...that one of my favorite bands, Big Business, was playing. I was wrecked and hungover and already drunk again and just wanted to get thrashed by some wicked metal. By the Bizzzzz. Thing is, the band that opened for them that night was the band that actually took it to me. I’d never heard of them or seen them before that night but by the end of their set, they’d left a deep indention in my brain. That bands name was Replicator. They called it quits last year at the end of an eight year run. Recently, former Replicator guitar player Conan Neutron formed a new band, Mount Vicious. The band is great. Amazing sound and brilliant lyrics. I talked to the man behind the band over the last few weeks about a number of things going on in his world right now. Check it out:
Me: What’s new? What’s great? What’s destroying shit in the life of Conan Neutron right now?
Conan: I've been borderline obsessively listening to the most recent Torche record, Meanderthal, and the record Curses! by Future of the Left, which is Falco from Mcclusky's new band. Both of those records are just top to bottom incredible. 2008 was a really great music listening year for me. It was the only year in a long time I can think of that I didn't have to struggle to think of a top ten. I like the most recent Ifihadahifi, the DIG, LAZARUS, DIG!!! by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, the most recent Jucifer... a whole lotta rockin'! I'll tell you what, I have an advance copy because Mount Vicious toured with them in the northwest for a couple shows, but the new Police Teeth record Real Size Monster Series is one of the best things I've heard in for-ev-er. Maybe I'm just the target market, but as far as I'm concerned it's the album to beat in 2009. They have this great description for themselves, if you're over 25, Wipers meets Superchunk, if you're under 25, Hot Snakes meets the Thermals. Both are totally true. They are clever and have managed to turn themselves from an awesome band to an AMAZING band.
Me: Shit, I haven’t even heard of most of those bands, let alone the music, but it sounds good. There’s so much crap out there that a lot of kids listen too and are stoked about until they get into the good shit and it’s through interviews like this, where you throw all that shit at them, that they discover the gems. What else is going on?
Conan: I started watching the television show, Mad Men, which I like a lot. It's pretty hilarious to see the rampant sexism and what not. I like that it sort of puts a stick in the eye to all the revisionists that seem to think the 50s were so great. Yes, they were great if you were a well off white man! Not so much if you were female, poor or anything other than a W.A.S.P. Just finished the John Adams miniseries too, which killed it completely, I'm a sucker for PolySci stuff and history. Paul Giamatti is just a monster actor! Also, I've got some Hubert Selby Jr. coming up on the too read list, amazing writer that Cubby was. I finished the History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage, which was super compelling and chock full of knowledge to drop on people at parties. It charts the progress of all human history by the invention of certain drinks, beer, wine, spirits, coffee, tea and cola. A pretty amazing read.
Me: Selby is good. I like his stuff a lot. One of my favorite authors. Although, some people seem to be turned off by the stream of conscious writing but I don’ t buy into that. If you are conscious, narrative streams no matter what. That stated. And you know this, you were the guitar player and writer in one of my favorite fucking bands of all time, Replicator. You guys were around for eight years and fucked shit up and killed it and gained a reputation as one of the best bands around period! Honestly, how hard was it to see the band come to an end?
Conan: Wow! Thanks man, that's super rad for you to say. It was... difficult, but not difficult I guess? I look at it this way. We ended things at the absolute top of our game. We were writing our best material, playing our best shows and just generally better then we had ever been before. I mean if you're going to end, that's as good of a time as any right? I wrote about this a ton in the liner notes for the final Replicator ep, far better than I can say now, but I think it's too bad that most other bands don't do the same thing. They just continue the irrevocable slide into self parody and irrelevance. I wish I could break up bands with the power of my mind but there are too damn many of them. It's weird too, because, in a way I could have seen us continuing to do Replicator well into when we were older. Like Wire, or Cheap Trick, or Shellac or something. The rule was: we had to all still be really into it, and it had to be progressing in some way. Neither of those things were ever a problem for us. Replicator was Conan, Chris and Ben, without any one of those key parts we decided that it just wouldn't and shouldn't be Replicator. It's like making a drink you know? You can't just substitute Rum for Whiskey and have it not be different.
Me: Excellent point.
