"Can we, as a country, all
: March 2003 : Black
love Blackjack. I love them love them love
them. They are the coolest hottest most dangerous
band in the world and I never in a million
years dreamed I'd muster the balls to interview
them. I never in a million years dreamed I'd
ever see them again, actually. Jail, rehab
and other exotic locales kept them awful busy
these last five years. Five years is a long
time. David Bowie said that's all we got is
five years, and boy was he right. The new
kids have never seen or even heard of Blackjack.
The old kids are dead or have bred.
who and what is Blackjack? Imagine getting
hit in the head with a club by an exceedingly
well-groomed cop and really liking it. Imagine
Wire's 32-minute opus Pink Flag done
in eight minutes nine seconds. Imagine putting
all your Misfits albums in a Cuisinart without
the top on. Shrapnel, man! Beautiful and disfiguring.
talked with a lot of Big Names over the years,
but no one got me so a-quiver as these four.
They are total rockstars in a galaxy of indie
nebulae. I'll never forget the day I ran into
lead singer Captain Harlock at Fred Meyer,
shopping for tchotchkes with his pistol hot
ladyfriend. Might as well have been Simon
fucking LeBon. I was totally starstruck. Blackjack!
you'll see them grocery shopping, too. Cpt.
Harlock is the psycho lead singer who looks
like Rat Scabies and bartends at the Matador.
Born and bred in fabulous Las Vegas, this
handsome crooner remains a mama's boy at
heart, just like Elvis. Guitarist Jack Black
looks like that guy from the Sex Pistols
and that guy from the Clash. He is soooooo
dreamy and shy. Why is that so often the
case? Dreamy = shy? He plays guitar like
that guy in GBH and he's never even heard
GBH. Steve Reno plays bass and is every
stripper's big brother. He is the greatest
and I just love to hug him. He is also the
smartest and from Chicago. Scottie is from
Canby, Oregon and is cute as a button, whatever
that means. He IS Blackjack. No one could
ever replicate his seamless transitions
from one twelve second song to the next.
follows is Viva's Dream Come True. Blackjack,
very alive and very well, sat around drinking
manhattans with me on the day after Valentine's,
the darkest day of the year. I love them
so much. This amount of love even surpassed
last year's VD lovefest with Slayer.
Lotsa young kids have come of age in your
absence...could you tell them WHO IS BLACKJACK?
We are the guardian monster that only appears
when music fucking sucks. And boy does it
Why the long hiatus? And why are none of
You cannot kill that which is already dead.
Our band has had more fans die than any
band on the West Coast. Except for the Wipers
and Dead Moon.
Has anyone ever died at a Blackjack show?
Close! The golfball incident was really
close. People are always talking about how
violent our shows were, but people just
stand there and watch us. Chicks dance.
The only really violent show was at Club
21 when Harlock sang "AIDS" with his pants
around his ankles.
What songs are you working up?
We practiced forty-two songs yesterday.
"Uterus Hammer," "Down Syndrome," "Castrated"....
Do you have any ballads?
Fuck yeah we do. "Jack-Booted Thugs", "Call
Have you guys ever played with any of the
Portland darlings, like say Sleater-Kinney?
That would be so rad.
At one point we were actually a Team-Dresch
God I hate Sleater-Kinney.
If I had an extra bone in my body, it would
be all full of hate for that band. If you're
ugly and have no talent you can get a fuckin'
dyke band together in five seconds in this
Obviously Blackjack is the best band to
come out of Portland ever....
No, no, no. The Wipers, Poison Idea, Lockjaw....there's
a lot. We're the best looking.
Okay. In the last ten years. So why do Pond
and Quasi and Elliott Smith get all the
Because Portland is America's London, that's
has to be all sad.... Portland's reputation
as being a tattooed, strip bar, shanghai
tunnel-type town is changing into a fucking
piece of shit.
I think if you really experience Portland
it still is a tattooed, strip bar, shanghai
tunnel-type town, but to the nation we
are an Elliott Smith town, and I think,
due to your absence, it's your fault!
