THE WORLD'S MOST PROLIFIC PUNK ROCK BAND
HATED IN THE NATION
1998 Interview by JOEY GERM
Just like we promised kids, Part II of the most in-depth interview with the most prolific rock band in the world. Having witnessed the death of metal, punk, grunge, alternative and eagerly awaiting the death of punk, ska, and electronica, this band has survived if only because of their shameless ability to transform and mutate into any genre that will serve their needs. You know who I'm talking about. Ladies and gentlemen, the Fungus of Rock, the Cockroaches of the Apocalypse, the True Survivors... The Woodrows!
Reglar Wiglar: Hey guys, how you doin'?
RW: Anyway, let's get right into the interview. I heard you guys just got done taping a segment for MTV, is that true?
Ricky: Yeah, MTV wanted us to do some commercial spots for the network and guest vee-jay on a couple of shows they're doin'.
Erin: They also wanted us to play a couple of songs for "120 Minutes."
RW: Did you do it?
Toby: We tried man, we really did.
RW: What happened?
Toby: We were hangin' out with Pinfield (MTV VJ Matt Pinfield) in New York, you know, just doin' the club thing, doin' what you do in New York. I was in the process of getting twisted off my nut and Pinfield is just rambling on and on, talkin' all this Woodrow bullshit, spoutin' off album titles and trivia and naming songs we played at this or that gig when he saw us in nineteen-eighty-whatever.
RW: He's a very knowledgable guy.
Toby: I'll say. I mean the guy knows more about me than I do. He knew I had a kid named Sparky—I didn't know that. It was just more information than I needed to know, and he wouldn't stop kissin' my ass. Then he goes and says that Swim, Woodrow, Swim is his all-time favorite Woodrows record and that's when I lost it.
RW: What'd you do?
Toby: I had had all I could take and I snapped. I hauled off and punched him right in his face and the whole time I'm sceaming, "Ha! We never made a record called Swim, Woodrow, Swim motherfucker!
Toby: But the irony of the situation was—
RW: You did make a record called Swim, Woodrow, Swim.
Toby: Yeah, we did.
RW: It's my favorite Woodrows record.
Toby: Thanks, man.
RW: So, did that sour your relationship with Matt?
Toby: Oh hell no, that guy loves us. He was honored. He kept sayin', "I can't believe Toby Woodrow just broke my nose! I can't believe Toby Woodrow just broke my nose!" I was like, anytime, Matt. But yeah, he's cool.
RW: It seems like you guys have been doing all you can to grab the media spotlight recently. You guys trying to sell out or something? If so, it's about time, don't you think? It's almost the end of the world you know. Time for a piece of the pie, wouldn't you say?
Erin: We've always had at least a passing interest in selling out, but when you show up to a meeting with the biggest record company executives in the business and your drummer isn't wearing pants . . . that kind of puts the kabosh on inking the deal, know what I'm sayin'? This isn't the '70s and that shit doesn't fly with them anymore. These labesl are looking for solid, dependable, business-savvy musicians that they can invest in.
Toby: I swear, I left the hotel with pants on.
Erin: Well, whatever, anyway when your drummer shows up without pants and vomits into the fish tank in the lobby of a major label record conglomerate, you're kind of shooting yourself in the foot.
Toby: Oh man, that was not a red letter day for Toby Woodrow, man. I was checking out all these cool tropical fish in this big tank that this record exec suit had in the lobby of his office and, I don't know, I started thinking about these salmon croquettes I had with about two and a half bottles of merlot the night before and ugh, I lost it in the tank.
RW: Such behavior does not go over well with the label execs, huh?
Toby: I don't know why. I think the secretary thought it was cute. She started puking into her waste basket. I think she was trying to make me feel better. She didn't have to do that. Some people at those labels have class at least.
RW: What's the deal with the new record Woodrows 2000? You said you'd never do techno
Ricky: We said we'd never do a disco record either and we did.
