Ever look at a flower and hate it? Ever feel stupid and know you really are? Ever watch David Yow order a dairy-free enchilada? Ever spill a beer on Stephen DePace? Well, have you… I have. So what.
On November 6, 2015, the legendary Flipper descended upon the Acheron for an intimate show with David Yow in tow doing vocals. I had an in to the sold out show, and while gushing excitedly to my roommates about the upcoming gig I had a brilliant idea: I should ask them for an interview! Fuck it! Much to my delight, they agreed! Too bad for them, I guess.
I will introduce this interview by admitting it is not my best work. I only had a day to prepare and when it came down to it, I had no fucking idea where to begin or end. I felt a little in over my head for the first time doing one of these damn things. Flipper are one of my all time favorite bands and as any fan knows, they have been through all sorts of mishaps and hell, including a lot of death.
When I arrived for my interview, the band was about to sound check. I awaited them at Anchored Inn, Acheron’s next door restaurant and bar. I drank. I received a photo of a former friend pissing on one of my bands tapes. Shots.
When the dudes were done, David Yow complimented me on my bangs and Stephen DePace invited me to join them while they got some food. We shot the shit casually. I wish I had rolled some tape, because it only went downhill from there, but I wanted to let the men enjoy their tacos in peace.
By the time audio began to roll, I was pretty wasted. I began the interview by squealing several times. I was instantly thrown way off track by their answer to my first question and just instantly derailed. All my intentions went out the window. I couldn’t get my shit together or keep any conversation rolling. I accidentally knocked a beer onto Stephen DePace’s lap. My voice grew octaves and octaves higher as the disaster went on, reaching a sort of Minnie Mouse impersonation. I stuttered. I couldn’t get my questions out. The dudes were tolerant.
Thankfully, Flipper had to take the stage about 15 minutes into our conversation and thus both parties were relieved of our respective torture. At least I got them to give me the scoop on that Moby rumor. And, most importantly, they fucking ruled. Every once in a while, one blows it. Unfortunately or me, I was blown’ chunks that night for sure. The following is what I managed to salvage.
You’d had to face a lot of shit to continue playing as a band…
Stephen DePace: Oh, she’s going to try and be intelligent. I thought this was going to be what’s your favorite color?
What’s your favorite color?
David Yow: Pussy
[Interrupted by our drinks being served. I say I am thankful because I needed a shot. I very much did not need a shot.]
How do shows compare not to the good old days? Do you feel satisfied?

DePace :I think we are the best we have ever sounded, frankly.

Yow: The only time I saw Flipper before I joined was in 1982, and I never really saw em again until I was a part of us.

So, one of my favorite bands of all time is Throbbing Gristle

Yow: Yeah, I saw that Lisa Suckdog shirt, her mortal enemy is Genesis.

Well, I heard a rumor that you guys played the last ever Throbbing Gristle show, and I was wondering how that went down?

DePace: We did. It was 1980 in San Francisco. It was their last show until a reunion many, many years later. It was super loud. Around 2006, 7, 8 we played a show up in Portland Oregon and whatever configuration of their band that is was at that time marched into our show carrying a gigantic crucifix. It was bizarre.

Do you feel any affinity to weird, freaky electronic music like Throbbing Gristle?
DePace: Sure. I like anything that is good.

Are there any electronic based bands that you are particularily down with?

DePace: Well, it ain’t got that swing if it’s played by a thing. And that is just the codger in me. Early stuff like Kraftwerk or Tangerine Dream or ambient stuff I thoroughly enjoy. I have not heard any newer electronic stuff that really does it for me.

It’s so weird to me that you would be more into ambient stuff as opposed to hard hitting, fucked up stuff!

DePace: Nah, nah. I listen to Jazz, Psychedelic rock, David Allen Coe, Miles Davis.

Yow: Sleeping is just about my favorite thing. I never get to do it, at all, but I like it when I do. Cooking.

