Ah good old Rock N' Fuckn' Roll, it is the very essence of why I write about music and the very core for the juvenile delinquent inside all of us that refuses to back down. I was recently invited to see Jules Hodgson and Andy Selway (of KMFDM) team up with one insane singer Alx, and one determined hard working bassist Jake Hagan invade the renown punk bar in Sin City called the Double Down Saloon, with their fresh new band The Spittin' Cobras.
I had no idea what was in store but I can tell you this, when they hit the stage (or floor) of this small hole in the ground venue, I was taken for one hell of a ride. I was immediately whisked right back to the very foundations that great bands from AC/DC, Iggy Pop, The Sex Pistols, and many more not only established but ruled with conviction. Between Jules's guitar searing solos, Andy's blasting beats, Jake's raunchy and dirty bass, there was Alx's fiery vocals and presence that I have yet to see anything rival in about 15 years. This band OWNED Vegas that night, and all of us who witnessed it are sure to never forget it. So after such an atomic set I sat down with the band in their van with a nice warm bottle of rum to talk about their hopes, dreams, and debauchery so that I can bring it to YOU. This is a band that you will not forget and will always treasure seeing, you know why? Cause they are doing it FOR YOU! So sit back and relax and let me introduce to you the return to rock and roll:
DeathWish: So for those of our readers who do not know, what is the Spittin’ Cobras?
Jules Hodgson: We are a fucking kick ass, straight down the line, loud, fast rock and roll band from Seattle, Washington.
Andy Selway: What you fucking asking us for? You just saw us, tell us what you think the Spittin’ Cobras are. (all of us laughing)
DeathWish: Honestly from what I saw the band is everything that rock, metal, and punk are all about on crack.
Andy: Yep you have earned your shirt (all of us bust out laughing)
Alx: Can we mention stylish?
Jake Hagan: And affordable.
DeathWish: So would you guys say that you are affirmative action at work?
Alx: More like re-affirmative reaction.
DeathWish: So how did you guys come together?
Alx: It’s not just for the casual encounters.
Jules: Andy and I have been talking about starting a band of our own for about 15 years. We had written one demo already…
Jules and Andy: “10,000 Broken Bodies”
Jules: Which is on the album. So I stuck an add on Craigslist which simply said…
Andy: “wanted Hebrew” (all of us laughing)
Alx: More like “wanted retarded Hebrew, with a head full of steam” (laughing)
Jules: So it said “wanted Bon Scott, Lemmy, Johnny Rotten. No kids and no emo whiners” and Alx was one of the first to get back in touch with us.
Andy: Sad part is that we ended up with a kiddie emo whiner. (all of us laughing)
Alx: I am more like a Yiddish Hebrew with a shiner.
Jake: I was thinking you were more like a Yiddish Hebrew with a vagina.
Andy: We definitely got what we asked for, but what we didn’t know was that he would bring such an amazing scumbag bass player to our ranks. I was initially in the band but then disappeared for a bit.
Jules: we did have a couple other people in the band, Steve (Pig also from KMFDM) was originally in the band. We rehearsed a few times then Andy moved to Florida…
Jules: So we put everything on hold for a bit, then I got a call from Alx saying he was playing in a band with Jake and Brandon. The band that they played in was fucking kick ass, so we said “hey you guys should have a jam with us sometime.” That was when the band was officially made. We rehearsed for a bit and played a few shows. I had spoken to the guys quite a few times about Andy and how he is the perfect drummer for this sort of thing…
Andy: And it was my rightful position (laughing)
Jules: His smell adds to us in the most complimentary of manners. (all of us laughing)
Andy: This was what I really wanted to do, no offense to Brandon who was drumming in between, if I had not joined back up with the band it would not be what it is right now.
Jake: We had written a lot of material with Brandon.
Andy: Well the whole band got off the ground with him.
DeathWish: So would you say in this time of musical mediocrity, you are the kick in the ass that it needs?
Jules: I would like to think so.
Andy: We are not doing the newest type of thing, but I would say that we are doing it better than any other cunt trying to do this type of music.
Alx: Not just that but I think the most important thing is that we are putting everything into it. When you go see a Spittin’ Cobras show…
Andy: We will do a half assed rehearsal before we ever do a half assed show.
Jules: We are not trying to reinvent the wheel, we understand that we are not the most original band in the world but that is not the point. The point is to get everyone in the room to realize that straight forward rock and roll is what everyone likes. Everyone I know has an extensive record collection that spans so many different genres and they miss good time rock and roll, and that is what we bring.
Andy: It’s like I was saying to you earlier, there is that album that you loved when you were a kid or even now that you always listen to on a Saturday night before you go out to drink. I hope that this is the album that people are listening to before they go out for a feisty night out. All we are saying is live and have a good time with yourself.
Jules: And there is a ridiculously long guitar solo in every song. (laughing)
Andy: That keeps this boy extremely happy. (pointing to Jules)
Alx: Hell it gives me a chance to catch my breath.
DeathWish: It must make you happy that the guitar solo is back since it seemed to be gone for a few years.
Jules: Well I remember when that happened, that was the kind of grunge thing. I do think there was some amazing music that came out of there, it wasn’t about individual talent or anything of the sort, it was about good song writing. That still applies to what we do, it just so happens that I like fancy guitar solos.
Alx: The mother fucker can play them that is for sure.
Andy: Well we are the band so we can put whatever we want into it.
