo-fi improv masterpieces. People say to me, “Man you guys truly changed. Where's that noise?” They talk to us like we truly have amnesia or something. It's still in us. It makes returns when we're on stage, like when Elvis makes the noisiest, most delayed-out solo ever that will be satisfying for all of us. A lot of the writings that go on the website are really like noise: lo-fi and fuzzed out abstract drawings, or crazy show reviews from the local neighborhood. I feel like that is as much noise and chaos as what we did on past albums.
CHX: It's not in the forefront or dominant, it's interwoven into our fabric. My understanding of art and music has grown and blossomed over the years of working with this group that I still see that energy and it's manifesting in more subtle ways. Moving from song to song, there are these wild changes that take place for me. In order to stay true to noise, you have to personalize it- regularly reinvent the definition.
Yet it seems like there is a narrative there?
CHX: There is a narrative there, yet in the beginning we were very focused on the lyrics. The lyrics were always central to the process. I don't see a breaking with the past, I see a kind of kaleidoscope effect - there's the same elements in play, and when you shake it up you get a new presentation this time. When it's time to do the next project we'll shake it out and see what comes up.
FIS: David Bowie is an artist I look up to because for me to see a human being in such a singular and unique way accomplish so many different styles and feats is very entertaining. It gives me joy to know that regardless of what you define yourself as or of at a certain point, you can re-define yourself at any point. I think that's one of my favorite things about trying to define myself as an artist.
CHX: For myself, I'd say clarity would be a good word to describe an aesthetic interest of mine during the creation of Origin & Tectonics. The self-titled record had a lot of what I was fascinated with at the time. That was ambiguity, vagueness, the interesting things that happen when you leave open space for interpretation. You leave a lot of wiggle room for a kind of pleasure that can be derived from dissonance and confusion. In Origin & Tectonics I was interested in stripping away the fat, and really scraping things down to the hard bone and seeing what comes out of that. Working with numbers and mathematics.
FIS: For me – I meditate and think a lot about chaos. I wonder, can you realistically achieve a pure chaos? I don't think so. A pure chaos seems to me to be something that is imaginary. It's like dragons. A true chaos is something I would love to understand completely, but as soon as you start putting an idea to a medium you have just transcended chaos, right? As soon as you start saying “no, this idea is in words,” or “no, this idea is in music,” as soon as you start defining anything, you have transcended chaos. So to be chaos you have to be the wolf boy. And even if you're not the wolf boy, but something beyond human, can animals accomplish chaos or are there systems in their lives? I think the system is inevitable and unavoidable. I think that the chaos is the moment, but it can't be captured. Because by virtue of capturing anything you have disputed the chaos. I think that this record, and the style that we have employed in this, is some sort of concession to that discovery. That no matter how hard you seek the total chaos, that by virtue of the process that you are seeking, and using a process, that you shall never find it, or achieve it. Chaos is a dragon.
It's also open-ended. I get the sense from talking to y'all that in the process putting this much focus into the product and this album – that it's demonstrated your ability to accomplish your goal which at that point frees you to set a totally different or new goal and then you have the confidence to accomplish that.
E: That's a very good point. Because inevitably, whatever you have on the shelf – you're way beyond that in what you're writing or working on, if you're still in the same project, the same band. You put it to bed and you move on to a new project together. The way you put it is a little more ideal than it actually works. You finish each one and it's almost like it's creating a new immense crisis point in the band – and then you either shatter or you regroup and start building the next crisis. Every major tour or every LP is a pretty big crisis for us. It gets close to a breaking point, but we regroup and move on.
It seems like there would be more practice and time well spent to do an album that sounds this tight? Is that part of why it took so long to put out this record since your last full length?
CHX: Part of it is that we've never been too serious or successful on the business side. That has its plusses and its minuses – we definitely pay attention to our business because bottom line is it pays to keep the band alive; because to go on the road and put a record together, you gotta make gas money, we gotta feed ourselves. Working with labels – we haven't found our ideal label to work with. We haven't found our ideal business people to work with us. We're just the four of us here doing everything from the ground up.
No Doctors is multi-faceted. In a lot of ways you're not just a band - you have art and poetry and writing, and the website is a big part of how that's presented and how anyone stay connected to that. It makes it seem like you're like an information service or representing a philosophical juncture . . .
E: The website has gone through iterations of comprehensibility and the current version is very straight and intentionally trying to match a standard blog format. We've had a website since the first LP in 2002 and before that we had a website and a web presence that was a little more convoluted and purposefully diluted and diffusive. It's almost in a way giving ourselves this release valve – not just being a rock and roll band – but there is this other angle where we're trying to build this brand and an idea that's even bigger than the band. In a way that's like a safety net because it allows us to think of this thing as something bigger. If the band had to change in some way or we ran into a dead end with just doing a rock and roll record, in a way having that larger idea that is No Doctors gives us some wiggle room to explore other areas, beyond just doing another rock and roll record or another tour. I'm definitely the editor in chief of the site, and in ways that's similar to my role in the band – to stimulate as much varied content as I can out of the four of us, me included. I was very self-conscious when we launched the current version last September, I wanted to be very careful and not have my voice dominate it. I do things on the website that are like me doing my own unpaid freelance work – like what I do with This Is Hell radio and I want to be sure that it's not me speaking for the band, that's me speaking for myself.
