It’s an amazing thing when an interview becomes a conversation, especially one where ideas are exchanged and the subject opens up to reveal aspects of the music that were either unintended or unconscious. In my Modern Drummer interview with Gail Worley, I discovered a new appreciation for my own work, and also that maybe all the subtleties I thought would probably go unnoticed actually had an impact on the listener. Her interview was like a getting a much needed second wind in the middle of a long set.
If you want to know what is really up with your favorite band, Gail can pull the info that matters from those who make the music that we all love. Believe me when I say artists have a hard time expressing themselves to the press, but Gail made it easy for me to be open and honest. I think that’s because she cares about and loves music as much as the artist she interviews.
Gail Worley has a way of "relating with" the artists she interviews. That makes for great readingregardless of one's penchant for the music at hand because she brings their fascinating personalities to the fore while showing her own unique colors as well. She does all this with a wonderful mix of good humor, passion, sensitivity and refreshing nerve that makes me feel like I'm looking through a window into someone's living room, observing two interesting people hang out. There's a comfort in her realness that's hard to find these days, and she reminds us that music is (or should be) all about sharing and connecting.
For about four years, I wrote a monthly column (and the ocassional short feature or cover story) for this national Indie-rock slanted music magazine that paid shit, when they even paid me, and had weird editorial guidelines like not letting writers use the word “THAT” in any reviews or articles unless it was a quote. WTF?
I put up with it for a long time because, even though the pay was next-to-nada, I could use my column to write about almost any CDs I liked and I figured the national exposure couldn’t hurt my profile. With discipline (and rigid use of the “find/replace” feature in Word) I eventually learned to write without using the word “THAT” even when it made no sense, knowing the magazine would just take the word out anyway, indiscriminately, for their own twisted reasons. The thing is, after four years of this bullshit, I just got sick and tired of having my work ruined. Not to yank my own chain here, but I’m a pretty decent writer. I’ve got nothing against an editor tightening up a feature article or fact checking any of my investigative reporting, but — jesus god! — leave a 250 word CD review the fuck alone, will ya?
I resigned from that magazine last month and, along with the day I bailed on AOL, it was one of the happiest recent days of my life. Since they ruined the last column I wrote (and my friend Frank is all over my ass to add some new stuff to this blog) I decided to reprint two of that column’s reviews here. So they could run free…although I think the word “THAT” is still missing.
Mondo Generator, A Drug Problem That Never Existed
The many and varied side-projects perpetuated by members of Queens of The Stoneage progress along their merry madcap way with the release of the sophomore CD from Mondo Generator. As the three-steps -to-the-right-of-Mr-Bungle spawn of Queens’ guitarist Josh Homme and bassist Nick Oliveri, A Drug Problem That Never Existed (on Mike Patton’s Ipecac records), provides a bit more of a challenging listen than the latest release from label mates, Tomahawk. Nevertheless, the album is not without its unique and special charm. A Drug Problem That Never Existed reunites Nick and Josh with former Kyuss bandmate, drummer Brant Bjork and QOTSA guitarist Dave Catching, adding a little yin energy from chick bassist, Molly Maguire (earthlings?, Yellow #5). Everyone does his or her best to make this aural trip to the loony bin one you won’t soon be forgetting.
From the acoustic, pseudo-folk ballads (“All I Can Do,” “Day I Die”) to Tazmanian Devil-inspired art punk (“F.Y. I’m Free”) listening to this album made me wonder what the hell was going through the mind of whoever wrote “Girl’s Like Christ,” and just what do the lyrics, “Do the headright, baby” even mean? Stick around after Mark Lanegan’s sublime appearance as guest vocalist on “Four Corners,” for a hilariously deadpan commercial promotion of upcoming Ipecac label releases — which may or may not be a joke. Mondo Generator is mainly a studio project, but the group has been known to play random live dates, including a recent NYC slot opening for Tomahawk. Should the band schedule a live performance anywhere near your vicinity, it is recommended you do whatever it takes to make the show. Co-produced by infamous nut job/instigator of the controversial, Blag Dahlia of The Dwarves, A Drug Problem that Never Existed delivers fourteen more reasons why Rehab is for quitters.
