The Muffs

Interviews | Nov 30th, 1998

Roy – drums
Ronnie – bass
Kim – vox, guitar

We missed you. What did you guys do during your time off?
Ronnie: You know, we’ve been together for 13 years total, so it was at that mark for some time off. But it didn’t seem like a long time – Kim was still writing, and she had side projects. And she got married, of course. And Roy got into an accident and had to recover.

Roy: (tells story about a freak sledding accident involving hitting tree, breaking 4 ribs, and having to wear a figure 8 brace, whatever that is.)

How was Kim’s wedding?
Roy: It was great. It was a small, traditional wedding.

The songs on your new album are more subdued than your previous albums – how do you think the band’s evolved?
Roy: Kim’s songwriting reflects her frame of mind, and she happened to be writing more positive stuff… You can only do so many loud albums. I think our music nowadays has been sophisticated pop.

Well, I think that all of your music is pop songwriting. There are different levels of aggression, but the songwriting has always been this strong, melodic structure.
Ronnie: We’ve always liked strong melodies. That’s what we strive to do, so thank you.

You guys flirted with commercial success – do you wish you were more successful down that route?
Roy: I think we would’ve had a hard time with too much success.

Ronnie: Yeah, but we’ve had songs in tv shows and movies, I think we succeeded in some ways. It was funny – Green Day got our same producer, A&R person, booking agents, tour manager, the same team all around, and they exploded with Dookie… But we got a lot of money to record the last Warner Bros. Record and it was great. They never told us how to make a record, they let us do what we wanted.

Roy: It was actually funny because the punk label we were on afterwards was disappointed with our album because we weren’t aggressive or “punk” enough.

Ronnie: They liked it, but they may have wanted something harder. But we’re lucky – the people who like us really support us.

How do you feel about your new governor?
Both: Oh! (grimace)

Roy: I still find it hard to believe.

Ronnie: It’s like a joke from a movie.

What superpower would you like to have?
Ronnie: Hmm, I don’t know. Maybe flying?

Vizqueen vocalist who was hanging around: I’m going to go with the obvious and say invisibility. It’s like doors are open for you. You can do anything.

Roy: It comes with its disadvantages though. Too much temptation to hear things you shouldn’t hear.

(Kim walks in)

Kim: (after being told she can’t choose flying or invisibility). How about the ability to conjure money out of thin air? (laughs) I’d have a cape with a big dollar sign.

Kim, I heard you and your husband did some New York stuff today. Where did you guys go?
Kim: All over. We went to Yankee Stadium. Not because we like the Yankees, but just to go. I love baseball, I’m a huge Dodgers fan, but I love everything baseball.

How did you and your husband meet?
Kim: We met four years ago at a barbecue.

Any advice to fellow newlyweds?
Kim: Make sure you truly love the person, and that you’re friends of course.

Who is your arch nemesis?
Kim: Ooh, good question. Myself.

Are you a perfectionist?
Kim: I’m a recovering perfectionist. I used to be really hard on myself, but I’ve recently become more at ease with things and with myself.

What is your least favorite album of yours?
Kim: Soundwise, or songwise? Soundwise, our self-titled album because it sounds like doggy doo, but I still like playing those songs live. Songwise, Alert Today Alive Tomorrow sounds great, but I just don’t want to play those songs.

Which is your favorite?
Kim: My favorite is the current one [Really Really Happy], Happy Birthday To Me, and Blonder and Blonder.

I love Hamburger, even though it’s B-sides. Do you play any of those songs live?
Kim: Oh, yeah, we play a few of the songs. And Right In The Eye is like a hit.

Get Me Out Of Here was my anthem throughout college. It was in my head in every single class.
Kim: That’s great!

Were you in a really bad situation when you wrote that song?
Kim: I remember exactly when I wrote it. Ronnie and I were coming back from a water park and he wanted to stop off at a record store. And I’m a record geek, but he’s a REAL record geek, and he has to look at every single record. So I’m standing there, dripping wet and cold, and he’s inside the shop. And I just wanted to go back. So I came up with that line, but it can be applied to other stuff.

Are you looking forward to touring Japan and Australia?
Kim: I cannot wait. Japan is awesome, and I’ve heard only good things about Australia.

Do you karaoke?
Kim: I love to karaoke! I never realized how talented my husband was at karaoking until the night of our wedding when we went karaokeing, and he sang Prince’s “Purple Rain.” The whole time, I kept shouting “Who knew?!”

Do you resent the Muffs being labeled punk?
Kim: We don’t resent it, but we’re not punk. We’ve been labeled all sorts of things. We were called grunge and alternative in the beginning, because we came out around the same time.

Have you met any people you were excited to meet?
Kim: Janeane Garafalo. That was pretty cool.

Ronnie: And David Cross. And we met some cool people when we did that Billy Crystal / Robin Williams movie [Father’s Day].

Kim: OH! And we were a question on Jeopardy!

Kim: We were like a $300 question. And the contestants just sat there and looked flummoxed. And I don’t blame them – I would’ve looked flummoxed too. So my friend in New York saw the show, and because there’s the time difference, he called me with advance notice and I called my mom to tell her. But she was so excited that we were on Jeopardy that she couldn’t figure out how to operate the VCR, and we were never able to tape it. I think Ronnie has a copy of it though.

You have to use that clip as an intro if you ever do a DVD. Have the question and the contestants looking baffled, and then BAM! cut into the title and music.
(General agreements all around that that’s a great idea, cuz I’m a genius. They had to get ready for the gig, so we said our goodbyes. Sorry this interview is so choppy, but we left our recorder at home and this is transcribed from memory.)

Visit the Muffs here. Buy their new album Really Really Happy.