"An intro for the Last Sons of Krypton interview," sez Sir Filthy. OK, Last
of Krypton - they were assholes. Wait - Last Sons of Krypton, easily the
band I've been within a couple hundred miles of. Last Sons of Krypton, no
them personally, but everyone loved their records. Seriously. If Roy Oden
Green Bay promoter Timebomb Tom, Tom would STILL kill him, many years after
the fact. He told me that not long ago. But Tom owns all the records. Tom
booked them time and time again back in the day, even though he knew every
single show would end the same way - Tom will NEVER (this time, I swear)
those a-holes again.
We knew they were the real thing - pure teenage piss, hatred, vinegar and
attitude. We all knew that the clowns onstage most nights liked to play the
rip on the audience and have beers w/ 'em after the set. LSOK just played
it was 1977, cuz hell, 1977 never really happened in the tiny town of
Wisconsin. If they got beaten, they deserved it. It validated their outsider
so fuck it. The live show was nothing but drunken antics, malfunctioning
and hatred. On the records (and piles of recordings they did), they stayed
enough to hit notes and scoot rhythms and write hooks that ripped cerebellum
holes that didn't heal for weeks. KBD authority Ryan Richardson said
backwhen that went sorta like this - "Last Sons of Krypton are the closest
get to a Killed by Death band at this late a date." The same basic reference
only this time fueled by tinytown boredom and the opressive loom of lockstep
hardcore. I'm sure Roy at least has some nuggets for y'all, so read on...
-Todd Trickknee, Recording Industry Impresario
The Last Sons of Krypton were:
Brad X: guitar
Captain Kwik Trip(RJ): vocals
Ann, then Black Girl/Brent, then Roy Oden: guitar
TB: When did the band start and how old were you all?
RJ: Late 1995. We were all between the ages of 16-18. I was 16. We were older than Eater, but still pretty young.
Brad: I was 17. RJ and I had played together in bands for years, but he never wrote a real song, just stuff such as "I Like Masturbating in School" and "Ringo is Gay."
Roy: i didn't have much of anything to do with the Last Sons of Krypton's music, my main contribution was telling them about Glade.
TB: What was the original lineup?
Brad: The original lineup was me on guitar, Ann on bass, and RJ onvocals. We had a few different drummers before settling on Trent, not because he was the best, but because he was most often available.
TB: What happened to Ann? How did you find Roy? What happened to Two Rivers native Trent?
Brad: Ann married the guy who reissued the "Atom Bomb" record,
Jason Ross/Rerun. I'm glad she ended up with
someone who likes good music and not some factory
monkey. Roy was the bass player in a Nirvana cover band. He
swore we could practice in his parent's garage, but
after a song his dad was out there in his slippers
asking what the hell we thought we were doing...He
had long curly hair and couldnt understand why anyone
wouldnt like NOFX. Trent moved to california where he racked up a bunch
of debt. Lately he's been back and in school, trying
to pay it off. Nice guy. Our second guitar player on the "Teenage Trash" and
"Kristina Kay" singles, Brent (or Black Girl) still lives
in town, drinks too much, and is a daddy.
TB: What was Manitowoc like and what was the main scene?
RJ: Manitowoc was and probably still is a dismal, depressing piece of shit town with a mini-hardcore punk/jock scene. Not a viable alternative for people like us. Those people all hated us. That's why we decided to start a garage punk band. This was also a reaction to the Green Day/Offspring phenomenon that was happening that same time period, where everybody decided to become a punk.
Brad: Manitowoc had a hardcore scene populated with people who had been jocks the year before. It was all the brainchild of one straight-edge guy here in town who decided to put on a bunch of all ages shows. He was 23 and started a label with the money from a car insurance settlement after an accident injured his back. When we would play Manitowoc, everyone would leave the building, not because of the music, but just because it wasn’t popular to like us at the time.
Roy: Manitowoc's the armpit of america. The scene? Mainly bad hardcore bands like Remission.
TB: How did being from a small town and the isolation of it affect the band?
RJ: Huge affect. If you're a weirdo in a small town, you turn into a super weirdo. I think if we would have lived in a bigger city with more outlets/shit to do, we wouldn't have turned out nearly as bad. Wisconsin has this big boredom/isolation thing going on, which I think has a pretty big influence on all these bands that are starting to crop up now. Ain't nuthin but cows and beer up there.
Brad: Being in a small town works in two ways: you aren't
influenced by any other bands, and it's easy to
consider yourself the best band in town, which leads
to laziness. Also, it means nowhere to play for
TB: Other than the Samoans and Red Kross, what bands influenced LSOK?
