“Hide yo’ kids. Hide yo’ wife.” The Venetia Fair are back on tour. I wonder how long it’ll be before the Massachusetts quintet catches something, crashes something, or otherwise makes a mockery of all that us “normal” people find sacred. Only one day into tour, and I’ll betcha they’ve managed to get ousted from a local Wal-Mart.
Anywho, we recently saw their latest (Steve Sopchak produced) album, Every Sick Disgusting Though We’ve Got In Our Brain, get the vinyl treatment via Switchbitch Records, and those lucky enough to score the (incredibly rare) piece picked up one of the best independent releases of 2013. The entire collection of songs on Every… sound like a well-rehearsed tragicomedy of modern life.
The Venetia Fair made their way to Rochester, NY’s beloved Bug Jar on September 21st (Mr. Chark’s 26th birthday extravaganza, no less), and I caught up with Mr. Chark, Mike Abiuso, and even the occasional Joe Brown to talk about their current run of dates, the extremely limited vinyl pressing of their latest album, and which albums every fan of T.V.F. should have in their collections.
And yes… It gets weird.
J- Mike is the most boring person to interview ever.
G- He’s a guitar player. They usually are.
M- WHAT THE FUCK!
G- It happens that way.
G- Anyways, what’s going on guys, and thank you once again for taking the time to speak with Live High Five!
G- How are you all doing today?
M- Thank you, Greg. We’re doing well, man.
C- I’m doing well.
M- We’re making sure this kid is doing well at all times today.
G- I guess so! It’s your 26th birthday today, so Happy 26th, Chark! And you’re on the road, so is that a blessing or a curse?
C- I feel like I’m on the road every time I have a birthday. I don’t know that it’d be any different at home, it’s just that I’m not at home. That’s the only difference.
G- Ok. So, no ice cream cake after dinner?
J- We had cake today already.
C- We had our cake.
G- What kind of cake did you have and where was it from?
C- Mike’s girlfriend Amy made it for Mike, and I decided to it was my birthday cake instead.
G- Fuck you… It’s his birthday!
So, today is your second day of tour and you played in Middletown, NY last night… How did everything go over last night?
M- It was awesome. We played Sound Asylum with a bunch of metal bands. It was metal night, so it was really weird and not necessarily our genre…
G- So you fit right in?
M- Yeah we made asses of ourselves and had a good time.
G- Gonna do the same thing tonight?
M- Hopefully not quite the same as last night, but we’ll see. We’ll do the same thing tonight!
G- And Mr. Chark just commandeered Joe’s beer. But it’s his birthday, so fuck you guys.
So what venues/corporation/ or mom & pop stores have you desecrated in your short 24 hours on the road?
M- Pretty much just Wal-Mart and the parking lot of Sam’s Club.
M- We haven’t had enough time to do anything. We had to drive.
G- Can you give us locations so I can put an APB out to all the families out there?
C- Yeah. Anyplace around Middletown and Rochester. NY, stay away from for 5 days.
J- I swore in front of a bunch of toddlers today a lot, and the mother gave me an awful look. Dominos. I was calling my friend’s girlfriend a huge bitch.
M- I bet I know who it was.
G- Was it justified?
J- She is a huge bitch. I hate her and I CAN’T WAIT ‘til they break up, and I hope the boyfriend is listening to this and thinking ‘I hope it’s not MY girlfriend,’ but it is.
G- Fair enough. Nice and open-ended, too. So any of you douchebag girlfriends and bitch guys out there, it could be about you!
C- Actually, to expand that, if any guy is listening, you should break up with your girlfriend.
M- Yeah. He’s right about that.
G- Guys, let’s not turn this into a psychiatrist’s office… It’s an interview!
J- Me and Chark are looking to get gay.
G- Too late.
Anyways, you guys are 2 days into tour and you’re going to be out until the end of October… Where is this current run going to take you?
C- We’re going all the way out to the fuckin’ West Coast. We’re gonna be, like, hitting the Midwest on the way out, doing the whole West Coast. Fuckin’ Portland to… We’re doing Seattle, too aren’t we?
J- And the last time we went to the West Coast, we got in a lot of fights. So the reason we’re going out this time is we’re gonna try to win the fights that we lost out there last time, because we didn’t win any of them.
C- When he says we got into fights, he means we lost a lot of fights.
G- Do you know how to throw Hadukens yet?
C- I don’t know what that means.
J- Is that when you poop in someone else’s pants?
G- He’s got it!
C- Yeah we’ve been doing that a lot. So yeah… We know how to do Hot Dookins in other people’s pants.
G- (laughing) Hot dookins!
So let’s talk about this vinyl that you did. This is the first piece of vinyl that TVF has ever done for themselves, right? It’s a very small run (of 250.) Where did you get it pressed and mastered, and are people still able to get a copy of it? If so, where?
C- We have a few more left. We got it mastered at the same place we got our original album mastered, but it was completely re-done for vinyl, so it sounds awesome on the format as well as CD.
