Interview: David Yow of Qui

Provokator's Marika Ley talks to the former Scratch Acid and Jesus Lizard frontman ahead of Qui's November 30th Rock Café show

Marika Ley: To make a confession, the Jesus Lizard was playing the Kennel Club in San Francisco, circa 1990, and I jumped up on stage and put a daisy down your pants.

David Yow: Oh, thank you.

ML: So, we are really excited about having Qui come to Prague.

DY: I'm excited about going over there.

ML: When was the last time you've been through?

DY: [long pause] '98, I think. '97 or '98.

ML: With Jesus Lizard?

DY: Yeah, we played some festival back then with Ministry.

ML: What were your objectives with Jesus Lizard and Scratch Acid to begin with?

DY: Um, I don't know if I had objectives. I enjoyed writing songs and acting like an idiot with those guys. To make enough money to support ourselves.

ML: Did you?

DY: We weren't trying to change the world or anything -- that's a weird question. To have a good time.

ML: Well you started out with bass, was that too confining?

DY: No I just wasn't that good at it. The singer we had wouldn't sing at practice, he said that it would ruin his voice, and then we eventually we just sort of discreetly kicked him out of the band. And I took over singing and David Wm. Sims who was playing second guitar moved to bass.

ML: Discreetly, meaning you just moved practice places?

DY: We did a show without telling him and we played an instrumental set and then I said, "eh, well I want to sing." Fortunately we are still good friends to this day.

ML: That's good. Grudges tend to turn into, I don't know, psychotic episodes sometimes.

DY: It could, yeah.

ML: So how have your objectives changed with Qui?

DY: [long pause] I'm not sure that they have. It might be better to ask that question to Matt and Paul. [They've been] in the band since 2000 and I only joined a year ago. I never really thought about having an objective. This is fun and it's better than having a regular job. Let's be in a band, act like fools and have fun.

ML: Did this come from the purest form of having fun or did someone influence you or did you see some people in a band and you were like, I want to do that?

DY: Definitely, when I first started going to punk rock shows, I was floored by how entertaining it was and how fun it was and how there is an element of danger in it. But it had never occurred to me before that you could go to a show and run the risk of getting hurt from somebody in the band that you are watching.

• See the Provokator website for the full interview

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