RJ: The usual 1977 punk stuff. We had a big Germs and Stooges fixation. Anything we thought was older and cooler. The 90's garage rock scene, which was then still taking place, was also an influence. Stuff like Rip Off Records before it started to suck, Teengenerate, etc.
Brad: I actually hadn’t heard Red Kross until recently. Mainly Back from the Grave comps, Killed by Death comps, Mummies, Rip offs, etc. For me at least.
Roy: Basic 70's punk, Back from the Graves, Killed by Death, Mummies, Lee Harvey Oswald Band, early Queers, cheap mics and broken four tracks.
TB: Where did you first hear the KBD comps (because the comps clearly changed your musical vision)? What were you listening to before you heard anything KBD?
RJ: I had made a tape of the "Feel Lucky Punk?" compilation when I was 15, and wore it out listening to it, so the KBD influence was already in effect before the band even started. Before that, we just tracked that stuff down we were into. The basic 70's major label punk stuff (Pistols, Saints, Ramones, ect.).
Brad: I was into bands that played the area, like
Teengenerate and the Rip Offs. I was broke and didn't
have much money for records. I recall we covered
Velvet Underground, Devo, and some Back from the Grave
stuff all in pre-Last Sons bands. I'm pretty sure we
all first heard the KBD records from my dad's neighbor.
TB: Who wrote the songs?
Brad: I wrote the guitar parts for about half of them, and the choruses for a handful. Other than that, it was Captain Kwik Trip, Mr. Bob Jeff Zeman.
TB: RJ, how did you get the Captain Kwik Trip moniker?
RJ: I don't really remember, but we used to hang out in front of Kwik Trip (Wisconsin version of 7-11) all night and drink soda and stare at people...so somehow I ended up with that. Really, really stupid nickname.
TB: Rev Norb said he regretted doing a 45 with LSOK. why?
RJ: We were supposed to record only a few songs, but ended up using his studio time to record an entire demo. It cost him $2,000 or so. It also turned out like shit. I think he thought it was a big waste, and wished he had just used the demos we sent him. What do you expect from a bunch of 16 year olds who huff Glade? Sorry, Norb.
Brad: We went into the studio for 3 days to record it and he footed the bill. We did things like going to rent a snare drum or going out to eat while on the clock. We recorded half an album on his dime. Then we prank called him for years.
TB: Speaking of that, what were some of LSOK's best prank calls?
Brad: Liz, our bass player on the "Boredom" single once called
Lowery and pretended to have met him at a party, but
her Wisconsin accent gave the game away. One time RJ
called Norb and asked him "what were the 80s like?"
We used to prank call those guys all the time. Norb
was usually unamused but Lowery would get off the
other line to hear our drunken nonsense. I think he
was a telephone junkie.
TB: Cecilia from the No Talents interviewed LSOK for a fanzine, how did that happen and what was it like?
RJ: I don't really remember, but I know that when we finally got to briefly meet her in real life outside of the infamous Concert Cafe, Timebomb Tom Smith told us to leave, right in front of her. Pretty funny. Thanks, guy!
Brad: She never interviewed me. It's no surprise, because I’ve seen other fake interviews RJ has cooked up by us. I don’t care as long as he doesn’t make me look too stupid.
Roy: We were in Green Bay for some reason going down Main Street. I saw some woman in a mini-skirt, smoking a cigarette with sunglasses on. It was Lili from No-Talents/Splash 4/Volt. So we pulled up and talked for awhile. Then her husband Jack came out and saw us and started singing "Atom Bomb." It was really weird and cool. We were "banned" from the Concert Cafe at the time, so we couldn't get in. They tryed getting us in, and when the promoter relized we were there he wanted to "kick our asses". So we hung out outside for awhile and got bored and left.
TB: The band was at one point threatened with a lawsuit, what was the deal with that?
RJ: Some girl named Kristina Kubicheck (sic?) was the victim of one of our songs, which also happened to be a rallying call for her to get raped. Mom didn't like that too much, so she threatened to sue. I doubt it would have actually turned into anything legal, but to spare any further bullshit, we changed the title for the Bulge 45. Fuck em' if they can't take a sick joke...
Roy: I think it was a joke. I was hanging out with RJ when her ex-con boyfriend who was like 24 gave him some big lecture in front of her (I think she was 15 at the time), and when she left he gave us some beer and said he'd heard the song and it was funny.
TB: How did you guys get on the Green Bay Rip Off Rumble, what was it like?
