Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Lisa Marr interview from June 1996

Again, hoping I haven't already published this here, but it's an oldie from 1996. Originally seen on the Cub Home Page when I put it there in 1996.

Scott Simpson from Cygnals, speaking with cub's Lisa Marr, at work in Vancouver. June 21, 1996.

Cyg: Last time I saw you, it was late October at the Horseshoe, here in Toronto, with Pluto, Pansy Division and Real Mackenzies. What've you been up to since?

Lisa: Not too much, actually. That was the last tour we did, then we zipped out to New York for New Year's Eve, with The Muffs and Southern Culture On The Skids, so that was quite fun. And then we've just been working on the record, basically since then, and now we're all working at our summer jobs.

Cyg: What summer jobs have you got? Is Lisa G still doing that summer camp thing?

Lisa: It's not really a summer camp, it's sort of like "Fame" for low-income kids. Like a Fame school. So they do costume design and dance and stuff like that. She's the costume design person. They put on plays and...you know...breakdance and stuff.

Cyg: And what's your summer job?

Lisa: I'm a secretary.

Cyg: People think your life must be so glamorous, but there you are in the daytime being a secretary.

Lisa: Truly glamorous.

Cyg: So how's married life treating you? What's this about an Elvis-themed wedding I heard about?

Lisa: We got married at the Graceland Wedding Chapel -- it wasn't really Elvis-themed, except for we got married at the Graceland Wedding Chapel in Vegas. So it took about ten minutes. We had to play a show in Las Vegas that night, so we just had time to get married and then load in.

Cyg: So you still live in Vancouver and he's down in ...

Lisa: In L.A. I get to see him next weekend. Pretty exciting. After two months.

Cyg: Is there anything on the new record that you'd have to play differently live?

Lisa: Some of them have lots of guitar tracks on them, so that's hard to do live.

Cyg: Some of the vocal arrangements seem pretty complex, too.

Lisa: Yyyeah, more so, I mean there's more backup parts, but we can pretty much pull that off live, except for "Box of Hair,"where I sing with myself, so that's hard to do live. So Robynn is trying to sing the backup parts, but the guitar part is complicated, so she has to look at her feet a lot, cuz now she's using all these kooky pedals and stuff. But we're practicing?

Cyg: Any upcoming tour that you're practicing for?

Lisa: We are leaving September 1st, and we're going to drive straight out to New York for the CMJ...thing, big Lookout! party -- Smugglers, Queers, Mr. T Experience. Then we're going to tour the US for a while while with the Mr. T's, then we're going to zip across Canada, in probably late October.

Cyg: I'll be looking forward to that.

Lisa: Were you at that big show with the smoke machine?

Cyg: Was that at York University? (Yes) I was one of the half-dozen people who was there.

Lisa: You're the one that sort of spotted the "Ronnie and Lisa Romance" right off the bat there. Got the rumours going right away. I liked that very much.

Cyg: You all snuggly at the merchandise table...everybody taking pictures of you two ... all happy.

Lisa: Very funny.

Cyg: The song "Sweet Pea." I was at work at the all-news radio station, and our sister station, a sort of middle-of-the-road adult contemporary thing, and on their all-oldies show, I heard them playing Sweet Pea.

Lisa: Sure, it's a classic! Yeah!

Cyg: I thought it was one of your originals!

Lisa: We trick people. The way we've always picked covers, somebody goes "I love this song, can we do it," then we sort of try to do it. That song was a big favorite of Valerie's, our first drummer. She loved Tommy Roe. That's how we ended up doing Sweet Pea.

Cyg: And you do it aggressively. (Yes!) Is the snarling, growling, venemous cub on this record just a result of musical evolution and progression or is this another solid effort to get rid of that "happiest band in the world" label?

Lisa: Well, it's just, y'know...new things. New playing techniques...new ideas. I mean, we've been together four years, so...ya gotta change. "Come Out, Come Out" was recorded in August 94, so that's quite a long time between records -- August 94 to February 96. And there's a lot of touring in there. Yeah, it's just us.

Cyg: The playing differences between, say, "betti-cola" and now is a big difference. Do you have a hard time going back and listening to older tracks like, say, "flying carpet"?

Lisa: Oh yeah, it's painful. Actually, I listened to "betti-cola" the other day for the first time in *years*, cuz I don't generally listen to stuff once it comes out...yeah, it was quite weird. Strange.