M- Steve Sopchak did it.
C- Yeah Steve did it at Square Studio out of Syracuse, NY.
M- And we had it pressed at Pirate’s Press in California. We had this dude Dan Marter from In The Clouds in NJ do the design work. Mr. Chark did all the graphics and stuff. We all put our heads together and it came out awesome!
G- I just saw a copy in person for the first time and I’m still waiting to see how much money I have left after all these drinks, but I think I’ll be leaving with it. Get it while you can, folks.
C- It’s a really cool piece of art. It’s not just a normal vinyl. It’s multi-colored on the actual vinyl, and then the artwork on the inside has moving parts and what-not and whose-a-whats-its. It’s got a jog-wheel on the cover.
M- It has a jog-wheel, yeah! An infinite rotating jog.
C- Yeah it’s got “Infinijog.”
G- Nice! So, I just want to give him a shout-out because he’s the beating child of the 5-piece. Asspoop. He’s your whipping boy, and you had fans sending him their garbage in the mail. Are they still doing that, and have you found any treasures in the bags or what?
C- Yeah a lot of trash came in. We actually posted to please stop while we’re on tour because he’s not there, and we don’t want it just rotting at the house. I mean, I guess it wouldn’t be that bad, but he’s not gonna be able to get it until the end of October, so if you have a trash package, hold off until then.
G- What’s the most interesting piece of trash that he’s received during this little experiment?
C- He got one he didn’t even want to open. It was full of bloody tissues and fuckin’ biological waste. Stuff that is supposed to be in those red containers that they put broken needles in.
G- Ehh. Gross.
C- So he didn’t open that one. I think there was used toilet paper in that one, too.
G- Well, his name is Asspoop, so it sounds right. Hopefully it’s highly absorbent.
Now, we’re in the third or fourth fiscal quarter of 2013 and you guys are taking this tour through the end of October… What else do you have planned for 2013? Any New Year’s blowouts? Maybe you’re going to infiltrate a mall on Black Friday?
J- We’re thinking about investing in stocks.
C- We’re actually, if all goes according to plan, we’ll be starting another tour on Black Friday.
G- Really? At a Nike store?
M- (laughing) Yes!
C- Actually, Best Buy is sponsoring it, and all we actually do is stand in front of the most expensive item, and they video tape it while a bunch of crazy people fight us over TV’s.
G- Cool! You guys should be the soundtrack to some of those riots that happen at Wal-Mart’s front door when they sell DVD players for like $5.
J- Those videos are so funny! When those women are trampling children to get stuff.
M- It’s insane.
G- Well, 52” television sets for $300, man. I’d kill all of you guys for that.
C- But where are you gonna put it… Your living room? It’s stupid. People don’t think. They need to think about these things.
G- Hey I’m supposed to keep my composure! I’m a professional interviewer over here!
Well, since I’ve got 3 of you here…. Actually, I want one of you (Joe) to shut up because I’ve already talked to you, but Birthday Boy and guitar player: For the TVF, what is it a combination of NOFX, the Dresden Dolls, and G.G. Allin?
Give us 4 albums every fan of you should know about and why.
M- Holy Shit! 4 each?!
G- You guys have to think about it for a minute.
C- In terms of historical albums that you’re gonna want to listen to for a bit of education, I would definitely recommend The B-52’s self-titled, released in 1979. It’s got “Rock Lobster” on it. Just fuckin’ unbelieveable songs! It’s very good. Way ahead of it’s time, and I think that it’s an important album for everyone to be familiar with.
M- It’s very good!
G- And how about you, Mike?
M- I was thinking about O’Death.
M- Those guys are a really awesome band!
G- Which album?
M- Head Home is a good one.
G- So The B-52’s and O’Death. Let’s go back to Birthday Boy over here, who still hasn’t listened to “Happy Birthday To Me” by The Vandals like I suggested. That goes in print, because he needs an education.
C- Yeah yeah yeah. I guess, this might be a little bit cliché, but Misfits Famous Monsters is it for me. I think it’s just fun and a band that doesn’t take themselves super seriously, but is also pretty seriously taken.
G- Well put. I could see you guys opening for The Misfits, or them opening for you. I’m not sure which of those will happen first, but I get it. You in?
M- We’re in. We’re into anything.
G- Cool. Last one goes to you, Mike.
M- I’ve been listening to the new Let Live record that just came out. It’s super awesome! The dude that tracked it and mixed it is great, and it was mastered by the guy who did Michael Jackson and a bunch of Hip Hop records and stuff. It sounds awesome!
So, we got our 4, and it looks like that’s the end because we still have this game of Dominos going on and it’s turning into a lego project, along with a bunch of beers for Mr. Chark’s 26th birthday!
I want to say thank you guys very much once again for taking the time to speak with Live High Five. You’ve got a long way to go and a lot of traveling to do, so make sure you’re safe while on the road, play well, and we look forward to doing this again another time!
M- Thanks, Greg!