Interview vocalist Jimmy Urine | By Morgan Y. Evans
Since first exploding onto the scene with classic “industrial/jungle/pussy punk” album Tight back in 1999, Mindless Self Indulgence have been true pioneers and instigators in an often stale musical world. The Jimmy Urine led band of misfits were a beacon of hope to geeks and outcasts, freaky-deek types and people just plain bored with the same old thing. A sense of self-awareness, self-deprecating humor and an ass kicking, hard to top live show has always set MSI above most of the pack.
It’s 2014 and with the recent release of last year’s How I Learned To Stop Giving a Shit and Love Mindless Self Indulgence, the band proved they can still sneak up and hit you like a fuckin’ tornado. The album was Kickstarter funded and truly fan friendly, not to mention one of their best ever releases with crazy ass songs like “I Want to Be Black” and “Hey Tomorrow Fuck You and Your Friend Yesterday.” Recently MSI even got the anime treatment as well as announcing a hiatus for the forseeable future after their current tour. I grabbed vocalist Jimmy Urine on the phone and got the scoop on the hiatus, the “Fuck Machine” anime, Marvel movies and his thoughts on the proposed (and thankfully shot down by the time this interview saw publication) discriminatory bill in Arizona that would have allowed businesses to refuse to serve gays on religious grounds.
Jump in the fire, kids. Woaaaaah.
So, I heard about the hiatus. Are you gonna follow in the footsteps of Serj Tankian and make classical music about Orcas?
I like all the shit he did.
I do to. Was just joking.
He goes crazy with his stuff. He had some documentary about his life and I watched it and he did more in a year than I did in like seven years. Holy shit! I must be living in slow motion. But…for side project stuff, last time we took a break… I do what comes across my desk. I did Lollipop Chainsaw, some soundtracks. I started a project with Serj called Fuktronic and all sorts of stuff like that. That’s what I’m gonna do. Everyone is taking some family time. It’s not a break up at all. We love each other. It’s more of a heads up. Last time we took a hiatus we didn’t tell anybody. They thought they’d see us when we come by. “They’re always here. They never go away.” So it’s a hello, you better see us now! I don’t know when we’re coming back. If you do want to see us, you might want to come out to these shows if you care. Or you can come out and see us in 4-5 years if you don’t care. Then good on ya, mate. I’ll see you at the show.
Speaking of coming out, I saw one of your first dates is in Arizona. Are you guys worried about that law they are trying to pass about not serving homosexuals on religious grounds? No one is going to give you food anywhere.
Wait? What? What’s going on?
Yeah, religiously they are trying to say if you go in a restaraunt and they think you’re gay they don’t have to serve you. It’s total bullshit. But you wear a lot of pink, so.
Wait! What!!! Are you kidding me? What fuckin’ year is this? So you can tell someone you don’t want to serve someone if you think they are gay?
Yes. Obviously I think it will be shot down but it has gone to the floor in a lot of places.
Holy shit. Well, holy fuck that shit’s fucked up. And I’m a huge faggot. This is the most bizaare thing ever. It doesn’t even make sense. Most things are “I think there needs to be a law abiding, blah blah…” This is just like, “I don’t wanna serve you a hot dog because you want a weiner in your mouth.” What the fuck is that?
It means we can do the same thing in the name of Satan.
That’s true. Or Rush.
I wanted to ask you about “Kill You All In A Hip Hop Rage.” Do you feel like you should have gotten an apology tweet from Macklemore like Kendrick did? I think you were robbed.
I completely agree with Drake on that. Did you read his response? “Where the fuck is my goddamn apology tweet?” Like, really…was that support to be his clandestine tweet that was personal? If Kendrick Lamar had tweeted it that’d be different. But Macklemore tweeting it publicly, that’s a little greasy, I think. He wants to win best new artist, good for Macklemore. He robbed everybody. I mean, these are top people in hip hop. Getting seven nominations and beating people out in rap, not pop but rap…I mean, c’mon. I don’t even call him out on it. I call the academy on it. C’mon! Who the fuck is putting these things together? Trent Reznor said it. It’s a popular fuck fest.
I feel for Macklemore. He probably did it cuz he was worried he was gonna get shot.
Speaking of Academies…and Rush. Dave Grohl I think inducted Rush into the Hall of Fame. You guys have done way more Rush covers than Dave Grohl ever did!
