Music: Spinal Tap

Jun 1, 2009 12:00 PM, By Mr. Bonzai



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And now we have all this digital manipulation. I just wondered if you guys resorted to any of that Auto-Tuning trickery.

St. Hubbins: Technological jiggery-pokery, is that what you're saying? Oh, yes, we love it. Especially CJ Vanston. We just look over, and there is CJ fiddling with something. We say, “Put that away and get started on the music,” and then he starts doing all this digital stuff. He's explaining it to us, but we don't understand half of it. But we know that when he tweaks it, it stays tweaked.

Ed Cherney had something to do with recording this album. I believe he recorded the tracks. Ed's really known for his work with many, many artists, especially Bonnie Raitt. Do you think that there's a Bonnie Raitt intimacy with this new album?

Smalls: There's a cut-rate intimacy with this album.

St. Hubbins: I wish Bonnie had shown up. She's always pleasant to have around. You know, she was off waltzing with Castro. She's very politically involved.

Smalls: Which Castro would that be?

St. Hubbins: Fidel.

Smalls: He's dead.

St. Hubbins: No, he's not.

Vanston: Lenny Castro, the percussionist.

St. Hubbins: I think that Ed does bring that chummy quality. Very true.

Smalls: There was chum in the studio every day.

St. Hubbins: That's right, throwing out the chum for us sharks.

I am interested in what you guys think about the rampant digital bootlegging and ripping off of all the material you worked on for so many years. How do you deal with that?

St. Hubbins: Listen, we've been ripped off as much as anyone. Some of the basic licks, some of the stuff that Nigel comes up with — wait for five minutes and somebody has ripped it off.

Smalls: We've been ripped off by almost everyone.

St. Hubbins: By the best.

Smalls: By the best, by the f***ing best, by every major…

St. Hubbins: That's how they got to be the best.

Smalls: That's how they got their lifestyle, how they got their fancy cars, their great homes in the Hollywood Hills. So now it's the punter's turn. Now everybody can act like a record executive.

We're really looking forward to hearing the new Spinal Tap material.

Smalls: We're very proud of “Warmer Than Hell,” which has never been recorded, and “Short and Sweet,” and our legendary long jam is coming out on this record: “Jazz Oddyssey.”

St. Hubbins: A couple of the re-dos, as well: “Funky Sex Farm,” “Reggae Flower People.”

A Few Words From CJ Vanston

When did you first work with Spinal Tap?

Vanston: I played a concert with them in 1991 at the Disneyland Hotel. Dweezil Zappa and Steve Lukather sat in, and it was an amazing night. Drum legend Russ Kunkel was responsible for that, and I'll never forgive him.

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