Interview by C. Bales & Joey Germ
Workin'/tryin', that's what everyday heroes do. Everyday heroes don't have superpowers injected into them by radioactive spiders, but you can bet they've gotten a mosquito bite or two. Everyday heroes give it their best shot and they don't give up, and they definitely don't give a rat's ass whether you think they're cool or not. Rock & Roll needs heroes like that. It needs Crusaders and Fighters for the Right to Party as a reward for all the workin' and tryin' which can make you pretty thirsty. Ace Reglar Wiglar Reporters, C. Bales and Joey Germ, had the opportunity to interview the band before one of their performances at Phyllis' Musical Inn in Chicago. Here they witnessed first-hand the James Brown work ethic of the group rehearsing before their set, working through the kinks, perfecting their sound with the newest addition to the band, The Girls (three sultry back-up singers--the icing on an already sweet cake!), but enough of this brilliantly written introduction, here's Creepy D. (Don't forget to look for their new CD, Workin'/Tryin', out soon!)
Wiglar: Where's L.A. Matt?
Creepy D: L.A. Matt had to work. He sends his regards. Let's get him on the cell phone.
Wiglar: What's the new addition, are they the Creepettes?
Creepy D: The Girls.
Wiglar: Consider "Creepettes."
Creepy D: You stay on that side of the table.
Positive T: Consider it considered.
Creepy D: All right, talk to me.
Wiglar: Well, I wanted everybody to describe how they got their names.
Positive T: Umm, I got my name, we were just hanging out one day and I think it just kinda came along, nothing really special, I'm a pretty upbeat guy so . . .
Wiglar: So is it like, you're on the positive tip?
Positive T: You could say that I guess. I'm a pretty upbeat dude.
(Johnny Cellular approaches)
Wiglar: We're introducing ourselves and saying how we got our names, or how you got your names, I'm not sure how I got my name.
Johnny Cellular: My name's Johnny Cellular. I was here at this bar at this table and (Creepy D) was playing and the whole crowd was absolutely silent and my phone went off and he goes "Whose the fucking asshole with the cell phone?" and it was me, and I had it on my chair and five peoples' coats were on top of it, so I found it and I smashed the button and it went off like two more times.
Wiglar: Were you not in the band?
Johnny Cellular: At the time I was--
Creepy D: He was the original drummer. We had a professional drummer, um--
Johnny Cellular: Thanks.
Creepy D: This is my little brother.
Mr. Inches: Johnny's been kickin' ass though, gotta admit, ever since he joined the band we took a turn from being jazzy and kind of--
Mr. Inches: Seriously, improvisational in a way, and now were just solid rock.
Wiglar: Introduce yourself.
Mr. Inches: I'm Mr. Inches.
Wiglar: How'd you get your name?
Mr. Inches: It's obvious.
Wiglar: Yeah, ok. Well at least it's plural.
Creepy D: And my name is Creepy D. The boss.
Mr. Inches: The Boss.
Creepy D: My last name starts with a D and--
Johnny Cellular: His first name starts with Creepy.
Creepy D: That's all I'd like to talk about as far as that goes.
Wiglar: Can you give us a quick history of how long you've been together?
Creepy D: Creepy D has been together as a rock'n'roll band since, say . . . 1998, playing regularly in Chicagoland since 1998.
Wiglar: Do you play other places beside Phyllis'?
Creepy D: Sometimes we play The Mutiny, we played at Big Horse, we played at Violet on the North side, we play a lot of parties.
Positive T: We've prostituted ourselves on several occasions.
Mr. Inches: The way we figure it, we can play all night here. If we play at Metro or Double Door, something like that, we'll get twenty minutes, we're not a twenty minute band.
Creepy D: We play here 'cause personally, I'm an asshole. I don't like other bands. People in bands are usually assholes. I don't like dealing with other people's egos. It's bad enough dealing with ourselves. We have full run of this place, Clem (Phyllis's owner) is very nice to us so we can play Friday, Saturday night . . .
