This interview was done by Arild after the Chokebore show on the 12th of April. The background was a bit noisy and some friends of ours sat there talking, so some words disappeared, but anyway...

Arild: I'm a bit curious about what have happened since the you were here. You were recording?

Troy: Yeah, we were recording. We recorded "A Taste for Bitters" in France and we went on tour for six months, and then we went back to LA and got a new drummer and we toured in USA and then went back to France and then back to USA. Then we went back here to Europe for two months in Germany and then... (Troy catches his breath).

Arild: I think there's a question many of us here want to ask: Where is the last drummer?

Troy: Well, the last drummer, his ears were ringing all the time, and he couldn't even sleep at night. He would have to stay up and listen to the TV really loud in order to fall asleep, because his ears were sort of "beep" (Troy making a shrieking sound), and he had to stop playing drums anymore, he had to take it easy. I think he plays bass now.

Arild: What's he doing now? Is he playing in some kind of jazz-band like he wanted?

Troy: I think it's like experimental heavy, and experimental band, in LA.

Arild: In LA... OK, you're living in Los Angeles. How's it there at the moment?

Troy: Eh... Fuck LA, it sucks, man.

Arild: He, he, it sucks?

Troy: I mean, we're there, but whenever I get back from a tour I go to Hawaii for as long as I can. I'm in LA as short as I can... Because I don't really like that city.

Arild: I saw an ad for a Hawaiian punk rock band in Maximum Rock'n Roll. I don't remember what they were called, but do you?

Troy: J Church.

Arild: No, not J Church, but is J Church from Hawaii?

Troy: Yeah. They used to be called (now the background noise makes the name unrecognizable, but I think it was like "crutcher" or something...), now they're called J Church, from Hawaii. They live in San Francisco now.

Arild: Do you know anyone from that band?

Troy: Yeah, we know all those guys, and Hawaii has some hardcore-bands. Not too many make it off the island, but some of them did, and eh... some good bands came out of Hawaii, good musicians, because you know there's not that much to do but to play guitar.

Arild: So you don't surf?

Troy: Yeah, I do. Whenever I go to Hawaii, I do.

Arild: He, he, so you surf...

Troy: Whenever I go to Hawaii. I got a long board and I just go surfing everyday. It's fun, man, just hang out, rest on the beach. It makes me feel not so crazy, you know, brings back the feeling that I'm not crazy.

Arild: But you're going to record some new stuff?

Troy: Yeah, when we get back to LA, we're gonna write a new album, and then record it somewhere. We don't really know where yet, but somewhere, somewhere... I can't wait, man. I can't wait to sit in my room, write songs all day, you know. That's gonna be good.

Arild: Do you want to record it in France?

Troy: I think, if we could, I'd love to go back to that studio. It's a great studio, but I don't think we have enough money to do it. It's kind of expensive. We got lucky last album, and we're on an independent label, so money's tight usually. We'll just make as good an album as we can, wherever we are. Hopefully somewhere nice.

Arild: You've recently appeared on MTV. What effect does it have on your career?

Troy: Oh... None. I mean, I don't know. In France I think it had an effect. I think that people saw it there, and it made more people come to our shows. It helped people to understand our music a little better, you know... And so we have a slow song, and it's ok if people like it. It hasn't made any effects on the career, I mean we're still starving to death, and we're not going to... we don't make any money or have any sleep or food, usually there's no change. Not at all, actually I mean, not at all.

Arild: It's enough with sleep and food?

Troy: Sleeping and food is good stuff, man, but we don't really get enough of that... ehrm, last night I had about two or three hours of sleep, tonight I won't... Hopefully I can't sleep, but we have to drive ten hours tomorrow, again, and we just move so fast it's hard sometimes, you know, to get that.

Arild: Do you have any money to buy records?

Troy: Nothing, man, no! What we make on tour is about six dollars a day.

Arild: That's about hundred dollars less than what I get being unemployed, no that's a joke, but anyway...

Troy: Yeah, you can work at McDonald's and make eight times as much as that, you know, but it doesn't matter, because we love to make music, and that's the most important thing, you know, so fuck it.

Arild: Tonight I know many people who had their best time in a long time. I mean, you don't earn any money, but you must earn something else?

Troy: Oh yeah, yeah, we definitely earn. We earn the freedom to do what we want to do with our lives. I mean, I wouldn't trade it, that's why I'm not trading it. I want to do music for my life, and money doesn't matter. I have been poor all my life, and that's ok, eh... fuck it, I'm used to it, you know... The most important thing is to keep writing songs... and keep writing...

The Basement #1
spring 1997