DEATH THE NARCOLEPTIC YOUTH WAY....
Nihilism On The Prowl has always been a bit ghoulish in it's punk tastes. So when Californian
punk rock outfit, the highly infectious Narcoleptic Youth unleashed their latest (unlucky for
some)13 tracker... 'How To Fake Your Death', it became terminal! Inspired or just very nosey,
the album left us with more questions than answers! So by the marvel of electronic mail and
straight from outta suburban Corona, CA we caught up with the Youth's living, breathing
microphone. Who takes us on a perilous journey through the making of this cursed but highly
recommended suicidal release....
Peter Don't Care fired the blanks, Joey Bondage supplied the motives.
PLEASE NOTE that the interview was with Joey Bondage only, and the views expressed in this interview in no way represent the
rest of the band, Pepsi Cola Bottling Company, or Krylon Paint Products.
Her mother mentioned something jokingly about her "kissing a truck" which REALLY freaked me out, because I've
never heard anyone use that expression before and on our album there is a line that says, "You take one more step
and you could kiss a bus". It was a very eerie moment for me. Also, our graphic designer spent months and months
putting all the pieces of the cover together for the final layout and then his computer crashed and he lost it
all............coincidence? I think not. If your CD players catch fire after playing the album......don't say we didn't warn
The albums focused on death and suicide is it like a lotta your songs based on personal experiences?
"Yes, definitely. It really became one of those "concept albums" but that was total accident. We didn't set out to do
that. Most of the songs were written by Binky (guitarist) and me.
Tell us about the dreaded 'curse' in the making of
this latest album?
"You may think it's a joke or publicity stunt, but it's
not! 2 weeks after we put the finishing touches on
the album, the recording studio went up in blazes.
Two weeks after we did the cover photo shoot, the
girl on the cover was hit by a truck and nearly
died. Thank God, she's alive and well now. But she
was SEVERELY injured. Huge bruise on her head,
like the size of a baseball, broken pelvis, broken
arm, broken leg, broken ankles, tons of other
injuries. I can't remember them all, but I just know
she was a MESS. When I went to visit her in the
hospital, her family (who had already seen what
the cover photo looked like) said when they found
her in the street, the way she was laying looked
EXACTLY like the cover of the album, only her
head was facing the opposite direction.
He was going through some
bad personal/family stuff and I
was dealing with some major
stress anxiety... nervous
breakdown stuff that not many
people know about until now
(see lyrics to RAW NERVE---If
only they could see me now).
Anyway, when you're writing
songs during stuff like that, I
suppose it's only natural for it
to come out "dark". At the
same time though, both he
and I pulled out of that
depression, so toward the
end of the album process
when we were doing the cover
and all that we wanted to kind
of put a bit of "tongue in
cheekiness" to it....hence the
name, "HOW TO FAKE YOUR
DEATH" and all the surrealism
on the foldout version of the
album cover. I mean...come
on...you can't take it TOO
seriously...our roadie is
EATING the girl on the cover's
BRAINS in the back of the fold
out poster cover! The album
does not have a "pro-suicide"
message. We love our fans
and want to keep them
around!!!! Obviously WE
haven't killed ourselves! Why
kill yourself when you can
FAKE your death instead?!
Much more fun!"
The albums dedicated to Dave Firebrand (RIP) was he a close friend of the band?
"Yes. He was. A good fan of many many years. It was a tragedy. He never got his final wish....the ONLY thing he
ever asked for and he never got it.... I don't want to talk too much about it. I feel somewhat responsible for what
happened. We love you Dave......wherever you are."
Who's ideas was it for the artwork for the cover shots?
"Mine. Everybody kept asking..."What the hell are you doing?" I was out in Binky's apartment complex on the patio
area, walking around with twine, marking off squares...for each foldout panel of the cover. They thought I had finally
gone off the deep end and COMPLETELY lost my mind. Then when they saw how it all worked out...they were like,
"OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH. NOW I get it." haha. Funny stuff. We had fun shooting the cover. A few things were
added in later, like our (2nd in command) drummer Mikey Void, drowning Johnny Cat Scabies in the pool. This stuff
is all on the FOLDOUT POSTER version of the cover. The limited edition 300 copy covers just have the girl
(Michelle) on the sidewalk."
Have you an endless supply of punkettes
ready to blow their brains out at the drop of a
"Well, we put out the offer on our website.
We had a bunch of girls send in their pics.
We feel bad, but we could only pick two. One
for the front cover and then there was
another nice young lady (Ashley) who was
featured on the back. We had a lot of fun
shooting the cover / back photo shots that
day. The girls were great sports. Ashley
brought down her brother and he is actually
the person HOLDING THE ROPE that she is
swinging from! Perfect...brotherly
What's 2920 all about?
