Three One G #5
1. Left Behind
2. Bearing Holes
4. Legal Lynching
5. God’s Gym
6. We Are All Illegal
7. Donation to the Deaf
8. Patented Genes
10. El Salvador’s Radio Problems
11. I Am
14. Freshly Grown Warheads
15. Liberty Machine
18. Face Extinction
19. Acceptance of Meanings
20. Pain Culture
21. Sink or Swim
Vinyl pressed on: Black, white, red
I Hung Around In Your Soundtrack Pt. 5 by Justin Pearson
Jenny Piccolo “Information Battle To Denounce the Genocide” LP
By the late 90’s I had put Three One G’s fifth release into production and things really felt like an actual label. Number five was the first LP in the growing catalog as well, which seemed to give the label more legitimacy. I figured there was no better band at the time to put out a full length by than Jenny Piccolo– The Locust had become sister bands with them, touring the US, Canada, and most of Europe by the time we had released the album. The guys in the band were some of the best people I had ever encountered. The three of them together was absurd and magical.
My only real criticism of the album was that it could not capture the persona that Jenny Piccolo embodied in a live setting. Their recordings were never as punctual as I felt they could have been, partially due to the fact that we were all learning how to do things, such as put out records. Also, I had no substantial amount of money, which hindered the quality of recordings we could afford.
Aside from the band’s live antics and amusing stage banter, “Information Battle to Denounce the Genocide” was soaked in politics- attacking organized religion, the U.S. Government, racism- and showed an overall disdain for humanity’s ignorance. Drawing from elements of crust, punk, and what was becoming more and more known as power violence, Jenny Piccolo stepped into the bigger picture of what Three One G was becoming, which eventually helped define what the label’s aesthetics were. The album has since sold out, but over the years, it was pressed on various colors of vinyl that tied into the odd feeling presented by the cover art, which was a color map of South America placed on a stark white background, and a giant step away from the typical hardcore or punk records of the time. White, black, and red vinyl all fit in with the color scheme and, again, linked back to my obsession with color vinyl and packaging.
Interview with James Fuhring: March 2015
Justin Pearson: Jimmy Lavelle told me that his band at the time, Guyver 1, was playing with “the new Mohinder band”. That was all it took to get me to ride four hours north, up to Goleta, to see you all play– which was one of your early shows, yeah? I was expecting Mohinder, and I was ironically really drawn to your drumming in that band only to find out you were playing bass and singing. Dude, Al Ruel was so punishing, and you surpassed whatever expectations I had of the band. Care to tell about your transition from drums to bass and vocals? And care to tell me about the start of the band?
James Fuhring: First off, when we saw you at that Goleta show, we knew we had to impress because in your own right, you were legendary to all of us, as we were all huge Swing Kids fans. You pretty much saw what would become a fixture in our live sets…the arguing. Jenny Piccolo actually started to be an idea before Mohinder eventually disbanded. Chris and myself had been close friends in high school and started little bands here and there. There was a point where Chris came pretty close to playing 2nd guitar and settled for being our unofficial roadie. Fast forward a couple of years and after Mohinder broke up, Chris and I were briefly in a band with some ex-Indian Summer people, and during that time I decided that I wanted to stop playing drums in punk bands and move to either guitar or bass… I was getting bored with drums. I think all drummers to a certain extent are control freaks; I was ready to relinquish control. At this time, Al was in a couple of smaller bands basically playing a different instrument in each band. He played drums for this short-lived band that Unleaded was going to do a release for called 3 Little Indians. It was like watching myself in the mirror the way he played drums. Chris and I approached Al about playing drums for a band we were starting, which would also include Al’s best friend at the time, Jeff. At first, we basically sounded like a poor man’s Mohinder and really had no general direction of where we wanted to go with our sound. It was pretty apparent for the first year or so that there was a whole spectrum of music that we were huge fans of. We tried to sound like anything from Heroin to Sleep to Crossed Out.
JP: Well by the time I saw you all at that show, it seemed that you had nailed some sort of direction that was your own. I certainly saw the Crossed Out influence, but there was a different level of intensity to the music. I suppose Al had a lot to do with that, as he is easily one of my favorite drummers I have ever seen live. When do you think that the persona of the band came about, and more so why? For the people seeing the band live, there was this almost comical aspect added to the weird stage banter among the three of you. Was that something you all embraced and went with as a live aspect to your performances, or something that was generally unavoidable?
