Music journalism isn’t always a big pay day. I myself work at a comedy club at night, and was almost assaulted by a large Aryan man who didn’t like a new character I worked into my set last nite. Much to my chagrin, he approached me in the bar afterwards and let me know that he wanted to fuck my mouth. As usual when propositioned with such an offer, I politely declined and alerted security to the situation with my usual nervous laughter. Upon his removal from the club, he would reveal to the security squad, manager and several patrons who were smoking pot in the alley that his wife and children had recently left him; and that when he went to see a psychiatrist about his manic state earlier in the day, the doctor revealed to him that he was suffering from depression and had the tell tale symptoms of LEVEL 4 erectile dysfunction. Upon leaving the doctor he said that he consumed a large amount of watery domestic beer and proceeded to masturbate onto his daughters’ Bratz bed spread while listening to “Dust in the Wind” by Kansas on repeat, all while apparently weeping tears of urine. After drinking some absinthe he claimed to have purchased off a pharmacist in Tijuana, he managed to amble his way out to the comedy club just in time to catch my set – where I would debut my new character: the reluctant Klansman joining PETA.
“I ain’t gonna shed no tear for no duck.” Apparently Aryans don’t like comedy outside of Larry The Cable Guy or the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.
This is an interview I did with Nic Offer, lead vocalist for !!! (pronounced chk, chk, chk) at a recent tour stop in South Carolina before leaving for their current European tour.
<strong>Gordon Downs: Hi, Nic?
Nic Offer: I know what you wanted. You wanted me to be mean back. That is what you wanted.
Gordon Downs: Hello?
Nic: Hang one sec. My answer’s kind of what?
(Voice in background: “Your answer was good. But like (inaudible) conversations with her.”
Nic Offer: No. I can cut that off. I can cut you off. You’re done. This friendship’s over. Okay I’m sorry, just wrapping that friendship up.
What was all that about?
Nic: Just something about my response to some girl that was flirty.
All the guys in !!! seem to have a pretty good sense of humor, how does that facet play out in terms of the dichotomy of the band?
Nic: It’s something we’ve struggled with because we definitely take the music side of it very seriously. There’s some idea in indie rock that if you’re making serious music that you can’t be funny at all. But to me its like, all the great artists were funny, I mean Marcel Dunchamp was hilarious, many of his paintings’ titles were dirty puns and stuff. I don’t think there needs to be any separation between the two, and really it’s just a matter of being who we are, and we’re always just around. That’s how we interact as a band. So it’s not such a big jump for us to translate that into what we’re doing.
I think being in a funny happy mood makes for a much easier creative mind set.
Nic: If we’re making jokes as we’re walking on stage its almost always going to be a good show.
Speaking of good shows, IMPOSE recently ran a live review of a recent show at the Bowery in New York, where some black chick hopped up on stage and started to hype up the crowd. What can you tell me about her?
Nic: Yeah, yeah definitely. She sings with us sometimes. Her name’s Shannon Funchess, she sang on the chorus of the single, “Heart of Hearts.” So just kinda hired her to come out for some special shows and then John, ended up not being able to do all the shows so she just kept filling in. She does work with a lot of people, she has a group called the Dirty Na Na’s.
Your lives shows are a very intense workout, you always seem to cut a mean sweat on stage. When you’re on the road, do you maintain a strict workout regime, or is there a healthy balance between partying and health?
Nic: Personally, I don’t drink a drop before the gig. I kinda need all the energy I got. But other people will have a beer or whatever, some people will get stoned before the show. I’ve done shows on mushrooms and various psychedelics. Those are only like special shows, where we’re in the middle of tour and everything’s tight and there’s no room to fuck up. Or when we’ve got it air tight so I can be kinda loose. But in general I’m completely straight.
What’s it like peaking on stage in front of thousands of people? That’s an experience that’s limited to a small few.
Nic: It can be incredible. It can be really awesome. Actually, I haven’t done that in awhile, I should do it again. I haven’t done that in maybe a year or two? There’s been some pretty wild moments.
How was Coachella this year?
Nic: Danny DeVito watched us from the side of the stage and he told us it was amazing when it was over. So that was pretty exciting. I dunno? It was fun, Coachella is just such a good vide. We had been in Europe for like, two and a half months, so we had just gotten back into America and saw a lot of old friends. It was a great welcome back to America for us.
It looks like you’ll only have a couple of days off before you head off to Europe again. Anything you need to take care of before you leave?
Nic: I’ve got a few plans actually. I’ve got to buy a bike. I’m actually going to take a hit of acid I’ve had in my freezer for a couple of years.
Is it a gel tab or blotter?
Nic: It’s a blotter. So yeah, I’m gonna do that, buy a bike and really just chill out. Whenever I have time off I like to go travel but I’m traveling all the time now so it’s just going to be easier to chill out. I really just want to sit in my room and read.
What are you reading now?
Nic: I’ve been reading on tour, I’m in the middle of a book right now. The book I’m reading now is JG Ballard Crash. It’s pretty intense. Actually half my bag is full of books that I’ve picked up along the way.
Will there ever be another Out Hud album? Even posthumous?
Nic: Who can say? Anything can happen.
So there are no plans for another Out Hud release in some shape or form?
Nic: No. Definitely not.
!!!’s latest album Myth Takes is out now on Warp Records.