Saturday, January 21, 2012

Maggot Sandwich Interview

Originally published in 1998 in issue 13 of Married Punks

Maggot Sandwich

Maggot Sandwich may be familiar to some of you.  What do you want?  A medal?  For those that don't know, it's a punk band.  No, not like Green Day, The Offspring or Bad Religion.  It's a band that maybe hasn't gotten the attention it deserves, which is why I'm doing this.

I was introduced to the sounds of this band, which has been around for years, when its newest CD, Sleaze Factor, was sent my way to see if I wanted to carry it with Chimp West.  Of course I did!  Hell, Johnny Wadd (the band, not the movie character) is inspired by Maggot Sandwich.  Why wouldn't I carry it?

I should note that the pictures originally sent were exposed to water by some postman somewhere.  They all stuck together, but looked like band shots.  Instead, I have some other photos that were sent later (some from New Olreans during Mardi Gras, and one from a swinger mag).  They don't have much to do with the interview, but you'll look at them anyway because that's what people do when they read an interview.  For the record, this interview took place in Spain, surrounded by the bodies of dead politicans and would-be assassins, who succeeded in their attempts, but paid the ultimate price.  We were shook up, but continued with the interview anyway.  The man answering the questions is Vik Kaos (guitars and vocals).  The other members of the band are: John Stewart on bass and Graeme Straeffer pounding the drums.

Married Punks: You guys have been around for over 15 years.  You all have other jobs and are fathers.  Why continue with this?  Do you ever question if it's worth it?

Vik Kaos:  We love to play.  I never question my instincts.  We get joy and satisfaction from doing what we want and being good at it.  We're setting an example for our kids; that money is not the only motiviation in life.

MP:  In all they years that you've been a band, what is the most memorable moment?  And, more importantly, what was it like playing with the Dead Kennedys (a favorite of mine)?

VK:  Getting to meet people whose music I admire, like the Dead Kennedys, Bad Brains, Circle Jerks, and lots of others has been great, but opening for the Dead Kennedys in New Orleans was the most memorable.  It was on a week night, and we all had to work the day before and after the show.  The club was a fancy schmancey disco-like place we had never played before.  The promoter of the show gave us bad directions, so we were late as hell getting there.  As we were loading in our equipment, our pals Shell Shock were playing already.  Mike Hatch and the gang totally rocked. (RIP Mike.)  As we got ready to play, I saw Jello and East Bay sitting in the balcony to our right.  I was nervous as hell.  We totally rocked the house, got a huge pit going; it was like a dream.  When we finished our set, we were greeted on stage by Jello, who helped us move our equipment off the stage and told us we were the "ultimate garage band."  I took it as a compliment.  Unlike most of my heroes that I've met, Jello was a really nice guy.  After they played, Jello told us that we had blown them away (not true).  The promoter of the show paid us double our guarantee--that never happened before or since--and told us we had stole the show.  With our egos fully inflated, we got in our van for the four hour drive home just in time to go to work.  So much for rock stardom.

MP:  You've seen a lot of trends in punk come and go.  What's good about it now?  What's bad?

VK:  I am a musician whose music has been called "punk" since about 1977.  Sometimes the music I play is in style.  Sometimes it's not.  I don't change or pay much attention to trends.  To me, it's about music, not skating or hairstyles or fashion or politically correctness or snow boarding or any of the other goofy shit supposedly connected to the punk scene.  To quote another of my heroes I have opened up for, Government Issue, "The scene is just an empty dream, but who wants to face reality?."

MP:  Where do you see it in ten years?

VK:  In ten years there will still be people who make music without profit motive.  The scene will be the same wonderful empty dream for a new batch of kids and old farts like me.  If I'm still alive, I will still be playing.

MP:  Will it still be viable?

VK:  It won't be financially viable, but it is not now, is it?

MP:  Speak for yourself.  I'm making millions from this rag.  Okay, onto politics.  What are your political views?

VK:  My political views run similar to the Libertarian Party, but I'm not a member.  The government is immoral and corrupt and has no right to be a moral authority.  All laws forcing Christian morality bullshit on non-Christians like myself totally offends me.  All laws about sex, nudity, drugs, prostitution, any moral issue--I do not give the government moral authority over my life.

MP:  Good answer!  It's odd, people like you and I think that the government does try to push morals (and capitalism, I might add) down our throats, but others think that the government lacks any morals whatsoever, which leads to my next question.  What do you think about a "Right Wing conspiracy" to oust the President?

VK:  The conspiracy to get Clinton is so obvious it's silly.  I don't give a fuck who Clinton or Jimmy Swaggert get blow jobs from.  More moralistic bullshit from the most immoral government on Earth.  I don't really care for Clinton or anyone corrupt enough to secure any nomination from either the Republicans or Democrats.

MP:  You may think it's silly, but I'll nail that bastard yet.  Onward ... this issue features a lot of pornography, both mainstream and fringe.  What are your feelings on the subject of pornography?

