The Dead Milkmen

How To Become A Serial Killer
and other absolute gibberish told to Karrin by two very obliging Milkmen who thought they were
going to be answering pertinent questions about death and morbidity for
the illustrious Ben Is Dead "Death" issue. However, due to the logistics of
getting things done it proved to be less complicated to complete it for this
equally illustrious issue of FLipside. I talked with Rodney Anonymous and
Dave Blood on the phone as they killed time before a gig somewhere in the
Midwest. It reads like yer standard phone conversation between almost
total strangers. We didn't talk about any band shit or music, nothing like
that. But, we did talk about life after death, serial killing, serial killers-
Who-are-also-artist, the "all guys collect comicbooks" myth, contemporary
TV sitcoms, the merits of insanity, good vaction choices and lots of
other silly stuff that's also kinda funny. Sure, the questions are pretty
dumb but it was an angle I was after- to make you all laugh a little.
(It's the angle, my friends, the all-important angle!)
So guess that all things considered,it'll pass.

Interview By Karrin Vanderwal

Photo by George Moore
Left to Right:
Rodney Anonymous (vocal/keys),
Dave Blood (bassist),
Joe Jack Talcum (guitarist),
Dean Clean (drummer)

Karrin: So, where do you think Dead Milkmen go when they
kick the bucket?

Rodney: To Valhalla, Valhalla is reserved for Vikings, French Legionnaires,
milkmen, and terrorist.

Karrin: Do you think Patty Hearst will go there?

Rodney: Patty Hearst won't go there because she wasn't a very good terrorist.
Only crazed, rock throwing "I've got a bomb in my car" terrorist will go there.

Karrin: What about bad milkmen? Say, the milkman who doubles
as a serial killer, have you ever heard of that?

Rodney: Oh that doesn't happen. That's one of those things that just doesn't happen.

Karrin: There is no homocidal, ax-wielding maniac lurking in the heart of a milkman somwhere?

Rodney: There are no homocidal, ax-wielding maniac milkmen- 'cause of the hours
they keep, They're up early; they never get the chance to kill anybody. Being up that early,
it's really a bad time to be a serial killer. A job that leaves you free in the afternoon,
thats a good job to have if you're a serial killer. Actually, Ted Bundy worked as a milkman for a couple
of years and gave it up.

Karrin: Was he one of your favorite murderers?

Rodney: No, Not really. He wimped out and tired to blame it all on pornography.
See, I've based my life around pornography so I kinda hated him for that. It's really hard
to pinpoint one's favorite type of muderer. However, I do have a painting by John Wayne Gacey.
If they fry Gacey, my painting becomes worth more. When they took away his art materials
and wouldn't let him paint anymore, my painting doubled in value. So, maybe I should start
some organization to get him in the chair. Imagine what would happen if they fry him !
In the last Answer Me! they had really good artwork. Did you see the one Richard Ramirez did ?
The one with the eye poked out and everything! And the one that Otis (Toole) did ?
He's the guy who was partners with Henry "Portrait Of A Serial Killer" Lucas. Otis did this really
sick thing of this woman being torn apart and Henry did this really nice drawing.

Karrin: Oh, the one with the cards? It's a crapshoot. I did a
collage that is similar to that. You know, I could be a serial killer.

Rodney: There you go. Now there's a fine goal to have!
There are not a lot of female serial killers.

Karrin: Sorta like comicbook collecting, I guess serial murder is
just one of those "guy things".

Rodney: Comisbook collecting is a "guy thing" that I wish wasn't a "guy thing"
because then there is guilt by association. If you're a guy, women think you have a desire
to collect comicbooks. I have no desire to collect comicbooks. To me that's like being a 'Trekkie.

Karrin: 'Trekkie's suck. But there is some pretty cool artwork
to be found in comics.

Rodney: Granted. But it seems to me that the people who collect them
"I have Spiderman #17!" and that sort of thing creeps me out. If you're talking about comicbooks
like Hate and Love nad Rockets or something like that-ok, I can see collecting comics.

