To me Eat Skull are like those older teenagers on the schoolbus that sit in the back when you get picked up in the morning and you're all fragile and shit and they seem to have figured out they don't give a crud about nothing and everything's bullshit, like you wish you could but never will be able to, and they're all stoked and laughing all the time and you know it's at your expense and one day you get the stones to sit closer to the SOURCE and you realize they ain't laughing at you cause they didn't even know you or your stupid haircut and issues even existed. Or maybe outta the corner of their eye they could tell you were lame. Anyways, their record is killer and here's some questions singer Rob and I sent back and forth. If this seems rushed, it's 'cause it is..

As has become his interview M.O., Lars begins with a track-by-track analysis of the LP. -Ed.

Lars: 'Sick to Death' - Side A - "Beach Brains"
Rob: I do live next door to a power plant. It made me think of surfing because in SoCal there's all these surf spots by nuclear power plants and sewage treatment plants and shit. Rod re-wrote a Ventures thing on a Casio knockoff. And it's "shakas" not "shakras" FYI.

Lars: "Alarms!"
Rob: Re-recorded from middle of the night 4-track demo. Phil Spector-type gothic song.

Lars: "Dog Religion"
Rob: Features Rod's washing machine mouse solos over yet another late night 4-track demo. It's about how religion sucks and blind belief will bite you in the ass. WOOF WOOF.

Lars: "Cartoon Beginning"
Rob: Spun out psychology-type song, trying to sound like TVPs but too urgent really. Scott came up with the chords hoping for a happy song.

Lars: "Waiting for the Hesitation"
Rob: Written on mushrooms in Delaware, Ohio. The place was a lil' bit haunted and the ghost was chillin' that night. Re-recorded with Rod in what used to be the Laundry Rules Studio. Which is my basement.

Lars: "Puker Corpse"
Rob: Quickly written and executed. It has Dracula vocals. Mix is a little blasted, but i guess we can live with that.

Lars: "Ghost List"
Rob: We recorded this with the master fader way down by accident, so it ended up more quiet and ghost-like. Another example of a joke turning into a sad song, which was sort of our method that winter when we did most of this stuff.

Lars: Side B - "Survivable Spaces"
Rob: Song about people in a psychological cave-in. We added bass, keyboard and drums to the original 4-track for the LP. It's a shuffler anthem.

Lars: "I Licked the Spider"
Rob: My friend spencer had a friend who used to do this in San Diego. I had a bunch of Hobo spiders (milder NW Brown Recluse, but still nasty) in my room and they were freaking me out, so I was trying to take back the night with this one.

Lars: "Shredders on Fry"
Rob: Dream song for teenagers who end up in the mental institution. I found a marimba that only had three working notes behind the washing machine. Me and Beren, and Rod on a broken kazoo. That crashing sound is us throwing cymbals at a big beeramid.

Lars: "Stress Crazy"
Rob: This is Rod's baby. He has the worst job out of anyone I know, but he won't quit!!!

Lars: "Punk Trips"
Rob: The best example of everyone in the band doing what they do best and it coming together. Everyone plays a lot but it doesn't get cluttered. Unfortunately, Scott's bass came out a little buried on the LP version. We didn't have flat response monitor speakers. We do now.

Lars: "Fade to Smoke"
Rob: Sad middle-of-the-night song, it was actually our first song but we never played it after the first couple practices. First ballad of the double-ballad ending.

Lars: "New Confinement"
Rob: We like double-ballad endings to records. Makes them really good at the end of the night. This one has Beren's fantastic singing on it, hopefully she'll do some more of that.

this one's good i like showing off how i smoke

Lars: How'd you make up the name?
Rob: It's something that Rod's dog Chachi would say if he could talk. We thought it was a stupid name and we liked that. We didn't think we needed a name that made us sound clever, although it is bad grammar so maybe people think it's clever? I don't really know.

Lars: What is your recording set up?
Rob: We use a Tascam 388 8-track. We have a couple of condensers and some SM-57s and an electrovoice(?) that I usually sing through...I think that's what it's called. We have a 4-track too.

Lars: What was the first 'weird' music you heard?
Rob: The first really weird music I probably heard was like Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV when I was in high school. Shit like The Residents. The good stuff you can pick out of someone's industrial music CD collection.

Lars: Who's your least favorite band?
Rob: The Clash.

