ARTICLES, QUOTES AND INTERVIEWS
|Slash v2n6 - June
Transvestite slut divine (star of John Water's movies) , 'performed' , a while back at the ever so busy Vanguard gallery for a roomful of real suckers. The bloated sweaty wigged out bean bag actually did nothing but stage a lousy press conference (at 5 dollars a head) and answer flippantly (or so it thought) to the sometimes academic, sometimes frankly hostile questions the audience threw at her. The promised punk video show by Target did not materialize, and the evening would have been a total (and expansive) bore but it was salvaged at the last minute by LA 's newest nouveau techno punkeroos Nervous Gender, who twisted dials, shrieked, sang and generally behaved as a new band should: uncompromising and fascinating .
Slash Magazine. Vol. 2 No.6 June 1979
Phranc, Michael, Edward & Gerardo
Interviewed at the Atomic Cafe,- Downtown LA
Phranc: We made a little money - it's the first time
we've gotten paid for anything ... Although when we played that benefit
a friend of mine boycotted the door and collected $20, she ran around
saying, 'They're not paying Nervous Gender, don't give your money at the
As far as local bands, yeah.
a two-ton white trash lady
Slash Magazine Vol. 2 No 7 August 1979
Flipside Magazine #15
DAMAGE MAGAZINE Volume 1, Number 1 - July 1979
Nervous Gender is an all-electronic neurotic cabaret consisting of three synthesizers, a rhythm box one un-tuned guitar and four vocalists:
Michael Ochoa - Phranc - Edward Stapleton - Gerardo Velasquez
WHAT'S YOUR REAL HAIR COLOR?
Edward: Ha! It's really green, but I dye light brown to make it look natural.
Gerardo: Coral at the tips, platinum at the roots.
Phranc: Dark brown.
WHAT'S YOUR PREVIOUS MUSICAL EXPERIENCE?
Michael: I used to...I used to plug in the headphone to the mike in my stereo unit to get bird effect. I'm used to being insulted by members of the band.
Gerardo: I almost had an affair with my voice teacher, but she was beyond my age. I stopped being mature enough.
Michael: That never stopped you before.
Edward: I used to play records a lot and then they let me be in a band once: "Paul is Dead."
Phranc: I used to be a lesbian folksinger.
Gerardo: No, Michael, that one was only 27.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ITEM OF CLOTHING?
Michael: I don't have any. I do have one I dislike intensely.
Gerardo: What's that?'
Edward: Gerardo's tight pants and a pair of pointy shoes.
Phranc: Socks, brand new socks. Every time we play, I wear brand new socks.
WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE GAME IN GRAMMAR SCHOOL?
Michael: I had none! I hated everyone in elementary school! I hate kids!
Edward: We used to pinch each other's tits a lot.
Gerardo: Handball. I used to do "grounders" real well.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE CANDY?
Edward: Cadbury's chocolate fruit and nut and Toblerone from Switzerland.
Michael: What's that candy called? Ice Cubes. They're little and they used to cost 2 cents each until inflation came and now they're 5 cents
Gerardo: I don't have one unless you count LSD and sugar cubes...it makes me sick to my stomach, but I love it. My biggest fear in life is throwing up.
Michael: You're a sissy at throwing-up.
Edward: Well that's just mentally retarded. Anyone that's into torturing himself that much has gotta be a Catholic.
Phranc: I hate mints - I love my artificial Barton's chocolates that I got for an Easter present. It looks like a real one-pound box of candy.
DO YOU DATE?
Michael: Oh god!
Gerardo: I wish!
Gerardo: He doesn't need to.
Edward: I'll tell Christine what you said.
Michael: She loves me!
Phranc: I get nervous.
DOES YOUR MOTHER APPROVE OF YOU?
Gerardo: She can't help it.
Michael: No comment.
Edward:' She can't read English.
Michael: ... she did say it was going to my head.
Edward: What was?
Michael: The band.
Edward: Both my parents totally agree that it is wonderful that I'm getting out at last.
