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flag US - Washington - Luna Kafé - Full Moon 19 - 05/11/98

The Lewd

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This interview was conducted with four of the members of The Lewd: Olga de Volga, Bob Clic, Sats and Blobbo. They all live in different places now so this is a real international (OK, make that multi-state) effort.

So, where have you been hiding all these years?
Bob: I've been here, in San Francisco, playing in many, many bands since 82-83. I'm currently playing guitar in a psychedelic instrumental band called Melting Euphoria. I also play for a great local bluesman called Big Daddy From Cincinnati.

Can you name some of the bands you played in? Are there any releases?
Bob: Well, the last few months I was in the Lewd I had already started another band with Nyna Crawford from the VKTMS called Murder. We did record some songs that probably will never be released, but they are pretty good. Now there is a girl that can sing. I went from that into the thrash/metal scene which was sort of exploding in SF at the time. I played in a band called Die Sieger for a few years. We played shows with all the metal bands that were coming to town...Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Exodus. We even opened for Spinal Tap in San Francisco on their first tour. That was a blast.

What about the other band members?
Olga: I've been in a tropical rain forest, a remote island paradise, sparkling white sand, black sand, red sand, green sand, waterfalls, erupting volcanoes and blue, blue water. I've been hiding in the presence of the lord while obtaining my Bachelor of Arts degree in Dance, Drama & Theater Production at UH-Manoa - where there are rainbows.

So are you working at a theater now?
Olga: I was recruited to play Magenta in The Rocky Horror Show at the Akebono Theatre, Hawaii's oldest theatre. I worked with the Hawaiian Island Theatre Co. in their production of Rocky Horror at the Southern Star Theatre in Na'alehu where I did choreography, vocal and physical warm ups for the cast, costumes, makeup and props. Now I'm about to be cast in a production of Cabaret to play in the Fall. I'm hoping for the role of Sally Bolles, but don't know if I'll get it.

Sats and Blobbo, what about you?
Sats: I've actually been hiding in plain sight. Been here in San Francisco since the early 80s with the exception of a trip to Colma, the Bay Area's "City of Cemeteries" in 1991.
Blobbo: Various bands, Metal Church, Hall Aflame, Vanderhoof, my studio and the kitchen.

OK, what about these two CDs I have heard of?
Bob: We have to credit someone that made this release possible. Our friend Gigi, who in 1984 or so, literally rescued ALL the tapes from the garbage. This is not a joke. It's the truth.

Sounds like an interesting story...
Bob: After the band ended, Sats had moved out of the Lewd house and into a place with some friends of ours. When he moved out of there, he accidentally left all the tapes behind. At some point Gigi and her roommate cleaned the garbage out of the back porch and saw our name on some of the boxes. She had lost touch with Sats, but hung out with me a lot, so I went over and got them. I kept them safe, and now I'm glad I did. The tapes themselves were in ok shape but many formats just aren't used anymore. I couldn't find one studio in SF that had a machine to play them. They mostly laughed at me. I sold some unopened Lewd records to pay for shipping, and sent them up to Kurdt. Kurdt engineered and transferred everything to DAT, and here we are.
Blobbo: The tapes were in various states of condition. For example, one of the tapes was so archaic in its format, we had to stack two reel to reel decks on top of each other to be able to get the proper tape speed and proper head type just to be able to hear the recording. Most of the real strange stuff will be on Volume 2 of the CDs.

So what will be on the CDs?
Bob: We have what looks like 2 CDs worth of material. Every song the Lewd ever recorded. We are releasing the CDs separately, with the first coming out soon, perhaps June 98, and the second following in just a few months. I don't have the exact order for the second, but it will have some of the more humorous songs on it, with some radio spots, and 4 songs from the Mobile Home sessions. The second CD will also feature every song ever recorded by Olga's previous band Vs.

