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BRMC Interview Amsterdam 2008
(Paradiso, Amsterdam: 23/06/2008)OK, let’s start with the unpleasant stuff and be done with it quickly, if that’s all right.OK.Well, I’m very sorry about Nick leaving the band again. So, how do you feel at the moment? Have the recent shows worked out fine for you? I had the impression that you were quite enjoying yourselves on stage.Yeah, they worked out fine. But there was no real bad feelings. (pause) Nick wanted to go to other things. He’s been wanting to do other things for a long while. (pause) It’s kind of what it came down to, you know. It made sense, you know. His heart was kind of somewhere else. It didn’t really feel like he wanted to be in the band, you know. So his work is now going to his own music for a little while. There was no ”fired” to it, you know. That was kind of his own Myspace press release... So the “fired”… (pause) I understand that word, kind of. But there was no “fired”. He said “So, you’re firing me?”, you know. But, I cannot understand where it’s coming from, because… he didn’t want to leave, but at the same time he didn’t want to stay. And we didn’t want him to leave, so it was “How about that you just go?” but he needed a little more finality than that and he said “So, you’re firing me again?” and I was like “Well, if you need to hear that word, then…” (laughs) “Go take a break, go do what you do and you’re welcome back.” But there was no… nothing bad, nothing like the last time when we ended up in a kind of fist fight, trying to kill each other and it ended pretty sadly. And I didn’t want to be in the band, he didn’t want to be in the band. So it’s not the same. It’s not really a bad thing. But this is kind of his choice and I guess ours, too, so if he wants to come back, you know…So it’s like you consider this being a temporary separation then?It may be. It depends, you know. He may, you know… if it doesn’t work out he may end up joining some other band. I don’t know. He may, he may be not.Just see what happens then?Yeah, yeah.How about Leah, the drummer you’ve brought with you to fill in for Nick? How did you get to know her?I met her through a band called Dead Combo. I saw her playing drums in that band. I’m not sure how many years ago that was. Maybe a couple. And I noticed that she was a good drummer then, you know. Erm… that was basically it. (laughs)So you were looking for someone to fill in and then…… yeah she was the first one that came to mind really, you know. We played with Pete Salisbury when our first time over here inEurope, you know, because Nick couldn’t come. Yeah, she was the first one that really came to mind as sort of it seemed to have a feel that we like, you know. Just by watching and listening to her.You’ve been playing two new songs on the tour so far, A Fine WayTo Lose, a beautiful Howl-like song, and River Styx, again a song that makes me want to dance in a way my mum wouldn’t approve of.Now, that’s OK. (grins)So what you’re giving us here again is a very diverse BRMC experience. Can we consider these two songs as being kind of representative for things to come, new-album-wise?Hm, yeah. Yeah, I guess they kind of represent a little bit of what’s to come. They’re pretty diverse. I guess that’s the way to put it. They’re not very opposite spectrums, but they’re very different spectrums. That was the idea of Baby 81, but it didn’t seem to turn out that way. This one seems to be forming more into kind of like the idea that we started with with Baby 81, I mean. I wanted to mix all three, but we’re… I guess we… we didn’t have any acoustic songs for Baby 81. But now, now it seems to be definitely… (pause)… a wider range in a way?Yeah… a wider range, definitely. Which I think… I like that kind of stuff, so... And I think a bunch of other people do anyways, so…Yeah, I mean it’s what you get when you play them on stage, people like it, both kind of things, so…… yeah, but some people don’t, too. But… So what? (laughs)You can’t always make everybody happy.(laughs) Yeah. It doesn’t really matter. But that’s a nice thing, a good thing. It’d be a good thing if that kind of thing went on the album.Do you already have a date or something? I read something about September in a German interview and I couldn’t make anything of it.No, no, no, there’s no date at all. (pause) No, not clearly. (laughs) No, no, no. You know, we gotta find the moment to finish the songs, which we’re gonna try to do a little differently than we did Baby 81, so. We don’t know how long it will take I think.Surprise?Yeah. (grins)And what’s the idea behind River Styx? What about the “Styx” in the title? Is it a river from Greek mythology? Because I couldn’t make anything of it and I had to look it up.Oh, you have to ask Rob that one, I don’t know. Hm… yeah, I don’t know.Well, I can’t ask him as he’s not