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Juggie speaks with Natalie and Mr. Nancy before one of their recent SF shows.
Jughead went to Bottom of the Hill and spoke with Lynda Mandolyn, guitarist and vocalist for Fabulous Disaster, before the band’s final show with lead singer Laura Litter. Occasionally, bassist Mr. Nancy would pass through and install two cents’ worth of deadpan regarding their recent tour of Europe promoting their latest album, Panty Raid!, the future of the band without Litter and cat daycare.
You guys just came back from Europe; how did that go?
Lynda: It was amazing; it was like one of the best tours we ever did. We did a two-week club tour on our own. We toured with some really cool European bands, and on May 28 we caught up with the Deconstruction Tour, which is like Europe’s answer to the Warped Tour, and it was amazing. We played with a lot of great bands and a lot of great people.
So you’ve been to Europe before?
Lynda: We’ve been to Europe every year for the last four years.
How long has the band been together?
Lynda: We just turned 5.
What was the best part of the European tour?
Lynda: Italy and France especially were great; we were mobbed.
What’s it like dealing with the euro?
Lynda: It’s actually a lot more convenient for everything to be in the same currency — although switzerland, they still have the Swiss franc, and of course, the UK still has the pound… I used to love all the different currencies because all the money was really beautiful.
Do any of the band members speak any foreign languages?
Lynda: I speak German, sorta.
Does it help when you’re in Europe?
Lynda: Oh yeah. For the most part people speak English (though).
You got to play with NOFX on the Deconstruction Tour.
Lynda: Yeah, a lot of shows. Great… very great. On the Deconstruction Tour I joined them on guitar for a song for like five shows. I was rockin’ out with 12,000 screaming NOFX fans.
Are they as much fun as they seem?
Lynda: They’re awesome, and their new album rocks. That’s my boss; hi Mike!
Does the band really call him “Daddy”?
So I read on the Web site that this is Laura’s last show with the band.
Lynda: True. Today is her last show.
What does this mean for Fabulous Disaster?
Lynda: We’re going to go on as a band. And we’re gonna find a new lead singer and stuff. We have some people in mind already.
Care to name any names?
Lynda: Um, not at this present time. We’re a little sad she is leaving, but she wants to do her thing, and we want to continue.
How does this affect a new album? Will there be one?
Lynda: Of course there’s going to be another album. Sally and I are already writing a lot of stuff. We are actually going to do a show at the end of the month as a three-piece.
As an active participant in the local music scene, how come I had never heard of you until Panty Raid! was released? I should have seen you all at a show by now, right?
Lynda: We played a lot of local shows, but we are on the road a lot. We try not to spread ourselves too thin here, you know. In San Francisco we don’t do all that great. I mean, we always do great at Bottom of the Hill (Mr. Nancy tends bar there), but at other clubs we like, it’s not really… you have to go outside your own backyard to be appreciated.
What is it like to open for The Dictators?
Lynda: Awesome, they’re legends. I love ‘em.
Lynda (to Mr. Nancy): He loves Panty Raid!
I had wanted to ask Laura whether she really likes candy as much as she says she does and was aware of November 1st.
Lynda: Oh yeah? What’s that?
It’s the day that Halloween candy is half price. Does she really carry around that much candy?
Mr. Nancy: Oh yeah, believe me, she drags around bags of it.
Lynda: She brought like 35 pounds of candy on the American tour.
Mr. Nancy: No shit, we go to lift her bag, and it’s all candy.
Lynda: Her bag was full!
Of all the bands you have toured with, what was your favorite?
Lynda: I really enjoyed playing with The Briefs. We did a cool American tour with them back in March. One of my favorite tours was with The Dickies when we played with them in Japan. Every tour we have had we had a great time. Our first long tour we did (was in 2000) with Propaghandi and Avail. We did five weeks and then we had one day off and then we went to Europe for the first time with The Mad Caddies and The Ataris. Last year we did a (U.S.) tour with NOFX and then we went back to Japan with The Dickies and then we went to Europe. This time of course we did our own club dates and stuff, but I dont know. I would have to say The Dickies or The Briefs are my favorite. And The Real McKenzies! We shared a bus with them on the Deconstruction Tour, and they’re really good friends of ours. After we got back from Europe, we did a one-month tour of canada. Ten thousand miles in a month in a minivan. They’re like our big brothers.
Have you toured all 50 states?
Lynda: Just about. I think the only two states I haven’t been in is Montana and Idaho.
What about Alaska?
Lynda: No, I haven’t been to Alaska!
So 47 then?
Lynda: Yes. Forty-seven out of 50.
Where do you do best? Where are your best fans?
Lynda: We do great in Texas.
Mr. Nancy: Green Bay.
Lynda: Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Midwest.
Mr. Nancy: Orange County.
Lynda: Yeah and the LA area. We do outstanding everywhere. (We have a) solid fan base in Germany.
Mr. Nancy: France was really good.
Who drives the van?
Lynda: Everybody but me.
Have you ever played at Gilman?
Lynda: Yes, once. We haven’t been back, but we would like to. We played with The Mad Caddies.
What sort of demographic is your fan?
Lynda: Itused to be guys, and now we’re seeing a lot more girls. That’s good that we have a diverse crowd. When we play with a lot of Fat (Wreck Chords) bands, a lot of young kids come; if we play a 21 and over show, well, of course…. We like playing for kids because they’re enthusiastic, and they buy stuff . They aren’t jaded (yet).
Are you going to do more shows or find a singer first?
Lynda: I think we might wait (after our show at the end of the month as a three-piece). I don’t want to go about it half-assed. It sounds good as a three-piece, but I really think the harmonies make the band.
You’re wearing cat ears. Are you a cat person? Do you have cats?
Lynda: Spooky and The Wizard. They’re the best thing. They make my day. When I am on the road, I miss them so bad.
Who takes care of them?
Lynda: My husband. He is a built-in babysitter.