Human Waste Project Interview - More Wasted Time.

I know, I know. Dreadful title, but I had to do it. Besides, it was better than the sequel or the revenge which is what the second issue of this thing was called. And you should've seen some of the ones even I rejected!

Anyway, cut the waffle, it's Bradford, again. Why do I go to the glamorous places? No offence meant, I've seen some classic gigs at Rios, but still ... Anyway, HWP's second UK tour in as many months, this time supporting Coal Chamber. It's been 4 days off in the last 7 weeks according to Dan the tour manager, and those days were travel days. As a result, things are taking their toll a bit. Aimee's been suffering for most of this tour, though sounds as though she's in recovery mode now. But it's meant her heading for the bus after the gigs instead of being out and about meeting people as she did on the first tour. Jeff is still hanging around as ever though, talking with anyone, and relating more tales than anyone has a right to be able to do. Mike and Scott are also usually to be found wandering around after the HWP set.

Scott was dying the other night in Sheffield, but is also recovering now, and apparently tonight Mike is ill, though I wonder if that is the result of London the night before. Only Jeff appears to be escaping. Well, relatively, he's drinking the old Newkie brown tonight ...

Jeff, who's er, resplendent in the new hat that he bought, offers to do the interview with Scott, because Aimee still isn't great, which is fair enough, after all, this is a band and not a one man/woman show isn't it? So I'm led onto the bus. Also there is Rae, who's working on the official HWP zine. Despite still being ill, Aimee joins us. Rae soon leaves, only for me to be hit with the news from both Jeff and Aimee, that the questions she asked in an interview were about the best one's they'd been asked. So I might as well just give up now then. Ah well, go for the cheesy approach instead. As if there was ever any other way! Still, if the interview was that good, it means that you should really check out the zine.

Jeff starts trying to decide what music to put on. He eventually goes for a tape by It Hates Humans which is a demo tape of Jamie, the drummer from Snot, doing everything, singing, guitar keyboards. Aimee starts singing, which seems not to be the wisest decision, although she sounds good, and so I pass comment that she sounded better this evening than the Manchester gig a few days earlier. Well, it's a way into an interview ....

That (Manchester) was awful, but yeah, I'm over the hump now. I was sick when I first got here. Again!

And you lost your voice in the States on the Snot tour.

I got sick twice. When I got back from here I was sick for a few days, but my voice was fine, but then I took these antibiotics, and they took away my voice, which was really interesting. Totally took it away, like I couldn't sing at all. Like I couldn't even pretend to sing.

Dan hands Aimee a pack of cigarettes. Jeff thinks he's in the movies, busy re-creating a Quentin Tarantino scene. If he fails to work the lighter, a finger goes. Soon he has no digits left on his one hand. Aimee though, manages to escape undamaged.

I can stay! she laughs after managing to work the lighter first time. You know what I bet on, I didn't say it out loud. I was betting my voice on that one.

Jeff decides which finger from his picking hand he can afford to chop off. Is the band about to take a dramatic new form? Nah, probably not. Anyway, that interview thing.

So, having returned so quickly after the Tura tour, how does it all compare second time around. (Hey, I know it's cheesy, but someone's gotta ask these things!)

It's insane is Aimee's immediate response.

Jeff starts "Tura Satana and Bullyrag was an incredible tour, but I gotta say" ... I don't know what happened in the three and a half weeks that we were gone but it seems to have doubled, tripled, quadrupled, interrupts Aimee, before Jeff goes on to finish. "Huge props to Tarrie and Tura for bringing us out here, it was an honour to come over here and trip out and see everything, cos we're from Los Angeles, and we've never been over and across the fucking continent. And the tour was cool, and the crowds, some big shows, some smaller shows. Amazing. And then on to the fact that the difference between that tour and this tour, Coal Chamber, I guess if there's levels Tura's here and Coal Chambers here Jeff, er, indicates, with his hands, you know. And so they're bigger shows, and Coal Chamber are cool and more than accommodating and we've known them forever."

"They're so nice" says Aimee, "the tour managers like helping me out, he keeps coming in and asking if I need anything, tea or anything. And Dez talks to me every day before the show, 'How's your voice?'"

Yeah, and Dez gave her this throat thing that seemed to work, though Aimee says she only used it once, but it seemed to do the trick.

We've only got three more shows left, says Jeff, so it's been like a short tour. It's so cool when there's no competition reckons Aimee.

