The Geraldine Fibbers

Interview by Robbie Busch
Eye Deal no. 6, Winter 1995
Eye Deal, 355 4 St, #18, NY, NY 10009

How do I love the Geraldine Fibbers? Let me count the ways, they are 
certainly more than the amount of licks it takes to get to the center 
of a Tootsie Pop! Although the Fibbers are similar to said candy. The 
outside is a sweet shell of sounds with the instruments weaving around 
Carla's passionate vocals. When you have licked at the outside long enough 
you get to the gooey part. The world Carla sings about is often dark and 
sad, but it is a warm comforting sorrow. You can feel almost at home with 
the Geraldine Fibbers. But I would advise not to lick three times and 
bite--they might bite back. If you haven't heard or seen them you are 
missing something from your life. For the benefit of those who have not 
had the pleasure I would describe the Fibber sound as a mix of country 
(i.e Hank Williams to Dolly Parton), blues (i.e. Robert Johnson to
Billie Holiday), and punk rock (i.e. The Germs to, well, the Geraldine
Fibbers). Ah, better than all of that though, just go out and get their 
record or see them for yourselves!

Robbie: O.K. now what are you going to say about the Village Voice thing?
Carla: I was just going to say, I just wanted to warn you that if you start
getting on the tact of my checkered past that I'll get angry and throw you 
out the window. 
Robbie: (chuckle) Well that didn't come up in my little notes here, so no
problem. Well, first off, were guys just in England, at Reading?
Daniel: We did the European festival tour.
Robbie: Oh yeah, how was it?
Daniel: It was great. It was the most fun I've had.
Robbie: How was the reaction over there?
Daniel: Wonderful. A lot of people, a lot of good reaction, a lot of fun. 
Kevin: Respectful. (everyone laughs)
Bill: Yeah, they enjoyed us. They enjoyed our music.
Kevin: They wanted Silverchair, y'know.
Robbie: Did they have any country music background? I mean did they know 
where you were coming from or did they just enjoy it from a fresh point of 
Bill: I think from a fresh viewpoint.
Carla: I do too, they seemed pretty confused at first. I'd definitely say 
so, I'd say it was very fresh. (giggles)
Robbie: but that's cool. I guess they're more open-minded there, they see 
a lot of stuff.
Bill: They sure are!
Robbie: In terms of the Voice, I remember whe you were here at Brownie's 
(last time) you made that comment about Guns n Roses what...
Carla:(laughs) Their track record...ah...uh...see, the thing is that I know
that they really like the band; and I think that they're trying to be
supportive, but...put it this way after reading yesterday's review of the
record I decided I'm not going to read any press about the Geraldine Fibbers
anymore. Because frankly it made me cry.
Robbie: Really? Oh, that's awful. I mean I've read a bunch of reviews of 
you guys and everyone's coming at it from a different angle and they all 
have their own interpretations. How does that make you feel? Do you think 
it's just a bunch of hooey?
Carla: I don't know. I mean, like that Axl Rose thing. The woman who wrote 
that is a really good writer, and I really respect her. But, I fuckin'...
there's nobody in the world I hate more than Axl Rose and I mean the 
idea of being compared. 
Robbie: Yeah, I thought it was ridiculous too. I didn't know where she was
coming from.
Carla: And then the same person, she wrote the thing in Spin and made the 
same comparison. 
Robbie: Oh, man. So now you're linked with Axl twice.
Kevin: The funny thing is she meant it in the best possible way.
Carla: She meant it as a compliment, I think.
Bill: But, the genderlessness...or something like that...or the...
Carla, Well, I mean, I don't think of Axl Rose as genderless. I think of 
him as a homophobic freak! (general agreement). That's one of the main 
things I hate about him. He's a fucking mysogynistic, homophobic fuckin 
Bill: He used to be my boss at Tower Records. He worked at Tower Video. I'd
have to go make an employee purchase and I'd have to go get something signed
by the manager. "Get this signed by Axl." and I'd be like, "Who's Axl?" 
"You'll see" and I'd go over there and he'd be like sprawled out. All like 
"Aggghhh..." Sign this. (laughter).
Robbie: So what are you guys listening to now? Anything that's exciting 
you new or old?
Bill: Beethoven's Seventh Symphony, Stereolab, the new Palace Brothers.
Robbie: I was going to ask you about the Palace Brothers. Are you all...
Kevin: I love, love the Palace Brothers.
Robbie: Did you hear the new record?
Kevin: I have the new record, but I haven't had a chance to listen to it 
I have every single Palace Brothers piece of output. 
Carla: I've been going through a real Hafler Trio, Speculum Fight, Caroliner
Rainbow phase. 
