Chixdiggit is a four piece pop punk band from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. They just recently signed with Honest Don’s and are releasing a new album called Born on the First of July soon. Their self titled debut was released by Sub Pop Records and they also have some 7 inches out there as well. This interview was done on February 6, 1998 after their show in Charleston, South Carolina with Cletus at the Huger Street Warehouse. The interview was with KJ (guitar/vocals) and Mark (guitar)and it was done outside of the Warehouse in my car.
SS: HOW DID THE BAND GET STARTED?
KJ: Me and Mark met in Grade 8, actually you guys call it 8th grade, and we played soccer together. We met Mike in Grade 10 and he came from Holland, and Holland took over Indonesia which is over there by The Philippines. Well, in our school there were all these guys in bands and they thought they were pretty hot. We thought we were way hotter! Can you put in quotes, “sarcasm?” And so we decided to start a band and call it Chixdiggit to make fun of these guys but none of us knew how to play. And then we made T-Shirts and sold them and with the money from that we bought instruments and started playing.
SS: I READ SOMEWHERE THAT YOU ALL GOT TURNED DOWN BY LOOKOUT RECORDS. IS THAT TRUE?
MARK: Not really turned down so much as…
KJ: Turned down! You know, it’s not turned down but turned down! Actually they said they’d sign us if we’d change our name. It was a bunch of people that left Lookout Records that said that. They’re not with them anymore because Lookout Records NOW are cool with the name, Chixdiggit.
SS: WHY DID YOU SIGN WITH HONEST DON’S? DID YOUR SUB POP CONTRACT RUN OUT?
KJ: We tried to get out of it.
MARK: We weren’t happy with what Sub Pop was doing. And they weren’t all that big on us really. Honest Don’s is sort of…well we don’t know yet.
KJ: Everyone there is super cool. They’re so nice to us. And I mean, it’s a separate office but it’s also Fat Wreck Chords. So everyone there is totally cool to us, too. So it’s way better than Sub Pop.
MARK: And the thing with Honest Don’s and Fat is that they sign bands that they like and are sort of more similar and bands that they are solely behind. So it’s not like “we’ll sign this band and see how this goes.” They’re not as diverse as maybe, Sub Pop, but in a way that’s a good thing.
SS: DID THE MUFFS TOUR GO REALLY WELL?
KJ: It was awesome. We got to watch The Groovie Ghoulies kick ass, we got to watch The Muffs kick ass and we got to play in the middle there and try because those guys are the real fuckin thing.
SS: OF THESE THREE CITIES: COLUMBIA, ATLANTA, AND DALLAS, WHERE WAS HONESTLY THE BEST PLACE TO PLAY?
MARK: Charleston! (laughs) Actually, I would say Columbia. In the Elbow Room there’s this video poker and I walked into the bar with $5 and walked out with over $80. Usually it’s the opposite so it was awesome to do that for once!
SS: DID YOU GUYS GET A CHANCE TO EAT AT THE WAFFLE HOUSE?
MARK: We love the Waffle House. They have their own soundtrack. Every restaurant should have their own soundtrack.
KJ: The waffle with the pecans (prounounces it pee-can), you guys call them pecans but they’re actually pronounced, pee-cans…that’s really good. And they have the breakfast with the eggs and the toast and the bacon, that’s really good too. Pee-can pie too.
SS: HOW DO YOU GUYS STAND THE WAY YOU DO ON STAGE?
KJ: We eat a lot of pee-can pie!
MARK: See we live in the West and usually when we’re touring, it’s like we’ve just gotten off of our horses. (laughs)
KJ: We come from a higher altitude and when we come here, in order to breathe air that’s got oxygen in it…because you guys, I don’t know how it works, it has something to do with the tides or the earthquake that just happened a while ago…but we have to spread down lower to get oxygen into our bodies.
MARK: And the thing is, we got to get down low because that’s where the rock is. Closer to hell!
SS: YOU GUYS HAVE A NEW ALBUM COMING OUT, HOW’S THAT GOING?
KJ: Awful (laughs).
MARK: It doesn’t sound muffled enough.
KJ: It was fun because we recorded with this guy from San Francisco named Ryan Green. And he’s one of the few Americans we’ve met, besides yourself, that has a sense of humor. He’s really funny so we had a good time with him.
MARK: He’s really dilligent. You know, a perfectionist.
KJ: I’d like to say that our new album is dilligent.
SS: WHEN WILL IT BE OUT?
KJ: Dilligently. (laughs) [April 21, 1998]
SS: OK. WHAT HAPPENED WITH YOUR FIRST DRUMMER?
KJ: He wasn’t very dilligent.
MARK: He’s a great guy and a good drummer, I think.
KJ: But he wasn’t really into the band and he didn’t like to tour.
MARK: He’s actually married now and has two kids.
KJ: He’s American too!
MARK: We actually hang out with him more now than we did when he was in the band. Plus he’s American. He’s Mexican-American. He’s a Jewish, Mexican-American.
KJ: 100% Jewish, Mexican-American. And that’s the truth.
SS: WHAT DO YOU GUYS DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT DOING THE BAND?
KJ: Interviews! (laughs) We all just hang out. I mean we all have crappy little jobs, but we’re like The Monkees really because we do hang out.
MARK: We all hang out. I mean, me and the bass player live together now. We’ve lived together before but then I lived with my girlfriend for a year and now we’re living together again.
KJ: And on Thursday nights I live there too because I can’t drive all the way home because it’s dollar special night at our favorite bar.
SS: MY LAST QUESTION — WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK OF SPINAL TAP?
MARK: It’s a fun movie. And you know, a lot of it is true to the point where you can’t enjoy it when you’re in a band because it’s so true. I mean, I’m sure it’s fun if you’re just watching it as a video, but when you’re living it and realizing that I’m doing this instead of going to school or climbing up the corporate ladder, then it almost becomes depressing and it’s not funny anymore. But it’s real. I like that movie it’s great and I think I identified most with the bass player. I think we all do.
SS: DID YOU GET YOUR ARM CAUGHT IN A TUBE LIKE DEREK SMALLS?
MARK: I’ve never gotten caught in the tube. Sometimes there’s band talk going on and I sometimes zone out of it and zone back in and I ask the question that they were just talking about for the last hour. But some of these discussions about the stupidest things like go forever and you can’t help but zone over here and think about your own thing. And you go back and you got that one second question like: “Are we going to play stonehenge tonight?”
SS: KJ, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON SPINAL TAP?
KJ: I liked Spinal Tap, I just didn’t like Mallrats. Mallrats was awful, though I really wanted to like it. But I loved Spinal Tap. It actually depresses the hell out of me because it’s so real.
MARK: I was sort of telling him that, and I was telling him how I sort of relate to the bass player.
KJ: Because of your moustache (laughs). You know when I met you, you had this furry moustache. You were like the headbanger kid.
MARK: I was like 12 years old!
KJ: You were younger that that! You had the furry moustache and the hi-tops and I said “this guy is so funny, he talks like Vinny Barbarino.”
MARK: I still try to. You know, we have those long conversations and I zone out and then ask questions like “Are we playing stonehenge?” (laughs)
KJ: Well you know, I’m the one that has those long conversations so I subliminally give Mark the cue to ask “Are we playing stonehenge?”
MARK: Or to zone out.
KJ: What I’m trying to say is I don’t have any feelings on the movie at all. I liked it.
MARK: I’d watch it again. My parents didn’t get it though.
Interview by : Shark Sandwich