Interview by John Sekerka
[The following interview is transcribed from John Sekerka's radio show, Tape Hiss, which runs on CHUO FM in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and is also run in John's own magazine, Thrust. On occassion, Cosmik Debris prints a transcript of one of these interviews, simply because John lives 3000 miles away and doesn't have a car OR a lawyer. This month, we're proud to bring you one that gave at LEAST some of the males on the Cosmik team serious wood: Texas Terri and the Stiff Ones. - Ed.]
Purrring on the phone from her barber chair, flaming red-haired amazon she-Ig Texas Terri contemplates tattoos, nudity, dangerous music and donut holders. Mandatory cold showers to follow for one and all.
[Wanna hear Texas Terri & The Stiff Ones? Try these on for donuts. Um, for size...
If Looks Could Killand
Texas Terri: Rrrreow.
John: Is that Texas Terri, the rock and roll kitten from L.A.?
Texas Terri: The queen of the wild frontier, right here. Are we live?
John: Oh yeah. Say your rippin' record, Eat Shit +1, is not as new as I thought.
Texas Terri: That's right. It's been around for a coupla years, but it never got the push it deserves, so we re-released it on Junk records. Re-mixed it, remastered it, re-everythinged it, added a bonus track - that's the plus 1. Now it's getting good distribution.
John: With a title like that you must be going for airtime on big corporate American radio, and a record contract with Sony.
Texas Terri: 99% of cool stuff never gets radio play, so what've I got to lose?
John: Just clothes I suppose. Your live show features a lot of skin flashing - and I'm not talking about your rhythm section...
Texas Terri: I'm just one of the guys. Guys get on stage and they take their shirts off when it gets hot. I'm not a girlie girl who flashes tits cuz I wanna fuck you. It's a whole different thing. Though if people wanna look at my tits I guess they get to ... with a big "TXT" in black tape across 'em.
John: Ever been barred, banned or busted?
Texas Terri: Naw, as long as I keep the tape on it's no big deal.
John: How does the crowd react to you and your shenanigans?
Texas Terri: The crowd loves me.
John: Are they not stunned?
Texas Terri: Stunned?
John: Do they go completely crazy?
Texas Terri: There's not a shortage of people at our shows, that's all I gotta say. I always get great feedback. A lot of women dig what I do, which is cool. They like my vibe. I'm not a feminist or anything. I'll get comments like, "my husband has a crush on you, but so do I." Very interesting.
John: Let's talk about your fancy spider web tattoos. Do you have a spider, a spider web or a Spiderman fixation?
Texas Terri: I think spider webs are very feminine. To me they look like lace. But again, in that web is a deadly spider. The Ying and Yang. Not the answer you're looking for huh?
John: No Spiderman fixation?
Texas Terri: I do like Spiderman, in fact I wanna cover that song.
John: The Ramones did it on a Saturday Morning Cartoon tribute record.
Texas Terri: Oh yeah? Wow, good choice.
John: Hailing from from Austin, Texas, did you hang around with the Dicks, The Big Boys, punksters like that?
Texas Terri: Oh yeah, we all knew each other that's for sure.
John: Were you playing or just hanging around, part of the scene?
Texas Terri: I started a band called the Other Guys. The Dicks were my favourite band. There was another band called The Next that I really loved cuz they were really sleazy. In fact the extra song on the CD is a cover of theirs: "Women Should Be Wilder". That was my theme song. My next band was Puss and Boots, then I moved to California.
John: What drew you to the punk scene? Was it always in you, or did something happen and you said, "that's for me"?
Texas Terri: (laughing) I think you're born with that attitude and you follow the crowd - the outsiders. Punk just fit like a glove. I could relate to it. For some people it's a phase and they move on. For me it's a lifestyle. It's what's in your heart.
John: So growing up, you weren't the ra-ra, pom-pom cheerleader, school president all prep girl?
Texas Terri: It's strange cuz I was involved in all of those weird things. I made straight As in school, though people thought I was lying about it. I was weird, always in my own little world. It was fun. I tried out for cheerleader as a joke, and caused a lot of commotion, and that was good. I was a tom boy - got voted most athletic one year. I liked to play football with the boys - who wouldn't? I've always been one of the guys.
John: Before we leave your childhood, who's poster was on your teenage bedroom wall?
Texas Terri: The Rolling Stones.
John: You cover The Dictators on your record...
Texas Terri: Yeah, "Baby Let's Twist".
John: Has Handsome Dick ever heard your version?
Texas Terri: Oh yeah, I called 'em up to make sure it was okay to put it on the record, and they actually saw us play in New York. They loved it and we've done a couple of shows with them out here.
John: Is it true that you're working with Jack Douglas - Cheap Trick, New York Dolls, Patti Smith and Aerosmith producer?
Texas Terri: Yup. He also did John Lennon's Double Fantasy .
John: No kidding, why are you working with this old guy?
