This interview took place outside of 924 Gilman on March 5th, 1994 after their set. Within 30 seconds I almost got parked on, so we moved across the street to get run over. Imagine cars whizzing by every 10 seconds, people buzzing by every five seconds, and pearls of wisdom flying by as fast as the recorder allowed. Present in Body: Larry Livermore, Guitar and Vocals. Pat H., Bass. Tyson McCreary, Interview Boy. Scott Something, Co-Interview Boy. Janelle Blarg, Loud passer-by. Hollie Hopeless, Quiet passer-by. Present in Spirit, or at least mentioned: Chris Appelcore, drums.
Tyson: OK, This is my first interview. Larry: Your very first interview? Tyson: Yeah. Do you guys really believe that you're going to revolutionize pop? Scott: It's sort of a statement I guess you made. Larry: Well, sometimes we have our doubts - even the Potatomen have doubts. I think that mostly it's just a question of you have to believe in yourself and you have something to say that is a sudden or drastic departure from what people have been saying. And sometimes it's hard to get other people to believe in you and for the same reason it's sometimes hard to believe in yourself, because you're doing something that's enough of a difference from what everybody else has been doing. And people are not likely to take you seriously - at least at first - and in fact they might even hate you. But I don't think we've earned too much hatred yet. Patrick: We've got a fair amount of quick surprise. They listen to us, and go, "Oh, I didn't know you guys sounded like that." Tyson: In MRR, you said that you didn't really want to tailor your sound to get covered in MRR, and weren't really interested in finding or creating another scene. Do you think that hurts you or other bands who don't want to change to get their message out? Larry: I think the short term it will, yeah. We have an advantage because we're right here in the middle of everything. And we have access to our own media with the record company, and a lot of us do our own writing and publishing. So, it's not going to hurt us as much as a band from, say, where you are, or even farther away. If MRR doesn't like them, they might as well not exist. That doesn't seem right. In the long run, new things will develop, but in the short term, it will hurt bands. Tyson: How have you been received so far at the various shows? Larry: It ranges from wild applause to astute boredom. Tyson: What do you think about the show tonight? Larry: It was pretty haphazard. Patrick: Yeah, we were very sloppy. Scott: You guys seemed kind of nervous. I suppose I would be, too. Larry: Yeah, it's funny, though. Because we've all been on stage lots of times. Especially me, but these guys have been in other bands, too. For some reason, this band makes us all a lot more nervous. Maybe because we take it more seriously than stuff we've done in the past. Tyson: Do you think you're more nervous because admittedly, it is different? Not many other bands play acoustic. And it's definitely not conforming to a lot other stuff that's happening. Larry: Well, it's a pretty traditional punk audience tonight, too. There's other times when the audience will be more mixed and will include people that already know us or like us. But that tends to increase the nervousness, too, when you're know you're going to have to please people who aren't predisposed to like you. Patrick: I was a little bit nervous, not as bad as last night. I think I'm getting a little more used to this being on stage bit. Tyson: What other stuff have you done? Patrick: I was in this band called Bumblescrump. Tyson: Ooooohhhhh, okay…I've heard about you. Patrick: Oh, yeah. [Mimicking me] "Ooooohhhhh…" Tyson: What does the name The Potatomen mean? Patrick: I think it was Chris who made up the name about two years ago. I think it just has to do with the fact that we ate potatoes a lot. Tyson: You ate potatoes or hate potatoes? Patrick: Ate potatoes. Larry: And hate them. Patrick: We survived on potatoes, we'd eat them every day. Larry: You'd hate them, too, if you always did that. Patrick: Well, they're good. I still eat them. Larry: [Realizing that saying they hate potatoes would come back to haunt them] Yeah, potatoes are good, actually. We don't really hate potatoes ate all. Tyson: What's this about you guys breaking up? Larry: I always say that. Patrick: We've broken up about five times, already. Larry: More than that. It ties into what I was saying before. There's a lot of stress. Maybe it's not right, but a lot of the stress seems to end up falling on me. Probably because I welcome it. And I get really emotional about it if it doesn't go perfect. So I say I want to give