[Laughs] Yeah, but for some reason Dave has become the spokesman for music. I have nothing against him. I love that documentary about the sound board from Sound City. I thought it was fantastic. I think he’s really good and supports those Tenacious D guys. I’m not crazy about the Foo Fighters. I mean, back in the day I liked their first record. It’s weird that he became the spokesperson for music, though. I think at a certain point bands stopped being huge. There was that wave that happened with My Chemical Romance and then rock and having a band fell right off the fuckin’ map and pop stuff came in. Those bigger bands kept getting bigger with Foo Fighters getting into, like, U2 Stratospheres. Nobody new was coming up! I don’t consider Imagine Dragons a rock band. I think somebody decided, “Hey, how can we make One Republic and Cold Play into one band people can like everyday?” There’s nothing new. It’s all recycled shit from the ’90s. The only thing that can go up is band’s that are already huge. How big is Foo Fighters? They’re as big as U2. How big is U2? They’re as big as Nelson Mandela. Oh, ok. [Laughs]
Bigger metal bands now have to do package tours with, like, all of them on it. Just to get the draw.
Sure. 100%. and look at all the magazines. Revolver is a who’s who of who was. Here’s Slayer on the cover again. One of two bands that are kind of fresh. Black Veil Brides or who is that one with the chick in it? Halifax or something?
Yeah, that’s it. Almost every other issue is “The Hot Chicks of Rock N Roll.” It’s like Taylor Momsen and the same four chicks.
Yeah, maybe they will just keep getting older and never change and it will be the hottest Moms or cougars.
I’d buy the hot moms of rock n’ roll. If they do that we gotta get a cut, cuz that’s a genius idea.
So MSI became anime characters for a “Fuck Machine” remix video.
Well, I love anime and am a big fan. I was thinking about doing it as a career for a long time when I was a kid. It was an influence. I had seen there was a lot of similar mindset geek-wise with our fans. Rocky Horror Picture Show. Magic The Gathering. If we’re geeked out on it, most likely 95% of our fans are. So I thought, “This would be fun.” Cartoon style opening to an anime show with Mindless. I had the whole thing in my head and found this animation company MoreFrames who are super cool. They had a couple of things I’d seen that were fuckin’ dynamite. They were fans of the band. I thought of what our characters should be and started designing them with this girl. She kind of dashed them up and we sent the sketches up and sent them to MoreFrames. ‘Kitty’s part should be like this. LynZ should be burned at the stake. Steve should be in the desert.” Y’know. The first draft came back and I thought ,”Holy shit!”
I liked your part. It looked kind of like Spy Vs. Spy.
They did a good job. They sent it back with the music and I thought it needed less music and more sound effects. So I got the seperations for “Fuck Machine” and made it so the bass was more in one part or only one vocal then guitar. It’s more, for me, about it being a cartoon than an animated music video. I’ve seen a lot of animated music videos from people and they usually suck. The animation’s bad. People always try to make the band singing and dancing, all the things that look horrible when you animate them. Unless it’s Disney and you have a million dollars, a rock band always looks shitty animated. That’s why I wanted it to be a cartoon. I love anime. Even some of the American stuff back in the day like Thundercats; it had a great opening. That’s what I was shooting for, plus I wanted it to be short. In thirty seconds if you don’t like a video you’re one click away from “bye bye.” So, we made it really up the alley for people who are fans of Mindless Self Indulgence. And they got all the references. There’s a lot of people into the band who go for all the references to classic anime I am a fan of. Kids got it right off the bat. “Aww, that was from Full Metal Alchemist or Vampire Hunter D” or whatever. They got some of the references too. Steve having a mechanical arm cuz he’s had a hip replacement so we made him part robot. LynZ getting burned at the stake by the Frankenstein Girls. There’s some symbolism in that.
Yeah, I wanna watch this as a show!
Nobody can figure out what the two Japanese phrases are in the video. I tweeted about it several times, but nobody got it yet.
I’ll get my people on that [laughs]. I liked that it was a short little remix of the song. It reminded me of, like, Power Rangers or something.
Yeah, Power Rangers has a great opening. There’s a couple animated videos by other people I think turned out good. I think The Killers one that looked like Moebius was really cool. Not a lot going on in there but they weren’t singing and dancing. Good animation costs money.
