I've heard that the Metro One project you're doing
is being billed as a sort of Worship record?
MK: Right... Well... it's about the life of
David but it's done in a surf music motif. So, I don't
know if that would be considered a worship album.
I thought it was kind of odd to follow something
like The Aunt Bettys with something like that with no
kinda "thing" in between.
It seemed like a pretty major jump.
MK: Well, I did an LSU record.
Yeah, I knew there was Dogfish Jones but I think
sequentially, as far as releases, the Metro One
thing's gonna be the next thing out. Because Flying
MK: Yeah, I don't know. Is that ever supposed
to come out?
listed by Platinum.
MK: And Platinum -- I don't even know if
they're still going or not.
Well, Flying Tart has already closed their doors and
there's a lot of question as to whether or not their
parent company Platinum is gonna get stuff out. I know
yours is in the can, there are two Circle Of Dust
projects in the can and a couple other things they
have that are probably never gonna make it out. (note:
Circle Of Dust Disengaged was released in March ‘98
and at that time Platinum promised a June release for
Dogfish Jones. -ed.)
So, I hope it gets out. I'd like to hear it. Do you
have a specific area you're willing to talk about?
MK: Whatever, I'm open to anything.
When I reviewed the Aunt Bettys for an on-line zine,
I literally got hate mail for it...
...from people in the Christian market for not...I
don't know...I thought I put pretty strong warnings in
that this was not intended for the Christian market
and that you'd be offended if you listened to it that
way but it apparently wasn't enough.
MK: What were the hate mails? What'd they say?
Or what was their problem with that?
They didn't even really get specific about the
problems, they just reamed on me for not ragging on
the whole album. I warned people that there was vulgar
language on it and that some of the content of the
actual songs -- like, what the songs are about -- was
pretty graphic and could be pretty shocking to people.
MK: uh huh...
But then I went on to talk about the music and say,
it's a good record, I like it. One guy just flipped on
me for that -- for not ripping you up as a person and
for not ripping the album down completely and totally.
And, I've heard that more than once. That album
freaked a lot of people out in the Christian market.
MK: Why do you think that was?
Well, it's certainly not something any Christian
label would put out. Just saying "sh*t" on it is
enough to put some people out.
MK: Yeah, well if you think about it, that's
the only thing they really could say that would be
within the context of them making some type of moral
judgment on it -- is that I said the word "sh*t." It
was never printed in the lyrics and a lot of people
thought it was the word "shake" but, you know, I won't
deny that I did say that in one song. It's tagged on
at the end of the song and you can't even really tell
what it's saying. But, the point is that nothing else
on that record -- not even the artwork -- should have
been anything that should have caused someone to give
you hate mail.
Songs like Lush, Feel, Suicide Sex Doll, Speeder
Mode, Star Baby, etc.; were those all based on actual
In some ways, because of things like that, would
you say that the Aunt Bettys record was written in the
same way that Rocket and a Bomb was?
There's a lot of contact between the two of them?
MK: Yeah. And there's some songs that are
shared, like Kitty Courtesy and Rocket and a Bomb,
although I did change Rocket and a Bomb a bit.
That's the other thing I've got to follow up on,
the language in "Rocket and a Bomb." When we were
talking about how I got hate mail for reviewing it you
said that 'was the only thing they could say within
the context of them making a moral judgment.' Were you
expecting that backlash in the first place? Did you
think people were going to react that way to the
MK: Well, I never meant for it to be sold in a
Christian bookstore. I didn't do it to upset people. I
did it as an expression of how I felt, with that
feeling in the song.
Why don't you say a little bit about what motivated
it in the first place, why you thought it was
MK: Just being broke and not having any money
and wondering what I'm supposed to do. You know, just
... it's a matter of getting so upset and pissed off
that ... you know people may say that word all the
time or every now and then when they're upset, but I
guess the point is that when I said it it was recorded
on a record so people can hear it over and over and
over again. But I would not deny that everyone, at
some time, cusses. I don't think that that claims
someone's faith or not. I don't think that has
anything to do with whether they believe in God or
they don't believe in God, it's just an expression. I
don't go around cussing day to day, it just fit
correctly in that song. And we did it in such a way
that if younger people listened to it they wouldn't
know that I'm actually saying that word. Many people
thought that I was saying 'shake'. It wasn't that I
was trying to hide what that word was, we didn't print
the lyrics either, but it was just ... that was the
word I was saying, I'm not denying that, but at the
same time we did it in such a way that you can't
completely tell what it is.
