Interview by John Wisniewski

John Wisniewski: What interested you about the story of the butthole surfers, Aaron.?

Aaron Tanner: I’ve always loved music. But after hearing the Butthole Surfers for the first time, it permanently altered my perception of what music could be, and changed the course I took to pursue new bands ever since. After having done design work for bands like Ween over the last decade and a half, it only made sense that I pay tribute to one of the groups that changed it all for a lot of us (Mickey and Aaron included).

John Wisniewski: Has anyone from the band commented on the book?

Aaron Tanner: Of course! King Coffey said, “Aaron did a great job putting together a visual history of the band. I love the quotes too. Really, it’s a treat to look at.” And Paul Leary mentioned that one of his favorite quotes was from Cris Kirkwood regarding Brown Dog.

John Wisniewski:  Any favorite surfers albums, Aaron?

Aaron Tanner: My favorite record of theirs, without question, is Locust Abortion Technician. I’d never heard music that was so simultaneously terrifying and compelling. But that said, each of their records is amazing. It’s nearly impossible to pick a runner-up.

John Wisniewski:  What was the reception like from the press, on the release of each new surfers album.

Aaron Tanner: Press, for the most part, has always been really positive for each Butthole Surfers record. I made sure to include several collages highlighting the reception of most of their releases. And if there isn’t a spread for a particular record, it was because I had a hard time tracking down press on it.

John Wisniewski:  what kept the band going for so many years, through Trials and tribulations.

Aaron Tanner: The short answer according to their biography, “Let’s Go To Hell” is money.

John Wisniewski:. what will be the subject of your next book?

Aaron Tanner: I’m currently discussing ideas with a few bands. But since nothing is officially locked down, I can’t comment on anything specific. However, I am about to start work with Sean Rayburn on a second book on the Pixies under his imprint.

A Fully Authorized Visual History

“The aesthetic of this retrospective is immediately striking. The neon pink semi-profile on the cover, the scrawled notes and flyers inside — the coffee-table book has the feel of a super-organized fanzine.”
LA Weekly, Book of the Month

One of the most depraved acts from the American underground, the Butthole Surfers were formed by Gibby Haynes and Paul Leary in San Antonio, TX in 1981. Along with King Coffey, Teresa Nervosa, and Jeff Pinkus, their disturbing albums and chaotic live shows have featured everything from psychedelia and noise rock to country and electronica.

Butthole Surfers: What Does Regret Mean? is a fully authorized visual history of the band with never-before-seen photos, artwork, and other memorabilia and from the viewpoint of their contemporaries. It features an introduction by Mickey Melchiondo (Ween) and exclusive interviews from Rob Zombie, Kim Thayil (Soundgarden), Thurston Moore and Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Eric Avery (Jane’s Addiction), Steven Drozd (The Flaming Lips), Al Jourgensen (Ministry), Nick Oliveri (Queens of the Stone Age), Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich(Pavement), Neko Case, Dale Crover (Melvins), Eric Wilson (Sublime), Henry Rollins, Daniel Johnston, Cris Kirkwood and Derrick Bostrom (Meat Puppets), Steven McDonald (Redd Kross), Berserker Blotharand Balsac The Jaws of Death (GWAR), David Yow (Jesus Lizard), and many more!

This book also contains a flexi disc of the unreleased track, “Locust Abortion Technician Medley” (originally intended as the B-side for the proposed “Human Cannonball” 7″ single).

Share.

About Author

Comments are closed.

Share via