Nada Mucho Interview – Fabulous Disaster
Q & A with Lynda Mandolyn
Nada Mucho: Hey Lynda, how’s it goin’?
Lynda Mandolyn: Very well, my good man, thanks for asking. Well no, no…things aren’t so well. Oh god, there’s my dual personality again.
NM: Do either of them know if Seattle ever gets to see Fabulous Disaster?
LM: Hopefully someday soon. We apologize for not coming up in our five year existence. Perhaps you can spank us all when we finally do get up there.
NM: We would like that very much. I first became aware of your presence as an individual in approximately 1997, when my uncle, Jim Toohey, put several songs by your former band Inside Out on a mixed cassette tape he made for me. I understand he’s been stalking you ever since. Is this true?
LM: Yes, he follows me wherever I move. It’s really annoying.
NM: So have you ever slept with him?
LM: Ummmmmmmmmmmmm, hmmmmm, can’t remember…hahahahahaha…ahhhh, no!
NM: Probably a wise choice. You haven’t been trying to grasp his theory of man’s shadows and their role in how we perceive our relationships have you? I hope not.
LM: Huh? No but maybe I should.
NM: You guys were both living in Detroit six years ago. What prompted your move from Rock City to San Francisco?
LM: In a nutshell, I was a drug addict, a heavy drinker and having affairs with too many people (those were the days!) No seriously, I was a complete mess. I would have died if I would’ve stayed. The San Fran scene appealed to me, the Detroit music scene was stifling, and my band Loomer decided to move in ‘95. It just seemed right. I’ve been here ever since.
NM: With the post White Stripes-explosion taking place, have you considered moving back?
LM: I am homesick these days, houses are so much more affordable out there, and I’m proud of groups making it out of my fair city, but just like Seattle, the “cool” spot comes and goes.
NM: Well, we’re just glad you got somewhere where you’re happy and healthy. Now tell us about Panty Raid.
LM: We’re very happy with it, probably one of the best things I’ve done musically and I’ve done a lot. We were under pressure to deliver after our first Fat Wreck/Pink & Black release, Put Out Or Get Out. We got back from being on the road for months and the songs just came naturally. Lots of emotion, and I really think we’ve grown as songwriters and players.
NM: Tell our readers about the four bitchin’ chicks who make up Fabulous Disaster.
LM: Bitches, you can say that again…no really, Mr. Nancy is very neurotic (our producer Alex said she’s the greatest “out loud” thinker ever,) and she is a closet “furry.” Laura likes candy and makes funny voices. She has many different personalities. Sally pretends to be a tough girl, but she’s really soft and creamy on the inside. And I’m a loner who has frequent panic attacks and sympathizes with very dysfunctional men, all of whom shall remain nameless.
NM: I read somewhere that you’ve been playing music since you saw the Beatles and Monkees on TV at a young age. Name some other influential musical reference points in your life.
LM: Let’s see, seeing My Bloody Valentine on acid, both times in ’91 and ’92 (and getting to interview Kevin Shields, you wanna touch me now, don’t you?) Umm, opening up for No Means No and touring with the Dickies in Japan in 2002!
NM: You’re on Fat Wreck Chords but actually on Pink and Black and also have your own label Evil Eye Records. I’m confused.
LM: Basically, we’re on Pink and Black, which is a subsidiary of Fat Wreck. It’s technically a female-focused label. Same thing though – we get the same distro as all Fat bands and recently, it has become Fat Wreck/Pink & Black all the same thing. So yeah, I’m confused too. Evil Eye Records is me and my husband’s very small indie label. We released the first Fab D album Pretty Killers in 1999 (it’s out of print now.) Now we just use it as a tool for our own creativity. We release music by the bands we’re in. I’ve been in every band on the label except Clone (Serge’s old band) but we do a side project together called Emulsion. We just released that CD in 2002.
NM: Pink and Black refuses to put out albums by male artists. Do you think us guys will ever be treated fairly and equally in the rock world?
LM: Get outta here!
NM: Speaking of men, does it annoy you that almost every publication who interviews you asks you to list some female rock influences, like it’s some sort of rarity for a chick to kick ass and take names? And how come no one ever asks Mike Ness “You’re a man in punk rock. Can you name some of the male rock musicians that have influenced and inspired you?”
LM: I like this question, and you’re right. It does annoy me. There are many men who influence me and I ain’t just talking bout music, hubba, hubba! No really. I love John Lennon (#1), Kevin Shields (MBV), Bruce Gibert of the band Wire (especially guitar stuff!), David Lynch, Robert Pollard (Guided By Voices) and Leonard Graves Phillips (The Dickies).
NM: Describe a day on the road with Fabulous Disaster.
LM: Tense, hilarious, boring, high, laughing, arguing, driving really fast (I’m describing days in the van.)
NM: Speaking of the van, what are the six most popular albums in the Fab D tour vehicle?
LM: Um, the new Transplants CD (hey don’t laugh, it grew on me!) Off the Charts by the Briefs! (HI Guys!!) Rock the Plank by Mad Caddies. The new PJ Harvey album (the newest one, Stories by the city stories by the sea, I think), Adam Ant’s Greatest Hits, some NOFX stuff and don’t laugh, but Fleetwood Mac.
NM: My girlfriend in high school explained to me how her entire volleyball team would have identical menstrual cycles from being around each other so much. Does that happen to you guys on tour?
LM: Ummm, sometimes we get it around the same time. I always lead the pack!!!
NM: Seems like some bands pick terrible names (see Godspeed, You Black Emperor and Puddle of Mudd), whereas others pick totally awesome names (see The Kills and Actionslacks.) You guys went with the latter. Why?
LM: Um, who knows? We got it from the Sid and Nancy movie. Believe me, the names we were coming up with before were really bad.
NM: What else should I ask you about?
LM: What’s my favorite food? Trader Joe’s Pizza and Mexican Food! What’s my fav whiskey? Makers Mark and Jim Beam!!!