Green Day

The Mr. T Experience are one of the funnest and best pop punk bands right now, they have been around forever and always manage to keep on putting out good records and have fun live shows. The force behind the band is Dr. Frank. Ann the Jingle Girl, Dr. Love, and the Groovy Underwriter (from WXVU-FM in Villanova, PA) pinned the Doctor down under a volley of questions outside the Trocadero in Philadelphia and were kind enough to share their interview with us at 10 THINGS.

10 Things: How do you feel about being the only punk rock band in the history of existence to use the word "querulous" in a punk song?

Dr. Frank: I believe that is true, and I don't know how I feel about it. It was a stupid thing to do, but somebody had to do it.

10: Are you proud of the fact that you are probably helping punk rockers all across the nation raise their...

Dr: SAT scores? Yeah. You know, lately a lot of younger kids have been coming to these shows, you know, 9-10 year olds, and I've talked to some of their parents. I feel like I should start to make some of those balloon animals, you know. I'm the clown entertaining the children, but I've talked to the parents and they say, "Oh, she's learned so many vocabulary words from you." And I think that anything I can do to better the youth of America--let me tell you, they sure need betterment, and so I'm doing my little part, and it's pretty good. I should get a government grant or something.

10: Speaking of younger kids coming to shows, what do you think about that trend?

Dr: From a purely commercial standpoint, yeah, because if you get them while they're younger, then later when they get old and start to have nostalgia for those trouble-free years before you had to have a job and everything, then they'll start to collecto your memorabilia, like Power Rangers.

10:Are you ready to go for the Mr. T Experience commemorative mint plates from the Franklin Mint?

Dr: That's a good idea. Actually, it's our ten year anniversary and I wanted to do plates, but they wouldn't let me. I mean, I was saying to Lookout! "Make plates!" but they said, "No plates."

10: Has punk rock changed since the explosion of Green Day

Dr: Um. Well, I don't think so, really no. Punk rock is just rock and roll, and that doesn't really change. People do put little twists on it, and do their own (thing), like I do and other people do. The main thing that's changed is the way music is sold nowadays. It goes for the younger kids. Younger kids are actually consumers rather than just adjuncts to their parents and so that's why it's possible for a punk rock band to be a million selling band. About every five years there's a revival of punk rock. This is a particularly big one. It's not just punk rock, it's rock and roll in general. After a while things get boring and there are people who realize it's boring. They try to imitate what they heard when they were kids and it doesn't sound exactly like what they were trying to imitate, but it still is in the ballpark and then it gets boring again. It's a cyclical thing. It even predates rock and roll. It goes back to the beginning of time when people were just picking up their instruments and playing, you know. I think it will get boring again and then when I am way too old to be playing punk rock, there will be another revival.

10: Has Mr. T ever contacted you himself?

Dr: No.

10: Is it true that people bring your albums for Mr. T to sign?

Dr: Yes, there was one incident where that happened. He threatened to kill a kid. That's all I know.

(Dr. Love, not Dr. Frank, does a really bad Mr. T impersonation)

Dr: What's that?

10: A Mr. T impersonation.

Dr: Oh. Yeah. No, I wasn't there but I saw a picture of it.

10: With your album being titled "Love is Dead," how did you guys celebrate Valentine's Day?

Dr: Valentine's Day, we were on the road, and, um, what did we do? We played at the Rat in Boston, and generally, Joel attracted a horde of screaming teenagers and the rest of us sat around feeling glum. I mean, that's the way it usually is. That's not just Valentine's Day, it's every day, baby! YOU know, sort of the story of most people's lives--except Joel. Joel's sort of on easy street in the romance department.

10: Saying that Love Is Dead, what would your ideal date be like if love weren't already dead for you guys?

Dr: Hmm. Well, frankly, if you really want to know, I would like a girl kind of like a waiflike wispy kind of girl who looks like she's been crying all night and I try to cheer her up and then we go back to my place and watch Baywatch, frankly.

