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INTERVIEW: Mindless Self Indulgence

INTERVIEW: Mindless Self Indulgence

By: Morgan Y. Evans
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MSI have been freakin' people out, flippin' off or ignoring haters and generally doing their thing for a long time now. As the band have been on a touring hiatus since 2014, Jimmy Urine was kind enough to give the diehards something really cool this year by remastering and unearthing the "Lost" album, Pink. Yes, it is real.


The album includes cut-down and remastered versions of songs from the often overlooked 1995 self-titled album (before they were truly the freaky, "industrial jungle pussy punks" we know and love today, an audio diary recorded by Urine from July 1992, and covers of Depeche Mode's "Personal Jesus" and Duran Duran's "Girls on Film" that in true MSI fashion somehow manage to celebrate, lampoon and totally reimagine the originals.



Spacelab: Have you been trying to kill me, Jimmy?


Mindless Self Indulgence: How'd I kill you?


Spacelab: My basement flooded the other day when I was first gonna talk to you re: Pink. And today I was singing "one of these shapes is not like the others" and dropped a plate and stabbed myself cleaning it up.


Mindless Self Indulgence: You don't know about the curse? We're like Tutankhamun, man. But danceable.


Spacelab: If you go backwards in MSI time and resurrect demos...


Mindless Self Indulgence: No, it usually only hurts people who try to start bands that sound like MSI.


Spacelab: But Missy Elliot just got back and did the Super Bowl.


Mindless Self Indulgence: Yeah but you could be any other mega star and put in cursing and funky ass MSI beats and that will be the record that sells the least. Everyone's like ,"you suck now"!


Spacelab: I just wanted to call and ask if you could hold pressure on my thumb. I mean, I've interviewed you a few times now (laughing)


Mindless Self Indulgence: (laughing) That's the whole conversation.


Spacelab: No, I was wondering where you were actually. I was reading someone was stalking Keira Knightley today and throwing flowers at her and thought maybe you forgot we were scheduled for a phoner.


Mindless Self Indulgence: Really? Isn't it late in the game to stalk her? You'd think she woulda had one ages ago. I feel bad for her that hers is so late in the game. No, I was driving from sushi to a museum because I'm super high class. But here I am, in all my glory.


Spacelab: I'm glad we could reschedule. Thanks for doing this today. Yeah, we had rain and this almost Hurrican Joaquin Phoenix and my basement flooded and I heard shit bumping around down there and thought it was the Walking Dead. Did you get any rain? Wait, where are you living now? (laughing)


Mindless Self Indulgence: Los Angeles!


Spacelab: Nevermind. You're dry.


Mindless Self Indulgence: Til the earthquake hits, we're good.


Spacelab: It's all gothy on the East Coast right now. I wanted to ask you, speaking of gothy...I remember the 1995 demo. I think Bill H had a copy that he would never play me.

J- (laughing)


Spacelab: I realized it is a lot of the same songs. Is Pink all the demos compiled and some new stuff? I have a copy but I've only heard about half of it so far (laughing).


Mindless Self Indulgence: (laughing) the basic idea of Pink is it is a lost record. There was the S/T. A few went to radio in '92 or '93. Those radio copies were scarce. Only like 20 or so. And the last 10 or so were probably the ones going on Ebay for like $500. It has the song "Bed of Roses", which for some fuckin' reason everybody loves that song. "Do Unto Others". It was like an EP.


Spacelab: Duh, cuz it reminds them of Bon Jovi.


Mindless Self Indulgence: Well, believe it or not the kids found out about the record that followed that which never got released. Our fans are crazy and they knew about it because it got copywritten! They found out about it at the copyright office. So Pink has been a myth since 2001. This record with all these songs on it. So when we finally got off tour last year I figured I'd finally fuckin' put all that stuff out. I was the only one who had it. Nobody had any of the stuff. Original sounds, sessions, equipment. SO I looked for B-sides from that era, everything that was on Pink and for good measure I threw in a bunch of remastered versions of the self-titled stuff. That's why when I originally looked at all the tapes I had like 35 songs! And I got that down to like 19 or so that you have right now. And I made sure the artwork was super retro. I wanted people to know it was from and written in the 90's. I'm updating slightly with mastering and a little bit of production but only to keep it sounding nice, not to change the songwriting style. It's a retro 90's record.


Spacelab: That's awesome. I mean, there are a lot of tunes on here! It fits your M.O. generally.


Mindless Self Indulgence: Yeah, we like to put out a lot of shit.


Spacelab: I heard "Personal Jesus" but really like "Girls On Film"!


Mindless Self Indulgence: Yeah, a lot of people like that one! It's interesting to see kids tweeting about the songs they like. I figured they'd like "Bed Of Roses" cuz they've heard it before or like the early on part of the record. But there's a ton of songs people are liking as their favorites. Every kid I meet has the most bizarre ones as their personal favorite. I love "Envy" with the backmasking, that's the best. Ok. There's no real connection between any of them. Obviously we are pushing "Personal Jesus". I'm surprised we never released it! That was the most startling thing when I put on the tape. I was like ,"Wow, how did we never release this song before?" It was lost in the MSI archives. It's a weird record.


