Followers

Total Pageviews

Blog Archive

Thursday, 27 February 2014

GET ME SICK! GET ME SICKER!

Interview with Kevin McGovern


"We really didn’t think it would turn into a band that people would listen to over and over.  Jerks from bigger bands would bash us on musicianship non-stop and the fact that our songs were too short and didn’t have guitar solos.  I figured the shorter the better at the time..."


The Prostitutes were an angry punk rock band hailing from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, formed in late 1995 by Mainliner former frontman and singer Kevin McGovern. The original line-up of the Prostitutes consisted of Kevin leading the Tuners, another punk band from PA's Capital City. After producing a recording for them, Kevin just took charge of the Tuners, and the band became the Prostitutes. They were Kevin, plus Justin Haley and Brian Shuey on guitars, Dave Cohen on bass, and Jeff Peterson on drums. 

The Prostitutes expressed their overall frustration by recording an unique debut single. The Get Me Sick! 7" was released on the Pelado Records punk label in 1996. This single includes two killer tracks, “Get Me Sick” and “Hangover” on A-side, and the meaningful “Modern White Trash” on B-side.
I have got this influential record thanks to Jim of Underground Medicine mail order, the legendary on line record shop specialized in current 7’’ singles releases. Tracks on Get Me Sick! were recorded on April  of 1996 at Studio 213, Dilsburg, Pennsylvania. According to Pat Grindstaff of Pelado Records, the number of the Get Me Sick 7" was 900-1000... It was no more than 1,000.


The band's debut album Can’t Teach Kids Responsibility, the Twenty-two 7'' and the Living Wreck 7'', were also cut at Studio 213, and they all were issued in 1997.
In addition to the debut single, Pelado Records was also responsible for releasing the Can’t Teach Kids Responsibility LP, which was composed of 14 brilliant punk songs. They were "No Good," "Rock N' Roll Outbreak," "Suburban Trash," "Fucked Up In The U.S.A.," "I'm Tired," "Youth Riot," "U.S.S.R. Part II" // "Rich Spoiled Brat," "I Don't Get Girls," "Living Wreck," "Fashion Victim," "Anti-Society," "Teenage Girls," and "Derelict/Degenerate." Can’t Teach Kids Responsibility was issued as a limited vynil pressing of only 1,000 copies.



"We were hung-over and popping Ephedrine to wake up.  It was on a Sunday and I was looking to score some coke after the recording with some party girls.  We got wasted, and saw the Dwarves play in Baltimore that night, I puked my guts out on the ride home."


The Living Wreck 7'' was backed by the non LP B-side "Media Nation" and came out on American Punk Records. 
The Prostitutes maybe did their best effort on the 4-track E.P. Twenty-two, which included the title track, plus "1.2.3. Go," "Weird Boy," and "Insects."
All the above vinyl releases recorded at Studio 213 between 1995 and 1997, including the early compilation tracks "Shoot Me Up," and "Suicide Is Fun" were compiled on the 2003's Prostitutes self-titled CD by Pelado Records; this CD also features a last hidden song called "Crack X-mas." One more rare track, "Obscene" appeared on the compilation CD: Pelado Records Presents 3 Minute Heroes.


"I didn’t care if we were out of tune... I always thought mistakes should stay in the recordings.  I had a certain way I wanted it to sound and everyone else was kind of in their own world.  So the quicker I got us in and out, the closer I could get to my vision of a live fast, die fast punk rock band."



The Prostitutes played a lot of shows in Philadelphia, Baltimore, and the Midwest. Sorry to say, but following the members' discontent, the original band split while they were in the Midwest. Kevin decided to live in Columbus, Ohio. There, he started another fantastic project, the snotty garage punk band the Inversions. In 2003, the Inversions released two rad E.P.s on the Rapid Pulse label.

In 2008, the Prostitutes came back with a new line-up and released their second album Kill Them Before They Eat
At present, Kevin is Editor in Chief at the Southern California’s online punk/art magazine Fear & Loathing in Long Beach.

Music created by the Prostitutes has been considered to be essential for many people. So you better get an education in Punk Rock N Roll; and buy a record by the Prostitutes!! Please listen to their online albums Can't Teach Kids Responsibility, and Get Sicker: The Singles.

Born and raised in Harrisburg, PA, Kevin McGovern is surely an icon in the punk rock world. The following is an interview I had with weird boy Kevin, the Prostitutes’ founder and lead vocalist.


ANGELO: Tracks on debut single, Get Me Sick! were recorded on April 20, 1996 at Studio 213, Dilsburg, Pennsylvania. Recording sessions for the debut album Can’t Teach Kids Responsibility, and the Twenty-two and the Living Wreck singles, took place at the same studio. 

