Austin Psych Fest Chain Letter Interviews Pt.I

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The Holydrug Couple

Another fest, another free-for-all. In-between the mind-bending madness of Austin Psych Fest’s hippie haven, we managed to string together another edition of our Chain Letter interview series, conceived in two parts over three days with six of the weekend’s most far-out bands. How does the chain work? Each band gives us three questions to ask the next band, who propose their own for the following band, and so on. Today’s chain starts with a freak-out from The UFO Club, and then heads into chiller terrain with Bass Drum of Death’s John Barrett’s taco-tenderness and The Holydrug Couple’s holy hammock hour.

Don’t break the chain (or aliens will take away your mommy’s brain): check back in for the Chain Letter sequel later this week with Golden Animals, Dream Time, and The Growlers’ Brooks Nielsen.

The UFO Club

As the Allah-Las played outside Red 7 on Thursday night, we stole away with The UFO Club (whose members consist of The Black Angels’ Christian Bland and Night Beats’ Lee Blackwell) after their pre-Psych Fest for our three-question firing squad, darkening the yellow lights of a loud alley with our strange queries about drugs and dating.

Acid or shrooms?

Lee Blackwell: Shrooms

Christian Bland: I don’t know, that’s incriminating for me at this juncture in my life.

Lee: At any juncture. He likes diet pills, he can admit that.

Are you trying to be a professional right now?

Christian: Well, yeah, I guess so. Circumstances right now…let me just say orange juice.

Bob Mustachio: I like drugs.

Which do you prefer?

Bob: Don’t care.

What was your best make-out experience?

Lee: One time my dad got really sloppy drunk, and he has this great way of giving me advice but also kind of caressing me. And it turned into a really great experience, so I’d probably have to go with that one.

So you made out with your dad?

[Lee mimics crying]

Bummer, bro.

Bob: What about near-make-out experiences? Do those count? Cause Christian and I sometimes get into a hair-pulling situation, but that’s about as close as I’ve come to making out for the last ten years.

Lee: Making out’s gay; it’s all about fucking.

How low can you go?

Christian: I don’t go low. I go high.

What three questions do you want to ask the next band?

Do you like your mom or dad better?
Are you aware that sound is not as important as light, since sound is dictated by gravity, whereas light can transcend it?

Bass Drum of Death

After Bass Drum of Death’s heavy set on Friday afternoon, we caught up with John Barrett in the artist tent. Seeking shelter from the noise, we switched his free Sailor Jerry’s for our snuck-in Jack Daniels and took refuge in the camping grounds, where John revealed some family secrets and endured UFO’s ridiculousness.

Do you like your mom or dad better?

Damn, why they got to do me like that? I’m going to get in trouble for this…my Dad will be able to handle it. I like my Mom more because she doesn’t call me every day. My Dad calls me, like, nonstop. She has to tell him to stop calling me. I’m like, “Dad, we’re fine, it’s all good.” So simply for that reason, I like my Mom. But I’m cool with both of them, that’s a loaded question. Kind of not fair.

What do you and your dad talk about?

He’ll just call me, a lot of times, for no reason. We’re both into the college and the town I’m from, so he’ll call me and talk about the basketball team and shit. And when I’m home and kind of following it, I can talk about it, but when I’m on the road, he’ll call and give me updates, and it’s like, man, I got so much other shit I’m doing, I cannot get in that headspace.

Are you aware that sound is not as important as light, since sound is dictated by gravity, whereas light can transcend it?

[Completely baffled expression] No idea. [Laughs] Not aware at all.

What three questions do you want to ask the next band?

What is your Taco Bell order?
Macho Man, Randy Savage, or Hulk Hogan?
Would you rather have a pool cue for a leg, or a cinder block for a hand?

What is your Taco Bell order?

Mine’s a number 7 steak quesadilla hard taco Baja blast, and they discontinued the fucking fire-roasted sauce. I’m pretty pissed about that. I had one girl at a rest stop looking around in the back for any leftovers and shit. She was really cool and nice. She checked for, like, ten minutes.

How often do you get that?

Probably once every three or four days. I cannot cook, so I eat out for every meal.

You should get your next tour sponsored by Taco Bell.

I actually just got e-mailed about that. It’s, like, 500 Taco Bell bucks. At least if I had that, I could try everything, Right now, I do not deviate. I order the same fucking thing every time. Some of that shit’s kind of sketchy. If I had 500 Taco Bell bucks, I would get pretty wild with it. But I feel like I would just blow it all in one night. I’d take all my boys out and just be like – it’d be like the commercial, where one guy walks into the party with bags of Taco Bell and everybody goes nuts. I’ve never been to a party like that, but it would be rad. I’m not going to spend 500 of my own money to do that, but if they gave me Taco Bell bucks…sure.

The Holydrug Couple

On Saturday afternoon, while we were all waking up and the music had barely begun, we met our favorite Chilean oddballs between two trees, where they were literally wrapped up in two brightly colored communal hammocks, giggling and squirming, Ives smiling huge and playful and Manuel held more serious, but succumbing to the silly with a huge guffaw under the shade now and again. Later that day, they played a killer set with the Colorado River as a backdrop.

What is your Taco Bell order? Do you guys even go to Taco Bell?

Ives Sep