As long as you've seen Polyester, it's easy to say, but Gravy Train really are the children of John Waters: post-Catholic-school grease-ovores schlepping back and forth from their ratty mansions in the Oakland ghetto—murder rate's down since they found the body across the street in the park last summer, they sigh—and doing slow-mo barrel rolls over the stiffening corpse of teenage decency. Thus do they keep it sleazy: the Train works phone sex or maybe telemarketing—same diff, except for which end of the line the dirty words are comin' from—and after hours, they sit down with a notebook and squirt past simple four-letter lyrics for patiently detailed—like Camaro manuals—examinations of quasi-plausible sex acts ("Burger sex"?), and if they really oozed and dripped and drooled and dampened like the songs make out, you'd duct tape Vons baggies over their crotches and boobs before you ever let them near your carpet. Like the lady says: "Filth is my life!"
And that's not where it stops: they invented electroclash with their Menz EP on Oakland's SPAM Records, and they signed to Kill Rock Stars for their Hello, Doctor!full-length via dial-up AIM conversation. They are intensely loved in Sweden, where they fly from show to show on jet planes and everyone sings lines like "YOU MADE ME GAY, GIRL! YOU MADE ME GAY!" with stony Scandinavian gravitas. Funx—classically trained!—writes the songs on the keyboard. New boy toy Junx—replacing Drunx, who once visited the Weekly office for 10 minutes and was intensely be-wuv-ed by all—booty-dances. And Hunx (the guy) and Chunx (the gal) glop out giggly, gross-out, trash-talking call-and-response raps that sound like a livid tough chick (yeah, Hunx has a squealier squeal than Chunx, despite his Y chromosome) screeching in the ladies toilet about five seconds before someone gets a disciplinary sanitary napkin slapped across her face.
Not smitten? Maybe you don't get it: it's all puppy love, except that some kids hold hands, and some kids just need a few wiggly fingers.
OC Weekly: There're only two kinds of Catholic: guilty and pervy. Which are you?
Chunx: Come on, what do you think? We have a song called "Titties Bounce" about being horny in Catholic school. We all went to Catholic school, and look at the band we're in. I went for the longest—12 years.
When did you go bad?
I was always pervy.
Like at six years old?
I came out of the womb masturbating!
They must have loved you in kindergarten.
I was a real freaky kid. I got accused of witchcraft in fourth or fifth grade. I'd go to the school library and look up occult in the encyclopedia, and I'd check out books and bring them to school, and they were really invasive at school. They'd have random desk checks to see if your desk was clean enough, and they opened my desk and found witchcraft books. And then some bitch made up a story about walking in on me in the bathroom burning a voodoo doll.
You're lucky she didn't say you were masturbating with a crucifix.
Well, we were pervy then, too. My friends and I were worse than the guys.
You never hear about naughty Catholic school guys.
Because they're too busy being molested by priests. But I remember in third grade, when the teacher read out loud, we'd think everything was sexual.
Like, "'Begot?' Hee, hee, hee, hee, hee!"
Any word! We couldn't get through five minutes without relating something to sex.
So how'd life go once you hit puberty?
Five-year dry spell. I was really ugly.
No, you weren't!
Well, I went to high school in Sherman Oaks—everyone was blond and skinny, and I had dyed-black hair and was kind of . . . doughy. Which is rad, but people aren't into that when they're young. Even dorks got more action. Some dork told me she got finger banged, and I was so pissed and jealous—some role-playing dork!
Maybe she just meant some D&D move.
We were talking about something, and I made the comparison that it was better than an orgasm, though I'd never had one. And she said, "Nope—not better than that!" And I was so pissed—she was totally a dork! Bespectacled! The dregs of high school society. Like Trekkies!
Well, they were just having dreg sex. Nothing to be jealous of.
They were, but it was something. And I had nothing.
And now you have burger sex.
Which I invented!
Well . . . I did it! I did it with somebody. You go and get a bunch of fast food—we picked In-N-Out, for obvious reasons. We just went to a hotel room and ate and did it at the same time. Ketchup on boobs, lettuce on the bed, sesame seeds in the ceiling. The other version—in the song "Burger Baby"—is actually having sex with the hamburger itself. Which I haven't done yet.
So it's just a fantasy?
Hopefully not for long.
Is that vegetarian?
Well . . . you don't have to eat it.
Do you feel God approves of burger sex?
I think so, just like he would back up anal sex. Because it's not real sex, like anything that wouldn't cause us to procreate. And also, I would like to use this opportunity to make a call for a Valentine—I don't mean a traditional Valentine, but just someone to take my ass virginity.
You must be the only Catholic for miles who still has their ass virginity. I thought that went on prom night.
I'm waiting for that perfect person. And the perfect moment. Preferably draped over a car or something.
What kind of car?
The Oscar Meyer Weinermobile would be my top choice. Any man that could arrange that—I'd be ruined for anyone else in the world.
You really are America's sweetheart.
Gravy Train performs with the Mae Shi, Willpower and the Lipstick Pickups at Koo's, 540 E. Broadway, Long Beach. Sat., 8 p.m. $6. All ages.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene each week with music news, trends, artist interviews and concert listings. We'll also send you special ticket offers and music deals.