It could be even better

Can you give the readers a brief history of the band?

Dr. Frank - Yeah um, Mr. T Experience since 1986 basically two and a half minute songs about girls for 8 albums worth of songs.

Joel- It's not as redundant as it sounds.

Dr. Frank- but just as about as redundant as it sounds, and they all sound the same, but we try to be the best Mr. T Experience that we can be, so that means, all those songs that sound the same are as good as we can make them.

So you've been together since 1986, how long has Joel and Jym been in this line up?

Dr. Frank- Just about 4 years.

Joel- almost 3 years for me, and almost 4 for Jym. Which is not an insignificant percentage of my life now that I think about it.

I know you were a big fan of MTX before joining right Joel?

Joel- Oh yeah.

Still a big fan?

Joel- Oh absolutely, I can still listen to the older records. After we have been off tour for awhile I will sit around my apartment and get sorta misty and nostalgic. In fact I'm planning on listening to Milk Milk Lemonade when we get home. I was thinking about that in the van on the way here. You can't listen to records that you play in the same way, but I still haven't lost one ounce of appreciation for the pedigree of the past.

What are some of your influences or favorite bands?

Dr. Frank- Everything is an influence. Even things that you dont like. In fact things that you don't like can be more of an influence than the things that you do like. I've been listening to music, rock and roll for 25 years or something. That's probably the most difficult question to answer cause there are things that you try to imitate and I guess that's an influence but after.

(Dr. Frank is now choking on chips and salsa)

Joel- Woah, that would be pretty spectacular if you got on tape the last words of Dr. Frank. Yeah his last words would be hack hack.

Can I put in the interview that you're choking on chips and salsa?

Dr. Frank- Yeah, I hope that's all that it is. Just give me a second.

Joel- He's got another chip poised to go right down his esophagus.

Dr. Frank- I know.

Joel- Finish the job that you started. "I don't wanna live", no Frank it's not worth it, don't put it in your mouth.

Frank- But you reach a point where you don't consciously try to imitate anything. In fact it's a challenge to try to do things that aren't exactly like something else and I think that's the point that we're at now. So influences means unintentional influences and that's really hard for someone to say what it is. There really isn't that much that I haven't heard. The things you don't like can be just as much an influence. Like I hear a Yes album, and I think, well, I never wanna have a keyboard on one of my records that sounds like that. That's a very important instrument.

How did you come up with the name Mr. T Experience?

Joel- Jimmy Hendrix had a band.

Frank- Yeah the Jimmy Hendrix Experience and then there was the Sid Presley Experience, who later became The Godfather. We fit somewhere in that continuum. The Sid Presley Experience was actually very good, they never got enough credit.

Joel- There's a long list of bands that built themselves as an experience rather than a musical group. I don't know though, I wasn't there.

Dr. Frank- Right, I was barely there. I was a drunken idiot when the decision to name the band came about.

But the name has stuck ever since right?

Dr. Frank- The name of this group has always been the Mr. T Experience. At some point it started to become part of punk rock history or whatever. And sticking with it was its own form of... I mean it's something that only us would have done really. A mark of individuality or something I don't know. But I just realized, everytime the subject of changing the name came up, it was always, "you know its not gonna fool anyone," a lot of times bands do that. Everybody gets sick of them, they change their name and just expect that they're gonna get to start over, but you can never start over.

Are you finishing up your U.S. tour now?

Frank- Right, and after this the European tour starts. That's like another five weeks. The whole tour is about 3 months.

Do you ever get homesick?

Dr. Frank- Um, maybe a little bit. For me, not really homesick, but you miss certain things about being at home, like the television schedule. My TV watching has been really weird lately. It's always whatever's on after 2 am, on stations that motel six has. You watch some really lame things.

The Utah Motel 6 doesn't have shit on, huh?

(Ryan, my son, mentions that they should stay at Howard Johnsons, better TV watching)

Joel- Ah, but you pay for that son.

Dr. Frank- I have a feeling that the Utah hotels don't have a big pornography selection either.

If you came down the 15 freeway just past Beaver, Utah, there's a big sign that has a rattle snake on it showing it's teeth, and the sign reads, "Pornography is just as deadly."

