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October 2017




  

The Incredibly Talented Artist:
Liz McGrath
Interview By: Mike Spent




I met Liz, in the early 1990s,met her thru my friend Winter Rosebud,Liz and I have shared stage,when she was doing Tongue,she's a lively fun girl,and a hell of A front person!I knew she made soft sculpture dolls,later I heard she was an full-time artist,she's a dynamic person with many varied skills,rocker,artist,and now mother.Check out,her art out! It's deviant,perverse and creepy! Damian Hurst beware!






PUNK GLOBE:
Liz,can you tell us about how you got into music and your musical roots? Was Tongue your 1st band?

Liz McGrath:
I messed around with some cover bands for fun as a teen but one of my friends asked me to sing for a band project he was putting together an all Asian punk band - and at the time there weren't a lot of Asians in our neighborhood and I was the only girl he knew who was at least half Asian into punk rock- I was working at the Good Guys and all my coworkers were musicians one was Rick Collins,he was Mexican but looked Asian,so he joined the bad and then he kicked everyone out but me and we formed Tongue! Which,sucked up over a decade of my life!!! Looking back probably one of the best decades of my life!!!! We had some great shows went on a mini tour with TSOL and Raw Power played some shows with the Dead Kennedy's,Fear,Day Glow Abortions,the Vandals,GBH so many more great bands - Dez Cadena was my roommate and he would come up and play with us and of course it was always a good time to play with you guys the Spent Idols!! My favorite San Diego band!!!





PUNK GLOBE:
During Tongue you had your own fanzine "Censor This" and worked with "Shit Ed" tell us about this effort ?

Liz McGrath:
It started because the magazines that were out there were kind of like a members only club this was before the internet there were a handful of gray fanzines out like Ben is Dead, Flipside, MRR aka Maximum Rock and Roll and Juxtapose,but there wasn't a lot of stuff that had an equal mix of music,art and whatever.with one exception being Punk Globe. So we wanted to put into it- I was going to PCC and there the idea kind of formed,these meetings we had,were basically a place to drink a lot,Ed was way over 21,so he could score beer!!! John Miner, Carlos Mendez,Ivan X ,Winter Rosebud and Valarie Bermudez,we had a really great time putting it together and eventually it went from being stapled together to being printed thanks to Shit Ed who,eventually took it over.





PUNK GLOBE:
What came after Tongue?

Liz McGrath:
I started to do a lot of art shows and Tongue was so intense like family and we were fighting a lot,I felt I was losing control of my drinking and I just had to take a break because we played almost every night for 10 years straight,And I was so sick of music by that point,too and I couldn't control myself in a bar either,then whatever I had planned to do art-wise,I was fucking it up by being to drunk or hungover to do it - I'm sure u know how that is Mike!!!!!!! Not the hungover part,but just being in a tight knit band,of hard core partiers!! Recently,we did a reunion show after 15 years of not playing together,and plan to do some more shows like this March 11 in Arizona and in Nogales Mexico - we played that spot in Mexico about 20 years ago and it still is A great memory of mine,one of the best nights of my life- pure craziness,but in a fun way!!





PUNK GLOBE:
Tell us about Miss Derringer,the goth country western band?

Liz McGrath:
I met my now,husband Morgan Slade,who had some really great lyrics and we got together with Jimmy Wilsey Winters husband at the time and it kind of came together,as a southern gothic,American band- gothic as in the literary sense like a version like Flannery O'conner,the lyrics were really dark and told stories about women who fell in love with bank robbers,on the run and carried pistols and drank to much,but feared God in an evangelical way- "Night Of The Lonely Hunter"style- Morgan really wrote great lyrics - originally,it was supposed too be Christa Collins as the singer,but she went with Rick Collins,the former Tongue,bass player to sing back up for,the Seeds,which Rick,was into,so I ended up singing,though,I don't think I am the best singer for this kind of music!!! But we went on to do some big tours with,Blondie - Clem Burke played with us on many of the CDs along with Derek O'Brien, Danny Harvey, Jimmy Wilsey, Frank Endfante (I know I spelled wrong) we also toured with the Reverend Horton Heat and Cracker and Girl in a Coma,we have an EP coming out one of these days!!!





PUNK GLOBE:
OK today you are known for your art,what medium do you work in and how did this take wing?

