Pissing in the Demon’s Mouth: An Interview with The Scarves



The Scarves: fragments of a lost weekend with Kelowna’s Country/Death Metal/Dub-Step/Anti-eco-art Feminists—Julia Prudhomme, Shannon Lester, Amy Modahl (in absentia), John McGregor (in absentia) and Clay McCann. Taped Feb.10-12, 2012 at the Scarves’ ranch/studio/opium den.

Shannon: I want to…I want to go over the plan…the winery plan ‘cause it’s—
Julia: Oh, my god—
Clay: What—?
Shannon: First we win the Wolfhaven…uh…it’s a, it’s a grant for aspiring molester bands—
Julia: That’d be good…
Clay: Do you, do—
Shannon: A boat picks us up, a pontoon boat, at Gyro—
Julia: Oh yeah!
Shannon: —And we record “Welcome to Wolfhaven” en route, with, uh, the McGregor boys having a swordfight in my mouth—
Julia: Ok.
Shannon: And when the…when we dock in Naramata there’s a, like, a stretch Hummer waiting…
Clay: Is this, where is this?
Shannon: In Naramata…at the park…the Hummer floor is covered in cocaine—
Julia: (laughing).
Shannon: —And we’re barefoot…and we drive up to the winery—
Julia: I remember this.
Shannon: —And candy-stripers take our bags…and we set up in the garden…and just as we’re about to start…we have, we have Amy planted in the audience, who—
Julia: Oh my god…
Shannon: And the minute she sees Clay she starts screaming, “Rapist! Rapist!” and slapping him on the face—
Clay: Amazing!
Shannon: —Then we start the tape and it’s, it’s “Karma Chameleon” but I tell the crowd it’s called “Cock-stomp Hoedown”…and Amy, Amy’s all aroused and unbuttons her blouse…getting into it…she, she falls down in sexual ecstacy and we start to pour really cheap wine—not the wine from the winery—all over her—
Julia: It would be such a—
Shannon: Then…when it hits the peak, we all stand and stare into the audience for a full thirty seconds and then I say, “And that’s how you make Sangria.”
Clay: Oh.
Julia: It’s interventionist theatre.
(interlude)
Shannon: My dad used to have a hot-tub store called “Tubs”—
Julia: No! (laughing)
Shannon: —And my mom would model in the…Jacuzzi—
Julia: Oh, god! (laughing)
Shannon:—There’s all these pictures of my mom—
(loud bouts of laughter)
Shannon—And my uncle used to drive… race cars
(more laughing)
Julia: Uh huh?
Shannon: So she would model on top of his race cars.
Julia: That’s fantastic…
Shannon: Mmm-hmm… ‘Didn’t have Tubs for long, though… it went under.
Clay: Is there a possibility that you could get a photo album together of just shots of your mom in various hot-tubs?
Julia: That would be so good!
Shannon: I wonder where they are…they might be in my mother’s basement… but I haven’t seen them for years ‘cause my mom’s house is just—
Julia: A mess.
Shannon: A lost… void…under—
Julia: I see.
Shannon: I wonder if she would have kept them.
Clay: It’s strange the art people unwittingly throw away.
Shannon: More than likely they’re in the crawl space under the house…it’s garbage bags and boxes of photos—
Clay: Yeah?
Shannon: —There’s so many…I sometimes go through them and I haven’t seen the Tubs one in quite a long time… ‘ cause we moved, like, twenty times—
Julia: Wouldn’t it be great to find them—?
Shannon: —While I was growing up.
Clay: Army child? You were in the army?
Shannon: No, no…just in the same town—
Clay: Oh, your parents were crack-heads?
Julia: Just the complete opposite—
Shannon: I don’t know what it was…like, well first we built our own house…it was this big…monstrous house…and then my dad’s business went under so we had to sell the house…and then he had to move away to B.C. to get work…so we were just moving a lot and renting—
Julia: Mmm-hmm.
Shannon: —My mother was working in bars and restaurants….single mother.
Clay: Plus, you’re a kid, your family, typically, are moving up socio-economically, starting to do better—
Shannon: My family did just the opposite—
Julia: Aw.
Shannon: —They were moving down.
Clay: Landed gentry, huh? Aristocracy?
Shannon: We had this huge, like, mansion…it had the laundry chute…where me and my brother, sister, would jump down it…then run upstairs and jump back down the laundry chute—
Clay: Whoa!
