By Ginger Coyote
“Believe what I’m telling you when I’m telling you what I’m telling you is true.” ~ The Floydian Device
Punk Globe: Marc thanks for taking the time out to do this interview.. Can you give the readers some background on yourself?
The Floydian Device: I’m a guitar player who always gets lucky and stumbles into my favorite band in town. I grew up on the Beatles, Dead Kennedys, Led Zeppelin. . . which I think is pretty much the perfect recipe for a good rock ‘n’ roll meal ~ I play in Vancouver with my partner Ms. Ligaya in a band called JP5. . I do interviews and graphics for the Globe, write comics, and do art whenever I can still stay up past my bedtime. . I was born in Springfield, Missouri . . . Also, as you might know, the hometown of Brad Pitt. If you leave his museum and walk two blocks down the street, you’ll find yourself at the Floydian Device Museum. Mine’s a little smaller, but no less fascinating.
Punk Globe: Interesting that you were born in the USA. but now live in Vancouver! How old were you when your family moved to Canada? Was your Dad dodging the draft?
FD: I think he was dodging Republicans. I was about 13 when we moved up from Virginia. My dad got a job at the province’s mental institution, so we lived right on the grounds amongst the patients. It was about a mile and a half out, so to go into town for a movie on Friday night, you had to walk from the asylum down a dark road beside the woods for about a mile, then cross the old bridge where the town ner-do-wells made their home. It wasn’t too bad on the way in, but coming back in the dark was a little scary. . And being 40 below zero didn’t help. .
Punk Globe: Do you care to tell us about your family and your lovely daughter?
FD: My dad and uncle are psychic explorers. And their beautiful wives are what keep them grounded to earth. My dad was a psychologist who taught courses called ‘Explorations in Consciousness’and ‘Psychotherapy Behind the Irony Curtain’. My uncle has an updated manifesto for the universe handwritten on thousands of pages stuffed in boxes under his pool table. He’s 73, but still stays up until 6:00am every night writing. They have been pretty great creative inspirations. For the last 5 years, I’ve run a Safe House for street kids in Vancouver with my very cool ex-wife and one of my brothers. My other bro Eric is an actor and comedian who just came back after 10 years in New York. He was one of the creepy skinheads on the HBO show ‘Oz’ for quite a few years. He’s not quite as creepy in person. I’ve also got an amazing little girl who is 9, and a pretty amazing big girl (The Fabulous Ms. Ligaya) who keeps me out of trouble ~
Punk Globe: Do you ever get an urge to move back to the States?
FD: I love the States, but Bush and Cheney for 8 years was so messed up; and then almost having Palin and McStain take over the helm for another 8 years to finish the job. . . Wow! Creatively speaking, though, the States is definitely where the real dirt is. The U.S. and Canada are kind of like Nirvana and the Foo Fighters. . . America is the drugged out older brother that plays in the coolest band in town, gets in trouble with the law, and fucks everything in sight. Canada is the younger brother that smokes a little pot and parties on the weekend, but ends up going to college and getting married to his high-school sweetheart (Laughs). Actually, there has been a pretty amazing punk scene in Vancouver over the years, so I guess we do get our hands a little dirty once in a while! I love weekends in San Fran and Seattle and L.A., but Vancouver is a really cool place to call home.
Punk Globe: You had some musical success when you were still in diapers with a band called Smash L.A. Can you tell us about those days?
FD: I was actually almost 30 when I played with Smash L.A., so the diapers are not something I like to talk about. I spent a good bit of the 80’s on the road with different bands, writing songs, playing clubs. When I hooked up with Smash L.A., they already had some stuff on MuchMusic and were doing really well. The band had played Bob Rock’s bachelor party in Vancouver, and Bob was trying to help us get a record deal in the States. We were touring, recording demos, sending them down . . Unfortunately for us, he had someone he worked with that would come and keep an eye on us when we were in Vancouver, and I think the reports he got back were not so good (big laugh). At that time, there was a lot of craziness . . . Substance abuse, fights, partying, exhaustion. . And not enough work getting done I guess. And the band lost its’ momentum. But for a couple years we had some really crazy energy every night on stage, no matter what was going on the rest of the day. It was a great time. I wouldn’t change anything. Maybe I would have worn earplugs..