here…Oh, he might be through that door. (gets up and opens the close by door) Oh, no, that’s the bathroom. (laughs)There are still some things your fans are waiting for. One is the DVD I heard some rumours about, the other one is the vinyl version of Baby 81, which there was even a kind of campaign for. Can you tell me any news about that?I’m mixing the sound as fast as I can, for the DVD right now. Aaaand, uhm, (pause, then laughs). I dropped my computer down the stairs in the bus, so that slowed things down quite a lot… And just today I got it kind of working. But yeah, we’re getting there. We’re trying to get it done hopefully… by September, you know. Just cause… Hopefully, when we’re touring in the USwith Stone Temple Pilots, we’re warming up for them, and that will give us time… you know, a 45 minutes set. While we’re doing our own kind of stuff we don’t have a whole lot of time, to sit down actually and mix songs, you know. It’s nothing really where the brain wants to go. And we’ve got other things on the mind, but, erm… So during that tour we’ll hopefully finish it. We got a little time in July to do it, but at the same time I’d like to have a moment to… (laughs) not…Because a lot of people are like “Where’s the DVD?!?”…Yeeees. It looks great and I hope it sounds good. You know, I’ll do it as soon as I can… You know, it’s all pretty home-made stuff. But it’s great. It’ll be good. I hope so.And the vinyl, the vinyl depends on I think… We need somebody to distribute the DVD and I think it’d be cunning them into also making the vinyl and say “Hey, if you distribute this, will you also cut vinyls?” So maybe it’ll all come in one package, you know, the vinyl and the DVD. (pause) All in time for Christmas. (laughs) No, it won’t come out for Christmas. It wouldn’t be out till next year some time. Next year Christmas maybe. (laughs)One thing that got me very interested while listening to some live shows was the fact that you tend to make slight changes to songs when you play them live, the most popular example for this might be Mercy. But there are also a lot of other songs I’ve heard in more detailed and longer versions now, with additional lyrics for example. Like that version of Six Barrel Shotgun you played some days ago. How does that work? Are these more or less spontaneous changes? Or did you feel like improving the songs after they were already recorded?They were spontaneous, erm… They were spontaneous either at rehearsals or at a live show. I can’t remember some of them. But Mercy’s, … Yeah, Rob does that with Mercy, he does that with Sympathetic Noose. Sometimes he thinks the song isn’t done yet, so he finishes it. (laughs) You know… after it was recorded. That’s part of how he does this stuff, maybe we’ll record it in another way. Yeah, and Six Barrel Shotgun… yeah, somehow it just ended up, you know, we found a groove and just went on with it for a bit. That’s like Stop grew out of Salvation, (pause) no, Fail Safe actually. And, you know, Down Here. These songs kind of grew out of each other. And some may turn into songs, some may not, you know. Yeah. That one was just… we thought it would be a nice, little groove moment for that song, you know. It may turn into something.There’s such a cute aspect about your Myspace page, videos of fans covering your songs, especially the video of the Ukulele guy and the little boy doing a cover of Berlin.Speaking of cover versions, you yourselves tend to cover some songs time and again. And I really like a lot of them and it gives you some impulse to check out the originals if you don’t know them yet. But apart from covering Johnny Cash or other artists that lie quite within your musical range, have you ever thought about covering a song that lies totally out of it? Like, Umbrella, Sexy Back, or something from Kylie, you name it?No. Nooo. (very long pause) No. (laughs)No? OK, just think of it, because a lot of bands do this and there’s for example this great Manic Street Preachers cover of Umbrella.Erm, d’you know, I can understand that stuff being funny and being interesting, being cool. I haven’t been… Nothing’s clicked with me really like that… No, no pop song, no big hit kind of pop song, not really. (laughs) There was a funny country song that I would have covered. It was a big hit in America, but you’ll never know this. It’s just really silly lyrics, going “My love’s a real firecracker” or something like that. That’s really silly. I wouldn’t know how to begin with that kind of stuff. As far as… I don’t know how they do… I don’t pay attention to it that much, I don’t pay attention to the lyrics enough to really care, I guess.But there’s this one Kylie Minogue song, “2 Hearts”, I think it would be brilliant for you to cover, because it’s got that bluesy kind of thing going on.Hmm… There’s also this cover of Physical by Nine Inch Nails. Nine Inch Nails