I didn’t have anybody around to worry about the when or where or how or what or should or shouldn’t so I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted. It was a little bit like the Traffic days in the cottage. I had all the time and like I said, it’s not like I was making an album because I had a record deal and there was a commitment to make an album so there was no pressure.
MI: What made you decide to become a singer?
SP: Um, like I say, I went to my first audition back in ’77 for a band and brought my guitar and they said, “Well, we’ve already got a guitar player. Can you sing?” and I just said, “Yeah, I guess.” And I became a singer. Then I became a singer and guitar player and uh, started the procedure of Mickey Ratt, which turned into Ratt and now we’re back in the cellar…
Some of these so called rock stars out here, what they don’t get or fail to remember is that the fans make you who you are. Some of them get so ahead of themselves and are just “I’m all this or that” but they dissed the fans. I’ve experienced that, and that’s why we go out of our way to make sure we are accessible to our fans, so they can talk to us, email us, or whatever.
I believe that anybody that’s really made it, you know like all these BIG names, are up there for a reason, but I want to work with people that nobody knows yet. I want to find these gems, I don’t want to follow anyone else’s path – I want to create one.
We then spent a month driving around houses coming up with sillier and sillier names and not getting anywhere and then we realized that Circus Diablo was, you know, a freak show, it’s where I’ve always felt I belonged – the devil’s circus. It had a good ring to it, good imagery…so…
Joey: Thank you. No, seriously, we’ve worked so fucking hard on this record, and really tried to make it something that wasn’t already out there. When everyone was trying to be brutal and heavy, we were trying to be honest and true. When we recorded it, we decided we weren’t going to put any samples on it; everything on the record has a microphone on it.
MI: What I find interesting is the name of the CD “Gave Me the Clap”, who gave you guys the clap?
Travis: A few of us might have it, we’re not sure, but…(laughs) Well, the meaning behind that is just when you come to see us play live, we like that bond and you know, we like people to clap along to our songs, so we like the double meaning.
MI: One of your messages is “Art Saves”. How do you think art saves people?
Otep: Well, it saved me. It gave me an outlet for all my emotional adventures and all the things I was feeling and had no way of understanding why I was feeling them or why things were happening to me. It gave me a deeper understanding of love and hate and about righteous revenge. I think art is a teacher and it allows you to step outside yourself and become a narrator of your own life.
MI: Tell me about the bands on Stillborn. How did you pick them?
JJ: Well, my philosophy with the whole label is that I want to work with young bands that are hardworking and they know that they have to do everything themselves. Either you have it or you don’t. You’re never going to acquire, like, no one’s ever going to say to you, ‘Here you go. Here’s record sales and huge tours.’ You’ve got to work for it, and either you have that attitude or you don’t. That drive, I mean.