Philadelphia's Bloodhound Gang have and never will be taken seriously as a band.

But what would you expect when your stage show consists of "playfully" antagonising gig goers, projectile vomiting over band members and paying members of the audience who have had one to many pies to strip naked in front of the crowd for £25.

And when your musical output consists of sing-a-long ditties such as 'I wish I Was Queer so I Could Get Chicks', 'A Lap Dance is So Much Better when the Stripper is Crying' and 'Lift Your Head Up High (And Blow Your Brains Out)', no one's going to shortlist you for a video music award either.

So with great pleasure I met surprisingly intelligent guitarist Bloodhound Lupus Thunder before a gig on their recent British tour at the Manchester Academy, who was happy to share a beer or four and talk about their new album, 'Hefty Fine'.

PB : You guys have been away for a couple of years now. What have you been up to?

LT : We ended our tour in December 2000 and had been touring for about 18 months, so for about another year and a half after that we didn’t speak much. Having to be in a press room everyday does that to you.

We got to spend some of the money we earned, bought houses and just relaxed and enjoyed life for a little bit.

So after that time passed we started getting back into the music thing, and we’re in no way prolific song writers or anything so it took a bit of time for us.

Jim (Jimmy Pop, singer-Ed) gets very anal about everything. He’s very particular when we record so it’s very time consuming I guess.

PB : You started your own record company, the Jimmy Franks Recording Company. Did you just want to do things for yourself?

LT : Yeah Jim wanted to put out records he liked. He signed the Finnish rockers HIM because they were on MTV every time we were over here and we thought the band was pretty cool.

No one had heard of them in America as they didn’t have a record deal so Jim thought about using some of his money and starting his own imprint. Now HIM are doing pretty well in America. It’s a hobby, if you will.

Our tour actually ends in Finland this time so they’ll be out drinking like Vikings like they always do. You’ve got to watch out for those Finnish guys.

PB : They will pillage your village if you give them half a chance you mean.

LT : Yeah, you’ve got watch out for those Scandinavian countries. They will take over the world if you let them. They still have their Viking roots and they are ready.

PB : Was it Bam Margera Of Jackass fame that made you sign HIM?

LT : He lives about twenty minutes away from all of us so we actually met him through the HIM guys. Ville Valo (HIM front man-Ed)introduced us and we found out he lived down the road from us. We called him up and hung out with him and we’ve been friends ever since.

PB : So you basically have a licence to do what you want?

LT : Our record company has been pretty open with us. Most bands don’t get to take five years to follow up a successful album. Most of them want it five days after you’ve stopped touring to make more money off of you. That kind of played into it as well because if you let the record company push you around they will make you record an album and then tour repeatedly and they will kill you. We, therefore, decided to do at our pace instead of burning out.

PB : Your new album, 'Hefty Fine', what’s it all about?

LT : I don’t know. I think this for Jim lyrically is his angry record. If you listen to the lyrics he’s very pissed off at the world. Again, I think that’s from being on the road for 18 months.
That would piss you off about everything if you let it. It’s basically a strange world of dirty dressing rooms like this one and it kind of just gets you in a sour mood all the time.

PB : You don’t seem like the sort of characters that are self-loathing.

LT: I would disagree with that. We are full of self-hatred.

PB : You aren’t secretly Goths?

LT : Not in that kind of sense. We don’t sit around and whine, cry and moan about everything. We’re just realistic about life. I know I’m fat. I’ve got to lose weight but I’m not going to do it anytime soon. I may as well just hate myself.

PB : You recorded the alternative state anthem 'Pennsylvania' for your home states. Is that a bad a place to live?

LT : When you live somewhere for a long time you’re always going to start hating it. I love living there still. I lived in LA for a couple of years. I then decided to move back even though I thought I had escaped it.

I guess it’s similar to England, especially the weather as it rains quite a bit, and it’s cold in the winters and warm in the summer.

PB : Yeah, and lucky you, you’re playing in Manchester tonight.

LT : That’s what we were talking about right before you came in. Everyone said I don’t think I’ve ever played in Manchester and not seen rain. It just always rains here all the time.

PB : It could probably explain why Ian Curtis and Morrissey were always depressed. Why did you write an ode to Ralph Wiggum?

LT: Jim wrote that. Well he didn’t write the words as such. He collected them from various Simpson fan websites. I remember the process he went through. He wanted every quote Ralph ever said and there were pages and pages of them from every episode. He then assembled the best quotes and somehow the song made sense.

PB : You guys seem to have a thing about making fun of people, particularly the handicapped. Why?

LT : We try to make fun of everyone we possibly can, including ourselves. If you leave certain people out then someone’s going to think you’re actually angry about specific groups of people. If you insult everyone you’re safe.

PB : No one has ever made fun of the Irish, especially not in England.

LT : We’re working on that one. In America you are either related to the Italians, Polish or the Irish.

PB : Is there any group of people you haven’t offended yet?

LT : We’re pretty good at offending just about everyone, except for maybe the Irish.

Lately when we’ve been playing live our whole thing is antagonising the crowd. We insult just about everybody during the show.

It’s so much fun to watch people who have paid £15 to £18 to come see you and then tell them they suck and you hate them. You’ll get to see some of that tonight.

PB : Since you’re in the UK have you heard the Welsh band, Goldie Looking Chain, yet?

LT : Everyone keeps talking about them. I know the name and I think I’ve heard one song.

PB : They are kind of the Welsh equivalent of you guys humour wise.

LT : Apparently they do it better than us though.

PB : Only with a more 80's hip-hop sound.

LT : What like an early Beastie Boys kind of thing?

PB : They claim to have started in the early 80's but they’re in their early to mid 20's. They sing praises of you guys.

LT : I would like that. I think every band ends up with about ten bands behind them that sound just like them. We’ve never really gotten that.

PB : I read somewhere that around election time George Bush’s election team contacted you guys for a fundraiser dinner.

LT : Jim gets letters from the Republican Party. One of the letters invited him to a fundraiser and he couldn’t believe it.

Obviously someone had not done their research, but they knew Jim had enough money to be someone they should contact. Somewhere there’s a taxman leaking information to the Republican Party. We found it quite amusing that yeah asshole like we’re going to give you money. Figure that one out !

PB : In Michael Moore’s 'Fahrenheit 9/11' he found out that Marines were playing your music during battles. How did you feel about that ?

LT : It was weird because I’ve never thought of it in that sense. When I saw the movie I was shocked and found it kind of twisted that some dude’s getting off playing our music while shooting and blowing up stuff.

Those guys are bored to tears over there. They are getting shot at and they are freaked. They are killing people but that’s their job. It’s a bit harsh. I don’t know if I could deal with that. I would probably play some Slayer real loud and then go to town.

PB : Slayer ?

LT: They would be a great soundtrack for murdering people too.

PB : Thank you.













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