I am hanging out with a band that should need no introduction. These guys bring a certain sense of entertainment to the stage and match that with some incredible musicianship. These guys have been rocking the Indianapolis scene for quite some time and are worth taking a listen to if you have not already heard them. With a feeling of British pop rock and a look to match that with every chord, it my pleasure to introduce to you Latex Novelties.
How long have you guys been playing?
The Latex Novelties were formed in 1978. Over time there have been changes in the band’s members so there is no one time that includes all of us. However the core of the band has been together for 25 years. We sorely miss our friends Peter Pills and his brother Mo Geek who both succumbed to heart failure. Both were original members of the band.
How did you guys all meet?
Pills, Geek, and their cousin Randy Creep, of course, were all related. Mango and Tufty Scrog joined the band in 1979 to complete the line up. After a hiatus the band added new members in 1984. Tufty had gone on to other projects and Mo Geek moved to California. I (Davey Cretin) was working at a downtown bar with Pills and when it was time to reform the band was offered the drum spot. G. Noxious had worked with Creep in another band, the Vibrato Fetish, and became the second guitarist.
Who designed your MySpace page layout?
I (Cretin) create all of the graphic art for the band. I have worked in desktop publishing and it seemed natural that I would do it. It’s nice to be able to have an outlet that reflects your ideas and a platform to express yourself. It’s not work for me. Its therapeutic.
What is your favorite venue to play?
What is the largest crowd you have ever played for?
It’s hard to give an exact number but we set the attendance record at the old “Patio” on Halloween 1985 or ‘86. Even if there was a bigger crowd somewhere, sometime, that was the show that sticks out the most. It was like a party with hundreds of friends. Great!
We did a show as a favor to a friend who was opening a store. There were less than 30 people but all of them were friends.
Who is the ringleader of the band?
In some way each of us have an area where we are the go to guy. Noxious keeps the rehearsal schedule and really is the one who makes sure we are all at the right place at the right time. Mango has the recording and mixing equipment necessary to give life to song ideas. He works hard to develop and arrange the song ideas that the band puts forth. Justin Sider is the energy and face of the band. He is the youngest member and his energy and enthusiasm are contagious. I (Davey Cretin) got the ball rolling by landing the European record deal with Rave-Up Records as well as the US label Pelado. Our friend and manager Marvin Goldstein was instrumental in securing the deal with Zodiac Killer Records.
You guys all have jobs outside of music?
Well, we have at one time or the other. Steady is not the word to describe our outside employment.
Tell me about your relationship with Radio Radio.
To describe the relationship with Radio Radio is to recall the many years we have known and worked with owner Tufty Scrog. This is a relationship that includes 30 years of friendship and shared experiences. He is, of course, a former member of the band and had a hand in writing a good number of our songs. He is working on one for us now as a matter of fact. Tufty’s Radio Radio has the best place in town for live music and really knows the business. We probably don’t have a better friend than Tufty.
Who writes all the lyrics?
There is not one person who writes lyrics. Many of our songs lyrics were penned by the late Peter Pills. It depends on the situation and who has the idea for the song. We try to put our ideas out and have everyone give input.
Where do you get inspiration for a new track?
Inspiration is something that is hard to nail down. It can come from the need to express our opinion and say what needs to be said, as in our song “Kiss and Make Up”. It can come from a phrase that sticks in your head, or a situation we may have experienced or want to experience. There is no one place that you can look to. It’s not that simple.
Where do you guys practice?
G. Noxious has the perfect place. No hassle with neighbors and easy to get to for all of us. I’m not telling where it is however.
If you could tour with anyone in the market right now whom would you choose?
I would say we would be a good fit with the New York Dolls or the Vibrators.
Tell me what it is like working with Zodiac Killer.
ZK has been really easy. They have offered us a few options on releasing our next project and are more than a one and done label.
Do you guys have any thoughts on a tour this year?
We think about it all the time. In truth, we are focusing on finalizing the songs for our next release. When we have them recorded and released on ZK Records we would then like to go out and promote the record. To look further than the recording project is to put the cart before the horse.
Who are some of your biggest influences?
The Ramones, the New York Dolls, the Vibrators, the Clash. We have been fans of the 1970’s New York scene since day one.
Describe your genre in one word.
Wow, one word. I want to preface by saying that what is considered punk now has evolved from what was punk originally. As one would expect it’s just not the same thing, which is fine. So for me to say it’s punk would be misleading in that light. How about a hyphenated word like “retro-punk”?
Where did the name come from?
In 1978 it was next to impossible to get jobs if your band was named “the Dildos”. Latex Novelties was just different enough that it slipped through, even though it means the same thing.
PC or Mac?
Let’s get some pizza. What toppings?
If you were offered a $250,000 record deal but it was someone else’s lyrics and it was a rap album do you do it?
Of course. We’ve all done much worse for much less. If we could put that kind of money behind the band it would pay off tenfold in the end.
You guys play very much outside of Indianapolis?
Not lately. Though we have of course. Much of our time the past few years has been into releasing and distributing our records and CD’s as well as working on new mate
rial and securing another record company to get it released. I feel that by doing so it is much more likely that we could do a bigger and much more successful tour. You have to have a product and be known.
You have a ton of promotional posters. Who designs all of those?
I do all of the posters, flyers, web art, t-shirts, etc. I have all of the computer equipment and experience so that it’s not near the hassle it would be for someone else. I’m glad that people seem to like it.
Where do you see yourselves in five years?
It’s so hard to predict anything when it comes to the music business. It’s the kind of thing that often makes no sense and follows no pattern. Ideally we would have at least one successful record that would open the door and give us the opportunity to make a name for ourselves.
What do you want to be remembered for when this is all said and done?
I think most of all we would like to known as a band that stayed true to their vision. One that kept the sound and attitude of our generation and genre true to its roots. And that we made a buttload of cash doing so.
I always let the artist get the last word. Go.
We went against the norm in playing punk music in Indy in the 70’s and 80’s when the only thing most clubs and patrons wanted was redone radio tunes. We were called every name you can think of and had our share of hassles for doing what we wanted musically. Our costumes and stage show were like nothing seen in Indy before. We made no money and most clubs wouldn’t even think of booking us. It is very gratifying to see that there is a great punk and alternative scene in Indy now. It was worth the trouble. I want to say to all the bands out there that you can sound different. Take advantage of this cool music scene. It isn’t necessary to fit into a niche. Finally, a reminder that screaming fuck into the microphone over droning cacophonous guitars and million mile an hour drums doesn’t make you a punk or show what a rebel you are. Break away and make your own sound. Like it used to be.