For those too queer to know who the Queers are, please introduce your band members:
Joe Queer: guitar, vocals
Agent Swain: bass, vocals
Matt Drastic: drums.
Joe Queer, Agent Swain, and Matt Drastic in Valencia, Spain.
Lucy: Your Ramones and Beach Boys influence make you guys an automatic success with Mystery Island. Itís always a great thing when bands are inspired by the right music. How does it feel now to have helped inspire a whole new generation of punk bands? Do they all suck?
Joe: Most do for sure. The reason pop punk is not that big now is that there arenít that many good bands doing it. When we started on Lookout our peers were Screeching Weasel, MTX, The Muffs ... I mean the bar was set high. Everyone was writing great stuff. Now some ho-hum band comes out with some dumb song about going to the prom with a girl thatís Ďreally really coolí and no one wants to listen to some pimply-faced college educated idiot that makes his car payments on time sing about that shit. With The Ramones you knew they werenít phonies--they were living it. Like The Queers--if we sang about butt-fucking a 17 year old chick you can bet we butt-fucked her. Not that we did but if we wrote about it we did it. Now an argument could be made that The Queers donít have anything to say but with a band called The Queers we are obviously never taking ourselves too seriously and that is a lesson in and of itself. Plus ďI Think Sheís Starting To Like MeĒ off our last album--Munki Brain--is better than anything that any new band will ever do--so fuck them all.
Lucy: Did you like disco in the 70s?
Joe: I hated the music and the clothes but was always envious of all the coke everyone got to do.
Lucy: How did your Chinese festival with Marky in Beijing work out? Did Marky become an honorary Queer? Did you guys become momentary Ramones?
Joe: Haha well ... sort of both I guess. I never knew Marky before last summer when we played onstage with him in Barcelona and then went to Brazil to open shows for his tour down there which was a blast. I knew Joey and Dee Dee a little. Playing with Marky was fun. I mean yeah he wasnít the brains in the Ramones. In fact most fans figure he was somewhere between the Pinhead and Dee Dee on the Ramonesí totem pole as far as who was in charge, but hey the guy was there when it all happened so itís an honor for me to travel around the world and play onstage with him. Beijing was weird (cause itís China for one) but the kids running the show didnít know what the fuck they were doing and simply watching the chaos onstage as they tried to break down one band and set up the next was worth the price of admission. I was talking to the guitar tech for Nine Inch Nails who played right after us and he said it was the biggest clusterfuck he had seen on tour in 2 years. Marky got food poisoning but gamely made it through the show without shitting his drawers and I got sick the last day there but it was pretty interesting. We had just finished a Euro tour with Marky a couple weeks before and the same promoter set up this China show so we expected a curve ball or two (as we had seen our fair share in Europe) and sure enough we got one. We were in China for 6 days and everything was fine till it came time to get paid and the promoter told us we had to wait 2 weeks for him to send us our money. I mean here we were 8000 miles from home and he waits till the last day to tell us we werenít getting paid for 2 weeks. Not Markyís fault at all, as he doesnít deal with that stuff, but anyway ... we ended up getting paid finally.
Lucy: Is Budweiser really the King of beers?
Joe: Without a doubt it is the King of Beers. Well at least thatís what I hear-I donít drink anymore. I (ahem) Ďretiredí a few years back. My hangover cure of cocaine mixed with heroin turned out to be far worse than the actual hangover, so I had to quit when someone told me there wasnít such a thing as a social speedball user. Course I didnít really like the cocaine--I just liked the way it smelled.
Lucy: Tell us a scary Queers story for Halloween:
Joe: Our original drummer Tulu once tried to fuck a vacuum cleaner. Not sure if this qualifies as a Halloween story--or even scary--but I thought Iíd share it nonetheless.
Lucy: What one Queers song is so good youíre a fag if you donít have it in your collection of punk tunes?
Joe: Hmmm--there are about 35 but I guess I can whittle the list down to: ďUrsula Finally Has Tits,Ē ďKicked Out Of The Webelos,Ē ďPunk Rock Girls,Ē and ďLove Love Love."
"Love, Love, Love" (live in Italy).
Lucy: Tell us about your latest album. You covered Dino, Desi, & Billyís ďIím a FoolĒ?
Joe: A classic if ever I heard one. I have wanted to do that song forever. I mean that whole Dino Desi and Billy album epitomizes the summer of '65 or whenever it came out. The mid Ď60s letís say. A moment stuck in time. It reminds me of sunny summer days at the beach and then riding my bike home to do my paper route. And eating Kelloggs Corn Flakes and going fishing. I always wished those guys stayed the same age and I could go visit them and go skateboarding and stuff in Beverly Hills and none of us would have to grow up or smoke pot or pay bills or anything. We would just hang out behind Lucille Ballís house and swim in the pool till Lucy would come out with egg salad sandwiches and lemonade and cookies and just knowing her would shield us from all the bad stuff life had to offer. Thatís how life should be.
Um ... yeah our latest album Munki Brain--inspired by Jesus and Mary Chainís album called Munki. Itís a little uneven but has its moments. I mean if you have at least 3 classic songs--that is 3 more than most bands have period. And we have 3 classics on Munki Brain. (Sorry--Iím daydreaming about Dino Desi and Billy and Lucille Ball being my best friends).
The Queers also cut a bitchin' version of "Don't Back Down" by the Beach Boys.
Lucy: Do you like the Monkees? Should they be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
Joe: I love The Monkees as anyone with two ounces more brain than a cuckoo clock would. I definitely think they should be in the Hall of Fame. If ďDaydream BelieverĒ isnít a great song than I donít know what is. I mean look at the hacks in that place already. Lynyrd Skynyrd? Theyíre about as funny as a chipped tooth. I need some damn bubblegum with my music. I need a sense of humor. I need hope. And hope and humor and bubblegum is what The Monkees and Dino Desi and Billy and The Beach Boys and Del Shannon and The Turtles and TRex and Lesley Gore were all about. Lynyrd Skynyrd? I hated them then and I hate them now.
Lucy: "Free Bird" is the worst ever.
Dixie Chicks or Toby Keith?
Joe: Easy one here--I would say neither and suggest you and your readers go directly to Hank Williams, Kitty Wells, and Webb Pierce and listen to them before you waste your time with absolute rubbish like Toby Keith and The Dixie Chicks. I mean I like the fact The Dixie Chicks put down George Bush but hatred of Bush is no reason to like a band.
Lucy: I guess the Queers/Dixie Chicks orgy Natalie suggested is out of the question.
Have you guys been rehabilitated yet from drugs and/or insanity?
Joe: Insanity no--drugs yes. I mean I went to rehab with all musicians so that was insane. All of us were coming off heroin so we were all bouncing off the walls. I never heard such bullshit in all my life but it got me on the straight and narrow.
Lucy: A Queers secret:
Joe: I make a mean cheese dip and I read Vanity Fair when Iím sitting on the toilet in the morning.
Lucy: You should read Inoxicated Detective on the toilet, too.
What else would you like to say to all your drooling fans out there?