Picking the easy targets since 1993
NEW ROB ROBBIES
Interview by JOEY T. GERM
RW: I do have questions. Really serious questions. This is not something I enjoy. I hope the batteries don't run out but if they do it's really no big loss.
JOHNSON: I can guarantee that.
ROBBIE: Just make it up.
RW: I'll probably end up doing that. Now that you're all here, my first question, I do have questions.
GEORGE: Are those them right there?
RW: These are the questions. Describe your music in one word or less.
GEORGE: Or less?
RW: Yeah, one word or less?
RW: Exactly. Are the Robbies ready for Y2K? Have you taken any precautions? Have you bought firearms? Have you stocked up on baked beans? Is your money under your mattress?
GEORGE: : I can't believe you're falling for the Y2K thing.
RW: No, no, no, I'm not sayin' I'm falling for it, I'm just askin'.
GEORGE: It's just a way for a lot of people to make a lot of money.
BUTLER: George and I had this discussion earlier.
GEORGE: Chris (Butler) actually believes that these Y2K programs you put on your computer--you know to save your computer--are in some way infiltrating your own computer.
BUTLER: No, no. What I believe is, that the programs that were preY2K compliant were designed that way so you would have to buy Y2K compliant programs later.
RW: There's a lot of scammers out there.
ROBBIE: I don't think that was your question.
RW: That was question number two.
BUTLER: I have done nothing to prepare for Y2K 'cause I don't think anything will happen.
RW: OK, when it's twelve midnight a couple months from now and a Molotov cocktail comes crashing through your window, what are you gonna do?
BUTLER: If only.
JOHNSON: I'm gonna make sweet love to whoever is in the room.
BUTLER: It's gonna be Paul Johnson making love to himself.
JOHNSON: Same as every night.
RW: Just another night on earth.
BUTLER: It's going to be very anti-climatic.
RW: No climax at all?
JOHNSON: Hey, wait a minute!
BUTLER: Nothing against him (Paul) but I think it's going to be very anticlimactic.
GEORGE: The world is so uninteresting as it is. There's no way anything interesting like that is going to happen and if it did I'd say bring it on 'cause life is so fuckin' dull.
RW: I just wanted to know if you had any firearms?
GEORGE: No, I don't have guns.
RW: They've been selling a shitload of handguns because of Y2K.
JOHNSON: The only reason I'd ever buy a handgun is to put it in my mouth.
GEORGE: That's right, me too. Exactly. I don't have one because there are times where if I would have had a handgun I would have definitely been off.
RW: What are you gonna do for the millennium? What are the Robbies gonna do? Do you have a strategy? It's a new millennium, you can't just stumble into it.
BUTLER: It's not a new millennium until 2001.
RW: You're right, you right.
JOHNSON: I'm gonna avoid these guys (other Robbies). I'm not gonna answer any of their phone calls.
GEORGE: That's not the year 2000, that right now.
JOHNSON: Yeah well, you gotta get a jump on it. I'm trying to debug myself.
RW: It is true, it's not this year, it's next year so don't be surprised if judgment day is not in two months.
BUTLER: The whole annual marking of years is arbitrary, the whole dating of years is just because one guy decided to do it that way. It really had no relevance.
JOHNSON: Yeah, but it's all tied in there, it could be that that one guy could have had a fix on the whole thing.
RW: Maybe he lucked out.
BUTLER: I don't think he did.
JOHNSON: You're basing it on your own little bias, your own little (unintelligible) crap.
GEORGE: No calendar, I like that.
BUTLER: The Chinese are way ahead of us.
RW: It's like a million four in China.
RW: A million five, sorry.
ROBBIE: The problem is that people are gonna freak regardless of any real occurrence—the purchasing of the handguns is a perfect example--so that's what you gotta be worried about.
RW: How are the Robbies gonna react?
ROBBIE: We're probably gonna barricade our practice space.
BUTLER: With a lock.
(Note: There was no question leading up to the following statement)
JOHNSON: We are not capitalists not because we don't want money but because we don't have any fucking devices to get capitalism into our blood. We don't capitalize on anything.
