04
Oct
12

feedtime interview

feedtime at Bottom of the Hill, SF, SS10, May 2011. Photo By Icki.

This interview was “conducted” in May of 2011. I never thought I’d get to see feedtime once, but I got to see them TWICE as they came back in March 2012…the interview had still not been published by this time, but not for lack of trying. Maybe people think it sucks. I think it’s ok…even after nearly two years. To make it available to the masses, I’ve made this blog. So, one and a half years later, it sees the light of day. Woo.

     We all do dumb things when we drink, like the time I was standing near Rob and said, “I wonder if anyone has interviewed feedtime while they’re here.” This prompted Rob to say, “You should do it…you should totally do it!” And then Rick from feedtime walks by and I slur something like, “Hey, has anyone interviewed you since you’ve been here?”

     “No.”

     “Will you be at the show (SS-10: Day 3) tomorrow?”

     “Yeah.”

     “Can I do it then?”

     “Ok.”

     I’m no interviewer. It takes me forever to transcribe anything because I hate the sound of my nasally squeak of a voice. Aside from that I’m not even an expert on feedtime. I like their music and lived in Australia for nine months…great – I’m qualified. I guess I just like doing things I haven’t done before, which might explain why I have so many degrees and so few jobs (a year and a half later I still do not have a job). I went home and typed up a few guideline questions and fell asleep with my mouth gaping so I could snore extra loud. 

     At the SS Record Swap I began getting kind of nervous (which was good because the sweaty sheen and mildew odor camouflaged me well amongst the record collector dudes). “What if I can’t hear them? What if they say all of this great shit and I forgot to push record? Or I spill beer on the recorder? Or they yell at me?” I kind of started hoping they weren’t going to show up, even though I knew Tom would be drumming for Three Toed Sloth in a few hours. There they were. Then, and ONLY then, does Rick mention that Vice had already interviewed them*. Great. Perfect. I decide to proceed anyway because I knew I would ask the pertinent questions burning in everyone’s minds…like which Australian animal is their favorite, and had any of them ever been to the Pilbara? To find answers to these fascinating questions, read on. And don’t ever stand near Rob**.

*Rick says that I was the first person to interview all three of them together in person.

 **Actually I’m glad I stood next to Rob because he made me write about Cave City, I get to hang out with Chikn, Waffles and Bonni, and I get to exchange periodic emails with Rick.

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Rick: So they give it [beer] to you in your own glass?

SCC: It’s Belgian! With Belgian beer they always do that! I only like really expensive beer or really shitty beer…I don’t like anything in between.

Tom and Rick: So what you’re saying we got…

 

SCC: No, you got good beer, but it’s too hoppy for me. I’m not a hoppy person.

Alan: Well, we come from Australia so it suits us.

Tom: The cab driver last night told me I shouldn’t get Fat Tire because it’s not a local beer.

 

SCC: It’s from Colorado?

Tom: Yeah, he said I should be drinking Anchor Steam.

 

SCC: You should have gone on the Anchor Steam Brewery Tour…It’s free!

Tom: Free? How much beer…

Alan: They give you samples?

 

SCC: Yeeeaaah! You get like five half pints at the end.

Rick: Wha?!

Alan: Would that be open now?

 

SCC: No, you have to make an appointment.

Alan: Aw, right, ok.

 

SCC: It’s appointment only.

Rick: Fuck this shit down the road. You can go get pissed on free beer…let’s go over there!

Alan: You could go there every day.

Tom: You could. You could.

 

SCC: Yeah, I’ve been there like three times, and I’ve only known about it for one year, so it’s working out.

Tom: So they sort of know you on a first name basis…ahh…here she comes…

 

SCC: I’m not the only one. There are always other people that have been there before.

Rick: You know you started in on a dreadful area because we like the way you interview us…how long have you been interviewing people?

Tom: What time is it now?

 

SCC: Yes. I haven’t been interviewing people very much. I’ve done it before a few times.

Rick: Who?

 

SCC: I interviewed some photographers for Maximumrockandroll [note—one of them is my main wiener man…and since this interview went so well, I’ve interviewed 2 more bands and am working on one with a comic book artist!].

Rick: Yeah?

 

SCC: I think that’s probably it. But I kind of talk to people in a way that is like interviewing them. Most people find it annoying (note—aforementioned boyfriend calls me Twenty Questions), so I might as well record it at the same time. Like, I ask a lot of questions. I’m a scientist. I have to, right?

Rick: What was your field of science?

 

SCC: Biology.

Rick: Biology of what? Fish?

 

SCC: No. Terrestrial invertebrates mostly, like arthropods, bugs, spiders.

Rick: Ok. Termites, too?

 

SCC: I like termites. Termites are awesome. They’re the only social insects that I like.

Tom: Well the thing about them is that they’ll eat anything including ink that they print.

Rick: They’ll eat wood!

