Lars: What's your favorite and least favorite thing about
living in Seattle?
Ruben: Our favorite thing about living in Seattle is the
summer. More daylight means you don't feel so bad
about sleeping in. Our least favorite thing is all the
uptight pro jerks that ruin the party.
Lars: Can you describe your ideal day off here?
Ruben: Let's see...waking up late, eating pizza, not
feeling real shitty (or too shitty) from getting wild
and dumb the night before, not regretting
anything...not being in jail, going to the drive-in
theater, drinking a malted, finding some money,
playing Apples to Apples with my pal Lilly. Maybe checking out a friends awesome new band....
then...an after hours party.
Lars: Do you like the music scene here?
Ruben: Yes. I really liked it when I moved here. There
were a lot of really great bands. Like who? The
Cripples, Popular Shapes, New Luck Toy, A-Frames,
Dipers, (the original line up of) Unnatural Helpers
(later versions are great too), Display, Chromatics
(early version/late versions all great), The Pulses,
Tractor Sex Fatality...the list could go on. These
days we have really amazing bands like Talbot Tagora
and Partman Parthorse. So, still it's not so bad. what
we don't like...the clubs stink. Well, most do. The
"pro" clubs and the "want to be pro" clubs ruin it for
bands that are starting out. I guess the whole pro
aspect of it takes the fun out of everything. Can we
not just party for no reason...without guarantees of
money or a press release or a sound dude that makes
more than all the bands on the bill combined?
Lars: Can you talk about the band starting? Whose idea was
it? Why? I almost feel that it was a response to the
more serious (compartively) Charming Snakes? Or
filling a bit of the void of the Flying Dutchmen or
just seattle being kinda uptight in general?
Ruben: It was for a band night for the record store where
I work. I was in charge of putting on a show once a
year with bands featuring employees of the record
store. The Charming Snakes played it the year before
and when I was asked if they were playing again I said
"No, my new band Coconut Coolouts will be". The thing
is, we did not exist. The name came from Kid Creole
and His Coconuts plus a rap artist by the name of
Count Coolout. I had about a month to get that band
together. It started with me, Lacey and Harry. We wanted it to
be like Tuxedomoon or Butthole Surfers. The name
didn't really fit so we ran in a different, more party-band direction.
The Amazing Barnanas had just quit The
Invisible Eyes, so we asked him to join. He always
seemed really mean, but turns out he's a real nice
guy. He's also an amazing bass player. Ross came next.
We were at a party and I think his other band the
Cripples had just called it quits. He was a little
unsure about saying yes when I asked him to join. I
told him it would be for one show (he too is a
genius). Pete Zaparty came later. He was in the front
row of our show and at the end of it, Ian said he
should be in it too. He said "Hey, you know what?
This dude Pizza should be in the band". The rest is
party history. (Sorry for the boring story.) The music
is not a response to anything. The name dictated the
sound. It, the band, is an accident of
strangers that all kind of knew each other from
around. It's kind of like the TV show LOST.
Lars: Can you talk about the song writing process? Do you
bring in the main bits or does everyone do their own
thing or is it always different?
Ruben: We write songs, so far, with four different
methods. 1) I come up with chords, beats, and words
and then everyone churches it up. 2) Lacey and the
band will jam. Later I will write some words. 3) Harry
will come up with chords...band churches it up...I
write words. 4) We hang out, joke about garbage like
bad movies or whatever...sometimes we will watch a
great film like Revenge of the Nerdsor something and
then Pete will come up with some lines and then we
just put some noise around it.
Lars: Talk to me about Brainiac!
Ruben: Brainiac are the best. They came up with some cool
shit. I don't know how they did it. They seemed like
they were a gang when I saw them hanging out in
Austin. They were fantastic live, too. They are the
coolest. They were way ahead of their time (or not).
I bet you wished you would of had a chance to have
seen them. Too bad you went to see the Ruins.
Lars: What do you think your best song is?
Ruben: Right now I would say our best song is "Nerd
Holocaust", it's very Brainiac singing-pattern wise (not really).
The concept was thought up in song
writing style number 4 (inspired by Revenge of the
Nerds). It's going to be a concept album. The
holocaust we speak of is in reference to destroying
things by fire. It is not about The Holocaust...that
would not be cool. It is unreleased at the moment. It
might turn into more of a concept single than album.