Karrin: You can be collecting them for the artwork.....

Rodney: That's true. But it still has a stigma attached to it,
kind of like how the music industry has this stigma attached to it because of bad bands.
It's that sort of thing. That's way I feel about comicbooks. I realize that there's Splendor
and Love & Rockets and stuff like that. I also realize that there are loads of these
Teenage Romance comics

Karrin: And they bite really hard.

Rodney: Makes you vomit!

Karrin: Like "Blossom". that TV show.

Rodney: Well "Blossom" is an interesting show in the sense that whanever
I watch "Entertainment Tonight" -one of the shows I live for, they'll say "Tonight, on a very
special episode of "Blossom"...." Every week is a very special "Blossom". "Blossom" is a pretty
intense show, I've got to give it credit for that. There are some weird, subliminal things
running through it. There is an undercurrent of really bizarre tension. And it's nice to see that the
guy from "Soap" got a job.

Karrin: I don't think I've ever watched an entire episode,

Rodney: You should. More people should try and watch these shows because
this is one of the shows that a lot of Americans watch. You can get the idea of how average
people think. That's the problem. Most people are into underground life and they're
so shut off from the rest of the world is that they miss a lot. I like to find out
what everybody' up to.

Karrin: But don't you run the risk of beening absorbed into it?

Rodney: That's not bad. There's bad about being absorbed into "Blossom".
Theres no difference between being absorbed into "Blossom" and being absorbed into some
band that you're really into.

Karrin: But "Blossom" is a pre-recorded TV show and going out and interacting
with other people directly is the here and now. Real life is just too interesting to be spent in front of a TV set.

Rodney: But what if you were in the studio audience for "Blossom"?
I'm sure you've seen bands play on TV. I saw Possom Dixon on "Conan O'Brien", That's no

Karrin: Yeah. Tell me more about death. Or, how 'bout insanity?

Rodney: It's sort of interesting to me, insanity. When people
say, "So and is so insane...", and that person is usually saner than those people around him.
It's like, he's so crazy that we him money to stay at home and fingerpaint al day!
That's a guy who's pretty much come up with a cool way to live! Its the people who work all day
at a used auto place that must be really crazy. I question the sanity of those around me on a regular basis.

Karrin: What do you hate more than anything else? What pisses you off the most?

Rodney: I hate people in shitty little jobs who get the chance to work over
someone else and that's their favorite perk on the job. Like when you see a manager at Denny's.
All managers have square butts - its the pants they wear and they're ordering everybody around.
That's the only thing they can really do to make themselves feel better that day. Thats the thing
that annoys me most. BUt wait, I want to talk about how I plan my vaction around death.
When I go on vaction, I want to see as many dead people as possible.

Karrin: Have you ever touched a dead body?

Rodney: Yeah, in the catacombs under Paris I put my tongue near a skull. I didn't
mean to touch it but my hand slipped and I actually licked the skull. That was pretty good.
"High Gate" (or was that Hyde Gate? - ed) in London is one of my favorite cemetaries. That's a
place with bilions of dead people.

Karrin: Have you ever been to any of the cemetaries in Mexico? They have cool above ground crypts.

Rodney: No, I've never been to the one's in Mexico. But the best cemetary in the
United States is Westminster Cemetary in Baltimore. That's where Edgar Allen Poe is buried.
There are catacombs underneath it and you can go on really neat tours of these catacombs.
THat's my favorite cemetary in the United States and I do a lot of cemetary hopping. You can
find out all about Frank "the bodysnatcher", John Hopkins Medical Center is near there and his job was
to get bodies for the medical students.

Karrin: Wait, isn't there a movie about that?

Rodney: You're thinking of "The Body Snatcher" with Boris Karloff.
THat one was based on the story about Burke and Hare, who were Resurrectionist in England.
It's based on a Robert Louis story. Read the original story, it's a lot better.

Karrin: WHat do you think about Jack Kavorkian?

