HA! I bet you almost forget..it’s been too long hasn’t it? Welcome back to the fourth installment of 10 with Ten with the one and only Mark Lewis of West Indian Girl. This interview (in classic Lewscious style) took way too long to finish – we started it back in October and finally finished last week. Conducted primarily at 2 locations – the texaco station on alameda in LA and back stage at our show in Portland, the “lewscious” 10 with Ten has been aged, pickled and served up to perfection so suck it up people.
1. Describe your role in the band? I play drums.
2. What special qualities do you bring to the band? Ive played the drums a lot.
3. Have you ever been contacted by aliens? You mean besides the times when you call me up? And why did you want to meet me at this café in Roswell? All I can say without turning this answer into a novel is that Ive seen things that I cannot explain any other way. Luckily, I was never alone. My friends and I share some crazy experiences.
4. You and your brothers own an ice cream shop in Cape Cod tell me about it? Any chilling stories? Its true, Lewis Brothers Homemade Ice Cream in Provincetown at the very end of Cape Cod. We make our ice cream right in the store, so its fresh. Most people probably havent tasted fresh homemade ice cream because they basically freak out when they taste ours. Most of the chilling happens before and after work. Well, thats not totally true, I mean, we listen to reggae music all day long and make up flavors on a whim. We also work with local restaurants to create one of-a-kind flavors that can only be tasted at the particular restaurant. Rare flavor.
5. Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate AND vanilla and many other flavors as well…a flavor for every mood, but you cant go on the road without chocolate.
6. Are you looking forward to all of the groupies that are gonna be jocking you on tour? Yes, but dont tell them that Im a jockey.
7. Where did you have your first beer? The first time that having a beer was a memorable experience was when I was 11 or 12 and my friends and I would hike up the wash that leads into Sierra Madre Canyon. We use to get a six-pack of Miller High Life and hike up through the dam to a water hole that was usually without water.Back then a six-pack could get four of us pretty drunk. I dont even know how we got the beer, but I think we got help from our older brothers. I had my first legal beer at the T-Bowl in Highland Park.
8. Since your job depends on you keeping a beat do you practice the rhythm method with your girlfriend? Practice makes perfect, right? I think perfection is a humorous goal at best. Fortunately, we have a good sense of humor.
9. What are you listening to lately- who are you favorite bands right now? Well, My friend Jerry DiRienzo and I have spent the better part of the last two years at Hot Pie music recording bands like Mere Mortals, They Walk In Line, Monster, Duchess, Languis, Whysall Lane, Ken Layne & The Corvids, etc. so usually Im most familiar with the music Im working on, but I ran into a friend recently and he gave me a c.d. of his band The Shakes. The record is called Gigantes Del Pop. The music reminds me of the garage pop/punk bands of the sixties, raw, energetic, and catchy. I get happy and sing along whenever I hear it, so thats what I would play if I was half asleep and driving to work and had to wake up fast but didnt want to feel bad doing it. Also, I got an advance copy of a new record from a band called Fairechild. This record is made of the stuff that puts the classic in classic rock; great songs, great musicians, unforgettable voices singing beautiful melodies and harmonies, and a sound so craftily produced that when I listen to it, I forget that this record wasnt made 28 years ago. I listen to this one rolling on the open highway, unfortunately, open highways are hard to find in Los Angeles, this record can also take the edge off of being stuck in a traffic jam. Im sure Ill be hearing this on the radio in the near future.
10. Describe the last show you went to did it suck? The last show I went to was the Air/Stereolab show at the Hollywood bowl and it did not suck at all. In fact, it was a great time. Before that, Coachella was a lot of fun. The Pixies ruled. Le Tigre was really fun to see live. I was pretty much right in front of the speakers for the Kraftwerk set and although they arent a very physical act, the music was great. I recommend seeing Space Pussy in Provincetown. They ARE rock and roll. If you want to touch the essence of rock and roll, you have to touch Space Pussy. And if you are lucky enough to see them play, make sure to stop by and say hello to my brothers and taste the best ice cream you will ever have.
Bonus Question. Who is your favorite bass player? Well, I was going to say Mike Watt or Robbie Shakespeare or Noel Redding or Paul McCartney or John Paul Jones or Bootsy Collins or Dave Allen or Colin Moulding or Tina Weymouth or Bruce Thomas or Charles Mingus or Carol Kay or Paul Simonon or Gene Simmons or Jean Jacques Burnell, or this guy with a bass in a gig bag that I met outside a studio in Atwater who asserted that he was a Motown studio musician/arranger and that he had arranged Tears Of A Clown By Smokey and The Miracles. He put the calliope in that song and it sucks that I cant remember his name, but I would definitely say him or Gail Greenwood or Kim Deal or gosh, so many
but since you have a gun to my head, I think Id have to say Geddy Lee.
um, not really the answer i was looking for ….anyway, Mark, this has been a surreal experience i’m relieved we finally finished this up. i’m glad we’re both gemini too.
photo credit for the live shots, the one and only marc goldstein—F.Ten 2:54am