Interview with The Whore Moans

The Whore Moans with RJ

interview by RJ Cubarrubia

2009 is a big year for The Whore Moans; with a new album (on a new label) and tons of tour dates, Seattle’s sons of punk are ready to bring their loud and raucous sound harder than ever. Their new album, Hello From the Radio Wasteland, has already received plenty of attention since its January 27th release, including a glowing review in Rolling Stone. With all this support and a Northwest tour this February (with more national dates to come), what’re four young punks to do? Shred a show like they know best, obviously. I caught up with them at their January 22nd show at Neumo’s with The Ironclads and The Cute Lepers and here’s what they had to say about their new album, the Rolling Stone review, the mysterious origin of their name, and more:

Johnny [guitar, vocals]: Do I have to turn off Enter the Dragon?

RJ: Of course not.

Johnny: Where’s Ryan [bass, vocals]?

Jason [drums]: He’s upstairs selling the merch.

[laughter and jokes about Ryan’s voice]

RJ: So 2009 is a pretty big year for y’all. You got your album on Mt. Fuji, right, this is your first one?

Johnny: Yeah, essentially, yeah.

RJ: So are you guys stoked on it?

Nicky [guitar, vocals]: We ARE really stoked on this album. It’s kind of the album we’ve been waiting a couple years to make. It feels like everything, all the hard work, has kind of paid off for this one thing and we think it’s pretty ok.

RJ: Yeah, it’s good. You guys got a pretty good review in Rolling Stone. How’d you guys make that happen? How’d you get it out there?

Johnny: We have no idea.

[laughter]

Jason: I’m pretty sure Mike [Jaworski] from Mt. Fuji did that.

Johnny: Yeah, we have a publicist now, like real bands do and not just shitty punk bands. We’re all shitbag musician guys. To my dad in Florida, I was able to be like, “Hey, you know, our publicist...” and it makes it seem like I’m not just some shitty kid who didn’t go to college.

RJ: That’s rad. You know, Rolling Stone made you guys seem like rock gods and basically said you guys just kick ass and rock.

Jason: Yeah, it was really flattering and it was David Fricke, one of the senior editors of Rolling Stone, and he’s been writing for them since like the 60’s or something like that.

Johnny: So he’s a little out of touch and doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

[laughter]

RJ: So how was this album different? How was preparing and writing for this album different than your first one? This is your first time with a label, so there’s definitely got to be some changes, right?

Johnny: Yeah, just to clarify, this is our second LP but it’s our first one with the label.

Nicky: I think we were definitely more confident with this one. We’ve been in the studio before; we practiced a lot harder with this one.

Jason: We’ve been across the fucking country.

Nicky: Yeah, we trusted each other, we knew we were all kind of at the top of our game, we had a unifying theme to build around, we had an idea of what we wanted to go in there and make and what this record would sound like, so all those things just came together and I think it worked out.

Johnny: The most important part is this ideal of being as honest as possible with whatever we’re doing, so it gets a little hippie-touchy feely... Hey, Ryan. How was selling stuff?

[Ryan walks in and introduces himself]

RJ: So, speaking of tours, you guys have like a mini Northwest/West Coast type of thing going on, you guys excited about that? Plus, any national tours?

Johnny: Take it, Ryan!

Ryan: Are we excited about tours? Why am I fielding this? Well, we have a new booking agent and he’s doing a great job. I’m done with this cold bullshit and I want to go down south. The job market is crap so it’s a great excuse to go on tour and we got some good shows coming up.

RJ: Anywhere that you’re especially excited to go to?

Nicky: Someone said something about the Knitting Factory in LA?

Jason: We’re also cutting over to Arizona and we’ve never played in Arizona before so that’ll be cool.

Johnny: Also, I’m from Arizona and we haven’t been there in years so it’ll be cool.

Nicky: These assholes are probably bummed about it, but I want to go back to Vegas!

RJ: Yeah, Vegas is tight! I’m sure you guys get this a lot, but how’d you guys come up with the name?

Johnny: Well, me and Nick, before we were even a band. Us three [Johnny, Nicky, and Ryan] were in band earlier in high school and that broke up and there was kind of like this two year period where there was no band and me and Nick, he was in college, we were just hanging out and we had just driven my ex-girlfriend back to San Francisco. We were driving back up and it was like two in the morning in Eugene [Oregon] getting some pizza at TrackTown Pizza, always a mission of ours whenever we’re in Eugene, and we were in the parking lot putting CDs in the CD changer in the trunk. We started talking about, you know, maybe we should start another band again, do kind of a rock and roll sort of thing, and I was just talking bullshit and I was tired as fuck and I didn’t mean anything of it and I saw this CD that said “The Ramones” and in my mind I was like, “I’ll just change one letter. We should be the... Whore Moans!” I didn’t even know it would make a word. I would pick any letter that would make a word and I was like, “Oh wait, that’s kind of cool, and Nick looked at me.”

Nicky: Well, we’ll spell it! And we kind of looked at each other and it was like [makes sound of an alien tractor beam].

Ryan: HOLY SHIT, THAT’S AMAZING!

Johnny: WE ARE THE MOST CREATIVE PEOPLE TO EVER EXIST!

RJ: That sounds like something out of Cheech and Chong.

Jason: Yeah, and apparently it’s an epiphany that a lot of other people have had. There’s a bunch of other Whore Moans spelled the same way.

Nicky: There were.

Johnny: But now they’re dead.

Ryan: But we’ll still roll up to a town and they’ll be like, “Oh, there’s a local band called The Whore Moans.” Yeah, it’s pretty clever.

RJ: You guys should just invite them all for this huge battle in Seattle.

Nicky: We were going to have a show like that. There was a Canadian riot grrrl band called The Whore Moans and they were going to come down and play a show with us.

Jason: They called us their male American counterparts and we were like, “Oh, we totally have to play a show sometime!” The Whore Moans and The Whore Moans on the same bill! But then they broke up.

RJ: Well, no apologies for punk rock. Thanks guys!

Jason: No problem, and yeah, it’s definitely kind of a no apologies kind of thing.

Ryan: We don’t take ourselves that seriously and you shouldn’t either.

The Whore Moans latest LP, Hello From the Radio Wasteland, is out now on Mt. Fuji Records. Next Friday, on February 13, The Whore Moans will play The Holy Mountain with The Raggedy Annes, New Faces, and Souix City Pete & The Beggars (all ages). Check out their MySpace page for more upcoming tour dates.

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3 Comments

  1. Reese
    Posted February 6, 2009 at 4:12 pm | Permalink

    Awesome! Thanks, RJ!

  2. Ev
    Posted February 6, 2009 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

    whoa rj. this is sick nastyy. congrats.

  3. Posted April 28, 2009 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    hey hookers,

    we’re playing with you in Cincinnati..

    and hearts,
    eighty sixed

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