Lacey likes "Swim". I think that one is pretty good
too. It's a song I wrote all by myself to sell to
Unnatural Helpers. It's on the B-side of our first
single (now out of print..sorry nerds). Oh, I forgot
"You Don't Know Me Pepperoni" is also a new
fave of mine.
Lars: Is it ever tough being such a fun times band? Like
some show in some shit town on a Tuesday, is it ever
hard to get fun/funny and exicited about, or does
that nature of the band come out anywhere?
Ruben: Sometimes you feel tired and maybe the crowd
you are playing to is tired too...or just hates your
guts...but I think we, as a group, will always have
fun, be fun, or die trying. We are a novelty band that
wants to be taken seriously. The hardest crowd we ever
played to was in a park for a bunch of toddlers. Our
opening act was a dude with puppets. Take that Sex
Lars: What is it like being in a relationship in the band?
Ruben: You know. You know what it's like! The Amazing
Barnanas and Pete Zaparty have their ups and downs on
the road but they have each other...and that's what
Lars: What are the band's favorite drinks?
Ruben: Drinks we like include the Brosef (ask Pete), The
Babybird Shot (don't ask, it's gross), any BOMB: Car
Bomb, Jagerbomb, etc.., Sparks (they don't have it in
Vancouver, BC! We have vowed never to go back there,
but we probably will...), beer in cans that you can shotgun
or "teenwolf". "Teenwolfing" is where you bite
into the can and then pop the top...drinking it in
a shotgun manner. I prefer root beer with booze in
Lars: What's your take on cigarettes?
Ruben: I wish we had our own brand. Those things are money
Lars: Who usually drives after the show?
Ruben: Lacey/Pete/Ross...we don't have a van so there is
usualy two cars involved. If we do borrow a van, it's
Lars: Will you talk about Tyvek some? Your first time seeing
Ruben: The first time I saw Tyvek was in Detroit. They
were very amazing. It was love at first sight. Back
then they were a three piece and they played a song
called "Blessed Sacrament" or something like that
(sorry Kevin, if I fucked up the name). They even
recently brought that song back from the dead just
for me. Lacey has some Tyvek lyrics tattooed on her
arm. They are the coolest...legendary stuff. We went
on tour with them recently and had a pretty "OK" time.
We love "The Kid", Matt Z, Damon, Kevin, and Chief
Lars: What new bands do you like?
Ruben: Home Blitz, Wax Museums, The Beach Men, Tyvek, The
Carrots, Talbot Tagora, Flexions, Partman Parthorse,
Sleepwalkers R.I.P., Meth Teeth, Phantom Lights, Kurt
Vile (not a band), and Baby Shakes.
Lars: What are you favorite cities to play?
Ruben: Places we like: Milwaukee, Austin, Portland,
and San Francisco/Oakland, Seattle,
Lars: Least favorite?
Ruben: L.A. AND Seattle.
Lars: What band is the biggest bunch of dicks you've ever
Ruben: Um...The Really Randys.
Lars: What is your opinion of analog vs. digital recording?
Ruben: Everything that Rainbow Rags has recorded of us has been
on a four-track cassette recorder. Our full-length was
analog dumped onto a computer. Same with our Magical
Basement recordings. Harry and Ross will record us in
the future using a computer. Both are fine. No opinion.
Lars: what's the worst thing on your ipod?
Ruben: I poured whiskey on it accidentally. So that is the
worst thing on it. Track-wise, probably Patton Oswalt.
It's the same joke that keeps coming up. It's nothing
against Patton Oswalt...
Lars: What old records have you been digging lately?
Ruben: Old records...digging...um....Kurtis Blow "Ego Trip"
and the first Danzig record. Killer stuff.
Lars: Has the banana costume really been retired?
Ruben: The banana suit is falling apart. The Amazing
Barnanas said "The next time you will see it, it will
be hanging on the wall at the EMP"(EMP = Experience
what is next for you guys? Tour? New record?
Ruben: We have some more seven-inches coming out. One on
Florida's Dying, another one for Seeing Eye records,
some Jenkem compilation seven inch, World's Lousy
Vol.4 comp, the release of "Party Time Machine" on
vinyl (with bonus tracks), a cover of Head's "Tire
Shredding" on the (out as of now) Funhouse Compilation
Thing Vol.2, and then recording another full-length.
We have a bunch of new songs. We would like to
do a bunch more singles. Touring wise...We were going
to tour Puerto Rico, but we blew all of our money
going to Texas, so maybe soon, as in next year, we will
tour the States.