The Geraldine Fibbers

Interview by Tori Galore
Bust Spring/Summer 1996

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If you haven't heard about the Geraldine Fibbers as of yet, sit up straight and pay attention for a minute. I first saw them live at CBGBs last summer. Standing room only? You betcha. It would do me little or no good to try to explain their bacchanalian blend of country and rip-your-guts-out-with-your-bare-hands rock. Suffice it to say that by the end of the night, the masses who spilled forth from the bowels of CBGB were exhausted, wrecked and satisfied. Lead singer Carla Bozulich is much more than a woman: she's a force. To see her live is to be dragged through the mud tied to the back of a glorious hayride. It's thrilling, but it hurts. So until she makes it to your hometown, buy their album, Lost Somewhere Between the Earth and My Home, move the furniture out of the way and turn it up really loud. This interview, conducted pen-pal style via good ol' fashioned postal correspondence (remember that?) will give you an idea from what reality she sprang.

BUST: Why did you learn the guitar?

Carla: I never have. I hate anyone showing me things or telling me the names of notes. I move my fingers around till something strikes me as sublime.

BUST: What was the first song you learned?

Carla: I don't remember but I know when I was 14 I could sing anything off of Miles of Isles by Joni Mitchell or What We Do is Secret by the Germs.

BUST: Do you have any guitar musician idols you wanted to be like when you first started playing?

Carla: I remember being really inspired by the crazy drumming muppet, Animal.

BUST: Describe the first time you played in public?

Carla: Utro's Bar and Grill, San Pedro, California, 1980. This weird English guy named Mot-who lived in a tree house in a field near my house (really) and always treated me like an ugly pesky GIRL-and I played in front of about in front of about 25 drunken fishy-smelling longshoremen. I was an ugly, pesky, self-conscious shy punker art fag with hand-chopped hear wearing my recently dead grandfather's clothes. Mot was somekind of strange Beatles cartoon character; he had it down. We played "Ziggy Stardust" and "Space Oddity"-that kind of thing. We didn't like each other and had musical disdain for each other's taste in music, only agreeing on David Bowie. The clientele felt that we both sucked equally.

BUST: How did your first band happen?

Carla: Neon Veins, 1981-1982. Loneliness brought us together. Love tore us apart.

BUST: What do you like most about playing with the Fibbers?

Carla: Putting on our song "Lillybelle" when I'm sure I'm alone and pretending I'm the conductor for some kind of spastic symphony of caterpillars.

BUST: If MTV plays your video over and over and over, how do you plan to make overexposure work for you?

Carla: I don't think we have to worry about MTV or commercial radio giving a fuck.

BUST: What do you think fame will do to your life as you know it now?

Carla: Considering I'm sitting at home tonight alone on Christmas Eve, which is also my birthday (this is true), conducting a goddamn symphony of caterpillars (we are performing Brahams' "Concerto for Violin and Cello in A minor") I don't think I'm equipped to answer that question.

BUST: What's the first thing you'll treat yourself to when the big check clears?

Carla: Therapy. No, this isn't funny anymore. Me and the bugs are actually having a lovely night, I swear.

BUST: Who's the best kisser? Why?

Carla: Fuck, you're rubbing it in now.

BUST: Have you ever wanted to be a boy? If so, please explain.

Carla: I am part boy. I am often referred to as "sir" on the telephone and by blind people. I suppose if I was really going to be a boy I'd have to be a drag queen.

BUST: What did you hate most about being a teenager?

Carla: Motley Crue.

BUST: What did your parents do wrong in raising you?

Carla: I'm sure they're still asking themselves that.

BUST: What did they do right?

Carla: Nothing. Isn't it obvious?

BUST: Do you think you'll ever get married? Have kids?

Carla: I plan to have 5 children and I have already chosen each of their fathers. As for marriage, my friend Dave needs a green card...

BUST: What's your worst crutch in social situations?

Carla: Cigs.

BUST: What is your most dangerous vice?

Carla: Love, darling.

BUST: What, in your estimation, is the most over-rated vice?

Carla: Rock stars on heroin. Boring.

BUST: Which of the five senses do you rely on most in life?

Carla: We are in the mountains on a cool day. I am laying in a vat of warm chocolate. You are rubbing my feet. The Polar Goldie Cats are right there playing my favorite songs. The book I'm looking at- a collection of Egon Schiele's amazing art-is smeared with chocolate-y fingerprints. The smell of pine trees and fog makes its way through the cracks in the wall. I'm lapping up chocolate and grinning ear to ear. Do I have to choose?

BUST: What happens when you die?

Carla: If you're bad you have to stand (eternally) in wet, overcooked macaroni, listening to "Hotel California" on endless loop. If you're good, see the answer to the question above.

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