Tuesday, April 24, 2001

An interview with P-nut (Electric Ink, 2001)

Interview by Murph of Sugar Ray

* = Sugar Ray
$ = P-Nut

* Some of the perks of having a song so popular that it annoys the shit out of people is that you get to do a lot things you normally wouldn't get to. Opening for 311 recently on their North American tour certainly felt like one of them. With "FLY" still in heavy rotation at pop radio, 311 offered us the opening slot on their six-week tour. We dog-piled at the chance, to say the least, and it was one of the best experiences Sugar Ray has ever had. * We had a bus, new equipment, a tour with 311, and all the Budweiser we could drink. It was perfect. What follows is a chat I had with P-NUT, 311's bassist, late one night after a gig, chatting up anything and everything that came up.

* Tell me how it all got started in Nebraska?

$ Nick knew Tim and Chad cause they went to school in the same area, and I knew SA before I'd met anybody, from my neighborhood, when I was about 15-years-old. Nick & Tim were in a band that Chad played in for a little bit, and SA and Chad were roommates at college, so I think we all just got together and played a sock-hop or something at our high school.

* What made you want to play bass?

$ I played the violin in the second grade, and I did that for a while, and after that, everybody in the neighborhood was playing guitar or drums, so it made sense to play bass. I learned "Anesthesia," the Metallica bass solo, when I was 14, and being able to learn that at such a young age made me want to play bass all the time.

* Who were your early influences?

$ Steve Harris, Cliff Burton, Mark King, Flea, and the teachers I had.

* You have a very original style of playing bass, technically as well as physically. Where did it come from?

$ The first show I ever saw was The Red Hot Chili Peppers, supporting Uplift Mofo Party Plan, and that was when they were at their wildest, and being in the pit, you know, I couldn't even find the words to describe the feeling and the energy. It definitely left an impression. And my favorite performers have always kind of been out-there and odd.

* As a bassist, how would you describe your relationship with guitarist Tim Mahoney?

$ It's really cool, you know, we trade off. Tim, over the years, has gotten more comfortable and better at soloing, so the more he does it, it's great to hear. I don't know my scales as well as I should, but I play percussive solos, and I think that's the fun way to do it. But I'm gonna write something pretty for the next album. (Laughs)

* If you had to play another instrument in a band, what would it be?

$ Drums.

* If you could open a store in a mall, what would it be?

$ A hobby shop with comic books, juggling paraphernalia, and esoteric books.

* What was the last book you read?

$ A biography on Sid Vicious called "El Sid."

* What was the last CD you bought?

$ A Thelonious Monk & Coltrane CD.

* What's the most expensive thing you've ever stolen?

$ I don't knowI wasn't a very good thief. I always got caught. (Laughs) This one time I broke into a house, I totally got busted. I was grounded for a month during summer. It sucked!

* Have you ever died in a dream?

$ Yeah.

* Do you think marijuana should be legalized?

$ Yes. (Big laughs)

* Do you believe in God?

$ No, I don't believe in God, but I do believe in the natural order of things, and I think that's what people mean when they say God.

* Do you believe in capital punishment?

$ Yes. But I think maybe they're doing too much of it in Texas.

* Ever dressed up as a girl for Halloween?

$ Yes. Twice. And I'll do it again Goddammit, you can't stop me!

* Ever thought about suicide?

$ Yeah, I think everybody does.

* Do you believe in extra-terrestrials?

$ Yes. There's no question.

* Who would win in a fight?
A gorilla or a grizzly bear?

$ (Pause) I don't know, probably a gorilla. They're definitely smarter. But if a bear got the gorilla, it'd be over. But I think the gorilla would last longer.

* SA or Nick?

$ (Laughs) I think Nick's stronger than SA, but SA's a crazy motherfucker!

* Terminator or Predator?

$ Terminator.

* Jason or Freddie?

$ Freddie.

* Puffy Combs or Pee Wee Herman?

$ Pee Wee.

Robert Deniro or Al Pacino?

$ Deniro.

* Pulp Fiction or Braveheart?

$ Pulp Fiction, even though I'm Scottish!

* Martin Scorsese or Stanley Kubrick?

$ Kubrick.

* Sushi or Steak?

$ Steak.

* Christianity or Buddhism?

$ Buddhism.

*Flea or Les Claypool?

$ That's tough. They both offer so many things. I guess, Les Claypool.

* Run DMC or Public Enemy?

$ Public Enemy.

* X-Files or The Twilight Zone?

$ The Twilight Zone.

* Snowboarding or skiing?

$ Snowboarding.

* '68 Chevy or '68 Cadillac?

$ '68 Cadillac.

* Corona or Budweiser?

$ Budweiser.

* Boxers or Briefs?

$ Boxer-Briefs. I got 'em on right now! That's all I wear.

* Microsoft or Macintosh?

$ Microsoft.

* Picasso or Salvador Dali?

$ Dali.

* Ernest Hemingway or Stephen King?

$ Stephen King.

* Last Question: With 5 players, build your all-time Lakers squad.

$ Kareem, Wilt, Magic, Shaq, (big laughs) that'd be a huge fucking team! And Kobe Bryant.