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Do you like punk rock? Do you like fast punk rock? Do you like beer? How about beer with your punk rock? Well, if you answered yes to any or all of those questions, then you will undoubtedly love Kermit’s Finger. These guys play punk that is fast, loud, and intensely energetic. Continuously putting shows together, playing out, and recording, Kermit’s Finger have long been the soldiers of the Boston Punk Scene. Amid the smoke and beer stench down in the cellar stage of Jacque’s, I spent a little time with Kermit’s Finger to see where they came from and what they are doing. Oh, did I mention the large amounts of beer we consumed?
Interview and photo (scanned from Askew 7 because I was stupid and gave away all the originals) by denis sheehan

Evil Eddie C.– Bass, vocals
Pete Pasted– Guitar, vocals
Ross Clot– Drums, vocals

PO Box 458, Boston, MA 02129
Web Site

Ok Ed, you’re the founding member of Kermit’s Finger, give us a history lesson please.
ED- Ah shit…Let’s see. Well, I graduated from college and lived for a year in Boston, going to punk shows and doing that young person in Boston thing ..
PETE- Doing the scenester thing huh..
ED- Ya, doing the scenster thing and being totally fucking broke for a year after graduation. My parents had a little place up in Maine, it was more of a camp thing, which wasn’t really winterized and they said that if I wanted to go up there and winterize it and take care of it, I could live there rent free. So I said cool figuring I would save some money and like an idiot I moved up there. One problem with Maine, you need a car to get anywhere and it ended up costing me as much to move there as it would to stay in Boston, but a lot less to do. I was working at a record store up there and owned a bass that I had no idea how to play and asked one of my coworkers if he wanted to start a band. One thing led to another and Kermit’s Finger was born. We were up in Maine for two years and there was only one punk bar up there but, we played it almost every weekend one summer. After getting bored with playing the same place, we got a gig at CBGB’s in New York. Jay, the lead singer, was too scared to leave the state because he had never been out of Maine in his life. This kid was 21 years old and he didn’t want to go to New York because he was afraid, so he quit the band and we played CB’s as a trio.
PETE- That was your singing debut right?
ED- That was my singing debut. That was the first time I ever sang. CBGB’s, no pressure or anything. It went pretty well though. There were a lot of Cock Rock bands that night and we were the only punk band, so all the people from out of town who went to see a punk band that night gave us all their attention. They were like, “You guys are great, I don’t know what everybody else is doing here.” After that, we decided to move to Boston where there was more of a scene. That was in 1995, and we started playing shows around town. We mostly played shows with our friends like The Medveds, Penis Fly Trap. Two years ago, the drummer moved to Rhode Island and the rhythm guitarist decided to move to Los Angeles to make porno movies.
PETE- Which he did!
ED- Ya, if you can find American Bukaki 3…we won’t get into that though. We still had shows lined up after they left and needed to replace them. I was at Greed Seed’s last show and Pete just happened to be there and I had seen him at past Kermit’s Finger shows so I asked him if he knew any guitarists. He said no and I asked if he played guitar. He answered, “Ya, I kinda do.” So I asked if he wanted to join. The next night I asked some friends if they knew a drummer and they pointed me to Ross. So we got together.
PETE- Ya, two weeks after we first practiced we had a show at The Middle East. (Laughing) It was pretty ridiculous.
ED- We had a pretty stable group for 2 years, but our other guitar player Dan, left in June. It’s been us three since then

Was it difficult making the transition from two guitars to one?
ED- We’re still making the transition really, but I don’t want to speak for these guys…

More pressure on you Pete?
PETE- Pressure….more and less I guess. I’m more relaxed to be honest.
ED- We’re more comfortable as a three piece
ROSS- The thing of it is, all three of us share the singing duties. Basically, whoever writes the song, sings the song. Dan did sing one or two songs, but know it just seems to be more equal with the singing, fronting, and writing.

Pete and Ross, where you guys in a band before Kermit’s Finger?
PETE- I was playing with some guys, but we never even named the band.
ROSS- I was in a band called The Baby Shakers. We broke up about a month before all this happened because of personal shit. We had a great band, but we couldn’t handle each other. That’s where I learned to play drums really.

On the cover of Mental Negative Images..ummm..what is that thing?
PETE & ROSS- (yelling) Mowerhead!
PETE- We were drunk one night in the basement..
ED- No! We were dunk?
PETE- Hell ya, that’s what it was. We had a camera and just started taking pictures of stupid shit. There was a mannequin head with a rasta wig….
ED- There was a lawnmower..wait. My wife’s ex-boyfriend went to beauty school…and it’s no wonder she’s married to me now..and one of the things she had left over from the break up was this mannequin with a crew cut and we were just doing stupid shit with that.
PETE- Ya, and the mower was just there and the head fit perfectly onto the engine.
ROSS- There’s also a cigarette and a bottle of New Castle beer on the mower for appearance.

