In terms of just pure cool, Christina Martinez and Jon Spencer’s BOSS HOG are sort of top of the mountain. I remember being a teenager in the 90s (a line a lot of BYT stories seems to start with these days-ed) and being just drawn to their unmistakable, infectious fuck-off energy and then seeing the “Whiteout” video for the first time and thinking that Christina is pretty much the hottest thing in rock’n’roll:
And then, they disappeared. Now, 17 years later, the gang is back with a new record – BROOD X (out now) and tour (D.C. show is April 7th @ RNR Hotel, Chicago has to wait till June) and we personally could not be more excited to let all that brooding, creepy sexiness. Stereogum described their lead single as: “sounds a bit like Eleanor Friedberger lurching her way through a smoky roadhouse bar that’s eventually invaded by cicadas” and frankly, we couldn’t say it better if we tried.
We caught up with Christina to get your body ready for what is to come:
BYT: For those deciding whether or not to listen to BROOD X – how would you describe the record in a paragraph/sentence/or less? Who would like it?
Christina Martinez: If you listen to this amazing album your hair will grow stronger and longer, your sex life will improve and you may win the lottery! Listen today for a better life!
Alright maybe not all of those things will happen at once. But if you like to dance with your eyes closed and fuck with your eyes open, this is the record for you. You’re welcome.
BYT: 17 years is a long time, what have you all been up to since?
CM: Drinking, letching, lying. The usual.
BYT: Why a new record now? What prompted it?
CM: We ran out of room to store the songs so had to let some out.
BYT: How is this record similar and different from your previous work?
CM: Compare and contrast is a hard assignment. One I was hoping to leave behind in school. Have you heard the Boss Hog song Ski Bunny where I say “Fuck School?” I still feel the same, but don’t tell my son, the freshman in college. That’s it in a nutshell. We’re still the same mischevious provocateurs, but perhaps more refined.
BYT: Was it hard or natural to try and recreate some of the energy from decades a go? What was it like getting the band to play together again – what did those first rehearsals feel like?
CM: We’ve been rehearsing sporadically since 2008 because we enjoy making noise and each others company, so it’s natural and easy. Touring is a little different. We played 10 shows in a row recently and I thought it would have been nice to have a break after 7. You need a day of famine to enjoy the feast properly.
BYT: NY itself has changed a lot since your last record – do you miss anything about it? What are some of your favorite places and people in it right now?
CM: I miss the fishmonger and chemist in my neighborhood. Their telephones still had the old exchange names GR5-XXXX for Gramercy. I miss filthy 42nd street. I like the bike lanes and Pat Kiernan on NY1.
BYT: You are about to go on tour – are you excited or….?
CM: Wicked excited. Long drives and crappy food. What’s not to love?!
BYT: The new record is getting all sorts of positive buzz/energy around it – do you find it is mostly the old school Boss Hog fans that are excited for it or do you feel you are introducing yourselves to people for the first time?
CM: It’ a good record. I’m very proud of it. I see a lot of curious younger people at the shows. I hope they walk away having experienced something different.
BYT: Your son is a musician too – what is the advice you gave him when he told you that is what he wanted to do?
CM: Stay in school! (see previous)
BYT: The recent NY times article starts with a cooking vs baking discussion – would you guys share with us your go-to recipes for each? Something easy yet genius at the same time?
CM: I’m not sure the full meaning of that answer came through properly. What I wanted to say is that I am a more instinctual person, while Jon deals more in precision. I will read 5 recipes for a dish and then come up with my own version depending on the tastes/ingredients I prefer. Jon likes to follow recipes exactly. That is how we approach a lot of things. That’s not to say that we’re not capable of doing the other thing, it’s just what comes more naturally to us. Here’s a good basic Bulgogi recipe
BYT: Anything else you’d like to share/shout-out?
CM: Come to the show! We’re having a dance party!