"I get all my news from the Waste down!"
New York Waste, Jul.-Aug. 2002
|<-- Click for Dirty Mary pix by Lucky Lawler|
Robert Lund, our man about town, had the greatest job this month of chatting up Dirty Mary. Here is just a hint of the conversation they had in Jenny's luxurious Manhattan apartment:
Robert Lund: Alright, let's start with the beginnings of Dirty Mary. How far back, where did this Dirty Mary come from?
Carrie: The year was 1865...
RL: You're so full of shit - I love it!
Carrie: The setting - Atlanta, Georgia. Margaux was working on rebuilding her badly smashed atrium. Jenny Gunns (who was not known as Jenny Gunns at the time) was working in the local bordello as a cocktail waitress. Margaux was having a hard time raising money to fix the plantation, so she walked into the bordello and asked "Are you hiring?" Jenny Gunns said "No, but I am looking to start a rock-n-roll combo." And Miss Margaux said "Well, I never!", and then she had a mint julep, or four. You know, back then whoring wasn't as safe as it is today, so she decided it was much safer to play bass than to get knocked up by dirty rebels. Then after they got their music down, they decided to leave the South because it was just too fucked up down there. So they headed up North and moved to New York.
FAST FORWARD: I was working at the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory over by the park, and I quit the day before the fire to join Dirty Mary. But it took me another hundred years or so to learn how to play drums.
RL: Now what about the name "Dirty Mary." Are you kids all religious in your background?
Carrie: No, no, I'm a Jew, Margaux's a Goy, and Jenn's half-and-half.
Jenn: I get a stocking AND get to spin the dreidel.
RL: Alright, you know, your logo is a nun. I mean, the name of your band is not "The Dirty Marys." Like, you're three individual women, but when you play you miraculously become one woman, Dirty Mary. This wasn't some deep theological decision?
Jenn: It's like "Dirty Harry."
Carrie: And "Dirty Mary" was the original name of one of Columbus' boats. They were all named after Barcelona prostitutes: the Nina (Little Girl), the Pinta (Painted Lady), and the Marigalente (Dirty Mary), which he renamed Santa Maria. It was the only one of those ships that sunk... and it's also the name of a delicious cocktail.
RL: Alright, so let's get to the present. You've been playing in local clubs for many, many years, and now all of a sudden you're getting these Irving Plaza gigs. Does this change your perception of the band? When you play the small clubs, do you feel kinda like you're slumming? Do they have to pay you a lot more?
Carrie: Pay? What is this "pay" you speak of?
Jenn: The thing is, at those shows no one in the audience knows who we are. We're just the opening band. The vibe is different than playing a small room full of drunken friends and people that know your music.
RL: Well, being up on a big stage and having all that power, does that feel better?
Margaux: It is better, of course, it's always fun to play in front of a big crowd. It's also easier to play when you have a good P.A. system, good monitors, and a sound check.
Carrie: I can't speak highly enough of sound check.
Jenn: Sound check is a wonderful thing we just found out about. Also, these have been our first all-ages shows, which we've been really excited about.
RL: Yeah, you get to throw those big words at those 14-year-olds, alright!
Carrie: We've also gotten into butt-signing.
RL: Signing the asses of underage kids?!
Jenn: She started signing their asses with "Miss Carrie" at the all-ages shows. Then, at a Rollins show up in Buffalo, the butt-signing thing went terribly wrong when all the guys, not just the cute 14-year-olds, wanted the Miss Carrie logo on their asses. I mean ALL the guys. There's a lot of old ass up there!
Carrie: This is how it happened: Some guy at the Unwritten Law show asked for an autograph, and I drunkenly, jokingly, said "Can I sign your ass?", just being obnoxious, and he said "YES!", he was very excited about this. And I'm not gonna back down, so of course I signed his ass. Then we played Buffalo the following night, and I made a joke on stage, like, "C'mon, buy our merch, and ass-signings are free." You know, I said it quickly, like a joke between the three of us. So then I'm handling the merch table, and lo and behold, like fifteen people want their ass signed. It was all ass - I felt violated.
RL: Oh, that's a good one - you ask for it, and then you scream "rape", right...
Jenn: [sarcastically] Always.
RL: So how did you get hooked up playing these Irving Plaza gigs? Was Korby involved?
Jenn: Korby is a great friend of ours and she did a great job hooking us up with some Donnas shows last October, and we played some out-of-town shows with them. We got the Iggy Pop shows through Sarah Weiss, who works at Irving Plaza. Margaux and I met her out one night and she wound up coming to a couple of our shows, including CMJ. For once, CMJ worked the way it's supposed to, as far as exposure and leading to bigger and better things.
RL: That's great. So can we expect to see more of this kind of stuff, were these one-offs or are you on some larger path?
