December 2005 - HONKY
Formed around eight years ago in Texas, nobody kicks ass like Honky, led by Ex-Butthole Surfer J.D. Pinkus on bass, vocals, and banjo. After countless tours, with bands like Mudhoney, Fu Manchu and Nashville Pussy, Honky has released their latest cd "Balls Out Inn" on Smallstone Records. The band also features Kenny Wagner, formerly of Sixty Watt Shaman and Halfway To Gone on drums, and Bobby Ed Landgraf on guitar and vocals. Cosmic Lava spoke with the infamous Pinkus about his band and music, a charming punch of raw Texas boogie rock.
Pinkus, thanks for the interview and hope youre doing really well. Alot of people know you from your background in Butthole Surfers, but for a long time you've been tearing it up in your own band, Honky. Honky, being more straight forward and basic than a continuation of any past music you did, you're often called 'so basic it's hard to explain'. Thats a dynamite description in my book. Big guitars and riffs, strong beats and cool vocals. I read a review where it said you could play a Molly Hatchet album and watch a video of the movie "Urban Cowboy" and it would give you a feel for the band's vibe. Are you happy in the style you've been building on and do you find it a music that comes naturally to you and your band?
PINKUS: Well, we've operated on this notion since we started this band: if you make the chicks' butts wiggle the fellas will show up to watch them and buy a mess of drinks for themselves and the ladies. We can't make a living throwing a sausage party.
You also jam with Brett from Scratch Acid and Max from Ministry in Areola 51, is that something you get to spend alot of time with or just an occasional side project?
PINKUS: We work around mine and Max's schedule. It gives me a good outlet for music that doesn't fit in the HONKY genre. I like having that. Brett writes amazing songs, they just take a while to develop. We have an album done but haven't had a chance to persue a label. the music is 'out there', a little bit of 'all over the place' if you would. We're more of a seasonal regional band.
One writer hailed your band as one of the last of an endangered species of real rock and rollers, do you feel actual 'rock music' has been dead or is dying in general ?
PINKUS: No, I don't think its dead. I think eventually listeners will crave hearing real musicians play instead of clear channel, pro-tooled to death, candy coated, drum machine, easy listening shit. Spoonfed music has always been around its just more prevolent now. I'd like to see less rock bands rip off AC/DC and move onto some more heartfelt styles. More textures and styles per record if that makes any sense. I'm not always good at making sense, if you can't tell by now.
You new cd "Ball's Out Inn" On Smallstone Records is out now and doing great, are you happy with it and how do you feel about the latest one compared to the earlier records?
PINKUS: We finally have a recording of what we sound like live. The first record 'HONKY' was recorded live in my garage in san marcos, 1996 I believe. No headphones just live. The difference with this one is we were able to tour before and after the record with the same musicians that recorded on the record.I think this is the happiest I've been with any record i've released. I was too stoned when we did the artwork to mention the 2 m.p. 4 videos on the disc. I'm proud of those as well. they cost us 5 cases of lone star and 4 pizzas combined. Or maybe it was the other way around.
I know you did some tribute cds in the past, the Aerosmith Tribute on Smallstone and AC/DC tribute on Reptilian Records, aswell as a Van Halen Tribute 7" with Iron Boss. Are you doing any others in the near future and whats the information?
PINKUS: We'll have a cut on Small Stone's next sucking in the 70's. We finally recorded our version of 'Snortin' Whiskey' by Pat Travers.
Any chance for fans in Europe to see Honky in the near future?
PINKUS: I think we just scored a European agent as of today. Its something we've wanted to do for a while. I just wish I could bring my own food and ice cubes.
Any last words or comments you'd like to fill in...
PINKUS: No I type too slow. I'm savin' up for one of them unicorn sticks like Stephen Hawkins uses. I might of been able to finish this interview in 2 hours instead of 5. Thanks for takin' the time and interest to interview