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xmag.com : March 2001: My Regrets by Jeff Hudis

 

My 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 with him.

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 musical influences?

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 for sure.

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 the label?

Dano: Don't do it, Caleb. Don't do it.

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 the radio?

Exotic: Just in general.

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 together?

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 drink?

Caleb: Free ones.

Dano: I don't touch the stuff.

Caleb: Isn't this a magazine about girls?

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 about.

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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