Me First & The Gimme Gimmes Interview - Spike Slawson | ThePunkSite.com
First & The Gimme Gimmes
Fat Wreck Chords
The Phoenix - Toronto, Ontario
November 30th, 2006
Ask anybody who has played in a punk band, and most will say they started
out playing cover songs. Covers are used as a tool to learn instruments, form
camaraderie, and to play an entire song from start to finish while forming
the bands identity.
Now for the exception to that rule, bring on Me First and The Gimmee
A punk rock super group that exclusively plays cover songs, but no punk rock
covers here. They choose to cover material rarely touched or associated with
punk rock, like John Denver, or the Dixie Chicks.
The band is comprised of punk rock veterans Fat Mike of NOFX,
Joey Cape and Dave Raun of Lagwagon, Chris Sheffiet of the
Foo Fighters, and Spike Slawson of the Swingin' Utters.
I had a brief moment to sit down with singer Spike Slawson before the Gimmee
Gimmee’s took stage recently as well as two other bands Fat Wreck
Chordbands the Sainte Catherines, and Dead
To Me at the Phoenix in Toronto.
Please note: The photos were taken from Fat Wreck Chords and are copyright
their rightful owner.
Well Spike I would like to start out with the 5 W’s. Who, What, When,
Spike: Me and some guys wanted to start a cover band that wasn’t quite as
serious as our other bands. Why? Well just because we wanted to, and that applies
to the other W’s.
Lanny: How are all the bands getting along? Any fun tales at the boarder?
Spike: Nothing really fun, or crazy. Actually just really tired. These short little
jaunts are kind of bizarre. They take you from here to there, so fast, that
you get torn from life, sort of.
Lanny: Now I have to ask. Last fall you guys played at a Pittsburgh Pirates
World Series Playoff game, and were fired, booed, and chased out of Pittsburgh
by an unruly mob. As individual members of some of the most successful punk
of all time, how did that experience feel?
Spike: No! Not chased out of Pittsburgh by an unruly mob. It was weird, but I
am from there and a lot of my friends and family where there. Afterwards it
didn’t fell very serious.
Lanny: So, do you guys wear out your Black Berry’s trying to organize
some shows, with so many bands conflicting band schedules?
Spike: No Black Berry’s here man! No it works out, everybody just makes
Lanny: Being in a famous cover band, have you had any weird, or creepy
incidents where you have received constructive criticism from any of the artist’s
you have covered?
Spike: The Eagles denied us permission to do their song for a video, and their
manager said they wanted us to know furthermore that the Eagles hated us.
Lanny: That’s very interesting, and for what song was that?
Spike: The song was Desperado, and if it’s any consolation, I hate the song
Lanny: Now I am wondering if you guys have any themes planned for future Me First
albums in the future?
Spike: Ahh No, this one just kind of happened, and we will have to wait to see
Lanny: I was kind of hoping I could suggest a Canadian Classic rock theme. A lot
of material to draw from there.
Spike: I would consider doing trios. You have Triumph, Rush, even No Means No.
Lanny: So which US city would your new Country covers album do the best in?
Spike: Oh boy, I have no idea. The Red states, I don’t know if it would
go over well, and I don’t care. We seem to draw a lot of bridge and tunnel
people, so I honestly couldn’t say. We play cities obviously because
they are better to play, but I just don’t know what city the album would
go over well in. I would think that in the Red State cities that, they would
think it was too much lampooning, and they would not like it, but like I said
I could care a less.
Lanny: So you think they would take it as a mochary? But like you said
Spike: Exactly! We pay people publishing rights, and there is an exorbitant amount
of money paid to use the stuff, and license it in a way that we can record
and produce the songs.
Lanny: To get off topic here Spike, I know you have a Pittsburgh Penguins
tattoo on your forearm, how much have you been loving the play of Sid “the kid” Crosby
Spike: I haven’t been following at all.
Lanny: He is ripping it up. One of the best in the NHL.
Spike: My friend Little John told me that’s who to watch. He is a bigger
fan, and I haven’t watched for a couple of seasons with the strike and
all, and that’s the last I paid attention to the Penguins. Jager was
doing something weird. It didn’t seem like he wanted to play with Mario
Lanny: Well that’s about all the time I have today, I want to thank
you for taking some time out to talk to me today, and good luck with the