Note: these interviews were conducted when I was 17-19 years old and running a music fanzine, so if they seem rather amateurish, it’s because they were. The italics are notes added 10-15 years after the event.
This is one of the last two interviews I’ll be uploading here, transcribed from my old fanzine. I’m including it as a companion to the Filter one (which I moved over from another, now defunct blog of mine), because they were all part of the same night. This was in 1996; sadly, singer David Reilly died in 2005 from an allergic reaction to dental medication.
God Lives Underwater – GLU for short – have certainly been making a name for themselves of late. Not only have they earned themselves notoriety after being fined for inciting a riot, but they were recently named as Motley Crue’s favourite band (is that a compliment or panic-time?) and have been attracting rave reviews for their cool debut long player, Empty. GLU’s Drew McGee stuck around for a bit.
Drew: Our favourite bands? Uh, Bjork, Korn and Filter.
Nobody’s really heard of Filter in England.
Drew: No way! they are huge in the USA. But then the British bands we get are like EMF and East 17. Do I hate them? No, they’re not worth hating. East 17 are s*** but you don’t bother to hate s*** do you? S*** is s***.
The GLU bass player has short dreadlocks that stick out in all directions. He bears a striking resemblance to Yahoo Serious, the star of Young Einstein, but when told this, he mentions that the only other person that has noticed this is Filter’s tour manager. As the tour with Filter draws to a close, Drew hosts a drunken rendezvous with our tape recorder, and answers our question on the craziest tour antics he has ever seen.
Drew: When we toured with Lords of Acid and My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult, it was called the Sextacy Ball tour and they have, like, every person who was into bondage and piercing and all that kind of crap at every show, y’know? And we went to one show and it was in the middle of nowhere in Kentucky and we were, like, “this show is gonna suck”, and we get there and take a look to see what’s happening and I’ve never seen so many freaks in my entire life. They had this guy tied up being whipped and he was like, “No, harder, harder!” And they eventually took out a big bullwhip and he had, like, welts all over him and there was blood dripping down. It was insane. We were like, what???
So we walk over to this sleaze thing and they had all these girls caged up like rants and we were like, “Ah, she’s such a beautiful girl, what’s she doing like that?” and the master is like, “Do you like this girl?” and it’s like, “Yeah”, so he opens this thing and goes, “What do you say to him?”
She knelt down next to Jeff’s shoes and says, “Thank you, sir.”
“I didn’t hear you!”
“Thank you, sir,” she says, and starts licking his shoes and stuff.
Anyway, our tour manager comes over and goes, “What is this? Lick my shoes!”
So she goes over to him and starts licking his shoes. So the master gave the tour manager the chain that she had round her neck and he walked her around the club and made her lick people’s legs, kiss their shoes, and it was in the middle of f***ing nowhere in the United States. It was bizarre, really bizarre.
So, how are you enjoying this tour?
Drew: It’s great. I’ve never been to England before. It’s weird to see the way people act differently at shows in different countries. Like, in the States, people go out to have a good time, and if you rock out but play some of the wrong notes or if your voice isn’t up to much, nobody cares. In Europe, everyone stands around and when you look out and people aren’t dancing, you think that they must really hate us. They must think we really suck. But they come up to us afterwards and say that they thought we were great, and it turns out that they were just really paying attention to the music. But you get a band like Korn, and it is literally impossible to stand still at one of their shows. You have to dance. Korn are a totally amazing band. But one of the things I like is to hang out with people after the show. I love to just get drunk and hang out and have fun.
So, are Filter party animals?
Drew: No. Well, not much. I think they had a pretty wild time with Trent [Reznor], so they’re just chilling out these days. They’re pretty cool guys. Oh, here’s their tour manager. Hey! Guess who she said I look like? Hey! You’ll never guess! Yahoo Serious, that’s right! It’s weird, because people usually say I look like Jim Carrey.
You do look like Jim Carrey.
Drew: That or Matt Dillon. He’s a really cool actor.
Damien Hirst: prat or genius?
Drew: Who’s Damien Hirst?
A nutter who pickles cows. (Wild protestations from art critic Claire.) Okay, a genius who subverts perceptions using the once living to portray our own fears of death and decay. Or something. He chainsawed a cow and calf for a piece called Mother and Child Divided.
Drew: Were the cows alive when he chainsawed them?
No, they were just going to be used for meat.
Drew: Oh, well, then that’s okay. Nothing’s sacred with me, y’know, if nothing gets hurt then it’s fine by me.
What about the KLF burning a million pounds?
Drew: The KLF were so cool. They made such good records, and the burning thing was just brilliant. They may be past their timee now, but when they were around, they were awesome.
Drew mentions his love for British bands. He reckons Filter are into Oasis, but Drew owns a worryingly huge collection of records by bands like Slowdive and Spiritualized. When I tell him that Adi Vines and Lesley Rankine have just turned up, he is visibly impressed – “Lesley from Silverfish is at our show?” The fact that several years and a Ruby album have passed him by doesn’t seem to register with the GLU crew.
Taking him up on his famous love of hanging out and getting drunk, we join the whole world and his dog inside the tourbus, where a fridge full of beer is emptied in seconds. The most important thing on anybody’s mind is whether we should watch Raging Bull or play the Spiritualized CD. Opting for the latter, we sit around and chat about life, the universe, and the fact that Dog Eat Dog are utter s***.
Virginia Black is rather drunk. [I forget whether she was a journalist or PR agent.] Some horrendous girl from a band called Die Cheerleader is annoying everyone. She lasts five minutes before being ejected from the bus.
We all go to a club but get bored very quickly and head back to the bus. Rich Patrick retires to his posh hotel room.
We drink some more.
Jeff and David hang out but don’t say very much.
We drink some more.
Raging Bull is chosen as ideal eyefood. Drew promises to get it but doesn’t come back. He has passed out.
It’s getting light.
It occurs to us that there’s nothing Empty about this lot. Well, apart from about fifty cans of Red Stripe, that is …