HB MEETS THE PRESS

INTERVIEWS

This is the final ever Huggy Bear interview. It is quite long so I will put it up over June and July. It was in Punk Planet.

PP: as far as tonights incident goes...

C: which incident? do you mean the punk poser guy? i think he wanted a little bit of attention.

PP: he sure got it.

c: yeah i guess..i should have just killed him shouldnt i? if someone else have had the jumps on him, i wouldnt have been too sorry. he was very easy to push around though, it made me feel very strong and powerful. my clark kent fantasies come true.

PP: he seemed pretty easy to manipulate.

C: yeah, he took a dive.

PP: it almost had its own choreography to it...at first he was throwing those punches that weren't going anywhere...i thought it was set-up.

C: i was worried about that, i thought people were going to see this and were going to be like "oh huggy bear, cheap controversy, they paid some boy to fake a punch in the middle of the show." anyway, as far as that incident goes...

PP: have there been any other incidents like that previously on this tour?

C: on this tour, thankfully none. yesterday, actually, there was this one boy and it was a similar incident. about three of four songs in, he started pushing very small girls who were at the front of the stage. not just like dancing and being like rather too elbow like-i explained it well, that's going to come across good in print-he was being just like a brat, and pushing them on the shoulders and barging into them and stuff. so we stopped the song and made him look stupid. which is what we always try to do. we always try to make it silly so it doesn't get too ugly. cause then everybody has a bad time. they think that we should play. we always get that, were trying to save people from getting pushed around in the front, and they're going "just play some music", you know, "quit the political thing!" and all it is making sure little kids dont get pushed around. but that was just on thing yesterday, we had to just sort one guy out and it was easy.

PP: so would you say in europe, comparing it to the US, is there more or less of what?

C: in europe? in egland probably the whole riot grrrl thing gained some attention a lot of boys...it was obvious that they just feeled threatened and felt that they were going to be left out of the next big thing, in terms of currancy of english music phenomenon goes. so any show whre a band of girls who wre very vocal about being girls in a band, there would be boys who would try to act up and be rude to them, and try to disrupt them and things. but they didnt last for a very long time, i guess they figured there was somewhere else they could go. somewhere where they could get stoned, or push people without causing any type of trouble. they dont like being humiliated anyway, it seems like any disruption at a show i saw, the antagonists were always quickly put to rights and just ended up looking stupid, so they didnt gain anything. in europe, though, everyones too stoned to act up or say anything. nobody goes to shows in europe.

PP: so are you saying that usually if someone acts up, nobody is going to stop it because they are too stoned, or because normally its not a big deal?

C: at your average independant shows in england, you get a hundred assholes in every audience. you know, theyre drunk for the first time in their lives and they are trying to bond with everyone in the audience by using their heads. so they either just get in a fight, or the bouncers will eject them or something. or it just gets ugly. but it seems obviously when they girls are involved and they're trying to police their own show, it's always like "what do these girls think they're are doing? we're just having a good time." the whole phenomenon has just died down right now, people are doign their own thing in their own way and it doesn't really happen anymore that people purposefully try to get in the way of things.

PP: so in the US, did you feel that the level of that is similar to europe?

C: people seem a lot cooler in america, which seems weird because the english perception of america is that you are stupid.

PP: whish isn't entirely off base.

C: well no, but in terms of your punk rock communities in various cities and towns, they're a lot more advanced and knowledgeable than ours. i mean, it is just a fact. punk rock is almost like a dirty word in england. they is only a few bands that would say they're trying to do something which is punk rock, and not be embarrassed abotu it. i mean, the whole of music as a thing in england is pretty much press generated with NME and Melody Maker and stuff.

PP: so find that you have lot of contemporaries in england or not many?

C: oh no, we have more bands that we have a kinship with here in america. there's a few bands in england that i really like that seem to be doing good things, but it is isolated. there's no real sense of community or anything like that. i'm not really answering any questions am i? i am just going blah blah blah...

PP: but that is ok! yeah, so as far as the future of huggy bear goes, i understand that you're going to break up?

C: yeah, we will break up when we get home.

PP: why is that?

C: uh, the completely, utterful truthful answer is because even a month into being huggy bear we always decided that we would only be a band for 3 years. if we were only a band for 3 years, we would get everything done that we wanted to do and never get lazy about it and wait for it to happen. we'd have to make it happen. because 3 years isn't a very long time. and so our 3 years were up in september, but because this tour got organized, we extended our shelf life just a tiny longer.