DePace: Have you head of a band called Barbed Wire Dolls?


DePace: There are this punk band from Greece and they moved to LA about ten years ago. But they are so punk, even in their lifestyle. They are like nomads, always playing, always touring, constantly making records, for like ten years straight. They have played 45 countries and 600 or 700 shows. They are pretty amazing. I appreciate that, as far as bands go. That is sort of how it should be done.

Do you think less people are doing it right?

DePace: Yeah, I get bored easier. I have seen so many bands and so many shows.

What about playing them though?

DePace: Shows are still exciting to play, as long as it is a great venue, a great crowd, great energy. I’ve been bored at shows… Usually it is when the staff doesn’t care and the audience doesn’t care. But that doesn’t happen very often. I have to say that over the thirty plus years that I have been playing shows there have been very few bad shows.

What was the worst show?

Yow: The worst one for me was not when I was playing with Flipper, but when I was with Jesus Lizard. We played in Boise, Idaho at a place called the Zoo. It was an all ages show, fairly big room for the youngsters and a room in the back where the minors were not allowed in. I guess most of the audience was back there, but we couldn’t see them. There were three people in the room: a drunk Eskimo and two drunk frat dudes who would not stop heckling us. I don’t care. Usually I laugh at hecklers and am down for a challenge but it was humiliating. It was the only time I ever turned to the guys and said ‘why are we here? We don’t have the finish this’. I mean we have played shows before to two people or eight people but those three dumb-asses…

How did crowds compare with Scratch Acid?

Yow: In the old days, with Scratch Acid, people were more complacent. People seemed to give a shit about the Jesus Lizard. But we are not here to talk about that

[I spill my beer]

DePace: It’s okay. Nice beer smell. I have smelled worse, I am ready.

Alright, since I already spilled a beer on you, can I just go for the real dickhead question? So besides being pretty irritated by his music, Moby was a thorn in my side as an annoying costumer at a Vegan spot that I used to work at. I need you to confirm that he is lying about being a singer for Flipper.

DePace: No, he did! He sort of made it out to be like he was the Flipper singer for a while, but it was one night! He got up on stage with us for one night and sang. It was in his hometown in Connecticut. He just jumped on stage and sang with us. He knew all the words, he was a big fan. I think the singer at that time was passed out or high or arrested or something. For years he had it in his bio that he was one of the original singers of flipper. For years! This girl I know who ran a club in Germany called me and said ‘Moby is coming through, and we got his press kit and it says he was the original singer in Flipper, what is that all about’. I read it and thought, well, he embellished a little bit. But that’s okay, I like him.

Yow: Well a couple of years ago for Halloween I sang with Shellac as The Sex Pistols, so I was actually the original singer of The Sex Pistols.

Check out my weak stage dive at 20:50



I interviewed Pop 1280 for Impose Magazine:

Drinking white Russians with Pop 1280 in a public bathroom.
Drinking white Russians with Pop 1280 in a public bathroom.

I was late to meet Pop.180 at their practice space, and started to freak out a little. “Better bring beers to make up for it”, instructed Chris Butt, half kidding but I did what I was told. And no, that is not a misprint. The artist formerly referred to as Chris Bug informed me that he would like to be addressed as Chris Butt for the purposes of this interview, another order that I will gladly abide.

Finally at my destination, we all sat on the floor, popped open some semi cold ones and got to it. They had already consumed “approximately 40” beers during their practice and it was hard to boil the conversation to anything too serious, but that’s okay. As it turns out, they think people take them too seriously as it is.

Joking aside, their latest album Imps of Perversion is their most powerful and confident work to date. The churning tracks prove that Pop.1280 have finally fully realized their sound. Maybe this is because the line-up has settled upon, as Chris says later “the most satisfactory group of people” that Chris “has ever worked with”. After they were done taking selfies on my phone, I had a chat with the 1280’s about Anglerfishes’ mating habits and what a bastard New York City can be. Afterwards we made way our to a local bar for an inspired nightcap consisting of White Russians in a public bathroom.