Gerardo: Yeah, Edward, you deserve to be. Hated.
Phranc: I hate my mommy. I hate my daddy. I hope they don't see this.
Edward: When I go over there, they won't say anything about my hair. They're frightened of me. I throw screaming fits.
Phranc: That's what I say to them - "Do you want to see me at all- Do you want to see me at all?" - and they shut up too. They've shut up.
ARE YOU A POSEUR?
Edward: Mentally, but not physically.
Gerardo: I practice alot at home.
Michael: I never know what the latest Fashions are. I can't afford to be one.
Edward: It's a belief to me. What I think a poseur is someone who wouldn't come to their mother's friend's house. We should define the difference between a poseur and a dandy . . .
Gerardo: You go to the bank . . . you dress a bit of bank.
Edward: Traditional poseur or non-traditional poseur?
Gerardo: I'm not saying they are two kinds.
Edward: The country poseur, the city slicker poseurs.
Michael: (singing) We're all poseurs from different suburbs...
Phranc: I don't know. I use the word a lot
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE RECORD?
Gerardo: I don't know. I've been out of listening to records for so long, I don't know what's going on.
Edward: I haven't had much time, but I do like "Guerre Deson."
Phranc: Peter, Paul and Mary - "Moving."
Michael: I like a tape that I have of the Bags like at Madam Wong's the night they were banned.
Gerardo:' I don't understand why the Bags don't like people to get wild.
ARE YOU HAVING FUN?
Phranc: Yeah, I'm having a great time.
Gerardo: I'm nervous . . .No! No! Retract that. I'm not nervous. I'm not nervous.
Edward: Yeah, I like this interview a lot.
Gerardo. Yeah, I'm having a good time. I'm only saying that because I'm amongst friends
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP?
Gerardo: I want to be a genetic engineer.
Michael: I want to be an electronics engineer specializing in communications. I want to work in an inner space station.
Edward: Sex symbol and retire at an early age.
Gerardo: Fat chance! You're never gonna grow up.
Phranc: A fireman.
WHERE DO YOU LIVE?
Michael: Boyle Heights, right across the bridge from the Atomic.
Edward: How trendy!
Gerardo: I live in Chololandia, right down the street from Michael.
Phranc: I live in a rat hole on Normal Avenue.
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE BAND?
Edward: That's a hard one.
Michael: I love the Bags. I think I have a crush, on Alice and Rob.
Edward: No, I've changed my mind.
Edward: Shirley Bassey. I do like Shirley.
Gerardo: She doesn't count. If she counts, I get Eartha Kitt. She's not an Oreo cookie.
Michael: Have you seen those new billboards downtown, those cancer billboards? With the hand and the breast?
Phranc: Oh yeah, I just saw one.
HOW DID YOU ALL MEET?
Phranc: I met Edward one night that the Mutants played at Baceís Hall. I pogoed with him and he stuck his tongue in my mouth.
Michael: Did you bite it off?
Edward: I was the one that suggested it you little bitch!
Michael: I was forced on the band by a close friend.
Gerardo: He's just jealous because you didn't kiss him on the pogo floor.
Edward: I didn't meet Nervous Gender! I made Nervous Gender! Don't put that down!
Gerardo: Edward never delivers.
(NG) Put that down!
Edward: You little Rotters!
Gerardo: I met Edward in an art gallery. He was with this slut that was hanging all over him. She had bought him some trendy shoes. We were standing by the beef tongues.
WHAT ARE YOUR FUTURE PLANS?
Edward: To get very theatrical.
Michael: Yeah, we plan to add Mylar to our lives.
Nervous Gender Interview. Creep Magazine 1979
Nervous Gender started out as four people, one in Dublin Ireland, one
in Mexico, one in Los Angeles, and one in an undisclosed location
elsewhere in the United States. About a year ago they came together in
Los Angeles and since then have been playing regularly in Los Angeles
and all too infrequently in San Francisco.