RJ: We were invited to play both the Green Bay and Chicago shows. We annoyed everybody at the Chicago show, and then got kicked off stage/"banned for life" at the Green Bay show. We were so drunk we could barely stand up. Greg Lowery later said something to the effect of "I gave you guys a chance...and you BLEW it!" in a phone conversation we had with him afterwards. I guess Ching Sue didn't give him a proper foot massage that day...very moody!
Brad: Local hothead Timebomb Tom set it up for us. The bar wouldn’t serve us liquor, the audience was apathetic. We pissed on the floor and broke their boom box in the backstage area. We had to get our own liquor, but that wasn’t hard to do. Then at the Green Gay show, RJ kept breaking mics on purpose and jumping on the monitor, so Tom kicked us off stage and I wasn’t
allowed back into any Green Bay functions until a year or two ago.
TB: Did being in LSOK get you any action?
RJ: Fuck no. It caused some brain damage, though.
Brad: Right after our last Green Bay show RJ got a blowjob from some girl in the parking lot but was too drunk to get it up. Then he talked about it for a half hour and required constant assurance that it was normal. Really it is, especially when the girl has the face of a horse. And yeah, I got teenage runaway action. There are benefits to having a bisexual girlfriend.
Roy: Naw, didn't start 'till Joan Phifier and the Twinkies.
TB: What was the craziest thing that happened to the band?
RJ: Ending up on the cover of MRR. That was a huge shock. We also played our high school's homecoming, which I always found pretty funny. There's a picture of us in the yearbook. It was a battle of the bands...we lost.
Brad: We really weren’t all that crazy. We got drunk, played music, and acted like stupid teenagers. Sometimes we would act like assholes on purpose. We used to make a lot of prank calls to Greg Lowery. For awhile we had a van with flames and sperm painted on it that said "The Slut" on the hood and Roy would drive it through peoples yards and stuff. Basically, we just recorded the same 20 or 30 songs over and over again, with a bunch of half assed covers thrown in to fill things out, and played infrequent basement shows and seedy dive bars.
TB: How did you feel when you read Tim Yo's review of the Decay single, and how did
it affect your egos when he put you on the cover of the zine?
RJ: It was a big thrill, and a pretty huge ego boost. We were already complete elitist garage rock assholes, so you can imagine how bad we got after we landed on the cover of MRR. In hindsight, the whole thing was pretty much just blind luck.
Brad: I felt great when I saw the review, and it came at the
same time as a postcard requesting an interview. We
had no idea we were going to be on the cover 'till the
issue was out. At that time it didnt affect my ego at
all, I was frustrated with being in a band and felt
that it was more entertaining to annoy the audience
than to play music. So I would do things like refuse
to start playing songs, just letting feedback ring for
extended time, etc. I dont recall anyone else getting
an ego problem about it, after all it was pretty
obvious that we were the best band in the history of
the world at that point. It felt good to know that we
were the future. I even wrote a song about it called
"Revolution '97". It hasnt aged all that well...
TB: For years, whenever I'd mention LSOK to anyone
from Wisconsin I'd be told about how they're assholes and how "Banned
in Wisconsin" on the Evolutions single was no joke...I'm curious about
why you were so hated?
RJ: We were total assholes to everybody we met. Isn't that the whole point of punk? I would assume being nice to everybody wouldn't be very punk. What was and what wasn't "punk" was a big concern to us at age 16-17. We had alot of free time...
Brad: Because we were assholes.
We would get to shows and be breaking bottles in the
parking lot, jumping on cars, RJ liked to break
expensive borrowed equiptment on purpose, stupid shit.
Also, we were a pretty horrible band and not
appreciated so it was no great loss to those in
charge. I like to say we didn't kiss enough ass.
TB: Why did the band break up?
RJ: I moved to Florida. That pretty much fucked everything up.
Brad: RJ lived 1,000+ miles away and it was ridiculous to play one stupid show a year. We were banned from playing anywhere decent anyways.
Roy: RJ living in Florida. Brad tried doing the band with some other singers, and it was pretty bad.
TB: In yer opinion, what was the best 45 the band did?
RJ: Our self-released first 45, the "Atom Bomb" 7". We blew our load early. There's some good cumstains on Kryptonite from afterwards.
Brad: For me, it’s a toss up between the “Atom Bomb” 45 and the Creatures/LSOK split. Of course I like “Atom Bomb” because it’s the first decent guitar part I ever wrote, backed with the second, “Meteorite”. However, there is something really special about the lo-fi trash reel to reel recording of “Light Myself on Fire” and “Teenage Zombie” that you have to be a retarded teenager to come up with.