Jules: The whole point of rock and roll is excess.
Alx: Live fast, die young, and leave a good looking corpse.
Andy: We have made it past the die young stage (laughing)
DeathWish: Well the first album is complete so how is it to break away and hit the road in a van?
Andy: This is not a band that will spend much time in a studio. We do have a studio and all but…
Jules: Basically I will record everything that they do and then replace it with everything that I do. (all of us bust out laughing) That way if anyone says anything I just say “yep everything is the same as when you recorded it.”
Jake: The thing is about touring is that it maybe grueling but it has also been one of the best experiences ever.
Andy: The only grueling part really has been searching for state parks. (laughing) We are just driving around and someone says “oh there is this great place I have heard of about 60 miles down this dirt track.”
DeathWish: Wow I know of a few horror movies that have started that way.
Alx: Hahaha… Little do you know.
DeathWish: Then again I have also seen a lot of porn movies that start that way too. (all of us laughing)
Jules: Well the show tonight at the Double Down is a perfect example of why a band like us needs to be on the road. No one knows who the fuck we are, but the thirty people who were in that room are for sure going to tell all their friends.
Andy: We will win over them every time.
Alx: Out of those thirty people, twenty of them bought merchandise which is fucking great.
Andy: This is a band that is on it’s second go round of the country, this is a band that can play. Every time we play it is as full on as it can possibly be. As you could tell tonight we have the perfect monkey boy magic on vocals.
DeathWish: The thing that hit me about you was that the purpose of a front man in the old punk days was to make sure that no one’s ass was in their seat. I mean hell Alx pulled me out of mine and tossed it across the room.
Andy: Well he is the singer and that is his job even if it means the whole band gets beat up because of it.
Alx: That is my job man, like I said to you before I am not a singer, I am a front man.
Andy: He is a singer but he is a front man as well, which is a very hard package to find these days.
DeathWish: So if there was anyone that you could go on tour with right now who would it be?
Everyone: The Bronx!
Alx: They actually just happened to be here tonight.
Andy: It would be great to play with them. Hell maybe a Bar-Mitzvah or a wedding or two.
DeathWish: Being an upstart band and working your way through myspace, what is your opinion on the whole myspace thing?
Andy: It is an extremely useful tool for the bands that utilize it. Unfortunately it is open to just about any band who thinks that they can play.
Alx: Not just that but it also a good tool for all these record labels and huge marketing firms.
Andy: More and more as well, they are the ones who are taking over myspace.
Alx: One thing that I am proud of with this band is that we do not go out and try to add people, we don’t blitz people, we let you come to us. Because we would rather that you do due to liking our music. Everyone that is on our list is there because THEY request to be there.
Jules: The myspace thing is great and all that. Today in the music industry it is all about what you do, the days of label manipulation and hype are fucking over. I can sit here and tell you we are a great rock and roll band, but the most important thing is for people to know who you are and what you do.
Alx: You got to get out there on the road and earn it from the ground up, sure your first time around you maybe playing for like ten people but those ten are going to be your fans for life.
DeathWish: You guys (Jules and Andy) have done this with other bands like KMFDM, Genitorturers, etc. how does it feel to start your own project?
Andy: Yeah we did it with bands like KMFDM and many others, hell Jules has been in bands that were opening up for Tool.
Jules: The satisfying thing about it has been that sure we did it with all these bands, but we never started any of these bands. They were bands that had already been established, so that was my role; to play their material. I've always been able to contribute to every band I've been involved in, but this is my baby - Our baby!
Andy: We have been playing together for so long, we both are huge fans of good old rock and roll, and both have been talking about doing it. We now finally get that chance to do it.
DeathWish: Do you think adds anymore stress to start from the ground up?
Jules: No I think it is the biggest release ever. I have so many people that come up to me and say “A) I didn’t know that you could play like that,” (laughing) “and B) I have never seen you that happy playing before.”
DeathWish: What kind of mark would you like to leave on the industry?
Jules: That everyone has the greatest possible fucking time seeing us.
Alx: For me the most important people in the room are the ones who paid at the door to come see us. To me the people who are important are not the promoters, the labels, or anyone that is actually in the industry; it is the fans that matter.
Jules: We are not about a light show or the look that is not the point. With the music that we play we don’t need any of that.
Alx: The clothes that you see us in right now is the clothes that we have been wearing all day.
DeathWish: Do you think all of that takes away from the show?
Andy: Not at all it’s just that with our music it is not essential. I have always liked front men like David Lee Roth, I mean that guy really knew how to be one.
Alx: I would have to say my top influences would be David Lee Roth, Bon Scott, and Henry Rollins. Those were the guys who I took a lot of their moves from.
DeathWish: So I have heard rumors about you joining up with a label?
Andy: Yeah it’s going to be a label called One Eyed Records and it was started by our friend Eric. It will be co-run between the band and him.
Jules: We wanted to make a good contract so that way both the band and the label can make some money.
Andy: That way everyone gets something back for what they put in.
Jules: Most labels just want to sign a band because either singer looks good or some other dumb reason like that. The reason why One Eyed Records wants to sign us is because we are a great band.
DeathWish: So in conclusion what is the future for you guys?
Jules: Well we after this Andy and I will be hitting the road with KMFDM for a bit, when we get back we will be finalizing everything with One Eyed Records. The album should hit shortly afterwards and then we are back on the road with Spittin’ Cobras.