SonicNet Chat Transcript, 22 Nov 1995
Chat: Wed, Nov 22, 1995
‘Twas the night before Thanksgiving Eve, and all was well
until FOETUS landed and rang the SonicNet bell.
El Diablo de Brooklyn kicked the oncoming rat,
and headed upstairs to participate in an exclusive SonicNet Chat.
(SonicMan) Hi Guys … Jim Thirwell is best known as FOETUS … He has been recording for over a decade under a variety of guises. He is now here … BUT he is currently relieving himself … please hold on … wait … FOETUS HAS LANDED …
(Djarum) … Splat!
(Foetus) No … it’s Jim Thirlwell …
(Serge) Jim: Remember me? I’m the guy who talked to you in Boston!
(Foetus) Serge, actually I’m really ill. I’m going to see Cheap Trick tonight after this and then Elysian Fields.
(Djarum) How did you get involved with Cop Shoot Cop? The first exposure I had to them was their opening set on your tour a few years back.
(Foetus) Djarum … I don’t remember.
(SonicMan) Jim, how would you characterize the sound of GASH in comparison to, let’s say, HOLE?
(Foetus) HOLE is where I feel I hit my stride after the first six records where, for the first time, I was successful in transferring what was in my head onto tape. However, in retrospect, it’s barbed wire bubblegum, whereas “Gash” is living on the edge of a volcano.
(The) Explain the edge of the volcano … very intense?
(Foetus) It’s the most intense album I’ve ever done. It’s my ‘Sgt Pepper,’ whereas “Hole” is my ‘Love Me Do.’
(SonicMan) Jim, was your alter-ego FILTH SPECTOR used in tribute, or in contempt of that oft-cited mainstream producer?
(Foetus) Sonic: Ironic tribute … an amazing producer and an asshole of a human being.
(Serge) When is VOID coming out?
(Foetus) Serge … VOID is coming out in 1996.
(alba2) Jim: Hmm, well, Have you enjoyed any of the things your old band have done as they’ve shot off in different directions?
(Foetus) alba: Well yeah. I’ve worked heavily with Lydia and I’m continuing to do so, in fact,we’re planning a new album real soon, which will be “illustrated word” with a ten piece band recorded in a church — one time only — in December. The stuff that I’ve heard of Nick’s I really enjoy & I haven’t really heard Marc Almond’s stuff for ten years.
(Serge) Jim: Will the Flesh Volcano EP ever come out on CD?
(Foetus) Serge: No idea.
(alba2) Jim: Thanks for the answer. I saw Lydia do a Spoken word thing here in Glasgow last week, she hasn’t cheered up any.
(Foetus) Alba: She’s one of the cheeriest people I know! If she was Mr. Rogers, I would be Dr. Kevorkian.
(SonicMan) Hey, Jim … Why was there never another WISEBLOOD venture? And how is Mr. Mosimann doing these days?
(Foetus) Sonic: It’s done, and Roli is a proud father & working his ass off.
(Serge) Jim: Do you have a copy of the lyrics for ACHE and BUTTERFLY POTION? Could you send them to me so I can put them on the page?
(Foetus) Serge… you’re a cyber-stalker …
(Serge) Hehehe. Well, someone from SonicNet sent me email telling me about this, so I had to drop by …
(Foetus) Serge, I don’t know if I said this to you before … but maybe you want to help me out on the CD Rom whenever the hell that happens, cuz you seem to know more about me than I do!
(Serge) Jim: I’d love to … I will actually be in NYC in a coupla weeks. Can you send me your phone number?
(Foetus) Serge, let’s keep our relationship formal. I wouldn’t f*ck you with your dick!
(SonicMan) Jim, I remember the greatness of SomeBizzarre in the 80’s, do you think the lack of real “alternative” labels have forced many good acts onto the big labels?
(Foetus) SonicMan: probably lack of distribution and accounting, and unless you write for Maximum Rock and Roll, a label is a label & there is no such thing as ghettoization of major labels because the people that work at majors are hip to the sickness of our generation, invariably our peer group & come out of college radio & uh, strip bars, either as patrons or employees.
(SonicMan) Jim, tell us about your “castle” in Brooklyn.
(Foetus) It’s my greatest work of art. I’ve dumped a lot of money into it! It is my fortress of solitude! I collect art, oddities, & archive myself and others. It’s like a ski resort without the skis, but with the French Ski instructor!
(Berrie) Jim: In retrospect, Is there any of your projects you feel stands out in a positive or negative way?
(Foetus) Berrie, Yes all of them … positive negativism is one of my doctrines.
(Bear) Jim, I have to wonder: Is the release of _Null_ still on? I Don’t see it anywhere for sale …
(Foetus) Bear: it’s coming out with VOID in 1996.
(Droolie) I thought you were from Australia.
(Foetus) No, I’m from Brooklyn, NY.
(SonicMan) So, Jim, what is the FOETUS Vision?
(Foetus) SonicMan … that’s too complex to answer & it would be giving away my conception of my vision whereby I like to leave HOLES open for people to stick their own things in there!
(Berrie) Jim, I always wonder how many copies were ever sold of a masterpiece like Nail?
(Foetus) Berrie, I really can’t give you numbers, cuz I don’t know. But I spent A LOT of money on it and I’ve broken even, and believe it or not I’m getting royalties on it!
(JL) When are you going to record with Caspar Brotzmann?
