Take four horny, eccentric personalities, give them a few instruments and over-the-top outfits, and what do you get? Gravy Train!!! – Chunx, Hunx, Junx and Funx; self-described “indulgent messes’ who sing lots of party songs , usually about sex..(And sometimes while stripping off their previously mentioned over-the-top outfits).
The west coast version of Fannypack is set to release a new album , All the Sweet Stuff, today. They’ll cap off a 2-month headlining tour by opening for Junior Senior in August. Singer Chunx took the time to talk to us about bad pot experiences, being chased by rednecks, and what NOT to wear to a truck stop.
NickyDigital: You guys come from various backgrounds (Arizona, Alabama, L.A.) and fields of work (hairdressing, Haitian dancing, stand-up comedy, etc.). Tell us a how you found one another and formed Gravy Train!!!
Chunx: Funx and I were both horny, fed-up juvenile delinquents at private Catholic high schools in LA, so naturally we found each other. Hunx was my pen-pal in high school and I had a crush on him even though he lusted after the same dudes as me. When the three of us moved to the Bay Area all hell broke loose! Junx hitched a ride to California after Gravy Train!!!! had already formed, and was the perfect addition to the self-indulgent mess that we had created!!!
Sex seems to be a central theme of your music. Discuss.
I was always so obsessed with sex as a kid and that gross, drooling energy didn’t go away as I grew into an adult. Even though I found out that talking about sex makes a lot of people (even “cool”, artsy, hipsters) really uncomfortable, it was still all I wanted to talk about. And I was always into making up slang words for vaginas, dicks, funbags, humping, and everything else. I thought that writing lyrics about all my secret nastiness was the way to go. Plus, Gravy Train!!!! loves funny stuff–and NOTHING gets any funnier than sex!!!
What inspires your lyrics? Real-life experience? (ed. note – we’re thinking of “Kottonmouth BJ” )
That song was more of a teenage fantasy. I hate to admit it, but I wasn’t getting laid at all in high school. I was not a hot commodity. And I was totally freaked out by pot because one time I ate it on a school religious retreat and hallucinated for eight hours and thought I was dying. So I wanted to be slutty, but couldn’t because no one would fuck me, and I wanted to be a cool stoner too but couldn’t because pot didn’t agree with me. So that song is like, an experience I wish I could have had because it would have made me BOTH. BUT– that is one of our only songs not inspired by real life events. We are pretty foul people.
What and whom influences your music and sense of style?
Happy indulgence in food, sex, vanity, glamour, and fun. People who REALLY don’t give a fuck. Proud fats, queers, ladies, and freaks. 60s bubblegum, 70s glitter rock, 80s new wave, 90s techno. Androgynous showboats and rock gods of the past (Freddie Mercury, Alice Cooper, Klaus Nomi). Riot grrrls, queens, total bitches, teen idols, Paris is Burning, John Waters, longhaired punx, girl groups, cookies, candy, and ice cream.
Gravy Train!!! is certainly a statement in individuality – but is there any group or artist you’d be flattered to be compared to?
From the past: the B-52s. From now: Junior Senior.
We had fun reading your diaries online – there were sordid tales of bathroom stall hook-ups, sex dreams involving boy band 98 Degrees, and one especially disturbing story involving Chunx chugging a bottle of Hunx’s urine. Share some other memorable tour moments with us.
There are these older dudes, Terry and Dan, who live in Cleveland and are teachers and they always TURN IT OUT at our shows there. Last time we were there they let us stay at their house and we did HELLA PILLS, danced all night to our own records, and had a hippie outdoor sleepover. We also have had many memorable moments at Cracker Barrel, our favorite place to eat on tour. We almost got shot in New Orleans by a raving redneck. Slept at some fan’s house that was covered in dog piss and woke up to the fan taking pictures of us sleeping. There are millions of stories…
How are you perceived when you tour and perform in less-liberal areas of America?
It’s been all right because even when we were a smaller band we only toured with cool bands whose fans were mostly chicks and/or gays (Bratmobile, Le Tigre). So the shows have always been cool. But we have had a few run-ins with scary people, like at a Dairy Queen in Waco when this father and son were harrassing the fuck out of us and we felt really scared for our lives. But there has never been any violence, thank god. We know better than to linger at truck stops in our short-shorts and sequins. We go in, buy our string cheese and bean dip and get the fuck OUT.
What’s been the best show that you’ve played so far – and what made it so good?
I can’t pick a favorite, but any show where people are getting SO INTO IT, dancing hard as fuck, and dressed up in crazy costumes for the occasion makes me so, SO happy. The fans, not the money or the venue, make a show good.
You guys have been known to get naked when you perform. How does this happen? Adoring fans ripping off your clothes? Alcohol? Sheer inhibition?
Alcohol, really feeling the moment, and mostly Junx doesnt like wearing clothes, ever.
In a year, where do you want and hope Gravy Train!!! will be?
Still partying hard with the underagers!!! Tiny tots 4LYFE!!!!