An interview with Jula Bell (vocals/bass), Mia Ferraro (guitar/vocals), Patricia Klein (guitar/vocals), and Judy Cocuzza (drums)
by Scott Hefflon
I faxed something resembling questions, they mailed me a tape. This is the transcription.
The question that’s burning in my brain is, what’s the story with “Ice Cream Truck”?
Judy Cocuzza (drums): I’m from the East Coast, from New Jersey, and we didn’t have ice cream trucks like they have here [on the West Coast]. We had, like, real ice cream trucks: Good Humor Man in a Good Humor truck with his little uniform on. When I moved out here, I looked out the window one time, because I heard this really strange, demonic-type music playing. I saw all the little children freaking out and running toward this broken-down, beaten-up van with a guy hanging out the side. I was like “What the hell is this?” That was the ice cream truck.
Mia Ferraro (guitar/vocals): John Wayne Gacy!
Patricia Klein (guitar/vocals): Hi, this is Patricia. I’m just going to say “Hi, this is Patricia” before everything I say.
Judy: So anyway, after I saw this demonic van, I noticed that behind it was a car [that was] following [it] very slowly . It raised my interest. I got on my bicycle and rode behind the car that was driving behind the van. Jula was in the car. I caught up with her and she said she was going to catch up with the guy in the ice cream truck and take care of him. He was a known Communist. We were talking, and weren’t paying attention to where we were going. We ran a red light and hit a pedestrian. That pedestrian happened to be Patricia. We broke her guitar and we felt bad. We took her in the car with us to the hospital where a really nice nurse helped us. Nurse Ferraro. Mia.
Jula Bell (vocals/bass): We liked her because she had white shoes.
Mia: I never wear white shoes, except when I’m working as a nurse.
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. That’s when we noticed the demonic look on Nurse Mia’s face, so we figured she must be a punk rocker.
Jula: We also saw her tattoos through her white tights.
All: (in harmony, more or less) And that’s how it happened. The End.
Any interesting analogies?
Jula: One interesting thing about Bobsled is that we are all mirror images of each other.
A few of your songs mention food and/or beverages. Is dining an important form of social interaction for you?
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. Yes.
All: (answered in a round, or actually a lopsided ellipse) Yes!
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. We all agree; snacking is a must in Bobsled. Vending machines must exist everywhere.
Jula: They must be fearful of Bobsled.
Mia: They must cringe upon our arrival.
Judy: It’s part of our rider.
Jula: I carry a lot of change.
Mia: When we go to San Diego, we always go to Kung Food. (Gratuitous restaurant name-dropping.)
All: Kung Food! Kung Food! (Enthusiastic restaurant name-dropping.)
Tell me about Friendly’s Cafe.
Jula: Friendly’s Cafe is an eating establishment in Bakersfield, California. We’d stayed over our friend’s house, Bill Vamboni, who is a promoter and tattoo artist. After being tattooed by him, we all woke up the next morning hungry and scabby, so he took us to breakfast at Friendly’s Cafe.
Judy: When they seat you, you walk right through the kitchen.
Jula: And no one in the establishment is under 300 pounds. Very large people.
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. Very large portions of food, too.
Jula: We were amazed at the plentifulness of our food.
Judy: The pancakes were the size of a pizza.
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. The omlettes were, like, twelve-egg omlettes.
Jula: It was like food for eight, on a plate for one.
Judy: Patricia and I couldn’t even eat half of a half of an omlette. And let me tell you, we can eat.
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. And let me tell you, we can eat.
Jula: That is the significance of food in our social interaction. We also enjoy other social events, such as…
Judy: We just recently signed up with the amateur roller derby League.
Jula: We’re also splunking. And we’re avid…
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. We’re junior bunge jumpers.
Jula: As well as aviation enthusiasts.
What’s the Riding Hood cover about? (My promo CD is black and white.)
Mia (allegedly): It’s about…
Unknown: State your name!
Mia (confirmed): My name is Mia, and I’m an alcoholic.
Your songs have two references to dogs. Are you, the collective, dog lovers? Or is that a masked social slur? If the latter, how do you think that makes dogs feel?
Jula: “Dog Show” is a song warning against excessive inbreeding. Oftentimes you have a dog that has been so inbred it can barely walk, barely bark, barely… We’re animal lovers.
Mia: Even though I don’t have animals because I can’t even keep a plant alive.
All: (The sounds of consoling and tear-wiping.)
Insert hopelessly inane question here and answer it yourselves.