BUTLER: We don't have the means.
RW: You need to be exploited.
JOHNSON: Yes, we are ripe for the exploitation.
RW: Which brings me to my next question, how about your new label, (Owned & Operated), are they going to properly exploit you?
JOHNSON: Unfortunately no. We are on all fours, cheeks a-spread but they won't. They won't do it to us.
GEORGE: They're into the artists rights.
RW: You're ready and willing. How long have you guys been together?
JOHNSON: Six fuckin' years. Six fuckin' years.
RW: Wow, so the cheeks really are spread.
RW: What is a New Rob Robbie?
ROBBIE: You want to hear the actual origin of the name or not?
RW: You know . . .
GEORGE: Or a made up one?
RW: I do . . . no, I do. I actually do.
BUTLER: Apparently George's ex-girlfriend went to a thrift store and found a frame she wanted and bought the frame--
(The story that followed has been omitted for your reading pleasure. You're welcome.)
ROBBIE: That story is too long so I tell people we dreamt it.
ROBBIE: It was a dream.
RW: That's good, that's what I was looking for, "just a dream." Whose the Pure Whore (title of the New Rob Robbies exciting new CD) then?
ROBBIE: I think George is.
RW: I think that's what you guys want to be, pure whores. It's wishful thinking.
GEORGE: It's Paul's thing, he painted it on his guitar.
RW: Oh, it was already on there?
JOHNSON: Yeah, I painted it on there and I don't even know what it meant. My mom scratched it off the guitar. She scratched off the word 'whore' and let 'pure' on there so I painted 'whore' back on.
GEORGE: The guitar also said "pray for sex."
JOHNSON: She left that.
GEORGE: Pray for sex is ok, it's the 'whore' word . . . Who hasn't prayed for sex?
RW: You know what?
GEORGE: You never have?
RW: I don't think I have ever asked the Lord for sex, no.
GEORGE: Well, try it sometime.
RW: I've been fuckin' up?
GEORGE: No, it never works.
ROBBIE:It worked for Swaggart.
RW: He didn't wait around for an answer.
ROBBIE: He just paid for sex.
RW: You know, I went to your web site.
GEORGE: Which one?
RW: You have more than one?
GEORGE: There's a Cleveland-based site.
RW: It wasn't that one.
GEORGE: The New Rob Robbies Fan Club?
RW: I didn't know there was such a thing.
GEORGE: There is.
RW: I'm not surprised at all. . . if I sound surprised . . .
GEORGE: Our popularity is very limited, but—
RW: But you're big in Cleveland?
GEORGE: Well, we're big with--
GEORGE: Certain outcasts. There's like high school kids in Cleveland that like us very much. Also, who's that kid in Vancouver, Canada?
BUTLER: I wish.
GEORGE: Who's Nardwuar?
RW: But I went to your web site and it said, "Come and Go" is about Liz Phair.
GEORGE: I'm a big Liz Phair fan. I know it's not a cool thing to say.
RW: Oh yeah, she's hot.
ROBBIE: Are we going to talk about sports now?
RW: We can talk about whatever you want to talk about.
BUTLER: I want to talk about the function of music.
RW: Why music? Why now?
BUTLER: There's obviously no purpose.
GEORGE: There's really no question there.
RW: Let's all go get a burrito, fuck this shit. So . . . what do you guys think?
GEORGE: Nothin' you've heard of.
BUTLER: Aren't you supposed to ask, "Do you like rock?"
RW: Do you guys like the rock and roll? Oh, you know what? I forgot a really in-depth question I was supposed to ask. You've heard of Kid Rock and Limp Biscuit, you know that rap/rock hybrid? It's popular. Real, real popular. You would agree?
RW: And then you got Marilyn Manson and the Orgy, you're familiar with Orgy?
GEORGE: Yeah, a little bit.
RW: What are the Robbies? What do the Robbies have to offer the MTV Generation?