Somewhat related to “Fuck Machine,” I was looking at novelty sex toys after that band Ghost made buttplugs and someone showed me that Jamie Hewlett
made Gorillaz dildos awhile ago. I would rather have Frenkenstein Girls “fuck machine” dildos!
Yeah, everybody is doing vibrators now! Rammstein. All those guys, Fuck vinyl! Buttplugs!
Also, I wanted to ask about your opening band for this tour, The Bunny The Bear. It is cool you are supporting the Furry sub-culture.
Furry’s are the bomb. I have no problem with Furrys.
My favorite song from you in awhile was “Witness.” Do you feel like MSI accomplished the glory of world domination you wanted to and made your best album yet or are the best days yet to come?
I think that was a really good record that we just did. “Witness” is a very boastful song. The record is like that too. We like ourselves and we don’t give a fuck if you like us. That’s kind of always been our M.O. anyway. With this particular band it turns out that the more you don’t give a shit the better it does and longer it goes! We can fuck around on stage and people think it was the best show we’ve ever done cuz we didn’t give a flying fuck. “Oh, that works.” But yeah, I have tons of stuff left in me. I’m not at the end of my days. As long as I can see and hear I can still make a record.
If anything the industry is still catching up to you.
There is definitely a lot of that. I know this on a clandestine tip. People have had meetings for a long time about how to do things the way we do shit. Record companies trying to push new bands or bands themselves having meetings where live they want the show to be like NIN meets MSI meets this. It’s weird to be in a band that’s very in house, do it yourself and very culty, very Kevin Smith, but we’re mentioned in the same breath as people who have millions of dollars and Oscars and shit. Really? You want your live act to be like us and this guy who has made a billion dollars? It’s nice cuz we just do what we want to do next. “Oh, let’s make an anime! Get on that.” It’s cool that we’ve gotten to a position where we can do what we want and try to have creative freedom. It’s cool that people appreciate it in a weird way that they wanted to rip it off [laughs].
You also have always been so hands on with fans before that was the “in” thing.
We’re what is considered “in the business” as very accessible. Pre-Twitter we were talking to people, kissin babies, waltzing with your mom. Whatever got the job done. It was fun, too. We didn’t realize til later that most bands play and leave. If you got an autograph you were lucky. Now everybody Twitters. “I’m a huge star and I’m doing my laundry,” but before there wasn’t much of that.
You did your own comic recently and I know you like comics. They just announced the new cast of Fantastic Four. What do you think about the Human Torch being black?
My biggest problem isn’t that he is black. It’s the Marvel Universe. Stan Lee kind of put this together, as well. What makes Spider-man cool is the mask. Superman is like a Jesus thing. He’s obviously a white guy. Spider-man could be anybody under that mask. He could be a black kid, he could’ve been a Puerto Rican kid. That’s cool! Even though we know it is Peter Parker, they have so many alternate universes. Growing up, it made him very accessible. My big problem is who you cast in general! Having a Twilighty cast, I think that’s fuckin’ shit! The cast that was cool is all the people they added to The Avengers. Scarlet Witch. Vision. All those people they chose fit the part. The guy looks like he could be Quicksilver. I believe Hugh Jackman is Wolverine and Halle Berry is Storm. She looks like Storm from all those John Byrne/Chris Claremont versions of Storm.
I’m pretty stoked about the Paul Rudd/Ant Man thing. That’s gonna be fun.
I know, that’s such a cool idea and odd property to choose. They seem to do really good with the odd properties. There is so much invested into Fantastic Four and X-Men but then Iron Man was the hit. The first one was so succesful cuz nobody was a huge fuckin fan of Iron Man. So, ok… Jon Favreau, you can direct it. You want to hire this fuckin; unuseable dude Robert Downey, Jr? Cool! He’s been on drugs and hasn’t been able to do movies forever. Fine. They had all this creative freedom and made probably the best Marvel movie as a movie.
He was the drunk Tony Stark.
It was the perfect casting. He knew how to play that part. Such a great idea. That’s why I like Guardians of the Galaxy. Nobody is looking closely at that so James Gunn can make it kick ass. He can do what he wants and make it this shit kickin’, hilarious and fun time. That trailer is the bomb.