Gig Of The Week
Interview by Birgit Martinussen
Originally appeared in Kerrang! (2001)

What do you all have planned for these K!-Fest shows?

Chris Goss: "You can expect loud rock 'n' roll! I'll tell you what you won't see. Most video clips from so-called heavy bands today look very choreographed and phony to me, and I can tell you it's not phony for us - it's for real! It's musicians playing rock. It is not flavour of the week jerks, singing in the style of the week, playing in the style of the week. We play what we love. And it is actually the only way I know how to play..."

Mark Lanegan: "I guess they can at the very least expect an old guy to stand there and sing some songs. Anything else that happens is usually beyond my control. I don't have any fireworks displays if that's what you are asking. It will be very stripped down, very bare. I am just not the guy that goes in for pomp and circumstance. You go up, play some tunes, you go somewhere else."

Who's playing with whom?

Chris: "Masters of Reality will have John Leamy on drums, Josh Homme on guitar and Nick Oliveri on bass and myself playing guitar and singing."

Mark: "Basically it is a sort of loose gang of pals. I know that the guys have talked in the past about getting something going that was sort of all 20 or 30 guys that are always playing on each other's things, and make it one big band, and going around that way. But this is as close as we could get for this time frame. We see it as a good opportunity to go on vacation. A good time to get out of the dangerous States."

How is that going to influence the set-list?

Chris: "It is going to rock. I know that. I have been working with Josh Homme for 11 years now and this is the first time that we've actually gone out and toured and played together onstage. It's really kind of like a dream come true. I can't wait actually. I think it is really going to be a great night for guitar music."

Mark: "I think there will be a little of everything, if we can learn enough songs in time."

Chris: "We are doing separate sets, but we're already talking about collaborating on a song or two. We'll have to see what happens. What is really cool is that Gene Trautman who is from QOTSA will be playing drums with Mark, and Dave Catching another ex-QOTSA will be playing bass with Mark. So what we really have for the UK shows is just a bunch of old mates going out together. It should be cool. I guess there is an old school factor to what we do, that supposedly separates us from what a lot of the new rock sounds like. And just so many years of knowledge of all the players combined, is what makes it really interesting for me."

Mark: "I can neither confirm or deny anything."

Pre- and post-show rituals?

Chris: "It is pretty simple with me. I can't smoke weed before a show because it fucks up my throat. After a show is actually my favourite time to have dinner. I like to go somewhere very quiet to unwind or else if I start drinking and doing excessive mind-altering things, I don't know when to stop, and I'd be in the hospital the next day."

So how do you cope with Nick Oliveri?

Chris: "Oh, Nick is a wonderful drunk actually. I have obviously spent hundreds of evenings watching Nick with a bottle of bourbon in his hand, and Nick knows that when he is about to reach the point of becoming obnoxious, that's when he goes away. I think he is a self-concious drunk and I am much the same way. When I get to the point of where I feel I am about to make an ass of myself, that's when I slip away, and I've noticed Nick doing the same thing. When you have reached the point where you think you are God, it is time to leave the party. Or go pull someone away and go fuck somewhere. You know, my days of dancing on the tables for everyone's enjoyment, those are gladly over. I get it out onstage."

We should leave your show feeling...?

Chris: "Jipped! Ripped off! Disappointed! Let down... ha ha ha! You should leave the show feeling... sexy!"

Mark: "Ahhhh, I'd like them to leave not bent on killing me. And on the high end, I'd like them to leave feeling like they just had a wonderful heart-warming experience, that they'll treasure forever."