Robbie: I was wondering if noise still played a part in your life. That's 
Carla: Yeah, as a matter of fact that's all I really listen to right now.
Just stuff that doesn't have any melody or...
Robbie: No lyrical content?
Carla: Just sounds and noise.
Robbie: Daniel, anything?
Daniel: (head buried in the last issue of Eye Deal) Soundgarden. (big 
laughter from everyone). Laugh, but hey.
Robbie: All right, so that's where the tricky licks are coming from.
Carla: (laughing). The tricky licks. (everyone laughs and joins in with 
tricky licks jokes) We've got to get Daniel a t-shirt that says that. 
AKA Tricky Licks.
Kevin: Tricky Lixx with two x's on the end. 
Robbie: Oh, yeah! Get him some picks made up. Tricky Lixx picks. When I was
talking to Bill at the CBs show (a few months ago) he was bumming the 
Ramones were playing that night. Do you find that happens, like Mose 
Allison tonight?
But you could probably see him. 
Carla: I don't know what time he plays, but Mose Allison is really important
to me. I'd love to see him.
Robbie: In what way is he important?
Carla: He's one of my first musical loves from when I was a kid and I just
never stopped thinking that he was the shit.
Kevin: That happens everywhere we go through and we wonder why the fuck 
aren't we playing with them, y'know.
Carla: Tonight's a good example of that actually. There are several other 
bills that we would prefer I think.
Robbie: I was surprised, but was it a last minute thing?
Bill: Yeah.
Robbie: How's Virgin been to you guys? Are you happy?
Kevin: (like a robot) Yes, we are happy.
Robbie: (general laughter) Good, nice answer. Thank you. (more laughter) 
Do you have a thing in your contract wher eyou can do independent 
recordings? Like put stuff out on Big Jesus.
Carla: Ask them.
Kevin: We do. Carla is a little more tied up in the whole thing.
Carla: I'm a little bit limited. I have to be more...
Kevin: Sneaky.
Carla: I have to be a bit more clever about it. I can do a limited number of
projects a year. Cause they know that left to my own devices I would appear
Robbie: Yeah, everything.
Carla: A lot of stuff. And they're not in to that. So, I can do a limited
number....which is actually good for me, because I honestly wouldn't have
signed a thing where I wouldn't be able to do...I thought it through and
though, I'm not really going tohave time to do that stuff and this is cool
because I can focus on a couple of things and make them really special and
that's all that I can really do. The other thing I figured out is I could 
do music for anybody, anytime as long as I don't sing they'll never know 
it's me. (laughs)
Robbie: You think so. 
Carla: How could they know it's me? The music?
Robbie: After a certain point, yeah sure. Your music is as good as your
voice, you'll come through it.
Carla: Thank you. I appreciate that a lot. More than you know. But, they
wouldn't ever. I mean I'm talking about seven inches on you know fucking...
Robbie: Yeah, right. K Records or something.
Carla: Yeah, right. But I think what I'm going to do as one of my choice
projects is a project with Barry Adamson. Which I'm very excited about.
Robbie: Oh very cool. In a different direction? More towards his stuff?
Carla: Well, I think it's going to be a straight up collaboration. It's
probably going to be a theme record that sort of gets into a story.
Robbie: Oh wow, like Tommy? (laughter) I'm just kiiding.
Carla: No more like a sort of children's record but for adults.
Robbie: A childish record.
Carla: (laughs) Yeah.
Robbie: All of you, how do you go about writing your stuff? Do you come 
in with something Carla, or have you gotten to the point where you can 
all sit in the room and fiddle around and come up with stuff?
Carla: Actually this is the first time we have all sat in the same room for
seven months. (everyone laughs) You know it's one of those things.
Robbie: Court orders...restraining orders.
Bill: You'll notice that Daniel is sitting between Kevin and I.
Robbie: Ummmm Hmmmmm.
Bill: There's no real set way the songs get written. A lot of time Carla 
just brings it and says this is what I've got and we all add something,
and she'll say play it more like this or that's great or something. 
Y'know Kevin started some and shows us what to do. There's one, Birthday 
Boy, it's not my favorite but it stands out because we all had just 
taken a break and switched instruments. I think I was on drums and who was 
on what? I don't remember. 
Carla: I was on guitar.
Daniel: Lead vocals (big laugh).
Robbie: Oh, yeah lead throat.
Bill: It was just two riffs and then it turned into a song.
Robbie: Do Daniel did you write the lyrics?
Daniel: Just the chorus. (more big laughs)
Carla: The chorus to that song goes like this--Ah ha ha ha.
Robbie: Sounds like Flipper.
Carla: Yeah, I know.
Bill: Really that was a lot of fun.