Cyg: Can you believe that you ever even wrote that song?

Lisa: It seems like a long long time ago. Sure. But to me, it doesn't really sound like me, and it doesn't really feel like me. So, it's odd. It's like when you look at a fingerpainting you do in kindergarten. You just go...it seems odd.

Cyg: It sounds like two separate bands. I've listened to other bands where that's the case, like ween. Their first record sounds nothing like their latest. I'm finding it's the same way with you. But I love the new stuff, I love the old stuff.

Lisa: I think that's good. It should be different...be progressing or changing or some'm. If you're just going to make the same record over and over again, you might as well ...

Cyg: Might as well be Pink Floyd.

Lisa: Exactly.

Cyg: So where do you see the band going in another three or four years?

Lisa: I don't know. I, uh. There's a lot of things in the air right now, so I don't even know ... I'm not saying that, like, oh we're thinking about breaking up, but I mean, I just have the feeling that lots of things are happening...we're meeting lots of new people. I just was out east working with the Queers on their new album, that was really fun, and writing other kinds of songs, and writing, and Robynn's doing all kinds of artwork and so... I don't know. You never know.

Cyg: Anything really buggin you lately? Anything really pissing you off?

Lisa: Well, I would just say the complete mediocrity of life in general. Because, like, I have to work in this office and stuff, so I'm on the bus and I see these people who have those big coffee mugs... I hate those, those big plastic coffee things. And then, people that wear their sneakers into work and then change into high-heeled shoes. And, um, sort of that general T-G-I-F attitude about working in an office.

Cyg: Do you like working in an office or do you hate it?

Lisa: Oh, it's okay! For, you know, a part-time job. But I just don't like the idea that everything revolves around getting to Friday, and then suddenly your life's gonna be better...getting to 65 and then your life's gonna be better. I just think there's gotta be more to it than that.

Cyg: Ah, today's my Sunday...it's everybody's Friday but my Sunday, cuz I start work tomorrow.

Lisa: Well, see, that's better. I think it's better to work on the weekend and have the weekdays off. Cuz then you can just run around and everyone else is inside.

Cyg: On the front cover of the next issue of my zine will be Mister Dressup. Any Mister Dressup memories?

Lisa: Oh, yeah, it was my favorite show! My mom actually banned me from watching Mr. Dressup at one point because I would always cry when it was over. And she just got fed up with me having a fit every day at 10:30 a.m. So I was banned from watching it.

Cyg: I also run the cub web page.

Lisa: I know you do.

Cyg: Have you seen it?

Lisa: Yes, I have.

Cyg: Lisa G was telling me before that she'd like to get online more and address the critics. Do you have any desire to get online, or are you online enough...?

Lisa: I'm not really online at all. I'm out of it. But yeah, I think I have to get online pretty soon. But as far as addressing the critics -- no, I just want to get in on those sex chats.

Cyg: And there's plenty of them.

Lisa: (smiling) I hear that.

Cyg: I know a guy who's been chatting with a girl in Kentucky, now he says his marriage is on the rocks.

Lisa: This is what keeps happening! I know two other couples like that. It really frightens me, I think it's a dangerous thing.

Cyg: See, when you're a woman, you can talk to whoever you want. When you're a guy, you never know if the woman you're talking to is actually a woman. Most of the time, it's not.

Lisa: It's a man, yeah.

Cyg: But you go out there...and if you can convince somebody you're a woman, you've got the whole world at your feet.

Lisa: I think I would try to be a man...on the internet.

Cyg: Alright, so we'll look forward to seeing you in October.

Lisa: Yeah, we'll keep you informed as far as tour dates and stuff, and you can put those out....and where do you get stuff to put on the web page?? You just find it? You did take some pictures before....

Cyg: Well, I'll let you get back to your typing.

Lisa: Thanks...did you hear my typing just there?

Cyg: Do you type fast?

Lisa: I type pretty fast. I'm on a roll.

Cyg: I got 100% in grade 9 typing. The only course I ever got really really high marks in.

Lisa: Me too. I got high marks too. But our teacher used to look down all the girl's shirts during typing. So you'd kind of have to type and dodge his eyes at the same time. I think it made me a better typist.

Cyg: So much for having a straight-sitting-up posture.

Lisa: Yeah, I'm a real slouch. That's why.