High energy.  That's how most people would describe her.  She exudes it.  Even as she reclines in a barber chair in her Hollywood apartment, dragging on a cigarette, Texas Terri is infectious with energy. She's the self-described "girl who fell to earth".  A native Texan (an Austin Texan to be exact) she came to L.A. 13 years ago. Since then she has trampled the, at times, reticent L.A. music scene with her bang 'em up, hee haw ways.   She's been described as the female Mick Jagger/Iggy Pop and if you ever see one of her shows you'll know why.  Some of the bands she's played with include The Other Guys, Puss 'n Boots, Walking Baby Bird, 69 cent Dinasuar, Eunichs, Love Dog, Chris D. and the Flesheaters, and The Killer Crows.  Here Strange Lake talks with Texas Terri about her current project.

 

So first off, what is your current band?  

The band this week is called Texas Terri and the Stiff Ones. . . . Originally my band was called Texas Terri's Baby Bird because baby birds never shut up and always want more! But some dude in England has this band called Baby Bird and he puffs his stomach out  really big like a baby bird because that's true; baby birds when you feed

Often described as the "female Mick Jagger"

them always want more and then their stomachs get really big and you think they're going to explode but they know when to stop and then they pass out.

So how would you describe your music? 

Good rock 'n roll with a punk edge.  You know, it just makes you feel alive.  In your face rock 'n roll--that shouldn't be missed.

Where are some of your favorite places to perform in L.A.?  

Hell's Gate was my favorite place.  It was just a hot steamy room with a low stage, just high enough to see the people in the band. . . the interaction of the people was great.  I like more grungy places.  Mogul's was a fun show.  I like the stage there. 

Right, People used to give her all sorts of birds when the band was called Baby Bird. Here Texas Terri points to a taxidermied duck given to her by Susie Gardner of L7 

This may seem like a strange question,but would you consider yourself shy? 

I'm very shy. . . . Right before I go on stage I get a huge adrenaline rush because as much as I do this for myself, I want people to like my music and give me good feedback.  So there's that little moment where I feel that uneasy edge of "what if they don't like me?" and then I go out on stage and I have to put that out of my mind and just go for it.  Because with all the other bullshit that goes on with maintaining a band that's my 30 to 45 minutes of fun that I get, and to express myself, and get my high.  Those 30 to 45 minutes solve the problems of the world for me.  And people like us and get a charge out of us and that excites me. 

What's your goal with the music thing?  

To never get tired of performing, basically. My dream would be that some manager came along and took care of all the business work and gave us ideas and choices of which way to go next. I'm one of those underground people who more or less is kept underground because I don't go out that much and schmooze it up and kiss people's asses for particular ins and connections which kind of leaves me out in the cold. My ideal would be to have a manager to take care of all that so that I could take care of the music. 

What about getting signed? 

I would go for a small label that actually pushes their bands, has good distribution, and gives a little bit of tour support. . . . I'm sure if we were to polish up the band that maybe we could get a deal, but I'm not into creating music just so that we can be somebody else . . . . I don't want to sell out.  If I have to be polished and play a game it's like "fuck it," it's not worth it to me. 

What advice would you give to a band just starting out? 

Try to stir it up as fast as possible and get some hype going about yourself. It's really strange because at some shows I'll take off my clothes and you know I don't want to be known for that but it's just that people are so easily amused.  You just need to think up something really simple just to get hype about yourself and it seems like in this big city of people being jaded that it's always back to basics . . . it's like the silliest things will get you attention. 

 

"Every singer should snort cayenne pepper before their  shows because it really clears them out." 

 

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Copyright 1997 B.Wilson. All rights reserved.