 

SCC: Yeah, because they have bacteria in their guts that can digest everything.

Tom: That’s what my friend who’s doing…she was tearing them up, trying to get rid of the Carbon using that kind of stuff.

 

SCC: There’re lots of good termites in Australia.

Tom: Yeah, there is. Half of ‘em ate my house.

Rick: So they’re helpful in some aspects and unhelpful in others.

 

SCC: They’re only unhelpful if you’re a human.

Tom: Yeah.

Rick: But they can eat your house.

 

SCC: But breaking down wood is really important because there are only a few organisms that can do that…bacteria and fungi.

Rick: Alright then…if I’ve got all this acid in my stomach, why doesn’t it burn a hole?

 

SCC: Because your stomach is lined with mucous (everyone laughing). That’s the real answer.

Tom: I’m beginning to feel a bit queasy here.

Rick: Is there an illness where the mucous isn’t produced?

 

SCC: Yeah, so you get ulcers and stuff like that.

Rick: Is that right?

 

SCC: Right. I have an ulcer. It hurts.

Rick: I have an ulcer myself. I ask you about those things because there’s a lot of heat happening down in your gut.

 

SCC: Just recently or forever?

Rick: Just generic.

Tom: If beer is bad for breaking down the lining, you should just spit in your beer before you drink it?

 

SCC: No.

Tom: It’s just a theory.

 

SCC: I’m going to ask you real questions now. So when, where, how and why did you form feedtime?

Alan: Uhhh…it’s a long time ago.

Tom: Shit, it was so long ago I forgot.

 

SCC: In a place far, far away…

Tom: In another galaxy…

Alan: Yeah, yeah, actually it was. It was Sydney, Australia. Rick and I started getting interested in music, went and saw a few bands.

 

SCC: Like who?

Alan: Like who? I can’t remember, in the early days, really…we just sort of started getting…

Tom: …the idea to do that.

Alan: In the city and I can’t really remember when it started…

Alan at the Hemlock, SF, March 2012. Photo by Icki

SCC: In the late ’70s or early ’80s?

Alan: Mid ’70s, late ’70s. We both tinkered on acoustic guitar. We’d been in school together, so that’s where the relationship first started. We started looking at music and would go see some bands, and started to think, “Well, maybe we should do this.” And then in ’78 or ’79 we hired out a scout hall, had a couple of little shitty amps, and we’d just make noise, didn’t know what we were doing.

Rick: I was reminded the other day that we used to set up broomsticks to stand at our feet…

Alan: …so we could simulate the reality when we actually could afford a mike. Just to have a point in space to get your head to if and when you had to say something or sing songs.

 

SCC: That makes sense.

Alan: This was very early days, very raw…pretty…

Tom: Embarrassing is what you’re trying to say…

Alan: Yeah, it’s REALLY hard to talk about right now.

 

SCC: Drink more!

Alan: So that’s really where it started. We just started doing that.

 

SCC: So it was just the two of you at first? When did you come along (to Tom)?

Tom: A fair bit later. I was the third drummer.

Tom: There was Dave Carter, and then Alan’s sister, and then I’d seen them before…

 

Alan & Tom, Hemlock, SF, March 2012. Photo by Icki.

SCC: You’re sister (to Alan)?

Tom: Yeah, Nella, she didn’t like it, so they [feedtime] were going to stop, so I said, “I can play drums!” But I actually couldn’t.

Alan: Yeah, he lied, he lied! He lied at the interview!

Tom: I tricked them! But it sort of worked out. I managed to learn to play drums.

Rick: I’m going to tell you a story about when the day actually came, because we found out Tom wanted to play drums but wasn’t prepared to. I don’t know if you remember this, Tom, but I knocked on the door and Minda, his partner at the time, or associate of various crimes, shut the door and I said, “Where’s Tom?” She said, “Through the cupboard.” So I went through the cupboard into this airless room and Tom was fiber glassing his double bass back there, and the fumes were so shocking, like my face was starting to melt, and I just said, “I have to get out of here before I die. Tom do you want to play drums in feedtime?” And he said, “Ah, yeah.” So I ran for the door and took a few deep breaths. Man, the fumes in there…

Tom: I’d been in there for days.

Rick: I know you’d been in there for days.

Rick & Tom, Bottom of the Hill, SF, SS10. Photo by Icki.

SCC: Your first record didn’t come out though until 1985? And you guys put it out yourselves. There was a big lag from when you first started playing to when you put out a record.

Alan: I suppose we were doing our own thing. We just kept doing stuff. Things grew, we started to write songs, working out how to play, the sounds, what we did like, what we didn’t like, we had a couple of drummers, and we played a few gigs, not a lot. It was just developmental. There was nothing definitive yet, so the idea of a record didn’t really become a reality I think until after Tom had been with us for a while and it suddenly clicked, and it was a particular identity, whereas before it was in development, it was still developing.

