Getting on the Gravy Train
By Aaron Parsley
The electro-trash dance troupe, consisting of Chunx, Funx, Hunx, and Junx (two girls, two gay guys, four exclamation points), just toured Europe with Le Tigre, where they got kids worked up with their dirty organ riffs and hella-fast beats. Here's more from our August issue interview with Hunx, 25, the keyboardist, and lead-screamer Chunx, 24.
Unlike a lot of your fans, you're old enough to drink on stage.
Hunx: Oh, my God, yes. I don't think we've ever played a show without drinking.
Who goes to GT shows?
Chunx: Our fans aren't classy people and that's awesome. We appeal to people that like being trashy and don't care if it's attractive or perfect.
What dance moves do you rock?
Hunx: The Roger Rabbit, but' I keep going faster and faster until I can't do it any faster.
Chunx: The backwards somersault position, but laying down with my feet facing the back of the stage so my ass rolls towards the front. And because I just wear underwear, they see it all: The camel toe, the pubes everywhere, the scabs from my thighs running together, sweat. It's totally gross.
But totally Gravy Train!!!! And people love it.
Have you ever gotten smashed on stage?
Hunx: So bad that I forgot what I was doing and where I was.
So besides intoxicated, how does Gravy Train!!!! sound?
Chunx: It's definitely not professional sounding'
On purpose, right?
Chunx: Well, I wouldn't say'we don't really have the means or the' [Laughs] No matter what we'll always have that [cheap sound] even if we got a lot of money. Because part of what people like about us, and what I like about us, is that we've always been true to doing things the easy cheap way and not taking ourselves so seriously.
The lyrics in songs like 'Sippin' 40s,' 'You Made Me Gay,' 'Hump Lites,' or 'Kottonmouth BJ' are totally trashy. So are the costumes and your stage performances.
Chunx: It's definitely the way we are in real life and the way we look and present ourselves. None of us are really technically proficient. I never considered myself a singer' We don't appeal to the mainstream. We appeal to people that like being trashy and like being who they are and don't care if it's attractive or perfect. I like that we can speak to those people.
What's new on the new album?
Chunx: We recorded it in a real studio. That was awesome. We never did that before. [Prior to this album] we always recorded in Hunx's bedroom.
Hunx: We added guitar in a lot of songs. It sounds more polished but really trashy still. It sounded pretty clean and we were like, 'We need to add some effects.' It sounds almost like rock.
Chunx: Guitars, which I was really into because there's only so much you can do with a drum machine and keyboards. It was really good, too, to incorporate more of our tastes in music since we got lumped in with this one really boring category when we came out.
You guys are anti-electro?
Chunx: We're not protesting it or anything. We started around the same time that was going on and we didn't have any connection with it' The similarities were kind of there in that it was electronic-based, even though we're not really schooled in that, but we use drum machines and keyboards and that's pretty much the only similarity.
Perhaps it's the content, being really raunchy and sexual.
Chunx: Yeah, I could see that too, but the feeling I got was different than what I got from those other bands. A lot of bands in that movement were really not very personable and sort of did a fashion thing and were trying to be really sophisticated.
Are you excited to go on tour again?
Chunx: The U.S. is so much fun' It's always really bizarre and cool.
Hunx: In Miami we played this club that was open until four in the morning. We'd made this rule that you can't hump in the tour van. Chunx was really tired so she went to the tour van to sleep and Junx was in there with two [guys]! Stuff like that is funny. We always get really creeped out when we're in scary places like Vermont.
What scares you about small towns?
Hunx: Ghosts'like at hotels, I always think they're haunted.
What's your relationship with fans like? Are you sent nudie pictures?
Chunx: That kind of stuff happens so much that it doesn't even stick out in my mind. We get pictures like that all the time.
Hunx: Yeah, I love stuff like that. It's totally hilarious.
In songs like 'Heart Attack,' 'Double Decker Supreme,' and 'Burger Baby' you sing about fast food. Are you still into that?
Hunx: Me and Chunx were talking earlier like, 'Do you want to go get McDonald's?'
Chunx: I hate to disappoint, but I do think that I'm not eating as badly as I used to.
So what do you eat now?
Chunx:I really like diner food. I can't go to a diner without getting a burger, fries, and a shake. I love eating burgers, I still eat them a lot, but I used to eat fast food for every meal and I'm not just saying that to be in character.
The 'Ghost Boobs' video was really cool and people can see it on your DVD, Stame the Batch. Are you guys going to do more videos?
Hunx: We just shot one for 'Darque Tan.' It's really funny. [We're] at the beach tanning and then it has me in this tanning bed.
There's a gravesite in the video for 'Ghost Boobs.' Was that specific site significant?
Hunx: It's some random [headstone] and we totally knocked it over. Did you see that?
Yes. You, who are afraid of ghosts, shouldn't be hanging around graveyards.
Hunx: We went back because we had to take pictures' [A bigger headstone] totally fell over. Then my car wouldn't start!
Hunx: I was super scared.