Shannon: —And it had, like, a big open living room and dining room with this enormous banister…and we would tie all the, all the scarfs together and swing back and forth—
Julia: Oh my goodness!
Shannon: —When my parents were away… the goal was to see if we could swing all the way from the living room into the dining room…oh! We also had big ceiling fans…the ceiling was, like, twenty feet high…and we had a lot of fun throwing the scarfs at the fans and watching them—
Julia: Fly away?
Shannon: —Fly away…or get stuck up there…if you got it stuck up there, you got a point—
Clay: Right. And then how did you get them down?
Shannon: No! My parents came home one day and there’s just all these scarf’s and they (doing a parent voice), ‘What? What did you do?’ they didn’t care too much.
Julia: We used to make this huge sling shot…that you put water balloons in and then launch them through the house…
Shannon: Way too much fun.
Julia: Yeah, way too much.
Shannon: Me and my brother would always try and find different ways to torture each other—
Julia: (laughing)
Shannon: —Like one game we used to was, I would put my brother underneath all the cushions of the…
Clay: Couch?
Shannon: Couch and I used to sit on him—
Julia: Oh, no! My brother used to do that to me!
Shannon: —And he couldn’t breathe…so he’s, like, screaming… ‘cause I was a big kid…he’s like, ‘I’m dying!’…and one time I let my brother tie me to a chair outside—
Julia: Oh no!
Shannon: —And my mom made goulash for dinner…and she was gone out or something…and when she got back I was covered in goulash—
Julia: (laughter)
Clay: Oh, man, fantastic!
Julia: Oh, my!
Shannon: —‘Cause he had forced me to eat it, smeared it all over me.
Clay: Torture is learned in the family.
Julia: Oh yeah.
Shannon: We had this other game in the backyard where we would throw rocks at each other—
Julia: (laughing)
Shannon: —As hard as we could—
Julia: Like chicken?
Shannon: —And we had to dodge (unintelligible)…it was fun.
Julia: It’s good.
(transition)
Shannon: It’s really amusing that we’re just sitting here…drinking in the bathroom.
Clay: No…we’re recording our album in here!
(laughter)
Shannon: Red, gold and green! Red, gold and greeeeeen! (acoustic noises, singing)…It’s hard to believe that will be a hit on the U.K. pop charts…but the truth is, you don’t know the future—
Julia: I know.
Shannon: —The world of pop music…the world of pop music is just looking for it—
Julia: I know!
Shannon: —They’re waiting for it, they’re waiting for it.
Julia: You eating your olives?
(transition to deck)
Shannon: Boy…
(rooster crowing in background)
Clay: What are we hearing right now?
Julia: (laughing) Some sort of squealing from the neighbor’s (more laughter).
Shannon: It’s a rooster.
Julia: No, they don’t have any roosters, does she?
Shannon: That was a rooster.
Clay: Yeah.
Julia: Really?
Clay: Yeah hens don’t—
Shannon: It was the call of the rooster.
Julia: Ok.
Clay: The hens just go, ‘Rawk-ra-rahhh…’.
Julia: Ok…oh, nevermind…shows how much I know about my…animals.
Clay: (to Shannon) What time did you go to bed?
Shannon: Quite late…I, I don’t know what time it was.
Julia: I had no idea what time it was.
Clay: It was—
Julia: It was quite early, wasn’t it?
Shannon: I closed my eyes just as the…as the gates were coming up.
Julia: Yeah.
Clay: It was an interesting night of mixed media.
Julia: That was hilarious…it worked so well, though.
Shannon: I think when we’re performing our minds are too busy to focus on anything for long periods—
Julia: You’re probably right.
Clay: I was instantly let down when the other band came on—
Julia: (laughing)
Clay: Those linear complaints…I’ve got my own life to worry about—
(general laughter)
Shannon: I came back from a cigarette and was like, ‘Fuck this band’—
Julia: Oh, yeah…it was amusing, though—
Clay: Let’s go take a look at the Hot-tub…(transition) So, what’s happening here? What are we looking at?
Julia: There’s a lot of human scum…and ice build-up—
Shannon: Ew.
Julia: And some dead flies…swimming around.
Shannon: Uh…that’s epidermal matter…spilled beer.
Julia: Look at that crust over there…aaahhh!
Clay: I don’t want to get in…it.
