Old Enough to Know Better (Junk)
An interview with Gerry Atric (vocals) and Gabe Bulemic (guitar), with timely and often uncredited (sorry) commentary from Craig “Mississippi Sweet Dick” Merrit (bass), Wes Texas (guitar), and Hell “Jay” Sancho (drums)
by Jon Sarre
Any time you get the feeling that popular music is getting a little too intellectual for ya (fat chance in these days of Limp Biskit, but that’s beside the point), you can thank yer lucky stars’n’bars for Austin, Texas’ own Bulemics. They proudly fly the flag of kick dumbass ignoramus three chord sore throat glory daze like it was a pair of soiled panties hangin’ in the rearview mirror of yer brother’s IROC-Z. This band is a five man trainwreck that crashes’n’burns’n’bleeds on stage whilst rippin’ out ripped off garagy AC/DC homages with fun titles like “Die Tonight,” “Dial ‘M’ For Murder,” “The Harlot From Beyond” (all off of last year’s Junk release, Old Enough to Know Better…), or just check out their fine new Man’s Ruin EP, Blurred Vision and Twisted Thoughts. You’ll get the idea. Last time they blew through my town, I ended up taking a space in their cramped van as the boys drank quarts of Ice House and (mostly Gerry and Gabe) mused on their self-inflated self image (as big as Tex-ass), the dead pauses during the interview and, most important of all, their mission to keep rock evil.
[Gerry complains about his injured foot]
What happened to you?
Gerry: Jumped off a 15 foot balcony.
Why’d you do that?
Gerry: Cuz there were burning orphans down there and I had to save ’em.
Gabe: The stage was on a balcony above everybody…
Gerry: …And I jumped off.
So what the hell are you doing in this part of the country?
Wes: Is this rollin’?
Yeah, it’s rollin’.
Gabe: [pause] On tour.
Gerry: Wreaking havoc and teaching people the true meaning of depravity and decadence.
Gerry: Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll in the most extreme manner, sir.
How’s that work? If someone’s never seen you live… give the people a rundown.
Gerry: Tonight you can expect some people rockin’ hard and a drunk guy… uh drunk crippled guy jumpin’ around on one foot cuz his other don’t work.
Cuz you fell off a balcony…
Gerry: Jumped off a balcony.
Thank God, though. Those orphans are pretty happy about it.
Gerry: Well, they’re alive, they better be… When those orphan chicks turn 18 they better repay me, cuz I’m a law-abiding citizen. If they’re under 18 I want nothing to do with it.
Are all you guys from Austin?
Gerry: Two of us are [randomly points around the van] Austin born and raised, these two are im-pots.
So, was anyone around when Charles Whitman went up in that tower?
Mississippi Sweet Dick: That was, like, ’65!
Gerry: My mom was! To be honest… my mom and dad had just gotten married and she was there!
They just opened the tower back up.
[unidentified]: You can’t go all the way up.
You can now. They just reopened it… it’s been closed since ’74. I hope nobody’s relatives got killed that day…
Gerry: I hope everybody’s relatives got killed except for ours, cuz if ours got killed, none of us would be here and rock’n’roll would not live on… into the new millennium, which we are gonna take over!
So that’s a good thing, opening up the tower?
Gerry: Fuck yeah, cuz I’m gonna go up there packin’ heat and I’m gonna be the next Charles Whitman!
You hear about that thing in Fort Worth?
Gerry: Yeah, I’m all about people drivin’ by churches and killin’ those Christians!
Walkin’ in, smokin’ a cigarette, and killin’ Christians.
Gerry: [lighting up a smoke] Fuck! I’m halfway there!
Gerry: I’m ready, willing, able, and here we go!
Gabe: The Baptists ruined Texas.
[Unidentified]: Church of Christ ruined Texas.
Gerry: Nah, know what ruined Texas?
What ruined Texas?
Gerry: Nothing. Texas is perfect and everything else sucks.
What brought you guys together?
Gerry: Some shitty bands broke up and the cool members got together.
Which shitty bands?
Gerry: I was in a straight edge band and then I started drinkin’.
You were in a straight edge band?
