Demott Cambell was the editor The Devils Spacecake fanzine. Here is an interview with the Cramps he did in August 1997, and put it out in issue number 5 of his fanzine…
I finally tracked Lux and Ivy to The American Hotel in Central Amsterdam. Armed with some questions, a tape recorder and a bit of nerves I entered their world.
Me. Creation, what actually happened?
Lux. Not much.
Ivy. They just ignored us.
Lux. They didn’t want us.
Ivy. I don’t think even think they notice we’ve gone.
Me. I wrote to them and found it difficult to find out anything.
Lux. They didn’t return our phone calls. Right from the beginning. They maybe thought we were worthless.
Ivy. We were signed by Alan McGee. He was a really big fan. That seemed good enough to us. Then we heard he overdosed. And we couldn’t talk to him. And he was maybe a vegetable. And then at some point when we heard we couldn’t talk to him, we heard from friends in L.A. That they saw him at some hotel on business. Yet they were telling us we couldn’t talk to him, because he was a vegetable. We never heard from him again. We called, they wouldn’t return our calls. It was crazy they set up interviews, they left us alone. We took a cab from the airport, went to the hotel. No one from the label was there to meet us. No one came to the gig at Brixton Academy. It was just like everything was Oasis. I guess when Alan McGee was gone nobody else on the label wanted us. But they wouldn’t let us free either. Because we tried to buy our way out before the album came out. We said we’d give back our advance. We’re on a different label in America. And Creation said they couldn’t put out the record at the same time. They kept putting us off for about a year. We just said we gotta make this album. The label in America wants it.
Lux. They kept saying we’re to busy with these other bands at the minute.
Ivy. I think Alan was the only fan. And I don’t know why he couldn’t have phoned us. And at least said sorry, or explained. I think he’s not supposed to associate with bad influences (laughs). It was the worst situation. Because even on I.R.S. , we had these problems with payment. But a lot of people work at the label, and they’re good people. They worked hard and did things for us. Being ignored was bizarre.
Me. So how did you end up on Epitaph records?
Ivy. We became free. We didn’t have to do another album for Creation. The label we were on in America went out of business. They were a label that went to a major label. We didn’t like what went on there. They said “We will get you on radio”. But we don’t even listen to radio. We don’t make records for radio. There’s no station that we even listen to. Basically our life didn’t make any sense to us. And Epitaph we met them. Because they put out the vinyl, the 12″, and it just seemed right. They’re a very successful label. It’s more of a punk label. There philosophy is the same as punk. Their music’s different. The reason they’re successful is they’re really tuned in to the audience, with fanzines etc. Finding a way of communicating with the fans.
Me. Certainly I think they really seem to be pushing you very hard.
Ivy. I also like being in Amsterdam.
Ther follows a short break with drinking cups of tea. Sort of destroys the rock n roll image.
Me. Had you any plans for doing something for the anniversary of Elvis? Saying you did “Jailhouse Rock” for the N.M.E. compilation.
Ivy. I’m sorry we didn’t make plans to go to Memphis.
lux. We watched it on T.V. All week long it was Elvis, Elvis,Elvis. The footage I’d seen was cool.
Me. I know there’s a lot of people out there who’d really like to see all your promo videos. I must admit I’ve bought them on bootleg videos. And I’ve never seen a complete video of “Creature From The Black Leather Lagoon”. Do you ever think of putting out a video?
Ivy. We’ll probably get round to doing that. We have enough and now we own the rights.
Lux. Have you seen “Human fly”?
Lux. We haven’t seen it from the late 70’s. At one time it was shown as an art house movie at colleges. But we can’t find any copies. There were quite a few copies made.
Me. I remember reading you hadn’t seen it.
Ivy. Cause there’s enough videos now. He interviewed himself with a video camera in a mirror backstage.
Me. I always call you urban guerillas . Like for 2 years you never hear or see anything in the press. Then all of a sudden you have an album out. Do you like keeping a low profile?
Ivy. It’s not the way we plan it. Like a record company going out of business. It just takes time. Then we have to fit in on their schedule. Even on Enigma, and on E.M.I. Here with multiple record deals, they went out of business. We were happy on that label. Out on our butt again. On Epitaph it’s multiple albums. It’s distracting to have to think of the business side. So now we don’t have to think about it. I mean “Stay Sick” was recorded 2 years before it came out. Only 2 years after “A Date With Elvis” came out. We thought it would come out in 1988. It’s not a plan. We like to make records.
Lux. If Epitaph don’t go out of business.
Me. How come you never seem to do the festival circuit? I just saw The Palladins at The Lowlands Festival, and they were excellent. I mean you played Reading in 1990.
Ivy. We have done a lot, Germany, Scandinavia, France. We’ve never done Lowlands. We liked The Leeds Festival. That was good we flew a 13 hour flight. We didn’t even spend the night. We drove from the airport to the show. We did a 0.5 hour set on stage. And he threw up on stage. And they payed a lot of money.
Lux. Coming half way round the planet to throw up.
Ivy. Here was our big act. Throws up. Then go back to L.A.
Me. I heard through the grapevine last Halloween you were touring with White Zombie.
Ivy. We did some shows with White Zombie. Now they’re enormous. Big stadium band. People come and they don’t know who we are. Almost all male audiences.
Me. Because Rob Zombie is a big fan.
Ivy. Yeah, because he’s really cool. He’s into the stuff. He’s an artist. Very elaborate stage sets.
Me. Yeah, he’s into film direction.
Ivy. Yeah he’s directing the next “Crow”.
Me. I heard from somebody else, that you made an appearance on an episode of “Beverly Hills 90210”.
Ivy. It was fun. It was synched. It was at a party.
Lux. It was supposed to be at a Halloween Ball. Wearing wild costumes.
Me. What songs did you play?
Lux. “Ultra Twist”.
Ivy. “Strange Love”. For us it’s strange doing a cover song. Cause that’s a Slim Harpo song. A lot of people know who we are. Jason Priestly he knew our songs.
Me. So are you going to lift a single off the album?
Ivy. “Like A Bad Girl Should”.
Me. When’s that going to be released?
Ivy. I don’t know. It has a song called “Walked All Night” on the B side.
Me. So when do you think you will be touring?
Ivy. I wish I knew. Because we’re going to be touring America, in October November. About 7 weeks with Guitar Wolf.
Lux. 3 Japanese guys. It sounds like the 1st Stooges album. Every song is different.
Ivy. Like rockabilly, Sonics, New York Dolls.
Lux. Great on stage.
Ivy. I don’t know who’ll be on tour with us in Europe.
Me. Will you be playing Ireland?
Ivy. I don’t know, it was so cold. It kind of affects the performance. It was freezing.
Me. Try and make it to Belfast.
Ivy. We really want to make it to Belfast some time.
And that was the end of the interview. Never mind. I exited The American Hotel back to the sunny streets of Amsterdam…