Conan: Replicator had such a clear vision for what we did, and a clear oeuvre... just to get all loquacious on you... changing something that drastically, well, it wouldn't be the same at all, and it wouldn't be fair to us, or the people that listen. I mean, how many times have you seen bands replace key members, or like 90% of the group and continue on, and it's just... totally different right? We just weren't interested in that even though Ben said he wouldn't mind and all that... WE would mind. There is something to be said for a terminus, a closure, you know? I mean hell I spent 80% of the last 10 years doing this thing. I think of Chris and Ben like brothers, but that bond will never truly be broken. To be brutally honest, Ben didn't like to tour very much. I mean of course he did a little, but not TOUR, TOUR.... which is what bands need to do in my mind, and that was frankly the only thing that made people pay the slightest bit of attention to us.
Me: You’re exactly right. Touring is everything. It’s everything. So many people I know are in bands who don’t tour and they wanna get signed but the chances of that are slim to none so you need a fanbase outside of the bubble you live in. And the thing is, label reps pick up on that shit. You’re drawing tons of heads in Chicago and New York and Des Moines and Providence and people notice that. It builds a chatter. Word of mouth, which is how I get into most things. Plus, by going on tour and playing with all different sortsa bands, that allows you to network and if one of those bands gets a nice tour, they might say, “Shit. Those guys were great to play with. I wanna bring them for support.” It’s all about networking with the musicians and building fan support in every corner you can.
Conan: Also Ben is a musician by nature and had a vision for other things he wanted to do, including Guitar vs. Gravity, which he has had on the side for forever. But he's always wanted to do more with. At the same time Chris and I were going toward a more BIG ROCK direction, which is totally obvious if you listen to say: "Baby, I Want To Terraform Your Planet" on the last ep. There was starting to be the hint of artistic differences. Don't get me wrong, we could have very easily put out at least two more albums and not run out of ideas, and indeed did some remarkable stuff. I was excited to try to write some songs with Todd as a full member and step away from playing guitar all the time which is ironic since that's just what I am doing in Mount Vicious!
Me: So was it hard?
Conan: Of course. But man, as far as I'm concerned we did everything just right at the end, and did it completely on our own terms, taking no guff from anybody. That is pretty god damn laudable on its own.
Me: Replicator played with some of the best bands in the world and a ton of my personal, down right, favorite bands of all time and when I would see you guys play with Big Business or Totimoshi or Triclops, you guys owned the stage. I mean, how did it feel to fucking know that you were on par and even better than bands who to me, are making some of the best metal and rock albums in all of the world right now?
Conan: So basically the question is... "How does it feel to be so awesome?"
Conan: Oh it's great man! Hahahahahah...No, no, no, I know what you're saying here. I guess, for us, we just wanted to do our own thing, and completely own that. Do that in a way that nobody else did. Period. I guess I got a little frustrated with all the Shellac comparisons over the years, because I've seen, and played, with so many bands that DO sound so much like that band. Which, Shellac is great, but I always felt that was one part of the puzzle. We had our own thing that we did, and people often didn't understand it. Like, it's impossible to have humor in a band without being outright goofy. (lies!, all lies!)
Me: But I know what you mean by that. My book exit here has been compared to books like Less Than Zero and Rules of Attraction and Gossip Girls(which I’ve never read) and those comparisons are flattering. And I was influenced by other authors for sure. But at the end of the day, I was doing my own thing. That said, I do think it’s important to feel an influence from other artists. That sort of base level thing like, “It reminds me of this or that”, really gets to the root of the people behind the creation. The mentality that goes, “If you like that, then you’ll love this.” But what would be the advice you have for other bands?
Conan: My advice to every band that, starting out or whatever, is "find what it is, that makes you, YOU. Then finely hone that and do it even better." Which is the same thing that Replicator did. I'm sure that sounds pretentious, but it's what we did and what made us worth paying attention to. I mean good god, when Chris and I started Replicator, we didn't know what the hell we were doing. If you listen to Winterval, the first record we did... before Ben even, we were just all over the place. Then we pulled it together and found out what made us, "us". Then we nailed that against the wall and kept at it. There is a contingent that just LOVES that record too and certain songs on it. I just want to go back in time, adjust my amp settings, unplug half of my pedals and sit myself down with a talk about "direction". It is what it is though...
Me: You’re never truly done with a project. You just put the best you have at the time out there and ten years later, you look back and you’re like, I really needed a semi-colon right there instead of a comma.
