Interview with Robbie Quine of The Barbarellatones


Following on from my recent review of the latest Barbarellatones album "Temple Of Shiva", I caught up with front man Robbie Quine and threw a few trashy questions at him...

Q1. Hey Robbie!! The Barbarellatones sound has been described as "melodic dark glam with surf guitars and electric sitars" - is this a true representation of where the band are today?

We are a little gothabilly mixed with glam sautéed in surf with a dash of psychedelia.

Q2. I'm not sure I'll ever interview anyone else for Glitzine who has studied the sitar!?!

I suck at's really hard! I studied it at Ali Akbar's Indian Music School in Marin County but only lasted a couple months. I just fake it well...!

Q3. What has the reception been like for latest album "Temple Of Shiva"?

Some people love "Temple Of Shiva" but you can't please everyone. It's a little less garage-y than some of our other cds, so some of the edginess isn't there.

Q4. The record was produced by Paul Roessler, former member of infamous LA synthpunk pioneers The Screamers, who also worked with your previous band Sex With Lurch. How did you come to work together and how is he to work with?

I call Paul Roessler the American Eno...I love him and think he's uber-talented. I use him every chance I get, we are doing a lot of keyboards. He played some creepy phantom-of-the-opera style shit on our newest cd "The Devil's Dildo" which is due out the end of summer. We just did a goth show together with 45 Grave the other nite in Huntington Beach. He was playing with The Deadbeats, but he used to be in 45 Grave also.

Q5. Roessler has frequently worked with German icon Nina Hagen who has her own Barbarellatones song!?! There just has to be an awesome story behind this?!?

I ran into Nina at the studio a few weeks ago and she called me 'Gggglam RrrrockerRR! Paul is producing her new recordings at Satellite Park Studios in Malibu. We used some of her ramblings on "Nina Hagen" but we need to get her to sign off on it for legal purposes. She heard the song and liked it.

Q6. Tell us about the other members of The Barbarellatones. I believe your drummer was once a member of the (perhaps unfairly dubbed) one hit wonders Green Jello???

Roy Staley was in Green Jello. Dave Arnson is from Insect Surfers and is a killer surf-guitarist. Our new bassist is Eddie Munster.

Q7. With your album "Beyond The Valley Of The Barbarellatones" being a not so subtle tip of the cowboy hat in the direction of legendary film maker Russ Meyer and certain songs - "Boris Karloff" for example - being named after cinematic icons, you are obviously a fan of cult cinema. What movies and movie makers have helped shape you into the baaadaasss mofo you are today?!?

I get off on a lot of different art, but film especially. I like a high-cheese factor! I love Rocky Horror and Satyricon by Fellini is fantastic. I love that fllm Zardoz by John Boorman. There are too many to mention here...let's not forget Barbarella!

Q8. Of course, we can't talk about the screen without mentioning The Barbarellatones tune that was featured in an episode of The Sopranos! That was pretty cool, huh? How did that come about?

I sent out a bunch of cds to music supervisors and I got a call about The Sopranos. They chose my track "The Fire Of Love" for the episode 'Luxury Lounge'. The opening scene was two tits jiggling at The Bada Bing...perfect!

Q9. Your pop culture spattered lyrics - many times laugh out loud funny - seem to be one of your strongest points. How important are they in the make up of a quality tune?

I am a surfer, and pop culture is very prominent here in Los Angeles and everywhere else. I really do my music for myself, and I'm a weirdo. I write about stuff I, zombies and surfing mostly! I am also kind of a drag queen, even though I'm straight. I grew up in Hollywood during the qualude-drenched 70's...can I blame it on that?!

Q10. Given that your music is very retro-fuelled, if you had to pick just one classic or important album from each decade from the 50's to the present day, what would they be and why??

There is so much great music to choose from. I like how rockabilly shaped the 50's, so Gene Vincent and Elvis would get my vote there. I hear a lot of similarities between Donovan and T-Rex, and I think Dylan's singing style directly influenced Lou Reed and Bowie who are two of my favorites. I love the harmonies of The Beach Boys and the Hindu-Rock of George Harrison. The 70's was all about glam for me, and the 80's was all about goth. I loved Sisters Of Mercy, Siouxsie and The Cramps. The 90's sucked ass..I thought grunge was lame.

Q11. Your previous band were managed by Vicky Hamilton who managed, among others, Poison, Guns N' Roses and Faster Pussycat. Any juicy gossip or downright shocking horror stories from that time???

Vicky managed Poison, Motley Crue, Faster Pussycat and Guns N' Roses. She has lots of cool stories. She told me one time Axl was having a meltdown at The Roxy and broke every mirror in the place. So Spinal-Tappy! Spoiled Rock Stars having tantrums like a 3 year old when they don't get their way - so toxic!

Q12. Vicky Hamilton now concentrates on writing and I believe that you and her are working together on a stage play said to be in the style of The Rocky Horror Show and Hedwig And The Angry Inch - you have to spill the beans on this awesome sounding project!!??!!

Vicky and I have been very close friends for years. She used to manage my Transvestobilly band Sex With Lurch. She thought due to our theatrical style that we should work on a musical. I had to sit with that for a while and when I saw 'Hedwig' I agreed. We started 'Glitter Beach' by writing at Malibu Beach together, and it just flowed. I wrote a bunch of songs, some of which are on "Temple Of Shiva" and we are now in the process of casting and finding backers.

Q13. In tribute to your song "Milfin'", who would be your ultimate milfs? And why?

Brigitte Bardot in her heyday would be some hot milfy lovin', so would Sophia Loren. If I was feeling really dirty maybe Judi Dench!

Q14. If The Barbarellatones were throwing the ultimate party who, living or dead (dead could be a problem) would just have to be there?

One word....Andy Warhol!

Q15. I have left the most important question until last - have you ever thought about tarting up your live shows with some bar bending or hot water bottle blowing up, just like the legend Jon Mikl Thor did to thunderous applause?

I love performance art, but the most important thing is good songs.

Q16. You realise that this article will end up being called 'Interview With A Glampire', don't you?!?

There is only one appropriate title, you're right.....'Interview With A Glampire'!

Robbie Quine interviewed by Gaz E - June 2008

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