did a cover of Physical. Or was that their own version? “Physical, physical, you’re just too physical for me”. I’m not sure if that’s a cover or not… I thought it was a cover, maybe it’s just a different song called Physical. But… nooo, nooo… Maybe Bob Marley, because of the guitar playing.You also did that cover of the White Stripes, a couple of years ago on a festival I think…Oh, we did?Yes, you did The Hardest Button to Button.Oh, that was because he had broken his hand and we filled in for them and we figured people were there to see the White Stripes so we played a White Stripes song.Ah well, maybe you’ll get the time to discover some kind of pop songs for you.Ahh, I don’t even know what pop is, really. Obviously, I’m pretty out of the loop on it. (laughs) As far as the radio goes.Anyway, you’re on tour now, people are crazy about seeing you and looking at your list of shows, it’s quite obvious that you’ve attempted to make some changes concerning the cities to play. For example, there’s no mention of London so far, but were playing in Essen. I think that’s a very likeable move of yours. How about other places you haven’t played yet? Brazil for example? After your very successful shows in Argentina, where you had never played before, do you have any plans to go and explore other places you have never played before?Yeah, yeah, we’re doing Moscow, that’s coming up. We had an offer in China, Beijing. We just did one in Mexico City. We’re playing Fargo, that’s in the States, never played there before. Yeah, we wanna go everywhere. Yeah, everywhere, anywhere. That’s all that’s about. That’s the dream, to go everywhere.I have friends in Brazil, who are very much into your music and would love to see you play, so they were thinking about going to Argentina, but they couldn’t make it because of the money, so…We had something planned for there at one point, but it fell through. Yeah, yeah, I’d love to go there. We’d have to do it kind of… Yeah, I mean, we’d have to think about it a little more than we have been thinking about it as far as how to do it cheaply. And at the same time being able to play all our albums. If we went down there, just played the first album, we could do it with two guitars, three guitars, you know, no big deal. Right now we’re carrying nine guitars, because we’ve got four albums with all different tunings and all that stuff. It becomes a little bit of a problem as far as… All we’re looking for is to break even, you know. But even then… I don’t really want to talk about the money part of it. (laughs)Yeah, sure. It’s just hard to bring all the stuff around to do it properly you mean.It is, it is. We’ve done it both ways and let’s see what happens. We’ll get there. We’ll get everywhere, hopefully. I mean, or we’d have to do it acoustically. Why not, yeah.Something I figured out while I was listening to some of your live shows at home was that you used to play Red Eyes and Tears in such a beautiful version, with a reprise in the end. When I heard it for the first time, I was thrilled and ever since then there is one question occupying my head: Why don’t you play it like that anymore?Erm, I forgot how to play it, actually. (laughs) I haven’t played it for a long time, that bit. I don’t know. It’s moments in time…You really have to think about playing it like that again, because there are some people in the audience who always go “Do the reprise, do the reprise! – Oh, no reprise? Hm, OK, applause then”.(laughs) Yeah, maybe I’ll remember how to play it. Yeah.Maybe you just can listen to a recording of it somehow.Oh, I’d just have to figure it out on the guitar, I have guitar tabs at home, I’d have to figure it out. But, yeah… I didn’t know people enjoyed it that much. That’s cool.Yeah, I had to ask some people about it and they said you used to play it like that some years ago.Yeah, we used to do the end of US Government a lot, too. You know… Comes and goes.Something to look forward to then maybe.Hm, yeah.There’s been a very positive change in your setlist as I see it. When I met you in November and begged you to play 20 Hours, you said that you weren’t able to play it because you hadn’t rehearsed it for ages. And then – luckily! – you played 20 Hours live for the first time at one of the American shows. Did you get such a good resonance for the song that you finally decided to integrate it into your live repertoire? - But leave it out again on this European tour, grr!Hm, 20 Hours… We haven’t rehearsed that with Leah. It’s one of the songs she doesn’t know. So that’s the reason why that hasn’t happened. We haven’t had a chance to rehearse it. Songs come and go, you know. White Palms, that comes and goes. All You Do Is Talk will come… and, you know… Stop I think, we left out Heart and Soul for a while… The only way I can explain it is that we don’t get tired of the song but the song