Phil Owen Interview p.2

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Q: The Nigs went through several labels in the early days – Wax Trax, Alternative Tentacles, Megaforce - Why the label-hopping?

Owen: Alternative Tentacles had our first album by contract with Wax Trax for European release and they did not want to give it up when our contract was purchased from Wax Trax by Megaforce Records. The reason why Megaforce bought us from Wax Trax was mostly to do with Ministry signing on Johnny Z. (owner of Megaforce) for management. The reason for leaving Megaforce for our second album was due to a mutual understanding between both camps.


Q: I’ve heard that Al J produced Stupid People Shouldn’t Breed, but that his name didn’t end up on the album. What happened?

Owen: That is true. There was a great deal of pressure for Ministry during that time as Psalm 69 was anticipated to be one of the year’s biggest releases and it was. As far as the particulars of what went down between Al and I is too lengthy, personal, forgotten and far behind us to dredge up at this point.


Q: At one of the live Nigs shows I’ve got, you mention something about taping the show. I don’t remember any concert scenes in any of the videos for songs off Stupid People or Mangled Web, so I’m guessing none of the footage from that show/tour ever got used. Can you remember if it was intended for anything?

Owen: Loudspeaker and Chemical Imbalance have live footage in them.


Q: Any interesting Skatenig tour stories?

Owen: Too many to get into during this interview. Perhaps another time.


Q: Choreboy ended up having a much rawer, more “punk” sound to it than the Nigs. Was it an intentional move to drop all the samples, etc? Was it intended as a one-off band?

Owen: Yeah, record it cheap and get it out. Just have fun with it no hassles. We just wanted to go back to the basics and enjoy the song writing. Punk rock 101 if a song has third part then that is a new song. We recorded the album for five thousand bucks. We bought a couple ADATs and recorded in Chris Gates garage then we sold the equipment and used the money to mix it.


Q: Sawed Off was around at about the same time, but I don’t think anything ever saw release. Who was in the group?

Owen: One show at SXSW. Mat Mitchell, Pat Bustamonte and myself.


Q: There have been many rumors over the years of a Skatenigs reunion. Do you think it’ll ever happen?

Owen: A few beers later. This may happen in 2007 with Snow Black as the opener. I want to do a live DVD. If someone will p/u the idea we will do it.


Q: What prompted the return to Revco after so many years of dormancy?

Owen: Al and I resumed our friendship in 2000 and he came by the studio where I was recording what would become tracks for Snow Black. We were having so much fun that he and I started jamming to a loop that I had. He liked it so much he suggested that it should be a Revco song and it became “Dead End Streets” in 2003 when we met in El Paso to finish it.


Q: Prunetang is supposedly a political song? Or perhaps that was Al playing around with an interviewer.

Owen: It is about vintage pussy or watching old people fuck. Al is pretty sick. I can’t tell you for sure what he gets out of it.


Q: So the new Snow Black album is your solo departure. What made you decide to release a solo record after all these years?

Owen: It just seemed most appropriate since all of the tracks I had been working on were with various people and not a band.


Q: Who else plays on the album?

Owen: Mark Dufour (Skrew), Charles Levi (T.K.K.), Clayton Wavering (Man or God), Chris Gates (Big Boys & Junkyard), and others including Buck Satan himself.


Q: The new record seems darker than most of your past works. Is this a conscious effort to move away from some of your more tongue-in-cheek material?

Owen: The songs just come about naturally and not by a conscious effort to create or fit a formula.


Q: My personal favorite track from the album is Taste. It does a good job of creating a sort of claustrophobic, paranoid atmosphere, which ties in with the subject matter pretty well. Would you mind talking a little about where the song came from?

Owen: Taste deals with temptation and the inevitable paranoia of having taken a bite of the forbidden fruit.


Q: When does the album officially see release?

Owen: An official release will not be announced until there is a label in place to distribute it. Until then the only place it can be found is at the Snow Black website www.snowblack.org .


Q: Any plans for a Snow Black tour?

Owen: Possibly going out with Skatenigs for the “A few beers later” tour and if that doesn’t happen then it will depend on a label release date and what tours are available at that time.


Q: Any idea what you plan on working on next?

Owen: I enjoyed doing the Choreboy record and I have had interest from others to do it again. Except this time it won’t Choreboy it will be Lynyrd Skynhead doing our own brand of punk, southern oi.


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Page Last Edited on 2006-10-28 10:29:02 UTC CST (3549)