No Cause for Concern? Issue #7 | March 1983 | Page 14 | the RandyPeters
an interview with the
The RandyPeters were formed some two years ago in east end suburbia and played their first gig at a high school "Gong Show" where they won first place. At the time the band consisted of Peter Botman (vocals), Rand Peppler (guitar), Gerald (bass), and Bill (drums) but later the bassist left and Mike Kearne took his place. After playing the Spring Beaver show in March '82, Bill decided to quit and the three of them carries on as the Trash Cats. In the early fall they finally found drummer John Ferguson and have since been playing fairly regularly in various locations around the city.
Musically the RandyPeters are basically a fun band with a slightly poppy sound, easy to dance to and present a good time to be had by all. The following interview was done by Jennifer Grover a few weeks ago with Peter, Mike and Rand who were in a humorous mood at the time so none of this is very serious but what the hell. [Also present was Mary, a friend of Jennifer and the band.]
JG: Why did you guys pick the name the RandyPeters?
PETER: 'Cause Gerald picked it. He's one of the guys that quit.
RAND: He's not in the band anymore.
JG: Why not?
RAND: He never showed up on time.
PETER: And he was a lousy bass player but he was a good skier.
JG: I suppose that matters. Okay, who writes the material?
RAND: I don't write the words though.
JG: Who writes the words?
RAND: Peter, I only wrote the words once.
RAND: "Night of the Living Dead".
JG: What inspired you to write that favorite song "Peanut Butter Toes"?
PETER: When I was reading Penthouse when I was 12 years old and--
RAND: --we saw a movie at some guys place--
PETER: Oh, with the jam on the boobs.
RAND: Yeah, with the strawberry jam.
JG: How do you get from that to peanut butter toes?
PETER: Because in the Penthouse letter it was all about a foot fetish and a guy making it with his high school teacher when he was 13 years old and he had a foot fetish and coincidentally his teach was also an exotic oriental and smeared peanut butter on toes.
JG: And that's what the song's about?
PETER: It's stupid. It's not about anything, it's about foot fetishes.
MIKE [screams]: It's about anarchy! And the world blowing up and stuff like that. Hardcore stuff. That's what it's all about.
JG: So would you classify yourself as a hardcore band then?
RAND: If you play it backwards the message is to say--
MIKE: --we're a personal anarchist band, yes. We're a personal political anarchy band.
Mike: Rand wouldn't know that, he's into electronics.
JG: So what kind of band would you classify yourselves as?
MIKE: We don't classify ourselves.
PETER: Everybody classifies it for us so we don't care. If we get stuck with something then we'll get stuck with something.
MIKE: As long as we make lots of money like a million dollars then I'll be glad.
JG: So you're out to make the money then?
MIKE: Well, if someone gives it to me I won't turn it down.
JG: What sort of influences do you have?
PETER: Well, my mother and...I don't know, lots of stuff. Except disco, it's got that psychedelic-y beat.
JG: So everything except disco?
PETER: No, no, no that's just something Rand said.
MIKE: Civil Terror really influenced my music. When I was five they were one of my favorite bands.
JG: How 'bout now?
MIKE: Oh, I don't like them now since they've gone disco.
PETER: Yeah, commercial, that's the word for it.
JG: When you were five?
MIKE: Yeah, about 14 years ago I really like them.
JG: But I thought their bass player was only 14 now.
PETER: I'm going to get some kindling, hang on, you keep interviewing them.
JG: Okay, let's see...
MIKE: Will I get sued for that?
JG: I don't know.
MIKE: We have no money.
JG: Then you guys can't get sued for much.
You guys didn't play during the summer, what caused your summer absence?
MARY: Poison ivy.
MIKE: Poison ivy on the butt.
JG: That stopped you from playing?
MIKE: No, that stopped Pete from playing.
JG: Why are you playing more now?
PETER: Because we're better than we were.
JG: Did Y.C.P. help you get going?
PETER: They helped us get going--
RAND: Y.C.P. is a communist organization
JG: Do they help very much now?
PETER: Yeah, they keep us in mind.
JG: What are your plans for the future?
RAND: Just play a lot.
JG: Do you want to go on tour ever?
Rand: We got asked that the other day.
MARY: Well, answer it now.
MIKE: I want to go on an anti-hardcore tour.
MARY: I thought you were a hardcore band.
JG: What are your favorite bands if you like hardcore?
MIKE: Misfits, great band. I also like Johnny Cash.
JG: Johnny Cash isn't generally hardcore.
MIKE: And Civil Terror. I've seen a lot of local bands and I like them. But I like anything.
PETER: I like Something Red.
JG: What do you think of the local scene in Ottawa right now?
MIKE: I think it's better than it was two years ago when all we had was the Restless Virgins. But now you got a lot more so it's good. Can't sue me for that either.
