Interview: Texas Terri and the Stiff Ones
by Liz Ortega
I may be easy, but I aint cheap! If only all the women in America could stand by that philosophy, this world would be a better place! I think there is only one woman, thus far, that can proudly stand on a stage and belt out those words with so much class, and that woman is Texas Terri. The untamed red head and her Stiff Ones have been touring relentlessly in support of their self produced album, EAT SHIT. They performed at the glorious Warped Tour in Anaheim, where they gave the crowd a taste of what real, ballsy, trash rock n roll should sound like! Let me tell you, it never fails -- they always seem to captivate and engross their audience with their music!
I caught up with Texas Terri and guitarist, El Don Hubbarb (Demon Boy), shortly after their set and engaged in a rather stimulating conversation. It was wild meeting them and I thank them for polluting my mind with great music!
Have there been any changes in the line up since your last release, Eat Shit?
DEMON BOY: Since the release of the record, yes, there have been changes.
TXTERRI: First of all, Im Texas Terri. Im the vocalist. Thats El Don Hubbarb, but I call him Demon Boy. He plays guitar.
DB: Im Demon Boy!
Now, why do they call you that?
DB: I was getting over a six year relationship with this girl and she [TxTerri] thought I was a sweet angel. The woman in question walked into the room and she [TxTerri] noticed the expression on my face turn into this intense, evil hatred...
TXT: And I tapped him on the shoulder and said "Someone just walked into the room that you cant stand, right?" And hes like "Yeah! How could you tell?" And I said "Because your angelic face turned into a demon, so Im calling you Demon Boy!" Hes the guitar player and weve had the same rhythm section for almost a year now. Terry Love -- I had to change his name to T Ray Hooker because there couldnt be two Terri's in the band -- plays bass and he used to be in Rocket 88. Jimmy Rage is the drummer.
Eat Shit was released two years ago. Tell me youre working on a new album!
TXT: Yes, we are! It will probably be released by the end of the year. Were writing songs right now, so thats why we wont be playing out as much.
DB: The reason why it took awhile for us to put another record out is because weve been working this fucking record, Eat Shit, like insanely!
TXT: Touring like a motherfucker! We just got back from Europe...
DB: And thats what it takes when you dont have distribution and now weve got it!
TXT: Were re-releasing Eat Shit on Junk Records in a couple of months and its got an additional track. We may call it Eat Shit Plus One! Were really happy to be releasing on Junk because they work really hard. Nancy [Farber] is amazing and Lou... what can you say about Lou? They are so behind their bands.
DB: Theres some integrity there that we really dig, and their roster looks great! They just have great taste!
TXT: Yeah, and its all the same type of music... TRASH ROCK!
The best kind! Terri, you have been compared to Iggy Pop. What do you think about that?
TXT: Well, I cant wait till people compare people TO ME!
Well, I dont think anyone can come close to being like Texas Terri!
TXT: Really? Well, thank you! I never tried to be Iggy Pop first of all, only Iggy can be Iggy. Now if I have the same stigma and energy as him, thats good. If people compare our music to The Stooges, its the feel of the music because our songs dont sound anything like Iggy and the Stooges. But if its the feel, so be it.
DB: I remember when I was younger, the first time I ever heard the Stooges. The thing I loved about them is that they had a vibe that made you feel really good and just SEXY! That empowered me... I love a lot of different types of bands and when I listen to other peoples music, I don't try to sound like them. I try to take a little bit of what I like out of everyone.
TXT: And you know what? If were compared to Iggy and the Stooges then that means that we have a fucking AWESOME future because were like the blackest of the black sheep! Most people in the industry wont touch us with a ten-foot pole and Iggy had that same struggle. Also, his music stood up through time and so that means were going to stand up through time. I just had a report from somebody that gave this person our old demo tape and the guy listened to it and said it was the best thing hes heard since the Stooges! He didnt say that we sounded like the Stooges... but as Demon Boy was saying, if theres a sexy, sleazy feel to our music -- were the luckiest motherfuckers on the planet!
DB: Also, theres a real desperation... Weve been at this a long, long, long time! Theres nothing else I could imagine doing and that makes you desperate to do your fucking music and keeping the band alive. You got the whole world against you and not to mention a lot of bands are against each other, and even within the same band! Its hard to find the right people. Its just so hard to get your band out playing and to keep them playing in the band for years...
TXT: Honest and real, thats all you got anyway. We couldnt live any other way, except being honest and real.
DB: But I WANNA GET PAID!
I think we all want to get paid!