What's important to me is to transcend the origin or the specifics of the idea as I grow and to seek out new ways to present and create the sound.
That's a good point because it would be easy to look at the range of stuff that's on the website, but extract a political statement, or a statement of life intent that should attributed to the individual members, but it's just as easy look at that as a whole and think, oh this is what this band is about.
E: Right. And I am intentionally censoring myself on what I do and don't put up there because I don't want to be speaking for the band.
If I just looked at your website and used that as a way to get to know No Doctors and used that as a way to get to know the band, then I would get the sense that, for example, CansaFis is a visual artist. You do the Tankertown cartoon and have all this other crazy super-colorful absurd stuff on there. I get the sense now, talking to you, that that element is just as important as playing saxophone in No Doctors.
FIS: You're right Chizz. That's true. It means a lot to me to be able to define myself in many ways of artistry. I also do a lot of video stuff, moving image stuff. In a lot of ways it probably slights me because I miss out on the opportunity to get a little deeper into different elements.
Do you ever feel like you're a jack of all trades, a master of none – like a dabbler?
FIS: Master of none – yeah that's pretty good. That will be the name of my serious “sax-metal” record. Any time I feel like I assign myself to any one art, I think my instinct is to detach from that. I don't know if you're that way too, but I know it excites me to try to express myself in a lot different ways. There's a pain in that you feel like you're missing out on certain aspects that you've slighted, but there's also a joy in understanding that. With the options of life on this earth being so vast, I see great value in an exploratory life of always altering definition.
I do feel the same way in a lot of ways. I feel like when I really start getting something down that's the moment when I start to lose interest with it. But there's no use in feeling any regret over the decisions you've made.
FIS: Yeah that's probably just a crutch. It's definitely something to get over. Or maybe not. It's not a crutch, but maybe it's something that holds you back from expanding the depths of your levels? Conversely though it might be the driving factor in energizing the constant exploration and keeping your ideas fresh. If at your core your drive is to be a master - you're Robert Crumb, Orson Welles, Reinhold Messner, or David Bowie - at the end of your life you will have excelled at a certain mastery, but was it at the expense of not mastering another realm? You're blocking off something that you might have been decent at, that you might not be improving at, by doing whatever you do.
Yeah – that's what they call in economics an opportunity cost.
FIS: It's interesting though. It's so much fun to be an adult, and to grasp a little bit of that opportunity cost, to know that all these possibilities exist in relationship to each other. When I was a kid I don't think I grasped it. Part of me was saying join Peace Corps and part of me was saying it is your mission in life to make the world's greatest fart joke. And here I am doing neither, “master of none” as you say. Unless of course you consider No Doctors to be the Peace Corps of Fart Jokes, or maybe vice versa.
No Doctors took a tour, a potentially unprecedented 14 date tour of only California, built subtly or explicitly - depending on your perspective - on the premise that Cali should secede from the United States, right?
E: That was an easy pretense more than anything. It was called US OUT OF CA, which I guess makes it a very clear pretense. I talked to Kimberly Chun of the San Francisco Bay Guardian, and I said at this point I think everyone can get behind secession.
Right – I guess I've gotten the feeling like now, more than ever, there is this perhaps disparate, but an increasing secessionist sentiment that is growing into at least a loosely defined dialogue.
E: This is where I have to clearly speak not for the band but for myself. Clearly the band got behind the California-only aspect of the tour and the band got behind the title US OUT OF CA. For me, secession is relevant at this point, more than any point in history, not just since the first Civil War. There's going to be some fracture in the union going forward. You can't just sustain a crooked Federal government without some fracturing along the seams. A state like California that was drawn to encompass a sustainable state within itself, well it makes a lot of sense to be an autonomous region. I bristle at the term ‘politics,' and I think a lot of the politics that are discussed in this nation are completely false and could be very easily negated or moved to an irrelevant status by breaking up the union into states. It's really just a false union, it's being under the gun of one mafia - the Federal government.
FIS: I read my news in the morning, by local paper or on the internet. And they all feature an entertainment section. What blows my mind is that's supposed to be news. What's supposed to entertain you is news? That's not news! That's entertainment! There's nothing new about it! It's all the same jokes over and over again. It's all “God this girl's hot and you might get to see her naked,” or “God this guy's hot and you might get to see him naked,” or “God these girls and guys are making out and they're both hot and you might get to see them naked.” Also “God this is funny” and “Oh boy does this suck.” The tropes of it aren't much different and probably haven't been since the cave tablet. But, to be fair, I would say the same easily noted repetition is in the rest of the sections as well: Business, Sports, and Politics. It's always someone who's in an advantaged point taking advantage of someone who's at a disadvantaged point and most likely they are doing it by employing the wheel of violence. It probably wasn't much different in the 1600s. You wake up in the 1600s and King George came and raped the village people. Fucking stole their land. And you're like, “oh – fuck King George. I can't believe he did that bullshit – why does he get to be king?” “Well he gets to be King because his Dad was king.” And you're like, “aw man, I guess that's what makes you king.” Who would even want to be King? You have to be evil to be king. I'll take rock and roll and a rice cream cone any day. And please, make it GOOD.
Okay – free association. If music is a journey then No Doctors is...
E: a poorly drawn map.
[Illustration: Chizzly St. Claw; Photo: Grant Ellis]