Mr. Inches: Being an all original band, it's not really advantageous to play in one city and play more than once a month anyway. So by playing once a month as an all original band we can draw a crowd over and over. If we decided to start playing all the time we'd have to play covers.
Wiglar: Can you describe your music in one word?
Creepy D: One word?
Wiglar: One word or less.
Creepy D: Amateurish, next question.
Wiglar: Why Creepy D, why now?
Johnny Cellular: I don't get it.
Wiglar: Why does the world need Creepy D?
Positive T: The world doesn't necessarily need Creepy D as much as we need Creepy D.
Creepy D: It's a cathartic, therapeutic rock'n'roll fantasy. Some people get their rocks off playing golf or getting laid or whatever, I enjoy playing music that's inside my head and getting it out in the open, otherwise I'd be in a lot of trouble and it's as fun for the band as it is for the audience that watches.
Positive T: I personally can say that I have a blast every time we play and there's nothing I would rather be doing every time we play.
Wiglar: We saw you by accident, I don't know . . . a year ago, and you were wearing a costume, what happened to the costume?
Creepy D: I don't fit into the pants anymore.
Johnny Cellular: This is a costume . . .
Johnny Cellular: Look at him he's Creepy D!
Wiglar: I was wondering if you could expand on the "workin'/tryin", I know it's a song but it's also a philosophy . . .
Creepy D: You know what? I wish you would have asked that question first. Workin'/tryin' is as much a motto of Creepy D as it is for--whether you're working and trying to get a new song right or you're just getting up in the morning to go to your job and just fucking dealing. I'd like to introduce you to somebody. This is workin'/tryin'. Come here, dude. This is Jim Whalen, He's a good friend of all of ours. Explain to them what workin'/tryin' is.
Creepy D: Show 'em the tattoo.
Wiglar: All right!
Johnny Cellular: They're all on the website, go to the website. (creepyd.com)
Wiglar: I like the "Motherfucking Shrimps" recipe (on the website).
Johnny Cellular: You liked that?
Johnny Cellular: I wrote that.
Wiglar: We need a lighter.
Jim: Don't burn the hair off my chest, there's not enough as it is.
(?): Workin'/tryin's all about chicks in hammocks.
Wiglar: I didn't know that, I never would have guessed that. Did the tattoo come first?
Jim: I knew I always wanted one, that style of a tattoo, and I knew I wanted a banner. I just never knew what I wanted until I heard that it's an actual piece from the forties, it actually says "Rise and Shine."
Johnny Cellular: It's on the Enola Gay or something.
Wiglar: Are you going to get a Creepy D tattoo?
Jim: That's what I'm supposed to get now.
Wiglar: Can you describe your songwriting techniques?
Mr. Inches: I'm definitely interested to hear this one.
Creepy D: I uh, I--what did you guys say? Describe your songwriting technique? Songs are written, um--
Johnny Cellular: On legal a pad with a Sharpie.
Creepy D: Mostly through dreams, songs from dreams and melodies come from the words.
Positive T: We rarely practice.
Creepy D:Visual, words, words create the melody, and then it becomes a song.
Wiglar: My favorite song is "Champion."
Creepy D: Me too.
Wiglar: I like the message.
Mr. Inches: That's a brand new song. That's so great that you like that, she (C. Bales) told me that in the e-mail and I was like "yeah, that's cool", 'cause the show you came to in February was the first time we ever played it.
Wiglar: Is that going to be on the CD--is that CD out that you were recording when you were on Insomniac (Comedy Central)
Creepy D: We have a lot of songs "in the can," if you will, we're going to be releasing something within the next couple of months.
Wiglar: Are going to send it to Dave Atell?
Creepy D: No, no.
Wiglar: You should.
Mr. Inches: We should, we will.
Creepy D: I got other things to worry about than Dave Atell.
Mr. Inches: He's a busy guy too, I mean, who could be more busy than him?
Creepy D: Enough about Dave Atell, next question.
Wiglar: Was that a bad experience?
Mr. Inches: No, it was awesome. We loved every minute.
