T.G. EXCLUSIVE: The Wombombs – “Fukushima Fishnets” Music Video & Interview

TuffGnarl.com’s humbled and honored to debut Fukushima Fishnets  the new single from Ft. Lauderdale’s up and coming The Wombombs.

I recently sat down with The Wombombs founding member Andrew Pino to talk music, influences and fuzzy Soviet era hats. Enjoy!

Chuck Livid: Tell me who you are and what you do in the band?

Andrew Pino: I’m Andrew and I play guitar and do vocals.

When did you guys start playing?

We started about a year ago when I was still playing in Que Lastima and I was searching for people to play with that I really wanted to play with.

As a side band?

Yeah it started as a side project. I was doing stuff with Que Lastima and they weren’t really setup or fit to go on tour which is what I really wanted to do with that band. We recorded three albums in three years which wasn’t too bad. We were making decent money but after realizing that none of them were really trying to go on tour I was like what the fuck am I doing here. That prompted me to make a more conscious decision to free up more of my time so I could use it on something I wanted to do. Hence The Wombombs.

For people not familiar with Que Lastima that was what like a 7 piece band?  

Originally it was an 8-piece band and eventually we trimmed it down by two people to a 6-piece. We fired multiple backup singers and one of the trombone players. We couldn’t seem to find a backup singer that wasn’t an obnoxious alcoholic.

To be fair isn’t that part of the resume for a backup singer?

[Laughs]

It’s always seemed to me that big bands are just hard to do anything with. It’s too many people.

It is. It’s hard with this band and we’re just 4 people.

So The Wombombs are a 4-piece?

Yeah. Guitar, drums, bass and sax.  With the exception of Steph they’re all pledges right now in my eyes. [laughs] I’ve given them all a sticker and I’m like “when you’ve proven yourselves worthy I’ll give you another sticker.” Maybe.  Or I’ll just tattoo them in their sleep.

Jesus man! You’re like Metallica with bass players after Cliff.

I’ve already gone through 4 bass players. Three drummers in one year. Right now though we’ve got a pretty solid line-up so we’re going to start booking more shows.

The Wombombs’ music is totally different from Que Lastima.

Yeah Que Lastima was more of an old haunting type sound that we were going for. At least for the stuff that I wrote.

To me it’s like the video game Cuphead but with like a crazy fucking singer.  

Cuphead on acid maybe.

Or Beetlejuice fronting.

The short guy or the movie one?

Well maybe both. As backup singers.

I wouldn’t have quit the band if they were in it.

How would you describe your music?

I’m really bad about describing my own music but I guess I would call it trashy surf rock and roll. That’s more of a stylistic thing more than a genre. We play songs that are in different genres like we’ve got a cowboy song, we’ve got some doo-wop songs but at the end of the day we’re a rock and roll band.

Do you think your time in Que Lastima helped shape your level of professionalism?

Oh definitely.

Que Lastima always seemed to have their shit together all-around.

We really tried to from the beginning with that band which is something me and Paul [Tergeist] had spoken about and it worked. Also I wasn’t the one doing it all which helps.

So who’s helping you in The Wombombs?

Well me and Steph bounce some ideas back and forth but I still do a lot of it.

Who’s Steph?

She’s the bass player. She does a lot. We both take turns doing stuff. She’s pretty invested and she’s made her position in the band.

So she doesn’t have to wear a sticker?

[Laughs] She’s a full-member. She’s mom and I’m dad.

Photo by Sierra Kline

TuffGnarl.com’s premiering the video for your new single Fukushima Fishnets which in my opinion is fan-fucking-tastic by the way. You can use that as a blurb if you’d like.

Thanks man.

I love the video’s whole Crazy 88s from Kill Bill / 5,6,7,8’s vibe.

Originally we were going to go more with the allusion of what the song’s really about which is the Fukushima Daiichi power plant’s giant radioactive spill that’s still leaking into the ocean.

Oh yeah the one no one talks about anymore.  

They’re not going to talk about it until people start growing two feet on one leg.

Or until Godzilla actually comes out of the water.

Oh I’m all about that especially if it hits the west coast first. I want to visit California before that happens.  If that happened on the first day of our west coast tour I’d consider it a successful tour. Even if it’s our last show.

[Laughs] Well you made it! Who made the video for Fukushima Fishnets?

I wrote it and storyboarded it.

Wait you did a storyboard for it?!

