eGigs chats to guitarist Bob Balch before a rare UK show.
Howís the tour going?
Great, itís wrapping up now, weíve got three shows left. Weíve been here
since the beginning of April, so quite a long time. The shows have been
Why name yourselves after a fictional evil genius from China? Or his
Itís really got nothing to do with that, it just sounds cool! Thereís no
real connection or anything, it just sounded cool at the time.
Tuned, low, fuzzy, riff-orientated I suppose.
Why do people call you Ďstoner rockí?
I dunno. We donít really write any songs about pot, I guess itís just that
sound, a lot of stoner rock bands sound like that.
Tons of stuff. For the Fu Manchu thing itís mostly seventies rock and early
eighties hardcore punk. Like Cactus, ZZ Top, AC/DC, Minor Threat, Black
Flag, that kind of stuff.
The topics of your songs have been some strange things, like pinball,
Bigfoot and poker.
Why do we have songs about pinball? I guess itís just what we grew up
around; we all grew up down near the beach in California. We just write
about our surroundings.
How do you explain Bigfoot then?
[laughs] Thatís the singer [Scott Hill], he has a big fascination with
Bigfoot. Heís got tons of movies and stuff about Bigfoot.
This is your tenth album. Do you find it easier to write songs now then 17
Yeah, because weíve all been playing together for a while now, so we know
what to expect from each other. We can write stuff that caters to each
How do you think it compares to your earlier albums?
We try to make things different every time. This time we have brought back
some of the old fuzz pedals that we have used in the past. Thatís kind of a
similarity but we tried to get more of an aggressive sound and make it more
like a raw recording.
How can you still play as a band after nearly 20 years? Any tips?
I dunno; I didnít think it would last this long. If you get along with
everybody and you like what youíre doing then it just kinda happens that
way. If we had to force it or we werenít having fun doing it we wouldnít do
You play a few covers by bands (Van Halen, Blue Oyster Cult). Do you think
that they ever heard them?
The guys from Devo heard theirs, and they said they really liked it, but
they said that we screwed up the last lyric. Which we did, Ďcos weíre
idiots. We didnít put much thought into it, just said "Letís cover that Devo
song". We got to meet them; that was really cool. We read in a magazine
later on that we screwed it up. They didnít say it was us, but they were
like "People cover this song and everyone messes up the last few lines" and I was like "Oh Shit, we messed it up!".
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article by: Danielle Millea
photos by: Danielle Millea
| published: 07/06/2007 09:28|