(We go off on a short conversation starting with how Carla never owned a 
rubber suit and ending with the fashions of the 1920s thru 1940s. We all 
agree that we feel as though we were born sixty years too late.)
Robbie: Back to Silverlake/Echo Park-I remember I was living there the
community was so much nicer than here. Do you want to talk about that for 
a sec? What's it like there? Why do you think it works, or does it? I mean 
has it broken off a little?
Carla: Can I just say something really quick?
Daniel: Go ahead. 
Kevin: By all means.
Carla: People bag on L.A. a lot which is fine, I mean I know why, but 
I've been in L.A. my whole life and I've been through several music 
scenes there. And the music scene there kicks ass right now! It's the 
fuckin' coolest music scene. It rivals the music scene in L.A. in 1980. 
It's so good. It's so fucking good! The bands are so good! 
Robbie: Yeah I remember three or four years ago it was looking really good.
There was more of a scene than anywhere I'd been. There was more support.
Carla: It's so not cool, it's so fun. People just go out and get really 
wacky and have fun. It's the best! It's the best scene I've seen since I 
was a teenager.
Bill: I've lived in L.A. for ten years and when I moved there it was like
Poison, the glam thing was happening. That's when Axl was my boss across 
the street.
Carla: Right that was a bad time.
Bill: Right and I'm going like, I moved here. Oh my god. Why did I do 
this? I should have gone to New York, or wherever else. But, yeah, as 
Carla said now it is very vibrant. Probably even more so since you've 
left because there's a lot of fresher bands that are coming into their 
own. Like, were Polar Goldie Cats happening when you left? Ten Cents, 
Touch Candy? Then there are others that are still going Possum Dixon is 
still going, Extra Fancy is still going. 
Kevin: Plus, there's a couple of good places to play now in Silver Lake. 
Which makes a difference.
Robbie: That's great.
Bill: Yeah, now it's action central of the L.A. scene.
Daniel: Spaceland, they've got the Velvet Room.
Robbie: Raji's closed didn't it?
Bill: I think it did.
Kevin: It reopened at the Ski Room! I couldn't believe it when I drove by 
the other day. I had to tell you that. 
Bill: Raji's got damaged in the earthquake, the Hastings Hotel got damaged.
Daniel: Yeah, it's a parking lot of something.
(We talk about how Hollywood is getting destroyed righ now because they are
putting the subway in and hitting the foundation of old buildings so they 
can tear them down. Then I tell them about Disney taking over Times 
Square and we go off on that, and how depressing it is. 
Robbie: Oh, I was just wondering if you had seen Reba McIntire doing Fancy?
Carla: I heard that she did it, but I haven't heard it. Is it good?
Robbie: Oh no no no.
Carla: That good huh?
Bill: I saw the video.
Robbie: Me too, that's where I saw it.
Kevin: She did that years ago. She's an actress too, y'know.
Robbie: Was it years ago? I sw the video just recently.
Kevin: It was probably like six or seven years ago that did that.
Carla: She's another person who need to change her look.
Daniel: The video is very true to the song though...
Robbie: yeah, it's a story.
Daniel: They go after it word for word. 
Kevin: Here's the script, here's the lyrics.
Daniel: We've got the roach on the shoe...(we all start laughing)
Carla: Really!
Bill: but they added something at the end. Cause she makes, like her 
homestead this home for wayward children.
Carla: No way! Aw that's such a cop out. That has nothing to do with the 
story. The story is about a sassy girl who has her...what is it...
Bill: She says I ain't been back.
Carla: 'Got me a Georgia mansion and an elegant New York town house flat. I
ain't done bad.'
Bill: Well what happens.
Daniel: That would never fly on TNN.
Kevin: It's got to be a moral play.
Carla: That is so wrong.
Robbie: Country music comes from a very different place than where you live.
Especially now, with it's big resurgence all of this pop country stuff.
Obviously that is not where you're coming from or what you want. But, what 
do you think about that? How do you co-exist with that?
Carla: I don't have any connection with that what so ever. It's a different
Kevin: The new country you mean?
Carla: Yeah, it's totally different.
Robbie: But you can dig stuff through the 70s right?
Carla: Oh yeah.
Bill: I'd say that music is as urban as we are. And I think the music 
that...I mean I don't want to name names, but that the current crop of 
people that we're discussing here is like make-believe country. 
McCountry (big laughs) No, but what I'm saying is, it's for people that 
are stuck in rush hour traffic on the way to their goddmaned job, in 
whatever big city they're living in, fantasizing that they are the rural 
schmuck that the guy is singin about (even though he himself has never 
been a rural guy). And not that rural people are schmucks because I have 
a real affinity for that. I just say that because, if you're sittin 
in a BMW listening to that kind of stuff, you're going a bias.