up. And then it gets to be a pain in the ass to those guys. Do you think we're going to break up? Patrick: I don't think so. I don't know. Maybe. The Potatomen are very turbulent, so it's really hard to say. Larry: It would be hard to revolutionize pop in the nineties if we break up already. Tyson: That's what I was thinking. Larry: We've been together almost two years, you think we'd know what we're doing now. Patrick: That's a really long time. Larry: It's a pretty long time for a band to stay together, even if they do quit. We're going to make a record. Well, we're going to make a recording. Tyson: What do you feel about the thing you writing about - Tim probably wouldn't review it in MRR? Does that make you mad, or do you just sort of accept it? Larry: To me, it's kind of a badge of honor. I'd be ashamed if it was a bad record, if that was reason. But if it's a good record, and he thinks it doesn't deserved to be in MRR, I'd say it means we accomplished something. I mean, we're putting a piano, an organ, and maybe even some oboes and things like that in it. You know, it's going to have a lot of production, and it's not going to be anything like what we did live, obviously. Tyson: And this will be on Lookout? Larry: Well, if they accept it. Tyson: Who, Lookout? Who else needs to accept it but you guys? Larry: Well, there's the money men at Lookout. They're the alter- egos of the three of us. They're the ones that say, "Gee, if we put out all these lousy records and lose all our money, we won't have jobs anymore." The thing that will be hard, is you always have to be cautious about putting out your own record. We judge all the time other people's records, and sometimes hurt their feelings. But it's really hard to be fair with your own record, and say, "Are we just doing this because we can, or are we doing it because it's worthwhile?" So we'll probably listen to it a lot and think about it a lot first. Tyson: And do you guys feel like you're doing it because it's worthwhile? I mean, is it that important or is this just a side- project to the writing and the label? Larry: I can't speak for these guys. To me, it's very, very important. Maybe that's why I have as many problems as I do with it. Patrick: Well, I can safely say that artistically, it's the most important thing going for me right now. I spend a lot of time doing band stuff. More like music-wise - arranging songs, stuff like that. And this is like the main thing I'm really into now. Better than going to school - that's more of a side project. Larry: Yeah, he's like our Johnny Mar. You know who he is? Tyson: [Accidentally ignoring the question] Both of you are in school? Larry: No, I graduated. He's going to graduate some day. One of these years. Patrick: I'm on the seven year plan. Larry: That's where we met, at the university. Scott: Have your lyrics ever managed to offend anybody in the punk rock scene or any other scene, for that matter? Larry: Oh, yeah! Well, Patrick must know more about that because he's more in the scene than I am. Patrick: Yeah, well the thing is, Larry writes all these songs about all these people that are my friends. The people I hang out with. Larry: Well, some of them were my friends, too. Patrick: I try to take it very seriously, but they get all offended. Like, "God, the nerve of Larry! He wrote a song about me! He said I do this. I've never done that. Well, maybe once I did it…" Larry: Who said that, Davey? Patrick: Yeah. Something about dying his hair purple. Larry: He had purple hair for years! Patrick: But he was like vehemently denying it. Larry: Well, I think people should be honored to be memorialized in a song. Although I must admit I sometimes do it to get even with people, too. Tyson: But they're flattering… Larry: Most of them are. There's a couple coming up that aren't so flattering. The Aaron Went Shopping one I think was mostly funny, but he apparently didn't think it was funny at all. [Janelle and Hollie enter] Janelle: Look, there's a tape player! Wow! We hear you guys are recording on Monday. Larry: Actually, a couple of these people might have even made it into one of the songs. Yeah, they were in one, but we threw the song out. Hollie: What? Janelle: Rejected by the Potatomen! It don't get much worse than that. Tyson: Wait! Who are these people? Larry: Hollie and Janelle. Tyson: Oh, Olga? Larry: Olga and Helga, yes. Janelle: Olga and Helga, don't call us that! Janelle and Hollie. Larry: I'm sorry you had this life change when you turned 18, it's not my problem…I bet I've got more teenage angst than any of the kids I know. I've studied and practiced…
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