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Bloodhound Gang in-the-news

The Mudmag Guide to Becoming a Rock Star, with Help from Special Guests The Bloodhound Gang

December 17, 1999Nick Lisher
Mudhut Online Music Magazine

Who better to take us through the ins and outs of reaching fickle pop stardom than current chart faves The Bloodhound Gang. Their crazy antics and cheap one liners have ensured them massive chart success. Current single 'The Bad Touch' (you will know it better as 'do it like they do on The Discovery Channel') is enjoying its third week in the UK Top 10. Amid rumours of their deliberate unpredictability and notorious bad behaviour I went to meet Lupus Thunder, the Gang's guitarist, to talk about their rise to fame. I'm shocked from the outset - he's wearing shorts in Spring, in an upmarket hotel.

Philadelphia's The Bloodhound Gang were formed when Lupus and singer Jimmy Pop began hounding clubs in 1993, eventually securing some support slots. A couple of demo's later and the Gang nearly crumbled under the pressures of being a struggling rock band with nothing but a handful of tunes and a bagful of offensive lyrics. Help was at hand, though, in the form of Evil Jared Hasselhoff (bass) and DJ Q-Ball (turntables). The present line-up was completed with Willie The New Guy, replacing Spanky G (enough crazy names, already!) as the Gang's drummer. Their first record, 'One Fierce Beer Coaster', propelled them to stardom in the States. The new record 'Hooray for Boobies', will do the same for them everywhere else in the world. Why? Because it's stupid - shamelessly so - and rude too.

Anyway - here's some advice from the man.

Sell Your soul to Satan - Lupus Thunder swears by his evil master:

"Oh, of course. If you're in a rock band you have to! Plus I was hoping I would be walking down a road late at night, in somewhere like Louisiana, and he would appear before me, we would sign the deal and I would become the next Jimmy Page. I obviously haven't signed the deal yet because my guitar playing is not that good. Once you hear me doin' wild solos, you will know that the day has come."

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder - it's the new rock n' roll:

"Actually a couple of us have problems with alphabetising - Like with our CD collections. But Jim goes even further - in his refrigerator, if there is two bottles of Coke, he has to line them up. I think that most bands I have met have obsessive compulsive problems. I think somewhere somebody is going to find the link between people who choose to music for a living and the disorder"

Annoy/threaten your local venues until they give you a gig:

"Basically when we were in Philadelphia, we would call the clubs every week and say 'Hey, we're the Bloodhound Gang, we'll send you some stuff'. We would call back a week later and the answer was always no. We would offer to play for free, we would offer to pay to play. No one would have us no matter how hard we begged. So we started playing parties around there and called up the very famous CBGB's and kept bugging them and bugging them. Basically if you keep calling them back for about a month and a half they say OK."

If you could be a cartoon character, what would it be?

"I would definitely want to be a character on the Simpsons, and if I had to pick one of them, I would pick Ralph Wiggum. He says the greatest things."

If you could have a superpower, what would it be?

"I think flying just because it's the easiest superpower to have. How cool would it be if you could just jet around all the time."

Is it true that you are all highly educated?

"Jimmy has a degree, so does Evil Jared and Q-Ball."

Is there anything so sick you wouldn't write about it?

"Nobody has come up with one yet. Jimmy used to say that it would be paedohilia, but somewhere in one of our songs there is a line about Michael Jackson, so that pretty much covered that one!"

Do you care whether or not you die tomorrow?

"I'm not really too bothered either way. If I die tomorrow, I've lived a good life, I've had a lot of fun, whatever. I actually think our bass player would prefer to be dead. I think he would be better off that way!"

Learn to exploit your record company's benefits.

"When the first record came out - 'One Fierce Beer Coaster' - the record companies would take us to bars to do promotions. Then 'Hooray for Boobies' came out and they now take us to strip bars. So I think that influences what our next record would be called - what do we want out of life and whether we can get the record company to give it to us based on the record title. We were thinking 'Thanks for the Free House in Beverley Hills'."

Of course, there are other ways to exploit your position as a rock star. For Lupus, one of his greatest loves is film. Lupus is a bit of an armchair enthusiast when it comes to pornography. 'The Ballad of Chasey Lain', featured on The Bloodhound Gang's new album, is a beautiful homage to one of the industry's most famous exponents: "When she did the little speech on the record, she didn't seem like she really wanted to. She was very friendly and nice, but she hadn't heard the song. When she heard it, she told us she was slightly scared of us. She never showed up for the video, too - which makes us her least favourite porn star now."