KEVIN: Yes, Studio 213 was very cheap and the sound quality was solid and punchy at just 15 bucks an hour.  The Get Me Sick! session was the first one.  The very first songs we ever recorded, in order were: 123 GO, Hangover, Suicide is Fun, Modern White Trash, Get Me Sick!, and Shoot Me Up.  We thought it was too poppy and Suicide is Fun sounded like the Psychedelic Furs! We got wasted the night before and stoned the morning of the session. The bass player didn’t like any of the recordings.  The rest of us thought it would be cool if we could just get one song on a compilation.  Three labels ended up using those tracks for singles and a few comps.  It was recorded on analog tape, reel to reel, right before everything went digital. The signature guitar sound of Get Me Sick! is a strat played through a 30 watt Dean Markley amp with a cheap D.O.D Supra Distortion Pedal.


The second time we went in the studio, we had the engineer mix and record to the sounds of the Germ’s Lexicon Devil and turn up the bass, which is almost non-existent in the first session.  Twenty-Two, I Don’t Get Girls, and Teenage Girls were in this 6-song session.  The engineer was good at getting punk sounds if you brought in an example.  We used Rikk Agnew’s “All by Myself” LP for Can’t Teach Kids as a sound to copy, sonically speaking.


On the day Can’t Teach Kids was supposed to be recorded, the engineer forgot we were coming in.  The engineer, still in his bath robe, set up the studio microphones and inputs pretty quickly…. We were hung-over and popping Ephedrine to wake up.  It was on a Sunday and I was looking to score some coke after the recording with some party girls.  We got wasted, and saw the Dwarves play in Baltimore that night, I puked my guts out on the ride home.
We had no idea the vinyl would sell out the way it did.  We were unsure of the song quality on all of the recordings for the first two singles and album.  We really didn’t think it would turn into a band that people would listen to over and over.  Jerks from bigger bands would bash us on musicianship non-stop and the fact that our songs were too short and didn’t have guitar solos.  I figured the shorter the better at the time; leave the guitar solos to Jimi Hendrix.  Our formula was to just have a quick intro, verse, chorus, verse, chorus, middle part, double chorus and end the take.  


ANGELO: How long did it take to cut these early Prostitutes tracks?

KEVIN: Each of the three sessions took about four hours to record and mix.  The basic tracks were done live with vocals. I would go back and overdub vocals immediately after, before my vocal chords were too shredded up. On the Can’t Teach Kids album, people thought we went hardcore but my voice sounded ripped to shreds because of drinking the night before and getting too dehydrated off of Ephedrine.  We were all in a hurry to get it done so we could hear what the songs sounded like.  The first two sessions, unlike this one, were new and exciting as we started to realize we could sound like a “real” band.
Pelado Records wanted a full length to press on vinyl after the success of the first single.  We started rehearsing and writing new songs excessively, everyone had different ideas about what the band should sound like.  We were getting aggressive towards each other at that point and the album reflects the inner band discontentment and turmoil.  Our girlfriends thought the album sucked!  In fact, the girls that hung around the band never really liked the music we did.  I think it was more of the debauchery we took part in because we were so disconnected with everyone in our area and age group.


ANGELO: How many copies of the Get Me Sick single were pressed?
KEVIN: To this day, I’m not really sure, but I think the pressing number was close to 1000 copies.

ANGELO: Were the “Studio 213” recoding sessions fun or intense for the ‘tutes?

KEVIN: We were always arguing and shitty with each other in the studio.  The bass player would take naps in between takes and the guitar player wanted to us to “take our time”.  We were on a budget and my voice would only last so long singing live in the studio.  I was more than happy to do everything in one take whether the drums were in time or not.  I didn’t care if we were out of tune.  The band was fucking bored and restless.  I always thought mistakes should stay in the recordings.  I had a certain way I wanted it to sound and everyone else was kind of in their own world.  So the quicker I got us in and out, the closer I could get to my vision of a live fast, die fast punk rock band.  

We really didn’t have any focus in the band.  The band was originally a hardcore outfit called The Tuners and they wanted me to produce a few songs after hearing a seven inch I had done with my high school band Mainliner.  I came in, wrote some songs, took over on vocals, and wanted it to sound like the Jabbers.  They agreed and that is that.  We weren’t enemies and we weren’t best friends in the original line-up.  The simple fact was that no one else wanted to do this kind of music in the city of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania back in 1995.

ANGELO: Who wrote lyrics and music for the 1996’s “Studio 213” songs. Is there any all-group composition? 

KEVIN: Out of all 25 songs, I wrote the lyrics to almost everything except No Good, Hangover, Weird Boy, Modern White Trash, and Derelict Degenerate.  However, even on those, I re-wrote half of the lyrics and came up with the vocal melodies.  Some good ideas came from the other guys but they tended to be very derivative of other songs or generic in nature.  I would fuck with the riffs to make it sound unique.


Songs that I wrote the music and lyrics for were 123 Go, Get Me Sick, Anti-Society, I Don’t Get Girls, Rich Spoiled Brat, and Twenty-Two.  All of the other tracks had the band members contributing musical parts and I would re-arrange ideas and add lyrics.  Certain tracks I was never crazy about and we would never perform them live.  I always preferred the song writing of the Get me Sick! single and the Twenty-Two single.



ANGELO: Thanks for answering, Kevin! 


February 22, 2014









No comments:

Post a Comment