Music is meant to make a statement. You can either agree or disagree but you have heard the statement. The self proclaimed worst band ever Squished Penises has something to say with their new song. We caught up with the band to get a little more insight into who they really are and what they stand for. Enjoy the interview here:
Q: What caused the decision to go with the name Squished Penises?
A: When the original lineup of the band would rehearse, we would spend nearly half of the rehearsal trying to make each other laugh coming up with the most outlandish band names. There were some real winners, but even the best one only made 3 of the 4 of us crease up. “Squished Penises” was the only name that consistently ruined practice because we were laughing so hard. No one in the band believed I was crazy enough to actually use it as the actual name. But the first time I told someone outside the band and they said the words out loud I knew we had a winner. We’ve lost gigs before because they couldn’t / wouldn’t print the band name on the adverts. I still think it was worth it.
Q: How would you describe the Squished Penises sound?
A: I think one music reviewer summarized it best when they said our sound was, “The sound of cats in boiling water”.
Q: Who would you say are your biggest influences?
A: We played with a lot of bands that went on to influence generations of musicians. It was hard not to have them rub off on us. I always thought of them as contemporaries, but then few people outside of West London ever heard our music in the late 1970’s. The Swankers, New York Dolls, Television, and Patti Smith were early influences. 7 Seconds, Crass, The Subhumans, The Cure and Descendents were later influences. We are recording our own versions of some of their songs in our new album “The Rise and Fall of Squished Penises” because we always thought we did better versions of their songs anyway. LOL.
Q: You call yourselves the “worst band ever”. Why do you say that? I probably have heard worse.
A: We have a sort of cheeky approach to life. Our band name is the worst name I could think of, and we have a song called “Worst Song Ever”. It just makes sense for us to be the “Worst Band Ever”. There is a big difference between being the “worst” with a lower case “w” and being the “Worst Band Ever”. It’s like a badge of honor for us. I used to always hear older men at the pub rambling on about which music group was the “best band”. It always made me cringe. I would rather be a rabble rouser and hated by every tosser getting pissed in Llandoger Trow in Bristol than loved by people I despise.
Q: You have a few political songs. Are you a political punk band?
A: We also have a lot of songs that aren’t political in nature. Our political songs are our most angry ones, so they seem to get the most attention. I find politics is often more personal than singing about a girl or about trying to figure out why god hates everyone. Politics is really about love on a macro level filtered down to people who can only interpret it on a micro level.
Q: That is a cool video for your new track “Not My President”. Tell us how you really feel about the current state of the world?
A: Thanks. I went to art school as a lad, and I work as a visual artist when I’m not making music, so getting the visual message across was very important to me. I know there are a lot of punters who watch our video and get upset. It makes me smile every time they get angry. There are too many sheep who can’t see a wolf even when it is gnawing on their leg. I try to have empathy for them, I really do, but it’s hard to feel sorry for poor decisions made by those who had every possible warning in advance.
Q: You have been around for quite a while. What advice would you have for other bands trying to “make it”?
A: I don’t even quite know what “making it” means anymore. When we first started playing out and about, getting 10 people to come to a gig felt like making it. Now we can reach thousands of people online without them ever seeing us play a show. Finding a kindred spirit that wants to hear our music feels like “making it” these days. It’s so amazing to chat online with a chap in Japan, or a gal in Argentina that have heard our songs and support us and our art. The world is so much smaller than when I was a lad. Music has more of a chance to find a life of its own now than it has ever had in history.
Q: What is next for Squished Penises?
A: We have recorded a lot of songs over the past year. We have made a goal of trying to release five of those songs with accompanying music videos over the course of 2017. We have “Not My President” out already. Next is the animated follow up video and song “Soulforce Generation”. After that we have the videos for “Bernie” and “Worst Song Ever” which were shot over a year ago, but we can’t seem to make look decent enough to release. Our most ambitious video yet is stop motion and has the whole band being played by American Girl dolls. Its fucking amazing, but the doll playing me keeps turning into a real boy and running off with the doll playing Bellend.