INTERVIEW WITH BRODY ARMSTRONG
INTERVIEW WITH KIM FUELLEMAN
INTERVIEW AND INTRODUCTION AND PHOTO BY ROBIN FLEMING
The Distillers are a punk rock chemist’s proudest batch of hooch. Their first full length is a self titled masterpiece soon to be released on Hellcat. Lyrics poured over salty wounds, guitars that explode like a Molotov cocktail and a rhythm section that would keep the troops marching, shit, it would make them run. You can see them on The Punk O Rama Tour and on the Eastern leg of the Warp Tour.
B = Brody Armstrong
K = Kim Fuelleman
How’d you guys find each other?
B – I moved here from Australia three years ago. I’ve played music since I was thirteen. I had a band back home and wanted to start a new band here. I found our drummer, Mat Young and I knew Kim through Epitaph. Nobody knew she played bass, she was a total enigma about it.
But, you play so good.
K – I wasn’t with a band I wanted to be with. So I wasn’t like “Yeah I’m a bass player”.
B – Somebody told me she played so, I took her aside, then we found Rose through a friend.
What’s the song “Red Carpet and Rebellion” about?
B – I’m very interested in Russian history. So, it’s about the extreme deprivation those people have gone through. The communist factor and the peasant uprisings to get their freedom. I used the chorus as a symbol of me trying to fit in here, in the culture and society of America.
How’s that been?
B When I first moved here the poverty hit me and the politics. It’s all extremes. Seeing people try to fit in and live life on a daily basis, to struggle with that.
“When I first moved here the poverty hit me and the politics. It’s all extremes. Seeing people try to fit in and live life on a daily basis, to struggle with that.”
Who’ve you guys played with?
K – We’ve played with a lot of great bands. The Nerve Agents are our brother band, they gave us shows way back when. We just did a little tour with H2O and Anti-Flag. We’ve played with U.S. Bombs, The Dwarves, and X. Yeah, getting to play with my personal musical heroes.
How was the recording experience for you, how long were you in?
B – It took 3 weeks including mixing. It was pretty nerve racking. I’d never done a full length.
K – It was a lot of time and energy. I freak out recording because I’m so used to playing live. But, once I heard it, I was so happy, it made it all worth it.
B – It’s intense being between four walls, pouring your heart out for three weeks. It’s like giving birth.
What have you found as women in the punk scene?
K – We’ve met some really cool people and some weirdos. There have been a couple problems with sound guys being really patronizing. Usually they see us play and that changes.
B – Yeah they expect something different and then we kick the doors down and it’s like “what’s up?” We’ve had a lot of support. The doors have been kicked open for women, and yeah you’ve got the asshole rock, but if you want it, you gotta go after it.
K – It’s great to see girls up front at our shows.
B – As far as women and unity within the scene at shows, I felt there was this hypocrisy, because my last band played with some of the “feminist bands” and for all the shit that they spoke, they didn’t live up to any of their ideals in front of me. It was so nazi to me.
K – The biggest talkers are the ones who do exactly the opposite.
B – Seperatist attitudes have gotta go…