"Binky wrote the music and told me what he
wanted it to be about...so I hope I "translated
his feelings well". I take it as he wanted to
express the feelings of betrayal. 8 years of
putting your heart and soul into something
only to find out that you were being mislead. There is a deep mathematical formula involved as well. I've been
informed by Buster Hymen of The Atomic Bombs that my calculations were in fact INcorrect and the song SHOULD
be titled 2922. But I'm afraid the damage has been done and it's already on wax.............DAMN those blasted leap
Who's Dr Lori?
"She was a shack up honey. Just an unpaid whore.
There are some great pornographic pictures of her
floating around on the net too. Spread eagle like a true
tramp. She wouldn't allow you to eat dinner at her table
though, because you've got blue hair...and therefore you
must be evil. You could say, that she's America's version
of Mary Whitehouse (see Adicts tune). The song is more
about her FANS though, who don't know how to think for
themselves, than it is about her."
You gotta tell me who Suzy is? And where's the Malibu?
"Suzy Kinn. She's just a head. That song is about getting a head. Getting ahead in life. My buddy Andre and I
had a bet going. I told him that I could write a song about ANYTHING... so he said, FINE..prove it...write a song
about THIS! And he threw this plastic head at me. Like the top of a mannequin head, only it's a "SuzyKinn" not a
mannequin. One of these things that the girls practice on in the beauty school, cutting the hair in all different styles
until they get down to things like mohawks and flat tops. You know, the "bull dyke" cuts! She was all scuffed up
and had burn marks all over her. I asked him what he did to her and he said she was in the back of his Malibu for a
year or two...just rolling........BACK AND FORTH and BACK AND FORTH. Then she was up in the top shelf of my
closet for a while..she just sat there for about a year and then BAM!........wrote the song in like 20 minutes a year
later. It just all came out of my brain and hit me at once a year later! It's one of my favorite songs off the album
too. We had lots of fun recording that one....Me, Pep, and Johnny Cat.....there was lots of love in the room. Good
memories. Happy Happy times."
'Practicing For Suicide' is another big epic from the Bondage/Binky school of punk rock tell us
how did that one materialize?
"Originally the music was COMPLETELY different. Binky came up with most of the words on that
one, and it went to a completely different tune....much faster, happy sounding and upbeat. I
personally liked it and thought it was great, but when we came to Johnny Cat he didn't care for
it much at all.........so it sat around for a while and we just kind of scrapped the song...... Then I
came up with the MUSIC that is on the album while driving on the freeway. I wanted it to sound
something like the music at the Haunted Mansion ride at Disneyland. "Grim Grinning Ghosts
Come Out To Socialize". I LOVE that song. Much slower, kind of a slow swing beat to it. I sat at
the drumkit in the Batcave practice house and hummed the music in my head out to
Binky...showing him how it went to the the rhythm of the drums.
Similar to The Adicts' "Hurt/Bad Boy". That was my "influence" on the rhythm along with the Haunted Mansion
theme song. I took HIS WORDS and sort of BENT them to fit the new music that I came up with...hummed it out to
him...and then together we showed the rest of the band how it went. Later we had JaySin put a little Keyboard bit
in a blank section that was kind of flat...kind of a Pipe Organ sound to pick the song up a bit. I believe Binky said
the lyrics are about a guy who keeps saying he's going to kill himself, but never really gets around to it. Like, why
would you take vitamins if you're going to kill yourself next week? He's just doing all these "little steps" practicing
for the big day and making up excuses along the way. The lyrics about life's short, but not short enough and
kissing a bus are parts that I added on. The fast section at the end words/music was mine too (and I'm a
wreck.....that part). Then we found out that it blended in PERFECTLY to the instrumental that Binky wrote called
"Lather Rinse Repeat".......so we continued the bassline (single note) straight into that. It took us FOREVER to
nail the instrumental section...strange timing count thing....there was a MAJOR celebration when they finally hit if
perfectly from start to finish. Lots of jumping up and down, high fives, champaign, confetti, fireworks,
strippers.......oh no wait...that was New Years. No really....big celebration though."
And who's the infamous Jesse and his sister?...and more importantly does she know he's watching her videos?
"I don't know, but I asked him if he liked the new album and his reply was that he liked it about as much as he
liked licking a rat's nuts. SO I guess that means it was a big hit with him if he liked it that much! Jesse was a
roadie for our friend's band "The Atomic Bombs". We used to tease each other all the time..."Taking the Piss" as
you guys say right?... He'd heckle us from the crowd and we'd hurl abuse back at him...fun days. Yeah, and he
really did watch his sister's porn flics. They (The Atomic Bombs and crew) SWEAR she used to strip to our
cheeeezy song, "Michael Joined The Navy" down at the local strip club. Oh well...I guess our music is good for
Well if those little snippets of evidence don't send your curiosity into overdrive, I dunno
what will? The review (on the right of this piece) is to remind you what your missing so
check out the album, the band and a feast of other punk rock goodies at
www.narcolepticyouth.com I assure you, you won't be sent to sleep.....