Conan: Exactly. So we eventually did find out what made us, "us". I think that truth and honesty just kind of shows through you know? We were in an interesting position, in that we were literally just about the last band standing from our community. Everybody had broken up, or sort of went dormant, or changed up their style away from the noiserocky kind of stuff. I used to joke about calling Machines Will Always Let You Down, either, "Last Band Standing" or "Fuck you, still here!". The 'cator had a confrontational attitude like that, just because it was so often us against the world. The key with Replicator is that we were this spasming, shambolic beastthat would be perfectly oblique at times and totally anthemic at others. We usually didn't give a rat's ass what people wanted, but we were sometimes very good at giving them what they needed. If you were into it, hey, that's great, but we would play right the fuck through you as well, which many bands CLAIM to do, but few actually pull off. I can tell when somebody is forcing that from a mile away.
Me: Me too.
Conan: So, yeah, I guess Replicator could throw down with the big boys. We held our own with Trans Am, Melt Banana, the Blood Brothers, The Plot To Blow up The Eiffel Tower, 400 Blows, The Bronx, Big Business (tons!), BABYLAND, Totimoshi, Rye Coalition, Oxes, Hella, etc. We did what we did, and people responded to it and sometimes to our utter surprise! I mean there would be some shows that we would be like: "God, why are we freaking doing this? Let's just tear through this as fast as we can and get out of town." Then we'd play and people would explode. I'd be lying if I said that wasn't a thrill.
Me: Any complaints?
Conan: If there's one I had, I have to agree with the Guardian that we were kind of the Rodney Dangerfield of the rock world. No respect man, no respect. We could personally bring in a big crowd of people if we played with a band that people knew, but unless we were releasing a record or something, we'd be playing with a touring band that totally slayed, but didn't have a name and people would... I don't know stay home and watch Lost and I never got that. I think in the bay area there is too much to do and people become victims of their own leisure.
Me: Agreed. Some of the best bands I’ve ever seen and am now into, are bands who opened for some local band without a huge name and took it too the audience. They left an imprint. An indention in the brain and that stuck with me. It still does.
Conan: So yeah, we didn't really fit in any pre-programmed category, so we created our own. I think, some times, that really shows through and you can. It was never a contest for us in Replicator, but of course it's great to be able to hold your own and give back the ass kicking that music so righteously has given you. That is one of the best feelings ever, by far.
Me: So flipping the page. Your new band, Mount Vicious. You guys are absolutely great. Steroid Unicorn is like, I don’t know, just an amazing song and the bands and the sound that it reminds me of(Minutemen, Murder City Devils, Sonic Youth) sends chills up my back. How did this band get put together?
Conan: Thanks again man, wait until you hear it live!
Me: I’ll be at the Elbo Room on the eleventh.
Conan: Nothing about this band is accidental. I put on my Machiavelli hat for this one for sure. The idea was, after doing Replicator for so long, I understood how to make a band. The unfortunate thing is that there is very little planning involved with bands. They just tend to "happen", which sometimes is brilliant, but usually isn't.
Conan: So I started with a concept which was music for people that aren't just musicians or music nerds, even though I am both. Something that would not be implicitly noise rock, and CERTAINLY not Replicator part 2, but have some of the best influence from that world, but also from what I really love to listen to.
Conan: Big classic rock, the pick of the litter of post-punk, noiserock, and punk rock, etc. Call and response, huge choruses to sing along to, and a general sense of absolute EPIC-ness. And most of all, a mindset that was generally positive. And this may sound weird, but it's something I actually picked up from Andrew W.K.
Me: Wow. Really?
Conan: I'd go to his shows and see metalheads, punk rockers, indie rockers, and like... soccer moms all rocking out and just having this incredibly moving and amazing time. Not to sound hokey, but that really moved me. All these people that can generally not agree on a damn thing, all rocking out together, that was part of it too. So I had the concept, and I decided since in the internet age everything is old before it's even new, I would create this band in complete secrecy... we'd write a bunch of songs, record something, get a website, book some shows, etc. Then just... BAM! Surprise! Here we are.
Me: Yes you are. I remember when you shot me the email about Mount Vicious, and up to that point, I had no idea what you were doing post-Replicator, and I listened to it and I made everyone who was there listen to it and I was fucking stoked! But go on…
Conan: It was, I have to say, absolutely crucial to the creative process that it came out that way. But it was very difficult to be so vague or misleading when people would ask me what I was up to post-Replicator. Every fiber of my being wanted to start blabbing endlessly about this thing I was so excited about, you know?
Me: I totally know. I am always telling myself that I’m not gonna let the rabid cat out of the bag about my next project but I always do. Usually when I’m drunk. But it always happens and that was part of the immense appeal for me when I first heard Mount Vicious, to be honest. I didn’t know what was happening and then you unleashed it and it was like BAM! There it is. And holy shit. It fucking kills.
