August 07, 2002

I've been putting together my Exene article. I normally dislike the whole process of hooking up with someone for an interview (rock stars can be difficult and flaky), and all the weirdness of talking to someone who doesn't particularly want to talk to you. But I'm very happy with the way this interview turned out, and I'm really looking forward to sharing it with you. Here's an excerpt. The rest will be at Southside Callbox on Tuesday.

Jody: You’ve gone through the “struggling punk band” thing during the early days of X…

Exene: I was never in a struggling punk band.

Jody: Well…

Exene: I mean, when I was 20. But there was no struggling about it. It was just fun and wonderful, and immediately we got famous, so we never really struggled that much. At first, at some of the shows we got paid kinda low, but the minute we started playing, there was such a great scene there that it was just beyond any expectation we had.

Jody: That’s nice to hear, that you could get your music appreciated or respected and not have to work too hard for it.

Exene: But it was by, like, 12 people. It didn’t matter. Struggling is when you’re trying to get signed, and you’re trying to get famous, and you’re trying to get someone to give you a publishing deal, and you’re in Los Angeles and you have to get to New York cuz they don’t appreciate you, so you do that. That’s what struggling is to me.

Jody: So that was never a big concern for X?

Exene: Not really.

Jody: You just wanted to do your music.

Exene: Well, ya know, there were no independent record labels (except for, like, Dangerhouse) when we started.

Jody: Just the evil majors.

Exene: They weren’t interested. It wasn’t that they were “evil,” they were another world. They were only interested in James Taylor, and the Eagles, and disco, and stuff like that, and not what was going on under their radar.

Jody: There was the New York thing happening.

Exene: The New York thing was totally separate. I mean, except for the bands…

Jody: There wasn’t any crossover between the two scenes?

Exene: As far as the bands, yes there was, but as far as producers, people like Eno, no there wasn’t. The record companies weren’t interested in what was going on in California, and the media didn’t wanna give us any kinda legitimacy.