RW: You did?
Erin: Yeah, we recorded a disco record and never released it.
RW: There are actually Woodrow albums that have been recorded and not released?
RW: I don't believe it. You guys do a sound check and it gets released as a live album.
Ricky: Not always.
RW: Often enough. Are any of those recordings ever gonna see the light of day?
Erin: What are you kidding? That's a gold mine right there. We're gonna stretch that material out though. Maybe do a couple of box set releases here and there, over the next five years, you know, milk the living shit out of it.
RW: At least you guys are honest about your intentions.
Erin: Hey, it's a win-win situation for us. We've made a career out of belittling our fans, taking them for granted and ripping them off and in return they've made us a little coin. So, fuck 'em.
RW: There's quite an infamous story that's been circulating for the past couple years about the time you "allegedly" hit Bono (singer for Irish rock band U2) in the back of the head with a bread roll on an airplane.
RW: What's the truth behind that?
Toby: It's all bullshit.
Ricky: It was a scone for one thing, wasn't it, Toby?
RW: I thought you got arrested and everything. It was on the news.
Toby: Right, but the whole thing got distored which is like, America's favorite past-time: distort the truth to fit their own twisted concept of reality.
RW: What actually happened?
Toby: Well, I was on this flight from LA to New York, nonstop flight, right? Usually, I don't like to fly but technically I wasn't suppossed to be outside of New York state lines until my court date for this thing that I had "allegedly" done there the previous summer and blah, blah, blah. Bottom line: had to fly.
RW: I'm followin' you.
Toby: So, I'm on my fourth or fifth Bloody Mary and I'm feelin' groovy, you know? There was this Kevin Costner flick on the in-flight movie—I think it was Water World—brilliant film.
RW: Really, you like that movie?
Toby: What's not to like? Anyway, you know, life is good, Vicodin starting to kick in, no pain, nobody is bitchin' about the cigarette smoke and I'm giving the stewardess this don't-even-think-about-fucking-with-me-just-have-the-cops-waiting-at-the-airport-when-we-land look, Then I hear this accent. This guy is talking in this like English accent you know, some tea bagger spoutin' off about this or that or what kind of tea to drink or God Bless the Queen. I just hate that accent and it's coming from a couple rows up, so I pull mself up in my seat and kind of struggle to get the old eyelids open and I see him.
Toby: It's fucking Bono from U2 and he's sitting three rows up.
Toby: Yeah, and the only thing I hate more than limeys are fucking rock stars.
RW: He's Irish.
Toby: Whatever. I just grabbed a scone, you know what a scone is? It's kind of a rock hard biscuit that those fuckin' Brit f*cks love to break their crooked teeth on. So, I just took this scone and fuckin' chucked it as hard as I could at the back of Bono's head. I'm only like three rows back and . . .
RW: You nailed him.
Toby: Really fuckin' hard too.
RW: It wasn't Bono was it?
Toby: It didn't even really look like him either. I saw him in court and I was like, "Jesus, This guy looks more like Sonny Bono than Bono Bono." He wasn't even English.
RW: You mean Irish.
Toby: He was some dude from Orange County, a lawyer no less. What the fuck was I on? Whew. So busted again. Jail, lawsuit, etcetera. Just another day in the life of Toby Woodrow. You know sometimes I just don't think before I do shit.
RW: It does seem like it.
Toby: And combine that with mixing the drugs and the booze together . . .
RW: It's not good.
Toby: No, it's not. That's the one thing my lawyers are all in agreement on: drugs and booze DO NOT mix. "We can't stress that enough" they say. Fuckin' college boys. I wish it would have been Bono, 'cause I really nailed that guy. I really wished it was Bono.
RW: What do you think about the recent ska explosion?
Ricky: Been there, done that.
Erin: Yeah, we've done ska a couple times in the past and it's always a good thing to go back to. It's easy to knock out a couple ska records here and there every couple years or so.