Tom: But even then you had a lot of songs. Didn’t you play three sets then?

Rick: We were always playing three sets.

Tom: It was usually three sets, but I saw you once at the Sussex and it was just one set. But I’d seen you with other bands and you were already playing three sets a night.

Rick: There’s a lot of songs.

 

SCC: Did you try to get other people to put your record out or you just decided that you’d do it yourselves?

Alan: We got to a point where, I think Tom had been with us for a while, and Bruce Griffiths from Aberrant Records was putting out a whole lot of stuff at that time.

Tom: That compilation.

Alan: I don’t know whether he suggested it or whether it all came together, but he certainly helped us find studios and all that sort of shit.

Rick: Tom, you approached him, didn’t you?

Tom: Yeah, I remember now, through a flier in one of those compilations, so I got to know him that way.

Alan: Yeah, he just helped us.

Tom: Told us where you go to cut your disc and all that stuff.

Alan: And I can’t remember if it was 1000 or 500 LPs?

Tom: Probably 500 LPs.

Alan: And what we did to keep costs down, we bought blank record covers and I screen printed the 500, just white cardboard. I screen printed the front and back, and then had to paint the edge with black.

 

SCC: Oh, no!

Alan: So, it was a labor of love, that first issue.

 

SCC: It always is…it always seems like a good idea at the time.

Alan: And from there, I think we ran out of those and it seemed like more were needed, and then Bruce came in and actually put out the second edition on Aberrant Records. He did all our stuff after that. I think traditionally we haven’t really dealt with people all that well. So, if you put out your own record you have to deal with people.

 

SCC: Like an Australian tradition or the feedtime tradition?

Alan: I don’t speak for all Australians, so the feedtime tradition. You gotta get these records in stores and stuff like that. It’s too hard.

Rick: To get them to do it for you, you have to play the game that they want you to play, and they treat you like a puppet and a piece of shit.

 

SCC: Yep.

Tom: It’s not a fun game to play.

Rick: It’s just disgusting.

Tom: Which was sort of why we put the thing out ourselves the first time.

 

Alan, Bottom of the Hill, SF, SS10, May 2011. Photo by Icki.

SCC: You played tons of shows in Sydney. Did you go to other places in Australia—to Brisbane, or Melbourne, or just Sydney?

Tom: We played in Melbourne once or twice?

Rick: I’ll go with you. You said twice. I carried all the gas in back of that car that time, though, remember that? Remember we carried all those cans of gas in the back? Fucking walking flash bomb! Shit! If someone…

Alan: …rear ended us.

Rick:…bumped a stroller in the back of us, we would have blown up half of Victoria.

Alan: Flametime! Flametime!

Tom: The way it worked, we’d find a pub where we’d play three sets, so a whole night, just us, and we’d be there every Friday for a month or something like that. It sort of evolved. There were two pubs in particular that we’d play at. We’d be regular there for a couple of years…

 

SCC: Which ones were those?

Tom: Central Markets was the first one and the other was the Palace Hotel, which are in the city.

Rick: We played French’s, too.

Tom: Yeah, but not a regular basis like the Palace Hotel where you’d do a month, and then you wouldn’t play for a month. We weren’t really a touring party…

 

SCC: Well, in Australia you can’t really tour like in the US.

Alan: No.

Tom: It’s not easy to manage that, especially back then. We played a few bigger shows supporting other bands.

 

SCC: What other bands did you play with?

Tom: X.

 

SCC: How was that? Any particular shows stand out?

Alan: Well, we used to enjoy going to see X play, so playing with X was a…

Rick: …a thrill.

Alan: …yeah, it’s a thrill, absolutely.

Tom: I can’t think of any other bands we played with. There must have been some…

Rick: Rough Justice.

Alan: A lot of bands we played with basically played with us. X would organize the gig and we were on the bill as well, but then we’d organize a gig with maybe Rough Justice, Painkillers.

 

SCC: Did crazy stuff ever happen at your shows? I’ve heard that your shows were the loudest shows that people have ever, ever been to.

Alan: Loudest?

 

SCC: That’s what people have told me.

Rick: Some were.

Alan: Probably because they went on for so long. If you turned up at 8:30 and left at 12, you’ve had 3 hours.

Tom: And it would get louder every set.

Rick: There was this really nice place that we played that we used to pull in more money over the bar in the night than they got in a week. The tradeoff was that the father of the kid who was running the bar, he would stand in front of us, and start screaming and screaming, and after he’d scream loud enough, this is Luke’s dad, right, Luke would say, “C’mon dad, I’m gonna take you upstairs and get a bottle of whiskey in you.” He’d go up and he’d have the shits so bad and then Luke would come back and go, “All is well.” So we’d just turn it all up and everybody was happy, you know, his dad had his say and everybody else had their say, and it was cool.

Alan: And his dad ended up with a till load of money at the end of the night.

Rick: So it all worked out.