Texas Terri: He's an amazing producer. He came to a show and loved it. Every time he came to town he kept coming to out shows and we became good friends. I love him. We did three songs in the studio with him. He's really amazing to work with. No bullshit. He hears what you got going and he makes it better.
John: Do you remember your first singing engagement?
Texas Terri: You think I have a memory or something? My first singing engagement? Well as a kid I remember fantasizing about being a rock'n'roll singer, in front of a mirror in my bedroom, singing along to the hits of the day, and hoping nobody came and busted me.
John: What was the first time you were on stage?
Texas Terri: Oh I used to terrorize bands cuz I used to be a really huge drunk. If I liked the song I'd jump up on stage and sing back-up. That made a lot of people happy. They were like, "get your own band." So I did.
John: Why move to Hollywood if Texas was such a fun place?
Texas Terri: I'm a really hyper girl. I needed a place that had more going on. I'd done pretty well everything there was to do in Austin. A guy from my first band moved to L.A. and we were writing songs long distance, and he decided that I needed to move out there and start a band with him. It was a really good move. It took me about a year to get used to it cuz it ain't Texas you know. I'm kinda like the odd job queen here. I cut hair, I act, I go-go dance...
John: Where do you go-go dance?
Texas Terri: Dance clubs. There's one called Club Cherie. Old rock and roll. Club Make-up - they have a live band which I sing with when I'm in town.
John: Are you in a cage or anything fancy like that?
Texas Terri: The Cherie has a box in the middle of the room with a pole on it, so that's kinda fun. Though I don't do any of that fancy stripper stuff.
John: I think the first time I saw a go-go dancer in the flesh was when the Bomboras came through town.
Texas Terri: Yeah! Now Jake and Johnny are in The Lords of Altamont. I know Kena who was one of the go-go dancers . Last summer I went to New York and there was Kena Kachine go-go dancing in a bar.
John: Do you leave your amazon persona on stage or are you this way 24 hours a day?
Texas Terri: Actually I'm a soft, cuddly little kitten. You gotta have a range. You can't be just one thing. The stage is where I get to vent and not get thrown in the nut house or in jail. That's my time, and people actually pay to see it! More people should try it.
John: Does it ever get outta control on stage?
Texas Terri: I'm a nice girl, just don't fuck with me. When people grab my tits - it's not about that. I guess people get the wrong idea, but I don't present it as "grab my tits". You gotta set boundaries - put a boot in their face.
John: So do you also shed your clothes when you're recording in the studio?
Texas Terri: Yes, my favourite place to shed my clothes, though, is live radio interviews. It's really fun to get naked on the radio cuz nobody can see ya.
John: My shirt is off, and it's still winter up here. That's a big commitment on my part doncha think?
Texas Terri: That's great. I love it. Okay listeners, "Take your shirts off!"
John: We have four feet of snow up here and everybody's running around topless. It's mass hysteria!
Texas Terri: Cool. Now get black vinyl tape and put "TXT" across your chest, and you've got it made.
John: Do you have a fan club that does that?
Texas Terri: Yeah, we were just in Spain and these young girls had TXT on their t-shirts, so I gave them my tape at the end of the night, and they screamed. Spain is great. They love their rock'n'roll.
John: Aren't you a cover girl over there?
Texas Terri: Yeah, on the cover of Popular #1 magazine. They hooked us up with a huge TV show in Barcelona. I went out with a straitjacket on cuz they were scared of me. I had been on a radio show and I got naked and really wild. They sent the guy who booked the show over to have lunch with me, to make sure I was safe. So I said yeah, but let's fuck with 'em, get me a straitjacket and Hannibal Lechter mask. It was great. There were about three million viewers.
John: So what happened on the show?
Texas Terri: I was there with a straitjacket and big black TXT across it. Then I took it off and no shirt. Voila! No big deal.
John: Those crazy Europeans are used to stuff like that.
Texas Terri: Oh yeah. There was a write up in the paper which said my nudity was in good taste. Which is correct. I find it to be an art form. It's not a sexual deal though it's all right if guys wanna jerk off to pictures of me. I don't care.
John: Your image reminds me of the comic book character Tank Girl.
[Left: Texas Terri. Right: Tank Girl. Never seen together in the same place. Coincidence? Huh? Huh?]
Texas Terri: Oh yeah, I got a lot of comments when that movie came out. That and Natural Born Killers.
John: You've been compared to Iggy Pop, Mick Jagger, Wendy O. Williams, though when I listen to your music I hear a lot of Joan Jett action, especially on
SituationTexas Terri: Cool, I like that. At least all the people I'm compared to are good.
John: Are you tired of being called the female Iggy Pop?
Texas Terri: (laughing) Yeah. There's only one Iggy. I never went out to ape him.
[Suddenly Texas Terri puts me on hold for another call]
Texas Terri: Hello? That was my ex-husband.
John: Good God, woman put your shirt back on, I don't want any trouble! I know how ex-husbands can get!
Texas Terri: (laughing) I'm not gonna get in any trouble.
