INTERVIEW WITH BUTT TRUMPET FROM TheCelebrityCafe.com ARCHIVES
DM) The first thing I'd like to know is a little bit of the history of the band. What is the story behind 'Butt Trumpet'?
SN) Well, we did the Primitive Enema thing [their latest album] on Pollyanna which is a part of Dionysus records. We did a couple of singles with them first. We put out the cd. Then actually there was a period where we kind of split up, kind of needed a break from each other and EMI picked up the cd, and Duff like it a lot, he's the A&R guy. He just wanted some people to hear it, just because he thought it was really funny, and they ended up liking it, and they wanted to put it out on EMI, the same cd, so that's what happened. They just picked it up, remastered it, and put it out as it was.
DM) You said, "...Duff thought it was funny...". What is the goal of your music? To be funny, musical, to get out a point?
SN) Kind of everything.
DM) Do any particular songs portray one idea or the other?
SN) I think that the whole album is supposed to be obnoxious, but fun and serious about all that at the same time.
DM) I noticed the song blind wasn't even listed on the back and that seemed to be the most serious of all your songs...
SN) That was a mistake. A mistake that was fixed. Thom, the singer, did all the layout work. They fixed that later but the first 15,000 of that were actually by accident and he left out blind.
DM) 'Blind' seemed to be the most... political. Who wrote 'Blind' and what's the story behind 'Blind'?
SN) Thom wrote that one. It's about controversy and stuff. sh&^ that he knows about with the government and stuff. He was really serious when he wrote that one.
DM) Now, you sang lead on 'I'm ugly and I don't know why?' and that was a big hit in Seattle and still is. How, why, where, etc?
SN) That story, the pumpkin story is totally true [referring to a story about being called ugly as a child]. I think it's kinda of a fun thing about what happened when I was in second grade, the way I looked at things too. Maybe they weren't reality but they were back then for me. It was just kind of like a fun thing. Danny [referred to in the song] is a real person who we also found to put in the video.
DM) Somebody actually looked at you and said, "You've ugly and I don't know why?"
SN) Nobody actually said that. That stuff I just kind of made up. Because I thought that. I think back then I thought now. Not now anymore.
DM) You wrote the music for 'Shut up'. What's that song about?
SN) Shut up... I brought up that music with Bianca [the other singer]. Thom our singer, kind of yacks a lot. We wanted to break up that song once. We kind of wanted to joke around with Thom. We did it just once at Chico's and we said, "Let's play this riff," and me and Bianca said, "Every time we stop, let's just yell, 'Shut up' every time he tries to sing." But it turns out we did it on the album anyway.
DM) Do you ever find because of the joking nature of the album, that when you play serious songs, it's not acknowledged that much?
SN) I think it's because the majority of the album is 'don't take it so seriously, lighten up'.
DM) Tom seemed to do a lot of work on this album, is he the leader of the band?
SN) He kind of takes the reigns. I don't know if he takes charge or anything, but he's responsible for a lot of stuff, but he also does not want to let go of a lot of certain things. God Love! That's his home number [on the hotline].
DM) What does your family think of what you're doing?
SN) They like it. They are totally supportive. They weren't so sure until things started getting a little more serious. They thought it was kind of like a phase thing. They came to the record release party and they were totally into it. At first they weren't sure about what we were doing... they were like, "Wait a minute! This is like the sh&^ you were doing in high school." They're liking what were doing and what's happening.
DM) How long do you see yourself keeping this style? What do you see in the future of Butt Trumpet?
SN) Right now, I see a lot of touring and just new albums, and maybe a little bit of change too... a little more versatile. We've got a new singer actually. He's Dan, my second grade love, from the 'Ugly Song'.
DM) So there's a total of 6 of you now?
SN) No... no... (hesitates) Thom is no longer in the group.
DM) It seemed like he was doing a little of the drive behind the group. What's going to happen with Thom missing?
SN) We still have to go through a bunch of legal stuff actually. I don't know if I should talk about most of it. What happened was Thom wanted a dictatorship and we wanted a democracy, so we democratically voted him out. It was too much.
DM) Who do you see taking a little more of the reigns now that Thom's gone?
SN) Our manager like it should have been in the first place. When Thom was in the band, he was trying to do most of the management and have [the manager] act as the secretary actually. And that just wasn't happening because we needed a singer, so now she's just going to be the manager like we wanted in the first place.
DM) What does Dan say about this?
SN) He's pretty gung-ho actually. He was kind of into it when we still had time in San Francisco... that's where he lives now. It's just kind of a weird thing. When we were on the indie label, it was like, "I wrote a song about second grade... it's kind of funny, I'm going to send it to you." he thought it was funny, and that was that. Then I told him EMI was picking us up, and then he said, "Oh yeah, we'll see what happens." Then I told him, "Dude it's a video, man you've got to fly down, we're going to put you in the video and stuff." And he was getting more excited. He's a guitarist and a singer, and when things weren't working out with Thom, we wanted to check him out, and he worked out perfect. We were just like, this is a great story and I was just like, "Kind of cool!"
DM) This might be too pressuring of a question, but why do you use alias names so much? Sharon Needles, Bianca Butthole... Is it to fit the punk image?
SN) I think that the names, like Sharon Needles, Thom Bone, kind of separates from the real people. I think we're kind of the same, but we also kind of portray something different when we're out as a band. We want to definitely, separate the two.
DM) How are you different from your alias?
SN) You know I'm not sure. We're kind of the same, but we kind of push a little harder when we're up there. The real Sharon is quieter, definitely. I wouldn't say the same for Bianca or Thom though. I am definitely distant from my alias, actually. I don't think that has anything to do with the real me. I don't like needles myself... I've never put a needle in my arm other than for drawing blood.
DM) Then who is the real Sharon?
SN) Pretty quiet actually... shy...
DM) That seems pretty contrasting from singing, "I'm ugly and I don't know why."
SN) I think I am because in comparison to the rest, me and Gerry are the most laid back.
DM) This album seems to be pushing the limits a lot. What are your limits?
SN) I think that when we're playing I try not to have one. I think that's why we took on the alias. Like, "It's okay to be Sharon Needles now, because it's not Sharon Nijland."