Well, after witnessing your live performance, listening to your records and reading other interviews it seems pretty certain that you guys flaunt your playfulness- even if it is an impish mischievous playfulness. And yet it seems like people want to stick you in a black box. Many choose to only acknowledge the ‘darker’ sides of the project. Do you think that people take you too seriously?

Andy: If you could hear the internal conversations, I think you would understand. There are a lot of baseball jokes. That sort of thing…

Well, tell us more about the other side of Pop.1280. What about the day jobs? Does Allegra like to knit and play badminton?

Chris: Wow, that is an incredibly sexist question!

Allegra: Well, I don’t do either. In fact, I don’t do anything a typical female would do. In fact, last year when we went on tour, I didn’t bring any beauty products besides lipstick. A certain band member required something to put in his hair and I had no moisturizer. I totally let them down. I’m a horrible, horrible woman.

I play the cello, in my other life, but not really lately.

Isn’t the cello supposed to be the instrument closet to the human voice?

Allegra: It is, thank you for that. But you can also do some really fucked up shit with it. It’s a dark instrument.

Have you played cello with any other bands?

Allegra: Yes, a very Portland band. Which I will not name. Too embarrassing.

Ivan: We made her sign a non-disclosure.

Andy: Mr. Lip here likes to go for runs.

Oh! Are you a runner?

Ivan: I’ve seen him. He wears denim cut offs and high top basketball shoes. And he’s actually on a bike the whole time.

Allegra: He has cross-country skiing poles. I’ve seen it.

Andy: And ankle weights.

This is a wonderful image.

Ivan: My drug dealer made fun of me for it.

Wait, why were you running with your drug dealer?

Chris: Drug dealers are people too; they go outside in the daytime.

Ivan: He’s always out walking his Chihuahua.

Selfies! [cell phone pic]

So it has not been all doom and gloom for you guys since joining Pop 1280?

Ivan: Well, we had to shoot them up with heroin. It is part of the initiation. We beat all new members with wiffle ball bats filled with urine, and we tape ice cubes to their nipples. This is all a joke! The band is a joke! The whole thing is a joke! I don’t care that people don’t understand that, but it’s pathetic that they don’t. We are called Pop 1280, that’s a really dumb name.

Andy: It’s a skateboard trick for Christ’s’ sake!

Well, moving right along, if ‘Do the Anglerfish’ is poking fun at 50’s-60’s era dance oriented rock-n-roll, how would one do the Anglerfish? How can we do it at shows?

Ivan: It’s like an Elvis song, ‘Baby, let’s play house’ or something like that.

Well all the lyrics are about biting and …

Chris: Well, that is how Anglerfish mate. The females absorb the males.

Ivan: It’s about a co-dependant relationship. But some of the stuff that happened was based on this one time. I went to this dudes house and he had written ‘prophylactic’ on his bathroom door. I don’t know why, he wasn’t doing very well. There is a line about it in the song, and I don’t think anybody ever notices. I always thought it was Poignant. A prophylactic is supposed to protect you. And he had scrawled it across his bathroom door.

Andy: In terms of the dance, I was not there for the writing of the song but I always imagined it as only dancing with your shoulder blades, on your heels.

Ivan: Is this a Miley Cyrus reference?

I have heard that you guys have said ‘New York sucks as much as anywhere else’.

Ivan: That is because every time we are interviewed we are asked ‘do you feel like a New York band?’

Well, I was going to ask how you align yourself in this non-existent ‘New York Scene’ that is actually too big to actually exist. Aside from that, apart from what everyone else is doing; do you guys think that New York is a good place for artists or for you in general? I feel like there is a newfound sterileness, and often spoken about high cost of living… The Subway, practice spaces… I just think, in the end, that is kind of sucks being in a band in New York. Do you think that Patti Smith was right, and that this city is no longer a place for artists?

