By Jeremy Essig
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By Nathan Smith
Speaking of your musical past, Chris recently released the Dinosaurs material on Bandcamp. It's kind of garage rock, but it has proto-punk elements, punk energy.
You know what's strange about that? When it was out, this was 1978. This was when the radio was playing the hell out of Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac, and everyone just thought we sucked shit. And I was like, "OK, we suck shit, but I like what we're doing." I just acknowledged that human beings didn't like it, and now I've waited long enough, and I find this generation who likes stuff that sucks shit.
What was the climate of that rock & roll era of the late 1970s? Did people think it was weird?
Yeah, they did. They thought that it was insane. We would play ungodly loud. We used to ingest as many drugs and as much alcohol as we could and see how long we could still be standing up. We used to play down in Gaslight Square. It was the very tail end, at a place called the Tarot Club. The drummer would play with his back to this door that was boarded up, and people would be kicking the hell out of it from the other side. A guy walked up once. He was wearing a trench coat, and he had combat boots, and he just put his thumb over one nostril and he just blew his nose on the floor in front of us. We had just gotten out of high school, and we thought, "So this is bohemia, huh?"
What do you like most about St. Louis?
That you're totally free here to be whatever you want to be. You know, if you live on either coast — not just New York and LA — you have this thing in your head. You're either in or you have access to a big media center, so maybe if you play your cards right, you could hit the big time. Well, nobody here has any illusions of hitting the big time. That is such a gift because then you're free to do what it is that you love doing. There's less to do here. You have to make your own fun here. And I love the fact that it's all crumbling around us. I don't know what it is I love about that, but I do.