Although they have been referred to as a synthesizers band, according
to them, their line-up is as follows:
We are people who are willing to take Chances visually, playing for
people who are willing to get excited by the music. The visual thing is
|Slash Magazine, Vol. 3 #1 1979
NERVOUS GENDER, FEAR, BRAINIACS AT THE ANTICLUB (12-6-79)
Nervous Gender, cockroaches, Fear, cockroaches, the Brainiacs, and more cockroaches. It was sometime after the second round that I noticed that the spots on the bar were moving. Not only that, they had antennae! I slid over to the pool table where John Doe of X, Top Jimmy, and Derf of Fear toasted sportsmanship and racked-up for some eight ball.
The Brianiacs worked hard proving to be a lot more rowdy than their 45. They need to work up their stage presence, though, and I soon drifted back to the pool sharks.
Fear didn't crack too many jokes tonight because the fuses at the Anticlub could not withstand the onslaught of their artillery. Equipment kept breaking down. The band held onto their cool and spat in the face of electronic adversity. While everyone waited, the bar again exercised its magical spell, an uncanny magnetism that could've had something to do with the price of beer, a mere dollar a bottle. Soon pennies were wedged tightly in the fuse box and Fear, with Lee Ving, the vial of nitro-glycerin in combat boots, muscled their way through to the end of their set.
By the time Nervous Gender came on, the competency of those in the billiards area had degenerated in direct proportion to the number of beer bottles on the floor. On stage, Phranc looks like a 14 year old runaway from a boys' reform school. And when she wacks her head repeatedly in time to the synthesizers in "Gestalt", you wonder if she'll ever be fit to function in "normal society". But a place in genteel civilization is not exactly what Nervous Gender is aiming for.
The Anticlub is one of the best fun-dives in town ... despite the racial conflict generated by the insect population.
VOXPOP, at King's Palace, 11/18/79
In this, their first performance, Voxpop managed to amuse, excite, and blast the ears off of the small, but appreciative audience. Heavy metal meets psychedelic punk. Featuring personnel from bands current (Nervous Gender, The Germs) and past (Consumers, Yvonnes). Tonight was the first time all the members of the band have played together. Guitarist/singer Jeff Dahl has a whole repertoire of heavy metal poses that are too funny to be faked, and Don Bolles offers ear-wrenching guitar leads and feedback, with his surprisingly powerful vocals. Paul Cutler is simply amazing, prowling around the stage, eyes bugged, looking like an over-active I satyr. He plays his bass in more ways and positions than I thought humanly possible. In her stage debut, Mary Sims looks fetchingly post-mortem with her too-white skin and hair, and wanders around the stage, singing, talking, laughing, adding her most effective presence to the proceedings.
Add to all this Michael Ochoa's slippery synthesizer, which saves several numbers from complete overkill and provides a frantic, humorous backdrop to the wall of heavy metal.
The songs range from the Consumers' original "Punk Church", to the classic "Heroin", with a particular standout medley of Faust with "We're an American Band", featuring rousing vocals by Don, Mary and Paul. Completely unprofessional, fun to watch, and hard to listen to. Voxpop is for the hard-core with a sense of humor.
- Laurie O'Connell
|Slash Magazine Vol. 3, No. 3
Big shot promoter Gary Perkins, proprietor of Avalon Attractions, who dropped by the Whisky for the Mommy Men / Nervous Gender show thought Gender was "horrible" "repulsive" and "thoroughly despicable" since, he said, they were trying hard to "disturb" the audience and not to "entertain" them by "working out their personal anger and frustrations on stage". Come on, Gary, we never thought of Nervous Gender as easy listening either! Meanwhile, a gaggle of top flight "square" musicians from Donna Summers' band who recently befriended the Mommy Men loved it! They ate it up and wanted to know when both bands were playing again.
NERVOUS GENDER & GEZA X & MOMMY MEN at the Whisky
Nervous Gender's primary virtue is that they exist at all. They're condemned to languish out this existence in an awkward and haltering position - but they persevere with a peculiar, near reverent integrity toward it. If one can transform a dolorous fate into a poetic vision then harrowing monsters may be born. Nervous Gender's visions came with birth, not by invention. They stand out by their fading away, like a stranger in a dark corner who needn't show his face.