10: Mr T Experience Psychic Friends Network, what do you see in 1996 for your band and for the world? Is Liz Taylor getting married again? Anything you see

Dr: Well, you know, more of this, more of ... well actually, not more of this. This was the unusual thing. More of playing in a bunch of little rooms where only 10 people show up, more recording of albums only 10 people buy, and as far as the future of the world goes, I think more girls breaking boys' hearts...

10: Yeah, I can hear that

Dr:...more boys breaking girls' hearts and more people crying. As long as girls are mean to guys and guys are crying about it and guys are mean to girls and girls are crying about it, there's always going to be a couple of people buying our albums.

10: Do you ever see yourself writing a column about this for Sassy or Seventeen?

Dr: Yeah, actually I think that might be something I can do well. I mean yeah! Whoa, cool.

10: So you're just waiting for this big punk rock surge to come forth, for Seventeen, which pronounced Billie Joe the cutest guy of the year, to come forth and search out Lookout! Records and say, "We want Dr. Frank!". When did you finish medical school, and/or achieve your doctorate, and what is your doctorate in?

Dr: Um, I have a doctorate in criminology. I'm retired though, but I come out of retirement when requested by the local police when they have a tough case they can't crack. They usually come over and tell me the facts and by the time dinner is over, I usually have the solution. I do recall the case of the purloined poodle. Though I was instrumental in the return or the purloined poodle to its owner, usually I only take the cases that interest me. It's punk rock and fighting crime.

10: After the MTX is over, do you see yourself as a punk rock crimefighter, falling back on that criminology degree and wearing a big "P" on your chest and a leather jacket on your back?

Dr: Again, you are full of good ideas. That is something I will have to consider. I have to go get a suit first I guess, because it would have to be worked out before I do that. Plus, you've already blown my secret identity. Actually, you know, you screwed that whole thing up, and the world is...I hope you're ashamed! It could have been a better place, but now it's all messed up.

10: I'm sorry, I'm really sorry.

Dr: That's okay. I'm lazy anyway, so that's more free time for me.

10: And more time to watch television.

Dr: Yes!

10: So I guess you've watched a lot of episodes of the Bloodhound Gang?

Dr: The Bloodhound Gang is a fine series.

10: Did you see the second half of the trial of the A-Team, where Mr. T throws the table and says (in Dr. Love's horrible Mr. T voice) "I'm not standing for this, Hannibal!"

Dr: No, I didn't, but it sounds pretty good.

10: I missed the second half and I'm just trying to find out how it ends. I don't even just ask rock stars.

Dr: I think they go into the van and build something.

10: They work for the government. Why the Mr. T Experience? Why didn't you choose another integral member of the A-Team? Like the Face? Like Murdock?

Dr: You know, that was so long ago I've forgotten what the real answer to that question is. We were just a bunch of retards sitting around and that was the best we could come up with.

10: Did you ever wish Nancy Reagan would sit on your lap like she sat on Mr. T's lap?


10: Gary Coleman sat on her lap. Gary Coleman is just a scary individual.

Dr: It's true, you know, he's not actually a midget.

10: He's got the kidney problem.

Dr: I've got this attraction to midgets, but I'm also scared of them.

10: It's a love-hate relationship? Love-scare?

Dr: The problem with midgets is that they are so short. And they can hide in ergular places where people like you and me can't hide, so I'm always afraid taht if there's a midget lurking around, he's going to pop up from behind some ledge and shoot a poison blow dart at me. So that's why I'm kind of skeptical of midgets, but I'm kind of interested in them as well. Oh, I also wanted to mention another thing apropos of Gary Coleman, which you might have noticed going on with my band. You know how in situation comedies when the ratings start to fall, they bring in a cute kid to boost the ratings? It works sometimes. It didn't work for Married with Children, but it worked for the MTX. Joel has boosted the ratings significantly.

10: Is there any truth to the rumor that Soleil Moon Frye, also known as TV's Punky Brewster, will be the next person to join your band? After the breast reduction surgery, her career has just gone downhill.

Dr: I refuse to comment on the grounds it might incriminate me punker, but I haven't seen a good episode of Punky Brewster in a long time. I feel kind of bummed out.