Hillbilly Pix and Pocky Sticks
-It's 9:00 am Vancouver time, and I stumble out of my very comfortable bed to slam on some coffee and await the phone call from Ler of Primus fame. I know 9:00 am is no big deal to a lot of people, but for me it's all I can do to change coffee filters and pour water...until that first sip of black goo...then whammo! Hyper-warp.
So during this frenetic hyper-warp pre-stage of sleep haze and physiological caffeine response, the phone rings and it's the Ler unit. I guess what I'm really trying to get at is a first class excuse for the telephone recording equipment not functioning properly. But Ler and I had a pretty cool chat, and I did manage to write most of it down, so... thar she blows!
Larry Lalonde: Yeah, hello. This is Larry from PRIMUS.
T.Crane: Hey Ler, this is EUPHONY, uh...we're a net magazine.
Ler: Yeah, I heard of you guys. A friend of mine back home has you bookmarked.
Cool. Want our URL address?
Ler: Yeah, give it to me.
http://euphony.com/euphony. So howz it goin' anyway?
Ler: Pretty good. Having fun.
You like these early interviews?
Ler: (laughs) No, not really. They just told me to do them early so I could do, you know... stuff later on.
Aha... They wanted me to talk to you at 8:30 am. I dunno man, my brain doesn't even come back from the cleaners until 10.
Ler: 8:30? Whoa! That's early.
Where are you calling from anyway?
Wow. I was just in Albequerque.
Ler: Oh yeah? Know any cool spots?
Yeah, there's this funky little combination gay bar disco/pizza joint/liquor store there called One-Eyed Jacks. Oh, and Billy the Kid's grave is near there.
Ler: Hey! We drove by there! I was yelling for them to stop the bus, but everyone was asleep. What's it like?
The coolest, man.
Ler: That's the grave they dug up a little while ago to see if he was really buried there.
Yeah, well this old guy crawled out of the desert in the 60's claiming to be Billy the Kid. Everyone thought he was nuts, but when he died they had his gun authenticated and it turned out to be Billy the Kid's gun. So one of the theories is that Garrett shot a friend of Billy's and, for political reasons, claimed it was Billy he actually gunned down.
Ler: Cool. I really wanted to stop.
So Ler... from what I understand, you're a bit of a 'net-head.
Ler: [Laughs] Oh yeah, computers. No girlfriend, no wife, just a computer.
Lock you in a room for a month...
Ler: Yeah, all the geeks that you used to make fun of as a kid... now you have to go to them for your information.
Dad always said that though... One day they will come to you to buy stuff.
Ler: Exactly, It's pretty incredible. I've been doing alot of graphics. Les, me and a friend of ours did all the artwork for the CD.
Any thoughts about doing a Primus CD-ROM?
Ler: Actually that's what I'm working on right now. Man, that's a lot of work let me tell you.
I dig, I'm doing one of performance poets right now.
Ler: How’s it going?
Piles and piles of tape...editing... exciting stuff. The giant techno-carrot.
Ler: Yeah, I'm really getting into it.
I heard you guys have a web site up?
Ler: Not really, we're working on one right now, maybe in a while.
So how far into the tour are you?
Ler: Well, Vancouver is our last gig, then we fly home and head over to Europe a few days later.
Europe, that sounds hip. You been there before?
Ler: (un-enthusiastic) Yeah.
You don't like it over there?
Ler: Well, I guess. The journalists are mean over there. They say things like So, you guys think you are so crazy...Well, yeah, we are. Now go away. It's like they feel like we're over there to take advantage of them or something. It'll be fun though, I guess.
What kind of music you listen to?
Ler: Frank Zappa. I really like Zappa.
Right on. Do you dig Beefheart?
Ler: I haven't really given him much of a listen. Pretty out stuff.
Yeah, Zappa and him used to go to school together.
Ler: [Laughs.] That's twisted.
Can you imagine home room?
I listened to your CD, Tales From The Punchbowl. I described it as The Minutemen on nitrous oxide.
Ler: [Laughs] Hey! That's good! Actually we're getting together with Mike Watt real soon.
The Minutemen, they rocked! Ahh... the days of mispent youth.
Ler: Yeah, reminds me of being a young punk-rocker, now we're old punk rockers.