gets tired. And something changes and it kind of goes… We don’t play it for a while to give I don’t know what it is. Maybe it is something to do with us. You know, I don’t sit up there and go “I’m tired, I think I’m tired of playing the song”… But yeah, we dropped Red Eyes from one tour and things like that. It’s just cause they lose their… whatever it is they have, you know. They need a break.Well, this is one aspect I like very much about your band, that you have these very varying setlists. Some bands, they just play a tour and every show it’s the same setlist.Yeah, I mean, those bands don’t tour as much as we tour. (laughs) Well, it’s not about getting tired, it’s about… I mean… it’s about the fans, you know. And for us… I wouldn’t want someone going “I saw them play six months ago and they played the same set.” It’s not that interesting, you know. A lot of bands don’t necessarily play that much, you know. They play once a year and they’ll stick to that same set that whole year.It’s always great to see that you try to get as much music out as possible. And the American X EP was another attempt. Now, looking into your forum it seems as if The Likes Of You was a song where opinions differ a lot. I’d say it has some electronic influences and some people probably don’t feel like it. Was this song something like a first step into the direction Robert has been talking about quite a while? Making an electronic record?Yeah. No, the first attempt of that was actually on that EP, the very original, the first thing we ever released, on our own, where we made 500 copies of. There’s a secret track on that that’s called I’m gonna take my time. I think that showed up on the second album as just a vocal thing. “I’m gonna take my time, I’m gonna take my time, …”Yeah, that’s on Rifles, the beginning.Yeah, yeah. There’s a secret track on the original of that, that’s just (making some funny dull electronic beat sounds). Aaahh, this is me fucking around with the drum machine. And I hit drum machine, recorded, then I hit it again, get off, so I muted it, then bring it back in… This is messing around. And that song, similar type of thing. I was in rehearsal, I just hit play on a tape machine, I was playing drums. It was live. Yeah, I was playing… I did the drums, I just set all the mics on in the room, within the monitors. Oh, actually, I first looped the bass part. I looped the bass part, then played the drums. Just played it for about don’t know how long. And then from there I took it into the studio and we tried to make much of a different noise. Erm, no, that’s not really an attempt to do anything techno, it’s just making noise. I like to make noise. It is a loop. So I guess we can consider… I don’t know what we can consider, but… (laughs)It’s just quite different and some people might be like “Okaaaay, this is quite at the edge of things…”Yeah, I mean, so is Last Chance For Love. You know… So is Fault Line. (laughs) I mean, being different is OK. Anyway, that’s why it’s a b-side. D’you know what I mean? It’s not a song really, if you know what I mean. Personally, it’s not something I consider “Oh, this is a masterpiece of some sort.” that’s gonna give you some sort of knowledge, you know. This is kind of a … I don’t know.Another song on that EP that is quite outstanding is Whenever You’re Ready, especially because of that spoken words part, which reminds me a lot of a poem.That was on what?Also on the American X EP.Was it really?Yeah.Oh, I thought it was the free download for Christmas.No, the free download for Christmas was the alternative version of All You Do Is Talk without the drums.Hm. Maybe that was two Christmases ago then. (laughs) Whenever You’re Ready. Hm.Yeeees, it’s also on the American X EP.Is it really? Huh. I think it was a free download too at some point.Anyway, can you tell me what the inspiration for that song was? Especially about that spoken words part.(pause) It’s just something I had never done before. Speaking… It’s just messing around with sound, you know. A lot of that stuff ends up being b-sides and things like that. Stuff that we come out to [on stage] when the lights go down, you know that (makes some funny billowing sounds), that’s me fucking around with sounds. And there’s a lot more. We have half an hour songs.Half an hour songs?!Yeah. Weird things. I wouldn’t call them songs. Half hour noisy nonsense. But… (laughs)… there’s a whole idea that hasn’t been finished yet. But, I like to make a noise, you know. Yeah, and the poem, I’d never done anything like that before. The only one that was closest to that was Complicated Situation. It was a poem first and then became a song. That started out… It was done in my living room. And then just, erm, I can’t really explain much more than that… Erm, how does it go? (thinks about the lyrics) “He watched his breath climb out eager to carry on