Tangential Rage

Ex-Meat Puppet Curt Kirkwood, now with Eyes Adrift, rambles on for the sake of rambling

Hate also exists, as exhibited in a crunchy new rocker by Eyes Adrift called "Telescope," a tune that took its inspiration from a prank that Kirkwood and his brother Cris played one day in 1992. "My buddy Roman Coppola came out to do some filming with the Meat Puppets," Kirkwood recalls with a chuckle. "And he brought this huge, high-tech potato gun that he built with PVC and a quartz barbecue lighter. You use ignition enhancer -- stuff that you spray into your carburetor. Fill it up with that shit. Shove the potato in there. It's a perfect caliber. We could lob potatoes, these big Idaho spuds, like two, three hundred yards.

"I lived across from this golf course," Kirkwood continues, "and we were like firing these potatoes at these golfers in their golf carts. We were like fuckin' Alexander the Conquerer with our potato gun! Like we're gonna take over your fuckin' sun colony, you bunch of fuckin' weasels!' Looking back on it, that would be like considered a lark, you know? But what's the difference? It had the same result as any other human endeavor. It threw a potato 300 yards . . . a perfectly good piece of food. It's human history all encapsulated in a lark."

Kirkwood moves swiftly from potatoes to Disneyland or, rather, his idealized Disneyland. "My theme park would have like Female Land' for the dudes," he says. "Where you can go in and experience what it's like to be a chick. Instead of the jungle boat ride, it's like, this chick's gate riot."

"Let's make 'em crawl to us." Kirkwood, (center),
and Eyes Adrift are fed up.
Michael Halsband
"Let's make 'em crawl to us." Kirkwood, (center), and Eyes Adrift are fed up.
Them wooden spoons done gone to my head: Curt Kirkwood discovers himself.
Them wooden spoons done gone to my head: Curt Kirkwood discovers himself.

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In another perfect world, writer Michael Azerrad would have given the Meat Puppets an entire chapter in his book Our Band Could Be Your Life: Scenes From the American Indie Underground. "That's why his book failed," Kirkwood snaps. "You can quote me on that. Let me tell you something -- 'cause I've already gone this far: Meat Puppets were D. Boon's favorite band. Period. And Azerrad wants to call the fuckin' book that and not have a Meat Puppets thing? Whatever, dude. Go ahead. He better be writin' a book about me, that's all I can say. 'Cause D.'ll flop over in his grave. That's fuckin' crap."

Forgetting his legacy for a moment, Kirkwood simmers down and counts his blessings. "I'm really glad that there's super-famous guys in our band, 'cause we can get our foot in the door," he says. "Unless you're tied in with fuckin' General Motors and the multideath corporations, you're not gonna get the exposure. I've had my fill of those cheesy assholes for now. I couldn't get along with majors if I tried. It has nothing to do with music. It's a board of fucking directors. It's public opinion swaying art. Fuck you. Kiss my ass.

"One day up in Lake Tahoe, we were practicing where Bud has a house," Kirkwood continues. "I'm like, Guess what? Let's not fucking deal with these people. They're slime. Let's make 'em crawl to us.' I had an epiphany: Let's keep our fucking publishing. Let's keep the rights to our fucking record. I like making art without some asshole telling me if he thinks it's good or not. I'd rather have people just listen to it and applaud politely. And then, if they want to come back afterwards and tell me that they thought it was good, they're not telling me anything that I don't already know."

"We are Wonka," Kirkwood decides suddenly. "Candy for the masses. And we always knew that. Derrick and Chris and I know that. Kurt knew it. Krist knows it. Bud knows it. Like Bud says, I just kinda like my style.'"

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