acid logicpresents...

An Interview with Mojo Nixon

Part Three

Curtis Armstrong in Revenge of the Nerds


By Wil Forbis

September 16th, 2001
Return to Part Two of the Mojo Nixon Interview

Part Three: Abortions, Anne Heche and the Anti-Elvis
Wil: I caught a tiny bit of the Pat Robertson debate (Mojo appeared with Robertson on Crossfire or a similar show) awhile back. I wanted to get your reaction to some of the current issues that we're facing right now.

Mojo: Sure.

Wil: The first one that comes up is the U.N. conference on racism. Do you think we should have taken part of that or ducked out. (I have to confess that I should've gotten my facts straight before asking this question. We did take part in the conference, but with no high profile attendees like Colin Powell who would've symbolized a bigger commitment on the United States' part.)

Mojo: Well, I don't have any big comments on all that. I will say this: Just because the Israelis were treated like crap before, doesn't give them the right to be bigger assholes now. Having said that, something needs to be done over there, I dunno what. Obviously those people have been mad at each other for four thousand years. Here's the crazy thing - and I'm just a hillbilly from a small town in Virginia - if I saw an average looking Jewish guy from Israel and an average looking Arab guy from Palestine. I couldn't tell them apart! So it's always true that you don't fight with someone way down the neighborhood, you fight with your next-door neighbor.

Wil: What about the current hullabaloo about the stem cell research?

Mojo: The stem cell research thing is part of a giant pattern of "act like it doesn't exist and it'll go away." Just like the war on drugs and alcoholism and cigarettes. The whole 'Just Say No' thing is ludicrous. "If we say people shouldn't have sex they won't." Guess what? They will!

Wil: Well, we hope they will or we won't be around much longer.

Mojo: The same with people who do drugs or drink. they will! It's much smarter to be out in the open. With this whole thing on abortions - you really got me ranting now - but, no-one is "for" abortions. But who's gonna take care of all them unwanted kids? That's the question. In a perfect world, there wouldn't have to be abortions, but guess what, it's not a perfect world. There's so many people on the planet right now that need to be dealt with. Once those people are taken care of, then we can deal with abortion.

Wil: I find with abortion and the stem cell issue that there's a rule - biology always trumps ethics. You can try and come up with an ethical solution for the fact that when a sperm meets an egg it creates a potential life and the problems that begin there, but you'll never be able to stop the sperm and the egg from doing that.

Mojo: Well all this stuff about abstinence and masturbation is all part of this fear of sex. And somewhere there's this right wing religious zealot who is terrified of people having a good time. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said, "If you're living like there's no hell, you better be right." Well, what if I am right?! FUCK YOU! It's like those bumper stickers you see that say, "I'm not perfect, I'm just forgiven." You know what you are is a lazy asshole! What kind of low-rent religion allows you to do anything you want but at the last minute you can change your mind and you're okay. It's like you're looking for loopholes on your deathbed.

Wil: (Laughs) Well, that's my plan right there. Don't give it away!

Mojo: What kind of used-car salesman, hillbilly low-rent religion have they come up with? There's no way to gain any merit but at any moment you can just say, "Okay, I give up. You win." So it's crazy. All this "act like it's not there and it'll go away" attitude does is drive it underground. You think abortions aren't going to happen if you pass the constitutional amendment? Sure they are. People have in their imagination this kind of fifties nirvana that never existed. What happens in "West Side Story"? That's about gangs. What's "The Man with the Golden Arm" about? That's about drugs. What's "Peyton Place" about? It's about an abortion. And this is part of being human. America is so screwed up about this whole thing. America was founded by people who were run out of Europe for being religious zealots or criminals or they were drug over here against their will from Africa. We're the land of the nutjobs. We take religion about ten times more seriously than anybody, except the cats in Afghanistan who won't let you use toilet paper because it might be made out of a reprocessed Koran.

Wil: You see those themes that you talk about, abortion and substance abuse, even in the Bible itself, in the Old Testament. Those issues were around even back then.

Mojo: Sure, nothing has changed. The only thing that's changed is that we get information faster. The whole idea that the world is much worse now, or that crime is worse or that violence is worse is ludicrous. The only thing different now from two hundred years ago is that a guy in a small town in Iowa can get the information much quicker. But now there's a lot less crime. There's a lot less disease and pollution. Things are getting better.

Wil: Well, another issue that is facing America right now is the fact that Anne Heche just got married. Do you think she was ever a lesbian?

Mojo: (Laughs) The saddest thing about all that is that poor old Ellen just ain't very funny. Ellen would be a perfect sidekick on a T.V. show. She should be 'the friend' or 'the goofy neighbor.' She's not the leading lady. And then she made her whole show about lesbianism. like it matters.

Wil: Yeah, I would definitely agree that the show took a nosedive when its focus became lesbianism. I guess I could say the show took a muff-dive.

Mojo: And I think instead of having an hour-long show with every guest star on the planet, a smarter person would've just let it pop out in the middle. That way, they would've said, "Hey, it's no big deal." It was much more about ratings and success. But the biggest problem with Ellen is that she's just not that funny. At her funniest she's not that funny.

But Anne Heche. wasn't she knocking on doors up in Fresno?