Creepy D: I'd rather not talk about this, let's talk about something else.
Wiglar: All right, if you had to chose a hit, what do you think would be your radio hit?
Mr. Inches:"Radio Loser."
Wiglar: That's my favorite song.
Positive T: That one's actually been on the air.
Creepy D: That dude Mancow was playing that song as bumper music for awhile.
Mr. Inches: Yeah, he used to play "Radio Loser" on the radio all the time.
Wiglar: How'd he get a hold of it, did you guys send it to him?
Mr. Inches: He went to Laurie's Planet of Sound in Lincoln Square and he bought it.
Positive T: We used to play in there, in the record shop, on Saturday afternoons. We'd go in there, it was fun, we'd get a six pack of beer and we'd play for the people who were shopping, so all the props to John and John at Laurie's.
Creepy D:We'll be playing again there soon, this summer.
Wiglar: I was trying to get clever and find some questions that they asked the Beatles when they first came to America: "There's a huge crowd of teenage girls outside complaining that they don't want to mob you, they just want to speak to you. What do you think about this, do you want to talk to them?" . . . you're going to have to visualize.
Positive T: Are these Beatle's bopper girls?
Wiglar: These are 2002 girls. They're screaming for Creepy D.
Mr. Inches: They've never heard of the Beatles.
Positive T: I might say hi to them.
Wiglar: Don't you have a song about Wisconsin girls.
Mr. Inches:"Big Mama."
Wiglar: Is it about an actual trip to Wisconsin?
Positive T: No, but we've been to Wisconsin.
Mr. Inches: We played in Wisconsin.
Positive T: We played in somebody's backyard and we signed some sticks for these little kids 'cause they were really into our song "Pooh Stick."
Creepy D: I can't answer that Beatles question, no offense.
Wiglar: No, it's all right, it didn't work.
Positive T: Aren't you going to ask the "When was your last haircut" question?
Wiglar: I couldn't find the actual questions . . .
Positive T: Remember that? "When was your last haircut?" and George Harrison says "I just got one yesterday."
Wiglar: When was your last haircut?
Positive T: I just got one yesterday?
Wiglar: What can the audience expect from your show tonight?
Positive T: Alcoholism?
Creepy D: A reasonably good time.
Mr. Inches: The old cliché, 110%.
Creepy D: They can expect working slash trying.
Wiglar: Thank you for letting us interview you. Are there any door prizes?
Creepy D: You guys did all right. (It's true we each got t-shirts and autographed CDs!)
Since L.A. Matt was unable to make the gig that evening, we followed up with a couple e-mail questions for him.
Wiglar: How did you meet Creepy D?
L.A. Matt: Creepy D and I met on the Pier in Santa Monica. He was sitting on a bench with an acoustic guitar singing "Wave Master Wave" to the ocean. I was immediately taken with his music and he suggested I return to Chicago with him to do sound for the band in exchange for pizza and beer. Since I'm quite fond of both pizza and beer it seemed like a great idea. That's how we met and that's how I got the name, being from LA and all.
Wiglar: What is your role in the band?
L.A. Matt: Initially, I would help them with the live sound and play records before and after the show, then I started to produce songs with the band at the recording studio I work at. I often sang background vocals when we recorded, so eventually Creepy D invited me to join them onstage to sing some background vocals and jump around a lot. I'm a huge fan of the band, their music, and of Creepy D's vision, so it's a real honor to be able to perform with them.
Wiglar: How do you apply the workin'/tryin' philosophy to your life?
L.A. Matt: Workin' Tryin' is basically a life philosophy, we are all striving to work hard and tryin' to be the best people we can be, and hopefully produce great rock-n-roll in the process. It's been great to see how the band has evolved over the years, and now with the addition of The Girls I feel like the band is stronger than it's ever been.
Wiglar: Thank you.
This concludes our interview with Creepy D. Please return to the top of this page and reread. Also, be sure to visit www.creepyd.com if only for the tasty recipes for "motherfucking shrimps."