Judy: Our question is “If you were one of Charlie’s Angels, which Angel would you be?” I would be Sabrina, Kate Jackson.
Jula: I want to be Kelly, Jacqueline Smith. She looks really good, and she was Joe Cole’s mom for a while.
Mia: And she has her own line of clothing at K-Mart.
Jula: She styles. She styles hard.
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. I would be Jill and I would drive a Ford Cobra.
Mia: I’d like to be the dumb blonde. Or Bosley. Make that Cheryl Ladd, she put a record out. She was rock and roll. I had it. We did one of her songs on our record, guess which one.
Unknown sidekick: She did “Ice Cream Truck.”
Mia: That’s the scoop.
You’ve done quite a few compilation songs and soundtrack mucky-muck, what’s that been like?
Judy: We’re actually on the soundtrack to the new movie Mucky-Muck, it’s ironic that you should bring that up. You must have the scoop. Cheryl Ladd is actually starring in the movie.
Mia: With Dennis Woodruff. And Crispin Glover as Bosley. And Angelyne as Bosley’s estranged wife.
Who have you enjoyed working with?
Mia: I really enjoyed working with Mike, the janitor. We just have this really magical chemistry together. We work well together, it’s really creative. Mike.
Jula: I really enjoy working with my janitor, Snyder. We’re not intimate anymore.
Who do you think is a jerk?
Jula: Steve Martin. The best jerk I’ve ever seen.
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. I’d have to agree with Jula.
Who would you like to work with?
Judy: I’d like to work with the Pope, John Paul. He has a really excellent singing voice if you’ve heard any of his Christmas Masses. He sings really well, I think he’d make a good punker.
Are y’all going to tour extensively?
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. Some of us are going to tour, at different times. Our schedules are really crazy.
Mia: We’re going to do the KISS thing; we’re going to tour seperately and then see who sells the most tickets.
Jula: Judy is going to do the drum exhibit, and I’m going to do the bass extravaganza.
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. I’m going to do the summer tour thing when the weather is nice.
Mia: I’m going to go from town to town and teach people how to macramé.
Who would you like to tour with?
Jula: We’re going to be doing a little tour with the Dickies, and we’d like to do that.
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. I think my dream is to tour with Coolio. Because he’s cool.
Mia: I’d like to point out that Patricia is sportin’ a real Coolio hairdo.
Judy: This is Judy and I can vouch for that. I thought we all agreed we were going to tour with Alanis Morrisette?
Jula: I’d like to tour with the Cows, the Lunachicks, Babes in Toyland, Seven Year Bitch (fer shure, someone agrees), NOFX, any band that can keep up with us.
Judy: We mean put up with us.
Do you go to a lot of shows? Like what?
Unknown: (in cutesy Oriental voice) We go to rock shows!
Jula: We go to punk shows, we go to not-punk shows…
Random: Boat shows, car shows, dog shows…
What hobbies do you have?
Judy: On our latest trip in the van, we began the paint-by-number clown series.
Mia: Beautiful reproductions of John Wayne Gacy’s…
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. Jula just bought this new Karaoke machine and a bunch of Elvis tapes. We like to sing in the van.
Jula: We like to go to Thai restaurants that play “Without You” by Nilsson on endless loop. We also enjoy the paint-by-numbers Americana barn series.
Mia: I like reading.
Judy: How sensitive.
Jula: I like comics.
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. I like to sleep and I like to watch TV.
Judy: I like to read as well.
Jula: We all like to eat, and hang out in the woods, and consume beverages in moderation before walking home.
What are your favorite cartoons?
All: (close enough to in unison) The Simpsons! Ren and Stimpy! Beavis and Butthead! Tom and Jerry!
Mia: Anything that comes in on my TV. I don’t have cable.
All: (More sounds of consoling and tear-wiping, the tape captures all.)
Are there any important issues that piss you off?
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. Cat litter odor. That’s an issue that’s really important in my life. I’d like to congratulate Arm & Hammer for making such a wonderful product to control cat odor.
What makes you say “Fuckin’ right on!”?
Mia: The way our record sounds makes me say “Fuckin’ right on!”
Judy: I concur. Sally Browder, our producer, engineer and mixer, she makes me say “Fuckin’ right on!”
Patricia: Hi, this is Patricia. The smell of my hair, right now, makes me say “Fuckin’ right on!”
Jula: When I went into the mall and saw flannel half-price, because they’re out of style, I said “Fuckin’ right on!”
Feel free to spout off about anything you want.
All: (The tape winds down with the Bobsled cover of “I’m a Little Teapot.”)