Horror Business

The HorrorPops' lead freak in uniform sets things straight.

Denmark native Patricia Day is the perfect vocalist for the HorrorPops. Imagine if Dr. Moreau cloned Gwen Stefani, cut her genes with a demonically possessed Joan Jett, then gave her a pair of monster-sized testicles (OK, figurative testicles). Anyway, that's pretty much what Day is like. She recently spoke to Outtakes about rules, psychobilly, and how the hell she ended up with an album named after a Kirsten Dunst movie.

Outtakes:The song "Freaks in Uniform" has become a sort of anthem for the HorrorPops, attacking the anti-musician attitude in Denmark and hipsters here in the States who want you to play by rules you don't acknowledge.

Patricia Day: It's anywhere, anything. In any culture, it doesn't even have to be a subculture. There's a set of rules that you follow. Let me give you an easy one: punk. If you're punk, you've got this set of political opinions, you've got your little outfits, you can only listen to punk music. You can't listen to Barry Manilow. And if you do, you put it at the back of your record collection so your cool friends don't find it.

And that's definitely not what the HorrorPops are about.

When we started as a band, we started to cross genres because we didn't want to limit ourselves as a band. We wanted to be able to play all the different types of music we liked, whether it was Depeche Mode, Dolly Parton, or Motörhead — it didn't matter.

Then how do you feel about being labeled as "psychobilly"?

We always called [what we do] rock 'n' roll, but journalists — to give you one example — want to call us psychobilly, and we're not. We might play it, we might look it, and we might have members who play in psychobilly bands, but the HorrorPops are not. Now it comes down to, we don't care what you call us. If you like the music, you like the music. And that's what "Freaks in Uniforms" is about.

You live in the U.S. now. So much of the country is creepy right-wing conservative — do you ever run into idiots who think what you're doing is the work of the devil?

Enh. I don't know. I'm probably too drunk to remember.

Your latest album is calledBring It On. Have you had the chance to see the cheerleading movieBring It On with Kirsten Dunst yet?

Man, it sucks. That's not the type of movie that I would even register was out there. If I'd known there was a movie called Bring It On before picking the title for the album, it wouldn't have been the title of the album. Cole Haddon

The HorrorPops open for the Reverend Horton Heat on Thursday, September 21, at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $15. Doors open at 8 p.m. Call 954-564-1074, or visit www.cultureroom.net.Pop Quiz

Xtina, Paris, Jessica, and Beyoncé have all just released records. Are you up to speed on your pop pabulum?

1) A "Freakum Dress" is:

a) A song on Beyoncé's new album

b) Something Bill Clinton would just rather forget about

c) The title of the new Devendra Banhart record

d) The name of next week's Project Runwayepisode

2) Whose current or former music-mogul boyfriend would win in a fight?

a) That knob from Sum 41 that Paris blew

b) That knob Nick Lachey that Jessica humped

c) That knob Jordan Bratman who tells Xtina she's pretty

b) Jay-Z, who apparently "used to bag girls like Birkin bags," whatever that means

3) What do Scott Storch and Mark Ronson have in common?

a) They've both produced one or more tracks on one of the above diva's albums

b) They're both talentless hacks who happen to know their way around an MPC 3000

c) They've both fucked Paris Hilton

d) All of the above

4) An "Autotuner" is:

a) A girl's best friend

b) Responsible for modern Top 40 radio as we know it

c) The only way Paris and Jessica could ever make music

d) All of the above

5) Which of these movies most proves that just because you can wear a thong to the VMAs doesn't mean your mug's ready for the big screen?

a) The Pink Panther

b) Dukes of Hazzard

c) House of Wax

d) All of the above

Match the diva to how she got her start in show biz: 6) Beyoncé; 7) Jessica; 8) Xtina; 9) Paris.

a) Touring the Christian Youth Conference circuit (yes, such a circuit exists)

b) Performing with her then-group Girl's Tyme on Star Search

c) Appearing on The Mickey Mouse Club

d) Fucking some guy

Answers: 1) a; 2) b; 3) d; 4) d; 5) d; 6) b; 7) a; 8) c; 9) d. Garrett KampsBang Your (Drum) Head

Glenn Kotche is best-known as Wilco's percussionist, but his other musical endeavors — On Fillmore (with bassist Darin Gray, formerly of Dazzling Killmen, currently of Grand Ulena), Loose Fur (alongside Jeff Tweedy and Jim O'Rourke), and even solo — reveal an artist in tune not just with rock but with the entire continuum of beating and banging. His most recent solo album, Mobile, draws inspiration from Steve Reich's minimal loops, Nigerian rhythmatist Tony Allen's tribal frenzies, and experimental electronics. It was released by Nonesuch Records, known as an early proponent of both avant-classical and ethnic music.

Outtakes: When you were growing up, did you listen to a lot of rock music with kick-ass drum solos?

Glenn Kotche: No, I grew up in the suburbs, so I was exposed to classic rock — Beatles and Stones, that kind of stuff — but not really anything with drum solos. I guess Zeppelin maybe. But I didn't gravitate to the super prog stuff with solos.

As a drummer, were you sorry when punk rock killed the practice of a superhuge ten-minute drum solo in the middle of a righteous jam?

No, not at all, actually. I wasn't exposed to punk rock at first, but when I was, I totally fell for it and agreed. I wasn't a champion of the drum solo by any means. I've got no problem with them, because I'm a drummer, but I can understand why most people don't like them. I consider what I do "solo drums" more than "drum solos." I just kind of draw the line at whether it's a piece of music or a vehicle to display your technical facility.

Did you know thatMobile was going to be on Nonesuch Records before you recorded it?

No, I made the record, and when it was finished, they knew that I was doing an arrangement of "Clapping Music" by Steve Reich. They were curious to hear that, because Steve's also on Nonesuch. They liked it enough to put it out. But a lot of the stuff on that record wouldn't have happened had Wilco not signed to Nonesuch and if I hadn't been reexposed — or exposed to some of it for the first time — to a lot of that music.

Did you think about the Wilco audience while you were recording it and what their expectations might be?

I had to take that out of my thought process. Wilco fans are great music fans — and they're more open-minded than any other rock-band fans that I'm aware of — but at the same time, I don't know [if] there's a ton of crossover between the Wilco audience and all the side projects. Sales-wise, there's a big difference between something like Loose Fur, which Jeff [Tweedy] is a member of, and Wilco. I learned when I joined Wilco, and when I became friends with Jim O'Rourke and Darin Gray, that when you make a record, you can't really factor in things like that. Otherwise, you start second-guessing yourself and you start making decisions for the wrong reasons. If you start thinking "I need to make this more accessible for the Wilco fans," I'd probably make a record that won't be true to myself. Randall Roberts

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