(Foetus) JL, there is a project which was initially myself, Caspar & Diamanda Galas which has always been in development stages & as close as I am with Caspar, in maybe four years we’ve done one half an hours work!
(Droolie) What, if any, tour plans exist?
(Foetus) (Droolie) European Tour — Jan 27 through mid March.
(SonicMan) Jim: it has been over 20 years since Throbbing Gristle started Industrial Records. Does it disturb you that modern day “industrialists” love Foetus?
(Foetus) (SonicMan) No I’m heavily influenced by them, and in fact have been since the late ’70s, thanks to Dionne Warwick (the Psychic Friends Network)!
(JL) Do you know anything about the next Cop $hoot Cop tour and/or album?
(Foetus) JL … Wrong chat channel, darling.
(Serge) Jim: the big-band stuff on “Grease Nipples”… did you (or Roli) play any of that, or is it sampled? If so, where from?
(Foetus) Serge: none of your business. Everything is seamless, but believe me there are more live instruments than anyone ever gives me credit for!
(Berrie) Jim: on NAIL are there any ‘real’ instruments or does it all come out of a keyboard?
(Foetus) Berrie: all the drums are live, all guitars, all vocals — There is a mixture of live violin & sequenced violin … lots of ambient noise performed live … the rest I don’t really remember cuz I haven’t listened to it in ages.
(SonicMan) Jim: What is your favorite meal?
(Foetus) SonicMan: it’s sitting between your legs baby!
(SonicMan) Oh … so you like to eat A LOT, HUH?
(plexus) I can’t even imagine trying to come up with status-quo descriptors for ‘the music of foetus’.
(Foetus) Plexus, I don’t give away my secrets …
(plexus) Foetus: how do *you* describe your music to someone who knows less?
(Foetus) Plexus.. Punk Rock conquerette avant Bib Band drooling metal squishy sex rhythmic irresistible lounge slippery abrasive pop.
(plexus) Foetus: ya, I usually go on about rock meets jazz meets tomatoes meets my mom meets me meets weirdness … ‘come into my bedroom and listen to the f*cking stuff!’
(Foetus) Hey plexus, how does your mom like FOETUS? Moms really like that stuff!
(plexus) Foetus: well, I played my mom side one of HOLE. She liked it actually. She went out and got 3 ear peircings in each ear after that. It was a blast!
(Serge) Jim: Did anything specific prompt you to switch to Russian on the GASH cover?
(Foetus) Serge: that is a total mess. The film got reversed. The graphic designer f*cked up.
(Melville) Jim: When is Halcion’s LP going to be available?
(Foetus) Melville: Halcion’s new LP comes out next year. OKAY, my turn: a question for all you guys & gals. I’ve heard about a bootleg called “Feed Us, Foetus” through you guys. Anybody got any info about it & what other bootlegs are out there? Videos, cassettes, etc — where does “Feed Us, Foetus” come from?
(alchemy) That’s news to me.
(SkatePunk) Never heard it.
(plexus) foet: A lot of good we are, eh? (that was a Canadian ‘eh’ by the way).
(Foetus) Plexus … You’re making me hard …(hug stronger)
(plexus) foet: Hey! Ever hear of Nash the Slash?
(Foetus) Plex, Absolutely! I used to have a couple of his records …
(plexus) foet: Nash is a friend and colleague of mine. In fact he lives upstairs! We’ve worked together.
(serax) Foetus Do you plan to produce any future COP SHOOT COP releases?
(Foetus) serax: Not really, however, there’s a book called “The Cinema Of Transgressions,” (Kern, N. Zedd, Myself, etc) released through Creation and there are openings for it on Nov 30 & 31 @ Don Hill’s & The Anthology Film Archives …
(Melville) Jarboe said once that N. Zedd essentially goes through life sleeping with “country club women” to make a living.
(Foetus) Melville: she’s one to talk!
(Melville) Foetus: Good point.
(serax) Foetus: Did you have anything to do with the EXIT series of mags?
(Foetus) serax: yes I did, the last two issues, front & back covers and the inner covers and double page spreads. I’m also writing a column for Kerin late of “Ben Is Dead.” (she also did that “I Hate Brenda” newsletter) Her new mag is called broken hip (I named it).
(Foetus) SkatePunk … have a nice life … Hype me Hype Me Hype ME.
(SonicMan) Jim: any regrets signing to a MAJOR LABEL?
(Foetus) Sonic … I have regrets of signing to every label.
(SonicMan) FOETUS DUDE: What do you think of the state of the music scene today?
(Foetus) Sonic … Selectivity is the key to the state of music today. There’s either good music or bad music & I think that there is a lot of good music … mainly coming out of my living room. Hey sorry guys, Rick Nielsen is waiting for me & I’ve gotta go.
(plexus) foet: ciao. thanks for the irc session. It was goovoid.
(Melville) LATER MAN! TU ESTAS DIOS GRANDE!
(Foetus) Go & BUY my records … & the new Ultra Bide CD. Lookout for the new releases by Elysian Fields & Halcion! Keep the Faith … be all you can be … Kill your Parents!
(serax) Foetus: your word is my command! BLAMMO!!!
(SonicMan) JG Thirlwell has left the house … Thanks for joining us tonight on the Sonicnet Chat Experience!! Bye Bye!! You’ve got FOETUS on your Breath …