Like this stranger, they stand little chance of acceptance by the
crowd. Their estrangement takes the form of an alluring aloofness - a
decisive emotional distance from the goings-on. Theirs is not the way of
cleverness - if they remain "unapproachable", it's not by an
elaborately modeled persona (like the Pistols or Screamers), but by
their grim nakedness, their ability to show scars.
Gerardo, Edward, Mike and Paul are all powerful vocalists, and the rotation between them is real good. Gerardo is the most disturbing presence, (silently) pulsating with some kind of psychological gravity. The lowlight of this show was seeing Paul, who is usually stuck behind the keyboards with The Screamers, belting out vocal blisters on Carly Simon's "The Slave". For his efforts, the little angel blew the guts out of the sound system. Bravo, Paul.
Nervous Gender's only comic relief is Sven, the drummer, who's about eight years old. But even then you wonder what the little fellow's seen to make him look forty. Nervous Gender is not for lightweights, but neither is life.
|Slash Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 5
"LIVE AT TARGET"
FACTRIX, NERVOUS GENDER, UNS, FLIPPER
Subterranean Records (SF)
Factrix delivers the two best cuts on the album right off. "Night to Forget" is, if you have to draw comparisons, Black Sabbath meets PiL. Wonderful dirge guitar that isn't the familiar experimental jerk-off groans throught a blasted mental nocturne. Likewise "Subterfuge." Never went much for Nervous Gender except when Phranc was in the group. However, "Miscarriage," "Scandanavian Dilemma," "Poet" and "Confession" aren't bad. Side 2 isn't as intriguing. Uns is formless and, even now, I've no definite impression of them except for somebody doing non-sequitor arty jokes through what sounds like an airport P.A. speaker. Flipper closes things out. Never much liked them either. I thought "Earthworm" sucked, cutesy, smark-aleck stuff undeserving of the pseudo-cult status built up around it. What's on this is the same psychic sludge, but I liked it, especially "Low Rider." "LIVE AT TARGET" doesn't quite live up to my expectations. But it remains a shadowy trip through the underworld, the kind of thing you'd enjoy listening to on Halloween around midnight.
NERVOUS GENDER was interviewed at Shakey's Pizza in Little Tokyo by R. Hill.
FS: Your songs are pretty extreme, should they be taken seriously?
Gerardo: They're not extreme, they're pop songs. We followed the music formula the Beatles set down.
FS: Who writes the music?
Gerardo: Well we both (Gerardo and Edward Stapleton) write the music, usually whoever writes the song.
FS: Who does most of the lyric writing?
Edward: Gerardo does most of the lyrics, I do some of them. The lyrics come first and we fill it up with sounds that are appropriate to the words.
FS: What are your lyrics based on, personal experiences or just fantasy?
Edward: Some of them are fantasies that hopefully we'll come across in time.
Gerardo: Some are other peopleís experiences.
FS: How did you think your opera came out?
Gerardo: It's not an opera, it s a thing.
Edward: A thing.
Gerardo: It fell apart, the first part was good but it was too much to do in a short amount of time.
Edward: But a lot came out that we can use for other things.
Gerardo: Weíre going to do a video of it.
Edward: In the video we'll have a lot more control and be able to use stronger images.
FS: Was that the first opera you've done.
Edward: The first one we've performed.
Gerardo: We have others written.
FS: Will you perform any of those in the future?
Gerardo: I'd like to put them out but most of them haven't been completed yet. We'll get them out, God willing.
FS: 'God -willing?' Some of your religious songs don't seem to be on Gods side too much.
Gerardo: They say nothing about God, only about Jesus Christ.
Edward: People always associate one with the other.
FS: What do you think about Jesus Christ?
Gerardo: If he existed...
Edward: He was a fascist pig.
FS: But arenít you fascist pigs?
Edward: Yes, but he was a bad one.
FS: And you're good ones?
