Do you miss those days when a kiss could turn December into July and create fireworks within that would embarass any 4th of July celebration? When you spent all your time on task-irrelevant behaviour such as daydreaming or chewing gum. I remember sitting in class, looking at a girl all day whilst my grades slipped away. I was a Pepsi boy and she was a Coca Cola chick. I was convinced that it would never work, we would never click, but sodapops were my way of life and I wanted her to be my wife. It's about time Glitzine introduced 'Beatnik Termites' to all you highschool sweethearts out there. I recently contacted vocalist and guitarist Pat, and asked some bubblecore questions: -
Q1. Could you please give a short introduction to the Beatnik Termites.
A1. Well, Reggie is our Drummer. Bradley, the newest member of our band, is our bassist. I play guitar. All three of us sing harmony vocals and I also sing lead vocals.
Q2. "Bubblecore" is one delicious piece of bubblegum. Have you released anything prior to this album?
A2. Yes, we have another full-length called "Taste the Sand", numerous 7 inches and compilation tracks. You can go to the 'Discography' page on our website (http://home.att.net/~beatniktermites) to get the complete list of releases.
Q3. What do you think are the most important parts that make up the 'highschool sound'?
A3. Well, the lyrical content has to deal with teenage issues like heartbreak, love, crushes, hanging out, frustration, acne, etc. You know, things that your average teenager can relate to, and of course, the melodies have to be evocative of a certain care-free era when things were more innocent.
Q4. You sing about the Beach Boys and The Ramones. Are these bands your two biggest influences?
A4. Yes, they are definitely some of our biggest influences. We have listened to these bands since our pre-teen years and have such been a great inspiration to us.
Q5. The Sleeve to "Bubblecore" features a pretty cool picture. What do you think of comics and cartoons? Any favourites?
A5. I have always loved cartoons and comics since I was very young. They remind me of the carefree feelings I had when I was a kid, when my biggest worry was getting rid of a zit by the weekend, or having enough money to buy an ice cream sundae after school.
Q6. You have re-recorded one of my favourite Ramones albums - "Pleasant Dreams". Compared to other Ramones albums, how do you rate "Pleasant Dreams"?
A6. The first time I heard "Pleasant Dreams", it had a profound effect on me. It is a masterpiece blend of oldies and punk and served as a great inspiration for me to create the style of music we play.
Q7. Would "Pleasant Dreams" have been your first choice?
A7. The reason why we chose "Pleasant Dreams" is because it is the most oldies-influenced album The Ramones ever made, I thought this was appropriate for our sound, since this is what we do. With our vocal harmonising ability, I knew we could do the album justice. I hate it when punk bands do covers of oldies songs and 'water them down' because they are unable to duplicate the harmonies of the original artists.
Q8. Are you satisfied with your version of it? What do you think of ther other re-recordings by Screeching Weasel, Queers, MTX, Vindictives etc?
A8. I think that we did a decent job of it. We sure worked hard to get it right. Our approach was a little different from what those other bands did with their Ramones cover albums. They either tried to play them exactly as The Ramones did or gave them their own contemporary pop-punk sound. On the other hand, our approach was to take those Ramones songs, wring every little bit of sugar out of them and serve them up for your listening enjoyment.
Q9. You have one of the coolest voices in punkrock. Are you trying to create a certain vocal sound?
A9. I have a naturally high nasal; somewhat raspy voice. There is no formula involved in my vocal style - I was born that way. Mother Nature is responsible for the way my voice sounds.
Q10. How important are the lyrics for Beatnik Termites? Who writes them and from where do you get your ideas?
A10. I get my ideas from a variety of sources including comics, movies, oldies, books, magazines, real life experiences, etc. I especially like the 'Peanuts' comic strip.
Q11. What do you prefer - an old-fashioned drive-in with carhops or a modern fast-food restaurant?
A11. Definitely a Drive In!
Q12. What can we expect from the Beatnik Termites in the future?
A12. We are in the process of recording a new record, which is slated for release sometime in 2003. Then we plan on hitting the road in support of the release.
Interviewed by Andreas Persson
Visit Beatnik Termites Website