 

SCC: Why did you stop playing? What happened?

Rick: I had a meltdown.

Tom: It was sort of heading in that direction, like you could sort of feel that sort of…when you play like that, it’s sort of all, yeah, everything…

 

SCC: When was that?

All: ’89.

Tom: Well, my life was getting pretty…happy, and that wasn’t the kind of music you could play when you were happy.

 

SCC: Was it a steady decline, or all of the sudden?

Tom: It was kind of, if you think about it, it seemed kind of sudden, but looking back on it you can see things. I didn’t pick it at the time, but you could see it was coming.

Alan: Yeah.

Tom: Yeah, and when it stopped it was relatively sudden insofar as we sat down, we talked, realized we should stop.

 

SCC: What did you mean your life was getting happy?

Tom: I got married and had kids. I wasn’t as much of a dickhead…which is not necessarily a requirement to playing good music, but it made it easy for me because I needed it. I needed to play like that. If I didn’t play like that I would’ve been, I don’t know where I would’ve been…

 

SCC: Huffing fumes in a room?

Tom: Probably, yeah.

Alan: Yes, exactly.

Rick: He wasn’t sniffing them. It was legitimate working conditions.

 

SCC: And you had a breakdown?

Rick: Yeah.

 

SCC: Because Tom didn’t want to be in the band?

Rick: Yeah, it wouldn’t have broken my heart if Tom hadn’t stopped…

 

SCC: And nothing happened with you? You weren’t happy or having a breakdown?

Alan: Nah, I’m a bass player! (Haha) The thing is, it was collectively ten years or so of creative energy and import and life stress, all sorts of stuff that goes on and you’re sort of like doing stuff and we didn’t really fit into any scene. We really didn’t get any sort of…I mean, from what we hear there was a big sort of influence this side of the Pacific with some of the stuff we were putting out, but really we didn’t get any of that in Australia. If you get that, that really does…that can be fuel. That can be sort of like inspiration and encouragement, so if you don’t get any of that and you’re dealing with everything in your everyday life as well, there comes a point where you think, “Well, you know, fuck, I’ve been doing this so long, nothing seems to be happening.” You need support to sort of push through another barrier, and I don’t think that support was there.

 

SCC: Weren’t you supposed to come to the US before? What happened with that?

Tom: Well it was sort of through, and you can’t do it if the feeling’s not there. You can’t just say, “Oh, we’ve gotta do this because it’s lined up.” It would’ve been a nightmare, you know. A month of torturing yourself every night.

Rick: It would have been awful at a time of more record contracts. There was no way in my conscience that I could have said, “Sure, mate yeah, we’ll take up a three record deal,” because it just wasn’t going to happen. It was wrong.

Tom: You could tell it was wrong. You have a creative or a whatever thing and it really works and it worked for a long time but then you could see that it didn’t anymore. When you play like we played, all the time.

Rick: The subject matter, too. When you try to divest yourself of pain, and sing about pain, you’re never actually divesting yourself of it by continuing to include it. And one way to not keep thinking about things is to stop pretending. That’s where, for me, it was necessary to stop. To just stop pretending, to let these things push my part of feedtime lyrically, attitudely, and hope…I’ve been struggling for three years now to write a real song. I had a breakthrough about two months ago where the song starts at a place of peaceful satisfaction and being happy about the fact that you’ve got two wheels outside, and I jump on my bike and I go down to the pub. And that’s a breakthrough. I cried all fucking night and I cried all the next day. I found it was really, really shocking because I’d been fighting with this—to write a truthful song in that respect—writing about things that start with pain or you gotta hope you’re escaping from something so, I don’t know if that makes sense…it doesn’t make sense to me, that’s for sure!

 

SCC: If Scott hadn’t contacted you guys do you think you ever would have played together again?

All: (Silence)

 

SCC: Are you guys friends?

Tom: Yeah, but Al lives a fair way away…I probably see Al every couple of years.

 

SCC: Where do you live?

Alan: Blue Mountains.

Tom: And I probably see Rick a couple times a year.

 

SCC: You both still live in Sydney?

Tom and Rick: Yeah, we see each other a couple times a year.

 

SCC: When he contacted you were you surprised?

All: Yeah, pretty much.

 

SCC: Was it a unanimous, “Yeah, we’ll do it!” Or was it a difficult decision?

Tom: He asked all of us individually and I said, “Yeah, if they want to do it, I’ll do it!” And that’s what you guys said, too, right?

Alan: Yeah. I said, “Yeah, I’m up for it.”

Tom: It seemed like a nice, sort of, closure, of a thing that had sort of stopped, not necessarily prematurely, but like it sort of stopped on the verge of being something else. It seemed like a nice little loop to come over here.

 

SCC: How was the show last night? I think it was great, but how was it for you guys?

Tom: Some was good, some was bad.

 

SCC: Did you play shows in Australia before you came over here?