Rodney: I love Dr. Kavorkian. We wanted to get him to be part of the show.
Americans have this stupid idea that you should linger a long time before you die.
Let me do it myself! Let me take some people with me! I think Dr. Kavorkian is wonderful.
I'd like to hang around him and be his pal. Imagine if your in a bar and there's this loud
drunk asshole at the other end of the bar. You just wait 'til he's drunk, and you and Jack
can hook him up to the machine!
Want to talk to Dave?

Dave Blood: (picking up the line); "Blossom" is so bad!

Karrin: Is Rodney really into "Blossom", or what?

Dave: We listened to an episode of it on Channel 6 of the FM dial in some
town. We listened to a whole episode of "Blossom" on the radio and just imagined it in our minds.
If we'd actually watched it, it wouldn't have been nearly as good! The only redeeming thing
about getting to watch the show was that I found out that she had an "innie". She was wearing (for Blossom)
a very sexy mid-riff outfit.

Karrin: The hussy!

Dave: It took my eyes off her face. Her facial features disturb me.
There's something about her facial features, I don't know what it is; I can't pin it down: the eyes,
the nose, the mouth.... There's just something in the mix there that's disturbing!
Her friend's kind of goofy looking, too.(Dave and Rodney are of course, Total babes,-ed)

Karrin: That's very interesting, Dave. So what are your thoughts on the after-life?
What do you think happens when you die?

Dave: You combine.

Karrin: With what?

Dave: With whatever you are.

Karrin: Well, what do you think about near-death experiences, like where people say they
went through a tunnel with a light at the end of it and all that?

Dave: What I think of the near-death experience is that you have a memory that's
very similar to what you see. Like a vision you might have seen coming out of the womb, maybe.
It's basically something you've already seen before and you repeat the experience. Dying for most
people is pretty scary, I'd imagine. So your subconscious, in an effort to calm you down is going
to project something to make things easier for you.

Karrin: So, you think it might be a chemical reaction in your brain that gets things going?

Dave: Basically, all consciousness could just be a chemical reaction and that's it.
It has to be something physiologically common to all cultures 'cause this thing goes across cultures.
It has to be some experience that everyone has in common that cannot change. Theories abound
that your body is not the most important thing. You know, all this stuff about telepathy and acupunture;
your body is energy, you're a biological field, a dumb terminal.

Karrin: What does that mean?

Dave: There's a power source with terminals that go out.
THe terminals can communicate with the source but they can't communicate with the other terminals.
That's a dumb terminal. I read stuff about it but that seems a little delusional to me.
It has more to do with electricity than anything.

Karrin: Yeah there's a certain frequency at which, supposedly, you can leave your body.
(Ref: Robert Monroe's "Journey's out of the Body" if you want to read more about it.-ed)

Dave: 7.83hz. I know what you're talking about. There've been experiments with
that but none have been real conclusive as far as I know.

Karrin: Do you fear death?

Dave: It doesn't bother me at all. The only reason being that I've gotten
close to death a couple of times and it's like So What.

Karrin: What happened?

Dave: I was real sick with asthma and it was like....bang.
Big deal. If you die, you die. It doesn't matter.

Karrin: How did going to a war-ravaged country like Bosnia effect your views on life and death?
(Referring to our previous conversation.)

Dave: When that guy took me out of the bus and threatened me and
basically let me know that he could shoot me if he wanted to? I figured, whatever. If the
guy's gonna do it he's gonna do it!

Karrin: So when you went to Bosnia somebody tried to kill you?

Dave: I got pulled over and this guy let me know that I wasn't supposed to be there.
I don't know what he was thinking. He was an asshole! The cops over there are different than
the cops over here. There are no rules for their conduct. They can do whatever they want
and don't have to answer to anybody. THey just beat people up at random.
They can arrest you and put you in jail for no reason. That happened to a friend of mine
because she knew some drug dealer. They beat her up, threw her in jail and that was fine.
It's not a republic. It's not like here. END

(Dead Milkmen's latest release, "Not Richard, but Dick" is available Hollywood Records.)

From the Mag FLipSiDE: Number 92, Oct./Nov. 1994

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