Yeah, they're on their trip, and we're on our trip. I wanna see them do a good show, cos it's light and day music. It's similar ... Jeff starts, before Aimee interrupts him again, to say that he's talking too loud. I can't hear anything loud anymore, says Aimee. Which in a strange way leads us on to talking about authority, via ear protection and then customs, and the problems of getting through them without being stopped and searched.

They stop the people that they know don't have anything reckons Jeff after I explain about being searched going to see Machine Head the previous week. The same thing seems to happen every time I go through. Similar things happen to the band it seems.

Every time, says Aimee. Though we've been lucky the last few times.

They stop me every fucking time though reckons Jeff. Someone will stop me. In Texas, every fucking place I moved to. It got to the point where I had to take off my belt, and then they'll do the metal detector, and it'll go off from piercings and whatever. They do the belt buckle and it rings and they'll be "what's that?", do it again, and it goes off, and I'm like, please let me show you what THAT is. She goes, bzzzt, what's that, and I go 'chest piercing', and she goes "a what?"

Which leads us, naturally enough, to a bit about piercings in general.

Piercings, it's like such a popular thing to do, and for us its like not coming from that angle, but like if you mention piercings, anyone whose reading it is just going to go like ... indicates Jeff giving a "oh yeah, piercings, trendy, hmmm" kind of look. But for us, it's like Spinal Tap. I want to be the bass player with the cucumber and the tin foil. I'm doing that next time. I'm going to have so many fucking piercings, and the cucumber's going to go off, and I'm going to pull that out, and it's still going to go off, and they'll go what the hell's that, and I'm gonna drop my pants and just go ..." He's going to get arrested thinks Aimee. Er, yeah, I reckon it's time we moved away from that then.

Jeff carries on with his Quentin Tarrantino. The second hand is now lost! Aimee still manages to light it. I can fly too she grins.

Uh oh, a Kerrang! quote, which sets me off. Why, despite that fact that they are giving the band good coverage and support, does it have to be taken from such a one-dimensional standpoint. HWP = Aimee = Sexy. If you saw the interview, you'll know it was a good, but of all the quotes they could use, they use 'I just want to get naked" by Aimee. And in the same issue, "I just want to run around naked" by Rayna from Coal Chamber. Like, there's other people in the band, and um, the small matter of music. Sorry, I didn't mean to swear and use the M word when talking about bands. Just seems a cheap way of selling magazines to me. Jeff thinks they did it on purpose to use both Aimee and Rayna's quotes. Maybe. Just seems like the lowest common denominator to me. But like I said, I can rant all day and that's not what I'm here for.

So sure, Aimee is the focal point. For girls as well it seems, if the female shouts of Aimeeeee at the Astoria gig was anything to go by. I think it's because Aimee can be viewed as a combination of this light and darkness that people talk about. She can give the dark impression of say Tarrie, but tempers it with the lighter side of her personality. So you get both sides of the equation. At least that's a bit how I see it (though didn't quite manage to say it that way in the interview. Consider it a, hopefully, more thought out way of what I tried to say). Not too sure that Aimee does though, and I guess she does know herself best. Or maybe I just didn't explain it well.

I think Aimee and Tarrie are night and day thinks Jeff.

Someone asked me today if I'd got any of my aggression from Tarrie. I don't reckon I got anything from her. I remember being in a sickingly terrifyingly heavy industrial band and Tarrie was a rapper... Jeff interrupts, Yeah, but remember when we first saw Tarrie, and we watched her and went, 'this is a very fucking confident female'. With a hat on and a gun. And it's like, "that's confidence, that's cool." Nothing to do with the music, just her doing her thing. And if anything, it was like light and day. But it's like, if I see a guitar or bass player going off, it's the vibe that they're giving. Cos if I'm playing, I swear to God I'm playing and I'm like, I feel like I'm this guy in this band, even though I'm playing my shit.

I don't feel I get anything from Tarrie, except for her friendship. As far as performance, I took everything from Siouxsie, and Perry and Chino y'know. I'll cop to that straight up. I actually try to stay as far away as anything from her on purpose.

Because you'll always be compared?

Yeah, is the reply that isn't totally convincing. As if there's probably more than the simplistic answer that I'm seeking. But she continues. As a matter of fact I try, and I mean this in the best way, I try and keep a lot to myself, so that she doesn't see what I'm about either, y'know what I mean, so that my stuff is mine, and her stuff is hers.

Which seems perfectly reasonable to me, I guess most of us tend to do similar at some point. Though it's a shame that things are brought to levels where everything is always compared to something else, instead of being embraced for being something in it's own right. Oops, not supposed to get opinionated in interviews. Are you?