Mensen, Oslo City
Since the apparent disappearance of The Lunachicks and L7, the premature demise of the truly brilliant Betty Blowtorch, and realizing Kittie just plain suck, The Donnas have done an admirable job of spearheading the Chicks Who Rock Like Guys movement. But let’s face the music and dance here: one spin of Oslo City, the sophomore LP from Norwegian garage rockers, Mensen, will quickly separate the girls from the grrrls. Okay, so the band is technically three chicks and a guy –- just like late great British upstarts, Kenickie –- with the inclusion of bassist Rambling Roy. But from the first few seconds of Mary Currie’s bratty vocals and Christine Sixteen (awesome name)’s fierce guitar attack on “Keep Up!,” it’s clear the ladies are running the show. Not to slight the guys at all: Roy’s solid bass backbone and Oslo City’s co-production courtesy of Nicke Anderssen — of Mensen’s GearHead Records label mates, The Hellacopters — add to the band’s serious balls factor. And it’s all good in Oslo City, where the rock slows down once or twice but never, ever stops as Mensen mix and match rock styles with equal finesse. “Bosnia” is as heartfelt and sentimental as a Shangri-La’s tune from the 50’s, while “Piece of My Heart” captures a 70’s punk energy to rival Black Flag’s “Nervous Breakdown.” With the relentlessly tuneful yet ass-kicking ferocity of “Start Over Again” and “One Way Street,” Mensen revs up the hotrod rock, leaving Sahara Hot Nights to eat its dust.
After enduring eight years of “two cans and a string” internet connections via AOL (AOHELL is more like it), I recently became an adult, got a High Speed cable modem and went totally pro with the email. It’s been a total bitch weaning myself off AOL (like a dysfunctional relationship you just can’t bear to leave) and spending hours and hours reconfiguring my new internet set up, replacing email preferences and getting all of my email accounts to go into Outlook, but I can already see it’s so worth the small hassle, if only to reap the HUGE rewards of email that actually arrives and the ability to filter hordes of viagra spam.
Here are some reasons why AOL SUCKS
1. NO support for the Mac (i.e. no software upgrades past 5.0, no AOL for broadband unless you have OSX).
2. Dial up service fastest connection speed: 38.8
3. Three minutes to download email
4. Three minutes to send an email, only to get an error message “Our host computer cannot process your request.”
5. Inability of the AOL web-browser-from-hell to recognize the Flash plug-in.
6. Getting booted offline every 15 minutes.
7. Having your account frozen for sending an email to multiple recipients (they can’t stop real Spammers, but they tie the hands of their own subscribers. Smart).
8. More SPAM in my mailbox than at a Hormel meat packing plant.
9. Did I mention their shitty browser?
10. IT SUCKS!
Don’t be afraid to leave AOL just because you’re used to its lameness and ineptitude. If I can make the break, anyone can. You can easily find yourself a Coupon code and get a discount at almost ANY ISP, it’s your turn, take it.
Artist: Col. Parker
Album: Rock ‘n’ Roll Music
Release Date: 2001
Label: V2 Records
In LA’s musically incestuous post-80’s rock scene, the “Supergroup” tag can apply whenever two or more musicians, whose names possess the tiniest bit of marquee value, couple and spawn a project. That said, meet Col Parker is comprised of ex-Guns ‘N’ Roses guitar-slinger, Gilby Clarke, drummer Slim Jim Phantom, bassist Muddy Stardust (LA Guns) and accomplished keyboard mercenary, Teddy Andreadis, that began life as a glorified-bar-band. Rock ‘n’ Roll Music offers an upbeat mix of blues-based rockers and ballads punctuated with Clarke’s inspiring attempts to squeeze every Keith Richards guitar riff into one album, and spiked with humorous odes to decadent lifestyles long-abandoned (“Can’t Get that Stuff,” “Pushing 40 Blues”). Contains zero percent threats to the status quo or insights to the meaning of life. It’s only Rock ‘n’ Roll, but I like it.
Official Website: https://www.facebook.com/gilbyclarkefanpage/
This article was originally written for Rolling Stone’s Online Magazine. Though Rolling Stone remains in print and online, this article is no longer a part of their archive and has been added to the content base of The Worley Gig for our readers’ enjoyment.
Not Bad At All . . .
A Taste of Her Own Medicine:
The Gail Worley Interview
by Ian Koss
To hear her tell it, Gail Worley’s serious writing career began around the time we met, November of 1995. She had an interview with Marilyn Manson, and I had the curiosity to run it. That was nearly eight years ago, and in the meantime, Gail’s writing has gone from the occasional monthly contribution to a full-on career in the business. In a time when making a go of it in the music journalism biz has become as rare a day without spam, Gail has managed to thrive, with a constant flow of top-notch subjects and well-turned pieces.