Spacelab: Now people think Depeche Mode or Marilyn Manson wrote it originally and you guys didn't get credit for that one either (laughing).


Mindless Self Indulgence: (laughing) yeah. The curse strikes again. The amazing thing is it isn't my favorite Depeche Mode song. My favorite is probably "Strange Love".


Spacelab: I'm a "Never Let Me Down Again" kinda guy.


Mindless Self Indulgence: I had no problem fucking it up though because it WASN'T my favorite! So that was kinda cool. I didn't even worry about that fuckin' guitar line and our cover was written in like 1996.


Spacelab: It's one of the coolest songs I've heard on Pink so far though because you can hear the sort of future MSI sound evolving out of it.


Mindless Self Indulgence: yeah, there's definitely some of that. I didn't put anything in chronological order. I just tried to have a cool track flow. But I put the dates next to each song in the liner notes so you can see when the progression starts or figure out when it starts to turn into Tight or Frankenstein or whatever. I was seeing people sell the self titled for like $500 a pop. I wasnt getting any of that money and wanted fans to have the stuff also so let me put it on a record. But it doesn't dilute the original for collectors because they still have that one to hunt for.


Spacelab: I wanted to ask you about the new video game for Rising Star games,I Want To Be Human, which you scored! I'm glad we got delayed talking so I got that press release as well.


Mindless Self Indulgence: Perfect. Everything I've been working on except for one or two small things all decided to come out in September. Not only did Pink come out but also The Devil's Carnival which me and my wife Chantal did a song for came out and is touring around the country. We did a couple of appearances. The video game now. And I did some work for Marvel. I know a guy over there who works on the internet site and I did some stuff for them. And a remix for a band Vowws.


Spacelab: I've heard of them. That's cool!


Mindless Self Indulgence: yeah, so that should be coming out soon. So things have been balls to the wall. "I Want To Be Human"...Sinlair Strange who did the whole thing reached out. It's a cool dark game with a lot of gore. It's his game and he was working with Rising Star. They said they'd love me to be involved. Music people contact me a lot and I love doing soundtracks for cartoons, tv shows, you name it. Movies, video games. When someone gets in touch I usually offer to do new original stuff and they say ,"Oh my God, that'd be great." So that's what is on I Want To Be Human.


Spacelab: You did Lollipop Chainsaw in the past.


Mindless Self Indulgence: Yeah, and that was a similar thing where they asked for a Mindless song and I said ,"how about I just write all the fuckin' music?" and that was great. That was really fun. It was a great game. I like being involved in projects that were culty and weird. No one ever asks if I will re-write the theme song for the Barny show.


Spacelab: Actually that would be fuckin' super culty and weird.


Mindless Self Indulgence: Yeah, but usually it is some horror show or game. So that's great. I tend to like those products and I never have to sell out. Which is crazy because I love money! You'd think I'd have sold out.


Spacelab: I'm sure you tried a couple times. C'mon, man.


Mindless Self Indulgence: (laughing) I haven't yet! It's unfortunate. But every project I have been involved in has been cool and weird and freaky. It's part of my aesthetic. I'm a big Mega Man fan and side scroller fan and so I Want To Be Human was cool to be part of. It is nice to see those kind of things come back around. And even the stuff for Marvel. I've been collecting comics since the Bronze age so no matter how big or small it is, to do something for their podcasts or whatever was really cool.


Spacelab: Rogue was my first "girlfriend", if you know what I mean. But hey...you did the anime/comic versions of the band a few years back!


Mindless Self Indulgence: Yeah, yeah. The animated video I came up with the concept for was supposed to be something that looked like we had a Thundercats 80's TV show. And it does! I did all the sound effects and got the animation back and that was tons of fun to work on. And coming up soon we're gonna have a "Personal Jesus" video! I'm really excited about that. It's directed by our friend Yarvo who just had a horror movie called The Hive that was really popular. It's on demand right now. He brought his lovely horror style aesthetic to an idea we had and I can't wait for people to see it.


Spacelab: That's great you're doing a video for this record even though it is older stuff.


Mindless Self Indulgence: Anything I was doing for this record, even if older, wanted it to reflect it was an odd record. It's a lost record. Not a compilation or reissue really or greatest hits. So I wanted the video to be a sort of mini-movie. That's how I like videos. I'm not a big fan of performance videos with a lightbulb swinging and you're playing in a room. That's the worst. Ever since four years ago I've been into wanting to have a director do something fucked up. Liek The Left Rights "I'm On Crack" video. It's a great video. Or the "Shut Me Up" video.


Spacelab: You probably just got sick of looking at Steve and he was trying to push you out of the way and stuff, right?


Mindless Self Indulgence: (laughing) Well, he has a beautiful mug.

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