Let’s Go Bowling

Interviews | Nov 30th, 1997

You do know that your abrupt departure from Moon Records ruined them, don’t you?
Mark Michel: LGB didn’t ruin Moon. Moon’s shitty accounting practices ruined Moon. If I heard one more time from Moon: “I can’t send your check. Buck’s on the road and not here to sign it,” I think I might have shit myself. Speaking of shitty accounting practices, on three different occasions we found out that they tried to bill us for the same “recoupables” on different royalty statements. One was for $3,847.00! So the next time the “owner” says that bands that left the label are full of it and just complaining you know he’s FULL OF SHIT!!

But the live album on Asian Man – wasn’t that legally Moon’s? Didn’t they pay for its production? Why’d you blow off your contractual obligation? You might as well tell the whole story since Moon can’t hurt you now.
We were not under contract to give them another album! And no they didn’t pay shit for it. We had an agreement to negotiate for another record. We were working out the terms and were set to go to Europe. The “owner” of Moon said that if we didn’t sign the contact he would pull all tour support and we could pay for it ourselves. I find that statement very funny because he would have listed it as “recoupable” anyway and just taken it out of our royalties. So we said “fuck you, go do the tour yourself, asshole.”

So I haven’t actually heard any of LGB’s stuff since Mr. Twist. I heard you guys jumped off the sinking ship called ska. What’s the deal? Have you no integrity? And don’t give me none of that “natural progression” or “new outlets to express ourselves” crap.
Integrity? Hmmm….LGB has been playing ska for 15 years and we’re getting ready to celebrate our 16th year. I don’t think anyone has the right to question our integrity, especially someone who hasn’t even heard the record in question. As for us jumping ship, are you out of your fucking mind?? We helped build the fucking ship!! I do realize the last album is a lot more than “ska.” We worked with a producer and gave him total control of the record. He made what he thought would be a record a major label would like. Although it’s not a “ska” record, it is a great record. There are some great ska tunes on it, like “Electric Bread,” “Saving Sorries,” “Bone Dry,” and “Solar Shock.” People keep complaining that there’s nothing new in ska. I say give this record a listen, then you’ll see that someone’s doing something that’s different but cool and still in the ska genre.

So what’s in store for you back-stabbing trend-hoppers?
We are currently working on a record label. It’s going to be modeled after Moon and we’re going to call it “Rip Off Records – Home of all things recoupable.” Actually we’re working on new music right now and we’re going to try and have a new CD out by late summer. I’m sending you a couple of the tunes. Listen to them then you’ll know what style of music we are still doing.

Has anyone in LGB ever have sex with Gwen Stefani? Give me the deets.
No. She’s built too much like a 12-year old boy for any of us to have had sex with her. We all like boobies too much.

Who are five people you’d love to kill in the ska scene?
There’s no one in ska worth killing. Maybe breaking some knee caps with a bat might be fun, but not killing.

What is the most adrenaline-pumping incident that the band has ever experienced?
We were playing with the Specials in Las Vegas in ’94 on their first tour back. During the show, nazis in the crowd kept fucking with them. After the show, we got into a huge brawl out back. People were throwing rocks and bottles. I had to pull my pistol from my briefcase. It was that bad. They didn’t have any problems with us, but when you’re on tour with other bands, you have to stand together. We all felt like brothers afterwards. I think we’ll have a special bond with those guys forever.

Create your own special bond with LGB by visiting here.

Editor’s note: It seemed curious LGB still harbored such anger toward Moon, so I did some investigative research. A source at Moon claims that during the time in question, LGB’s manager, Cort, had looked over Moon’s books and didn’t find any irregularities. At the same time, The Pietasters’ lawyer had also combed over the books with an accountant and found nothing amiss. My source suggests that LGB saw their Cali peers like No Doubt and Goldfinger get huge, and were simply jealous.

As for the Asian Man record, my source notes: “[It’s true that] Moon did NOT pay for the production of their live album on Asian Man. Moon DID pay for the production of two studio songs and never got those masters back from the band. Since Buck’s contracts were so poorly drafted, there was a lot of wiggle room for bands to work their way out of the contract (see Pietasters, Spring Heeled Jack, etc.). Moon did have an option for their next album and if Buck had hired a lawyer to really fight this, he might have gotten that live album (they had offered that to Moon first) and Moon would at least have gotten the masters to the two tracks back.” (All this over two tracks!?)

In conclusion, I really don’t care. Moon is long dead and LGB is sooo two weeks ago. Now let’s get on with our lives.

Addendum: I just found out Mark from LGB is a huge Rush fan! Not only that, but he sent me 3 CDs and a free T-shirt!! He rules now! Oh yeah, and I listened to “Stay Tuned” and I think it’s great. Man, do I feel like a dick!

Addendum 2004: LGB and Buck have probably made up and it’s probably bad karma to keep this interview up. But in a way, it’s a piece of history. The history of bands and labels acting bitchy toward each other.

Addendum 2006: Addendums are fun! Yayy!