Anyway, Mr Farrell, Jane's Addiction. One of the great bands, 'new' album out, so what is your favourite JA album and song? Oh yes, extra cheese on top now.

Album's gotta be Nothing's Shocking both Aimee and Jeff agree. But Rituals amazing too. Oh yeah, 3 Days and shit. Ocean Size. Summertime Rolls says Aimee, Then She Did, I would for You. Yep, it's a difficult one that. Jeff adds one of my faves in Classic Girl.

Scott enters the section of the bus. Jeff, picks up his hat, 'me and the hat are in complete and utter alignment. The hat's getting interviewed too man, the hat's fine, the hat surveys'. Yesss, I think the Newkie brown is having an effect.

Coal Chamber fucked me up, says Scott, not to me, but hey, I'll nick that bit. Coal Chamber and Metal Hammer just ruined me. Explaining, eventually, that they were making him drink shots for a photo shoot. But trying to say Scott, shot, shot, in the right order is proving a problem right now. I can't drink hard alcohol and they kept making me. These rock star lifestyle stories, man do they sound like a tough life.

Jeff and Scott start talking to each other, so it's time to turn to Aimee and ask how places here compare to those in the States.

A different energy. That's it pipes up Jeff who is still listening in. They still appreciate you as much, but they don't go so crazy reckons Scott of the American crowd, they analyse you, but love you, and when the show is over they're like 'That was great'. But that's cool reckons Aimee, that was like the first time we were here I suddenly feel American.

It's the same but the difference is different energy, and the only way that that makes any sense is that if you go to the United States you're just gonna sense something different.

My own thoughts are that HWP are going to be huge, with a capital UGE. So, given my aversion to seeing bands in arenas, I try to broach the subject, to find their general views on arenas. What about the venues themselves that they play in the States. How big are they?

This tonight would be a bigger venue for us in the States. We're playing like 300 seaters to 1000 seaters says Aimee, though 1000 is like 2 nights out of say 3 weeks, where here they're almost every night.

But can bands survive doing that. You know, the vision of America that is presented is one of Enormodomes. 20000 seaters. And then you come to this country, and you have Rios, where we are, Rock City, Uni's etc. Couple of 1000 max, it seems such a big difference.

Well those venues (the enormodomes) are for the bigger bands. The Deftones don't do that. Well I've seen say Fear Factory and Machine Head. Over here they're out of control, over there they're out of control, but it's a different out of control. To see Machine Head in a 600 capacity, say The Whisky is great, but over here it's full blown.

I mention that they're about to play Rock City, where HWP played a few nights earlier.

To us that's a big fucking show.

Maybe, but there seems to be a lot of who, if they play arenas in the States, only seem to want to play arenas here. It feels like having stroked the ego in an enormodome, coming to the local toilet venue may not really appeal to them. I mention seeing Sabbath the other week at the NEC. An ok gig, which would've been so much better if it was in a decent venue, as opposed to the monstrosity that is the NEC. You're in your little space, can't do anything.

Yeah, that sucks. But in a small venue, that's like when I got to see Janes Addiction at the Roxy. 500 seater. Yeah, that's sick. Oh man exclaims Jeff excitedly, The Cure at the fucking American Legion. How strange is that. The American legion is just a step up from this. It's about the same size as the Manchester Academy or maybe Rock City points out Aimee.

But there's no seats or anything, you can just go where you want. Fire marshall shut the fucking show down. People couldn't really get out. If they wanted to go to the bathroom they had to stay where they were and piss on the floor. I got in there and stood at the door, I've seen The Cure a couple of times, and was doing fliers for us for the next night. I got a ticket late and got in, there's fire marshalls everywhere shutting the show down. It's fucked up, and The Cure played the entire time and you can just see the keyboard guy, that's the angle you at, and it sounded amazing and they're in this really small place. They wanted to do small clubs, and that's fucking cool man.

One of my great memories is having been lucky enough to Janes Addition way back when, in a small place, smaller than tonights. It's so much better than an arena.

It's just so great. But an arena is so drab. I think you should only see bands without energy in big halls.

So would you play arenas over these kind.

Over? As a choice? No says Aimee. I silently thank the man upstairs, if there is one. We'd want to do medium sized venues, cos they're the most intimate. The biggest I would want to do would be 4000 seaters, cos then we could still get some intimacy but it's like such a big crowd. It's like the Astoria. That's it says Jeff. Just a hair bigger than that reckons Aimee. The band seem to think a lot of the Astoria gig.

Pushing that is like it's cool, but there's something. The Astoria is just the right size. The only place I think for big, you know, I don't like arenas, but if we're going to do outdoors stuff, then that's good.