without him”… (thinks again) Yeah, just a poem. I like writing poetry.OK Peter, so what was that incident with you nicking someone’s mobile phone during a show in the States about?Oh, I didn’t steal it.Yes, I know you gave it back, but…Yeah, I gave it back. No, it was, erm… There might be a song on this next album about it. I wrote this song because of the amount of the phones and cameras at shows. I used to be a lot worse, I used to break them. I realized a little bit on that and people didn’t like it too much, but… It can be a little… (pause) I don’t know, I just had a strange experience. We were playing in New York and it wasn’t our crowd, we were opening up for the Kings of Leon. And I just saw hundreds of faces glowing because they were looking into their cameras and their phones, you know. Texting or taking pictures or whatever the hell they were doing and talking to their friends. And that’s fine, you know, I was like “OK, they’re not here to see us, that’s no big deal”. But there was a certain moment, I walked out on the front and I stood in front of somebody and they held their camera up, I guess they were taking a picture and that just made me kind of go “Wow… does life really happen if it’s not captured on somebody’s camera?” Or, does it happen if it’s not written about? It’s kind of going to do with this thing “Did the tree fall?”, you know, the myth of life. It’s kind of… I’m not sure if that’s getting destroyed or not by the whole… Yeah, there’s plenty of non-truths on the internet, so they have a plenty of myth, but…Yeah, I just grabbed this phone, you know, set it down for a second, put it into my backpocket and gave it back to him. But, at the same time, it doesn’t matter. To each their own.Well, yes, it was just like, on your website there’s this tour archive where you can upload pictures of your shows and I thought like “If they have this function on the website and they don’t like people taking pictures throughout their shows, that doesn’t make much sense to me.”Yeah.I mean, I can imagine it can be annoying sometimes.It’s not about being annoyed. It’s about just fucking people. Making people think, you know. I just mean “Think!”, you know. I don’t mean to fuck with people to be mean or just having fun, it’s kind of like “There you go.” And I mean that memory of me, taking away your phone is going to last far longer than the picture. Because you gonna have to delete the picture on your computer because you can run out of room, you know. Whereas you can buy another hard drive and look at it fucking anyway. (laughs) So there you go you get a better memory, you know. D’you know what I mean?So actually you were doing him a favour that second.(laughs) Well, maybe, I don’t know. You know what I mean, it’s … there’s a certain point when it does get in the way. When somebody’s right in front of you and you come out to say hi, you know, like you walk up in front of the crowd and say hi to people, you go “Hi”… I remember standing someone taking a picture, taking one or two, the whole show?… That gets a little, that’s… You know, I’m not gonna take it away, you know, I have no right to do that. That’s their choice. But it makes it so I don’t walk out to the front. To that person. Because it’s just, it kind of gets in my personal… all of a sudden you have to start thinking. And I don’t wanna think, I wanna play music. I don’t wanna be aware of that person taking a picture of me. It gets in my way. It becomes a performance. And I don’t particularly like that. If you become aware of a performance and I don’t like being aware of it. I like to feel and to do it.Well, from my own experience I can say that sometimes it’s just nice to take some pictures, because you want to capture it for yourself in a way.Absolutely, yeah.And because sometimes you just think “Oh, God, this is going to be a great picture, I have to take it right now.” But when I see people next to me, taking pictures throughout the whole show…Ah, that’s OK, you know, I really have my own way of dealing with it, I walk away, you know what I mean. Or else I’ll grab it and say “Hey, set it down for a second, please.” You know, it’s like, erm, if you type your interview… you know, everybody’s got a job and if there’s a doctor working on somebody and then there’s, I don’t what similar type of annoyance that would be… It gets a little bit annoying if there’s something in the corner of your eye that’s constantly kind of…Like fumbling around next to your head…(laughs) Yeah. I don’t know. I don’t mean it mean at all. I think if you look at it from… Yeah, we suspect that. So we expect it. I don’t know how to describe it. But it’s no big deal really.You probably haven’t heard about it, but the show in Hamburg last November was voted as one of the best shows of the year in a German music magazine called Intro, you made it to Top 7. Therefore it