When Most Precious Blood dropped from the face of the earth back in late 2006, nobody seemed to know what was going on. Luckily, they resurfaced and are going at it again in their trademark remorseless style with a new album called "Do No Resuscitate" (out now on Bullet Tooth). Reason enough to do an email interview with Rob Fusco. While it won't make you any wiser, it's definitely a fun read.
PRT: Late 2006 you had been spending the better part of two years on the road supporting “Merciless”. How did you guys keep up at the time?
Rob: Keep up? Like, stay awake? Well, let me tell you, sometimes that was a challenge because some of the the rides were so long and monotonous that you just get lulled to sleep really easily. Over the years we've employed various tactics to help keep the eyes open and alert. Let me share a few with you:
Caffeine - Unfathomable amounts of coffee and red bull™ on overnight or cross-country drives were consumed to stave off the sandman fairly regularly. Though there was the subsequent crash coming down from all that stimulant, we had found a fail-safe solution to that problem: more caffeine. So simple.
Cold breeze - nothing wakes one up quite like a wind chill factor of -10˚F, so next time you're on a chilly night's drive and the lids start to shut, open all the windows! You'll hear a lot of groaning and complaining from the individuals in the back, but look at it this way: better to endure the cavil of a few chilly bandmates whilst staying awake than to nod off at the wheel and end up crashing into oncoming traffic.
Sing-along songs - When has ANYONE ever fallen asleep during Guns 'N' Roses' Appetite For Destruction? That's fucking right. NO ONE.
Handjobs - ask Matt Miller about that one.
PRT: After that you disappeared off the radar without any further notice. There was just the rather cryptic message that said you wanted to “bow out of the mass appeal madness” and that you wanted nothing to do with the “glossy culture”. What was that about exactly?
Rob: We had secretly been researching and studying stealth technology long before anyone suspected this of us. Though it would be unprofessional of us to reveal our training sources, we will say that F**** Z**** and T******** M*** were very helpful in opening our eyes to the beauty of effortless invisibility. You are wrong if you cling to the common misconception that no ship that small has a cloaking device.
Also, we keep our messages cryptic because we are (most of us, at least) amateur code breakers (cryptographers). There's an excellent book called THE CODE BOOK by Simon Singh…holy crap. Great book. It really got us going down that rabbit hole of keys and ciphers. I'll be right back.
[imagine the Jeopardy™ theme playing for EXACTLY fourteen seconds]
okay, I'm back.
By "mass appeal madness" we mean, like, Beatle-mania. It was starting to get a little ridiculous. We weren't prepared to have EVERY SINGLE ITEM on our contract rider delivered as requested, or have our water chilled to artist's "discretion" [sic], nor did we ever dare to dream that we could possibly get a towel for each band member for the stage, and it all felt really overwhelming. We just had to take a quick breather lest this pampering and coddling overtake our sense of humility and punk ethos.
By "glossy" we mean "glazed" kind of like, you know, a good donut or some kind of money shot. I digress. So all this glaze, we had no desire for it. We're all about the plain donuts. They don't get your fingers all sticky afterwards. Hey, you ever think that a glazed donut's quiet revenge is how sticky your fingers get afterwards? ALSO, while you're bringing up sore subjects, why the hell did they discontinue the Dunkin Donut™ itself? You know, that one plain donut with the tiny penis on it or whatever you call it…that thing you hung on to so as not to wet one's fingers with scalding coffee. That was fucking brilliant.
PRT: Was it already the plan back then to lay low a longer period of time?
Rob: Listen, I once knew a guy who was stuck in a 'Nam bunker, surrounded by his enemies, with no food and little water, crowded by the rest of his squad who were all blown to hell and dead as Ghandi. He was pinned down for 6 fucking days until the tanks rolled in to get him the fuck out of there - the only survivor of his squad. Did he plan to lay low for that long? Nope. Shit just worked out that way.
PRT: At the same time there were a lot of rumors that popped up. What was the craziest rumor you heard about Most Precious Blood during that period?
