Self proclaimed ‘Cute one’ from NJ Thrash gods Adrenalin OD, Bruce Wingate speaks to Gravy about life as a Brunch Mummie Internationale and the perils of playing with punk rock ‘Legends’. Read on:
Gravy: Who are Brunch Mummies Internationale?
Bruce: Just some working class yobs with big vocabularies and a very tight 45 minute set!
Gravy: Define your music in 5 words.
Bruce: Adult oriented punk, and stuff.
Gravy: Would it be fair to say you write rather quirky lyrics?
Bruce: For the genre I am working in, yes. I would just be bored using imagery that's already been done to death. I've always been disappointed that punk rock, hardcore, whatever.kind of boxed itself in, aesthetic wise. I'd like to think I'm blazing new trails, but I'm probably just drunk.
Gravy: What influences your song writing?
Bruce: I could probably name check a bunch of hip references as musical influences (hello, buzzcocks!), but the bottom line is to ask myself, "would I like this song if I didn't write it?"
Gravy: How do you feel your song writing has changed since you started with Adrenalin OD?
Bruce: Oh fuck! I didn't even consider the concept of "song writing" until after AOD was done! We were just getting by on three chords and naive enthusiasm, it
couldn't have worked any other way. But if I tried that now it would ring false, and I would be a fuckin' hardcore dinosaur!
Gravy: Do you ever miss playing thrash?
Bruce: No. But I will always cherish that indescribable feeling of putting on my guitar, and making a roomful of people go absolutely apeshit!
Gravy: Is that why you did the New Reagans side project?
Bruce: That came out of my buddy Pat G (of the Pac Men) and I watching the presidential "election" results of 2000 at our local pub. We were trying to console ourselves with the fact that perhaps having such an asshole as president would increase the quality of punk rock. It would be like having a new reagan! We had our first practice a week later!
Gravy: Is that project ongoing? You only released one CD right?
Bruce: We self released two seperate 4 track recordings, which were later compiled into one disc. I think you may have the last one, mate! There was also a disc of alternate versions of most of those songs recorded by these crust punks who lived on a farm commune! It was called, VETERANS OF FUTURE WARS. The band agreed at the outset, to only remain together for a limited amount of time. While playing at the shooting of a pilot for MTV2, we incensed half of the crowd by repeatedly playing a Flipper-like version of OWNER OF A LONELY HEART. The other half thought it was brilliant, and that was our last show.
Gravy: Lyrically the New Reagans seem more like the old AOD stuff; would you agree?
Bruce: Yes, they were both influenced by beer.
Gravy: Do you feel that politics still has a place in music?
Bruce: Any art form can be political. It's a matter of doing it in a way that won't seem dated and retains its relevance years later. I mean I have a bunch of 80's hardcore records that rhyme "war" with "El Salvador". I can't say I've played 'em lately!
Gravy: Every band you have been in has been steadfastly independent; would you ever consider signing with a major label?
Bruce: Thank you for asking this classic punk rock question! It pains me to see how kids today don't even consider the philosophical ramifications of wanting to "get signed". At this point, this question no longer applies to me! I'm old, I have a beer belly, and no one is going to find me "marketable" unless I have enough plastic surgery to look as "pretty" as THE BRAVERY! I realized years ago that I will always make music, no matter who hears it, and it was quite a liberating thought. I feel bad when someone I know gets signed to a major label, because I know that in a year and a half they will be spit out of the machine after being picked clean.
Gravy: Is the music industry in its death throes?
Bruce: I dream of it in flames with a&r people selling apples on the street corner like it was the stock market crash of 1929. But, in reality the bastards will
eventually come around to monopolizing whatever technology replaces the current one.
Gravy: What are the goals of the The Brunch Mummies?
Bruce: To dump our longtime partners for shallow supermodels!
Gravy: 3 reasons why the Brunch Mummies are a cooler 3 piece than Venom:
Bruce: 1- Our friendship with Satan makes them seem just "acquainted" with him. 2- Not bogged down by constant need to "replenish souls". 3- Nary a codpiece in sight!
Gravy: What's the best thing about being a Brunch Mummie?
Bruce: Free refills!
Gravy:...And the worst?
Bruce: Often forgetting that "Bruce" is just a character I portray onstage!
Gravy: Does it annoy you that people often want to talk more about AOD than the Brunch Mummies?
Bruce: Not at all. I'm quite proud to have done that, and glad when someone still cares about it. By my count, I've been in about 16 bands, and I can't claim that
level of pride for all of them!
Gravy: Will there be another AOD reunion?