JF: Al did have a lot to do with the intensity aspect. At this point in time, he was super active and was still heavily involved with Tae Kwon Do, so he had energy to spare. The persona was almost organic, it was something we never even thought about till years later and it definitely wasn’t anything premeditated. The banter at the shows just started happening one day, probably around the time of the Goleta show. It started as I took playing live super seriously and Al was still in high school and this was really the first band he had been in that played higher profile shows, out of town shows etc. So I think he was soaking it all in and having the most fun he could have with it. Al and Chris had very stark personalities and very rarely argued off stage. On stage, it was almost like they took all of their aggressions out on each other in-between songs and somewhat during songs. I tried to be a mediator at first, but after a while, it was too contagious not to get involved. We definitely ended up embracing it more and more (I was probably the last to fully embrace it) and realized that if we were going to survive as a band, it was our way of setting the record straight with each other and airing out everything. It seems like it came out the most on tours, the beginning of each tour, it would be minimal and by the middle of the tour, Chris and Al would be throwing food at each other during the middle of the set. By the end of each tour, we would mellow out. We always hung out and went to shows and we would all be the best of friends, even in the recording studio, where most bands end up hating each other, we never fought at all.
JP: I love that aspect about you all. Your personalities were some of my favorite ever. So it was so rad to hang out and tour all over the world with you guys. But I do recall the first time you all were in San Diego, and I think you guys played the Avocado 500 Club, which was the dumb name for the house that most of the Locust lived in. You guys must have crashed there that night and I had to get up early to get to work and when I came home, I remember just seeing Al sort of flip Chris over in the air there on the lawn, apparently showcasing his Tae Kwon Do. I was partially mortified as it looked like he was killing poor Chris and partially stoked on what a bad ass he was. But the over all banter was so refreshing at the time. There was so much seriousness, so much stark and conservative attitudes with punk and hardcore at the time. Maybe some of that was due to the whole Ebullition crew and how it was so serious at all times. So re-introducing that bit of humor and an actual hilarious time, but still sticking to our political guns and still all prescribing to certain social politics was refreshing. However, the main thing that I was constantly tripping out on was the fact that both Jenny Piccolo and The Locust were on the fringes of what was then being coined as “Power Violence”. Was that something you guys identified with? And with that, it seemed that Power Violence was still rad hardcore, but completely removed from some of the white washed, male-centered, stereotypical stuff of the time. Jenny Piccolo was almost more pissed off sounding and more punctual, and even more musically profound than a lot of the average hardcore bands that were happening at the time. Care to comment on any of that?
JF: Poor Chris weighs about 100 pounds so Al always threw him around like a rag doll. The Avocado 500 was super fitting for a name for that house as you guys always made guacamole during the shows there. I was curious to see how everyone was going to handle Al when he would start with the banter at shows, Chris and I both knew it was coming from seeing his former bands but was never tested on an out of town crowd. Much like you guys, we never took too well to the Power Violence label. We always considered ourselves to be a hardcore band. I think there was too much machismo antics involved with the Power Violence scene that we were never really fond of. Plus those people never really liked us at all, as a lot of them likened me to my Mohinder days and considered us snobs and shit talkers. We just made fun of everyone including ourselves. There was an infamous two-day Power Violence fest thing put together by the owner of Trainwreck studios where all of us recorded. Some of the bands didn’t take too kindly to us playing and, during the first night, blocked us from bringing in our equipment onto the stage. And from what was told to us by a couple of reliable sources, they went as far as to get the show shut down so we couldn’t play. None of them were very bright at all as we just got put on the bill for the next night. These same fucktards heard we were playing at Epicenter and decided to bring bats…but came a month early. They gloated about it to Tom from Trainwreck who told them about Al’s accolades with martial arts and suffice to say, that was the last time they tried to fuck with us. So yeah, we never took too kindly being lumped in with that group and their mentality.
JP: Well whatever you three were doing seemed to work for The Locust and me. We instantly feel in love with you guys. It seemed that way, even wherever you all toured, too. It’s ironic you mention the violence that you all encountered, as I think The Locust got the same exact shit. I never really saw the negativity from whatever sort of Power Violence genre though, but more so from straight-edgers, and then a little later on, people who just had weird issues in general with the way we looked. So I can see a similar thing with both bands. But we both know that all the negativity was still getting the band’s names out there, and you know, there are a lot of bands that nobody talks about, so if they are talking, good or bad, we all were succeeding. One thing I appreciate is that we all were surrounded by other weird-o’s, or somewhat progressive and ethical punks, who could pretty much do whatever we wanted. For the time, you all were easily one of the best live bands around.
JF: Thank you so much for everything over the years, Justin. Jenny Piccolo would have never existed in the capacity it did without all of your love and support.