Category Archives: Interviews
This was a fun one: an interview with my old pal, Jessie Jones, who I first met seemingly yesterday when she was a teenager, a member of Feeding People, and now have to stand back and admire as a full-grown solo artist!
Truth be told, the interview we did at Sage to prepare for this article went on FOREVER. What ended up in print is only a small portion of the rambling talk we had about all the crazy stuff she’s gone through in such a short period of time, including working in a factory in a rural town, hiding out from Bigfoot, and trying to escape society by moving off into the woods.
Of course, the L.A. RECORD folks had to trim even more off to get it to fit in the magazine, but there’s one fun part at the beginning that I wish had stayed!
… and since I wrote the darn thing, and ONLY because I like the original intro enough that I think it’s worth sharing as an outtake, I’m reprinting my original beginning to the interview here. You can read this first and then jump into the article, or just go to the article now if you think I’m already long-winded enough.
She may look it, but Jessie Jones is no longer the same shy, young singer from Orange County with the bold, weathered, jazzy old woman’s voice that she was when D. M. Collins first interviewed her in 2011. Back then, she sang with the psychedelia-tinged, Burger Records-approved garage band Feeding People, who then seemed to be just approaching the lip of the cusp of the edge of greatness. Instead, they quickly burned out; but Jones never truly faded away. After a few years in wandering the country trying out dead end jobs and engaging with supernatural phenomena, Jones re-emerged in full force in 2015, first on a triumphant tour co-singing lead vocals with Death Valley Girls, and now, as of this month, with her first solo album, which has been tickling the fancies of folks from the bowels of Gnar Burger all the way to the corridors and clicks of NPR. She speaks now, again, to D. M. Collins, who has convinced her to join him for a very candid interview at the vegan restaurant Sage in Echo Park, a place so opposed to animal cruelty that even the arachnids have started getting cocky…
FUCK! FUCKING FUCK! I giant spider was just in my mouth! Oh my fucking god. Did it bite my lip? It just, like, swung whole into my mouth! I didn’t swallow it; it’s climbed somewhere back up on the umbrella and disappeared….
JESSIE JONES: Maybe it’s trying to bless you?
Jessie, you are such a witch! People think you are this innocent little lamb, but you are a witch! Is that giant spider your “familiar?”
JESSIE JONES: I have weird relationships with spiders. Sometimes when I’m about to make a really drastic decision, I’ll wake up with like six spider bites! Their symbolism is tied up with the mythology of the Fates, the makers of destiny.
So, that reminds me, I’ll forgive the spider, because I have a confession. Remember when I interviewed Feeding People in my backyard in 2011 [in issue #104 of L.A. RECORD, e.d.]? You were all so young and so charming; it was obvious the band was going to implode horribly, and soon. I should have said something. Do you forgive me for not warning you that your life was about to go to shit?
JESSIE JONES: Um….. yes!
Yay! She forgives me! That apology on my part was far more than casual conversation. Glad she’s not mad at me for not trying to “save” her from the future fate had waiting for her. Then again, that spider certainly did act suspiciously, as if bewitched…
Okay, with the above original text out of the way, feel free to hop to the actual article and continue reading.
And in honor of labor day, please make sure to savor her words when she starts to describe some of her experiences out there in the “eye of the storm” of capitalism. This part of her responses really struck me as both insightful and beautiful, while at the same time, you know, scary as hell:
“South Carolina, when I was just living in the middle of nowhere—that’s where it hit me: there’s so much poverty, such a lack of education, and not a lot of opportunity for people who are born without any guidance or any money. Just seeing how capitalism and consumerism really exist only when you’re in the eye of the storm. And when I was working weird jobs and stuff for companies in weird factories to keep existing, and I could see like, all this crap is coming from China. And I’m sending it to some person’s house in like Anaheim or Chicago, but they don’t see what’s going on behind closed doors. It’s like I could finally see how big America was, how small I was, how small my little bubble in Orange County was. And I had to talk about it, I guess. I had to get it out.”
-D. M. Collins
Go read it.
Thanks and thanks and thanks again to Brother Bobby Bones, who first introduced me to Shuggie’s music.
-D. M. Collins
Read it here.
-D. M. Collins
This one was a pleasure. Please read.
-D. M. Collins
This was already posted in issue 108 of L.A. RECORD, but now it’s on the website. It was quite a joy to interview someone of his light, enthusiasm, and history. He’s a true American poet, and I love him to death. So glad he’s back and doing more poetry, as well as a little music of his own as “Stevie Nobody.”
So much of your work is about peace. You knew even then?
Yes—at 12 or 13 I was writing about world peace and believing I could help bring it about. I’ve had different experiences with that now. We have to fight as aggressively for peace as we do for war. I don’t mean necessarily with guns, but we have to be strong because the forces of evil against us are very organized and very strong. And good has a tendency to be nice and sweet and not as organized. We gotta organize goodness! Without making it cultish or dictatorial. I’ve never seen anyone really do it. The way I think now—sometimes if evil comes into your house, you gotta defend it. And I mean defend it. Not just wish good thoughts. Good thoughts will get you killed. You understand the difference? I’ve grown to realizing peace needs a physicality in this world.
I also wrote an expanded review of the Stephen Kalinich/Jon Tiven album and posted it. Unfortunately I can’t be at Kalinich’s show tonight, because I’m DJ’in.
Somehow I was pulled into interviewing Tim Heidecker at the last minute for L.A. RECORD. I’m not saying I was unprepared, but I had only about 24 hours to get this together. He and I didn’t have my famous chemistry, and he had no interest in talking about the sexual inappropriateness of David Liebe Hart, but I still got some great answers out of him, largely about his recent album. Read it here.
I got to interview my old friend Drew, who has an amazing new movie out! I had a blast doing the interview: rarely have I been so productive while drinking.
Okay, that’s a lie. I’m always productive while drinking. Booze is my Adderal.
The Jimmy Cliff interview I did a couple weeks back is now on the L.A. RECORD website.
Reading this recent interview with Greg Palast, I have to come to terms once again with the grim but true fact that Republicans are rigging EVERY possible county’s election that they can in this country, using the political bulimia of binge and purge to make sure Dems’ votes don’t count. The Rethugs did it in Florida in 2000, they did it in Ohio in 2004 (even if Kerry wouldn’t have won the state, he should have been noticably closer than he wound up being), and now they are doing it in Colorado and New Mexico and god knows where else.
And that’s why it’s a sneaky trick of McCain’s camp to pretend that ACORN is some kind of voter fraud machine that could have any effect on the election at all. Sure, maybe a couple guys registered fake names like “Mary Poppins” or “Peter Pan,” but Peter Pan can’t go down and actually get a ballot. ACORN checks those but by law has to submit them anyway. It ain’t their fault, and it ain’t the same as lying to kids in Colorado about their voting status or purging minorities from voting roles like the Republicans do. We need to fight back by volunteering to be part of the process on election day, to make sure the people taking the ballots aren’t giving out false information to the people waiting in line to be a part of democracy. And when you do vote, make sure NOT to back down! Argue or do whatever you have to, but make sure you get a ballot and make sure you see them put it in the same slot as everyone else’s ballot!
UPDATE: Seems that Greg Palast’s research ain’t always what it should be. Or at least that’s one dude’s take. It still doesn’t change the fact that Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, and countless other publications have found similar stuff all over, but maybe don’t quote Palast’s piece on rural New Mexico as part of your anti-fascist tool kit.