Alan: Yeah we did one. We just had a party at Andrew’s. He organized a party and we played ten songs or something like that. We had to play together to see if it was going to work, because you can’t tell. When we first played together you could sort of tell, yeah, it’s gonna work.

Rick: We had seven rehearsals, seven or eight, since Scott wrote his little thing and we said yeah. I counted down. Over twenty-two years it looks like it’s something about forty seconds a week of intense training. It came together really beautifully, I thought. We knew that it was coming together. Without technical problems there’s no feedtime playing.

Tom: Like every time we play there’s always some mix not quite gelled. You go, “That and that and that and last night,” and that’s what always happens.

Rick: I don’t think we ever played a show where everything went perfect.

Alan: But other songs on a particular night will just go to another level that…like “Shovel” last night was great, I thought “Fuuuuck!” I mean, I was like, it was just like, somewhere else.

Tom: And that’s why you do it.

Alan: How, why, you don’t know. The last few years there’s been a bit of a buildup. We’ve had people showing interest in what we did all those years ago, and in a lot of ways, you think, “Shit.” It validates what you did then and maybe there’s still something that can be done now. Leon wants to write a book about feedtime and that time in Australian music history. We had an Australian guy looking at re-releasing the Aberrant recordings. That fell over and then Sub Pop came in and said, “Well, we want to do this.” That added in part to what I was starting to think—maybe there’s something else that can happen here and maybe we can reinforce what we’ve just done or validate it, because other people still think it’s important. We certainly did then, and I don’t think any of us have ever stopped thinking it was important. So then we get this email from Scott just before Christmas saying, “Blah” and we think, “Shit, all I have to do is get on a plane, go to San Francisco, spend the weekend, play?!” I mean, that’s not all because we have to do some practices…

 

SCC: And do some stupid interviews…

Tom: It was always a concern of mine that several years ago I was a pretty stupid and unhappy person and that was a big part of why it worked for me. Now I’m just a stupid and relatively happy person. You don’t want to just go through the motions of doing the thing, and that worried me. I don’t know for what reason other than being stupid and relatively happy, but it still works, and probably because you just call back on the history of all that.

 

SCC: Are you going to play any shows when you go back to Australia?

Rick: Do you think we should?

 

SCC: I think people over there would really like it.

Rick: They’ve got the shits really badly. Some people. They’ve called us cocksuckers, they’ve called us mongrels, they’ve called us every other thing in print…

 

SCC: I know a lot of younger people that would like to see you…

Tom: There was talk of doing one.

 

SCC: Was your sister ever upset that she quit the band?

Alan: No, she was glad…

 

SCC: What about now that you’re here?

Alan: Oh, no, she’s happy for us to be here.

 

SCC: She’s not on any of the recordings is she?

Alan: I think she played guitar

Rick: Yeah, we had her play guitar. She came in and was six months pregnant and said “I wanna play a fucking guitar!” I said, “Here you go, here’s the slide, go on, play.”

Alan: She’d never played before.

Rick: She played on “Pure Religion.”

 

SCC: That’s interesting…I had no idea feedtime was associated with females.

Rick: Aw, yeah! Nella was great. She was like the Energizer Bunny. She had two speeds, like half-speed which she would wear down, and full-speed. She’d just get there and go (imitates beating on drums), and she’d just shut her eyes and if I stopped playing she’d stop and say, “Why’d you fucking stop playing for?” “We’re just having a rest.” She’d go again and when we were done and the song stopped, you couldn’t get her attention because her eyes were shut and I used to have to bang her on the head and she’d finally look up. She was beautiful, she was beautiful.

Alan: Fantastic rhythm, once she got the speed.

 

SCC: Was she ever in another band after feedtime?

Alan: No.

 

Carmel, Bottom of the Hill, SF, SS10, May 2011. Photo by Icki.

SCC: Were any of you in other bands? You’re playing with Three Toed Sloth (to Tom).

Tom: That’s the band I’d been part of for about five or six years and they stopped about seven or eight years ago.

Rick: I play a washboard.

 

SCC: Are you still interested in music at all? New music or old music?

Rick: I’m starting to write a whole new form of music. More simplistic feedtime, but it’s not feedtime.

 

SCC: My friend Rob thinks that you sound like you all work in meat packing plants…that’s what he thinks that feedtime sounds like…what jobs did you have when you were in feedtime, and what do you do now?

Tom: I was a cabdriver when I was in feedtime, and now I work as a carpenter.

Alan: Through the ’80s I was going to art school and working at Kentucky Fried Chicken, making salads…

Tom: Pretty close to meat packing…your vegetarian version of meat packing.

Alan: Killing thousands and thousands of cabbages.

Rick: Murdering carrots.

Alan: Tons of potatoes boiled to death, screaming as they go.

Tom: Which one of you was the guy that had an accident on his motorbike and had all the scabs on his arm and was in there tossing the salads in a forty-four gallon drum, and then came out and all the scabs were gone?

