Stopping at nothing to bring you the finest in literary excitement and such related things, YAWP proudly brings you an interview with John and Tyler of Brainiac (as it appeared [more or less] in YAWP #5. yay rah.)
Yes indeedy, somehow I worked up the noive to ask the guys in Brainiac (well, two of them anyway) a few questions about their music, their favorite color, their turn-ons, turn-offs, etc…the grilling took place before they were to play with Sliyanie and the Poster Children (whom I helped Punk Parent interview for his zine…am I the shit or am I the shit?) at that Main Street SWEATHOUSE they call the Concert Cafe in Green Bay. JEEZUS, have the owners ever heard of VENTILATION? Anyway, the interview was mostly conducted by me, with some additional BS tossed in by Gomps and Farley. Oh, and the show took place on June 20th, 1995. And away we go…
DJ: OK, so we’re here on the curb with Brainiac. For the record, introduce yourselves and what you play.
GS: I’m the Grand Swazell [note: otherwise known as John Schmersal on the CD sleeve], and I play guitar.
Tyler: Tyler, I play the drums.
DJ: OK, and the names of the two members who are conspicuously absent, please?
GS: Monasterio and Timmy Taylor.
DJ: My first question is, well, I only first heard of you like a year ago, so I don’t know much about how long you’ve been around or yor history or anything, so if we could get a brief synopsis of your history or something?
Tyler: Beverly Hills, Century City!
GS: Everything’s so NICE AND PRETTY!
DJ: Great, cool. OK…my second question is, how’d you end up on Lollapalooza this summer?
Tyler: Red tape! No, I don’t know how that happened. Someone told us that…what’s that computer thing where people talk to each other?
DJ: The internet? [“that computer thing?” the NERVE!]
GS: It was like a joke on the internet at first.
Tyler: Something like that, and then they just asked us…or something…
DJ: They just decided to confirm the rumor and say, “OK, while people are saying it, we’ll put you on”?
Tyler: No, what happens is, the guy who puts together the second stage or whatever, is like, a pretty cool dude, maybe? Perhaps? I dunno, but anyways he really likes us and he asked us. So…it’s only like five days, five nights in the Midwest.
DJ: So how does it feel knowing you’re gonna play on the same stage as Coolio?
Tyler: (laughs) We can’t wait, man!
DJ: Do you know if you’re playing before him or after him?
Tyler: I’m sure we’ll play, like, really early or something.
DJ: Since you’re gonna be on Lollapalooza, do you think you’re gonna get any major label interest from this all, or does it matter to you? [don’t ask ME why I asked ’em that; I thought it was interesting at the time…]
Tyler: It doesn’t really matter, I don’t know, I imagine they’ll come out and everything, but we’ll most likely scare them away. That’s OK.
DJ: OK. You’ve played in Milwaukee and Green Bay. Which is better?
Both: Green Bay!
DJ: What’s the best city you’ve played in, in general?
Tyler: Green Bay!
DJ: Like I said, I’m not from Green Bay, so…
Tyler: I dunno! There’s a few places but we like Green Bay a lot!
GS: Yeah, Green Bay is definitely in the top five, if not three!
Tyler: JabberJaw is a really great place. As far as clubs go, JabberJaw in LA is amazing…
GS: Austin is pretty cool; I’ve had a good time every time we’ve played in Austin. I’ll say Boston…
GS: Yeah, Minneapolis was really fun, they have a lot of free booze there…
DJ: Didja like the YAWP I gave ya? [I gave Juan a YAWP when they played at Marquette]
GS: (nods head) YAWP! YAWP!
Tyler: YAWP we did! [note: judging from the fact that I gave the zine to Juan, not them, and that I THINK that both of the guys were kinda toasted at the time, I’m guessing that they were blowing sunshine up my ass right there. But what the hell; a good review is a good review. Brainiac digs YAWP!]
DJ: OK, cool! Um, are ya makin any more rekkids and when?
Tyler: Yeah, we have a single that’ll be out this fall, supposedly. It’s a 3-song single called “Go Freaks Go”.
GS: We’ll probably play that song tonight. I’m sure we will, we need the practice!
DJ: Are ya gonna go any stuff from Smack Bunny Baby tonight?
Tyler: Yeah, we always do!
GS: Actually we have to.
DJ: The last two times I saw you, you only did, like, “Drag” and “Ride” and that was it.
GS: Yeah. Actually, we’re probably gonna play “Drag”…and…”Ride” again. No, actually we probably won’t play “Ride”, but we will play “Drag”. I have a hunch we’re gonna play it.
DJ: Cool, then we can sing along again.
Kory: Timmy likes that.
DJ: It’s one of the few songs that I can sing all the words to on the CD…
Tyler: Well, it’s like one verse that repeats…
Tyler: You know what? That leads us to a really funny story. We played in Cleveland one time, and there was like three people there, at this tavern, and we were all just up there, y’know, goofin off or whatever, and “Drag” was the last song. And, what is that lyric…
GS: (shrilly mock-singing) “My life’s been ripped asunder!”
Tyler: Right! And this guy’s standing up there, really drunk, in front of the stage, leaning towards the microphone, and…
GS: Tim thought he knew the lyrics or whatever…
Tyler: And Tim goes, “My life’s been ripped asunder!”
GS: The guy’s going like (does cool in-front-of-stage-with-cup-o-beer-body-bob)
Tyler: And he handed the guy the mike and he goes [Editor’s note: use your imagination] (mass laughter ensues) And some guy videotaped it! We’re trying to get ahold of it…
Kory: Is that gonna go on the dance remix of it?
Tyler: If we get ahold of the tape I’d love to do a dance remix!
Gomps: We caught some girl from the band Ruby Falls, I don’t know if you ever…
Both: Oh yeah!
Gomps: They were singing your song!
DJ: They were singing “Sexual Frustration”! They were setting up…
Tyler: Where was that at?
DJ: In Fond Du Lac, which is right on the bottom of Lake Winnebago…[yeah, under a LOT of rank-ass water…]
Tyler: They probably played with us the night before or something like that.
DJ: They were setting up, and they were going “Boom shellak a laka ooh I think she likes me” and we started singing along, and they were totally tripping out! They were like “Wow! you know that song?”
Tyler: They’re really cool, really cool people!
Kory: Aaron’s not here so I’m gonna steal his question: if you had a five minute shopping spree in a grocery store, which item would you head for first?
Tyler: Raw meat!
GS: Mousetraps, probably. Five minute shopping spree, why would you ask what the first thing would be? I thought you were gonna ask us to spew off a list…
Kory: OK, do that too.
GS: Imported beer, mousetraps, caulk, a caulk gun too, batteries, light bulbs, fuses, and probably another kind of imported beer.
Gomps: Spam? Would spam be on the list?
GS: Spam? Nah…
Tyler: What else would we get?
GS: Probably beer…
DJ: Wow, you’re really thinking hard about this one!
GS: We like funny questions, ya know, questions about life in general, they’re fun to answer.
Gomps: Now we have to think of more questions!
DJ: Naw, I think the first band’s playing, actually…
Gomps: Is there anything else you’d like to say to the youth of America?
GS: Jinsing rocks!
Gomps: Who’s Jinsing?
GS: This dude…