Boss Hog – Eye Deal [#3]: This Is Not A Love Song [2000 Words] (PRESS, US)

1995 Eye Deal #3
Boss Hog - Eye Deal [#3]: This Is Not A Love Song [2000 Words] (PRESS, US)
Boss Hog interview with Cristina, Jon and Jens from late 1995 covering their early career, touring and their then recent signing to Geffen.

Thanks to Skeleton Boy for the scans.

“This is not a love song

Interview by Michele Faro
Photos by Christian Lantry

I hope you like Boss Hog because you’re going to be seeing a lot more of them. As of December ’94 they are signed to DGC. I was very pleased when Cristina agreed to an interview with Eye Deal and equally as surprised when Jon and Jens showed up before she did. Not being fully prepared, I detected some serious attitude at first but that was okay with me and just went about setting things up. Besides, I hate when people are too nice, and once we got going, things really seemed to thaw out and they really were a lot of fun. We’re all aware of a certain inescapable red-letter background…Cristina and Jon being members of Pussy Galore, followed by Cristina leading Boss Hog and Jon leading Blues Explosion. But what’s so magnetic about Boss Hog? Several things… for one music is undeniably fresh. Cristina icy vocals combined with the band’s bluesy edge yield a project of definite style and drive. Boss Hog continues to redefine itself with every new release. Their sold out show at CB’s 2/17 showcased some of their most current material which is sure to metamorphosize by the time it reaches their new Cd to be released by Fall ’95. One conversation with her reveals not only intelligence but the overall direction in which Boss Hog is going. So read on and check out our conversation with the band…don’t mind the inside jokes and by the way if you locals think my intro is drippy, FUCK OFF! because Eye Deal is bi-coastal. Also we’re sorry Hollis couldn’t be with us, she was missed.

Michele: How long was it after Pussy Galore that you put Boss Hog together?

Cristina: Pussy Galore was still going.

Jon: There was no time in-between. Boss Hog started in ’88 or ’89 the two bands overlapped. Pussy Galore went until 1990.

Cristina: But Pussy Galore was down to Jon, Neil and Bob by 1990

Jon: No that’s incorrect. When Boss Hog started it was around the time of Sugar Shit Shock – the third Pussy Galore record.

Michele: Was that on Caroline?

Jon: It was the second one released on Caroline.

Michele: Were Jens and Hollis original members of Boss Hog? And what have they played on?

Jens: I came into the band to support Cold Hands, the second record. We toured for that. I played on Action Box, a double single release on Amphetamine Reptile, as well as Girl Positive, the third album.

Michele: Has Hollis played in any other projects?

Jon: Faust

Michele: The lyrics to your songs are tres cool, regarding the writing, how was it done? Do you come in with a core of ideas?

Cristina: I think it used to come out of just jamming. Jon will come up with an idea for the music or something and we’d sort of make parts to it or whatever. I think in the beginning Jon did a great deal of the music writing. I’ve always written my lyrics. He writes the lyrics I sing. But as the project has progressed it comes a lot more out of jamming. Most of the stuff is written that way now. Occasionally, someone will come in with a riff or an idea, but generally, the four of us write everything.

Michele: I notice, Cristina, you’ve been producing yourself.

Cristina: Yeah, I did on the last record. I had a lot more to do with the mixing where in the past I had let Jon do more of it, and I’d say , “Yeah I like that.” or “No, I don’t like that.” Now I put a lot more into my own hands. I did most of the mixing with an engineer, obviously.

Michele: Well you know what you like and you know what you don’t.

Cristina: I was able to translate that a lot better on the last record. I got to the point where I could do it myself.

Michele: Now there’s a lot of talk about Boss Hog being signed to a major.

Cristina: That’s true. We recently signed to DGC as of last month (December ’94)

Michele: Do you foresee a lot of changes ahead?

Cristina: Oh! (laughing) The changes were immediate!

Jon: I had to go on a diet (Everyone hysterically laughs)

Cristina: We got on the cover of Eye Deal.

Michele: Yes, and with that things are obviously looking up for Boss Hog.

Cristina: We’ve just sky-rocketed! One change. I expect will be that we’ll probably have more opportunities to play which was the idea, or one of the things about being signed to a major. It will afford us the opportunity to not be so tied to our day jobs. We can tour more freely, which ultimately what we would like to do. It was hard to do before when we tried to schedule between Boss Hog and Blues Explosion. To be able to take time is work whatever we needed to. This has freed us up more. I think things will change but it’s all for the good. Also, they’ll distribute the record worldwide, which will open up different places we could tour. They have more resources which will allow us to make a video.

Michele: What about things like production? Will Boss Hog remain in control of that situation?

Cristina: Yes, we’ll still be making exactly the same records. We have chosen for this upcoming record, to work with someone we respect and admire, and he’ll be working closely with all of us. But ultimately, it’s all of our decision.

Michele: And who would that be? Cristina: Steve Fisk. He doesn’t sound like your typically Seattle producer such as Butch Vig.

Jon: He produced the Ace of Base record…

Michele: You’re not serious are you?

Cristina: No! He’s not! That’s not true! He’s lying.

Jon: (mock seriousness) We didn’t wanna do it but the label made us.

Cristina: (laughing) They’re making us work with the Ace of Base producer.

Michele: Have you done any videos up until now?