Punk Globe: Did you do a lot of damage to your ears?
FD: Yeah. . I’ve got some pretty bad ringing in my ears! It used to just come and go, but a couple years ago, it came and it stayed. So I’ve got a siren going off in my head 24 hours a day. Hopefully they’ll come up with a cure for it in the next few years, because sometimes it drives you a bit mad. .
Punk Globe: What sort of venues were you playing and did you tour all over Canada? How about the United States?
FD: We would go from Club Soda in Vancouver to Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven in Toronto to The Backstreet in Montreal . . . Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton . . . Just constantly crossing the country. We couldn’t get into the States at the time because 2 or 3 guys in the band had stuff from their past that wouldn’t allow them across the border.
Punk Globe: How long did the band play before calling it a day?
FD: The band was together from ’88 to ’92. After the band split, I ended up in Calgary trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life.
“I finally hit my rock bottomless pit.” - The Floydian Device
Punk Globe: What did you do for the next few years?
FD: I was lucky when I got off the road. When we came through Calgary, we met Bret and Julie Hart. Bret ‘The Hitman’ was a huge wrestler with the WWF and a really cool guy. And Julie is an amazing woman who we loved hanging out with. Over time, we became really good friends. When I landed in Calgary, Julie knew I didn’t have a place to live and she asked me if I wanted to stay at their place. She was my angel.. I was completely broke. All our money had gone to managers, agents. . . Actually, I don’t know where it went. . But I lived with them for that first year off the road. It was great fun. That’s where I learned the dark secrets of the wrestling trade (Laughs). After that, I was kind of in limbo for awhile. I went back to University and got my Psych degree.. Got engaged; got disengaged. Lived in some really strange places that didn’t have a lot of sunlight. I would work until midnight, and then go home and stay up all night with the headphones on and the tape rolling. After not playing live for a while, I started a new band called Death Valley Dolls. .
Punk Globe: What was this band like?
FD: Janes’s Addiction meets Filter with a lead vocalist who couldn’t sing. . . That was me (big laugh). We were all over the place. One night we would open for Matchbox 20, and then go to another club and play with the guys from SNFU. It was a weird time. . If David Lynch could have directed one part of my life, that would have been it. We had some cool songs by the end. . . ‘Sparkle Jet’, ‘Station 17’, ‘Methodrone Gear’, ‘Cement Truck Full Of Jello’. . . that’s what my brain felt like for a lot of that period. I was living in the dark thinking that’s where I had to be to write the kind of songs I wanted to hear. I felt like there was all this crazy music floating around in space, and I just had to go out and find it and bring it back. . . I was pretty disconnected. I told the guys in my band that I would burn the name of our band into my arm before every gig until we got a record deal. . (Laughs). One time a vein bubbled up and almost burst and I knew it was time to stop that nonsense. .
Punk Globe: What did you learn from all of this?
FD: It’s a lot of fun to chase the devil until you catch up with him. .
Punk Globe: What did you do when you got to Vancouver?
FD: When I got to Vancouver, I think it was around ’97. I didn’t play live for a while. . I just felt like I had had enough insanity in my life, and I wanted to be healthy and get connected to the world again. I didn’t need to be around chaos all the time. This is when I started working with street kids, group homes. . It was a really different world. . 14 year-olds doing crystal meth; kids involved in sex-trade and gang stuff. I started working with these kids about 12 years ago, and I’m still doing it, and I love it. I think being on the road for so many years surrounded by craziness really prepared me for working with this population and feeling right at home there!
Punk Globe: How did you meet up with Gerry-Jenn Wilson, Ms. Ligaya, JT Massacre, and Dirty Kurt?
FD: I met Ligaya and we hit it off right away. She’s amazing, beautiful, incredibly talented. . . She had this incredible history. She grew up in Vienna, ended up in Vancouver making films. She was involved for years with Creepy Six Films who put out all kinds of cult horror movies. . . “Ms. Ligaya Presents. . . .” They still have a bust of her head that rolls around in movies occasionally. She had also been the bass player for 12 years with one of Vancouver’s coolest punk bands - JP5. They were dirty, sexy, high-energy. Great songs, fantastic front woman, toured through the States with DOA. . Li and I were playing in another project for a while, and she asked if I wanted to play guitar in JP5. That was it.