Liz McGrath:
I work in/with all mediums,but lately I've been working in sculpture - it started with the fanzine and my punk band Tongue making flyers and such,we interviewed the Vandals for Censor This - the singer Joe Escalante's brother Greg Escalante is one of the founders of Juxtapose magazine and my friend Gary Pressman was booking shows at the Key Club and asked if we wanted to play with the Vandals for a Juxtapose party and invited me to put some of my flyer art into a little show they were having at the same time- of course I said,"hell yes"! And made a shadow box piece called the "Jr Meth Lab" which Looked,like a kids chemistry set - and the "People Farm" an ant farm filled with people doing deprived things- Greg Escalante bought it,but He didn't realize until he got it home,what the little people were doing,in the tunnels! and his wife,won't let let him hang it in their house! But we became friends and he invited me to show with his gallery that was just opening called Copro Nason- and from there I did a show with the La Luz de Jesus gallery and then with their other gallery,Billy Shire fine arts- and it juts kind of grew from there.





PUNK GLOBE:
Can you tell us about your exhibitions and where this pursuit has taken you?

Liz McGrath:
I kind of took a break after having my kid, but I've done shows all over the world the type of art I'm known for is lowbrow popsurealism which has a really supportive network of artists and galleries so I've been really lucky to fall in with it- most of my shows were in LA and NY but I did a solo show in Berlin and Barcelona along with a bunch of group shows everywhere else,but now most of the sales are through the internet so that whole world is changing and since the drop in the economy it's all chancing just like the music scene- it's becoming easier for artist and buyers to juts hook up Directly as the Galleries take a 50% Commission,from all sales.
"...the type of art I'm known for is lowbrow popsurealism which has a really supportive network of artists..."






PUNK GLOBE:
You had a well known neighbor and art fan,can you tell us about how you met and his endorsement?

Liz McGrath:
Oh you mean Ryan Gosling?? He used To live across the street from me,in downtown Los Angeles about a decade ago.I don't watch TV and I have only seen 6 movies in a movie theater! I've never seen Star Wars- So I didn't know he was famous - just,that there was this extremely good looking guy who hung out at the tiny local coffee shop and we would often sit next to each other at the bar chatting he was very charming,as you can imagine! Anyways,we became friends and my husband played bass in his band,for about a minute.He went to one of my art shows and my friend Cecil B Feeder from the Barfeeders was making a documentary about,me and my work and Ryan juts happened to be at the gallery so he jumped in and gave me,his endorsement which was very nice of him!





PUNK GLOBE:
What is less known,about you is your work behind he scenes in music video and lingerie design,tell us about this area in your life-

Liz McGrath:
Mike,when I first met you I was working at Trashy Lingerie,but I was just the In-house artist and would do the windows and whatever he needed.The lingerie is Winter Rosebuds department she's the expert!!!! I used to work with Fred Stuhr on animated music videos and I did scenic work,but I haven't done it in a very long time - I heard that world has changed a lot too-





PUNK GLOBE:
Your work has been featured in print can you tell us about your published pieces -

Liz McGrath:
I have two books published by Last Gasp,one is called "Everything That Creeps" and the other is "Incurable Disorder".





PUNK GLOBE:
Now for Liz McGrath the mom,how is motherhood and balance being an artist?

Liz McGrath:
It's been really hard for me to find a balance,but I'm finally starting to get the hang of it- I didn't really plan to be a mom so it all came too me as A pleasant surprise,but we didn't plan for any of it as I had a lot of complications with the pregnancy so we didn't really think about things after baby- in my head I had a certain perception of what a mom should be and what I thought an artist should be and I thought I could keep both worlds separate and have time to do both to the extreme like be the perfect stay at home mom making all my kids clothes and cooking all her meals and still keep up with the art work load I was used to,but that meant I was never going to sleep!I've had to learn that life is what life is,and the less perfect it is sometimes,and sometimes I can't make an art deadline and sometimes there will be frozen pizza for dinner,maybe even the whole week and that's just how it is but as long as I'm happy and Sadie is happy that's all that matters.





PUNK GLOBE:
It's 2016 what can we expect from you today? What's next?

Liz McGrath:
I juts got a new manager Kate Gammell who's helping me get my merch together we're doing a ring with Dark Sails and a toy line with TAG I have a show for next year but dates aren't set- Miss Derringer is going to release an EP were starting on a new music video now and Tongue is going go out March 11 to do some shows in Phoenix,Tucson and Nogales Mexico and Sadie,my daughter will be starting kindergarten next year!!! Thanks for hooking this up Mike!!!!!










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