Marvy: We are so far ahead of our time as to be behind, you know? We'll probably do another ska record in 2000 as a precursor to the next ska explosion in 2008. It's all cyclical and if it looks like we're a couple years behind the times it's only 'cause were actually eight to ten years ahead.
Toby: Don't say eight to ten.
RW: How's fatherhood treating you guys?
Erin: Ask Marvy.
Marvy: Fatherhood fuckin' rules, man! Although, I make it a point to never see any of my kids. Ever.
Marvy: It's for their own good, 'cause let me tell yah, I am one burnt cookie. I've been in the oven way too long, man, you know what I'm sayin'? I am no role model for the kiddies.
RW: I woudn't disagree with that at all.
Marvy: Oh, right, ok.
RW: You were saying you're not a good role model.
Marvy: Oh, right. I know you can pull some psycho babble on me and try to tell me that nothing can replace the bond that a father has with his kids, but I'm serious, let's stop the cycle here. Like most of society, I really should have been prohibited from reporducing in the first place, but it is way too late for that now. Let's just end the madness now. You don't want Marvy Woodrow doing any parenting, believe me.
Erin: Many people in the judicial system have formed that same opinion about Marvy and have even gone so far as to enforce restraining orders on him to back those opinions up.
Marvy: And I respect that.
RW: You're actually prohibited from reproducing in how many states, forty-eight is it?
Marvy: Actually, it's forty-nine now. I made it to Alaska last summer and had some trouble up there. You know, same old drill.
RW: That seems kind of cruel and unusual, maybe not in your case, but in general it seems like it would fall into the unconsitutional category.
Marvy: Well, the ACLU did want to appeal the sentence on my behalf. They were willing to do all the work, provide the shysters and foot the bill, but I was like, "C'mon guys, you can't be serious. I know you're all bleeding heart liberals and you think there's good in all of us, but spend ten minutes in my company and rethink this thing." That money could be better spent on the drug legalization battle.
RW: Did they back off?
Marvy: Eventually. I had to play hardball and show them a couple photos of my kids. That set 'em staright. I mean, I love my kids and all but some of 'em look like some mad scientist tinkered with my sperm, man, injected it with the fricking ugly gene, man.
RW: What about the rest of you? What are your views on parenting?
Ricky: There are certain responsibilities that go along with being a parent, this is undeniable. It took me awhile to come around but my girlfriend has been really insistent that I make a go of it.
RW: She's trying to make a good father out of you?
Ricky: Really, really, riding my ass hard. Jesus! But it's worth it. I finally got a lock put on the liquor cabinet. I lost the key and had to jimmy that fucker open with a crowbar one night a couple weeks ago but I'm gonna get another lock and I'm gonna get locks put on the gun room and the medicine closet.
RW: Medicine closet?
Ricky: Yeah, man. I take a lot of medicine, but it's all prescription though so it's cool, you know, its safe for kids and all but I don't wanna share that shit.
RW: What kind of message does that send to the young ones?
Ricky: That's exaclty what my girlfriend and my mother-in-laws always say, actually they usually yell that at me but they're all on the rag 24/7 so what am I gonna do, argue? Yeah, good luck with those broads.
RW: What about you Toby?
Toby: Let me be honest with you, I fucking hate being domesticated, but I'm willing to compromise. I gave up my apartment when I got married and several female aquaintances as well, just to make my wife happy. That's what sacrifice is about. That's something I did for my marriage that the threat of legal action only played a small part in. Most of it came from my desire to commit, but I've been married two years, cut me some slack. Let me go whorin' once in a while. For god's sake I'm only human.
Ricky: That's why we tour like we do, so we can get the fuck out of the house for ten or twelve months out of the year. It gives us a chance to analyze things. If I gotta spend a couple days a month couped up in a house with kids and a wife I go crazy.
Toby: No shit. Amen to that.
RW: So from where do the Woodrows draw their creative energy from?
