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Wiring Dept. 1985 "San Francisco Underground 85" copyright 591w

23 Screams Aluminum Foil

WD: Have you been playing together long as 23 Screams?

23: Kevin and I started last September, with Craig, then Kevin quit until...January. Chris has probably played all along. Kevin came back, and Kalonica joined. The two Daves have been with us for a month? A couple months? Two weeks?

WD: So you started it?

23: Yeah, I started it. It was going to be a solo project, then I had some help...and it eventually became a band. By accident.

WD: What instruments do you use?

23: Whatever we can find. I play a tube thing. Percussion. Hawaiian slide guitar. We don't really know how to play keyboards yet. Some people do!...A lot of metal percussion, contact mikes...plastic gourds. Found objects. Pieces of metal we find.

WD: Vocals?

23: Well, no...We sometimes have vocals. No words. We make sounds with our voices, but they're not rally vocals.

WD: What does "23 Screams" mean?

23: Nothing...I don't know. The 23 comes from the power of suggestion. It's an enigma. We like the number 23...23 chromosomes, 23 bus...

WD: What does music mean to you?

23: It's real. It's more exciting than painting. It comes from performance. We started just making sounds...we discovered rhythm...we're beginning to add electronic devices. If we keep in this evolution, we'll be playing music soon.

It's not a purely musical venture. We're trying to add visuals.

WD: Can you explain your music?

23: Explain it? No, we can't. It's...it's...we haven't been able to yet.

WD: Do you plan what songs you're going to perform or...?

23: One or two of them. We sort of have a basis...we just kind of base on that. Our performance changes from performance to performance. We play together, but we don't play the same thing. We have a plan, but we don't have songs. We're beginning to use a drum machine, something to follow. We play until we get tired. It used to be a continual performance--25 minutes. Now we have agreed upon moments where we all stop playing.

WD: How do you practice?

23: We kind of jam together. We talk about it sometimes. We aren't trying to do the same thing over and over. It changes.

WD: Do you tape your performances?

23: We tape almost all our shows. We play it back and discuss it. There's a lot of thought in our performances.

WD: Do you play any traditional instruments?

23: I have a guitar...sometimes play piano...I like the slide guitar. I play flute. Trombone occasionally.

WD: Do you use tapes?

23: Sometimes. We go through cycles. When I work with tapes at home, we use tapes. Mostly we use tape loops.

WD: What other bands interest you?

23: In this area? I like Ku KU Ku a lot. Rhythm Therapy. The Rejects...Flying Colors.

WD: What do you call your music?

23: We don't call it anything. Free improvisational jazz. Pop. Eastern influences disco. Those are just terms.

WD: What forms of music interest you?

23: A lot of them. We're discovering new things all the time...music from the 20's and 30's...and John Cage...and Harry Partch.

We're just being open and emotional in terms of our music and as a band. And we just kind of play, and it makes us vulnerable in a sense, but at this point it seems to work real well.

Typed by Cheryl Vega 6-26-95


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