Yeah. Well I wasn’t filming. Robbie [Kingsley] from Fuzz Baby Records did all the camera work (also of Killmama fame –Ed.’s note.) He wanted a shot by shot. I’ve written comics and stuff as a kid…

[Interrupts] I should add that you’re a super talented artist. One of my local favorites as a matter of fact.

Oh thanks.

Your music sucks but your illustrations are phenomenal. [Laughs] I’m totally kidding. Music’s pretty great too.

I design all the garbage cans in Broward but only on the inside to make all the trash feel more comfortable.

So Robbie did all camera work? It’s an amazing production and best of all it didn’t feel cheesy.

There’s a little bit of cheese.

Naw! I enjoyed it. I feel like bands fuck up music videos so much nowadays. You definitely need to send it to Tarantino.

What so he can sue us? That’ll be our claim to fame. Someone already came up to us and was like “hey you’re the Crazy 88s!” and I was like — “Yes and no. Kind of?” It’s basically the makeup that I used to wear in Que Lastima and I was just like the band should all just wear it.

The Wombombs. Photo by Sierra Kline.

So is the make-up going to be your shtick?

I mean we’ve only played one show thus far and we didn’t wear it.

It’s a good look.

You want us to wear it huh? It’s kind of spiraled into that now.

Just saying Kepi from Groovie Ghoulies used to do it and it worked out okay for him.

Oh yeah! I like it because I can pretend that I’m not me and some people don’t recognize me. Actually a lot of people don’t recognize me when I don’t have it on. A little black streak across my eyes and I’m like “This is amazing! I’m gonna wear this on dates all the time.”

It should be your Tinder photo.

It used to be. I’m just kidding I don’t have a Tinder account. Maybe I should just get it tattooed. Naw then it loses its whole appeal.

You can’t be Superman and Clark Kent at the same time guy.

I’ll be SuperKent. I never liked Superman. It’s like a little kid created Superman. All these people back then were making all these heroes with back stories and there was this bully that wasn’t a part of it and was like — “Well I got a guy that can beat all of them!”

Right.

And everyone’s like “You can’t do that!”

Eventually they let him be part of the group under the condition of giving Superman a weakness.

And the bully’s like “Fine! But nobody has it and it’s really rare!” [laughs]

Did you read comics growing up?

Oh yeah.

What are some of your favorite comics? Followed with who’s your favorite hero?

Out of the big two (Marvel / DC for our non-nerd readers –Ed.’s note.) I like Batman because he’s really not a superhero. He’s just some insane billionaire with super deep-seated parental issues. I don’t know why but that really spoke to me as a child. He’s just kind of a psychopath. Why’s he wearing a bat costume? I mean they explain it as – “he saw a bat at some point.”

To strike fear man!

That’s kinda silly. I mean if I saw some dude in a bat costume it’d be kinda scary but..

[Interrupting] Only at night though. It totally loses its impact in the day. I’d probably just start laughing if Batman showed up at like noon.

You know I thought about that too growing up. All the bad guys are always doing shit at night. Crime’s a 24 hour sort of thing.

You’re not going to break into a house at night. You’re going do it during the day when everyone’s at work.

If there’s a dude beating the shit out of criminals at nighttime then you should maybe change your hours. But you know it’s a cartoon.

Were you into indie comics at all?

I was really into this WW2 comic that I can’t remember the name. It was always set in the Eastern Front. It confused me and I just remember realizing as a kid that I didn’t know anything back then about WW2. I was also really into the Soviet Union as a child I don’t know why. I liked the hats I think. I thought they had a cool style.

[Laughs] Big Trotsky fan were you?

Yeah as a kid I was really into Stalin. [Laughs] I just liked the way they talked and their attitude and those fuzzy hats with the stars on them.

The Soviets had a very interesting aesthetic. Speaking of aesthetics do you see your design work dictate the Wombombs stuff?

I’m sure some of it will.

The Wombombs will be performing March 30th at Las Rosas in Miami alongside Smut & Denudes & April 6th at Voltaire in West Palm Beach with The Zoo Peculiar, The Grumps & Jersey Glamburger. 

 

 

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Chuck Livid

Chuck Livid hails from Miami, Florida. He did a zine in the '90s called Muddy Chaos and is best known for his work with independent music label Livid Records. Chuck lives in Boca Raton, Fl with his wife illustrator Helena Garcia and their son Nico. He founded TuffGnarl.com and hosts TuffGnarl.com's official music podcast - Another Music Podcast which is available on iTunes & Google Play

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