Mindless Self Indulgence
You’ll Rebel To Anything
 On their first studio record in five years, the wiseasses in Mindless Self Indulgence manage to salvage ’80s synth-pop, industrial-rock sequencer abuse, faded techno anthems and cartoon sound effects, and attach the whole fugly kaboodle to their patented Tourettes-style twitching. This 10-song, 26-minute shingle will surprise many, with guitarist Steve, Righ? supplying more than just chugging and frontman Little Jimmy Urine sashaying through assorted electro-rock trends of the past 20 years. On the downside, Urine’s vocals sometimes veer into Marilyn Manson cover-band territory (e.g., “Straight To Video,” “1989”), but it’s a point I’m willing to forget when he switches into Woody Woodpecker mode for a cover of Rush’s “Tom Sawyer” (in your face, Deadsy). Lyrically, he’s more on point than ever: “Bullshit” dismantles hard-rock millionaires selling angst, and the explicit title track is the best indictment of lowest-common-denominator “culture” I’ve heard in a long time. MSI haven’t fixed what ain’t broke, but by attempting to circumvent their own personal attention deficit, they’re expanding their fans’ minds-without using a baseball bat. (METROPOLIS)
With Little Jimmy Urine and Steve, Righ?
There’s some interesting stuff on here, like three-minute songs and electronics that range from old ’80s techno-pop shit to homo-disco anthems. You’ve expanded the breadth of what you do, so it’s not just boring industrial rock made by the typical eunuchs in severe haircuts wielding Metropolis Records contracts.
Little Jimmy Urine: We’re always on different tips. Even when the music is clubby and electronic, it doesn’t entirely fit into that category. I’m sure we’ll get shit for it. Whatever.
The record isn’t as claustrophobic as usual.
LJU: Well, if you take 230 bpm and slow it down to 140, people can say, “Oh, so that’s what he’s saying! Oh, and look! There’s a melody there.”
But it’s still MSI; it’s not like the band became Nickelback. You’ve added new elements; Steve is up in the mix now…
Steve, Righ?: I carry a knife now, Pettigrew. I hold it to Jimmy’s neck and say, “Louder. Louder!” while he’s mixing.
LJU: He finally got lessons from Jimmy Page.
Righ?: It’s just because of the way this record is structured. On Frankenstein Girls, I had so many tracks of guitars [layered on each song], they sounded like synths and samples. We just wanted to be less complicated. Oh, who am I kidding-I hired somebody to play guitar on this record.
Who cashed the check?
Righ?: One of those guys from Slipknot who was passed out. You know the position you’re in when somebody steals your kidneys? I handed him a guitar in the tub and he did it.
LJU: They won’t miss him. He was, like, No. 13 or something.
I bring it up only because it sounds like you’re actually playing more, instead of just chugging through those short, sharp shocks you call “songs.”
Righ?: You know where that comes from? I was working on a solo album of gay material. I thought I’d explore the gay side-not like, “Oh, that song sounds gay,” gay, but actual homosexual music. I was gonna call it I Want A Pitcher, Not A Belly-Itcher or The Rye In The Catcher. Somehow, it actually turned out more lesbian.
What do people come to your band for, anyway?
LJU: What do they come to my band for, or what do they come on my band for?
LJU: They come from places where they don’t entirely fit in. They’ll go to Slipknot shows, but maybe they’ll want to put fishnets on. Or maybe they’ll be electroclash kids who want to club all night, and then they want to get down and get punched in the face-or want to punch me in the face. Our fans come to hang out and feel like they don’t have to wear a goddamn uniform that says “Whoo-hoo! I’m punk-fuckin’ rock!”
Righ?: At our gigs, there’ll be a guy in a wifebeater going “Rowwwr!” next to a guy wearing fairy wings. It’s all good. I just said, “It’s all good.” Shoot me. –Jason Pettigrew