seems like it wasn’t only me who was totally blown away by that show. And you yourselves were enthusing about that show later on as I could hear from good authority. Can you remember if there was anything special about that show?No, I can’t rememberHamburg. Erm… (pause). What was the club?Markthalle.Hm, is it a small club?No, not really. They have like these steps going down to the middle and two kind of platforms right in front of the stage.Yeah, yeah, yeah. Oh, that was Hamburg? Wow. Fuck, there’s a really similar club to that in Spain I think. Or in Italy maybe, there’s a similar club like that. I can’t remember why it was good or not good. I don’t remember most of them. As far as my opinions of them are usually far too mine. So I don’t particularly hold on to them anymore. Because… (laughs) … everybody’s got an opinion and I think my opinion is not really all that important to how somebody else’s experience is. You know. Really. It’s for other people, it’s not for me. I try to have a good time, a fucking good time. We all play our ass off every fucking night. And we try to make everyone the same as far as fucking great.Well, you can see that from the audience’s perspective.I’m glad one got across then. (laughs) We got one! Phew! (laughs) It worked once! (laughs)I mean, there are a lot of people travelling around to see you play, so there must besomething, you know…Ah, I know, I’m just joking.Yeah, I know. I just thought there might have been some special aspect from your perspective, because a friend of mine talked to Robert, a week later or something like that, and she said that Robert had been enthusing about the show. So I thought you maybe had the impression it was a particularly good show, but ooookaaaay…(laughs)You guys have had to endure some very strange interviews, I hope this one’s not one of them. From questions about doing Karaoke with Asian girls to questions about STDs and hemorrhoids, which that Australian guy with the sombrero on his head asked you.Oh yeah. What about Karaoke with Asian girls?I think that was an interview with Robert, some funny Asian guy asked him if you guys were into doing Karaoke with Asian girls or something like that. So can you think of one question that was really totally over the top? The most stupid question ever you had to endure during an interview?Erm, the dumbest thing that’s really ever… The dumbest thing I remember was going to MTV and some guy going, first thing out of his mouth was “So, Hip Hop.” And we all went kind of “What?!” And he wanted to talk about that, he was completely in another world and he just thought we were a Hip Hop band.He thought you were a Hip Hop band?!Yeah.Oh my God!Yeah, it got from somewhere else, he had the wrong piece of paper in his hand. That was the dumbest thing. And we got bad ref from that because I just… I felt… I couldn’t take it. I just said “I’m going to sit in the corner over there and you go ahead and talk to these guys.” So we got a bad ref at MTV for that. They think we’re a bunch of assholes. But, you know… (laughs) if they can’t put it on paper what kind of music they’re going to interview… you know, then that’s their problem. But that was pretty fun and pretty dumb. And I guess we paid for it, you know, for, you know… we were constantly since then called being difficult.You being difficult??Oh yeah, from that one on, yeah, word spread that we were the most difficult interview ever.Oh yeah.(laughs) Oh yeah, we’ve been difficult.I didn’t have the impression right now.Ah, it depends, you know. It depends, yeah, some days, difficult.But I mean, if they have people working for them who stand there and there’s the camera and they’re only reading and they don’t even figure out who’s standing next to them and what the people are about and what their music is about, they probably have chosen the wrong job then.Yeah, that’s what happens. Yeah, he doesn’t particularly like what he’s doing. It doesn’t matter. And the other questions, I don’t much care about. Erm, yeah. It doesn’t particularly matter.You get used to it, I guess, being posed silly questions.Erm, it’s just kind of funny, you know. I guess it kind of draws out your… It’s basically someone trying to draw out your personality. To see how you deal with it. It’s all tricks. It’s the way how I look at it, if I see there’s an interviewer trying to, you know…I’m not a tricky one then…(laughs) Yeah. Well… That’s the tricks of the trade, you know. That’s what people do. They come up with silly questions to see how you react, to see if you walk out on them or slap them or hit them or what, you know. I don’t know, I don’t fucking care. (laughs) It’s either you talk about music or you don’t. Some people want a bit of both. I like a bit of both.When it comes to your merchandise, it’s really funny sometimes.Uh huh?For example, there is this fabulous T-shirt with the