Were you very close to bankruptcy at the time when
this was all happening?
MK: Oh yeah. Very, very close. I mean I had
hundreds of thousands of dollars that I had to come up
with somehow. But I mean, saying the word 'sh*t'
didn't get me hundreds of thousands of dollars, so I
don't want someone to say that. I understand what
you're saying. In a sense it was [sighs] Y'know the
"Rocket and a Bomb" was on the ... the Rocket and a
Bomb record, of course, that came out through Word,
and it seemed that ... that was when I started going
through all the trouble with getting paid from the
distributor. Now the next level was, with the full
rock band behind it, turning it into this much more
personalized event about my life. I don't know if I
can remember the lyrics, even. I don't play the song
any more. It basically was about my relationships at
the time. Let's see, what are the lyrics now ... 'All
I ever wanted was a good job, some bus fare, a rocket
and a bomb.' One of the verses is, 'It's not your
fault, I made you ill from this open sore that spills
pus in your name. I tried to fix on what I feel, beg
another meal and shame your pride again. It keeps
pushin', it keeps pushin', it keeps pushin' you away.'
And that's kind of the whole ...you know the financial
stress and me practically being a beggar, which I fall
into time and time again being an artist, it sometimes
can tangle a relationship. Not only with your spouse,
but with your family, with a friend, with God, even.
It can get your mind so worried about making that
money and doing whatever you can to make that money
that you don't focus on the relationship any more. So,
with ending with the cuss words, it was almost the
final, complete expression of how screwed up I was, or
am at times, and that was it, you know.
It was something you didn't think could be
expressed properly any other way?
MK: Uh ... I gotta tell you it felt good to
cuss. I mean, I don't recommend it to people but if
they ever did it they may feel bad about it, but at
the same time ... you just explode. It's better than
getting in a fist fight with someone. You know, if we
were in Europe, no one would care that I said that
word because Europe is much more advanced on what
Christianity really is. But in the States, there's all
these laws and rules poured out through the far, far
right that just ... I think it actually deters people
from finding out what true Christianity is. And I'm
not saying you have to be able to cuss to know what
true Christianity is but at the same time, we're
denying that we're real people and that we have real
feelings and once we start doing that then we start
living fake lives and that's what happens to all these
major preachers, and then they blow it. They end up
exploding behind the scenes and it comes out and
embarrasses everybody, and it's happened time and time
and time again. And it's because we're required, in
the United States, to live fake lives and become fake
people, plastic people, and that's what I've been
trying to promote - the change of that - since I wrote
Shaded Pain. "First we find the answer, then we take
the blame. Shaded pain. We find out who we are, and
then we lose our names." So we find out who we are as
people, but then all of a sudden we have to be fake,
and we live in this constant Shaded Pain area where we
can't really express how we feel, and then receive
healing from expressing how we feel and then finding
out who we are in God.
So the venting is part of the healing process.
Yeah, I think the Christ behind the bar worried some
people and the other one that I got was, I believe
it's "Feel," where it's not stated outright but the
guy's basically saying that he'll cut his manhood off
‘cause he's in love with a lesbian.
MK: Here's...let's talk about the painting.
Whatever was painted on there, I told the guy what I
wanted painted. The part about Jesus behind --
actually it's not about Jesus standing behind the bar
but what that represents...and I made sure that He was
painted in a very mosaic way that was very respecting
of Christ. It didn't make Christ look like he was a
loser or something....
I thought it actually looked a very, very much like
the Christ on This Is The Healing.
MK: Right, exactly. This is the mosaic type of
Christ, y'know. So, I made sure that he did it like
that but the point is that the whole idea behind the
painting is that it represents God's free will. If we
wanted to have a drink, if we wanted to mess up our
lives, if we wanted to do whatever -- He allows us to
do that and He still is there to hear us when we want
to talk to Him. And He still is there to love us. He
says, "I'll never leave you nor forsake you," and so,
that's what that painting represents. It's a little
arty and it's a little shocking but, at the same time,
it's not against Christ and it's not non-Biblical. So,
my question is: When He was in the bars with the
drunkards or what have you -- when He was criticized
by the Pharisees -- would He not hand a guy his drink