Ninety Pound Wuss - Raft of Dead Monkeys: Jeff Suffering
Interview composed by SHZine - June 2000
Ninety Pound Wuss isn't active anymore since the latest album "Short Hand Operation". How did you feel working on that album, and what led to the 'break up'?
Working on "Short Hand Operation" was amazing; we spent a good year developing those songs. The record was mostly written as a 3 piece: John, Marty, and Myself. We recorded it as a three piece as well. I played bass, keyboards, various noises and song, Marty drums, John guitars and noises. Working with Steve Kravac really brought out the best of us. He made us sound so good. That was and quite possibly could be the best record I'll ever record. I Love everything about it. I did all the artwork by hand as well. We just took photos of every thing after I made it. The break up for the Wuss was basically inevitable. We had a rough tour and nobody wanted to continue playing in "Christian" music industry. We are releasing our last T&N release this summer. It's a live album and it's limited to 1000 copies only available at the T&N web site. It's basically just for the kids who we're always there for us.
When was Raft of Dead Monkeys started? What led to putting it together?
Raft of Dead Monkeys was formed as a hypothetical band in 199? with Me, Doug Lorig, Matt Johnson, Jonathan Ford ( all of Roadside), Damien Jurado, Christopher Pugmire, and James Parks. We fooled around with different incarnations of these people, and eventually played one house show as a three piece. Being Me, Doug, Matt. We played three songs and were better than all of the other bands playing that night. We didn't do anything else a good year or so then we wanted to start again. We needed another guitar player and John was there all the time so we got him.
Who plays with RDM?
So the current lineup is Dougy Lorig, Jon Spalding, Me, and Davey. Matt quit to reform Blenderhead, and pursue other musical projects he is more into. I don't understand that though, I mean Raft just kicks ass.
What type of music are you interested in?
I like Crime and the City Solution a lot lately. I'm also a huge fan of Swans and all of their off shoots, as well as anything Nick Cave related, which would explain the whole Crime and the City Solution thing. That's a hard question though. I like all kinds of music. The new Engine Down cd is awesome, The Blood Brothers new one rules too. I love the new Sunny Day Real Estate record. Johnny Cash... I don't know, everything.
I've heard that there's controversy over RDM about your shows and songs. What kind of reactions do you get, and what explanations do you give to those who might inquire?
I don't think it's controversial at all. It's just fun. Some people who liked 90lb and Roadside are sometimes weirded out, but I don't think any one cares that much. We used to mock pop culture and rock and roll by embracing it as an act performed out in attitude and word. Now we point out all the faults of humanity and poke fun at it. I think it's comedy, and so do the people that enjoy our shows. However lately we've been just playing our songs because they are very solid by them selves. We've developed our own style that is unlike other bands, and we want people to hear us not just see us. We still do performances though, just not every show.
Is RDM touring at all?
Maybe someday. We just want to play music we don't really care about all the other crap you're supposed to do. That's why all of our songs are on Napster. We just don't care about record sales. I care more about playing without having to leave town, and when it comes to releasing anything I'm all about good artwork more than anything else. I don't care if we tour or not basically. I mean we can play here all the time why should we play somewhere else?
You were well known for your highly energetic performances with NPW. What gets you going during a show?
The music speaks to my central nervous system I guess.
Have you been a part of any other bands other than RDM and NPW?
Oh yes many. I was in a few bands before and during 90lb. The best one was called Labrea. I'm also currently playing with my friend Luke, and starting a band called "Suffering and the Hideous Thieves". Look out here I come.