Greg Segal comments: This interview was a bit of a surprise to me. I was getting back from a short vacation at the Grand Canyon- the interview was set up after my plans for the trip were made- and my current girlfriend and I were racing across a few states to get back in time for it. I was in really bad shape with some kind of painful ear infection as a souvenir of the trip (warning: never sleep in a summer tent on a foot or two of snow), so I was feeling like shit when we arrived at the band house to find the interview just beginning. I was in poor shape to be sparring with my enthusiastic bandmates to get more than a few words in- subsequently I didn't! Arkush didn't seem too interested in what I had to say anyway, maybe he figured I was snubbing him, showing up late like a rock star. Yep, that's me. Jump back, ah wanna kissa mah self, hey.
Anyway, after the interview when it came time to take the photo, I laughed to myself thinking, yeah, just great. Probably the one opportunity I'll ever get to be in a major newspaper and I'm sure I look as lousy as I feel. Much to my surprise, when the paper came out it turned out to be one of the best shots anyone had ever taken of me. Go figure. Joe Vitti, I salute you.
As to the article itself: it was great to be in the Times and there was a lot of really valid information in here. The stuff from Kevin Goodman, Dave Prescott and Rich Bruland all seemed accurate and to the point. But the band quotes were really bizarre. I was in the room when this all went down and I marvelled at how differently it seemed he'd heard things. Of course I only had one ear working, but still....! I do believe most of what he quotes actually was said, but in a radically different order and context- one or two lines here and there taken out of an hour or so of tape. I'm sure he had little choice, given space limitations and who knows what kind of editorial interference. (I can picture some sweaty fucker with a cigar and flat top and his sleeves rolled up like J. Jonah Jamison sitting there and pounding on the desk, scowling at him, "Arkush, where's the Valley angle? How can we print this?" [It was in the Valley section of the paper, you see.] ) Unfortunately working within these limitations created an image of the band which to me seemed oddly forced , shallow and even misrepresentative at times. Subtleties are lost, concepts are crammed down to cliches, and offhand comments by one or another band member become buzzwords to hang on everyone. ( I'd probably just as soon cut my thumbs off with a blunt rock as refer to myself as a "Valley dude".) Welcome to the press! I suddenly learned why so many artists and entertainers are gun shy of interviews. And my preference for taped interviews, transcribed verbatim, was firmly cemented. It's also odd that, given the date, he doesn't mention Music To Trash, which was surely out by then; and Improvised My Ass was also recorded and if not released, then waiting to be released. Why no mention? Oh well... For all this, it should be obvious to all that Arkush did us a great service in writing such a favorable, informative and basically accurate article for a major newspaper.
(Note: this came a bit late in the band's career. The Jan. 10th F.M Station show referred to at the end of the article turned out to be Kenny's last show with us. )
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