Rob: You mean besides that whole famous DisneyWorld™ pooping in the fountain debacle that cost the band about a thousand dollars to bail me out? Yeah, that…that's a rumor. Or the time when I walked in on Brandan Schieppati shirtless making out with the local club sound guy in Denmark? Boy, you should have seen his face. Yeah, that was kind of a rumor too for a little while even though he made me promise not to tell anyone. I wonder if now I'll have to give him back those 50 Euros. I already spent it on stroopwafels anyway.
Oh, but remember when you were in school and that ubiquitous rumor spread like wildfire about the girl who "experimented" with a chap stick and the cap came off at an "inopportune time," requiring medical attention for extraction of said cap? Yeah, I hadn't heard that rumor about us, but the way Matt Miller is, you never fucking know. You know? Oh, or what about the one about the two kids with braces who were making out and their braces got stuck together? You ever hear that one about us? Me neither.
Oh, yeah, also…don't tell Brandan about the whole gay makeout thing because I don't want to have to give him any money back.
PRT: Then came word that you were working on a new album that would have the title “Do Not Resuscitate”. How come you already had the title before any of the songs?
Rob: You know how some parents name their kids before they're born? That's kind of the same thing, I think. It just turns out that our kid was born severely developmentally disabled. I mean, like, bad… like, windowlicker retarded. We still love it just the same, mind you, but trying to get it to not shit on the dog is a whole different ball game.
PRT: Is that title a way of saying this will be the last Most Precious Blood album? Or is it more of a statement about the glossy culture you talked about in that statement?
Rob: Not to get off topic, but you really aren't planning on telling Brandan anything, are you?
PRT: In early 2009 there was a picture on your site of someone holding a CD that said final mixes. How come it took two more years for the album to finally come out?
Rob: Let's briefly return to the retarded child metaphor, shall we? Very cool.
So you know how some moms just shit their kids right out in like a matter of a few hours - labor is easy and fast and there's not a lot of sweating and crying and no one looks at you with Satan's eyes while pulling your hair from your scalp screaming "YOU DID THIS TO ME!"? Well, the birth of this future special-olympian of an album was not such a smooth experience as that.
PRT: Since the last tour some of you became parents, moved away from New York, started a label and even pursued a career in local politics. How will this affect the band in the future?
Rob: I wish I could tell the future. How cool would that be? Just think of it! I could make SO much fucking money betting on horses and shit…kind of like in Back To The Future II, Electric Boogaloo where Biff has that old horse racing book from the future and just bets a shit-ton of money on the guaranteed winners and just gets really wealthy and fucks up Hill Valley really bad. Like that. I was thinking about what I would do with all that money. I'd probably blow a lot of it on dumb shit like food made of gold leaf and I'd hire a stenographer, a photographer, Coach Rob "Maximus" MacDonald of Gym Jones (to continually remind me of my place in the food chain), and a lawyer (for legal advice) to follow me everywhere I went. How much does Ice-T charge to come hang out with you? I'd probably pay Ice-T to come hang out with me and talk about the old days of gangsta rap™. I hope he'd get along with Maximus.
PRT: How does it feel to go back at it and start playing shows again? Is it like picking up where you left off or does it feel partly like starting over again?
Rob: The best way for me to describe it is to try to think of a film you've seen about seven thousand times like Spies Like Us or something along those lines… if you watch it every day for years and years, you develop a deep relationship with the film, memorizing lines and humming along to the soundtrack, shit like that. But after a while, the jokes and the part where Austin Milbarge and Emmett Fitz-Hume get dumped off that tower in that fake plane and get smashed all to fucking oblivion in the accelerated training montage…they aren't quite as funny anymore. BUT…if you take a couple years off from watching Spies Like Us and then go back and watch it again you find that your degree of comfortable familiarity with the comedic timing, the characters, the plot line - these all remain intact and it gives you a good feeling, but then you begin to find the funny parts actually funny once more and you can laugh out loud at the movie again, and express a renewed appreciation for that one scene in Russia when Vanessa Angel comes out of her tent in her bra.
PRT: With the new album out, a ‘do not resuscitate’ order seems to be the last thing on anybody’s mind. What can we expect from you in the next couple of months?
Rob: I can't really say what I'll be up to in the near future. Again, my powers of divination are weak. The force is not strong with this one. Whatever it is, though, I'll be doing it with a bright, clean smile on my face. See, I just came back from the dentist. My teeth look fucking fantastic.