PP: so individually, do you have plans beyond huggy bear then?

C: they're really vague, we want to be out of the whole thing for a while, and worrying about being in a band all the time, and being attacked for being in a band all the time. and it would be nice to generate a little time for running our record label, which we've been trying to start, and maybe get some writing done. we've all got little things we want to do, but they're not all band things. maybe in 6 months time of something it'll be nice to start a band again with a fresh outlook.

PP: you mentioned that there was a hostility towards you as far as being a band goes, what does that mean?

C: it is only really in england...what did you want to know about there?

PP: well, why is there?

C: oh because...how many reasons are there? because we're not fluent musical currancy in england. you know, we don't sound like most of those other bands that get written about every week and we don't want to do interviews with any of those writers because they're boring writers. i think it's irresponsible to talk to writers when you know they're shit! they don't put forward any ideas which are good. i mean i can't generalize about all writers, but like principally in two major english publications, they're not interesting and they're not doing anything except picking up their paycheck and like creating this stagnant atmosphere where music is always the same and its going to be answerable to the same series of critiques, which is like "do they rock?", "are they good looking? do they want to hang out with us?"

PP: so consequently, are there a lot of weird expectations placesd on you because of their generic outlook of music?

C: there was, i guess they kind of figured at the beginning, because we got a lot of attention quickly, they were like "great! huggy bear are part of our club." but we're no good at that, we don't hang out with anyone. we're a really insular group, we don't have many friends who we hang out with. the last thing we want to do is hang otu with some bloated music journalist and talk about the new band from manchester, or whrerever is kind of like in vogue this week. it's just so uninteresting, it makes you feel cheap. if we want to sound like we're puritansm, or we're richous about it..it cause we are! i don't want to hang out with those people, i'm not interested in it, none of the band it.

PP: so in engalnd, are there a lot of underground people who are interested in talking to you?

C: well see that's the thing, at the end of the day, both papers tried to bury us. and in terms of us being liked on a less weekly level, they didn't. but that's no loss whatsoever because we were never interested in having a casual relationship with people who are into our music. when we buy records, it is an important thing to us. and when people buy our records, i want it to be an important thing to them. so the people who like us now, or write to us or come and see us, they braved the music press bullshit and they like us because they like us, that will generate its own thing, or go its own way. i was never making music to make lots of friends. but it did hurt. i wll go down on the record as saying it was a particularily uncomfortable experience for a certain amount of time. just to be out, seeing a show or being with your friends, or something and somebody would look at as if you were a loser, because in the general scheme of things music press wise, you weren't liked so therefore you didn't exist, or shouldn't exist.

PP: so as far as the music press attention, comapring the US to england, is there a lot more of a higher level press interested in bands?

C: america's bigger, but you still seem to have those three of four main publications. you have rolling stone, spin and whatever the other ones are. but they all do the same thing, you know the smashing pumpkins are the biggest band in the world, but it doesn't matter if they're good or not, that's the thing that everybody reads. a lot of people might be buying a music magazine for the first time. they're like a fourteen year old kid or something and they are like "this is about music, and i like music, and the smashing pumpkins are the greatest band in the world!" it fees their knowledge. and some people try and find things underneath that, and some people will just always go along and just buy those and get bored of buying those things. it just doesn't seem very interesting.

PP: you said that in 3 years that you were going to be in a band, there were certain goals you wanted to meet, do you feel you have met those goals?

C: yeah, we've easily done that as much as we wanted to do. i mean easily. we worked ourselves hard to the bone, we recorded all the songs we wanted to record, we played all the shows we wanted to play, we tried to answer for good people as many questions as we could. we tried to help things were we could help things, and we got to play with loads of bands we like as well. we had a lot of fun, it wasn't all terrible. it was all hard work, some of it was hard work and really good fun.

PP: so has this last tour been like a nice cap to everything?

C: well...

PP: are tours ever nice?

