Interview with Boss Hog vocalist Cristina Martinez | By Thomas Pizzola | Photo by Angel Zayas
Scuzzy New York City noise rockers Boss Hog are back with their first recorded material in 16 years. The new album, Brood Star, will be followed by a new album Brood X, later in the year. Both being released on In The Red Records.
For those who don’t know the band, Boss Hog was birthed in the noise rock scene of New York City in the 1980s by husband and wife team of Cristina Martinez (vocals) and Jon Spencer (guitar), who you may know from Pussy Galore and the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion. They have recorded for such labels as Amphetamine Reptile and Geffen.
They play a raucous form of blues punk that is confrontational and exciting. For most of the new millennium the band has been dormant, save the Whiteout album, in 2000 and a brief return to touring from 2008-2010.
In addition to the new albums, the band, which also features Jens Jurgensen (bass), Hollis Queens (drums) and Mickey Finn (keyboards), will be undergoing a West Coast tour in mid-July, where they will play the In The Red Records 25th Anniversary Show in Los Angeles. It will be their busiest year in a long time.
So why now?
Martinez has a very direct answer for query.
“Because I fucking felt like it,” Martinez says.
Brood Star features the band’s trademark noise punk scree, and also throws in bits of funk and hip hop thrown into the mix. (I interviewed Spencer for another blog a few years ago and he listed Public Enemy as just as much as an influence as The Stooges.) Though, she says the full length will be a lot less manipulated than Brood Star.
She also says the band’s return to recorded material has nothing to with being dormant, but more to with modern technology.
“To clarify, we never stopped playing music together. It’s just that in the past we would record rehearsals on cassette and I never had the patience to sit down and sift through them. Now we have fancy digital recorders which make it far easier to catalog good bits and far harder to overlook the fact that we had accumulated over 200 hours of those bits,” Martinez says. “Shows are the icing on the cake for the work of actualizing all those bits into songs. Touring is our reward. Yours too.”
So get ready to get rewarded. The Boss is back in a big way. Though, Martinez has a message for all those neo-noise rockers that have popped up the past few years.
“I don’t think things are noisy enough. Wake up people! Make some noise!,” she says.
July 11 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile
July 12 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
July 13 – Eugene, OR – HiFi Music Hall Lounge
July 14 – San Francisco, CA – Slim’s
July 15 – Los Angeles, CA – Echoplex (In the Red 25th Anniversary)
July 16 – San Diego, CA – Casbah