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Hilarious mock-interview I did in 2004. Both the interviewer and interviewee are me. This was meant to promote a studio side-project I did with my brother a couple of years prior. I didn't bother to re-proofread it, so it's probably a little rough-around-the-edges, but take it for what it is-- comedy gold.

Talking Over OATMEAL
An Interview with Stink Fingers
Conducted by Rick Candem, Liquid Paper Press

It's been a few years since the band Oatmeal recorded their one and only EP independently, not even a year since they got it distributed by punk rock/antifolk label I/E Records. I recently came into contact with singer Stink Fingers at my son's little league game. Having never heard of the New Jersey outfit before (and understandably so), I had no clue I was talking to an up-and-coming celebrity (Fingers' claim). As I talked more with him, I KNEW I had to get an exclusive interview with him. After all, I DO work for an independent music mag. And this was paydirt.

We exchanged contact information and a week later arranged to meet at a coffee house in Fingers' neighborhood. And although I found it strange that someone would drink coffee at 3 a.m. during the work week, that was NOTHING compared to what was to follow.

LPP: For the record please state your name and occupation.

SF: Stink Fingers, singer for Oatmeal. Collecting unemployment.

LPP: Is that your real name?

SF: Yeah, sure. Why not.

LPP: What's your REAL name?

SF: That's private.

LPP: Okay. What are--

SF: Am I gettin' paid for this?

LPP: We're an independent publication.

Stink just stared at me for a second. His bright green hair and black military issue glasses frightened me a bit, I must admit. His glazey eyes didn't hold any contempt for me, though. He was clearly on drugs.

SF: So am I gonna get paid?

LPP: We'll talk about that later. Okay?

SF: Yeah, sure, okay. Ask me something else, go ahead, shoot...

LPP: Your label's press package, if you can call it that, describes your music as "spazzcore". Can you tell me a little bit about that?

SF: They don't know fuck-all about it. Jon* an' 'em just like to fuckin' blow smoke, ya know? No, I wouldn't call us spazzcore, no. Well, maybe a few songs. But yeah...

LPP: What IS spazzcore?

SF: It's just, like, what most people refer to as crust, which is the gutterpunk version of grindcore. We don't like all the fuckin' crustys too much though, 'cause they're all a buncha fuckin' hippies and they SMELL. They fuckin' stink like resin and boca burgers an' shit...

LPP: How did you come in contact with the label?

SF: Yeah, I like 'em guys, they're good people, ya know? We recorded 4 of the 5 songs on "Itchy" by ourselves in my fuckin' attic a couple years ago. That piece 'a shit circulated around and somehow made it's way to Pennsylvania. Don't ask me who arranged THAT little miracle, but hey, whatever. So those guys they got in touch with us through our website... Well, okay, it wasn't OUR website, it was a message board on some lame-ass crusty site, but believe-you-me, we made that fucker our HOME.

LPP: What, they just typed "oatmeal" into Google and found you on a message board?

SF: Yeah, those fuckers are dedicated. You have any IDEA how many fuckin' quaker oats sites and cookbook recipes an' shit they probably had to sift through to find us?? Probably took 'em HOURS...

LPP: You said before that 4 of the 5 songs on "Itchy" were recorded by the band. What about the other one?

SF: Recorded with Sam Sinister. That's one anal little cunt right there. If shit don't go right he's like a fuckin' lunatic. He's a regular Phil fuckin' Spector that one. Only WITHOUT a gun, thank gawd.

LPP: Your drummer, a man who calls himself "Grandpa Buzz", did alot of studio work for Sinister on his solo album, didn't he?

SF: Yeah, oh yeah, he milked Buzz for all he was worth on that one. Fuck, if it wasn't for ol' Buzzy that hairy little pock-faced bastard wouldn't even HAVE a fuckin' career in music. He'd probably be workin' as a cook in a restaraunt or somethin'...

LPP: Don't you think that's a little bit EXAGGERATED?

SF: (getting snotty) NO. He wanted to do all sortsa experimental bullshit on that one song of ours, that's why it sounds like an overproduced piece 'a SHIT, with all the fuckin' TV shit at the beginning and the piano and all that...

LPP: I'm assuming the song he did with you is "Self-titled".

SF: Yep.

There was a long uncomfortable silence, well, at least for me. Stink lifted his coffee mug to his face, sipped it, made a face then yelled for a "fuckin' warm-up".

LPP: Do you ALWAYS drink coffee at Three in the Morning?

SF: What are you, my fuckin' MOTHER? No, you AIN'T my fuckin' mother, so scribble some more notes in your little Trapper Keeper you got there and let's keep the fuckin' questions rollin'. I ain't got all night here.

LPP: Why were you at my son's little league game last week?

SF: Not the reasons you're thinkin' of, PERVERT. I like baseball. Kids play for the fun of it, Major League games are all about money and endorsements and all that happy SHIT. Why the fuck do I wanna pay what they charge for tickets and hotdogs and shit, I don't even know what the fuck it is, it's been so long, when I can go to the park for free and take my dog with me, and watch them little bastards bat it out?

For the first time tonight I had some small amount of respect for this guy. I mean, sure, he's foul-mouthed, loud, and RUDE, but there's also an honesty about him, he isn't concerned about what the other people in the room's opinion of him might be, and he says whatever's on his mind. And he seems to have some level of integrity.

LPP: So do you guys tour alot?

SF: Hah!!! We don't even GIG, let alone TOUR!

LPP: Why not?

SF: The only song we even worked on at all on that record was "Self-Titled", and that's only because 'a Sam's crackhead ass... we don't write songs, we just make alotta fuckin' noise. You think those are actually WORDS I'm singin'? Well FUCK YOU 'cause they AIN'T.

LPP: Gotcha.

After that, his demeanor suddenly changed from raging beligerence to an almost dispassionate self-contol. He took one last quick swig of coffee, and put his pointer finger up to signify that he had something to say just as soon as he was done swallowing.

SF: Hey, I'll be right back, I gotta go use the john. Tell'er I want another joe when she comes back aroun', wouldja? I just gotta take a piss, I'll be right back...

As he stood up and went towards the bathroom, I decided to catch up on my notes and rewound my tape recorder slightly to make sure everything was in tact. After about 20 minutes, though, I decided he'd either stuck me with his bill, which included a coffee, a veggie burger, and french fries with brown gravy... or went to the bathroom, did his business, and simply forgot he was in the middle of an interview. Either way, this is the end of the line. Oatmeal's frontman made a lasting impression on me, whatever it was, and I'll never forget it. Unfortunately. □

*Jonny Kunt, CEO of I/E Records

Download Oatmeal's Itchy EP:

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