Edward: We're practicing.
FS: Do you want authority over people.
Gerardo: Oh total.
FS: Over everyone, or just particular people?
Gerardo: All the good looking ones.
FS: Are any of you songs meant to be antagonistic towards women?
Gerardo: One of them was, or not actually it wasn't.
Edward: Are you talking about 'Fat Cowí?
Gerardo: That one was.
Edward: It was towards a woman.
Gerardo: See, all our songs are love songs.
Edward: I generally don't react strongly towards people I don't like, so I donít write about them. That song was about one woman that I did love but it didn't work out so I felt anger.
FS: For about the last year, youíve kept a low profile. Is there any reason for that?
Gerardo: Because we haven't gotten much press coverage, but we've consistently played once a month.
Edward: Even when, we do get press coverage, they edit a lot of the things we want to say.
FS: When will your album be out? Gerardo: About 3 weeks.
Edward: The Opera, "our thing" will be on it.
Gerardo: That's the other half of our album.
Edward: You shouldn't say that we did both because some of the opera really will offend and I get paranoid sometimes.
Gerardo: We're scared to shit of Christians and Jews.
FS: Do you think they will take any direct action against you?
Gerardo: I hope they burn the record. I really do. You know how they have had record burnings lately? Itís sort of like "We always knew that rock and roll was devil music, but this one isn't even trying to hide it".
Edward: I've had reactions towards Christians. When we talk about being fascist, a lot of it is the accepting in yourself about wanting control. The problem with the Christians is that they want to control everything, which is not a bad concept if you have something to offer.
FS: Do you have something to offer?
Edward: Oh yeah, good times.
Gerardo: Repression. Total control. Everybody wants total control.
FS: Not everyone can have it.
Edward: That's true.
Gerardo: I want to become Emperor. That's my goal in life. You just have to start brainwashing the populace.
FS: Through what means are you going to do that?
Edward: Weíll start with visual images in Flipside.
Gerardo: Weíre already working on our second album. Itís going to be called "The American Regime" and itís all about implicit fascism. The songs range from one about how great it is to be totally controlledÖ
FS: Depends on who is controlling.
Gerardo: If youíre totally controlled it doesnít matter. Americans have this false idea of Freedom. Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose. In order for that, you first have to lose your sense of individuality. You can lose your life then youíll be totally free.
FS: If you donít believe in individualityÖ
Gerardo: Itís not that I donít, but I think it should be programmed into you.
FS: Youíd rather have people be a massÖ
Gerardo: No, No. I think there should be little groups of people. I think everything should be in its place. If youíre a misfit, you must become a heroin addict and kill yourself. Either way you enjoy your self.
FS: You want order.
Gerardo: Yeah, but to the outside world it will look like anarchy.
FS: Donít you think there will be a lot of conflict?
Gerardo: I certainly hope so! Thatís the difference between Marxism and Fascism. Marxism thinks there is this world with peace and everyone will love each other. Thatís stupid, that can never happen because people are not equal. Some people are born to control and others to be controlled.
FS: And youíre one born to controlÖ
Gerardo: I certainly hope so. Deep down inside everyone wants to control. That is why everyone is a fascist pig. Whether they try to avoid it or not, thatís something else.
Edward: We already live under a fascist regime. They still want control. What they do control is disgusting.
Gerardo: Thatís because they made the stupid mistake of telling everyone they were free. Thereís no such thing as that.
FS: You think they should be totally honest?
Gerardo: Yeah. Itís a lot more frustrating for me to be watching television and watching their stupid attempts at propaganda. It comes to a point were we just laugh at it. Then we get depressed. Not that Iíd like to be in Russia because they are even worse at it. But the government should defiantly take control and take responsibility for the way I think.
FS: Do you think that one person or one body of people should control?
Gerardo: I totally believe in the American constitution. It should be a body of people with a system of checks and balances.
FS: So deep down insideÖ.
