Interview with a Clampire

(Webmaster) Let me start by congratulating you on the release of “variations” and “My True Story”

(Applegate) Thank you, we’re gonna do it like that ‘ey?

(Webmaster) Too formal for you? I thought we’d do like a playboy interview.

(Applegate) Sure okay, anyway you want to go. I saw what you wrote for cdbaby about “MTS,” were we doing all that?

(Webmaster) Weren’t you?

(Applegate) Maybe… in a broad way, the songs weren’t written together or anything, those are just common subjects for us. Or for me as the guy who writes the lyrics. I mean “Hawking” and “I belong to her” are like ten years older than the others and they seemed to fit, at least you thought so.

(Webmaster) I did. I noticed you left “no poses” off this recording; wasn’t it once on “MTS”?

(Applegate) It didn’t seem to fit to me, being like five years older even than “I belong”. But after reading what you wrote, about us being “true believers” and all, maybe it does fit. That proves my other point though, that’s a song from the “ten song tape” and it fits your thesis of the record as well.

(Webmaster) You used to list yourself as “producer” on the record…separate from being a Clam. You didn’t on this release.

(Applegate) Yeah, well “MTS” was a group effort. Charley (Levinson) wanted someone he could talk to directly and not like a big committee so I was first among equals, I don’t think he wanted to just hand the money to Damian. He wanted me to do it. But Dave and Richie had veto power over what I was doing. I wasn’t like the boss of anyone.

(Webmaster) Did you find anything new in the music during the remix?

(Applegate) Oh yeah, Mike Graf plays a lot more stuff than I remember, I thought I did most of the bass, but it’s like half and half… so I put his picture on the cover.

(Webmaster) I noticed you didn’t put Terri’s.

(Applegate) No, I don’t know what happened there… but she did real good on the three or four things she’s on. It was a pain finding girls to replace her and finish the record. Mario came through there, he plays all the blues clubs along the shore and knows a lot of singers.The other thing I noticed was how much Dave’s guitar work permeates the whole thing. He was in top form. “You go ahead” is my favorite song.

(Webmaster) How does the rest of the band like the record?

(Applegate) Hard to say…Mario said it had too much bass… now how can the bass player then defend his mix? Gelb liked it…Brian likes all kinds of music so I think he thinks it’s okay. I don’t know if Dave does. He can always hear things I can’t…and he has pretty high standards. But I did my best and I took my time. Short of rerecording everything; I don’t know how much better I could do it.

(Mario denies this, he says he actually thought it could use more bass and Gary must have misunderstood him. Dave has since told Gary that he likes the digital remix.)

(Webmaster) Well you know I like it.

(Applegate) Yeah but you’re easy.

(Webmaster) This may seem like a stupid question, but why do you spell Juarez the way you do?

(Applegate) That’s my paranoia, getting permission to use all the reference material we do costs a small fortune… “whiter shade”, “don't let go”, etc. I mean it’s always “fair use” I would think… but as a songwriter, I like to buy the rights and stuff… I figured if I change the spelling I could save a few bucks and Dylan couldn’t sue me.

(Webmaster) That’s a pretty long way to go.

(Applegate) Yes it is.

(Webmaster) Is O.L.P.B. ready?

(Applegate) Yeah… just about… Do you wanna write the text for it?

(Webmaster) Sure, when will we see it?

(Applegate) Like a couple of months, Dave might want to record some things for a project he has in mind and, as you know Gelb and I have done a couple of things for one last project, so I’m keeping busy. The artwork’s just about done and the music is finished unless I change something.

(Webmaster) A long time comin’.

(Applegate) Yeah, this isn’t really a “band recording” like “MTS” was. It’s more of a loose pool of musicians playing on a solo project with Richie singing everything. Dave is like on five songs but it’s not his record like “MTS” was. He sort of drops in to solo. Except for “Carol Small,” of course. I could send it out tomorrow if I had to, but there’s no hurry. The good thing about ‘O.L.P.B.” is there’s no cover music so I don’t have to buy any rights.

(Webmaster) You may offend a few people though.

(Applegate) Well, Stiv is dead, and Queen Latifah doesn’t know where I live.

(Webmaster) Let me ask you this… do you tell people that you write this website?

(Applegate) Yes I do, C’mon you’ve been around us for years… that’s an old Clam joke, if you’re the only one around you take the credit.

(Webmaster) Should I send you the invoice for the hosting fee?

(Applegate) They charge you for this?

(Webmaster) Do you even know how to write HTML?

(Applegate) Write what?

(Webmaster) What do you want to say about this final project?

(Applegate) So far it’s just two songs. I mean they came out pretty well. I gave Gelb like a half a dozen lyrics last spring and it’s almost March and so far he’s written two. I thought he was blowing me off about doing something but he says he’s suffering from some kind of writer’s block. Like for the first time in the thirty years I’ve known him. Maybe he’s deeper and more troubled than I imagine… I’m supposed to be the suffering one. The concept came to me when I heard Bob Marley’s acoustic “redemption song.” Now I hate Reggae and I never dug Bob Marley that much…Dave and Charley were fans. And Gelb used to do a bunch of songs from “the harder they fall.” “Johnny too bad.” But it’s novelty music to me… then I heard that “redemption song” and I got it. So I wanted to record a cover version with Gelb singing… and match it with our own “redemption song.” That sort of turned into “Absolution” and that’s where we are now. Mario has done a little work on it and Brian has committed to working on it. If Dave comes to the studio to do a solo project; I’ll ask him to add some guitar. The worst he could say is “No.” Otherwise it’s gonna be a “The Story of My Life” type thing which would be okay. If Richie ever writes anything more.

(Webmaster) It’s not Reggae.

(Applegate) No, did I imply that? I’m sorry…I got the concept from the emotion of Marley’s song; not from the beat.

(Webmaster) I remember you guys doing “Johnny Too Bad.”

(Applegate) Yeah, Al could play Reggae, and as much as I hated it I had those bass lines down.

(Webmaster) If O.L.P.B. is a success, maybe you’ll get a call from Cindy Crawford.

(Applegate) Now that’s somethin’ special.