Me First And The Gimme Gimmes

Q: The question remains. Why?
Mike: You know why? Because we wanted to be in a band a lot more fun than our other bands.

Q: What type of selection process do you have for this band?
Joey: You have to drink a lot of alcohol to be in this and,
Mike: At least half a six pack.

Q: So who’s in the band now? Give me your name and your title.
Mike: I’m Fat Mike, human pez dispenser.
Dave: ..[struggling]…I’m Dave,
Joey: He’s our drummer.
Spike: I’m Spike, ear, nose, and throat.
Joey: I’m Joey. I’m the untightness coordinator of the band. I take care of the, you know, sloppy ends of the band.
Spike: When you want something sloppy, Joey gets the job done.
Joey: That’s why they got me. They didn’t want to look too good. They say the key to every
really good alternative band is having one really poor musician in the band and that’s me.

Q: What are the worst conditions you ever played under? Either venue, personal or audience?
Joey: It was Berlin at the Franklin.
Spike: We didn’t play there, we did drugs there.
Mike: Yeah, we did a four date European tour and between the coke and the Valiums, and the Vicadins and the Bushmills…
Spike: And the wine…
Mike: I think we did our best show.

Q: The music that you cover, is that homage or satire?
Mike: Homage
Joey: It’s Amish actually.
Mike: Our new album is show tunes.
Spike: How many people are going to rock out to show tunes?
Mike: You can never rock out to show tunes. What we are doing is bridging the generation gap from kids to grandparents. Parents and kids will have something to talk about. They can relate to the show tunes.

Q: So you are like musical diplomats?
Mike: Exactly right.

Q: You are like the U.N.?
Mike: We are bridging the generation gap.

Q: OK, what was the band that inspired this band?
Mike: Years ago, I thought, Man, I would love to do old Neil Diamond songs and old folk guitar songs and make them punk – that’d be great. And Joey thought the same thing.
Joey: I was living with our other guitar player, who’s not here right now, and we had a list on our refrigerator of all these cheezy ’70’s on our refrigerator that would thought would be cool to do punk rock and then Mike came up and stole our idea telepathically. It was really kind of a drag and now he is sort of the leader, which I think is really unfair. Jake Jackson should be the leader of this affair. In all seriousness, I think the reason that we agreed on is that we both write songs in our bands, and I think the idea is that any good song comes out in formatting and style. You could take a good song that would make people cringe, but if you put it in a format or a style that people would enjoy….
Mike: Nobody wants to hear Barry Manilow’s “Mandy” but it is a great song.

Q: Now they do!
Mike: Now they do. We’re easing them into it. We’re making people realize. We’re visionary.

Q: Have you ever thought of rewriting a song, in the middle of a song, like a chorus?
Mike: We do. A lot. We do “Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”. It doesn’t have enough choruses so we through in three choruses.
Dave: Sometimes when we play live, I’ll just personally decide to put a stop in a song but I won’t tell them, I’ll just stop.
Joey: It is like a guitar break. A lot of improvisation. That’s when the best type of stuff happens.

Q: How many times, total have you played?
Spike: I’d say fourteen or fifteen.
Joey: No, that is wrong. I would say twelve.
Dave: Only one that I could remember.
Mike: I’m the leader and I say it was fourteen.

Q: What activity have people done while listening to your music that you were kind of astonished by?
Joey: What about those two guys in the front row at the Berlin show? They were like, doing it. That was pretty weird.
Joey: Dry, no lubricant.
Spike: Once these people were beating the shit out of people, and it was a Barry Manilow song. If you can make a fucking Barry Manilow song to drive people to beat other people up, then you’re doing something right.
Mike: Do you know what is going to happen? In about five years, some band is going to come along and do what we do and sell it to radio and MTV and get huge doing it.
Joey: They will burn our whole deal.

Q: Any future concepts for albums?
Joey: A Skrewdriver cover album. One side’s the Subhumans, the other’s Skrewdriver. Killer.

Q: In the style of?
Mike: Bar-b-que-style.

Interview by :
Todd at Fat Wreck – Smash Music Magazine – May 1999, Issue 5 Vol. 2