Roy: The split with the Creatures.
TB: Why was the first single so fucking rare? How many alternate sleeves were there, and how many copies were pressed? How did the repress come about?
RJ: It's on clear vinyl, and I believe there were only 300 pressed. I'm not sure how many sleeves there were, but I know they were all done in our practice space using a cheap Eighties photocopier that we bought from a thrift store. Jason from Rerun Records was interested in doing a repress, so we let him. Oddly enough, Ann, our bass player who funded the first single, is now married to Jason, who did the re-issue. Weird!
Brad: well, the "Atom Bomb" single was total DIY. I designed
the sleeves and recorded it myself, then got a copy
machine and we did the sleeves one at a time. We sold
them locally, gave 'em away to friends, and some just
got scratched or warped on the floor of the van.
Basically we didn't send out many to distros, and a lot
of people who mailordered I threw away their order and
spent their cash on a meal at Burger King or whatever.
Rerun offered to do a reish, and traded me videos for
the plates, which he eventually returned to their
TB: How do you feel about the new CD coming out?
RJ: I'm surprised someone is interested enough in this stuff to want to release it. Trickknee puts out good stuff, so I'm looking forward to seeing it.
Brad: I’m just glad we are finally getting the recognition we so righteously deserve, motherfuck.
Roy: Is anyone still stupid enough to buy CDs?
TB: Do you think any post-LSOK Wisconsin bands ripped you guys off?
RJ: I don't think so. The Catholic Boys, The Mystery Girls...all those bands have their own style. If anything, they are far superior to LSOK.
Brad: I have no idea 'cause I don't listen to much of it,
but I'd have to say it's pretty hard to claim someone
ripped you off when you were stealing in the first
place. I'm aware the Mystery Girls were influenced by
us, but thats a good thing, not a rip off. I guess I
would say I haven't heard any Wisconsin band since us
doing goofy rape and ass songs...so NO is my answer.
LSOK Discography courtesy of Brad X:
-"Atom Bomb" 7"/ Decay, 1996. 300 clear. 1 main cover, and a
handful of others. Orange insert.
-"Kris Kay"/"I Want Action" 7"/ Bulge, 1996. 500 pink.
-"Atom Bomb" 7" repress/ Rerun, 1997. 300 black. 2 inserts.
-"Teenage Trash" 7"/ Kryptonite, 1997. 1000 black. 5 different covers,
2 different backs.
-LSOK/Creatures split 7" (both are actually LSOK)/ Kryptonite, 1998. 1000 black. 2 sleeves, some with insert.
-We had a song on a local CD comp called "Sawmill"
on Erosion Records, unreleased elsewhere.
-There was also a demo tape which I sold through a classified
in the back of MRR, called LSOK "1", of which we made 30
copies. Roy later reisssued it to some extent with
different art on kryptonite.
LSOK vs. MRR
Review from MRR:
Last Sons of Krypton - "I Want Action" EP
This is more of the same old yawnsville garage rock crap. They've got some fucked up song about a girl who doesn't want to fuck them so they're going to rape her, complete with the traditional rock "Come on Baby's" and shit. The front cover photo makes me want to feel sorry for them, but in my heart of hearts, I'm glad they're well on their way to becoming the future Don Rickles of America. A worthless record, but I'm sure there will be enough people with diarrhea between their ears who will buy it and Norbie will make his money back.(JN)
RJ's Response Letter to MRR (unprinted). He was 17 when he wrote this in 1996:
Your own Jah Nell reviewed our record, and her brilliant summation of it was that it was shit. She also said she felt sorry for us. Ms. Nell's main point of irritation seemed to be a song called "Kristina Kay is Goona Get Raped." It's a fine piece of teenage obnoxiousness, and frankly, what punk rock is all about, but since it is about rape, she denounced it as crap. She is obviously far too stupid to see the brilliance behind our Samoans/Red Kross brand of punk rock. I feel sorry for you Ms. Nell, as you cannot find the beauty in being irreverant and offensive.
Is your first name really Jah, or do you just listen to Bad Brains too much? You are a bitch I would love to kill, and I hope your magazine is still punk enough to print this letter. Our next record might be "Jah Nell is Goona Goona Goona get Killed in a Car Accident", as that is what I hope that fate has in store for you. You are an uptight cunt, and yes, I will resort to misogynistic name calling if I have to. So eat shit Jah Nell, God hates you. In the immortal words of Eater, "why don't you get raped?"
Interview by Troy Canady
LSOK pics by www.shimonlindemann.com
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