girl with the glasses on it. But then again, there were also BRMC leggings and socks for sale.Leggings, yeah. And socks… Were they knee-high socks? Or were they just socks? I think they were knee-highs. They were supposed to be up to your knees, you know.Whose idea was that???The leggings, I’m not sure if that was Rob or our tour manager, but he’s also a man… He’s got ideas , too. They come from everybody. I had the… The knee-high socks was my idea. I’m not quite sure why. It was just something different. Because we get tired… You know, it was like “What are we gonna do? Just gonna have the same fucking shirt with the skull and pistons on it?” D’you know what I mean? It was like “We’re trying different things.” so we tried to put the skull and pistons on, you know, on socks. You know, but the other idea was, yeah… The other idea was pyjamas.Pyjamas?!Yeah, and all we wanted to do, yeah, yeah, we had underwear, too. We had girls’ hotpants, underwear for a little while. Some people like it, some people don’t. Yeah, you know, (laughs) we’re giving them away for free if they don’t sell, d’you know what I mean? It’s… we don’t know how to do that stuff, you know… I mean, it’s like… we have a hat. I like the lighters. We had shotgun shell lighters. That was a bad idea. That was one of my ideas, shotgun shell lighters. They didn’t work all that well. But, who knows, I mean, if you’ve got an idea… We had boots, but it cost too much to sell boots. A leather jacket… belts, belt buckles. We had a couple of those around.Hm, probably more girl shirts that fit really well. Like the one with the girl with the glasses on.We’re always looking for ideas - OK, more girl shirts. You don’t want knee-high socks, now we know. (laughs)No, I wouldn’t even know where to wear them. For a sports lesson?No, I even think, if you wear boots, you know, if you’ve got boots on, you know, you get high boots and then you got the skull and pistons right there. You know, you got the sock pulled up. That was kind of the idea of those knee-highs. So it was kind of like it was the cheap boot. (laughs) It’s like making boots but not.Distributing them should be a bit too difficult anyway.Huh?Like, with the boots. Distributing them or bringing them on tour.Yeah, yeah, fuck. Yeah and you’d have to sell them for a fortune… We could have them in the store. I could make my own version, because I make these. (shows me his boots)You make these?I make them out of a different version of a boot. I cut these things off and I hammer down the toe. It’s like we could come up with our own thing.Woooow. Anyway, more girl shirts would be great, not only those tiny ones, there are also girls who… have a bit moooore…Yeah, yeah… We do something like in between, there’s the Small and the Medium and the Medium is not girls or boys really. But I’m not good at that stuff really.So it’s like all of you come up with ideas really?Well, yeah, we even used to argue over it. You know, we used to say “Oh no, you can’t fucking have that.” and then it just became “Well, fuck it! Everybody gets an idea, come on, you gotta try it out.” D’you know what I mean? Because Rob had an idea with a picture on the shirt, something with X or whatever it was and he said “Oh, I like that.” and I said “Yeah, I like it.” And then it was like “Well, OK.” So you make a bunch. We try to include everybody’s own idea. Because… we’re not, erm…… T-shirt designers?(laughs) Yeah. Maybe we should hire… We actually have a company that came up with a bunch of designs. We don’t like theirs too much. But then we worked with them and put together some stuff with them.So, I really love that one with the girl with the glasses on, it’s really cool.Hm? Good.Because I always think… I think it’s cool if someone who knows the band knows that it’s their T-shirt. I don’t like this kind of advertising on my T-Shirt…Yeah, that’s the thing. We’d like to do that more as far as a lot of things, I tried, I was like it’s just the skull and pistons, no BRMC at all around, you know what I mean. Or even with the hat, it’s just the flag and you normally don’t know what it is. Yeah, we’re trying to get into this thing where it’s just on the tag on the back or it says Black Rebel Motorcycle Club on the inside, d’you know what I mean? Because that’s our whole thing. You know, I cut off all my tags, “Levi’s”, you know. Yeah, similar type of thing with BRMC shirts, I like people wearing them, but, at the same time… A little bit of both. I like that if it’s not… It’s more an everyday thing, you know. You don’t have to change your shirt when you go to your job. (laughs)Yeah, if you’re walking around and people keep reading what’s written on your shirt…Well, some people like that… (grins)Ermm… Depends on the person looking, actually. You know what I mean.(laughs)All right. Thank you very, very much then.Thank you.
BRMC Interview (2008)