Cristina: We did a promo spot on DOPE, GUNS & FUCKING an AM-Rep compilation, it was just a thirty second spot and we also did a video for Hustler, on DOPE, GUNS & DESTROYING YOUR VIDEO DECK, the third Am-Rep compilation of it’s kind. It was done very quickly, at cost. Unfortunately, none of us were very happy with the end product.

Jon: I liked it.

Cristina: I didn’t.

Michele: Who directed it?

Jon: One of those dope Am-Rep people.

Cristina: David Roth, he did that Soul Asylum thing with George Wendt?

Jon: He’s a favourite there, there’s no money there.

Cristina: He’s friends with the Am-Rep guys and it was done at cost.

Michele: Was it for promotional use or will it be released in anyway?

Jon: Naah, I think the reason they (Am-Rep) make those tapes is for home. I think it was the second one or the third one.

Cristina: I think it was the third one.

Jon: Yeah and they just make them as home video, as an advance or maybe for cable shows, but small local cable access shows. Other than that they didn’t really spend much time doing it.

Cristina: I think they send ti to MTV, but [probably like most indie labels] will just throw it right back out.

Jon: Yeah, it was done way after the record came out. It was done for the express reason of going on the compilation.

Michele: I’m sure DGC will furnish something far more glamorous.

Cristina: Yes, I think they will, that’s one of the reasons for going with a major. We can make videos, play more…

Michele: Which leads me to the question of: How does a band that plays so infrequently get signed to a prestigious label like Geffen?

Cristina: Because we’re so great!

Jon: Because we’re so fucking great!

Michele: I knew you’d say that.

Cristina: You set yourself up for that one.

Michele: Actually Jack Martin told me you’d say that.

Jon: Well, you tell Jack Martin that I had to suck a lotta cock.

Cristina: Jon slept with David Geffen so… (laughter from everyone)

Michele: Actually Jack Martin told me you’d say that. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Cristina: I think we’ve answered your question.

Michele: Cristina, how do you feel about performing live? Do you like it or could you take it or leave it?

Cristina: I love it, another reason we signed with DGC. To do it more often and in better places. Yeah, I love performing live.

Michele: What about you Jens?

Jens: Yeah, that’s what I enjoy the most.

Michele (to Jens) I never see you around. You seem very inconspicuous. I see everyone else like hangin’ and stuff, but never you.

Jon: You’re not looking that hard.

Cristina: He’s there lurking in the corner.

Jon: He’s the man behind the scene.

Cristina: He doesn’t drink so he doesn’t hang in bars as much as we do

Michele: Connie and I are out all the time… we see so many bands and it’s not hard to decipher who’s the more interesting project compared to who is doing just what everyone else is doing. Girl + was such a strong concept from the music to the art direction and packaging, production… Shit what was this all leading up to?

Cristina: I don’t know but that was lovely though, thank you.

Michele: Oh yeah, do you feel Boss Hog stands out and why?

Cristina: Yes, because they’re shit and we’re not…(said jokingly). I hope we stand out. We’re not your typical grunge band. We play what we know how to play. It’s not like we are trying to be different.

Jon: And we know Jack Martin.

Michele: Who’s that?

Cristina: Doesn’t he have a sister named Stacy Atkins?

Michele: Where are your most receptive crowds?

Crisitna: Germany…No! Boston – they’re consistent everywhere.

Jon: Do you know the name of the kid, you see him at the shows and he wears this skeleton on his jacket?

Michele: I know who you’re talking about – -He freaks me out -he’s everywhere. I call him The Doll.

Jon: Here’s a great idea, Stacy Atkins interviews Skeleton Boy – a big feature.

Michele: Does the band work well together, like do you just go with the flow?

Jon: It’s a tense kind of flow. (Jon and Cristina look at each other and laugh)

Cristina: That’s very appropriate. We get along pretty well personally, except for Jon and me, who hate each other. There are moments…

Michele: I guess that’s a different department. So how much do you guys rehearse? Cristina: It depends on what we’re doing, we don’t really rehearse when we have shows.

Michele: When does your next record come out? You’re working on it right?

Cristina: It should be out in the fall.

Michele: (to Connie) Don’t you have any questions–you always have something to say?

Connie: Any chance of a Boss Hog / Blues Explosion tour?

Cristina: NEVER!

Jon: Slim.

Michele: You’d be working OVERTIME!

Connie: You’d be wasted after that one.

Jon: I’m wasted anyway.

Michele: Do any other projects interfere with Boss Hog?

Cristina: Yes! Those fucking Sonic Youth people keep getting in my face! You mean like Blues Explosion?

Michele: Yes, I was gonna try to stay away from questions like that.

Cristina: No, it’s fine. It’s just a matter of scheduling. It’s gotten a little more intense and hopefully it’ll plateau soon. I don’t think there are many conflicts with scheduling, we’ve been able to keep both things working. You know obviously we’d taken a back seat to it, like you said we haven’t toured a lot or done a lot of stuff. That might change within the next year and Jon and I will have to duke it out.

Connie: So within the next year Jon will be known as the hardest working man in rock ‘n’ roll. Cristina: (laughs) Right! He’s that now!

Michele: It’s really hard to find your records, especially the first one.

Jon: They’re pretty much our of print. The first one was limited.

Michele: Is that because Cristina appears nude on the cover?

Cristina: No, not really. It may have had something to do with it. I didn’t want to be in print forever. It was there for the time and it’s gone.

Michele: I see, it was like get it while you can.

Cristina: Yeah!”