TXT: Things are looking up for us. Weve got a couple people in our corner that love black sheep and they have connections and theyre helping us. Were so lucky because we hear about all these people getting signed and all this stuff...weve got these two people, which well tell you later, so youll have to interview us again. Youll know in about two months who they are!
DB: Were lucky because the people that are working with us and helping us do it out of love. There aint no money right now and that means so much more to me. Its really cool to have people really busting their ass and going out their way because they believe in you and do it out of love. Giving something back is a good thing to do.
You guys are a hard working band so Im sure everything will work out for you guys. So, how did you guys land a spot in the Warped Tour? You guys are the last band I would expect to see at an event like this.
TXT: Kevin Lyman had fucking balls! Hes known me for a very long time and he didnt know that I had another band until we played last year because Linda Perry requested that we play on the same stage with her at the Gay Pride Festival in West Hollywood.
You guys played at Gay Pride? Now, what was that like?
TXT: It was amazing! Kevin was in charge of that stage and he saw our band and said, I didnt know you had another band. You guys are fucking great! Call me up -- Ill put you on the Warped Tour. He was a man of his word and he had the balls to do it. SO THANK YOU VERY MUCH, KEVIN! Well play a show for you any day!
DB: See, that would be something that would help any band. Its like, we show up and we play our fucking asses off. I dont think weve gone one or two weeks without a gig in the last five years. There were times when we knew gigs were going to be crap, but we did them anyway. We always try to give one hundred percent! We werent the kind of band that anyone wanted to touch or sign. People that would turn their noses up at us when we asked them to put a record out for us are now calling us up. Shit like that happens and its a roll of the dice, man. We do this because we love to play and if Terri and me dont play--thats the end!
TXT: I actually want to thank Jerome from Burning Tree Records for having the balls and putting out our first record and Im really sorry that things turned sour. We do appreciate the effort that was put into it and well always love you for that. Were really sorry it didnt turn out, Jerome! We needed MORE -- because we never shut up and we always want more!
DB: He did a damn good job...it all started out with the best intentions and on a friendship level and it turned into something else on his part and ours. Thats all Im gonna say about that. But, we love you for that!
TXT: He took pride in giving us the graphic design and the artwork for the record and a lot of labels wont even do that. He took pride in what he put out for us.
DB: He really loved our band and for some reason people thought the music we were playing was like What? And a bunch of shit like that.
TXT: A lot of people wont touch dangerous bands, and rock n roll is supposed to be dangerous.
What makes Texas Terri and the Stiff Ones a dangerous band?
TXT: Were real...were not up there playing it safe on stage. We get in peoples faces and sing and play from our hearts! A lot of people dont do that. Thats one thing I love about Iggy -- that hes real and dangerous!
DB: Another thing, Terri will take off her clothes to shock you. You know what? Im gonna say what I fucking think-- I think this is a youth-oriented industry. They like to take young kids that are impressionable, easy to form, and wont say "no." They want someone that says "yes, yes, yes" and be polite and go along with them. In the end they get screwed.
TXT: Heres a sick example. Theres a record label that just signed these kids. They dont really know how to play so the label had these older guys that have been around forever write songs for these kids, perform them in the studio for them so that they could learn these songs and theyre already signed! It kind of upsets me that these older guys who, I think, are just frustrated musicians because their bands didnt make it, are in the studios doing this and getting paid. This is what goes on, man.
DB: They take all the tension, all the piss and vinegar out of it. The whole thing seems so categorized right now to the point where they could take the whole image and organize it so its easier to sell.
TXT: Thats what the wonderful thing is about the people that are helping us right now, they believe in what we do and the season is perfect for whats going to happen with this. Its perfect! Because its time to break the monotony and...
Its time to ROCK!
TXT: YEAH! Its time to break the monotony of the safe bands. We just played Europe and everyone went fucking wild! It was a great experience! When we get that next record out, were going to tour and tour and tour!
DB: I hear some critics say Nothing new here. Nothing new here, when theyre describing a lot of rock bands and you know what? Fuck you with your "theres nothing new here!" And what I mean is that theres never been a Texas Terri and theres never been a me before. Sure Im playing the same chords and this and that, but the individual makes it new. Thats what people are missing.
TXT: Tell our audiences that were not exciting. They go FUCKING NUTS! They laugh at that shit! We have so many people at our shows that go nuts saying that we changed their lives. Are you going to listen to the critics or listen to the fans? I believe you gotta listen to the fans because theyre the ones that bring the fucking love back to me and theyre keeping me going!
DB: WE LOVE OUR FANS!
TXT: WE LOVE OUR FANS! Thank you for fucking loving us because we fucking love you back!
interview by Liz Ortega from yCraze
All photos copyright Dena Flows and must be used with permission.