Punk Globe: Was one of your first shows with JP5 at The Cobalt with White Trash Debutantes?
FD: Yeah . .Opening for The ’Debs on the ‘Anarchy In B.C. Tour’ were the first shows I did with JP5. I LOVE WTB.. Hey, Nick. . . Part Time Celebrity. . . Disobedience. . I fucking love those songs! And Pauli Gray on guitar. . That’s like having all my favorite guitar players rolled into one cool cat!
Punk Globe: How did it feel to start playing out again with JP5 and that wonderful and unpredictable front-woman(Gerry-Jenn)?
FD: I had been doing a bit of music on my own, but I was concentrating more on art and writing and hadn’t been on stage for a while. It was really cool to be up on stage playing with a band as powerful as JP5. And Gerry-Jenn is this incredible ball of energy and talent and craziness all rolled into one person. Her life is like the most crazy reality show you could ever imagine.
Punk Globe: By unpredictable... Gerry-Jenn often takes off her top; and of course she and Ms. Ligaya are like an episode of Project Runway with all their fabulous outfits.. Have you gotten into the flashy outfits yet?
FD: I save my flashy outfits for after the show.
Punk Globe: Tell us about some of your favorite JP5 shows thus far?
FD: The ‘Anarchy’ tour was a blast. We played a while ago with The Subhumans for a Chris Walter book release party. That was some old school fun. Hanging out with Brian Goble and Chi Pig! The last time I saw Chi Pig up close was at a grocery store in Edmonton about 25 years ago. He was carrying his bags and wearing clothes that looked like he was covered in blood! We did a Halloween Gig with Billy Hopeless from the Black Halos that was really cool. Also playing with The Debutantes in Seattle for the Upchuck CD Release party was fantastic. Dennis (White) put on a really cool show. And hanging out with The Fags and Phreddy Vomit and Stone Gossard all in the same room . . That was pretty surreal!
Punk Globe: Your great drummer J.T. Massacre, is off in Europe touring with Big John Bates; and Dirty Kurt has just left for 2 months in Europe with the Real McKenzies... What are you doing to keep busy?
FD: I’ve been writing a lot. Getting some music recorded in my studio at home. I feel like I’m on a good roll right now. I’m 46 and I feel healthier than when I was 26. And I don’t feel like you have to be living in the middle of a disaster to do something creative anymore. In fact, I’m way more productive now than I ever was before. I’m working on a couple projects right now. I’ve got a bunch of graphic art that I’m transferring to prints to sell. I’ve also written a book called ‘Bedtime Stories For Bad Kids’ that I want to get out there soon. I was going to do the illustrations graphically, but some of the stories ended up having over 30 scenes; and it would just take too much time to do it myself. I’m going to have to find a real artist to collaborate with on this one to get it done (laughs). Someone with a shared love of the perverse. . .
Punk Globe: What are these ‘Bedtime Stories’ like?
FD: It’s kind of like Crumb meets The Appletons. . . ‘What Really Happens When You Drop The Soap In Prison’. . . ‘Tuna. . . Helper. . . Surprise’ . . . ‘See You Next Period’. . . Most people will probably find them disgusting, but I like em. They make me laugh.
Punk Globe: You are doing the soundtrack for the Movie that Ms. Ligaya is producing and directing.. Can you tell us about it?
FD: The movie is called ‘G’ and is going to be a punk-rock-opera. . Ziggy Stardust meets Pi. . . A twenty-five minute musical Wizard of Oz as directed by David Lynch. It’s going to be a short film with different songs representing the different senses of our heroine, the inimitable Gerry-Jenn.
Punk Globe: How many songs do you plan on using for the film?
FD: I don’t know, you have to talk to the boss! I’ll write a few. There will be a few JP5 songs; and a quite few by Gerry-Jenn and her many side projects. She’s played with guys from so many different bands. . Sons Of Freedom, I, Braineater, DOA, Death Sentence, Lil Guitar Army, Slow, Black Halos. . . NIN producer Dave Ogilve produced one of her old projects that someone just turned me on to, and they were amazing. . ‘Black Eye Buddha’ I think they were called. Li knows a lot of bands from around town that want to throw their songs in. A lot of people want to be involved with her stuff because she’s cool, creative, and really knows what she’s doing. So we’ll see what happens. We just recorded a version of ‘Jealous of your Cigarette’ - a great Hawksley Workman song that we want to use. I think he’s going to like it. .
