Tag Archives: Henry Owings

Ep. #92: The Jesus Lizard Week with David Wm. Sims

The Jesus Lizard Week celebrating the release of Akashic Books’ BOOK concludes with the band’s ace bassist and principal archivist David Wm. Sims. Here, David and I discuss how BOOK was Johnny Temple of Akashic Books’ idea, how the two Davids in the band spent the most time among members making this book with Henry Owings, Sims’ compulsive penchant for archiving things, being an anti-hoarder, how much he learned about his bandmates via the process of writing this book, Mac McNeilly’s obsession with pranks as a kid, how he and guitarist Duane Denison love hearing technical details from musicians about their work and tried returning the favour in BOOK, his emphasis that he just wanted the book to be cool but has some regrets about stuff that didn’t make the final cut, how he has no idea what the band’s legacy is, how their major label situation had less to do with the band’s demise than another thing, band chemistry, the coincidental nature of dramatic shifts in the band’s history, his relationship with Steve Albini and Steve’s piece in BOOK, Rapeman, David Yow being silly, his doubts about BOOK being the final chapter in the history of the Jesus Lizard, whether or not he misses the band, future releases by the Jesus Lizard, his current musical and vocational interests, and then The Jesus Lizard Week becomes the week that was.

Related links: akashicbooks.com/catalog/the-jesus-lizard-book/ vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #91: The Jesus Lizard Week with Duane Denison

The Jesus Lizard Week celebrating the release of Akashic Books’ BOOK continues with graceful, eclectic, and powerful guitarist Duane Denison. Here, Duane and I chat about where BOOK came from and why he hoped they could do better than an average rock band bio, how he’d written a lot about the band’s history already when the Jesus Lizard’s catalogue was reissued in 2009 and wanted to ensure he avoided repeating himself, how Duane’s role in creating the book eventually declined due to his touring schedule with Tomahawk, how I’m the only one who seems even vaguely interested in the odd chronological structure of the book, whether he discovered anything about his bandmates via BOOK, how David Yow and Mac McNeilly never married each other, his interest in informing and possibly educating other musicians and talking about the work, how the Jesus Lizard’s audience was very smart but rowdy as hell, the fact that indie or underground music now is more pop-oriented and metal fans are gravitating towards the Jesus Lizard, the backlash after the band left Touch and Go Records for Capitol Records, how the band fought for everything it had and was legitimate, the laughable amount of money the band received and were vilified as sell-outs for, why Steve Albini is given moral high ground when it comes to underground integrity even though he worked with major labels on a regular basis, how Duane is sick of talking about certain things and would like to get going actually, what a ‘re-enactment’ tour really is, what he sees as the future of the Jesus Lizard, the fact that I don’t know of a good album by Magazine, and then it’s all over.

Related links: akashicbooks.com/catalog/the-jesus-lizard-book/ vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #89: The Jesus Lizard Week with David Yow

It’s a very special week on this show because I’m dedicating four episodes to interviews with every founding member of one of the world’s greatest rock and roll bands, the Jesus Lizard. David Yow, Mac McNeilly, Duane Denison and David Wm. Sims each ended up in Chicago at some point in the late 1980s and then they went and changed things. They were a dangerous, precise, profane, and devastatingly great band for 10 years, making amazing records and playing great shows from 1989 to 1999 and then they came back to play some more shows in 2009. This past March, a Brooklyn-based publishing house called Akashic released BOOK, a gorgeous coffee-table photo book that captures the life and times of the Jesus Lizard via thoughtful essays and reflections about a truly significant past. Beginning in February, I tracked down each member of the Jesus Lizard and we talked about BOOK. It took a while to get everyone pinned down but we did it and, for whatever reason, here am I at episode #89 of this show I make in Canada and I’m dedicating a week to the Jesus Lizard, who played their first show on July 1, 1989, Canada Day, at a Chicago restaurant called Bangkok Bangkok opening for Slint and King Kong. Here David Yow, who was on this show 80 episodes ago, and I discuss where the idea for BOOK came from, why there was a desire to make it themselves, who they wanted to get to contribute to this story, his hang-ups about some aspects of how the band was represented and promoted historically and why he insisted on designing BOOK, Henry Owings of Chunklet and his role in making this project come to life, the Polaroids that document various eras of the band and people who are gone, David’s nipples, buttcheeks, and penis and how his stage presence wasn’t sexual, why David was drawn to ‘danger’ as a performer, the book’s interweaving chronology and unique structure, why Yow’s participation as a voice in BOOK is relatively slight, how the Jesus Lizard might present themselves as a ‘musician’s band,’ why more dudes than ladies gravitated towards the band, how funny Duane Denison is, David Wm. Sims’ prickly relationship with the Jesus Lizard’s long-standing recording engineer Steve Albini and what Yow thinks of the albums they made together, Yow’s drunken shenanigans in the studio and Albini’s unique mic-ing techniques, why Down was the band’s worst album, whether or not BOOK marks the final chapter for the Jesus Lizard, casting Catherine Zeta-Jones in the biopic about the band, Yow’s desire or lack thereof to be in any bands these days, how close the Jesus Lizard came to writing new songs together when they ‘re-enacted’ in 2009, David’s plans as an actor making movies, David’s new cat pun book Copycat: And a Litter of Other Cats, my cat Gary and the body issues the world has imposed upon him, and that’s all.

Related links: akashicbooks.com/catalog/the-jesus-lizard-book/ vishkhanna.com

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