Alan: I’m healed!

Rick: I was doing some bean salads, too. Scab salads, I mean, and then I went off and I made salads at a place called Doyle’s, and then I went off and joined a place that looked after people that had lung diseases that had inhaled stuff like asbestos and stuff like that. So what I do now is, if you’re fatally ill, I knock on your door and say hello and shoot the shit.

 

SCC: What were the influences of feedtime? Were you influenced by your jobs at all? Sometimes when I listen to your records I think about weird places that I went to when I lived in Australia that were very isolated, like weird landscapes that I’ve seen in Central Australia or the Pilbara…I don’t know I’m just reminded of isolation or desolation.

Rick: There certainly was desolation, yeah, but not from a physical landscape.

Alan: Probably no landscape inspired desolation, but certainly emotional influence desolation.

Tom: I agree.

 

SCC: Because of Australia in general, or your age, or…

Alan: My life. Families.

 

SCC: Have any of you travelled around Australia very much?

Rick: Not to the Pilbara!

 

Robe Valley, Pilbara

SCC: I find that I’ve been to more places in Australia than most Australians have.

Alan: Yeah

Tom: My wife comes from Darwin so I’ve travelled up there and around that neck of the woods and we tend to drive around New South Wales, Victoria to Adelaide, so I’ve done a fair bit of travelling.

Alan: I’ve done a little bit—Perth, Cairns, Tasmania, but not extensive.

 

SCC: Did you have any musical influences?

Rick: For me it was the Cajuns and any of the old blues people like Mississippi John Hurt and Son House Lovely Williams. For me, I was looking for that thread, that thread of continuity.

Tom: I went off on sort of a weird sort of a free jazz sort of thing when I was a teenager, but that was largely influenced by the inability to play an instrument.

Rick: There’s nothing quite like improvising.

Tom: Which is kind of interesting because it sets you off on a certain bent. It sets you off with the ability to clear a room of people if you’re playing it. I think that runs through feedtime and largely through Rick’s slide guitar and stuff like old blues, like really old stuff.

 

SCC: Do you listen to any new music from Australia?

Tom: I kind of listen to hip hop sort of thing. There’s a band called Hermitude that live in the Blue Mountains, sort of instrumental hip hop. I just like it, I don’t know about these guys. It’s instrumental, nice beat, sounds good.

Alan: No. I’m just not aware of it, never really looked for it.

Rick: I’m up for it. I’ve got some buddies who have this band called Thunderbox, I’ve been watching them come up and the drummer that they had said, “I can’t take you any further.” He handed them over to the custody of a guy called Graham, and he had a puff on his pipe and he said, “Yeah, I’ll take them on.” There’s another group called Useless Children who’ve been developing for some time. They brought Walls over, a group from the US, and they had a crew called Whores who were playing with them as well. I likened it to having a sack of kittens pushed down in your stomach and someone coming along in your mouth and smashing them. I was physically ill feeling this. The power is such, it’s just shocking, and the girl that drums and sings, she screams in a way that Tasmanian Devils scream. It’s beautiful, it’s perfect. And the other stuff I’ve been listening to…have you heard Mark Ronson? There’s a single called “Bang Bang Bang.”He does it with two people, a man and a woman, and it’s fucking beautiful. Have you heard of the Mayyors?

 

SCC: Yeah!

Rick: The Sacramento group?

 

SCC: Yeah, yeah.

Rick: You like them?

 

SCC: They’re great!

Rick: Well they’re good. I like them too.

 

SCC: One of those guys is there tonight!

Rick: Mayyors?!

 

SCC: Yeah!

Rick: I wanna go and lick their fingers.

 

SCC: I wouldn’t do that.

Rick: Maybe I’ll do something else. I’ll punch ‘em in the stomach.

 

SCC: So…

Rick: What about you? What do you listen to? You’re asking us all this shit and we get nothing from you!

 

SCC: I just have one more question! Most of the album art is animal-oriented. Why? What’s your deal with animals?

Alan: What’s animal related?

 

SCC: Frogs, opossums…

Rick: That was Minda’s opossum…

 

SCC:…jellyfish

Rick: What? Elephants!?

 

SCC: JELLYFISH!

Alan: Suction! You saw that as a jellyfish?

 

SCC: Well, I’m pretty sure that’s a jellyfish.

Alan: That’s the Mother Earth with the three of us being the rest.

Rick: A bloody jellyfish!

Alan: It’s not a conscious…

 

SCC: What are your feelings on non-human animals?

Tom: Ah, they’re quite tasty!

 

SCC: Even jellyfish? Do you eat box jellies?

Rick: I prefer having a scratch with maximum pug Abenoja who’s the dog of the Rex and who has his own webpage on my facebook, and I’m feeling so proud because I got to sit down on the floor next to him.

 

SCC: Do you like marsupials or monotremes better?

