Andy Warthog of the Caltransvestites went out drinking one night in Hollywood with some friends ... and bumped into the two original members of the Buzzcocks! What luck, bumping into the pop-punk pioneers from the original British wave!

Andy: So you're back?
Pete: Yes.
Andy: With a new album?
Pete: Yes, a new album "All Set" on IRS. It came out last month.
Andy: And who are the original members, just you two ... Tell us a bit about your band.
Pete: Steve and I are the original members, Tony and Eric have been with us since 1992 and two albums. It's the longest we've ever had the same lineup.
Andy: Do you ever talk to Howard Devoto? Are you friends? Do you hate him?
Pete: I hear he works in a photo library, I guess there's a large call for librarians.
Andy: What are your feelings on sexuality?
Pete: It's a good thing, I think everyone ought to have one or two.
Andy: Now Steve, I read somewhere that you originally wanted to have a more political edge to the band. Is that true?
Steve: Yeah, like "She's A Girl From The Chainstore" is sort of like that, using a person as a vehicle. I was inspired by the Henry Miller book "Black Springî". It was named after the place he grew up, and he was saying they were all the stars, like your Marilyn and James Dean, but he was naming Joe and Big John down the road and describing their characteristics. So I thought I'd do that about a chainstore girl, make her the star, use her as the vehicle to gather why she was there, thatís what it's askin' socially. "Harmony In My Head" sort of describes a shopping mall, using a lot of imagery and coming to the conclusion that life's a harmony and that's what its all about really.
Andy: Is there anything you'd like people to know about you in particular?
Steve: There's a lot that I don't want them to ... I wear size 10 shoes.
Andy: So no great message for the people of L.A.?
Steve: Cool place, but you should get more stylish, walking around in those long baggy shorts and all ...
Andy: Are you religious?
Steve: No, not really. I think something may be out there, but ...
Andy: Spiritual, but not religious?
Steve: Yeah, I've had a few girlfriends who were spiritual so I kind of got into it that way. I'm fascinated by all that stuff in a way; opium dens and that sort.
Andy: Major vices?
Steve: The classic ones: sex, drugs and rocknroll.
Andy: drug of choice?
Steve: Cocaine. Speed.
Andy: I wish I knew that last night.
Steve: Oh God, I was looking.
Andy: Should have played "Chainstore".
Steve: If I'd have known, I would have. (laughs) I've been to a few parties the last few months ... Who am I kidding ... The last few years. And I've done my share, but I like to stay healthy and not dependent on anything. It's good to get away from it from time to time as well ... Take a break once in a while.
Andy: What do you do in your time off?
Steve: That's it, go to parties ... I don't golf. I don't work.
Andy: No?
Steve: I've had one job in 20 years, and that was only until I had enough to buy a guitar.
Andy: What was the job?
Steve: I worked in a steel mill for a couple of weeks and then I had enough money so I left.
Andy: How about you, Pete?
Pete: Watch TV. Sleep.
Andy: You don't need to work either then?
Pete: No, I'm gainfully unemployed. It's the best way, 'cause I always find it hard to fill in the forms.
Andy: Any regrets about your solo project?
Pete: None whatsoever.
Andy: Even "Telephone Operator"?
Pete: Especially "Telephone Operator", it's a very big hit in Japan right now. A Japanese pop star performed it on TV, and since then the royalties have been flooding in.
Andy: I wish I were you. Do you have a favorite song?
Pete: I'll have to pass on that, it's like asking which do you prefer, your left leg or your right, it's a tough question to answer ... And if you're a centipede it's much more complex.
Andy: Do you believe in UFOs?
Pete: I believe they exist, but I don't know what they are. This pop band we toured with in London called Livingstone saw one on the way back from one of their gigs. They actually stopped their van and watched it.
Andy: What do you think of L.A.?
Pete: I quite like it. In a strange way. The first time I came to the states I couldn't get my head around it, it was so different. I have no mental map of the lie of it, so I get a bit lost.
Andy: What's the most memorable show you've played?
Pete: I can't remember.
Andy: How did you two meet up? Did you grow up together?
Steve: It was at a free show in Manchester.
Pete: He was introduced to me by Malcolm MacLaren, we'd met five minutes before.
Steve: Yeah, I'd gone inside after I'd been talking to him about wanting to start a band.
Pete: And he said "Here's your new bassplayer."
Steve: He played bass on the first album before he moved over to guitar, and we said "Yeah, let's see how it goes." It's been 20 years now.
Nico: Are you playing out here again?
Pete: Hopefully soon.
Nico: Do you know who you're playing with?
Pete: Hopefully the Caltransvestites, I just want to see the vests.
Andy: Well, to wrap it up, I just want you to know that if it wasn't for your influence on me earlier in life I'd probably have a job.
Pete: And I as well.

buzzcocks.com