Wil: That's correct, she went kind of insane for awhile. I think she had a bad acid trip or something.

Mojo: Yeah, who knows. And she's just some little TV actress. With actresses and actors, you can't tell anything about them because they make their living pretending to be somebody else. And with the good ones, there's absolutely nothing at the core. That's why they're so able to pretend to be somebody else.

Wil: (Laughs) They're just so totally vacant?

Mojo: Right, they're just blank pieces of paper, waiting to be written on.

Wil: So you are doing this radio show in Cincinnati, correct? "The Dawn Patrol?" (An FM radio morning show on Cincinnati's WEBN, 102.7 FM. )

Mojo: Yup, "The Dawn Patrol." I'm just the new second banana. I've been fired from the talk radio station twice for my semi-controversial opinions.

Wil: That was a different station?

Mojo: It's in the same building and part of the same company.

Wil: I went to look at the station's website and there seems to be a big "frog" theme?

Mojo: It's just a basic bonehead rock station. But it's the number one morning show and ever since they got me it's been going really well. There's two guys that have been there forever, Eddie and Bob, and I'm just the new guy injecting a little new blood. I've been wanting to do radio for a while anyway. In San Diego, nobody would hire me. I think I made out with the program director's wife at a party or something.

Wil: You weren't ever around San Diego when Lester Bangs (noted rock critic) was there, we're you?

Mojo: No, but Jerry Raney who was in the Beat Farmers went to high school with him. Did you see Jim DeRogatis' book? (Let It Blurt: the Life and Times of Lester Bangs.)

Wil: Yeah, I read it.

Mojo: That's a great book. There's a million true facts in there.

Wil: In a lot of your songs, you kind of start them out with a kind of spoken word thing.

Mojo: Yeah, 'cuz I can't sing. If I could sing and write songs and play guitar - I'd really be on to something.

Wil: That's worked out for a lot of people.

Mojo: With what I do, people come to see the monkey show, meaning the crazy stuff I say in between songs and whatnot. Obviously I use very familiar musical themes in the songs because I'm no real musician. I see real musicians and I hate 'em. They can play any key, any song, they can do anything. I can't do any of that.

Wil: Well, I think, especially with the Toadliquors it works out pretty good. "Sock Ray Blue" is a sharp album

Mojo: Yeah, we do what we do really well. But we can't do nothin' else. I'm just saying that some people have music in 'em, but I've got bullshit in me.

Wil: Do you think they'll ever be a Mojo Nixon spoken word album? Or screaming word album?

Mojo: Yeah, there's been talk of that. I do some rants on the station once or twice a week and there's been talk of putting them on a CD. I did something on the radio in San Diego called "The Mojo Minute" and every day I would do some tirade. I'm sure they'll be something sometime. Or a live album that will mostly be me talking and the band going (makes sound simulating a band vamping), waiting for me to get back to the song.

Wil: Or maybe it'll all just end up on Napster and people will be downloading it off the web.

Mojo: There's some nuts out there. I'll tell ya, this Internet thing with chat rooms has enabled all the nutjobs to hook up. At my shows I see them all out there talking to each other. It's terrifying. We just did four shows two months ago and they were all there. the same five or six nuts.

Wil: So they're like the Mojo-Heads?

Mojo: The Mojonites, I call 'em. There's a few Mojoholoics. They know a little too much.

Wil: You may have to eliminate them.

Mojo: Yeah, they might need some intervention on their ass.

Wil: Well, I've got one final question for you, and then I'll let you go. Now that Michael J Fox has Parkinson's do you still consider him the Anti-Elvis?

Mojo: I don't care how much he shakes, I don't care if he goes back to "Spin City," he's still the Anti-Elvis. And the reason is that he was in two films pretending to be a rock and roller. He was in that awful Paul Schrader movie with the Springsteen song and Joan Jett, "Light of Day." He was also in "Back to the Future" pretending to invent Chuck Berry licks. He oughta be castrated so he can't reproduce. I don't pretend to be an evil yuppie twit, he shouldn't pretend to be a rock and roller.

Wil: Do you remember his song on the "Light of Day" soundtrack. It was some sort of ballad. ("You Got No Place to Go")

Mojo: I've actually only seen part of it. I got so mad. I like Schrader and I love Springsteen, but I was just so hacked. 'Cuz I hate seeing rock and roll done poorly, which it usually is. However, I thought "Almost Famous" was great. Cameron Crowe is a real romantic and it was really a romance film, but all the details were correct. I think Crowe is the same age I am. I remember reading the stories when I was in high school, and apparently, he was too.

Check out some of our other Great Acid Logic Music Interviews:
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Me First and the Gimme Gimmes - By Semone Maksimovic Nada Surf - By Semone Maksimovic
And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead (II) - By Semone Maksimovic And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead - By Semone Maksimovic
JG Thirlwell - Foetus, Steroid Maximus, Manorexia - By Sandra Kay Peter Murphy - By J. Kim
Mojo Nixon - By Wil Forbis The Great Kat - Wil Forbis
Ricki Rockett of Poison - By Wil Forbis Gerald V. Casale of DEVO - By Wil Forbis
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