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With all of these releases you are on several different labels, but it would seem that Girl Trouble could find stability on just one. Do find it hard to find a label to put your music out?

Bon: I think this is one of those "glass half empty/glass half full" trick questions. The only "stability" that we would ever pay any attention to is the stability of Girl Trouble. After 15 years I think we're okay in that department. Actually, we always saw not staying on the same label as a good thing. If you stay on one label you kind of get pigeonholed into whatever image that label is trying to generate. That can work against a band that doesn't want to get stuck in that rut and we'd rather not be labeled if we can help it.

All the record labels we've been on bring a different segment of listeners that may never have heard of us before. Each label has a different way of advertising and promoting. That can work to your advantage, too. We've learned something different from every label we've been on and we wouldn't have gotten that experience otherwise. We've never had a problem finding someone to put our stuff out. In fact we are still friendly with all the labels we've been on. We even went back and did the Hype soundtrack on Sub Pop, even though we're in the movie for about ten seconds. And, of course, if we ever run out of labels--and frankly I don't see that happening any time soon--we'll just do it ourselves like we needed to do with the last one. There's a lot of freedom in that.

[ smile ]

You have your own Wig Out label--when did that start up and why don't you just release records there? What is the Girl Trouble route for getting records released?

K.P.: We are notoriously slow and methodical. That doesn't work well if you are running a label. The only reason we did Wig Out was because after Hit It or Quit It came out we had recorded When Opposites Attract and were ready to release it. We offered it to Sub Pop as a follow up to our album but they were not interested. At that point our relationship had soured very quickly, so it was probably best they didn't want it. Since we had already done two singles with K Records we just decided, "Hey, this is a good song let's just do it ourselves," and Wig Out Records was formed. After that we used it again for the "Cleopatra" 45 and again it came in handy for the Tuesdays CD. We normally would not have put that one out ourselves but we were in a bit of a pinch to release when the Estrus deal went wrong.

Could you give me the lowdown on why this did not happen? Something to do with cover art? How has your relationship with Estrus records changed because of this?

Bon: When you've been a band for years and stood firm in calling the shots for yourself it's hard to cave in on things. We thought we had an understanding with Estrus that since we've done all our record artwork, not to mention 24 Wig Outs, we would be able to continue with that setup. From what we learned during this experience, Estrus really would rather have Art Chantry do all the Estrus artwork. They promised us that if we would compromise, Art wouldn't do anything we didn't want. We worked together with him and we approved what he'd done with our design. Up to that point everything was okay and we didn't have a problem.

[ tuesdays, thursdays and sundays ]

"Louisianappeal" mp3

Unfortunately, when the covers came back from the printer they were nothing like what we'd agreed upon with Art. You could barely read the transparent lettering of our band name on the front. We think we are obscure enough without having a mystery album to sell. There was a very brief horrible moment when we didn't know what to do. We had two choices: go along with it, hate it and never look at it or ourselves in the mirror again forever or stand up and say it wasn't what we agreed upon and they'd have to make it right. We chose the latter and they told us to go. It was an amazingly swift decision on their part. Unfortunately we had a tour all booked in a little over a month and no product to pitch. No other label would have been able to produce it that quickly so we needed to do it ourselves. I still can't believe we went back to ground zero to have it mastered, artwork finished, and CD produced in time for our US tour. Quite a few people didn't think we would make it.

Our relationship with Estrus? Let's just say that it doesn't look like we'll be invited to play Garage Shock any time in the next century. We did learn a lot from this experience. Even though it seemed tough at the time it made us reaffirm our belief that no one knows Girl Trouble better than we do. We've been down this road before and we should have seen it coming sooner than we did. That's really my biggest regret. For us the graphics and photos are just as important as the music; it's all one. Maybe other bands don't care about that aspect but we do a lot. It always comes back to the same question: whose record is it? The label that's putting it out or the band that created it? We say it's got to be the band's. It's the band's sweat in producing it, it's the band's name on it and it will be the band's in 10 to 50 years when the label has gone on with 100 other new releases or folded entirely. When it comes right down to it, all those records we've put out in the last 15 years--no matter what label they came out on--will always be Girl Trouble records.

Tell me about your latest release, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.

