The Spits are unfaltering and punk. They are a punk band - stalwart, veteran, and free range, with succinct, bowed up songs that hurl out dialed in dump trucks of sound waves. Theirs is a wily, unpolished, penetrating vigil to rock and slab like guitar chords. Through the years, the Spits have remained loud, fast, constant, and heaving. They are guaranteed. If music were a body-building contest in the final round, where the contestants are out there flexing as hard as they possibly can for the judges, the Spits win easy. They’re the contestant who’s more ultra ripped, more gleaming, more huge, and more confident. The Spits are out there smiling naturally. The other guys are shaking and quivering and forcing their smiles because they’ve been flexing for five hours. The other guys have fake tans. But not the Spits. The Spits could flex all day no problem. The Spits are Mr. Universe.
** The Spits play this Monday, Feb. 22 at Chop Suey with Personal and the Pizzas (San Fran), Coconut Coolouts, and the Pranks, with DJs Kurt Bloch and Danger Nunn. There will be free pizza, and a champagne toast to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Spits frontman Sean Wood spoke with me over strawberry shakes:
If the Spits opened an unabridged dictionary to a random page, what word would they be? Sean: Rock.
What do you think of the current state of music? It sucks. There are hardly any good bands out there anymore. You know? Everyone has the look, like they’re going to get on stage and rock, then they get onstage and sound wimpy and cry. There’s no fun in music anymore. I think everything’s way too fucking serious and dramatic. No more fun.
I know that when the Spits tour, sometimes they like to squeeze liquid soap on the kitchen floor of their host's house. Then you put a little water down there and slide back and forth. What’s this called? This is called liquid dance party.
Also, I've heard that when the Spits stay at someone's house, they're inclined to take frozen pizza's from the freezer and cook them, even when the host has asked them not to. What can you say about this? All bands raid fridges. That’s the way it is. It’s a rite of passage.
What type of things do you enjoy raiding? What do you look for in a raid? Medicine cabinets. I’m looking for Ibuprofen and Flintstones Vitamins. Especially the Freds.
What bands do you like? What bands are still fun? Nobunny, Personal and the Pizzas, Black Lips, the Nachos.
What do the Spits think of Lady Gaga? I think she’s extremely talented and very beautiful.
Have you seen her penis? I have not. I know there’s something down there, but I don’t know what it is. Next question.
Can you describe the Spits' sound? True American rock and roll. A Michigan type rock and roll.
Michigan, yes, you are from there, and you have ties to Ted Nugent. That is correct. He used to be the landlord at our jam space. He was very cool to us. He gave us hunting lessons and shit. Good guitar guy too. He would be my guitar tech when we played small clubs in Michigan.
Ted Nugent was your guitar tech? Yep. It was when he was on hiatus for a while during the early 90’s. He’s sober, so he could drive and do merch and stuff.
Would he wear his Tarzan loin cloth? No. He wore all camo.
What are your influences? Besides the Nachos. ZZ Top, Van Halen, the Ramones. Papos Blues from Argentina.
What is a Spits recording session like? Brutal. We used to meet in an old bomb shelter that was made in the 50’s in Kalamazoo, MI and that’s where we’d do most of our recording. You get in there for twelve straight hours and strange musical ideas happen.
Do you wake up in the morning and have punk songs sitting there on the tip of your brain? Or do you have to work at songs to make them happen? No, they’re sitting right there on the brain. I don’t have to try. It all just comes right out.
Word is that sometimes you and your brother argue. What type of stuff do you argue about? How do you resolve it? Usually it’s about girls, beats, or cars. We’ll do some shots, think about it and move on.
What is your favorite costume to wear when the Spits play? Bob Marley and the Reagans. And one time we were zombie cops.
The Spits just signed to a new label right? Yes sir. We signed over our last record to In The Red Records out of Los Angeles, CA and released two singles. And we’ll be releasing another album with them in the Spring or early Summer. We’re wrapping up the recording for that one now. All the songs are special, made of gold.
That release is slated to work around you going to Burning Man, right? Because you’re a Burning Man guy. Yeah. We’re big fans.
You’ve been to fifteen straight Burning Mans. Seventeen.
How many records have the Spits put out? Five. All self titled.
When are you touring in Europe again? People follow you around in busses over there. That is correct. We’re going over there this Spring and Fall as a matter of fact.
Where is your favorite place to play? Jerusalem. This American punk club in Jerusalem called The Dugout. Great place. They know how to do it over there, drinking Israeli wine. And Buenos Aires. I like playing in Buenos Aires.