Yeah, I frequently catch myself saying things like “oh those kids...” Hey! Ler! What kind of books do you read?
Ler: I don't read too much anymore, I used to read Hunter S. Thompson all the time on tour. It's good road material. Keeps the edge on.
Yeah, Thompson brings out the edge you don't even know you have. I understand that you guys like Honda 5.5 generators??
Ler: Well, Les lives out in the middle of nowhere, and we had all these really intense storms a while ago, flooding, landslides... And when the power goes out, it's out for days. So a lot of the recording was done using generators.
Right, Rancho Relaxo! According to the promo it's a waterslide/spin art complex.
Ler: I don't know where that came from, how it got into the promo, but no, there's isn't a waterslide there... yet. I guess we should put one in now.
Damn. I was gonna befriend you guys, then come visiting. Groove out on the slide. Hey! Ler, what was your happiest moment [in life to date]?
Ler: Oh, being on David Letterman. It was like meeting god.
Letterman? Did you have a good time?
Ler: Well, it was wierd. We were waiting to go on, and everyone was really cool. Then we got changed into our penguin costumes and the woman who was in charge got pissed off about that.
The penguin outfits you guys are wearing on the CD cover? Man, those are really hip outfits.
Ler: Yeah, well we thought so, but she wasn't impressed. Dave was nice though. He came out and thanked us for playing and was real friendly.
Have you played on Conan?
Ler: No, but he's great. Andy's something else. I saw him in a movie called Cabin Boy. Letterman's in it too, everybody hated it but me. I thought it was great.
Cabin Boy... I'll have to look for that one.
Ler: Oh, you'll probably hate it as well. It's directed/written by Chris Elliot.
Chris Elliot? He's pretty bent. I'll check it out and let you know. Your video for Wynonna's Big Brown Beaver is getting a fair bit of air time up here. Man... out stuff. What were the costumes made of?
Ler: [Laughs.] Oh, latex and nerf material.
I see by your sponsor list that you, Larry Lalonde, are sponsored by BIC Lighters.
Ler: Well everyone had these lists of equipment and things and when it came to me, I was holding a BIC lighter, so they put down BIC Lighters.
Ler, brought to you by the caring people at BIC. I went on a radio show once that was sponsored by Pocky Sticks.
Ler: What's that?
Oh they're these Japanese wafer sticks dipped in chocolate and stuff. Highly addictive. So this radio guy had crates of Pocky in the studio... do you get crates of BIC Lighters?
Ler: [Laughs.] No, I never thought of that. Ler, brought to you by Mercedes. I'll have to try that.
So Ler, have you guys had much of a chance to check out Vancouver before? The rainforests, etc...?
Ler: No, everytime we come here it's just to play then leave. I've seen a lot about Vancouver from the brochures in the hotel rooms. I'd like to check it out more if I get the time.
Yeah, the islands are cool. They're full of the offspring of hippie settlers turned yuppie, but gigging on the islands is a blast. You may get a full house of only three hundred, but they are three hundred who are really there.
Ler: Three hundred people into it, blows away five thousand lame heads any day. Well I got your number, so I'll call next time.
We'll talk more at the gig.
Ler: Great. I'd like to check it out.
Where are you off to next?
Ler: Phoenix. I tell ya, this is the tour of much heat.
It's been cool up here, almost like autumn.
Ler: Man, I am really looking forward to cool. The heat's too much.
Yeah, we get the ozone in the winter up here. Well Ler, that's about it for now, guess I'll let you go. Have a good trip, and see you when you get here.
Ler: Thanks, We'll have a beer, or beers, or many beers.
Yes. Beer good.
Ler: [Laughs.] Yes. Beer very good.
-So there you go surf bunnies, a tasty slice of PRIMUS for your dietary needs. They'll be smoking the seams off the P.N.E.'s Coliseum Bowl on August 29th along with very special guest Mike Watt. Showtime is 7:30pm and the ticket price includes admission to the fair grounds. (yippee) If you haven't scoped out their latest CD, then I gotta ask... what's the matter for you? It's a twisted kickin' treat! Go borrow money from yer mom and dad, work a day at the car wash... something... anything. But check the thing out!