By On the occasion of our 20th anniversary
By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
Korn . . . grrrrr! Limp Bizkit . . . grrrrr! Rage Against the Machine . . . grrrrr! Systemofadowngodsmackdeftonesever lasthedpekidrockrammsteinrobzombie trentreznoreminemorgypowerman5000 . . . grrrrr, grrrrr, grrrrr!
And then there are the Aquabats, OC's superhero-costumed antidote to aural angst. They're the ultimate anti-anger band in this Age of Rage, so we just had to ask them: What the hell do they have to be so damn happy about, anyway? Lead singer and Bat Commander Christian Jacobs explained himself.Listen to The Aquabats vs.
Christian Jacobs: We're rebelling against the rebels. The Aquabats tend to get a violent response from people who are violently opposed to society. They think we're in cahoots with the Man. But if we can make as many angry people upset as possible, then we've accomplished our job. The lyrics for the song "Lovers of Loving Love" (from their new album,The Aquabats vs. the Floating Eye of Death) are your happiest ever. The chorus is: "I'm so happy/ I'm so happy." When I listen to the radio right now, the most popular songs are very much the opposite of that—Limp Bizkit, Static-X, System of a Down, Rage Against the Machine, Korn, etc. This must seem like a scary time for you guys to be putting out an album.
Download the RealPlayer FREE! OC Weekly: Why are the Aquabats so damn happy?
Obviously, we're the exact opposite of everything else right now. So—much to the chagrin of alternatives and punk types everywhere—we're the alternative right now. Being happy is alternative. We're not selling out to the Man by writing angry songs. We're the happy-go-lucky Aquabats.There does always seem to be room for quirky bands. The same kids who like Rage are probably going to like the Aquabats.
We've got a diverse group of fans. Most kids are smart enough to realize that music is supposed to be entertaining. Then there are bands that like to use their music to express some sort of message. But when it comes down to it, all people really want to do is go to the show and jump off the stage and feel the energy. So if we can be into the positive energy, then why not?It's not a good time to be peppy. But music fans are fickle.
All the angry bands are scared of Y2K. They have IBMs from, like, 1983. Korn and Limp Bizkit are not Y2K-compatible, so they're really worried.I've heard you guys have some ideas for a Saturday-morning TV show based on the band.
We started a rumor a long time ago that we were going to do a TV show, and companies started calling our management. So we suckered Disney into making a deal with us two years ago. We've been battling back and forth creatively. Everything we want to do, they say no—because of the Disney image. Whereas if it was another company, they would probably take a chance and let us totally fail. They need to have the right award-winning producers so they know the show will be a success.So you're already under contract with Disney?
Yeah, about a year ago, we did a minipilot that Bobcat Goldthwait directed. It didn't really go anywhere. But that wasn't anyone's fault. We just did it wrong. We're still trying to get things going. We've kind of been battling back and forth with different companies. And I think the momentum of the last record slowed down, so that slowed down enthusiasm about doing a show. So I think when the new record explodes [laughs] and it's on every radio station [makes very sarcastic face] . . . No, it could help out, though. We don't know what's going to happen. It's all a big mystery.Your whole shtick seems very Sid & Marty Krofft, like theBugaloos.
Yeah, we even met with Sid & Marty. They were all over it. But Disney said no. They said that wouldn't be hip.That surprises me. There could be nothing hipper than Sid & Marty Krofft right now.
That's totally what we've had in mind. We've had problems with Disney all along. So we've been focusing on putting the album out. And let me tell you, it's been some of the happiest days of our lives.Is that sarcasm? Is there a dark cloud over the Aquabats after all?
Sure. Everything I say is like bread and butter.Are you happy with how the album came out, though?
Oh, yeah. We wrote about 50 or 60 songs, and then we gradually decided which ones worked. We went pretty far out into left field with many of them. We might as well put something out that kids are going to enjoy, instead of indulging ourselves in total randomness.Is the songwriting collaborative?
This record is a good mix of everyone. I do a lot of the lyrics, but even that was sectioned off among everybody. I had a mental block for about nine months, so we called up Britney Spears' writers to write us a song.Which was . . .