Tom: I forgot what montremes are.

 

SCC: Echidnas and platypuses.

Tom: I don’t have any feeling about those. I don’t mind animals. I also don’t mind eating them.

 

SCC: I’m a biologist. I have to ask these questions! I’m interviewing you for a scientific journal.

Alan: The thing is…the reason we called the band feedtime was because every species needs to eat. We thought it was a fantastic umbrella so we named the band. That’s not really why, but anyway.

 

(Tom leaves to go play with Three Toed Sloth)

 

SCC: So, is Three Toed Sloth better than feedtime?

Rick: They’re better.

 

SCC: Three Toed Sloth?

Rick: Three Toed Sloth—they’re shit!

 

SCC: Do you think they should have named themselves after a marsupial instead of an animal from the Western Hemisphere?

Alan: Ask Andrew.

 

Australian Animal Interlude

 

SCC: You live in the Blue Mountains (to Alan). Do you live in the middle of nowhere or do you live in a city?

Alan: Well, it’s called City of the Blue Mountains; it’s about 70 km long.

 

SCC: The Blue Mountains are the only place it snows in Australia, right?

Alan: No no, it snows at the top of the Blue Mountains, about 1400 meters. Springwood’s about 400, so every 20 years we might get some sleet. We don’t get snow. But the Blue Mountains get snow, but not snow for serious ground cover or longevity. The western slopes, they get snow often, various tablelands…for skiing around the Kosciuszko National Park is the only substantial snowfall.

 

SCC: What do you think about Huntsmen spiders?

Rick: They scare the shit out of me.

Alan: They’re friendly aren’t they?

The huntsman spider, Eodelena, in SW Australia. She’s about as big as my hand.

SCC: Yeah, they’re nice. Have you ever heard about how people think that many car accidents are caused by people pulling down the sun shade while driving and a huntsman pops out, causing them to freak out and crash?

Rick: Yeah, it’s the same spider—it’s always a huntsman.

Alan: It’s because they’re big and hairy.

Rick: Can I get a look at your questions?

SCC: I’m done with those. I’m just making stuff up now! I just liked all the animals there. I thought it was really neat. I was only there for nine months but I got to go to a lot of places which was pretty exciting. I saw a tiger snake once which was really cool. I went and looked for it. I was up in the Stirling Ranges and I saw this rocky slope and I knew if I went looking I’d find a snake. I have a picture, but I’m kind of far away from it.

Rick: How close were you?

 

The tiger snake, Notechis scutatus, Toolbrunup, Stirling Ranges.

SCC: Maybe from here to that corner (12’). It got a little puffy at me, but not bad. I saw a python once too, a carpet python. Pythons are the best.

Alan: Yeah.

Rick: I got chased by one of those bloody, what are those…dragons….

 

SCC: It chased you? What was it going to do to you if it caught you?

Rick: Well, no, I just went up to it to say hello and it just turned around and said, “Fuck off!”

 

SCC: What about blue-tongued skinks?

Alan: The blue tongues are big.

 

SCC: Some of them are big.

Alan: Skinks are normally small aren’t they?

 

SCC: Well, it depends.

Rick: Skinks are the ones that cats bring in.

 

SCC: Teliqua is the genus and it is a skink.

Rick: Oh, here we go…you’re right, they’re wrong…

 

SCC: They do start out small…but they get bigger.

Alan: What’s that one with the legs and they run…

Rick: Goanna.

Alan: Yeah, goanna.

Rick: Shit, they’re scary.

 

SCC: You know what are scary? Crocodiles. People in Darwin go and stand in the water and fish, and then they disappear.

Rick: Never be the third person crossing the river because only two people get out to the other side. There was a scientist who was trying to explain the nature of crocodiles, and he said, “I can put you in a tank with a shark and you might survive, and if I put you anywhere near a crocodile I will get a 100% fatality rate.” You will not come out and that’s that.

 

SCC: Yeah, I have pictures of the one at the Perth Zoo. It used to come right up to the glass. When I was in Darwin the guy I was with was taking a nap and there was a little lake with a trail and I thought I’d walk around it. I started walking, and I realized that…there were signs of course that said there were crocodiles here and that they will eat you, but there was a little trail. I started walking down it, but there was no one around anywhere and I decided I shouldn’t do this by myself. It was too scary. I can’t win that one.

Alan: No. It’s like in North America with the bear…you know, they’re out there.

Crocodile warning, Kapalga, NT.

Saltwater Crocodile, Perth Zoo.

SCC: Well, they’re in Alaska because we killed most of them here…after making it the state animal.

Rick: You gotta believe the science you know. It says, “Do not feed a bear!”

 

SCC: Have you seen a platypus before?

Rick: Yeah!

 

SCC: I saw one.

Alan: I’ve not seen one in the wild.

 

SCC: There’s a little park in the south of Canberra. I didn’t get to see an echidna though.

