: March 2001: My Regrets by Jeff Hudis
Regrets, the band; if you haven't seen 'em you're gonna
get them. These five upbeat guys, who like to dress in
suits, write songs minus the ponderous negativity of the
slew of post-grunge impersonators who derive their spiritual
center from the Metallica school or the obsolete Seattle
angst. Also refreshingly missing from frontman Caleb Spiegel's
singing is any allusion to the onerous vocal style commonly
referred to as "yarling," currently epitomized by Scott
Stapp of Creed. In addition to getting the Insane Clown
Posse award for best band name of the year, My Regrets
likes to get on stage and rock out with a liberal dose
of hipster/wanker self-consciousness characteristic of
the best of the 60s British invasion; throw in some MC5-like
guitar sensibility and you've got it down.
Spiegel, along with drummer Dano Capristo,
guitarists Michael Pieretti and Jay Morgan and bassist
Gilles have just released a five-song CD called It's
Alright to Look Good; the title might say more about
their point of view toward the alt/heavy rock scrap heap
than the capable post-millennium riff rock that they champion.
Either way, My Regrets holds up as a reliable, dual-guitar,
non-wank attitude-fest who actually seem to give a shit
whether they put on a show or not. And that's more than
I can say for a lot of the rock 'n' roll pussies who have
hopped on the meatwagon of late. Not to mention, their
ultra-slick CD/CD-ROM PR package is sure to raise eyebrows
with the corporate suits in La-La land, where pre-paid
packaging is king.
Exotic: You guys have been doing
some recording. What are you working on right now?
Caleb: We've got 17 songs tracked
right now. We have been working with Clark Stiles and
basically whenever we write a batch of new songs we just
go in and start recording. He's heading to LA in about
a week and a half and wants some new material to bring
Exotic: Is he trying to get you
guys a deal?
Caleb: He's just going to go and
see some friends and hand out some of the new CDs.
Exotic: How do you guys write?
Caleb: There are some songs that
I write and bring to the table and as soon as they are
introduced then everybody brings in their own thing. What's
been happening a lot is Jay Morgan or Dano will start
playing something and a little riff or groove will start
happening and I'll say, "Keep doing that." If I can get
one phrase that clicks, that's enough and then we just
start working from there.
Exotic: What are some of your early
Dano: The Rolling Stones for me.
We're straight up basic. Rolling Stones, Beatles, Bowie,
Stooges. The kind of central rock 'n' roll stuff.
Exotic: I heard some Bowie influence
Caleb: I always listen to a lot
of Motown. I listen to a lot of soul. I've been listening
to Placebo and Radiohead, of course. Nirvana was great.
Dano: If it's good we're going
to rip it off. We're music lovers and if it's new and
if it's great then we'll take what we want from that
and make it better.
Exotic: You mentioned that you
have some sort of relationship with Capitol right now.
What is the story with that?
Caleb: We had a couple of options
open to us for getting money to put out this EP and
they both had strings attached--whether it was the next
six months of our lives, song rights, or a lot more
money in the back end. So, we found out a way to finance
the record without any strings attached which makes
it really easy to give the CDs away. That's all I have
to say about that.
Exotic: Did the money come from
Dano: Don't do it, Caleb. Don't
Caleb: We just have a couple
guys that are working with us to help make the music
and get it out there. We found somebody that liked what
we were doing and wanted to help without getting tied
down to contracts or any of that shit.
Exotic: What do you think about
the state of rock 'n' roll right now?
Caleb: You mean with MTV and
Caleb: I don't watch MTV and
I don't really listen to the radio. I don't really listen
to a lot of music. I listen to our CD. We made this
CD for our CD players. I love this band. I get to stand
on stage and spread my arms out and hear the music that
I've always wanted to hear the way I want to hear it.
Then I get to sing and scream and yell over the top
of it and that's brilliant. I mean, I don't really like
going to shows, either. Most of them just piss me off.
I hate standing in a club for an hour, watching this
band play, and for that whole hour thinking how my legs
are getting tired. It's like going to see a bad movie
and feeling my butt start to get sore, you know? It
bores me and it drives me insane. I'd rather be on stage
playing. This band is a rock 'n' roll myth that I thought
didn't exist...and it does, obviously. I didn't think
that it was possible to be this easy. We wrote twelve
songs in the first month we were together. It just happened.
Exotic: How long have you been
Caleb: One year. So, to put out
this EP within a year and to make it the first CD, that
I love every second of, is an amazing accomplishment.
Exotic: Do you have any favorite
bands that are current right now?
Caleb: Placebo. Dano just turned
me on to this CD Clinic and I'm interested in
hearing more from them.
Exotic: Do you want to make
a video at some point?
Dano: We make videos every
day. Everything we do is on film. There are at least
three cameras on us for every recording session. We
love to be filmed. Making a video will be easy. There
is always somebody filming us. We have put together
a whole package on this band. It's like the 80s and
the hair bands. Most of the music of the 80's sucked,
but those bands had a style. If you saw somebody in
a club or in a grocery store you could point them
out and say that cunt has spandex pants on and his
hair teased out and he must be in a band. Now it's
like red baseball caps and oversize hockey jerseys
and it makes me sick. It's an insult to go and see
a band and have them act like they don't give a shit
about you or what they're doing.
Exotic: What are your objectives
with this band?
Caleb: To rule the world. We're
just here to bring back some sort of fashion sense
and hopefully up the ante a little bit, you know?
We're not like these new rock bands that are making
a name for themselves with crazy guitar noise. All
of these bands have their little sound and they keep
playing that sound over and over again and that's
what sells them. We play guitar, bass, drums, and
sing. We just play rock 'n' roll.
Exotic: Your band definitely
has a certain look going.
Dano: That would probably be
the Stones and the Beatles popping up there.
Caleb: There's nothing that
makes me want to get real dirty more than a three-button
suit and tie. Nothing makes me more ready to fight
and get angry and make a mess.
Dano: There's nothing like
ripping a blazer. Nothing. You can rip a T-shirt every
day. Put on a blazer and rip that and you feel like
you've accomplished something.
Exotic: What is your favorite
Dano: I don't touch the stuff.
Caleb: Isn't this a magazine
Dano: We're looking to get
some dirtier women at our shows. A lot of the women
who come to our shows...you know what I'm talking
Exotic: So how do you think
you can get some sleazier women at your shows?
Caleb: We're doing your magazine,
baby... We just want all of the girls with their advertisements
in this magazine to know how much My Regrets appreciates
the work that they do, and if they have any special
engagements that they would like us to perform at,
we're available...and the price is negotiable.
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