Lis Booth Speaks With
You have been together as a band for a long time now, tell the readers a little about your history and past records.
The Sheets: We started as The Sheets in 1981 and lasted until about 1986. During those five years we played shows in and around the San Francisco Bay Area, and in Los Angeles. It was an exciting time to be playing in San Francisco, especially at The Mabuhay Gardens (The Mab), the Keystone Berkeley, Berkeley Square, The Stone and other Bay Area clubs. There was just a really new scene going on that fused New York’s CBGB’s scene with The Mab in San Francisco. We got to play in the same air as The Dead Kennedys, Flipper, Romeo Void, The Sex Pistols, Blondie, The Ramones and other new bands that hung out in the area. Anyway, we had a few cassettes released that got airplay on a few local radio stations, and the one that supported us the most was KUSF, which was recently restructured... hopefully not in a bad way. In late 1983 we released “Undercover”, which coincidentally was the name of The Rolling Stones album that came out shortly after ours. Long story short, their art director lifted our cover art and name, which resulted in our suing them and winning an out of court settlement. Unfortunately, we had to relinquish our album as part of the agreement. Shortly after that we did a video for a song called “I’m Alright”, which never went anywhere and pretty much did us in. We broke up a year or two later when music was starting to change away from what we were doing. We lost track of each other for a long time, finding each other again in 2007 after being contacted by Kathy Peck (from The Contractions) and Tambre Bryant. They were putting together a benefit show for Ness Aquino (owner of The Mab) at the site of the former Mab, and wanted some of the bands that had played, and got their start there. We got together about six months before the show, and rehearsed about four times. The show convinced us that we still loved making music together, and we decided to take it further.
Punk Globe: Who are the band members and what do they play?
The Sheets: Chris Domino (vocals), Pat Duffey (guitar, backing vocals), Billie Duffey (bass, backing vocals), Jimmy Perito (guitar, backing vocals), and Greg Batlin (drums).
Punk Globe: How long has it been since you last released a recording?
The Sheets: About 24 years!
Punk Globe: Tell us about the new album.
The Sheets: It’s basically a collection of songs that we used to play in the clubs, but had never been properly recorded. A few of the songs (“Midnight Creep”, “Ma-Magazine”) were songs that were written by Jimmy Perito during the late 1990’s. So to the rest of us those were new songs, and probably sound a little different than we did back in the 80’s.
Punk Globe: Does The new Album have a theme?
The Sheets: Not that we can tell!
Punk Globe: When you write new songs, do you use a good old notepad and pen? Or have you reverted to technology to write lyrics?
The Sheets: No, we’re still pretty old fashioned when it comes to writing. We still basically use pen and paper.
Punk Globe: Do you feel free to put anything in a song?
The Sheets: Yeh, we do. But it’s not like we’re very political or anything like that. Although, we do a song called “West End Bomb Sensation”, that was actually written by Jimmy in the 80’s that would probably be controversial now. It’s about a little, bullied man that finally has taken enough shit that he decides to blow up some skyscrapers to get noticed. Mind you, no 9/11 stuff was going on in those days. So when we play it these days, we just explain that it has nothing to do with 9/11. People get really sensitive about that.
Punk Globe: Do you write with instruments, or in your head?
The Sheets: Both. It all depends when, and where, those first couple of notes hits you.
Punk Globe: Who writes most/all of the music?
The Sheets: Jimmy and Chris, mainly.
Punk Globe: Any funny stories to share while recording and writing the new record?
The Sheets: When we first started recording, we were contacted on The Sheets Facebook page by this guy named Tom Lippi. He was only 20 years old of so when we used to play in San Francisco, but had heard of the band from a song that we had on KUSF. Anyway, KUSF was doing a live radio show one night at The Mab that we played. Apparently Tom had recorded this from his radio and saved it all this time. Long story short, he was more that nice enough to send the mp3’s of our show that night. That thing was 30 years old! We streamed it for awhile on the Facebook page, and if anyone would like to hear it again we’ll be happy to put it back up.
Punk Globe: Any old stories of fun times to share?
The Sheets: That would probably fill a book…can’t think of any particular one at the moment.
Punk Globe: When do think the new record will be released?
The Sheets: Should be out by May 2011. But you can listen to most of it on the Facebook page right now.
Punk Globe: When you play live, do you play any covers?
The Sheets: If we need to flesh out a show, we sometimes will throw in a Stones tune for the fun of it.
Punk Globe: Best show you ever played?
The Sheets: Had to be The Palms in San Francisco when our drummer had to kick a few guys out of the club for not paying. We were setting up to do a sound check, and we noticed the bartender asking 4 guys to leave because the place wasn’t open yet. Well, they refused. At this point, we kept setting up our equipment. But our drummer had hopped off the stage and went to see if he could help the bartender. Next thing we knew there was some noise going on below, and 3 guys were laying on the ground and another one was running out the door! Kevin (our drummer) was dusting off his hands and being thanked by the bartender! We knew Kevin was a martial-arts expert, but we had no idea to what extent…ha! The show that night just had a lot of energy to it. I think that was also the night we got our personal cheerleading team…Cassie, Carrie & Laura. Or as they were affectionately known to us…”The Sphincter Sisters”! That’s an inside joke, and has nothing to do with what you have in mind!
Punk Globe: Do you have a favorite venue you like to play?
The Sheets: Unfortunately, none of them exist anymore. We closed them all down. We closed The Mab twice!! Second time was in 2007. If you want your club to close soon, call us. We’re experts!!
Punk Globe: What bands are you currently listening too?
The Sheets: It seems pretty eclectic. Chris listens to everything from Pink (loves her voice) to The Strokes. Jimmy has been listening to Jeff Beck, & Staind. Billie and Pat…Beatles, Stones, Smithereens, Amalgamation (Billie’s side project), etc.
Punk Globe: Where can the readers find you?
Punk Globe: Do you have anything you would like to say to the readers?
The Sheets: We hope you like the songs. Also, don’t think that a bunch of old shits can’t rock. We can do it with the best of ‘em!
Thanks for your time guys. Good luck with the new record, I can’t wait to hear it!