But I knew that there was more to the story than that. As Gail herself will tell you, “do your homework.” A bit of searching around on the web yielded plenty of her work, but little about the girl herself. So I turned to the best source of information on Gail Worley…
Tell me about the moment you “got into” music.
I was five years old and my 13-year-old sister was a Beatlemaniac. I remember listening to this American Beatles album — Songs, Stories and Pictures of the Fabulous Beatles — which had all of these black and white pictures of the Beatles and all of these “factoids” about each member — like they’d have in a teen magazine. I loved songs like “Please Please Me” and their cover of “A Taste of Honey.” I thought that was rad. I was in love with Paul; my “goal” was to
- Join the Beatles
- Marry Paul
I was five.
Very astute for a five-year old.
I knew what I wanted.
What instrument would you play?
I thought I would be their dancer; you know, dance and play the tambourine! My father took me and my brother (one year older than me) and my sister to see HELP! when it was in theaters. It was insane; I LOVED IT. Let It Be was the first album I bought with my own money, when I was ten.
The next big deal to me after that was Emerson Lake and Palmer — I had seen them on “In Concert,” which was their performance at the first California Jam, backing the 70’s. I had to have that three-disc live record they did, Welcome Back My Friends. My favorite track on that was “Jerusalem,” their version of the English Hymn. I was just insane for that. I still love that song to this day. I was a very progressive pre-teen.
Right after that, I fell in love with The Who, when Ken Russell’s movie version of Tommy came out, so I had to buy all of their albums. I think I was twelve or thirteen then. I was in LOVE with Roger Daltrey. He was my first real sexual fantasy.
Already things are getting interesting. As the planets would have it, Gail spent her teens in Orange County, CA, at the time when the area was the epicenter of California punk and hardcore. Gail was able to piece some hazy memories together.
What happened when the teens hit?
Queen was a huge, huge deal to me between ages 15 – 18. I worshiped Freddie Mercury (RIP) and I was so way beyond obsessed. Queen was my first real rock concert; I saw them on the A Night at the Opera tour. I can absolutely say I would not be the person I am today if not for the influence of that band. My parents just hated them.
In my last year of High School, I was just getting over prog rock (Queen, Yes, Genesis etc.) and getting into the punk rock. It was ground zero for OC punk rock. Locally, I was into Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Agent Orange, Adolescents, The Screamers, X, Alley Cats, The Germs and The Go Gos, who were considered to be a punk rock band back then. Of the British punk bands, I loved Generation X, Buzzcocks, Sex Pistols, The Damned, Undertones, Tenpole Tudor, Tubeway Army and Nick Lowe. It was REALLY fun; I had a great time back then. I saw the last ever live performance by The Germs at the Starwood club in Hollywood, it was just a couple of days before Darby Crash died.
Are you somewhere in “The Decline of Western Civilization”?
I was at some of those shows but I don’t think I am on camera. I remember being at shows at the Fleetwood in Redondo Beach when they filmed some of those scenes. I recall this one riot with people throwing bottles inside the club. Those were fun times.
After the wild abandoned partying of her high school years, it was time for Gail to do some serious studied partying. Going to college gave Gail her first chance at writing for the University’s newspaper, and exposed her to the addictive perks of college radio.
Did you have an air name in college radio?
Oh yeah, and you know it — Gail Pink.
I was also called Neo Girl and Gail Chaos at various times. Neo Girl was for new wave shows; I took the name from lyrics to a song by the English Beat, I think it was “Twist & Crawl.” Chaos was for the punk shows I did early on. Gail Pink came about because I was wearing a pink dress and the other DJ just announced me as “Coming up next, Gail Pink” and it stuck. This was at KUCI in Irvine. 88.9 on your FM radio dial.
You were there for the huge ’80s LA metal explosion, though?
Oh yeah. I went from punk to metal. I liked Billy Idol and Motley Crue. I used to totally stay home on Saturday nights to watch Headbanger’s Ball on MTV. The thing is, I really always liked all kinds of music… even what we referred to as “butt music” — like Depeche Mode and Scritti Politti, and everything like that. My taste was cumulative. Whatever I liked, I still liked when I moved onto the next phase of whatever music was happening.
Interview Continues After The Jump!