Bruce: We tend to average about one every five years. By the time this is read we will have played one of the benefits to save CBGBs, with PETER AND THE TEST TUBE BABIES, FLIPPER, and THE DEAD BOYS.
I decided to folow up the first set of questions with some post CBs ones:
Gravy: So how were the CBGBs benefit gigs?
Bruce: Quite lucrative for lawyers!
Gravy: Was it strange being back on stage with the other guys in AOD again after so many years?
Bruce: It wasn't too weird, don't forget our last reunion gig was merely three years ago, also at CBGBs (for the 20th anniversary of the NEW YORK THRASH compilation). And all of us have kept right on playing in other bands, I think it would have been much weirder for the bands that haven't seen each other or played a gig in ages.
Gravy: What were the highlights of the shows?
Bruce: I thought I really brought some sex appeal to an event sadly lacking any! Flipper were actually quite amazing.
Gravy: Any cringe inspiring moments?
Bruce: The Dead Boys! They just weren't very good. It felt like they had just gotten out of the taxi that hit Stiv!
Gravy: It says a lot for Hilly and the club that so many people were prepared to put the past behind them and pull together to try and save the club right?
Bruce: If you say so, Sir Geldof! When Anti Nowhere League comes to your aid, maybe it IS time to pack it in!
Gravy: Do you think its important that the club stays open; or does it go against the grain of punk rock to be so nostalgic about a club?
Bruce: Well, we kid because we love. The first time I set foot in CBGBs was in 1979 (to see SHRAPNEL), and AOD have always taken pride in having played a ton of shows there. Admittedly, the club coasted on its reputation for too long while becoming less relevant as a place to hear new sounds. (Kind of like punk rock did!) I'd like it to stay open for purely selfish reasons. But you know how us Americans love to fire up the bulldozers and raze our own history!
Gravy: Do you find it ironic that so many of your 80s peers are now reforming like the 70s dinosaurs they were meant to replace?
Bruce: Yes, but I also find it odd that the current crop of punkers still buy right into all of that corporate rock bullshit we supposedly were fighting to destroy!
Gravy: Are there any bands that you were are really pleased to see reform? And any that broke your heart when they did?
Bruce: I've blown off chances to see a few bands I absolutely love, because I'd prefer to keep those feelings intact. I did go to quite a few of the CAVESTOMP gigs a few years back in New York. Not having seen any of those 60's bands (I'm not THAT old!), it was quite fun to see THE ZOMBIES, THE CREATION, and THE MONKS!
Gravy: After all these years. Why are you are still into this type of music? What is it about punk rock that reels people in and keeps them interested compared to many other 'youth movements'?
Bruce: For me, I can honestly say that it truly is a way of life. Whether I'm listening to King Tubby or Hank Williams, it still accomodates the values punk rock instilled in me. It's a lot more than just a style of music or a certain haircut.
Gravy: So what's next for Bruce Wingate and the Brunch Mummies?
Bruce: Well, the B-Mums are undergoing a little re-tooling of our line up right now. In the mean time I've joined another band with some old mates called, THE EARLS OF SANDWICH. I expect to have the Brunch Mummies up and running again by the fall.
Gravy: Parting comments, words of wisdom or cheap shots.
Bruce: salsa meatloaf - one pound of ground beef or vegetarian substitute one jar of salsa one quarter cup of oat bran combine all ingredients put in oven at 450 degrees cook for one hour (turning oven down to 425 half way)serve with bread and cheese now thems good eats!
Gravy: Sid or Darby?
Bruce: I've gotta go Darby on this one, U-S-A! U-S-A!
Gravy: Spiderman or Batman?
Bruce: Bruce Wayne, of course!
Gravy: Slamming or pogoing?
Bruce: Robot dance!
Gravy: Monroe or Manson-?
Bruce: Bill Monroe? Charlie Manson?
Gravy: UK punk or US punk
Bruce: It depends on the year it was made! Though currently, Japan is kicking both our asses!
Gravy: Godzilla or King Kong- Kingzilla!
Gravy: Jack Black or Ben Stiller
Bruce: Neither have been funny in years!
Gravy: Pizza or Beer?
Bruce: Oh christ, I couldn't make a decision like that!
Gravy: How can people get in touch?
Bruce: email@example.com or brunchmummies.com. The Brunch Mummies website is currently offline,
but going to brunchmummies.com will redirect you to our MySpace address. Adrenalinod.com will be online soon, and the band will be doing yet another reunion show in December in New Jersey.
Thanks to Bruce for making this such a fun interview to do. Cheers Bruce.
(After this interview had been done, the Brunch Mummies changed their name to The Internationale.)