Monday, February 18, 2013

INTERVIEW WITH PETER AARON OF CHROME CRANKS

Chrome Cranks: New York via Ohio rock n roll legends back with a new album after 15 years.

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photo credit: Keith Marlowe

 

Who are you wearing?

These days, Levi Strauss (still black, of course) and even the occasional plaid cowboy shirt, though never on stage - not ready to get all rustic Americana or anything like that.

Best Tim Warren story?

We did a gig in a gymnasium at Washington University in St. Louis with the Oblivians and the Hentchmen in 1996, 1997, somewhere around then. Tim arrived, already fairly loaded, with the Oblivians, and proceeded to get increasingly obliterated as the hours clicked by. By the time the Oblivians were about to go on, he seemed to have vanished and I was wondering what happened. But then, right before they started the first song, comes Tim's voice from somewhere in the back of this dark and mostly empty gym yelling, 'Crap! ROCK! Crap! Fuckin' ROCK!' The college kids certainly didn't know what to make of that. Seriously, though, Tim's a true character but also a great guy and a total visionary - as his work with Crypt Records, Back From The Grave and so many other amazing comps, etc., plainly bears out.

Official Chrome Cranks cocktail?

Coffee and kombucha!

Worst food you've ever eaten on tour?

Chinese food in Montana. 'Nuff said.

Ever met Cheetah Chrome?

Yes. In 1980 at a long-gone New York club called 2+2 (it later became the second location of A7). He was headlining there with a trio he had called the Casualties; the False Prophets were also on the bill, and were the first hardcore band I saw. I quit drinking a few years later but at this time I was about 15 or 16 and still drank, so my buddies and I had gotten ripped on Olde English 800 in Washington Square Park beforehand. When we came into the club, which was in this illegal, after-hours loft venue with a bar in the freight elevator, Cheetah was sitting by the door wearing a headband and full-length leopard-print lady's housecoat. I went straight up to him and started gushing, 'Man! Cheetah Chrome! You're GREAT!' He smiled and said, 'Stick around, kid - I'm even better live than I am on record.' By the time he went on, EVERYONE was pretty wrecked, and I remember lying semi-passed out on one of the ratty, old couches along a wall and listening to Cheetah's band do blues jams before he and the club manager started having a shouting match because the gig's turnout was really thin. The manager, who had a bit of a beer gut, kept yelling at Cheetah, 'You're NOTHING without the Dead Boys! You SUCK!' And Cheetah just yelled back, 'You're so fucking fat, you asshole. You should just get the fuck outta here and go do some sit-ups or something!' Classic stuff! Our drummer, Bob Bert, played a gig with Cheetah as a member of the Tabby Chinos last year, which was very cool to see. Cheetah's autobiography, A Dead Boy's Tale, is a great read.

What makes you cranky?

Having to pay a $12 toll every time I drive into New York City. Come on.

Best European country for rock n roll?

Just about anywhere in Europe rocks, but I think I've enjoyed Spain and Italy the most. And we've always done really well in Holland.

Favorite blues record?

Anything by Howlin' Wolf, of course. All music starts with him and tapers downward. I'm also a great lover of Blind Willie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson, John Lee Hooker, Charlie Patton, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Joe Turner, Charles Brown, Bessie Smith, Magic Sam; the list goes on. Some days I almost think I could survive without any other music.

Best place to sell your soul to Satan?

Tea Party rallies.

Is blood thicker than Canadian maple syrup?

These days Canadian currency is kicking our ass. WTF?

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Links:

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