Robbie: What do you think Daniel?
Daniel: Aw, nothing. I listen to some of that stuff because I sit around 
and watch TNN all day some days. It's just feel good music.
Robbie: It's like pop music.
Kevin: It's like Loverboy, workin for the weekend, y'know.
Daniel: Totally! There's the just got off work, it's Friday night, I'm
gonna go out and party. 
Kevin: Then there's a song about mama. Y'know?
Robbie: It's not the blues anymore.
Daniel: No, it's all about workin for the weekend.
Carla: Well that's what all our stuff is about too so.
Daniel: Yeah, but when the weekend comes for us...
Robbie: It's a different weekend Carla.
Daniel: Yeah we lock ourselves in the house and pull the shades down.
Carla: Pull the covers over my head.
Kevin: We should write a song about going to work and fuckin lovin it.
Robbie: The proletariat. The communist album.
Kevin: Yeah, right exactly.
Robbie: I wanted to ask you about Salinger on your guitar.
Daniel: That's a good question.
Robbie: So what's the affinity? Why is he on your guitar?
I noticed some of th lyrics reminded me of his stuff.
Carla: There's at least one Salinger reference on the album.
Robbie: Silverfish?
Carla: Oh no, ummm Bananafish.
Robbie: Well, Bananafish is the story. But there's a passage from Franny 
and Zooey where someone is watching the carpet and there's silverfish 
running around. Whenever I heard that line it reminds me of that.
Carla: That could have been a subconscious one. Bananafish is also a little
magazine that comes out of San Francisco that writes about noise.
Robbie: Seymore Glass.
Carla: Seymore Glass puts it out. Umm...Salinger.
Robbie: Why is he on your guitar? Is he just a godhead?
Carla: Yeah, he's that. He also looks a lot like my father when my father 
was young. Really young. I have a picture of my father that looks like 
that picture almost exactly. Cause that's the standard author pose from 
the 50s or around there. 40s?
Bill & Robbie: 50s.
Carla: And I really like Salinger. But ask Bill.
Robbie: O.K. Bill, Salinger?
Bill: I had an English teacher who read something I wrote and said "you 
must love Salinger"  and I'm like "Who?" and she wrote it down, Nine 
Stories and I wnt and got it y'know, that English teacher two years ago 
told me about this. Then I was totally addicted. He's kind of like, 
I don't really go too far from anywhere without Salinger myself, and 
it's coincidence that she (Carla) feels the same. But he's been like 
my god.
Robbie: What's your favorite?
Bill: Oh, my favorite, absolute? Teddy. Teddy, closely followed by Laughing
Man. I read Teddy everytime I'm in a plane taking off or landing. That's 
like my totem thing that I do that, kind of alleviates the nerves that 
I'm gonna die on tube with a bunch of strangers. So, I always want to be 
reading that just in case something happens. I'll be reading my favorite 
Robbie (to Carla): How 'bout you, what's your favorite?
Carla: I don't know, something about his style in general. He has a sense 
of humor that is perfect for me and he has a certain thing with detail. 
He manages to get across these little subtleties that just make me 
feel very connected and I love that a lot. I'm really into....right 
now I'm really into "For Esme with Love and Squalor" too. That's my 
other favorite now.
Robbie: History of the band time. 
Kevin:O.K. Daniel and Carla were goofing around. Carla had some songs 
that were countryish and some covers she wanted to do. I knew Daniel 
from working at Millies. 
Daniel: Bill and I played in Glue together.
Carla: Bill agreed to play upright bass.
Kevin: Remember?
Robbie: Was that like an arm twisting thing?
Bill: Naw, I had to borrow one for a while. I had played it before, but I
hadn't owned one since 1983.
Carla: Actually, I have a tape recording of that conversation.
Bill: They're joking because I was thinking I wanted to electric bass on a
couple of songs that I felt deserved an electric bass.
Robbie: So, have you written some new songs?
Carla: We're not going to write new songs.
Kevin: We're going to re-record the same album.
Carla: The next record we're gonna do an entire remake of Milo Goes to 
College by the Descendants.
Robbie: Very good. But, as a country record?
Carla: No, exactly the same. Note for note, measure for measure.
Bill: LIke that band that did the White Album, side one and side two.
Robbie: Clawhammer did the Devo record.
Carla: Right.
Bill: Well, we're gonna do it with Milo Goes to College. Even though I've 
never heard it.
Carla: The only difference is there's going to be an upright bass.
Robbie: That will sound a little bit funky. Are you Descendants fan or 
did that just pop out of your head?
Carla: Oh I love them. I always did. (Daniel gives a yawn.)
Robbie: I guess Daniel did too. 

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