Which is different, you can move around. A festival is fine. An arena should be bombed. My opinion of course. So does that mean we will see HWP at a mud-fest this summer? Aimee is saying nothing, but it sounds as though she wouldn't mind. So keep watching, you never know. Jeff leaves to deal with the effects of the Newkie. Aimee is tired. But still I keep on, ever the gentleman eh! With only the few days off in so many weeks, I wonder how they manage keep going every night.

It's weird. It's something that kicks in. If I could bottle it, I'd be a millionaire, more than a millionaire. There's something that kicks in. You know, when I'm nervous, but it's not nerves. It's like this strange unseen force that sort of propels you and there's nothing that you can do but obey. Literally.

Obey, obey, obey chants Scott, scarily reminding me of a Megadeth song.

It's weird, it's like floating, and then soon as you come down, like 15 minutes after the show, it's like someone's been beating you up. But those minutes before, to that time after, that ride ... There's no need for Aimee to finish, the look says enough.

Do you go into any kind of ritual?

Yeah, we get a huddle. On this last tour, we started holding hands, and what's really weird is that in like 15 seconds, you feel this rush coming off each other, and usually we say a little prayer.

Aimee explains a little more finishing off with 'getting someone else to do my job. Please God come through me'.

It's not a job is it?

Not when I get there. Some nights though, when I'm empty and its just a body moving around and making a noise, it's like I'm lead and then it feels like a job. But when I can get connected spirituality, whatever that is and that unseen force comes in and takes me on the ride, then it's just pure bliss. I don't think I could ever live without playing live. I might bitch and complain all day long about how tired I am and how awful I feel, it but it's like as soon as I'm up there... she trails off.

Dan is sent for some chocolate for Aimee. No marshmallows this time. Jeff and Scott are off drumming on the table. A Neurosis thing maybe.

We talk about the cover they sometimes do. Apparently a Bow Wow Wow song. They are one Hell of a band says Jeff in all seriousness. I used to listen to that song, "what is it?" He struggles for the name, Aimee starts to sing. THATS IT! Bootleg material methinks.

Amidst the general conversation that is now going on, I hear Scott saying, Aimee's mom rules. She's a terminator. If you start to get into HWP, you soon learn about Aimee's mom! Aimee explains the Terminator connection for me (no, I'm not a film buff) likening her mom to the character played by Linda Hamilton in the film, 'tiny but strong'. She's then handed a signed tiara that someone left for her after the gig.

We start talking about how I got listening to HWP, ok, maybe that's I start talking, but Aimee asks if I've heard the new version of This Town. Of course I haven't. The search is on to find a copy. Scott has the last one. It's put on. It's soooo different to the original. Trippy, dreamy. Closest I can think is to say an Electra vibe. The band may not be all that impressed with their contribution in the original version, but clearly love this version. Looking around, everyone is 'air' playing their parts, and joining in the singing. The legal wrangles with Korn's label still continue. They have to be resolved as this song must be released. It's also great as it shows how the band can push their sound in different directions.

Scott demonstrates a sense of humour almost as bad as mine. When someone enters while This Town is playing, he shushes them, 'bootleg' he mouths, before booting me in the leg. Geddit! And I thought I was the only sort of person who would do something that bad.

The song ends, and if it's ever released, you'll hear the ending for yourself, and understand what happened next clearer. Aimee starts to crack laughing, both on the record and in the bus. 72 times and it gets funnier each time says Scott. They count, and when it reaches 4, Aimee is still laughing. You'll understand when you hear it.

I offer that they should play it live. That version. People know the other one, and it would just throw them so much. But it will come out. Or maybe not. Time will tell.

Anyway time is passing quickly, and I have to go now as the bus is ready to leave, and my car awaits. Time though for a couple of the even cheesier than the cheese before questions. So, it's nearly Xmas, (16 December when this interview took place), so let's go for the seasonal thing. What's your ideal Xmas.

We'll get some time off. Spend some time with my mom. I'd like to see my friend, but I won't be able to, so I'll just spend it with my mom I guess. And other stuff I can't make out with all the chatter that's going on.

And New Years Resolutions?

Try and be a better person, and write one love song that's not tragic.

But would it be so much fun?

Well, I would really like to real love song that's not horrible.

And finally, as the bus is definitely making the kind of sounds that buses make when they're about to be driven, plans for next year

Tour tour tour, write write write, make a video, sell a million thousand trillion records, get a puppy, world domination.

Which seems to be a pretty good point to leave on and head back to Nottingham, not least because the bus is about to leave for a different destination.