Thursday, July 8, 2010

Interview with Cryptorchid Chipmunk

A revolving cast of deviants and delinquents, Cryptorchid Chipmunk (Morgantown, WV) make their first appearance in Ithaca, NY at The Haunt on Saturday, July 17th with Summer People, 4 Point 0 and more.  Ithaca Underground's Bubba Crumrine spends some time with Chris and Ruckas to discuss the bands antics, injuries, The Emotron, and their upcoming full length.

IU: For those unfamiliar with the band, what do you each do in the band?

Ruckus: I play keyboards and I throw up!

Chris: He also arranges and writes a lot of our music.

Ruckus: Yeah, we've been playing without a drummer so I've been arranging all of our back tracks and synthesizers. And because I do that, I don't have to play keyboards as much and I can just puke all over myself. 

Chris: It also means I can play keyboards less to. But I have to push the buttons on the computer. He just does nothing! Oh, I still have to play guitar though. 

Ruckus: I put a lot more work into the music before hand so I can take a break when we're performing (laughs).

Chris: I also book most of our tours and screen print our merch.  I feel like I don't have to go crazy. I just have to play the songs right.

IU: So no drummer this tour?

Ruckus: Nope, no drummer. The last time we had a live drummer was...

Chris: ...last year. There's a slight possibility we'll have a drummer with us in Ithaca but it's probably not going to happen. 

Ruckus: We've been drummerless for a bit now.  But, the drummer never fucks up now! We played this Tri-State Punk fest and the entire thing was fucking MUD. It was an RV park and we got stuck in the mud. None of the equipment was grounded so everyone was getting shocked! (laughs)

Chris: (laughs) It was a lot of fucking fun but the computer did not like the rain...  I think my wireless card broke that day because of it.

Ruckus: It was great, we grossed out a bunch of people wearing G.G. Allen shirts!

Chris: If that says anything about the state of punk rock right now...

Ruckus: I think people enjoyed our set but I don't know if the promoter is going to invite us back.  We were pretty disgusting... I tried to take a shit in the mud but I got to scared (laughs)

IU: Has anyone in the band ever been injured during your live set?

Chris: Oh fuck yeah.  Corey, our bass player, has broken her foot twice! She got hit in the face once too.  She had to go and get a tetanus shot. There's a good scar now but she played the set and finished it all covered in blood and rubbing it all over the other band members!

Ruckus: I had a giant gash on my foot one tour and I pretty much bleed from the mouth at every show.

Chris: It's important that we stay hard.

Ruckus: If you're not bleeding, you ain't having fun! Last night I had vomit and urine in my eyes the last two songs of ours. It was certainly a site to be hold but it was rather unpleasant. We had to up our game a bit with The Emotron on the bill.

IU: How did the show with The Emotron go last night?

Chris: It went well. It wasn't as good of a turnout as it could have been because it was father's day...

Ruckus: People were hangin' out with their Daddy-o's.

IU: How'd you like his set?

Ruckus: The new set was wicked! I'm a big fan of sci-fi beast! I think I actually preferred it.

Chris: It was slightly disappointing for me (both laugh).  I like the crazy stuff.  He passed that torch along to us though!  Dick fires! We inherited a lot of bikinis and some Aqua-net. 

Ruckus: I just opened a pack of 1998 Donruss cards.

Chris: And now he's eating the gum...  (to Ruckus) that's twelve year old gum!

Ruckus: I found a Tom Glavin card! (even more incomprehensible gibberish)

IU: Right... so, bikinis and Aquanet you were saying?

Ruckus: Oh yeah! So the crotch fires don't fit into his sci-fi beast thing and we're still crazy as ever, maybe more so now. So, he passed the torch along to us so now you'll have some dick-fires to look forward to!  Plus, I'm a lot fatter than he is so you'll get to watch me burn my gut.

IU: Have you been practicing?

Ruckus: Oh hell no! This is going to be fucking destructive, man.  I'm gunna have third degree burns on my fucking nuts! ...I should probably shave my happy trail first though.

Chris: Burnt hair....