Erin: I've really been getting into a more natural lifestyle. I don't eat red meat or dairy products, I'm working on giving up fish, but a tasty piece of breaded catfish is still a little too tempting. I'm off all forms of drugs. I only take herbal and homeopathic remedies. I meditate, I do a few yoga exercises and I haven't really had one good burst of creative energy in months.
RW: What about you Toby?
Toby: I find that I am most creatively potent—you know when the creative juices are flowing and my thoughts are lucid, my brain is whirling with creative energy, etc—is when I'm really, really fucked up. That's when I can come up with a whole album's worth of material. That's how I wrote all the material for the Drunk album and the Dead Drunk records and Dead Drunk, Naked and Free, the list goes on. But I think Erin is really the most prolific Woodrow. He certainly has the most eclectic tastes of the four of us. He's really the renaissance Woodrow.
Erin: Yeah, I've been accussed of being slightly schizophrenic. I write love songs, hate songs, you name it. I might write a song that might glorify a pro-Nazi ethic and then turn around the next night and do a song that is very sympathetic to the plight of the Jews. I can't be contained, but like I said, the creative well seems to have temporarily run dry. We'll be lucky if we get another record out by the end of the week and it's only Wednesday.
RW: Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver) is drinking milk now. Has he recovered?
Toby: Recovered? I hate the word. It makes it sound like he lost control to drugs or something. It's not right. I hate it when drugs are vilified and slandered in the press. It breaks my heart.
Marvy: Weiland, that fucking pussy. No, I'm kidding. I'm proud of him (makes masturbatory gesture).
Toby: You know, I'll be honest with you, it makes me sick when someone turns their back on drugs after all drugs have done for rock and roll. You know? And if I wasn't so wasted right now it would make me want to go get wasted.
RW: You don't seem wasted.
Toby: Oh, believe me, Joey, I am wasted. I'm just good at hiding it. You forget, I gotta report to some judge or probate officer with someone else's urine almost every half hour of every goddamn day.
RW: You guys have made anti-drug endorsements though.
Erin: You're talking about the Just Say No Like We Should Have record. Well, it was a plea bargain, it was a deal we made with the judge who was somehow misinformed about the influence we have on kids, or at the very least misinformed about the level of our popularity.
Toby: We were forced to make a public service record in order to avoid being locked down and so we did. But if you listen really hard to the record when I'm singing that line "Taking drugs is the biggest mistake I've ever done/Taking drugs is not even that much fun." If you listen real close, you can hear just a hint of sacrcasm in my voice.
Marvy: Yeah, and I was flipping the bird at the microphone the whole time I was in the studio. You can't really hear that of course but I still was doing it.
Ricky: There was also the Crime Doesn't Pay record after the pharmacy robbery that we allegedly took part in.
RW: You guys were caught red-handed.
Ricky: Allegedly caught red-handed. That's an important distinction according to our legal staff.
Toby: Where do you get a prescription of Oxycontin filled at 6:55am in rural Iowa, huh? I mean, I'm not saying we did it, but if we were in a position where we needed a prescription filled and the stores where closed and wouldn't be opening for several minutes, I wouldn't blame us for allegedly doing something that could potentially, under certain circumstances, threaten our health and well-being or at the very least our level of immediate comfort.
RW: I can see as how you would have a choice.
Toby: That's what we're gonna pitch to the judge.
RW: Erin, you've quit the band forty-seven times in fifteen years, will there ever be a time when you mean it?
Erin: Oh, I always mean it, but once I'm out, I quit and I'm done with the band forever, I get home and stay there for a couple days, drink beer, get caught up on my soaps, then I realize, wow, I have absolutely nothing going for myself: no education, no training, no skills, no real talent, I gotta get back into the music business where I can make some bread.
RW: And we do appreciate it. Thanks again for your time, you guys help the Reglar Wiglar sell copies. Keep on rockin'.
Toby: Whatever, man.
Published in RW#11, 1998
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