Texas Terri Interview from Sonic Iguana
by Anita Jackson
I only heard of Texas Terri (real name, Terri Laird) three weeks ago. When I heard her new CD, Eat Shit, I was shocked. The songs werent pretty, and they were transparently simple. But I hadnt heard music like this in years true, naked, raw power. I pictured an uninhibited fireball of contradictory energy raging sex appeal on the outside, brutal lyrics within, cut by a razor voice that turns guts inside out for all to see. A truckload of live reviews confirmed this. Audiences dont go to watch, but to experience. Terri has been called the female Iggy so many times its practically her second name.
My admiration for her was sealed with this interview. While its practically required that a female artist have a neurotic, messed-up life, this wild woman with a compulsion to strip onstage was also one of the most together people, of either sex, Ive met in the business. Heres our uncensored chat about nudity, drugs, and surviving the L.A. scene.
Have you toured much?
Nah, were just starting to do that. We just got back from New York five shows.
How did the New York audiences treat you?
Great! Course we have that New York vibe, so everybody there was like, cool! We stayed with this band called the Toilet Boys.
Did you run into anybody?
I called the Dictators, Andy and Handsome Dick, and bugged the hell out of em They finally showed up the last night. Theyd been recording all weekend. It was so cool! And was so flattered that we had done their song, Baby Lets Twist. I didnt even know they were there until after we played. I kept telling them that they had to sing it with me, thats probably why they stayed in back! Bebe Buell came too!
Youre pretty old school
I keep tellin people that Im 30 so thats what they think! You can only play for so many years until things fizzle out. But its good because Im clean and sober, and have been for 8 years. People think Im trashed, which is even better.
Theres not many people who can say that.
Ive found that all the cool people are clean and sober. Theyre the people whore doing things.
Was it difficult, getting onstage again, without a drink?
Yeah, I was terrified! But everybody was telling me they could understand the words for the first time. When I got me band back together I had taken a two or three year break If my brain starts tripping out, going God, whatre they gonna think? then Im dead. But if I can remember that Im up here for me, now theres my 30 minutes and Im gonna have a good time
Your music is raw and honest is that your therapy?
Oh, totally! Thats the only time I get to get away with who I really am. Most of the time I just try to be invisible, make life as easy as possible So when I go onstage I vent it.
Do you still strip onstage?
Yeah I really with I would stop. Every once in a while I wont take off my bra but I always make sure I have tape on my nipples in case I cant stand it and have to pull off my shirt. Its also become more of a rebellion because everyone says (mimics whiny voice) You wont get signed if you keep doing that! Im just like, fuck it! But now I think my favorite schtick is water on the head.
Yeah, Im a flashdancer! It just takes it to the next level and people seem to get so excited. I was just taking peoples drinks, pouring their beer or mixed drinks over my head. Then I had all these straws sticking in my hair, it was fun! I use Aquanet hairspray, and everytime Id pour beer on my head, you know those Poprock you put in your mouth? Thats what its like. But I cant use beer on my head anymore because the
Aquanet and the beer together would burn my eyes too much. But I like getting wet its kind of erotic, pouring water all over your head and flingin it on the audience. But I really dont wanna get known for the Wendy O Williams thing. I dont know It just gets so hot!
Were you like that as a kid? Always taking your clothes off?
Its kind of weird, cause I really dont care. Sometimes my butt will get flabby you know how girls worry about this? Or my stomach stickin out Soooo many people are so concerned about what other peoples bodies look like that Im just gonna show that it doesnt really fuckin matter. Now these people are saying that Im too skinny With the stress of the band I dont eat, but Im gonna start gaining weight again and then everybodys gonna comment on that. Im not even a big deal yet, but people pay attention to all these little factors.
You should gain 50 pounds and keep doing it.
Really! Because to me the body is art, its about how you feel inside. I guess I just wanna show people, fuck the bodies! And theyre so easily amused, I guess thats why I keep taking my shirt off. But once they start expecting it, then I dont wanna do it.
Howd you meet the characters in your band?
I used the rhythm section from my old band, the Killer Crows, and got Lauren from Little Caesar. We called our bad Baby Bird, because baby birds never shut up and always want more. But then some guy in England showed up and ruined it for me, so it changed to the Stiff Ones. The first group of Baby Birds had other bands that were playing gigs, so they started canceling shows on me The original guitar player and me are the only ones still around that was 3 ½ years ago. We went through rhythm section hell. It doesnt even affect me anymore when one of em quits.
They say youre an institution in L.A.
Yeah, which is why its good to get outta town. Ive been in the backyard too long here, but Ive worked really hard and a lot of these people who wouldve never taken me seriously before are starting to. Ive always known that there was a pot at the end of the rainbow and Ive been getting it in little, little increments. Ive finally convinced them that my bands bitchin and were worth coming out to see in L.A. thats a pretty big deal. Unless you have some sort of safe gimmick. What do you think of all these bands that are using smoke and lights and fire? A lot of em, I wish their music was as good as their stage show. I went to see KISS Halloween show, and I was bored! I went to see Alice Cooper this year and I like his songs better, they just move me more. My band is really good, without that behind me I wouldnt have a chance. Its really cool that young girls look up to me. I hope Ill be a good influence on them.
Do you have a lot of female fans?
Would you say that music is your replacement for drugs?
There really is no replacement for drugs and alcohol they are what they are. But being onstage is a real mind-saver. Some nights you get higher than others. You said my records raw and honest, just being able to be raw and honest and have people get off on it Yeah, thats the ultimate high.
-- from Sonic Iquana #3
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