Dr. Frank- Oh yeah!!

Joel- You know, I'd like to throw some of those right wingers in a pit with a copy of Debbie Does Dallas and some rattle snakes, and see which one they shy away from first.

Dr. Frank- I think you're supposed to say "Debbie does Dallas and the first amendment and maybe the bible," or something like that. We watched one called "Rebel Cheerleaders."

Joel- I wasn't there.

Dr. Frank- Oh well, one of our rooms watched Rebel Cheerleaders. It's amazing what some of those cheerleaders can do. They're just challenging the conventions of our society.

What is your favorite city to play in?

Joel- The city of the reader. Whoever is reading this article, their city. Riverside County rules!! Norcal!! And X-Records!!!

Where will you guys be playing on Halloween?

Dr. Frank- Belgium.

Joel- That's actually a place that doesn't celebrate Halloween.

Dr. Frank- Groovie Ghoulies will be able to introduce the children of Belgium to Halloween.

Who is your favorite cartoon character?

Dr. Frank- Charlie Brown

That was great! Dr. Frank only answered with two words.

Joel- That was the easiest question for Dr. Frank. I'm trying to think of the most inappropriate answer. I really don't like cartoon network. I don't like Hanna Barbara which is all that's ever on cartoon network. I like the Simpsons alot. Who doesn't though.

Who writes all your lyrics and music?

Dr. Frank- That would be me, I do it all.

What do you write Joel?

Joel- I write the set list.

What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you as a band?

(that rebel cheerleaders is pretty funny)

Dr. Frank- I always call us, in moments of exasperation particularly, but also in moments of cool reflection "The Keystone punks." Everything we do is just a little bit screwy, so it's not like there's one thing that's the funniest, it's the whole fiasco. If there were a laugh track in our tour it would full on be constantly going.

Dr. Frank is very entertaining to listen too, huh?

Joel- Yeah, he's a regular riot.

(the whole room starts busting up)

Dr. Frank- No actually when we're off the road, I never say a word.

Joel- It's true, he's actually very quiet. He has his own corner of the world in the back seat, he has headphones and he turns it up so loud, you can actually hear his headphones better than the car stereo. He's a barrel of laughs. So lookout, stand back, cause the laughs, they come fast and furious. We have a good time. I threw up on stage once. I was sick and it was the very last show of our tour. Right in the middle of the song I tossed my cookies over the side of the stage. I finished the song, and I tried very hard to play it cool, and I said to the audience, "Hey, it's part of the act, it' punk rock," and I expected a cheer or whatever, because great bands of the past have incorporated that into their act, but all I got was these looks of abject horror. People just completely freaked out. Then I got all concerned. I couldn't make it appear like I intended it no matter how hard I tried. We had a laugh about that one. I will tell you what, anyone who was at that show won't forget that one.

What's the best part about being in MTX?

Joel- This guy right here (hugging Dr. Frank), get to spend quality time with him.

Dr. Frank- It's moments like this, togetherness you'll never forget. And all the money. The millions of dollars that we have in our Swiss bank accounts. All you have to do is look at the bank account balance and things don't seem quite so bad.

Joel- and the drugs.

Dr. Frank- Oh yeah, and the loose women.

If you saw someone drop a 20 dollar bill would you let them know or pocket it?

Joel- I'd pick it up and say, excuse me you dropped this five dollar bill, and give them a five dollar bill that was in my pocket. That way I'd do the honest thing and the profitable thing.

Dr. Frank- I don't know if the good lord would accept that as being moral.

(Jym comes in looking for chips and salsa)

Jym- Where's the chips and salsa?

Joel- Be careful though, Frank almost died earlier. Don't breath the chip fumes.

Dr. Frank- It would depend on how much I needed it. If I was doing alright. But you have all that money in your Swiss bank account.

Dr. Frank- Yeah right.

Where do you see yourselves a year from now?

Dr. Frank- The beauty of life and it's curses is that the future is unwritten so... It could be a lot better than this, or it could be a lot worse.

Joel- I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be than right here.

In the leaky basement of the DV8 in Utah?

Dr. Frank- I really don't know, not that I'm not having a good time right here. I could imagine it could be even better.