The 5:15ers: Rabies Shots a Mile Long
Originally appeared in LA Record (2006)

Chris Goss and Josh Homme launched the 5:15ers after a phone call from Arthur's Jay Babcock which presented an opportunity of cosmic significance. Their appearance at ArthurBall will be their very first show. They speak from the back seat of a Chevy pick-up truck in the dirt parking lot of the Rancho de la Luna studio in Joshua Tree.

How should we psychologically prepare ourselves for the 5:15ers?

Chris Goss:For boredom.

Josh Homme:The 5:15ers sound a lot like someone tapping you on the left shoulder continuously after you asked them to stop. It's like fashion week - there's a certain joie de vivre.

Will you be wearing street clothes or robes?

J:I just want to say that that's the best question I've ever been asked in my life. I like when someone asks me if I'm going to be wearing street clothes in a certain situation and the alternative is robes. After dressing like the Captain and Tennille for this, I feel like anything's possible.

C:To be honest, the Captain is a pretty fair form of how I dress.

Because you’re sailing the Salton Sea?

J:It's not your everyday vacation spot where you can see 3,000 dead fish and 1,200 dead birds on the shoreline.The slogan should be: 'THE SALTON SEA: THE FISHIN' IS EASY!'

C:It's a good place for musicians to make scale.

J:You can really stay afloat.

C:They don't dock you.

J:Sea? Shore you sea. And I really like egg puns. I like to say, 'Omelette this continue.'

C:Come on, don't crack him up anymore.

Is the vinegaroon your favorite desert insect?

J:When Chris first moved to the desert, we were sitting on the couch, and they're so aggressive - we were talking about them, and he looks down and one ran over his chest, and it was like when an elephant is afraid of mice.

C:I kind of danced for like ten minutes.


C:I scream like a little girl when a bug is on me. But we don’t have vinegaroons in the desert - we have solpugids. A cousin of the scorpion, called wind scorpions, and they’re also in the African desert and the Australian desert. People would call them vinegaroons and when I first moved to the desert thirteen years ago, I looked up in bug books what I was seeing. I was watching a nature show and a guy with a British accent - like Richard Attenborough - was like, 'The aggressive solpugid comes out of its hole!' They have a segmented body like an ant - they're like plastic white olives with legs.

J:The worst thing is trying to step on one unless you're on concrete. You step on one on dirt and you hear that crunch, but that's them cracking their knuckles. And you pick up your foot and it shakes off the dirt like a wet dog and then turns to face you.

C:I picked one off my neck in the middle of the night and threw it across the room, and I threw it by accident into a fan and that immediately killed it. But I got freaked and went looking for it because they come back.

They're like zombies. You have to get a head shot.

C:They're attracted to movement and vibrations.

J:We should almost change our name to 'The Solpugids' because we're also attracted to movement and vibrations. And we're both so white we're almost clear. We're almost like white ants that are kind of blind.

What's the worst thing that ever bit you?

J:Chris. Got rabies shots a mile long. I was bit by a scorpion here at the Rancho. I'd ridden up here from the low desert with no shoes on in the summer - because I'm intelligent - and I stepped out of the car to grab a 12-pack of beer and something bit me, and I lifted up my foot and in the light of the car I saw a scorpion hanging from my foot. At night, I couldn't really see, but there are two types of scorpions here - one is like six hours of gut-wrenching pain and the other is a bee sting. So I slapped it off with my hand and then got so nervous I shat someone else's pants because mine were filled. So I started drinking because I wanted to be drunk if I was going to go through the agony. And because I was writing a school paper on stupidity.

C:I was attacked by a billy goat when I was three years old. A black billy goat on a chain at my grandmother's house. He attacked me and ran me over and stood above me, face to face, like Satan. That started my long-term relationship with Beelzebub.

I got attacked by a duck once.

J:Were you just quacking up the whole time? I've been pulled off a bicycle by a German shepherd - it got me by my ankle and pulled me off, with the owner standing there looking at him, like a zombie. I kind of had to choke the dog 'til it let me go.

I heard if a dog attacks you, you push an arm all the way down its throat and start pulling out organs.

J:The throat or the ass, whatever hole is closest - just make an attempt to get the innards. I actually put a thumb in his eye.

That's how you get rid of a shark.

J:Yeah, I learned it in shark-defending school.

Do a lot of things try to kill you?

J:I've had people offer to kill me before, but it never felt like the right time.

It's special because you only get to do it once.

J:Actually, Chris and I are able to do it four times each, but I wanna save it - give it to someone special because I screwed up with my virginity.

What if you lost your virginity and got killed at the same time?

J:Dude, a girl can dream. That could probably happen out here. There's a lot of creative murder.

A guy can get a lot of time to think.

J:Probably too much. Meth has a way of making you over-think it.

Do you ever pick up hitchhikers?

J:I just pull up next to 'em and say like, 'Need a ride? Good luck!' That's why people offer to kill me.

Hitchhikers want to kill everyone.

J:Thanks for cheapening it for me. The last one I picked up didn't talk for fifteen miles and then said, 'So you want me to kill you or not?'

C:This kind of interview really translates well - every two parts, put 'long uncomfortable silence.'

We like to leave people unsatisfied anyway.

J:I like leaving people like that, and I got so much practice from all the sex I've had. Uncomfortable and unsatisfied. I’ve never said, 'This never happened to me before.' I say, 'This happens to me all the time, and it's on purpose.'