Gerardo: No, Iím not into democracy at all. I believe smarty people should rule the country not the moral majority crap. Have you heard them on television? They donít know the first thing about any thing. Theyíre totally led by their emotions and by the half-baked way they understand what it said in the bible.
FS: Itís obvious you have pretty strong political views, why arenít they in your songs?
Gerardo: I sing about love, but also my frustrations about love. Take this one song Edward wrote ĎChristian Loversí. Itís about mutilating Christians and eating them. Itís all because they are responsible for sexuality of any sort, be it bestiality or whatever to be considered evil. In the old world, people didnít care. Weíre trying to start a pagan religion cause we want people to feel the same way, that what people do on their own time is no sin against god.
FS: What happens to the people who donít believe your religion?
Edward: If we are successful at the brain washing, we wonít have to get rid of anybody.
Gerardo: No we wonít. Now were getting into the bad side of me. I started to think of all these horrible things to do to them.
FS: There is a bad side to you?
Gerardo: Thereís a bad side to everyone. Even Yoko Ono admitted that in the last Rolling Stone.
FS: Are you a fan of hers?
Gerardo: I like her a lot because sheís really self destructive. One thing I hate about John Lennon dying is it made her un-self destructive. She stopped writing songs about smashing her face thru a clear glass window, and started writing these weird songs.
(Talk drifts back to Ďcontrolí and how Hitler was "ideologically pure"Ö..)
Gerardo: Hitler became power crazy & tried to take it all too fast.
Edward: He should have made an album first.
FS: So it has to be a slow process?
Gerardo: It does. I was checking out some books on fascism the other day, there werenít any good ones of course, because the Germans lost the war. In one book it said the problem with communism and fascism is that it takes one leader to carry it through. Now that is true but that doesnít make it any less proper than democracy. Democracy goes nowhere as opposed to where you have one person that wants to create something or take society towards one goal then it means something, but it takes so long to wipe out the memory of how things were. Itís still the best choice we got.
FS: What is selective annihilation?
Gerardo: First you kill off all the people who believe in stupid things like Christianity. Itís like it said in the opera. "Ours is not a war Ė it is a mission. We are here to educate and if necessary annihilate".
FS: Is there any reason you never play with punk bands anymore?
Edward: They donít ask us. Generally most bands are paranoid to play with us no matter who they are.
FS: Do you think a punk audience would like you?
Edward: The early punks did.
Gerardo: One of the things that stood in our way is that we donít have guitars. Itís not my fault I canít play guitar. What do you mean by punk audience?
FS: Say your average Black Flag audience.
Gerardo: You mean those Nuevo punks. They see us onstage and donít see a guitar so they go "like man we donít comprehend. They must be like art rock or something". So they donít like us. I succeed in getting the synthesizer to sound like a guitar on tapes but live there isnít one. The electronic bands hate us for the same reason. We donít sound like Kraftwerk or disco.
Edward: Iíd like to see more unity in the scene, either the punk scene or the art scene or any scene. But its just not happening. It was going on in the beginning but now there are so many punks, many became punks just because of the TV shows and the media image.
Gerardo: Donít you just love the Go-Goís?
|Flipside Magazine #31,
Brave Dog Party with Nervous Gender, Strong Silent Types and Gobshite 3/82 by Robert Hill
This invitation only private party was not only for the closing of L.A.'s only truly alternative club, but also a release party for Nervous Gender's long awaited album "Music From Hell". I had expected a small gathering but the place was more crowded than it had ever been during it's regular gigs. Nervous Gender played just about all the songs off their album plus old favorites that they seldom do like "Jesus Christ", "Gestalt" and "Mommy's Chest". Their set didn't suffer too much from the absence of drummer Don Bolles and all of them seemed to have a good time. Preceding N.G. were Strong Silent Types and the very minimal Gobshite, who use only a rhythm box and a flanger. Things started to gradually disintegrate after Nervous Gender's set and various people took over the stage. Juan Gomez, Craig Lee and Bill Bartell played Velvet Underground songs and then there was a surprise reunion of the Speed Queens. It was a shame when it was all over because there will never be another Brave Dog.