Bon: There's 12 songs, all ours. It was our toughest recording because we were more picky than usual. But the result was that we were happier with the sound of this than we've been in the past. The photos on the cover and inside are all from different years, taken in the same old shed we've practiced in from the beginning. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays are the days we practice although here's a scoop for you. After the CD came out I was talking to Scott Fox, our good friend in (no link) Satan's Pilgrims. He told me they couldn't believe we practiced that often. He said the Pilgrims were lucky to get one practice in a week. After we thought about it, we decided we were nuts. Now we practice Tuesdays and Thursdays. Good thing Scott brought that to our attention. I'm not sure he even realizes what an influence he had over us, and no, we aren't going to change the name of the CD to reflect our new lazier attitude.

[ granny go-go (r.i.p.) ]

We were pretty happy with the sales of it, too. Lots of stores and distributors bought copies so they are available. Copies are also still available from us. We're trying to clean out the shed a little more by selling stuff on our web page.

Could you play another type of music and still call it Girl Trouble? Why or why not?

K.P.: I am not really sure but I really doubt that we could play any other kind of music as Girl Trouble. We definitely aren't into the "side band" thing. We always felt that if we couldn't play it then it wasn't for us. Like most bands, we have our own sound and I am not sure what to call it other than "rock and roll." However, unlike a lot of other bands that are in the same genre of music as us, I think we have somehow managed to not paint ourselves into a corner musically. So many groups pop up during certain underground musical movements and basically get stuck in that style. We have always been able to incorporate elements of surf, country, rockabilly, blues and other styles into our songs and sets without sticking to one specific type. It works very well for us. I can say that although we have been known to cover Van Halen's "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love" (not as a joke) we will never play heavy metal. But that doesn't keep me from listening to it.

If you or the band were mayor of Tacoma for the day, what laws would you change?

K.P.: We are not very politically minded but I do know that, speaking on behalf of the entire group, two laws we would impose is stiff jail time for anyone who chops down a tree without just cause (determined by us) and our permission, and absolutely no more development whatsoever! I have seen this town "grow" into low rent housing developments, strip malls and cement bunkers posing as shops and I am entirely sick of it. Other than that we would have to convene with our staff of experts before any more drastic decisions were made.

What are your favorite game, TV show and action figure of all time?

[ thrillsphere ]

"Scorpio" mp3

Bon: Fave game: Mystery Date. TV always varies. Right now it's between The Bob Newhart Show and The Equalizer--two of the most takin'-care-of-business sex symbols ever on TV. Action figure: Barbie. She will kick all your action figure asses and she has better outfits.

Kahuna: Fave game: Tank. TV show: Star Trek. Action Figure: Cornelius from Planet of the Apes.

Dale: Fave game: The Beatles' Flip Your Wig game. TV Show: Jonny Quest. Action figure: GI Joe.

K.P.: Fave game: Fantom Fingures. TV show: The Twilight Zone. Action figure: Probably the '80s pro wrestling figures.

What have I missed...anything about Girl Trouble that you want others to know or do you have any last words?

Bon: Last words...we are looking forward to next year. This will probably stun many of our friends but we have been working hard on a new album. We decided we'd better get something out there quick since the last one took so long. We've got nine songs recorded and we are happy with the sound. Our fab producer/engineer combo of Tim Olsen and Brent DeRocher are back with us. We've worked together long enough to have a pretty good idea of what everything needs to sound like. It makes the whole process go easier and faster. We haven't decided what label or if we'll put another one out ourselves but we think we have a good chance of getting it out at the end of the year. I sure hope so.

Something else we are excited about is the Dead Moon tribute CD coming out on Last Chance records. We picked "I'm Wise," a great song. It was recorded in our last session and we are very happy with the sound of it. Actually, we're just happy (and honored) to be included 'cause there's nobody cooler than Dead Moon.

After fifteen years I'm still glad to be in Girl Trouble. There's nobody on earth I'd rather play with, tour with, and hang out with than K.P., Dale and Kahuna. People sometimes wonder if we wanted to "make it big." We saw plenty of our pals go off to become big deals--it didn't look like a hell of a lot of fun to us. A lot of them aren't a band anymore. What was the point of that? We're still together; that's the real big deal.

On the web:
Girl Trouble

[ dead moon ]

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