C: that's a good question, we have a whole asthetic of what makes a good tour, it's probably too long to get into it all now, but it means having a whole mindset. are you being a valid person involved with ideas and music on tour? or are you just soaking it all up and getting dropped off at the venue eating the tofu, and then going to a house and haning out until the next show, or do you actually gear yourself up to towards making thigns happen withen it? you write your next set of ideas down for what you want to achieve. you think about what you've achieved. you think about what you are doing all the time. and we've always tried to do that, but this tour, because we know the band is ending it's been harder. it's been kind of sad and we've had our arguements and stuff, and a lot of shows have been anti-climiatic. you kind of expect that in a way.

PP: in what way do you think sexuality plays into your lyrics and into what you are as a band?

C: how important is it? it's completely important. it's inseperable from everything we do, really. we've always been the kind of people that rather than known what we are, or what we want to do, or have fully understood what kind of people me meet with, we're always looking for other things as well. all through our lives, it's been hard to say "oh i'm this, ir i'm this, or i understand this". everything was confusing. it was always confusing. and sometimes that confusion was a good thing. it's like sonic youth, "confusion is sex", it's true! i think all of our sexual lives, in terms of kind of even half way to forming a sexual identity. it's always been weird. and we've always tried to mirror that in terms of what we've written and what we've performed.

PP: do you think there is a certain power in ambiguity?

C: that depends on if the ambiguity is genuine. if you are generally confused, and you can't express yourself in any other way than being confused, you can't ask anyone for anything other than that. but i think if you use ambiguity to call as many people to like you as possible, i think that is kinda sneaky and dishonest. maybe i don't. i don't know.

PP: well i know what you're saying. one thing i've gotten out of what i see in a band or whatever, is that for me, i don't know how i feel about sexual categorization as far as sexuality goes, i think there's a lot of open ended aspects to it that can get paved over by straight and homosexual or whatever.

C: yeah, sorry, i dont mean to interrupt, but weve had trouble before. people have said "you should just say you are this and you are this, and this weird sort of perpetuation of ambiguous is not doing anyone good." but it's more honest for us to be like that. people are confused. if i could answer a question and fill everyone up with rhetoric about a certain thing that i'm not knowledgeable on, i'd feel dishonest. my whole life has been confused. the girls in my band have had confused lives, our friends have had confusing lives. that's the honest truth of it. it's hit and miss, we discover things as we go along, but what we do do, is why try to include as many different outlooks as possible. we're not dismissive particularily..at all!

PP: do you think once huggy bear ends, your going to release a retrospective of evrything you have put out, because you have put out so much on so many different things available in so many different places.

C: i do not think we will. i mean, if anyone wants to make their own tape compiilation they can do that. i do not want to make money off old things...he says richeously. i would actually like a lot of money!! but no, i don't want to see a huggy bear compilation or anything.

PP: so, i'm only familiar with the material you've released in the united states and the "main squeeze" 7" on rugger bugger, a lot of the stuff you played tonight is any of that...

C: nearly everything we played tonight is new material, and it's on our final combination release which is going to come out on kill rock stars in the united states and wiiija in england. and maybe that will encapsulate everything which is about huggy bear in one way or another. which, to sum things up, it was people who were kind of physically not very large, but tried to find places were they could be powerful just for thinking themselves there.

PP: do you feel that you'll be addressing that in whatever you do after huggy bear? to what extent it that a pervasive theme in your life, or in what you're trying to do?

C: everything's confusing. whether you're a shy person or whether you're an outgoing personm whether you're a person who has trouble articulating things, whether you're a boy who has a small penis, whether you're somebody who who kind of wants to understand so much all the time that life is constantly burning you down, they're all confusing things, you know? kids are sitting around, there are always things that are confusing, and they're not always sexualized issues, but then again its always going to play a part in your sex life, it you're at all a sexual person. so i don't see how we could avoid to partially mirror something to do with those things.

PP: should we conclude on that note?

C: come on, ask me one other question, which is something i can give in one answer. one word.

PP: (silence)

C: oh come on, just a trivial question. this'll probably be the last interview i ever do. ask me what my favorite tv show is or something. it'll be so nice to be asked something light-hearted, then everyone will go "but why does he like that?"

PP: where is your favorite spot to go in london?

C: my favorite spot in london...that's good! the back street walk that leads from kings cross british rail station around the gardens of bloomsbury to (i'm sorry, i can understand this name-PP) tube station 'cause they're really quiet, and they're really good houses and stuff on them, and you can always go there with people you like 'cause its kind of quiet for talking and stuff.

PP: thanks a lot.

C: oh, you're welcome. 1