Conan: Thank you, sir! Anyway to accomplish this band, which had a clear concept and plan, the next thing in mind was to assemble the team. I knew that I wanted to play to my strengths, which, as much as I love playing guitar, is performance. So I made the purposeful decision to create something more maximal. So that I could unambiguously front the band, in the style of yeah, Iggy Pop, Nick Cave, Glenn Danzig, Greg Dulli, David Yow, Jon Spencer, etc. At the same time, rather then recreate the Bolshevik democracy that was Replicator, I was going to take a very active hand in shaping this band in all ways. Not that I wanted a bunch of hired guns or anything, but something akin to the Executive branch vs. the Legislative branch or something. Play to each others strengths in both music and all of the stuff that comes with being in a band that isn't music. Chris was obviously in, as he and I just agreed that "we weren't done." Plus, we just have this telepathic link from playing so long together. Not to mention that he's just an amazingly hard hitting and great drummer. I will take a well practiced Chris Bolig... I mean "Richard Necklace" over the best and brightest out there. Hands down. Even when we've wanted to strangle each other, the man is my brother.
Me: Dude can destroy it.
Conan: Next up was Andre. He used to play in a great local band called Stay Gold Pony Boy who Replicator used to play with and were quite good. He also played in the band Boyjazz and plays in the Long Thaw, all good rockin' bands with great sensibility. The guy is a monster guitar player, as well as a really great vocalist. I've known the guy for forever, and found that we had many of the same ideas about music and what we truly love about it. So we brought him in, and it turned out we had this amazing chemistry for writing songs together. Things just happened so quickly and were so awesome. I was kind of blown away. We could sit down with acoustic guitars and just tear through stuff and it would be badass, and quick. Did I mention we write songs on acoustic? That is about the most un-Replicator thing I can think of! Add that with his amazing Serbian propensity for order and he's the perfect XO to my Supreme Allied Commander which is great, because I'm really good with the high minded concepts, but sometimes it takes me a dog's age to get around to the point, whereas Dre will just get a very serious thoughtful look on his face and just go: "Ok, this part should do this, then we'll do this, you do this, and you do that." and it works for everybody.
Me: Alright. Who was next?
Conan: Next up was Brian, who played in a great, but little known band called We're Gonna Fight The Eskimos Next.
Me: That’s a great fucking band name!
Conan: He's a great bass player, but with a completely different style from Ben, polar opposite almost! Very, for lack of a better term, less aggressive and more expressive? hahaha! Not only that, but the guy has a good pop sensibility that I knew would help remind me when we were disappearing too far down the rabbit hole of "music for musicians". He just has a great visual flair too, and it never hurts to have a guy that can do badass flyers in the band. We could have very easily done a 4-piece band and been quite good, but as I said, I really wanted to push myself forward as a performer and doing vocals, but I wanted to maintain that just gigantic epic feel. So there was only one guitar player that fit the bill, Alli Mayhem from the great band, the Holy Kiss and formerly the Cold War.
Me: She’s great. I’ve seen the Holy Kiss so many times and as much as Matty is all over the stage, I always end up like intently watching her. Blows me away.
Conan: Alli has such a unique and interesting style. The vein of lots of rad post-punk stuff that was at the forethought of MV which I felt it would really complement what we were doing and add another layer of hooks, while at the same time freeing Dre up to do some of the crazy harmony stuff and whatever he likes to do so she could hold the melody. Also, from a perspective of personal interaction, I really liked the influx of non-DUDEness by having her in the band. Like, the Howard Stern show has Robin in there right? And it somehow tempers the show, so it's just a bunch of creepy dudes all the time saying creepy things about women…it's a bunch of creepy dudes, harassing the girl in the room! hahahah. But she can take it and give it back just as good. Which is good, because there is a hell of a lot of testosterone flying around in Mount Vicious. Everybody in this band is in this band for a reason, and those weren't the only reasons, but it's a good window into my thought processes. It may break the mystique of... "Ooooh, we just together and plaaaaaayeeed maaaaaan...", but obviously it works, yeah? Personalities and mindset for the overall goal came first, since everybody was kickass musicians, my take (correct as it turns out), was that everything else would fall into place. And lo it did! Each one of these people were already friends that I loved to hang out with, and we just bring out these rad elements of each others personality and just have a lot of fun. It's, no kidding, like being on tour with my 4 closest friends. It's like a supergroup, if you're really, really into awesome bay area bands. hahahah.
