Interview – Nick Oliveri (Mondo Generator)

These are strange times. The world as we know it is changing in front of our eyes. And there’s nothing we can do about it. Our understanding of what’s normal is mutating. We are turning into these isolated creatures, unable to comprehend but feeling very deeply what’s surround us. Subnoise asked me to prepare some questions for Nick Oliveri after the release of the new Mondo Generator‘s album, Fuck It, and the revision of Shooters Bible. Some weeks passed, and right now the uncertainty is the only certain thing.

Nick took some time to reply and decided to do it with a video:

 

A silence of almost a decade between Hell Comes To Your Heart and Fuck It, in addition to Shooters Bible, an album recorded 10 years ago: What is your current state of mind?

My current state of mind is…Feeling a little bit like swirly and weird. How are you feeling? You know what I mean, you know. We’re all fucked, and nothing’s ever gonna be the same again over this all. And soon we won’t have to face anymore and deal with any more people passing and getting sick. You know.

*I know these questions came before the COVID-19 thing. I’m sorry. I’m getting these in so late.

What is your greatest regret?

Well, I don’t really have any regrets. I don’t like to live in regret. I think regrets are a bad place to stay and be. I forgive myself if I’ve ever done anything wrong to the world or to anybody else. You know, I’ve forgiven myself, and I don’t lie. I’m not a sorry person or a regretful person or that kind of shit. I just try to do the right thing when I can.

Why rescue Shooters… after ten years? Did something specific motivate the release of this album?

Hell Comes to Your Heart got two thousand pressed, and then another thousand pressed –a second pressing of it on CD only. And now it’s 300 pressed on vinyl. So, that’s three thousand three hundred records total in the whole wide world. And I think the songs are good and deserve to reach more people if they can. So that was the motivation behind the release. Again, different versions of the songs. It’s long gone and out of print, and not many people have it. Just thirty-three hundred people. Maybe you feel differently? I don’t know. I think it should reach more people and I hope it does.

Why make releases so close to each other? What is behind this sort of project’s reanimation?

Not a good idea. But then again, it’s not really a bad idea because well, I don’t have, you know, a bunch of money to push the record and put ads out there. It doesn’t matter which album comes out first or second or at the same time. It’s like, you know, people are going to get it, or they’re not. And now with the COVID-19 thing and people getting sick, it’s kind of taken a backseat. So it’s safe to say this release never came out, which is a shame. But, you know, it is what it is.

In the case of Fuck It, you have said that it is the best Mondo Generator album so far, what makes it so unique?

Well, Steve Thee Slayer Hippy” Hanford from Poison Idea produced it, which makes it unique. He’s a great drummer, and I love the Poison Idea stuff. Feel the Darkness is one of the greatest hardcore records of all time. He produced that years ago, and he’s gotten much better. That makes the album unique. And plus, Mike Pygmie helped me write the record. In Mondo Generator, he kind take a backside seat, you know. This time was more like a band effort. And, I think that made it unique in itself.

What is your motto?

Take no shit. Don’t take a shit in people. That’s my motto. And try to enjoy yourself. Have a good time. The world’s fucked and good times are few and far between these days in isolation, at least.

Are you saying “Fuck It” to someone, to something?

I’m saying fuck it. It’s just like a fuck it, man. Can’t change. It is what it is, you know, that kind of vibe.

Some reviews are saying that the band is flowing between psychedelic rock, Dead Kennedy-ish / Stooges punk sound: What are the muses for Fuck It: sounds/music, literature, images.

Right on. That’s a great compliment. I take that as a huge mix. I like psychedelic rock. I like the Dead Kennedys, and I love The Stooges. Iggy Pop. Great. Fantastic. Whoever wrote that. Thank you.

Well, the muses for Fuck It is as a whole or like, you know, stuff from my early bands, KYUSS, some early QOTSA and some Dwarves. You know, there’s lots of stuff. The lyrics are basically about things I’ve gone through and things I’m going to do. Also, having some fun and try and go into different moods like some heavy shit. There’s bad stuff, intense stuff. Some aggro, mellow, flowing stuff. It’s all dark. At the end of the day, it’s all dark matter.

What are the trio’s plans now that these two albums have been released?

Now that the two albums have been released, we were planning on touring more. We were gonna go to Spain and Portugal, Ireland and places we didn’t hit on the last Euro tour and we had some stuff planned in the States, but that’s all taking a backseat.

Are you planning to focus on Mondo Generator for now on?

Yeah, I plan on doing it steadily and consistently. We’ll get back on the horse and do this, you know. Let people have money to go out, go to shows and be able to buy a ticket and get in. Nobody got any money sitting at home not working, you know. So it’s gonna be a tough time to get shows back up and running again. Most clubs are gonna be closed probably from now on. A lot of clubs and ‘mom and pop’ places are gonna be shut down. Smaller clubs that Mondo Generator plays at. They’re gonna be gone forever. 

Things are changing. The world has changed where we know it. I don’t know if bands are gonna be able to get started back up again. You see, I’m not making any money. This is my job. I play in Dwarves, in Mondo and in Blast. I try to do as much as I can, and I like it because that is my job, and I need to make money to survive and pay my bills. Mondo Generator and QOTSA are doing stuff on the ground. I’ve been with them for 17 years. So, you know, this is my job. And I can’t work right now.

Is there any other collaboration or musical project on the horizon?

I’ve been playing bass on a hardcore record here at my house with Thee Slayer Hippy on drums from Poison Idea. I’m just playing bass on it from here, and then I send them the wave stems, and I sing a song too. So it’s preaching cool stuff. Good hardcore. And I just sang a song for an Italian band actually this morning and sent that to them. And I do a lot of stuff here from my house. I’d like to work with Mark Lanegan again. That would be great. I can’t think of anybody. I’ve got my head that I to work with that I haven’t worked with. Chris Goss would be great. People like that I’d like to work with again. But that’s about it.

“Thank you for your questions. Your questions are pretty cool, and you give a good interview…Anyways, I’m feeling weird. Have a good day, and stay safe out there. Hopefully, we can meet, this Corona thing passes hopefully soon, and I wish everybody safe. Health and cheers you all. Bye.”

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