Shannon: We drained it one time after a party…there were like ten people in here…and we found two wine glasses and a beer bottle on the bottom—
Julia: Yeah…
Shannon: And nobody had stepped on them…it could have been ghastly—you can’t see bottom at night…that’s…
Julia: I was impressed….it looks like a big man could fit right here…
Clay: What’s your favorite song right now?
Julia: Oooh! Um… “Cry to Me” by Solomon Burke.
Clay: Can you sing a bit of it?
Julia: No (laughing).
Clay: Why?
Julia: (laughing) Can you sing it…Shannon?
Shannon: (unintelligible).
Julia: ‘Kay…no.
Shannon: The goats are out!
Julia: Look at the little black one!
Clay: Who’s your favorite animal here?
Julia: My favorite…um…the donkey…Crispy!
Clay: Crispy!
Julia: The neighbor is pretty interesting…she, um…she’s a retired Greyhound driver…
Shannon: There’s gonna be a lot of dancing at the prom… can you imagine?
Julia: It’s so retro…
Shannon: We’re having a prom on Friday…are we starting to drink again?
(interlude)
Shannon: An extra-spicy, deluxe Canadian Caesar? There an little spicy surprise at the top so be careful…it’s actually a pleasantly mild, spicy Caesar…oh! Handicapped me…it’s not bad (drinking)…it’s mild…I recommend enjoying a Caesar on the deck with a cigarette….(music starts playing: “You Really Got A Hold On Me” by Smokey Robinson)…
(interlude)
Shannon: Thank god for Caesars!
Clay: I’m starting to feel ok…do you—?
Shannon: Thank Jaysus for the Caesar!
Julia: Oh no…
Shannon: Have you ever had a sloppy Caesar?
Julia: What does that entail?
Shannon: It’s your…fifth Caesar.
Julia: No…Have you?
Shannon: Yeah…
Julia: Really?…are you tired now?
Shannon: I’m drunk and stoned again…I’m gonna be such a mess this week…
Julia: Sure…
(interlude)
Julia: I can’t write a song right now.
Shannon: I had a dream about the frozen rose…that’s a good song title…”Frozen—
JClay: That’s good…mummified pussy.
Shannon: Can your pussy do the dog? A lot of girls will get offended…
Julia: We should put on The Cramps!
Shannon: We need to have rockabilly…can we listen to all (unintelligible)…can we listen to some rockabilly? Oh I wanna hear some Faster Pussycat…it’s so good…and that’s definitely 60s…
Julia: Oh…I’m drunk…
Shannon: That’s it…
(“Sugar, Sugar” by The Archies playing loudly)
Clay: Are we touring this summer?
Julia: Sure…
Shannon: We’re going to Mt. Baldy…we’re gonna…we’re gonna take Leonard Coen canoeing…we’re going to the Naropa Institute…we’re gonna tale Anne Waldman canoeing…we’re going…to Nola…we’ll take Sean Penn—
Julia: You’re ridiculous…
Shannon: Oh I like that song…
(“Dream Lover” by Bobby Darin playing)
(interlude-dog barking)
Clay: Can I have another Caesar?
Shannon: Yeah…I’d love to make you one…Julia?
Julia: Yes.
Shannon: (to Clay) I’ll take care of that…
Clay: My olive…
Shannon: Oh…your olive…ok…Would you like it as spicy as last time or more spicy?
Julia: As spicy, please.
Shannon: Clay?
Clay: As.
Shannon: As spicy…ok…
(brief interlude)
Shannon: Here you go….
(“Rockin’ Robin” by Bobby Day playing)
Shannon: I’m ready for another cigarette…
Julia: We’re out of Stoli?!..what did you do?…what—?
Shannon: That’s why you don’t ask Shannon to make the Caesars…
Clay: I feel like somebody socked me on the head…
Shannon: I you could be a black and white cartoon character…who would you be?…I’d be Olive Oil…
Julia: I’d be Betty Boop…
Shannon: I’m gonna do a painting of this…(to Clay) who would you be?
Clay: Who was that guy…? On Double Bubble…Pud! I’d be Pud…bald…red turtle-neck…
Shannon: Oh…I do make those Caesars strong…oh my god…I’m drunk at…2pm…I’m drunk at 2pm…
(“I Put A Spell On You” by Nina Simone playing)
Shannon: Sasha does a version of this…have you heard that one?
Julia: Yes, I have…
Shannon: Have you?…we could do this…and we could lay everybody…buy a bunch of lays…
Julia: Ok.
Shannon: I’m gonna get a new tattoo…
(end tape).

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