ROBBIE: Nothing. (silence)
RW: Nothing? Ok, that was that question. It took awhile to ask.
GEORGE: That's the sign of a bad question, if the question is longer than the answer.
RW: You're right, it was a horrible question.
JOHNSON: I think it was a fair question.
RW: It was a good question.
GEORGE: You know, you're the worst fuckin' interview I've ever had in my life. Come on!
RW: Thank you. You don't know how much that means. I was gonna call and ask you guys to bring your own questions but I couldn't get a hold of you.
GEORGE: If we had a publicist it'd be done already.
RW: If you had a publicist I wouldn't even be here right now. I'd be outside.
JOHNSON: How's the Wiglar doin'?
RW: Not good. You guys ain't gonna help me much.
JOHNSON: What could you do yourself, to make the Wiglar a better publication?
RW: Interviewing the Robbies was my bright idea.
JOHNSON: Bad idea. Plan B.
RW: We're goin' to hell together.
(George and Robbie are the only remaining interview subjects at this point.)
RW: I've said this before in print that you guys are the sexiest band to come down the pike in a long time, so I was wondering, do you get hassled at all by groupies?
ROBBIE: Yeah, yeah.
GEORGE: Let me rephrase that, no.
RW: You guys went on tour, how was that?
GEORGE: It was excellent, it was excellent. It was a great tour.
RW: Robbie is shaking his head like maybe it wasn't as excellent as--
ROBBIE: No, we had a blast.
GEORGE: Well, right when we came off the tour we were like, "We are never doing anything like that again," but in reflection it was a great experience. We're ping-ponged all over the place and I gotta say that we wouldn't have done it if it wasn't for Robbie. He's a rock behind the wheel.
RW: The Robbie of Gibralter?
GEORGE: That guy gets behind the wheel ten hours without a break. He's a rock. He's a rock behind the wheel. He's amazing. I don't know what he does.
RW: Probably a lot of trucker pills.
(George is the only Robbie present at this point, God bless him.)
GEORGE: We have a problem right now. Johnson has been out of state for awhile and O&O wants to do another record and we don't have any new material.
RW: That is a problem.
GEORGE: We're startin' this month to try to get some new songs together and we got about three guitar parts.
RW: How does that work, does Johnson fly in on a Concord?
GEORGE: No, he's actually moving back here for good.
RW: Did he get fired from his previous job?
GEORGE: He just didn't like it, but he can tell you about that.
RW: He was in Kansas City?
GEORGE: No, he was in Atlanta, Kansas.
RW: Atlanta Kansas? I know there's an Atlanta, Illinois.
GEORGE: We really appreciate your interviewing us and for giving us a good review.
(Robbie returns briefly.)
ROBBIE: You got any songs you want to hear?
RW: Ummmm . . . there is a song off a . . .
GEORGE: I guess Johnson must be done with this interview, huh?
RW: He's done, he's done.
GEORGE: Yeah? Well then I'm the only one stickin' it out. Sorry, you want me to get out of here too?
RW: That's ok, no, no that's—
GEORGE: I'm dragging your buzz?
RW: No, no, it's just . . . that's all.
GEORGE: Yeah, this is really cool. You want to be best friends?
RW: Do the kids care about the Robbies?
GEORGE: I don't know. It's not the same anymore. Back in the day, you could be in a band and people would come to see you even though they didn't know who you were. Now you gotta have a hit and you know what else? I don't have any tattoos.
RW: I think that's going to be a plus at some point. Someday you're gonna be able to roll your sleeves up to your fuckin' armpits and say, "No tattoos," and that's gonna be considered cool.
GEORGE: Yeah, when the tattoo thing is out . . .
RW: When the "No Tat" thing is in effect . . .
GEORGE: We're gonna be ahead of our time.
RW: Nuthin' pierced—my dick ain't pierced, my scrotum ain't pierced, my belly button ain't pierced, nuthins tattooed, there ain't any ink on me!
GEORGE: You wanna go get a beer? Let's go get a beer.
RW: Yeah, this interview is over!
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