Punk Globe: How close is the Movie to being completed?
FD: It should be done by October, and in film festivals in 2010. Then we start working on a full-length film which is going to be fantastic. It’s called ‘SLURPEE-BOY’ (Laughs). . . It’s really funny and smart. We found the perfect actor for the lead at a comedy club not too long ago. As soon as we saw him, we knew we had our Slurpee Boy!
Punk Globe: Are you also writing new material for JP5?
FD: Yeah. Just writing and then seeing where things land after the music is done.
Punk Globe: Tell us about the studio that you are using?
FD: Kurt Dahle (drummer from The New Pornographers) is going to co-produce some of the stuff for the movie. He’s got Pro-Tools at his home studio, so I’ll bring the files I’ve done at home in to him and he’ll try to make em sound like a song! (Laughs) He’s an amazing musician and an all-round genius, so I can’t wait to see what kind of spice he’ll throw in the soup.
Punk Globe: As many know, you design all of the great Punk Globe covers that they have been seeing since September 08... They all are wonderful.. Do you have any personal favorites?
FD: Thanks. I think my favorite is the Joe Dallesandro cover. He’s a real cultural icon; and was a big part of the Warhol scene many years ago, so I new I couldn’t be lazy that month (Laughs). . The ‘Izzy Art’ picture of Joe is just a great piece of art to start with, so you can’t go wrong when you build around something like that! . . . And all the colors and lines just seemed to fall into the right places. I got a note from Joe after the cover came out saying how much he liked it. That really meant a lot to me.
Punk Globe: Can you give the readers some web addresses so they can check out you and your amazing talent.
Punk Globe: Now it is time to get serious... If you could be one of the girls on "The Facts Of Life" for a day, who would you be?
FD: Obviously the tough, streetwise, but vulnerable Jo Polniaczek.
Punk Globe: I know you wish Sarah Palin had been on the show.. Or at least Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin... What are your thoughts on her resigning as Governor of Alaska and possibly running for president in 2012?
FD: You know, as our earth orbits around the Milky Way galaxy, it is my understanding that we’re moving closer to the black hole at its’ center. According to the Mayan Calendar (and many astronomers), on December 21, 2012, our earth will move into alignment with the Milky Way's equator just like the Mayans predicted thousands of years ago; and the sun will be in the exact center of some kind of a dark rift in the Milky Way Galaxy. If this occurs, our earth will become exposed to opposing magnetic forces which would cause the Sun to give off such intense solar flares that the earth would experience a catastrophic magnetic pole reversal - causing the end of humanity as we know it. But I would rather see this happen than to see Sarah Palin elected in 2012.
Punk Globe: Do you think she may have David Letterman's spot on CBS? She may have a plan to force him out because of his honest comment about her daughter. Of course Kathy Griffin criticized Letterman for apologizing to her and thought he should have gone after the rest of the family..
FD: Just tie her to the back of a snow machine and point it towards the North Pole.
Punk Globe: Marc you will finally be able to drink legal when you celebrate your Birthday at the end of the month? Maybe taking in a Kathy Griffin show?
FD: Hey, I’m almost ready for my seniors discount. . I saw Kathy Griffin on Larry King a few weeks ago. You know, she was like a cat batting around a little Larry mouse with her paws. I think Larry was quite terrified of her. She is hilarious. . She scares people, but in a really nice way. I say it’s time for her to move up to the ‘C LIST’!! If I work hard for another 10 years, I’ll make my way up to whatever list she’s on, and we’ll go on Larry King and bat around our little Larry mouse together! Of course, he’ll be over 100 by then, so we’ll be gentle.
Punk Globe: Any parting thoughts or words of wisdom for the Punk Globe readers?
FD: I always tell the kids: Work hard, be the best you can be, and always remember, you can’t really hate anyone else until you truly hate yourself ~
You can reach Marc Floyd at: email@example.com