Me: What are the huge differences then between Replicator and Mount Vicious?
Conan: The biggest difference between Replicator and Mount Vicious, of which there are many, is that Mount Vicious plays TO people, not THROUGH people. Which isn't to say we're trying to do top 40, but there is a lot more give and take for sure.
Me: So that’s the story then?
Conan: That is the story of Mount Vicious, but really it's the story of rock and roll...
Me: Of course it is. So let me ask you this…I know from brief conversations I’ve had with you, including singing Steroid Unicorn in my room with you on my birthday at three in the morning, how excited you are for Mount Vicious. Is there any feeling of being sort of reborn like you’re playing music for the first time again?
Conan: You nailed it. Everything about this band is fun, even the things that shouldn't be fun about being in a band. “Reborn" is the absolute correct term for that. It may surprise people, but after Replicator ended, I seriously considered retiring... just leaving on a high note you know? Because if there was going to be a second act, it had to really deliver the goods and do something different, hit on a different level. I'm not somebody that NEEDS to be in a band, heck, I'm not even a guy that "plays in bands" really... for me it's like a mission or a crusade or something. I believed in what we did in Replicator so much. It made all of the sacrifice you have to have in life worth it and I believe in Mount Vicious in the same way. I can't even begin to explain how happy this band makes me, and people’s feedback to me, who have said the same thing as well. That means the world. And it's also exactly what I planned. And seeing it all come together is one of the best things I've ever been a part of.
Me: Well can you get me into the Murder City Devils late show with Triclops?
Conan: Oh how funny, I actually did not even know they were playing that show. Hmmm... they sure do play a lot of shows! Good for them, I guess we aren't playing with MCD then, I should have bought a ticket, damn. I'll try, but I think i'll have to work on getting myself in first.
Me: So what’s the next part of the process? You have an e.p. and have done some light touring. What’s on the immediate horizon?
Conan: We've got a local show coming up at the Elbo Room on the eleventh. We’re also finishing off about 4 or 5 new songs, and then in April we're recording the Mount Vicious record (oooh, ahh!) for a tentative summer release. I'm super excited to get into the studio and put this down. It's looking like we're going to be gone on a full US tour throughout the month of July. That's super thrilling, again, to go out for a month with 4 of my best friends? Yes, please! maaaaaybe a shortish thing in May, either NW again or down south, depending... Fall is pretty uncertain. Not a lot of local shows, people need to realize that every MV show we play locally is an event and should be treated as such. It's very easy for people to get jaded in the bay since there is so much going on: "oh, i'll catch them next time..." Next time might be 3 months from now. For instance, right now after the current show, I don't think we're playing locally until April. Granted that can change, but yeah... that's part of how we roll. More playing regionally than locally. That could sound kind of arrogant, but it's important to know about this band.
Me: I agree and I am a culprit of saying, I’ll see you guys the next time. Although, to be fair to me, you guys have picked some shitty dates for me to be able to get to a show. But the eleventh, I’m there. And the next night, I get to see Agent Orange. I’m friends with Dusty Watson, their drummer, through my book, so I’m looking forward to two great nights of rad shows back to back. Actually, not just looking forward to it, but completely stoked. I can’t even eat I’ m so pumped. But pushing on, are there bands that you just wanna blaze out on tour with?
Conan: Oh of course! All the usual suspects. Well, I think my dream tour would be: Queens of the Stone Age, Torche and Future of the Left... that's pretty much all I listen to these days! That and the usual back catalog suspects... your Birthday Party, AC/DC, fugazi, Wipers, Zeppelin, Misfits, etc. Assuming Grinderman tours again, playing with them would be great. I think the Eagles of Death Metal would work really well with us also. If there's one thing that I've found it's that you never know what is going to happen!
Me: You don’t at all. Especially being in a band. You get that call that says, “Hey, we need an opener for this show can you do it?” And it’s fucking the Biz or the Blows or someone. But you guys on tour with some of those bands would be insane!
Conan: Also, since some of our stuff has that anthemic classic rock sort of vibe, I'd absolutely adore playing with like, Joan Jett and Cheap Trick and stuff too!
Me: For the most part, it sounds like the reaction to Mount Vicious has been extremely positive. Have there been people who just don’t wanna get into it and have let you know about it?