VK:  I like pornography.  It's good, healthy entertainment for us consumers.  It's a great outlet for exhibitionists, and an easy way to make a living for an awful lot of people.

MP:  Do you have a favorite movie or star?

VK:  I find the porn star stuff to be boring compared to the homemade stuff.  I like to see people in it for the ograsms, not the money.  I want to see the girls really come, not fake it like the "pros."

MP:  See Colours of Kiva then.  You'll love it.  Have you ever made a porno video?  If so, can I see it?

VK:  I don't have a camcorder, or I would have made my own by now.

MP:  All right, I'm getting serious now.  Describe Sleaze Factor for those that haven't heard it.

VK:  Sleaze Factor is songs I have written over the last couple years.  My ex-wife took my son out of the country and has denied me visitation for years.  The hatred and sorrow I have been feeling is reflected in the material.  The music has a variety of sounds, all styles of rock and roll.  The lyrics are more personal than in the past, but I tried not to make it cry-baby shit.  (God, I hate cry-baby music.)  Like all Maggot Sandwich releases, it rocks hard and was mixed to be played loud.  It's pretty good for a home recording, and the art and graphics are better than any major label crap.

MP:  Your home state, Florida, has always seemed like hypocritical state to me.  On one hand, you have the forces of Dade County bureaucracy and the folks that bused Michael Diana, and on the other hand, Florida has some of the kinkiest people and a ton of S/M and B/D mistresses.  Bondage Tymes comes out of Florida.  Why do you think this is?

VK:  Florida has a well deserved image as a bunch of assholes.  The religious right controls the state along with the tourism industry and a strong elderly lobby.  The hypocrisy comes from the reaction of real people to the religious oppression.  It also explains the large Satanist movement among the youth.  The parents teach the kids all about Satan and all the fun things associated with being anti-Christian, then they can't understand when their kids worship Satan.  They have made the Satan mythology more attractive than the mythological Heaven they desire themselves.  The more oppressed a population, the kinkier they get.  It's kind of amusing to watch.

MP:  How has the Florida punk scene treated Maggot Sandwich?

VK:  We have played more concerts in Florida than any other state.  We have sold more music in Florida than any other state.  Our old releases are valuable to Florida collectors.  Yet we still don't consider ourselves insiders in the Florida scene.  We feel like outsiders.  I go to more shows in New Orleans than any Florida city.  For example, Miami is a 13 hour drive from Pensacola, about as close as Washington, DC.  New Orleans is now about 3.5 hours since the speed limit is now 70 most of the way.  So to most of the Florida scene, we are about as important as bands from Alabama and Mississippi.  And that is fine with us.

MP:  Dispel a popular rumor concerning your band.

VK:  Many of today's politically correct 12 year old 'zine reviewers consider some of our songs to be sexist.  Maybe they are.  My ex-wife used to be in the band.  I caught her cheating on me long ago, inspiring songs like "Office Slut" and "She Does Too."  In our divorce, she ruined me financially.  Since our divorce she has denied me visitation with my son, and now eight years later we have three court battles in two states over custody of my son and related bullshit.  I'm enclosing a Swinger's Galore advertisment that she ran a couple years ago looking for lesbian lovers.  She's a total human pile of shit.  She's a woman and that won't keep me from attacking her in my music.  I don't care what anyone thinks.  If that makes me sexist, than you can suck my motherfucking dick.  I have earned the right to attack her with songs like "CFH" (Cunt From Hell), and I will.

MP:  I understand.  Personally, I think there's a big difference between sexist and truth.  On to lighter subjects.  What is the most memorable prank you've ever pulled?

VK:  There is a little Florida town called Niceville (it's not too nice) in a really rural Alabama-like area of Northwest Florida.  They ahve a lovely little community college called Okaloosa-Walton Community College.  I can't overemphasize the redneck qualities of this school.  The only punks at the school got put in charge of the entertainment committee to arrange entertainment for the school's Valentine's dance, so they hired Maggot Sandwich as entertainment.  We all dressed up; I borrowed a tux.  When we started playing, most of the crowd ran for the exits.  Some of the braver rednecks tried to drown us out with disco over the school's public address system; it just made us get louder and angrier.  I blew up the borrowed amp I was using (I had blown my own amp the week before opening for the Descendents at the Cameo Theater in Miami).  So the redneck kids got one of their teachers to come up to us, pay us, and ask us to leave.  I had no amp to continue with, so we left with our money and the satisfaction that we had helped a couple kids offend their entire school.

MP:  That's fuckin' great!  What a good way to end this.  Any last words you want to get in?  Speak them now, or forever hold your piece (preferably a .45).

VK:  If you like rock and roll music, especially the kind some people call punk rock, you very well may enjoy the new Maggot Sandwich CD, Sleaze Factor.  I hope you check it out.  We put a lot of time and effort into putting it out ourselves.  We don't need any fucking record label telling us what to say or how to sound, so the CD is the real Maggot Sandwich for better or worse--you decide.

No comments:

Post a Comment