Gerry: Lethal Outrage, and boy, were we angry! We didn’t have any chicks and we lived with our parents. Gabe was in a band called the Trailer Park Four and they broke up… Wes was in a band called Stinkerbell, and Craig was in Cornpone, and it’s gone through a vast… uh… circle of things. We’re up to 11 ex-members… we’ve found the right dudes, now. We got Mississippi Sweet Dick, Wes Texas, and we got uh… whatever the fuck Jay’s name is these days… Hell Sancho… it’s good.
Gabe: Me and Gerry are essentially the original members.
[conversation drifts off into who joined when, who left and who rejoined, then side tracks into Gerry refusing to talk about a recent “misunderstanding” in San Francisco. I had no idea what the hell he was talking about.]
I heard you guys were banned from the strip bars and rock’n’roll clubs in Austin… is that true?
Gabe: We used to be.
Gerry: It’s all bullshit.
So you’ve been nothing but gentlemen.
Gerry: Straight up.
So what’s up with the strip clubs?
Gabe: Nothing’s up with the strip clubs…
Gerry: That’s label bio bullshit… We were kicked out of all the bars in Austin, we couldn’t play for four or five months.
Why was that?
Gabe: Destroying property.
Gerry: Cuz of me.
What’d you break?
Gerry: People think peace and love come in nice ways and I don’t [blank space of time]
Wes (I think): Are you gonna print all these blank spaces?
Moving on to the next thing… which is… is there some kinda…
Gerry: You gotta have more than that!
It’s a thoughtful pause… you look skeptical.
Gerry: Whip it out, thoughtmaster!
I’m makin’ this up as I go along, okay?
[Unidentified]: All right, that’s what I figured.
Hey, they just call me up here on these things.
[somebody mutters about having Jay, the drummer “for this thing”]
What thing? This big important interview?
Gabe: Our drummer only eats turkey and drinks Budweiser. That’s his diet.
Must get pretty sleepy.
[unidentified]: Is that him over there pissin’?
So what’s the whole raison d’être here?
Gerry: What’s that?
I’m just pullin’ out some lost… uh…
Yeah, vocabulary homework… your “reason for being.”
Gerry: Have fun until you die.
Simple as that?
[Unidentified]: Take what you can get.
[unidentified]: Reap it.
Gerry: Cuz like Metallica, we are the harvesters of sorrow.
Is this gonna go anywhere with you guys… Do you care?
[unidentified]: Yeah, the van’s gonna move, it looks brand new.
[unidentified]: It is brand new.
[Hell Sancho aka Jay appears at the door]
Does anyone care?
Gerry: I don’t understand the question, care about what? Some things I care about and some things I don’t.
You’re in a van, you’re in Portland, OR, you’ve got all this equipment…
Jay (I think): Wow, you’re a pretty observant motherfucker.
Hey, I’m a journalist… No, do you care if it doesn’t go further than this?
Gerry: Hey, if Warner Bros gave us a million bucks, I’d screw every 12 year old in braces in the country… Any more questions?
Any closing comments?
[unidentified]: Sure. I got a million of ’em…
Ah ha! Okay…
Gerry: I have a closing statement… In November 1999, the one true rock’n’roll album of all time will be recorded called Talk Dirty to Me on TSB in Scotland. It’ll be released in America, too, on a label yet-to-be-unnamed and it’s gonna be the best fuckin’ album to ever hit the streets.
Is that gonna be by you guys, the Bulemics, in Scotland?
Gerry: Yeah, the band is based outta Scotland!
No, you’re tellin’ me you’re gonna record this album in Scotland?
Gabe: No, the label’s Scottish.
So you’re not goin’ to a castle in Scotland to record this record?
Gerry: No, this Scottish label’s gonna give us a whole buncha money!
Gabe: It’s not really a whole buncha money…
Gerry: Talk Dirty to Me is gonna be the best record ever recorded.
[unidentified]: No, it’s not a Poison cover album.
[Gerry goes off on another lengthy monologue about the record. The tape runs out. Effective end of interview]
Gerry: Did it [the tape] pick that up?
If it didn’t, I’ll remember.