Margaux: We opened for Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros in April, and it turns out that his teenage daughters are Dirty Mary fans. They downloaded our songs from mp3.com. After the show Joe took a bunch of shirts for them, and I think that if we can arrange for more children of rock legends to wear our t-shirts, we'll be on the right track.
Jenn: We're also trying to get some midgets in the band, our manager swears that's gonna happen soon.
Carrie: Actually, I've been thinking lately that midgets are kind of passé, and I was really hoping more for a pen onstage, and I wanna have big hogs in the pen. And then whatever band we're playing with, when they're playing, we can release the hogs.
RL: And you've gotta have leather spiked chokers on the hogs, like pink skinheads.
Carrie: When we're big enough that we have tour riders and stuff, and we can demand things of venues - the first thing obviously is gonna be socks. I wanna have a fresh pair of socks. I want these stinky bitches to have fresh socks, too. And the second thing is gonna be hogs.
Jenn: I heard that's when you know you've made it, when you have a deli plate.
Carrie: Well, I don't want to eat them, I just want them to go on rampages and hang out with the midgets.
Jenn: We were going to throw the meat at the midgets, but we can't throw meat at the hogs.
Carrie: That's cannibalism. That cracks me up. If you give a hog bacon, apparently they go crazy.
RL: "Ma, what have they done to you?"
Carrie: I fed some chicken to some pigeons one time, and I said "You dirty cannibals!" [insane cackling and giggling throughout]
RL: Ok, switching from Dirty Mary the band to you three as individuals - we might as well get the standard NY Waste question out of the way first. What's your favorite sexual position?
Margaux: The headspin. [more cackling]
Jenn: I just like cuddling.
RL: And you, Carrie?
Carrie: Number One Brown Jersey.
Carrie: This is a position that Curtis from Bad Wizard told me about. It's when your ass is all dirty, and you give your partner the old Number One Brown Jersey. I'm not into scat, though, don't get me wrong. I don't want anyone to leave the Number One Brown Jersey on me. I just like to talk about it. Incidentally, I think it's more than just a coincidence that Curtis' last name is Brown.
RL: Let's talk about men. What's up with Dirty Mary and men?
Carrie: If you were interviewing a band of boys right now, would you be asking them about girls?
RL: Of course. I wouldn't have to ask them, we'd just be talking about them.
Jenn: I only date underage guys.
RL: So men your age, what, you don't wanna deal with them, they turn you off?
Jenn: I think what I really want is to go to another prom. I'm trying to figure out what the attraction to young boys is.
RL: Well, I'd just like it clarified - is it a physical thing, that you only find underage boys physically attractive, or is it that you think they're simpler to deal with than men your own age?
Jenn: I think it's harder to deal with young boys. You've gotta worry about the parents, and they have curfews.
RL: So alright, the problems are worth it to get that ripe young flesh.
Carrie: Jenn's all about quantity, not quality.
Jenn: That is true...
RL: Margaux, what do you do about men in the world, what's your thing?
Margaux: Buster is my man [her dog Buster has been supine on the bed between the three of them the entire time].
Jenn: Margaux's not a pedophile, she's a pet-o-phile.
Margaux: Buster and a jar of peanut butter always equal a good time!
RL: I mean, there must be lots of men who'd like to "get to know you better" want to "date," or whatever, or hang out?
Jenn: Yeah, Margaux's definitely the "man magnet" of the band.
Carrie: We get a lot of demented love letters for her in our e-mail, and a lot of crazy poetry.
RL: Now you (Carrie) - I've seen you around with the same male person for some time now, what's his name?
Jenn: Yeah, he's the one, after the shows, they're always makin' out.
RL: And what's your life been before these few months - you've been in serious relationships, or have you run around most of your life, or what?
Carrie: You know, I'm an excellent multi-tasker.
Jenn: It's best to combine the two.
RL: Oh, I forgot, I'm talkin' to chicks, right. By the way, I noticed that you've now been added to the pictures up along the wall at The Continental. Are you playing there soon?
Margaux: Not too soon; we're kind of laying low this summer, writing a ton of new songs... but we are playing a show on Friday, July 19th at CBGB's Gallery. It's a comic book release party.
Carrie: Rock 'n' roll... I'm in it for the comics, man.
Jenn: We're going to be recording a new EP in the fall, and hopefully a full length soon after. Then we're going to self-destruct and focus solely on our side projects.
Carrie: Margaux sings some trip-hop shit, Jenny's doing klezmer.
Margaux: It should be an experience. We're hoping to reunite someday, in a couple years after drugs, alcohol and butt-signing have aged us to the point where our own mothers don't recognize us!
Find out more about Dirty Mary at www.dirtymary.com. You also want to get their two CDs, "Livin' La Vida Loca" (1999) and "Gorge Us" (2001), packed with hard-rockin' hits. And watch this space for updates.