However, Lupus' hopes of mixing with his favourite leading ladies didn't end there: "We actually just did a photo shoot for Jaegermeister and this really beautiful girl in a bikini was rubbing up against me for the shoot. Afterwards the drummer informed me that it was Nikki Dial. She was one of my favourite porn stars of the 80's - I've seen every one of her films, seen all the magazines, but I just didn't quite recognise her. There's this one film where she does the best outdoor scene I have ever seen. I had like drool coming out of my mouth and everything. She hit on Jimmy on the way home, and Jimmy didn't' even care. I was mad!"

Use a stage name - add a little mystery by not revealing your real name.

The only reason I don't tell people, is because people want to know so much. I mean, all you have to do is have a little knowledge of the internet and you can find out home addresses and phone numbers and stuff. I kind of think that would be cool if somebody called me tomorrow. If I was like sitting at home watching TV in my underwear. If the phone rang and someone said: "Dude, is this Lupus from the Bloodhound Gang?" I would think that it was cool that someone actually took the time to hunt me down. I was doing one interview in Germany, and these fans were sending in questions, and one of them was "Can I have your address and phone number?" So I gave it out on air. There was like three calls from strange German kids.

Build a fanbase outside your home country - foreigners will want to sleep with you.

At the moment, Germany and America are the two best places for us. The last tour of Germany was pretty much what any band has ever dreamed of. When you're playing to like 6,000 people, and selling out. The kids were going completely nuts. I looked out one night, and three girls were holding out a big sign that said something like, "Jimmy Bob, will you f*ck us". There was one girl with her hand in the air who was screaming Jim's name and crying! I was like "Oh my God, we've hit Backstreet Boys status now!". It's a cool feeling but at the same time it's an odd feeling, because I keep asking my self whether or not this is real.

Drop the pretense, college boy!

"The reason we connect with people is that for years there were all these bands who were so dead serious. They were writing beautiful love songs, or songs about the current political issues. I think people are just tired of that. People have got enough problems to worry about, you know, paying bills and whether they are ever going to afford the things they want. I've got my health to worry about, never mind whether or not President Clinton is getting blown by somebody, or NATO's decided to bomb another country. I mean I prefer not to see bombs dropping all over the world, but what am I gonna do - call President Clinton? "Hey buddy - do me a favour and stop doing that" If I could get his direct line I probably would do that actually! We went to russia, and this kid turned up with a sign that said "NATO out of Kosovo". In a break between two songs, we were like "What are you doing here, Rage Against The Machine aren't playing tonight!". The only thing I care about right now is having a good time, playing these songs that I like, watching you guys have fun, and then getting a couple of beers after the show. Or in Russia I guess a couple of Vodkas. That's all I really care about. If tomorrow I went home and my whole country was rioting and there was fires in the streets - then I would be a little concerned about who our president is. We were all hoping that John McKay would win the Republican nomination, because we know his daughter - she used to be our publicist - so if he had won, we would have been able to play in the Whitehouse. Plus, he's an interesting guy."

Shock people with your honesty

"I am obsessed with sex. I think that every man is - especially American men. Women probably are to, but they hide it much better. You put five men in a room, and give them each a beer, and after twenty minutes sex would have come up in the conversation. Being a human rather than an animal is good because we've found more creative things to do with sex, so it gets even more fun! Although, I would say that a lot of our theory on life is based on animal instincts."

Write a song based around a funny anecdote for interviews ('A Lap Dance Is So Much Better When The Stripper Is Crying')

"We were all hanging out one night and I got a call one night from Daisy Burkwitz - the ex-guitarist from Marilyn Manson. He was in Los Angeles - so we went out drinking, and we were heading on to another bar, and Jimmy and Daisy didn't turn up. It turns out that they had decided to go to an LA strip club. Diasy had just won his law suit against Marilyn Manson, so he wanted to celebrate. He was buying lapdances for Jim, and this beautiful Russian girl started talking to him while she was dancing. She was saying that she missed her family, and suddenly she started crying. So there was this beautiful naked woman writhing on Jim's lap, but she was crying. Jim started thinking that this was slightly sick and twisted - but also very enjoyable. He wrote a song about it that night."

Single 'The Bad Touch' is out now