IU: Have you ever been banned from anywhere?

Chris: We got banned from this church in Chicago back in 2003 for definite.

IU: Wow, you got banned from a church? Didn't see that coming (laughs).

(both laughing)

Chris: We usually ask what our limits are. We don't want to piss anyone off  because even if one venue or another doesn't like us but the crowds do, we want to be able to play for them in the area again.  It's a fine line between being crazy and disgusting and being destructive. We didn't ask at that fest though. It was the most "punk rock" gig we ever played so we just figured it'd be cool.

Ruckus: There was this hardcore crust band after us who were like "can you wipe off the mics before we play?" after we finished because I'd been throwing up. I was like "you're wearing a G.G. Allen shirt dude!" What the fuck? You can't worry about hygiene if you haven't showered in the last month.

Speaking of needing to call people out... Recently, we played with this horror punk band. After our set, one of their band members who was dressed up like the Wolfman comes up to me and says "If you would learn how to play guitar, you wouldn't have to dress up in stupid costumes" as I'm wiping the vomit off myself. The best part is, he didn't actually play anything in this band! He was just the hype guy! He doesn't do shit and he's telling me I wouldn't have to put on costumes as he's putting on his Wolfman prosthetics.  He was being such a douche. I challenged him to a "Devil Went Down To Georgia" guitar off but he backed down.  If you're putting on make-up, you can't be telling somebody not to wear a costume! (laughs)

IU: (laughs) That's fucking ridiculous! It's the same thing.  Wow...

Chris: That guy put some serious work into his too. We just throw on a bunch of junk that doesn't match and hope it's dirty.

IU: Have you all been touring often?

Ruckus: In 2004 was our introduction to touring. 2006 and 2007 we toured a lot. 2008... was weak! We haven't been touring as much as we used to. 

Chris: There have been some recent line-up changes as well so we've been working through that.

Ruckus: The only person who has been on board since 1998 when the band began is one person.  I joined the band in 2005 and I think I'm the only one who has been here since then.

Chris: Even our writing process has changed and has been passed along.  We're working on a new album now and hope to have it out by end of winter. This will be our first full length in a long time.

Ruckus: I think its been 10 years... the last full length was released in '99!

Chris: It's definitely changed a lot since then.   This recording is going to be pretty schizophrenic and a bit more metal...

Ruckus: The Wolfman dude called us "HORSE The Band light" (both laugh)

Chris: Cryptorchid has always involved a bunch of different people and different numbers of people.  It could be 8 or it could be 4 or 5.  It's usually based off of who wants to come on the road and sometimes things can change pretty last minute.  Seems like we'll have 5 or 6 with us this time.

Ruckus: It should be guitar, keys, bass, trombone, accordion..

Chis: ...maybe another trombone player...

Ruckus: ...and maybe another guitarist for some parts.

IU: You mentioned the album is leaning in more of a metal direction?

Chris: Sort of. There's a lot more double kick in the drum programing.  Not so much straight metal but I've been playing around with the programing because there won't be a live drummer so I can do whatever the fuck I want with them and not have to worry about someone realistically playing it.  There's more double bass and blast beats in parts. There's still the start-stop-start-stop schizophrenic shit we've been doing with a lot of horns.  I just built a studio from the ground up and we got some pretty legit gear so the drums will be MIDI but its going to sound amazing. We're even going to re-record some material from the previous album because it sounded like shit.

IU: Which tracks are you going to rerecord?

Chris: The first track "Crazy", "eX-Girlfriend X" and "Stuff and Stuff".

IU: When did you build the studio?

Chris: I started it in October. I've been accumulating new piece here and there but I'm pretty confident right now. It's a lot of digital gear with some analogue preamps for the vocals and horns.

IU: Any last words?

Chris: We encourage people to keep an open mind when they see us. (Laughs) We've definitely changed a lot as a band. We're just trying to have fun and not trying to piss people off. That happens sometimes though. This is our kind of fun.

Ruckus: We're always trying new things and pushing new boundaries.  If people are into that... cool! If not, they can always listen to Ramones covers. (both laugh)