PETER: I like it but there's a lot of petty jealousies amongst bands. Like I'll walk down the street...no, I don't care. Other bands are great but I don't like the way they -- okay, I'm walking down the street and I'll see that little Brian Bunt character and he comes up and goes "grrrrr" and I know you can't take him seriously but the fact is that they guy has an image to uphold of being a vicious little boy.
MIKE: But Rand really likes you though, Brian.
PETER: Yeah, Rand thinks you're a great guitarist.
MIKE: So don't get upset.
PETER: I want to talk about something. N.C.F.C. doesn't cover bands like Design, FiFi Royale, all those other bands that people -- I don't like myself but who cares --
MIKE: Glen Eagle.
PETER: Yeah, they don't cover Glen Eagle. It's true. Is it a local fanzine?
JG: Do the people that read N.C.F.C. go see Glen Eagle? Are they interested in Glen Eagle?
MIKE: No, that's an exaggeration.
MARY: Is Glen Eagle interested in them?
PETER: But they don't cover the local scene which they should.
[The conversation digresses until:]
MIKE: People think we're a wimpy band and we're not. Just 'cause you're poppy doesn't mean you're wimpy.
JG: What makes you think they think that?
MIKE: I think we're wimpy. I think we used to be wimpy but we're not as wimpy anymore but we're still wimpy.
PETER: I don't think we're wimpy at all.
MIKE: I think you're a wimp.
JG: What do you think's going to change your wimpy image?
JG: You don't have an image?
PETER: Image is what people are going to put us under.
JG: What type of image are people going to put you as?
PETER: People think we're a punk band. It's because they've been brainwashed with this hardcore which is very narrowly defined. They're bitching about fascists but to conform to the hardcore image you've got to be a certain way.
MIKE: It's like they go: "X is wimps compared to Black Flag." That's really stupid. X is an excellent band if you listen to the lyrics, subtle as hell but Black Flag are like--
PETER: They hit you over the head with it. But when you live in Ottawa and you start bitching about the Ku Klux Klan and police brutality, well let me tell you about police brutality! I was putting up a poster on Christmas eve and a policeman stopped me and grabbed me and he said "You, I'm not going to charge you this time but I'm going to give you a warning". Now isn't that brutal?
JG: So you think that people in Ottawa that sing about things like that really have no cause for what they're singing about?
MIKE: Right, they have no cause for concern!
JG: What do you think they should be singing about?
PETER: Whatever they feel like. From right down in their gut.
MIKE: Something relevant, not what's going on overseas.
JG: So you guys sing about that then?
MIKE: To a certain extent, yeah, but I don't think peanut butter toes is a big issue in Ottawa.
PETER: That's a fun song but it is kind of serious about how seriously people take pornographic magazines.
JG: What song do you do that covers an issue?
MIKE: They're personal politics, remember. They're not something like "Reagan came to visit so we went on the hill and booed him". It's more like "my life's a fucking mess--"
PETER: --and we don't know what to do about it.
MIKE: All politics are based on personal politics. I mean politics are conflicts of egos, personalities, so we deal with the roots instead of going to what Trudeau says.
PETER: Sort out yourselves before you can sort out the world. Anybody who wants to talk politics, come to see me and I'll teach them all about politics.
MIKE: He's full of shit.
JG: Do you think you're punk?
MIKE: I think we're full of shit. I thing we're Canadian punks, yeah. It depends on what you mean by that word.
JG: By the way the general person in Ottawa thinks of punk.
MIKE: In that sense, no, and I'm quite glad. Why should I conform to their rules? I refuse to. Putting on a red jacket and saying "Zeppelin's the greatest is the same as putting on a torn leather jacket and saying Black Flag's the greatest. It's just different music. A bunch of bored middle-class Canadian suburban teenagers who just move downtown 'cause it's the cool thing to do. They are just doing this for five years then they'll change to something else five years from now. They hide all their Rush albums.
JG: Are yours not hidden?
MIKE: I don't have any.
PETER: I don't have any but I've got a Black Sabbath album. Oh, and Kiss, I've got a Kiss album too.
JG: Are you going to go see the Kiss concert?
PETER: I was thinking about it but it was much too expensive.
MIKE: I wanted to back them up.
JG: Did you inquire into that?
PETER: No, we're not union.
JG: Do you think not being union hurts being able to get gigs?
MIKE: No, what union place would have a band like us play?
The interview doesn't end here but that's enough for me. They go on to insult Trudeau, other bands, twelve-dollar Clash t-shirts, this fanzine and everything else that came up. As for what they said of N.C.F.C. (some printed, some not), I will have to resort to replying now since I wasn't there during the interview and could not defend it:
If you really want to see reviews of Design, FiFi Royal (or Glen Eagle for that matter) in this fanzine, then write one up and I'll be more than happy to put it in.