What’s down the road for you guys?
ED- We have a split 7” coming out (it's out now) with Zippo Raid on Fan Attic Records which should be out any day now. We have five new songs on our side and Zippo Raid has three songs on their side. On our side we have Los Puercos -which Ross sings, YDK –Pete sings, Anti Social Freak-Pete and I, Do It Again- me, and I Wanna Go -Pete. Zippo Raid's three songs are Punk School, This Time, and Greg is a Pussy. There's a limited edition of 100 on cool green vinyl, that you'll be able to sell for an outrageous amount of money on ebay one day. The single is on Ron "The Shoe" Lacer's Fan Attic Records, so it should be pretty widely available; check the usual stores or any shows to grab one up. We’ve also got something in the works with a California label called..what’s it called?
PETE- Starvation Records, but we have no idea what’s going on there.
ED- They seem pretty definite that we’re going to be on their label, but were not as definite as they are. They seem to be pretty serious, so if they are , we are.

Fast stuff, 8 songs on a 7”?
ED- Oh ya, it’s pretty fast and short. Most of our songs are like that. I think our longest song is 2:30 minutes.
PETE- (laughing) Ya, but we don’t play that anymore!
ED- Generally we like to keep it around a minute. We get bored really easily.
ROSS- We also like to play it at 210 beats a minute.

Are you guys buds with Zippo Raid?
ED-We're pretty good friends with the Zippo boys...Jonnee Earthquake, their bass player, is a role model for me. He's been in "the scene"-whatever that means- for the last 22 years and still going strong. Matt, their drummer, is a cool shit… even though he's from New Hampshire. Joe Zippo? Well, he'd be all right if only he could learn how to drink. We've tried giving him lessons, but it always ends up involving an underage boy and Joe with his dick out, or pizza floating in somebody's pool. Sad, really.

How about playing out?
ED- This summer has been a busy one. We’ve been playing out almost every week and doing some road trips. It doesn’t look like it’ll be slowing down. We actually tried to play in Canada but they wouldn’t let us in at the boarder. We’ve now got files with Interpol. They wanted us to pay $500 for a work permit and we were like, “No!”

Ross, you wrote and sing “Airwave Pollution,” (song about disc jockeys polluting the airwaves with their senseless babbling) what do you think of Boston radio stations?
ROSS- Well, I must confess something first. I hosted two hours on the Dumping Ground Show on WMBR and I personally polluted the airwaves. I listened to the tape of myself and I babbled way too much. All the college radio stations are pretty cool. WMBR is really cool. The big one, Emerson, have a really nice station, but at times they pollute a little bit. I wrote “Airwave Pollution” for the big stations in Boston, WBCN, WFNX, etc. I mean, they have too many commercials and too many shows where the people just blab and blab. It’s like talk radio and they ignore the music. People tune in for music and they talk the entire fucking time. I want to here music. Most of the time they think they sound cool, but there so fucking stupid. What do these people do for music? Nothing, there just boring djs. Just shut up and play the music.

What do you think of the Boston scene?
ROSS- The scene’s really cool. There is also a great scene up in Northern Massachusetts. We play a lot of all ages shows in Lawrence. There’s some cool bands out there too; Zippo Raid, Medveds, Bratface, Darkbuster

How are the bars around here to punk bands?
ED- I gotta say bar none, Jaque’s is the queen of the Boston scene. I’d rather play here than any other bar in Boston.
ROSS- They take care of us and let us do whatever we want. We’ve got to be done by midnight, which is kind of crappy, but we always get paid. O’Brien’s in Alston is all right too. The one thing about the punk scene is that there are a lot of bands, but not a lot of communication. On a Saturday night you might have 10 shows to choose from, but on the next Saturday, there are no shows. It would be cool if the bands could communicate with each other and spread the shows out. There are a lot of punkers who want to see the shows, but they can’t be in two or three places at the same time. They have to choose who to see and miss. If there was less competition on a single night, I think it would help the scene. Kind of unite it, you know.

Pete, tell us about the video you put together.
PETE- (laughing) The video. Well, it’s very old. I’ll say that right up front.
ROSS- It’s classic because Penis Fly Trap doesn’t play out anymore
PETE- They don’t play out anymore and they’re on it. Kermit’s Finger, the old version is on it. Medveds, Zippo Raid, and some others. I shot it all with one hand held video camera. It’s basically just me standing there shooting the bands while they play. There was really not much editing, except for the little skit at the beginning. That was me, Larry Litogot of Penis Fly Trap, Ron Lacer of Fan Attic Records, and Ben from the Meveds in Ben’s apartment. We just got together and decided to throw this little thing together, but we realized that we needed a cool soundtrack to play with it because there are no lines spoken. I went through Ben’s old records and found this great song by, I forget who plays it, but it’s great. I came up with the script based on Ben’s idea. The funniest part though is that this skit is supposed to take place at a party, but we didn’t have enough people to make it look like a party. So Ben came up with this mannequin wearing a scarf around it’s neck and we used it as an extra person. The video is still available too.

Ed, since you sing it, I’ll ask you. In “This Is Not a Punk Song,” I understand the reference to Minor Threat and Epitaph, but what the hell is wiggitywigitywack?
Everybody laughs
ED- It’s just that..
PETE- He couldn’t think of a line..
ED- No, no, we don’t like to dog people on the scene, but a lot of bands that call themselves hardcore punk are really just metal bands with a rapper and it’s really just a dig to those guys. I’m not going to name names, but I could. It’s just for laughs really.

 

 

 

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