Chris: I hate that quote. Maybe if she had not said it I would have thought it, but since she said it I think it sucks and that she is wrong. I think that the struggle of New York is part of what makes you a band in New York. Of course you are surrounded by dumb rich kids who also start stupid bands and it makes it really annoying to struggle while they are not.

Chris: But nothing good is made of comfort.

Ivan: Sometimes, I have definitely thought ‘what if I could convince these three other people to move to some town where you can get rent for like three hundred dollars and work part-time and focus on the band’ but I don’t know… It would probably be fine. But I like having New York as the villain in my life. It is important to have an enemy.

Chris: In New York, the enemy is clear.

Ivan: They are everywhere.

Allegra: Too many to count.

Ivan: I don’t know who I would get mad at in Portland. Maybe people who wear raincoats when it isn’t raining. People who have bikes with those weird saddlebags on them?

Allegra: You would get mad at everyone because they are so god damn happy. Ivan: And getting mad at people because they are happy doesn’t give you the fire that you need. Well, we don’t think of ourselves as a New York band and I don’t really think about New York’s history. I’m here, absorbing that I am here; I am not thinking about history.

Chris: I still find it inspiring to be here.

Ivan: I am constantly freaking out. I came from a town with 6,000 people. I get mad at people who walk too fast; I get mad at people who walk too slowly. I want to punch people in the back of the head for no reason. It definitely influences me. If I didn’t live in a town with a million idiots hovering around, I am sure I would make slightly different art. When there is that one meathead, taking ten minutes to swipe his metro card…

Chris: Well the thing that bothers me about the Patti Smith quote is that she assumes that we are all trying to have this “Just Kids” life and that memoir is not too appealing to me.

Ivan: I think Patti Smith ruined New York. I’m serious. She ruined it for artists. She is the reason why the rent is high. She is. Maybe I am not the one who needs to be on trial. Let’s go to Soho and see what she has to say.

A sly shot of Ivan creeping around after blessing us with several solo covers.
A sly shot of Ivan creeping around after blessing us with several solo covers. [cell phone pic]

What question would you never, ever liked to be asked again?

Ivan: ‘can you please turn down’? But seriously ‘are you M.I.A.’s neighbor- I get that a lot.

Chris: ‘Were you Grimes’ limo driver to the VMAs?’

Ivan: ‘Where were you during 9/11?’

Chris: ‘Where was Patti Smith during 9/11?

I know you guys love Jello shots. But if an attractive person at a bar wants to buy you a drink, what is your drink of choice?

Chris: Well, the last time I was in Boston, I was trying to find a dive bar on the north end and I met an old Irish man who made me sip some of his white Russian. I asked him why he drinks white Russians, and he told me that it coats your liver, in a thick Boston accent. So the moral of the story was that I put my mouth on the same glass as an 80- year-old man who could barely stand at 7pm outside Quincy market. And I felt very comfortable about that.

Pop 1280 are currently on tour, supporting their new record Imps of Perversion out now onSacred Bones Records.
25 Toronto, ON, The Shop
26 Ottawa, ON, 614 Gladstone
27 Montreal, ON, Pop Montreal
28 Poughkeepsie, NY, Vassar College (w/ Sewn Leather)
07 Austin, TX @ FFF Nites
08 Dallas, TX @ Club Dada w/ Melt Banana, Retox
09 Oklahoma City, OK @ The Conservatory
10 Denver, CO @ Lion’s Lair
12 Boise, ID @ Neurolux w/ Screaming Females – Broadcast live via Radio Boise
13 Seattle, WA @ Chop Suey w/ Crypts, Haunted Horses, Clayface
15 Portland, OR @ The Know
17 SF, CA @ Hemlock Tavern
19 Glendale, CA @ The Complex w/ Liable, Ssleaze