Lars: What's your favorite record on Siltbreeze?
Rob: I like a lot of them, but I guess if I had to pick a few, I'd say: Dead C "Harsh 70s Reality', Thomas Jefferson Slave Apartments "Negative Guest List" 7", the Angus Maclise CDs and Pink Reason 'Cleaning the Mirror', which is funny because when I first heard it I hated it.

Lars: What's your take on cigarettes?
Rob: I once quit for four years and then I started again. I guess they punctuate moments and thoughts.

Lars: What's your ideal day in Portland consist of?
Rob: The sun is out, get some friends together and get out of Portland and go to the river. Either that or wake up, drink coffee, eat breakfast and take walks all day.

Lars: If you could live anywhere else where would it be?
Rob: There's a bunch of good places. I wouldn't mind living in Portugal since they eat ribs for breakfast there. I like California a lot. I would like to live in the foothills of the Sierras maybe, away from people.

Lars: Where in California are you from? What was it like living there?
Rob: I'm from the East SF Bay Area. The suburbs east of Berkeley and Oakland. It's not a liberal place really. It was okay I guess. Boring and hypocritical. Lots of oak trees and dead grass. I liked it better before it got overdeveloped.

Lars: What new bands do you like?
Rob: I like some Portland bands that I've seen play here: The Whines, The Mean Jeans, Little Claw, Meth Teeth. This band we toured with in California called The Ganglians are really good. Their singer looks like Mick Fleetwood. I liked Los Llamarada a ton live. I don't really buy too many records. There's stuff here and there that's great. I like a lot of our labelmates' bands.

Lars: What old stuff have you been listening to?
Rob: Sister Nancy today. Just watched the movie 'Control' about Ian Curtis so I was listening to 'Closer'. A lot of soft rock lately too. I just moved rooms recently in my house, from a dirty basement to an attic with a log cabin feel. So I've been trying out different records that feel right in that room. For instance I used to play the shit out of 'Same Place the Fly Got Smashed' by GBV but now I think it's 'Devil Between My Toes' that's going to get played more. I listen to a bunch of Messthetics type stuff that I taped off of MP3s. Meat Puppets 'II'. The Chills.

Lars: How did you end up being in Hospitals?
Rob: They played at my old warehouse space in Oakland and I remember liking Adam a lot. It was a real crazy night and I guess I made an impression on him as well. When I heard that John wasn't in the band anymore I thought that I should ask him if he wanted to play, and it turns out he wanted a second guitar player to play with Ned. So that's how I got into it.

Lars: Can you tell me about your input on 'Hairdryer Peace'?
Rob: I played guitar, bass and other stuff and came up with riffs and melodies. It would be a pain to say who played on what, because we recorded separately a lot and things would get re-recorded or mixed out or we'd play each other's riffs. That record sounds great!

Lars: Wasn't Chris Gunn in Eat Skull?
Rob: He played with us the first couple of practices, but was just starting to record the Hunches' third album (which rules!!!) at that time so he didn't have enough time to go for it like we wanted to. So we ended up getting Scott and that worked out for the best.

Lars: What's your favorite thing about touring and least favorite?
Rob: Eating different food and playing for people that may be enthusiastic. I can't sleep in the van so I am always awake even if i'm not driving. That sucks.

Lars: What cities do you like playing?
Rob: I haven't been on tour in awhile, except the West Coast. I like Sacramento, Davis and Oakland. I'm looking forward to going back to Columbus, New York and I guess everywhere really.

Lars: What would your dream tour be?
Rob: It would be cool to play in space.

Lars: I know you already did, but can you talk about Seattle being a bummer some more? (I support this.) Was that show with a bunch of babies that one at SS Marie Antoinette with Times New Viking?
Rob: Last time we were in Seattle it was fun. I think that place is too yuppied out for me to wanna live there, and people seem to be more likely to be anal there. Gonna have to say we're not at war with Seattle, although that show you're talking about was fucking ridiculous. Those people were being idiots, I don't even know if I can count all the stupid things that happened that night.


's/t' 7" (Meds)
's/t' cassette (Palto Flats)
'Dead Families' 7" (Skulltones)
'Sick to Death' LP/CD (Siltbreeze)
'World's Lousy with Ideas Vol. 6' 7" comp (Almost Ready)

Eat Skull on the web.

Second to last live pic by Canderson. Rest of the pics borrowed from the ye olde interweb, if anyone would like a credit please contact the editor.

To read other interviews in the 'Lars vs...' series, go here.