Good! Cuz that means it has the best underground
So, it's basically still Valentine's Day....what
did you do?
I got high, took a bloodshit and hung
around outside the girls' bathroom at
the Shanghai Tunnel getting phone numbers.
What's been goin on in the last five years?
Are there babies? Are there wives? New
venereal diseases? Felonies? Misdemeanors?
Last thing I remember is Reno falling
off the stage at a show....he got really
tired and took a nap and now here we are.
That and a bunch of DUI's.
So you've been gone a long time, do you
think the kids are gonna cotton to ya
right away again?
I don't care if anyone shows up or not.
I'm just gonna get up there and jerk myself
Any good good hair care or makeup products
you cats can recommend to the strippers
Cum. Strippers? I saw the biggest asshole
the other day! Why do strippers shave
their pussies but not their assholes in
this town? I don't get it.
When's the last time you were in a strip
With you! And the naked chick. What's
that stripper's name? Bangkok? Where is
she from? When does a stripper get off
duty? That's the whole thing. If I'm in
a bar and there's a stripper there, if
I go over and give her like five bucks,
she gets pissed off. But if I go to a
strip club and give her five bucks, it's
ok. So, why is she off duty? When I'm
giving her the money all the time? That
makes no sense! I'll sing anytime, give
me a hundred bucks. I'm just saying, show
me your asshole, here's a dollar. That's
MY LINE. That Officer Partridge article
used MY LINE. He can use it.
Any good bands of the last three years?
Puffy Amiyumi. Yob. The Datsuns. The Dirtbombs
always kick ass.
Sexiest song of all time?
"I Don't Need Your Love" by Screwdriver.
"Uterus Hammer." "Apple Blossom" by the
White Stripes is smoochy.
What's the best Pretenders' song?
"Kid." "Brass in Pocket."
What's your antidepressant/ addiction
of your choice?
Italian suits. Pussy. Liquor. Cigarettes.
What's the sexiest thing you've seen onstage?
Me. Viva Las Vegas. Nothing. Nobody.
Dawn of the Dead. Day of the Dead.
Night of the Living Dead. The Thing.
What's the longest Blackjack song?
"Hate Generation" is about two minutes.
What's the shortest song?
"Combat" is three seconds. "Blackjack!
Blackjack! Blackjack! Game over."
What's the secret? Why do you guys kick
so much ass? This artistic virility...how
do you nail it every night?
Cuz we steal from the best bands and
all the other bands in town steal from
the worst bands like Mott the Hoople
and Thin Lizzy.
Mott the Hoople are good!
Cuz we are the perfect crew. Think about
it: you got the little sexy guy [Scottie],
you got the big happy guy [Reno], you
got the quiet guy who doesn't ever say
anything [Jack] [Editor swoons], and
then you got the crazy guy who's out
of control all the time [Harlock]. It's
Would you rather go bowhunting with
Ted Nugent or drink til ya puke with
I'd rather drink til I'm about to puke
and then go hunt Ted Nugent. Then I'd
like to go out and get drunk after I
shot him. As soon as he fuckin kills
a black bear I'll fuckin string his
intestines up all over the fuckin forest.
Why? You like black bears?
Yeah I'm Black Bear Clan.
Fuckin' A! We're all vegetarians--I
only eat vegetarian-fed beef. That way
you get your meat and your veggies.
I ain't got time to eat broccoli! Have
the cow eat it! Then I'll fuckin' eat
its ass! I did miss the McRib, by the
What color panties are you wearing and
how long have you been wearing them?
"I've got underwear on that says "Squeaky
Clean" and they've got a rubber duck
Black: [He checks, Editor swoons.]
Black. "Like his dick!"
Reno: Flesh-colored. "Just like
Black Calvin boxer-briefs.
"NOFX sucks! I just want this on the
record. NOFX sucked from the day they
started, but it just proves that if
you go on tour for ten years, someone
is gonna buy your record."
is playing at The Matador on West Burnside
in Downtown Portland on March 21st or
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