Rick: Why…you’ve got all these African animals, and all these other animals, and you want to see...

Platypus, Canberra

SCC: Ugh…hooved mammals are so boring. Going to Africa would be cool to see the chameleons and snakes but all those big mammals—those are all in zoos—you can go see those even in SF…but not all those weird marsupials. Those weird marsupials are so awesome! Like opossums are one thing, but all the crazy little things like quokkas and Tasmanian tigers.

Rick: Is the Tasmanian tiger the same as the Tasmanian devil?

 

SCC: No. They’re different.

Alan: Tasmanian tiger had the stripes on the back. The 1930s is when it went extinct.

Rick: So what are the ones that have the cancer?

 

SCC: That’s the devil.

Alan: They’re almost like a wombat in shape.

 

SCC: And wombats! How cool are they?! They’ll back up on to crush you in their burrow!

Rick: I went camping one time with the radio astronomer who went down to the Snowy and in the morning the sun was shining and all the sudden we turned around from the fire and all these wombats had come and were warming themselves…they were wriggling out of their burrows backwards…they were everywhere!

 

SCC: Have you guys been to Adelaide?

Rick: I went there once.

 

SCC: Have you been to the Gammon Ranges? Have you been to Central Australia?

Rick: I’ve been to San Francisco twice.

 

Resume Regular Interview

 

SCC: This is your second time in San Francisco? What were you doing here before?

Rick: I came down to buy the feedtime guitar.

 

SCC: Last night you were playing a Sears Silvertone? That thing looked wrecked.

Rick: That’s not mine. That’s Scotty’s, Soriano.

 

SCC: Why is it so dirty?

Alan: Ask him.

Rick: He fucking ripped me off so bad! Nobody, nobody, would do that to a fellow professional. If he had any regard for me at all…he shows up with this guitar and it’s tuned to all one string. They’re all the same string, and it’s a three quarter size guitar, so if I put my hand here and tactile, I’ll be in the wrong place.

 

SCC: I thought it sounded great.

Rick: I knew I’d be in the wrong place all fucking night, which I was…having to count the frets going “Hmm, 7th fret is up here, 12th fret is up here…” It was just fantastic. It was such a challenge…a frightening challenge. It was wonderful. I wouldn’t do it again though.

Alan: I’m gonna head back down the road. I’ll see you back down there. Thank you.

 

SCC: Thank you.

Alan: Hopefully something will get published and someone will pay us to come back again.

 

SCC: You want to come back?

Rick: Yeah, we’re going to go to Seattle to play probably.

Alan: We are?

Rick: Well they want us to.

 

SCC: I think if you want to come back, I don’t think that would be a problem.

Alan: Had you heard us before?

 

SCC: Yeah, through Marek. Does he (Alan) know Marek?

Rick: Yeah, you know Marek? He was at the Clovelly Bowling Club

Alan: Was he the one doing all the sausages?

Rick: Yeah, with the sausages.

 

Mr. Foxy, Marek’s cat.

SCC: Marek’s doing the sausages?

Alan: Sausage Marek.

 

SCC: Note: Marek doin’ the sausages.

Alan: I had one. It was ok.

Rick: Yeah?

 

SCC: Note: The sausage was only ok. I’d heard you guys before Marek, but I don’t know where. I had the Why March When You Can Riot comp and you’re on that. Did you know any of those bands at all?

Alan: No, not really. We’d come across them.

 

SCC: Did you think it was weird that you’re on it?

Alan: Well, I think we were the odd ones out.

 

SCC: X was on there. You cover a lot of X songs.

Rick: Yeah.

 

SCC: They were just here. Do you still hang out with Steve?

Rick: No. We never hang out.

Alan: Yeah, we never really hung out with them.

Rick: We never hung out with anyone.


6 Responses to “feedtime interview”


  1. 1 Beth Ann
    October 4, 2012 at 5:40 am

    That was so funny and interesting, good job Sarah. You got them to go farther than they’d ever have anticipated, very cool. And the non-official interview on Australian regions and wildlife was totally great. Perhaps all rock interviews should have an off-topic portion, brings out the personalities even further. Loved it. And, I’ve never read an interview like it, ever.

  2. 2 rick feedtime
    October 5, 2012 at 2:17 am

    right crews…youre pretty alright at gettin it together…i like the gater pic!

  3. 3 steve
    October 8, 2012 at 6:18 am

    f##$##$#n kick Ass Band I know cause my band played with em a lot and there was no rest for any one cause we were always pushin it great blokes fun interview
    steve from queen anns revenge

  4. 4 ned lates
    October 8, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    More Australia wildlife stories…

  5. 5 rick feedtime
    October 21, 2012 at 11:46 pm

    that crew I mentioned is called Thundabox (an a not er)…thought i’d get it straightened out…thanks sarah

  6. December 8, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    I really enjoyed this! Please update us! Keep up the great work!


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Sarah Crews, PhD

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