'How To Fake Your Death'
(LMR13813) CD Summer 2003
At long last the latest set of put
downs from these Corona, CA
punks. A band who supply us
with a sniff of the Dead
Kennedy's, alongside the
demented yuma of the Dickies
in this their full on, energetic
2003 sound. Narcoleptic Youth
have awoken from their 5 year
sleep to bring us a well primed,
wide awake new album. Lead
singer Joey Bondage has slid
into Biafra's vacant vocal slot
with ease as they project 13
(unlucky for some) sonnets on
killing yerself. Lawsuits look set
to follow this album around like
ambulance crews after a suicide
bomb in Tel Aviv. 'Raw Nerve'
gets us off to a ripping start on
this anger management track
before squeezing the brakes so
Mr Bondage can inform us in
his most snidey way..."She
says I scare her when I act
this way!" The geezer who
supplies the inflammatory riffs is
Binky and he knows how to
create a song you'll remember.
But this is a band effort, which
songs like 'Visions Of Gun'
proves, as it slyly borrows the
riff from the Dickies 'Give It
Back'. They slow it down a gear
before turning it into a "crooked
necktie" of a killer track that'll
leave you squirming in the
middle of the road at closing
time. A lot of older punk vets
reckon the new breed of punks
today ain't got it! And I've been
known to say it myself on more
than one occasion, but with
younger loose cannons like
Narcoleptic Youth making a
mess in the scene, that
statement gets thrown off the
nearest tower block!. Along with
bags of energy NY have got an
unhealthy supply of tunes to
boost their use of props on
stage!!! Props I hear you
say?...bring's to mind an
element of show biz! Show biz
being a cardinal sin in some
devout hardcore punk circles,
hmmmm they could be suspect?
But ain't that what made punk
fun and entertaining in the first
place? So have no fear, dear
reader coz NY adopt a slightly
sinister vaudeville approach to
their punk, leaving us with a
deep-seated twisted kinda vibe.
And for me that just adds to
their appeal. They certainly
don't bore ya to death with
repetative drones! 'Class Of 99'
gets a reprise from their 2000
split 45 with another good outfit
the Voids. This still sounds
good, but comes with a bigger
beefier feel and is way more
streamline, as they sneer at the
"blind leading the blind". You
have to give Vet lead guitarist
Binky another mention here,
coz I can tell on this album he's
given the band a sound all of
their own (despite some clever
lifting here 'n' there). As 'Snot
Nosed Brat' squirms into the
playpen, a song aimed at the
peers of the bands growing
teenage punk audience. It could
also be aimed at certain local
club owners who have 'banned'
em for attracting over
enthusiastic audiences! Now
c'mon, If a band brings in a
crowd they're doin' something
good! Another snot nosed dose
of punk is paraded on the bass
driven 'Personnel Experience',
that mirrors school shootings in
subject matter. A song their
younger audience can
appreciate, but lets hope it ain't
literally. 'Don't Belong' is the
only filler track on this album, so
much so even the band hate it
and won't play it live ha! But
although it lacks the presence
of the other tracks some bands
in the scene would be more
than happy to have written it.
However put alongside the
superior 'Headcase' which is
the killer track on this CD,
there's a vast chasm.
'Headcase' features all the best
elements of Narcoleptic
Youth. It's got snotty vocals,
susssssed lyrics and some
splendid arrangements..as we
sit with Suzy in the back of the
Malibu as she's rolling "back 'n'
forth and back 'n' forth"
guided by a riff that'll get ya sea
sick if you ain't careful.
Don'tcha just "love" songs
about mad birds? Followed
closely by the atmospheric
'Practicing For Suicide' showing
the band can handle dynamics
a lot better than depression.
This stylish mid-paced anthem
for the dejected is another
reason to hear this set. They
finally flip out and merge into
the instrumental last track
'Leather Rinse Repeat', a track
which has definite touches of
the Subhumans (UK) when
they go off on one of their epic
guitar tangents...but wait there's
one hidden 17 min. bonus track
that sounds like they left the
tape running in the studio as
the band go into a major fuck
around mode that has echoes
of the Pistols/death
metal/christian rock and rap. I
won't spoil it for ya with the
gritty details just get hold of a
copy for yerself, only 300 in
existence. But don't panic I hear
more are coming soon. Come's
complete with a side splitting
cover and lyric sheet too.