Conan: Not nearly as many as I expected! I mean, I expected about an 80% conversation rate? With 20% just not liking it, and expecting something more noiserock and Replicator part two. The worst reactions I've found thus far is: "this is not what I expected... but I like it." I have met with only one outright disapproval, and I feel that opinion was politically motivated anyway. I mean, on the whole people tend to not just say: "Hey man, I think you suck!", when you've been around as long as I have, you know the euphamisms and the ways people mask their criticism. Interestingly, there are a few folks that were not so into Replicator that LOVE Mount Vicious, or casual Rep fans that are MV boosters. I think that means we're doing something right. I will say this, if there is somebody reading this that has NOT checked out what we're doing and knew our old band, I say this: "Give it a shot, it's different, but you might dig it!"
Me: I’m glad I asked that. Just personally, for me, my new book, The Mission is a lot different than exit here. Sure, some of these nihilistic overtones and shady lifestyles exist, but on the whole, it’s totally different book. And I’ll be curious to see if the fan base of exit here gets down with it. I think they will. I think my readers are very thoughtful and bright and will see me for my artistic and creative side and not just someone who wants to cash in by doing the same thing every time. So, now that I just dropped writing into the convo, if you could take any book on tour with you, which book would it be and why?
Conan: Man, for some reason I find it really, really difficult to read on tour. I don't know why. I also tend to write tour journals, so that takes up some time as well. Charles Bukowski's Post Office is a favorite of mine. Any Palahniuk, The Man In the High Castle or Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip ..K. Dick. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson. I've always had this romantic notion of reading "Journey to The End of The Night" by Celine on tour, but that shit is pretty epic. No, as much as I tend to read a lot at home, on tour I listen to music a lot more, or like Howard Stern on SIRIUS, or just shoot the shit. I always make sure to bring at least 3 books with me though, varied types and styles, just in case.
Me: Where would you like to see Mount Vicious at this time next year as a band?
Conan: In all likelihood, working on a second album, a few pretty great tours behind us, and if we haven't done it already, a tour to Europe and/or Japan. I'd like to put some 7"s as well, just because. I mean, you can make the argument that any physical object these days is a dead format, so you may as well go with the most timeless.
Me: What can people who read this interview do to help the band?
Conan: This may sound like the most obvious thing in the world, but get the word out. If you like what we do, heck, if you like what any band does, the key is to let other people know. Its human nature in the world we travel in to want to keep things you love a secret or just for you and your friends. At the very least, it isn't instinct to crowing about it for most people. Obscurity is not a badge of honor. I think its great when people give us money for our music, that helps cover the costs of making that music and putting out a product that's good. At the level we're at, I'm totally fine with people trading and sharing our music for the sake of getting people familiar with what we do. If there's one thing I ask with that, it's that the music be treated as a worthwhile commodity. Also, we put on a pretty damn fine show, so coming out to those when we have them is good. We're recording an album in April for a summer release, when that comes out, buying it would be really awesome. You know, if people are even still buying cds by then.
Me: You’ve been around the bay area music scene for a long time. What advice do you have for bands, just starting out, who want to books shows and get their name and music out?
Conan: It's tough to get people to notice, but that is mostly because there is so much going on out there. This shouldn't be looked at like a challenge, it's an opportunity! If you're willing to work for it and show that you really have something special. You have to differentiate yourself as much as possible, and the best way to do that is to find out what makes your band "you", and finely hone that. Trying to go for a certain sound and vision is a great thing, but you have to let it develop and should let it grow to fit. As far as booking shows, at the beginning, bands are in situations that they have to take whatever shows are offered. Don't do that too much. It's a show goers market in the bay, not the person putting on the show. I think it's important to figure out where you want to be, where you want to fit in. Find your community and be a part of it, and if there isn't one... create one! I may sound like a broken record, but it's better to take a risk and fail than to just play it safe and sound like everything else.
Me: What are your favorite venues to play around the bay area?
Conan: Speaking exclusively of Mount Vicious, the most fun was definitely 924 Gilman. I also like Hemlock Tavern, Bottom of the Hill, Great American Music Hall, the Independent, Elbo Room, Annie's Social Club... there are a lot of really great venues in the area, we're pretty damn lucky.
Me: Any last words?
Conan: We are Mount Vicious, we are very good at sex.
And there you have it, kids. From the man himself. You can listen to Mount Vicious at www.myspace.com/mountvicious.They have a show on February 11th at the Elbo Room. And also check out his old band Replicator, like I said earlier, one of my all time favorite bands, at www.myspace. com/replicator. Delicious Fornicake and Fashionably Latent. Doesn’t get any better than those two songs.