When we got a hold of Nebula's first full-length album To the Center (Sub Pop) we wanted everyone to love it as much as we do, but our success around the NYPress offices was limited. Adam Heimlich just walked away muttering something about Kyuss, George Tabb was all over the metal revival but couldn't remember where he'd left his copy of the CD and John Strausbaugh just kept giggling, "But are they real rock 'n' roll outlaws?"
"Fuck this," we decided. "Let's interview the band ourselves." It should've been obvious from the beginning that this was woman's work, and besides, it would be our pleasure to hunt Nebula down. We hadn't been rocked like this since we were 15, when listening to Led Zeppelin, smoking and fucking were all we thought about. Nebula even makes lyrics like, "Takin' off/To the center of the universe," and "There's a place we could be/100 leagues in the sea" seem like a good idea. That's because these three L.A. boys, rising from the ashes of Olivelawn and the original Fu Manchu, play rock 'n' roll the way it was intended to be played?hard, memorable and habit-forming.
Naturally we took To the Center to parties and hijacked stereos, while every burnt-out male rocker in the room groaned, "Yeah, whatever. I fucking know Eddie, and Fu Manchu wasn't that great." But by the end of the evening they were on that CD like flies on shit. Perhaps our friend Harlan Cridle put it best when he heard this bluesy, psychedelic metal debut: "Well, the only way this album could rock harder would be if...um...you looked at the cover art and saw that it was girls like you two playing guitar."
And it's not as if we haven't gained a few converts?Heimlich's chaperoning us to Nebula's Nov. 20 gig at CBGB, and the other day we caught Strausbaugh lingering outside our office.
"Hey, who's that you're listening to?" he asked.
"Nebula, the same band we were listening to yesterday and the day before that."
"Oh. Well, they still suck."
Last week we sent Ruben, Eddie and Mark a questionnaire to fill out from the road. The answers they faxed back from a Super 8 Motel on the wrong side of Fort Worth had all the charm of a turd in a punch bowl. But we're not complaining. That's why we love them?they're real fucking rock 'n' roll outlaws.
For Fu Manchu fans, how is Nebula different?
We dig chicks. They don't.
Fans seem pretty divided between Fu Manchu and Nebula.
Actually, fans aren't divided between the two. Only a few morons think that way, so if you're one of those idiots, fuck off. We don't want you to like us.
We gave this CD to a friend of ours who said, "Yeah, that's not bad, but I already have every Black Sabbath album ever made."
Your friend isn't too bright. Is that all he could think of? He's probably a big post-Ozzy Sabbath fan. Does he listen to Dio too? What an asshole.
How would you describe your sound and the way you arrived at it?
Fuzzed out, hopped up, psyched out, blues rock, and we've always been there.
If you could play with any other band (dead or alive), who would it be?
Early Alice Cooper, 13th Floor Elevators, MC5, Stooges, Blue Cheer, early Groundhogs, and anyone from The Lawrence Welk Show.
That song "Antigone" on the new album, is that some kind of Iron-Maiden-pseudo-intellectual-Rime-of-the-Ancient-Mariner thing?
No, it was the name of our first tour van in Europe. We rented it from a mental hospital.
Do you drag race, and what kind of cars are up on blocks in your front yard?
No, don't drag race, we just drive reckless. We don't give a shit about cars. We just drive whatever works.
Is substance abuse merely optional while enjoying To the Center, and in which states is trucker's speed illegal?
Good question. Substance abuse is not optional while enjoying To the Center. However, any drug will do while listening to this record. And trucker's speed is illegal in our home state of California, so we usually stock up when we're in New Mexico.
In your opinion, how has the availability/quality of prescription drugs changed over the last 10 years?
It seems harder to get prescription drugs these days. You could always go to Mexico and get them, but they're not that good. The quality of prescription drugs under the table is shitty. It's always best to get legitimate American prescription drugs.
Ever think of taking a Valium pill, replacing the "V" with an "N" and making that your logo?
Wow, that's actually a t-shirt we have! Most people don't get it.
How did you perfect your criminal look, and why is Mark a dead ringer for Petty?
What do you mean criminal? We look normal. Everyone else looks like a criminal to us. As for Mark, Tom Petty is his cousin. We hang out with Tom all the time, and he's one of our biggest fans.
What's a typical day on tour for you guys?
A typical day on tour for us is getting up, getting jacked on caffeine, starting the drive, pre-breakfast toke down, eating breakfast, post-breakfast toke down, drive some more, toke some more, get to sound check and start drinking...
Who technically owns the gong, and how many wah-wah pedals do you have? More importantly, will anything be set on fire during the show?
Ruben technically owns the gong. I [Eddie] have about three wah-wah pedals, but only one works. As for the fire, we've been working on setting the gong on fire, which we've pulled off in the past. Now we just have to work on extinguishing the fire, so if anything besides the gong catches on fire during Saturday's gig, you should probably leave the building as soon as possible.
How big are your amps?
We hear when we come to the show we're going to be the only two girls in the audience.
Yeah, that might be true, so watch your ass. No, wait...that's a Fu Manchu show. Tons of girls cum to Nebula shows! I don't know what you're talking about.
So what kind of girls turn you on?
What do you two look like?
Nebula plays CBGB on Saturday, Nov. 20. 315 Bowery (Bleecker St.), 982-4052.