Here's the track listing for CD1:
Kill Yourself - Trash Can Baby - Pay or Die - American Wino - Justice/Liberty - I'm Not Pretty - Climate of Fear - Magnetic Heart - Suburban Prodigy - Beyond Moderation - Polluted Brain - Fight - Mobile Home - Cold & Numb - Dressed in Black - Lewd Conduct - We Are Now - Going Downtown - Roman Polanski - Catastrophe - Abomination - Scum of the Earth - Secret Agent Man - Trash Can Baby - Gun Fun - Roman Polanski - Day of Decision - Climate of Fear - (Go To Hell In) Hollywood

Will there be a reunion in any form? Will there be new material?
Bob: Probably not, although I would like to. I think we would sound great and I know it would be fun. Likewise, don't expect any new songs on the CDs, there just doesn't seem to be much point to it. At my last show we did play one new song. It was an instrumental, with herky-jerky chord changes that we played while our sound man ran a cassette recording of a really filthy obscene phone call that Olga got on her answering machine. An 11 year old with an INTENSE imagination!
Olga: Don't know.
Sats: A reunion? Wow! That would be quite a sight. I guess it would not be impossible since no one has died. But it would be a major undertaking after all these years.
Blobbo: I doubt it, but I would like to see it happen.

I still don't really get the band history - you started out in Portland and Olga in SF, and then you moved down and merged, or what?
Sats: The band originally hailed from Seattle in the late 70s. As for me this was my first serious band and Seattle was a great place to put something together. We had come down and played in San Francisco a couple of times and this city has always had a magnetism to it. It was good because there were places for bands with that raw edge to actually play. At about that time the Seattle lineup was undergoing some personnel problems and so it was a perfect time for the most dedicated of us to just pick up and relocate. So with Electra, our excellent sound engineer and our lighting tech, Crystal, in tow, we headed on down to SF. It was me and Blobbo, and a drummer we met in SF, then Bob joined as bass player. When Kurdt left to form the Metal Church, Bob switched to guitar and we learned that Olga's band Vs had broken up. We played one night with her and her drummer Alex, and after the rehearsal we went to hang out at the Mabuhay. As word got around the club that we had just played together, we realised it was perfect for all of us. When Alex went on to LA's Green on Red we found a great guy from Reno, Chris Reece to play drums. So this was the lineup that most people know as The Lewd, Olga, Bob, Chris and me.

After your breakup, did you keep in touch all the time? It seems to me that you're still pretty much friends as opposed to many bands who hate each other after a year.
Sats: Oh yes, to a certain degree. It was a mostly cool break-up as they go. Chris Reece went immediately into Social Distortion. I really liked seeing him playing with them, but I understand he has moved on.
Olga: I don't waste my time hating anyone.
Bob: Well, when I left there were some very bad moments, but they were just moments and with time we seem to have gone beyond them. I did work with my replacement, and finished up a few shows. My last show was at the On Broadway Theatre and it was excellent. The next show was the second Eastern Front, and I did not want that to be my swan song with them. You see, the Lewd never, ever played good during the day. Sean Greaves was a great guitarist who we met through Chris, and I traded my spot in the Lewd to him for a live rattlesnake!
Blobbo: I'm in touch with Bob, but that's about it. I did produce a project for Brad last year, called Wolf Pack. But I would like to stay more in touch with everyone.

Are you still into punk or hard-core after all these years, do you still follow the development of the scene?
Sats: Of course I'm still into punk/hard-core but it's from the other side of the fence. With so many years between being on stage and now I'm afraid I have become very critical of all the groups that have come and gone. I know I'm prejudiced, but I see so many things we did better.
Olga: Yes, I love most of everything I've seen. I watch Letterman because I don't have cable TV - he has the best bands. I send off for compilation videos and free know the 10 cassettes for 11 cents. I scan RIP, Thrasher and Rolling Stone to figure out what's good and I have one friend that is totally hip and keeps me informed about new music. I also love Hawaiian music. I'm about to join a new band - they've been recruiting me heavy - but I don't know if I'm recruiting them or they're recruiting me. They're surfer girls, so that definitely makes them da-kine.
Bob: Only in theory. I don't ever listen to hard-core. I listen to old punk rock all the time. I think I'm the only one who saw the Pistols last year that liked them. I thought they sounded great, just like they should have sounded at Winterland. I just received a Society Dog CD that sounds so cool to me. I have forgotten what most of the bands sounded like unless they stood out in some way. Because there are a few bands that still remember us, like Turbonegro and the Loudmouths, I find myself interested in what they sound like. But other than the bands we may have influenced in some way...
Blobbo: No.   (continued ..)

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