John: Not you, ME!
Texas Terri: Naw, he's a good guy. My music is my relationship. It's hard to go out with a musician. A pain in the ass. They're always breaking dates cuz they gotta go see this, go see that. It's hard.
John: Speaking of music, I think you offer something there's not enough of right now and that's dangerous music.
Texas Terri: Well thank you very much.
John: Did you set out to ruffle feathers?
Texas Terri: That's just what I like. Rock'n'roll is supposed to be dangerous in my opinion. Everyone I love is like that: Rolling Stones, AC/DC, Iggy Pop, James Brown - now that guy's dangerous!
John: Scary dangerous. So who would you share the stage in a dream double bill?
Texas Terri: Rolling Stones. I'd love to share a stage with Iggy, but with all the comparisons I would feel stupid.
John: Maybe you could do a side by side freaky duet: "The He and She Iggy Show"!
Texas Terri: We're just getting ready to do this little Iggy Pop birthday party we do every year. A buncha bands get together, each do about four Iggy songs, the money goes to the Covenant House for recovering drug addicts. A good cause. Iggy was upset cuz he wasn't invited last time, so maybe he'll come up this year.
John: You used to indulge quite a bit. Are you totally clean?
Texas Terri: Yeah.
John: What was your favourite addiction?
Texas Terri: Oh I loved everything. I guess my favourite was Jim Beam, Peppermint Schnapps - the one with the really high alcohol content - speed, and I liked codeine fours.
John: What's your current addiction?
Texas Terri: Being on stage. I like donuts a lot. Have you seen the picture inside the CD cover?
John: Oh yeah, I couldn't help it.
Texas Terri: With all the frosting, and I have donuts stuck all over me. That's the only reason I go to weddings is cuz I like that traditional white wedding frosting.
John: If I go up to the donut shop with you, is this what is gonna happen?
Texas Terri: Exactly. How many donuts can you stack on your dick?
John: Texas Terri! I think we're about to lose our radio license here.
Texas Terri: Why? I didn't say the f-word did I?
John: I knew this was gonna be x-rated, but I didn't know it was gonna be triple x rated.
Texas Terri: (laughing) Aw c'mon you didn't set down any rules.
John: There should have been a memo. Didn't my staff contact you?
Texas Terri: Hah!
John: I'm gonna change the topic very quickly here... I hear you were mobbed by San Franciscan school girls at the Fillmore.
Texas Terri: Oh yeah, that was fun. They didn't attack me. They just wanted to make out with me.
John: Explain please.
Texas Terri: That was after the show. When all the girls are up front I like to lean down and French kiss 'em. Then all the boys go, "oh my god." They go crazy.
John: They do go crazy. I'm a boy so I know. We go crazy, though I'm not exactly sure why.
Texas Terri: (laughing) Maybe we shouldn't figure it out.
John: Here's a shot in the dark. Do you have any connection with Falling James and the Leaving Trains?
Texas Terri: Oh yeah, I love Falling James. Have you ever talked with him?
John: A couple of times, last time out he was running for President.
Texas Terri: Good choice.
John: Is he still dressing up in drag?
Texas Terri: Yeah, he looks good in drag. We play with 'em a lot.
John: Is there a cool cross-dressing, undressing L.A. scene?
Texas Terri: You mean besides the regular trannies?
John: Yeah, I mean musically.
Texas Terri: Falling James is like me. I take my shirt off cuz I want to. I think James likes to wear dresses. He never does his hair up like a girl, or wear the full make-up. He's his own person. I appreciate that. I don't think there's a lot of guys who do that except for ones that's their lifestyle. James has a lot of nerve and I like that.
John: And he's the only surviving ex-husband of Courtney Love.
Texas Terri: That's right. There you go.
John: Is it true that you've played with another seminal L.A. punk band, Chris D. and the Flesheaters?
Texas Terri: Yeah. He's a good friend of mine. I recorded on a couple of his albums - singing back-up. When I was between bands I did a buncha shows with him. He just left for Japan to get funding for his movie, which I'll be in.
John: A light, romantic comedy I presume.
Texas Terri: Yeah, I'm a heroin addict that blows things up.
John: Speaking of blow, what's this about snorting cayenne pepper before a show?
Texas Terri: (laughing) It's a good way to clear the old sinuses. If anyone has any problems with mucus, just snort some cayenne pepper. It'll fix you right up. And if you don't wanna snort it then sprinkle some in water and drink it. Keeps your blood clean!
[Ed.Note: Cosmik Debris's publisher and editors do not suggest sniffing cayanne pepper to clear your sinuses. We don't know that it would do any harm, either. If you really, really feel compelled to try it, please consult your doctor. And if you feel like putting electricians tape on your pubic hair... well, you're on your own. We do, however, recommend playing Texas Terri's CD real freakin' loud. We are. Right now. Thank you.]
Interview (C) 2001 - John Sekerka
Photographs (C) 2000 - Dena Flow (used with permission)