Bloodhound Gang in-the-news

Voice of Evil

December 5, 2005Matt Dentler
The Daily Texan

Bassist tells why Bloodhound Gang do it like they do

Rolling Stone magazine once called them "Witty, stupid and the only band on Earth that makes Fred Durst sound like a heavy thinker."

They're one of the biggest bands in Germany and a strong force in the European music scene. They rarely play clubs in their hometown of Philadelphia and find activist groups all over the U.S. denouncing their music as obscene. They've been sued by Pink Floyd and banned by college student groups.

Nonetheless, The Bloodhound Gang have survived it all and still manage to strike a chord with listeners everywhere with their funky rap-rock.

Imagine the early Beastie Boys collaborating with the Thompson Twins and there's The Bloodhound Gang. Sophomoric, sure. Offensive, absolutely. Fun and clever, definitely. With the release of their third LP, Hooray For Boobies, the band from Philly has beaten the one-hit wonder rep they got after scoring a success with "Fire Water Burn" in 1996. Now, with a few radio hits "Three Point One Four" and "The Bad Touch" the fame they achieved in Europe has finally started to sneak into America.

The band will showcase some of this talent when they bring their national tour to a close this month following a stop in Austin. After a long trek of hitting the pavement, the band is ready for a break and it shows.

"The album's been out for like a year-and-a-half. We've been playing the same songs for 18 months now. The kids want something new and exciting and we don't have it," bassist Evil Jared Hasselhoff said from his tour bus during a stop in Alabama.

What keeps them going? "Booze and cocaine," Hasselhoff quips.

The nonstop touring helps the band live the rock 'n' roll lifestyle, which includes a recent late night of partying with unlikely buddies N'Sync. Evil Jared maintains that the band still doesn't live the posh life you would expect from platinum-selling international stars.

"You watch those VH1 Behind The Music specials. MC Hammer, the guy was having a toilet made out of entirely gold. And we've sold a few albums, [but] I can't have a toilet made out of gold. I live on my friend's couch," he said, setting his sights a little lower after more thought. "Maybe not a whole toilet, but a sink at least. Maybe a bidet made out of gold. I would settle for a silver toilet, it doesn't have to be a gold toilet."

The Bloodhound Gang, in their own perverse way, does notice some major differences between the way fans react to them in the United States versus their following abroad.

"I don't think they've ever heard of Lady Bic in France," Evil Jared laughed. "And they certainly haven't heard of Speed Stick."

When you've spent the entire summer in countries like Spain, Denmark and England, places like your Philadelphia home can become more foreign than you'd expect. Still, The Bloodhound Gang never had an easy time fitting into their Philly surroundings when the band first started, assembling after Temple University students Evil Jared and lead singer Jimmy Pop Ali met.

"I don't know what the local music scene is like in Texas, but in Philadelphia, if you go out to see a band you see a local Top 40 cover band. All the popular Philadelphia bands are cover bands, playing like The Cure and Def Leppard songs. It's terrible," Evil Jared said. "Looking back, cover bands make a lot of money. We should have played cover songs. But every one we tried to play sounded lousy. If you write your own songs, no one knows what they're supposed to sound like."

The music they were making is still the same immature rhyme-and-rock they play today. Jimmy Pop Ali has a considerable talent for blending irreverent lyrics with topical nonsense. On the single "Mope" the band incorporates a sample of Frankie Goes To Hollywood's hit "Relax" with words such as "Buggin' out like Tori Spelling's eyes/ Deader than the parents on Party of Five/ Luciano Pavarotti on a treadmill/ Not going nowhere slim chance we will."

The band's use of fast-paced and funny wordplay over hip-hop beats and synth rhythms has helped them find an especially large following in America's college communities.

"I would think college kids would be way too educated to listen to our stuff. I would think high school kids would be too educated to listen to our stuff. We're aiming for like seventh-graders," Evil Jared is quick to point out. The band makes no claims that their music is anything more than simple party rock.

The Bloodhound Gang hasn't stopped touring throughout the world's big college environments. At heart, Evil Jared seems like a smart kid who grew up on popular culture and decided to make some dumb music from all that experience. But the band is no group of dummies, college-educated themselves and always tuned into the news of the nation.

"The TV has not gone off of CNN since this crap started. And it's always the same thing, every day," Evil Jared exclaimed about the current election dispute in America. He noted that the band was not visiting Florida on this leg of the tour. "Otherwise, we'd go down there and make fun of how stupid they are for not knowing how to count. I could have told you if anyone wasn't gonna know how to count it would have been a bunch of retards in Florida."

He goes on to relay a terrible experience the band had when opening for chainsaw-metal act Jackyl in Tampa a few years ago. The band found themselves faced with 10,000 screaming Jackyl fans.

"They hated us. We're trying to play and they're throwing car parts at us. Who tries to sneak car parts into concerts?" he asked, now looking back and laughing. He sums up the state of Florida in two thoughts, "Trailer parks and mullets."

The band is almost done with their tour and plan to start work on the follow-up to Hooray For Boobies in March. It's been a long time coming, but there is a break on the way for The Bloodhound Gang. Evil Jared even claims to have his plans all set for the Christmas season.

"I plan on going and seeing my grandmother, she lives up in New York. She's got a great meth lab up there. So [we'll have] some Christmas crystal meth, some Christmas crank. Then Grandma and I are gonna snort until we fuck up our septums and that's a great Christmas in my book," he said, enjoying a laugh you would expect from one of The Bloodhound Gang. "It's a white Christmas."

The Bloodhound Gang will play La Zona Rosa on Wednesday, Dec. 6, with Caviar opening.