The thing that people who don’t create art fail to understand is that, more often than not, the art and the Artist are two different things and art itself isn’t always beautiful. Sometimes it’s graphic and obscene and just because it doesn’t have mass appeal doesn’t mean it’s not valid.
I’m not saying Mickey Avalon is a genius but there’s a level of truth to him that’s hard to find in the sea of posers. When he sings about shooting up with trannies, he’s speaking from first hand experience. Yes, he’s trying to shock, yes, he’s trying to provoke, that’s what an Artist does. The thing is, the man has the scars to back up damn near everything he says so you have to respect the on stage bravado.
That being said, the man does not like doing interviews. Truth be told, I’m pretty sure that the only reason he gave me the time of day is that I wouldn’t stop bugging him on Instagram. Even then it turned out to be a massive cluster fuck yet when I finally got him on the phone, well……
(ED note: The following is a transcript from a phone interview done on 10/12/2019 and every effort has been made to stay true to the tone of the conversation.)
Mickey Avalon: Hey how ya doing
CulinaryAnarchy: I am doing excellent, thank you first off for taking the time to do this with me, obviously I’m a small-time freelance journalist so it’s a big deal so I won’t waste your time with any of the fanboy bullshit or anything like that. You doing okay this morning, you had your coffee and everything?
MA: A yup, we’re just out in San Diego so yeah lets do it.
CA: I imagine it’s a lot warmer than it is here in Bend Oregon. So anyways…
MA: I’ve been to Bend Oregon before, I used to live in uh, I lived in Eugene for a little bit, I lived in Portland for a little bit and uh, my ex wife lives in Ashland.
CA: Oh nice, most of the time I’m based in Seattle, I just came out here to help with a friends Kitchen so, it’s been in interesting but at least the weed is legal and good and so I’m burning one right now.
CA: So anyways all right, since you’re on tour right now, how has touring changed from when you started up until now cause you’ve been in the game for a number of years, what’s been the biggest difference?
MA: I think it’s uh now, okay like back then, promoters had to do a lot more like put posters up, put flyers up, more grassroots stuff. Now everyone’s just lazy with the internet and like they think they’ll just let the Artist put up some posts and it doesn’t really work as good because those posts are going to everyone all over. Like we don’t have like, you know if you’re playing in Bend Oregon and I put up a post, how many people that follow me are in Bend Oregon? Like, the person in Bend Oregon needs to go to the coffee shops and stuff like that and put posters on the wall and do fliers and most of them just don’t do it anymore and you can see the difference between the people the shows and where they do that and where they don’t.
CA: And so obviously then you definitely give your attention more to promoters that are willing to go the extra mile and actually do their job and promote you?
MA: I mean you you try, it’s just if you go somewhere. Unfortunately it’s more kind of like you see it on the flip side like say you go somewhere that you know every time the show is always a sellout and great and then you go back to that same place, maybe play a different venue with a different promoter and you get to town and nobody knows you’re there. And then, so it’s kind of like, you don’t really know who those good people are, like you know like a handful that you’ve worked with the whole time that always are going to do their jobs. But yeah I would say social media changing things and making people more lazy
CA: That actually brings me to my next question because again, you’ve been in the industry through a lot of the big changes. Now what do you think about how music and art has changed formats over the past decade with streaming services like Spotify and things like Instagram. What do you think are the pros and cons for both the musician and the artist (citation) when it comes to this stuff.
MA: Uh I mean this is just going to probably age me but I like records, I like touching real things.
CA: I’m 39 so I get it man.
MA: So I would say that that’s the con is that that’s not there but then on the flip side I like having access to, I mean I’m a fan of music before I’m a maker so I like uh, I like that I can get anything at the push of a button so for $ 10 a month you know Apple radio or whatever, I can just hear a song on the radio or think of something I haven’t heard for a long time. You know, I can like think about Willy Nelson and then go get three Willy Nelson records for free so yeah I think thats the pro’s and con’s.
CA: Very cool very cool.
MA: You still could go buy records if you really cared to, I’m not that much of a like, I don’t have the you know time or the money to be really going to the record store every day but if you had a nice record player and place, you could still do that so I guess it is still accessible.
CA: Absolutely and somebody like me, I mean I could spend all my money in used bookstores but I live on a motorcycle so it’s really kind of like the same thing, I can hear a tune off a soundtrack and instantly pull it up and on Youtube and relive childhood memories cause like I said, I’m almost as old as you are so. Now hears a food related question, how do you take your coffee in the morning Mr Avalon?
CA: Of course you do, that does not surprise me at all.
MA: And usually on ice because I’m fortunate enough to live in Southern California and it’s hot most of the year.
CA: I’ve had one experience in LA and I need to get back down there desperately hopefully within the next few months now heres more of a fun question, you’re obviously known for your theatrics on stage, what’s the wildest thing you’ve ever seen on stage and have things ever gotten to the point that you said “Oh shit what have I done?”?
MA: I mean like sometimes you know you see young people out there and they’re like and it’s hard to make eye contact when you see certain things. I mean I think probably some people have had sex in the audience before uh, and then theres some like, theres debaturchy going on and there have been a few fights but it’s usually kind of contained I mean like on the edge but not totally overflowing. The girls fight way more than the guys so you see that a lot and that’s, uh, you know, kinda fun to watch
CA: Oh I know I love a good cat fight. Ok now here’s another odd question. Now God forbid but you find out that you have 24 hours to live: Who are you going to fuck, who are you going to cook for and who are you going to kill?
MA: Oh, uh….
CA: I told you this wasn’t going to be your typical interview brother.
MA: Who am I going to? I guess I’d kill the president. Uh…cook for, I don’t cook but I should. I’d cook for Jerry Lee Lewis.
CA: Fuck yeah!!
MA: And you mean like a celebrity or what? (I can hear a woman laughing in the background of the call and wish I could see their faces, it turns out to be his fiance)
CA: It could be anybody, your highschool sweetheart, that chick that got away.
MA: Well anyone I liked as a kid is like really old now…..Monica Belushi, she’s probably old right now. Kate Moss, yeah, Kate Moss.
CA: Word, now back to the performance aspect, do you have any kind of a pregame ritual or routine before you go on stage?
MA: Yeah but that’s not very exciting I just do like a hundred jumping jacks.
CA: Hey dude, if it works it works man, everybody got their thing. I’m curious as an artist so…
MA: I used to you know, say you’re traveling all day on an airplane then we get to where we’re going and then I just jump on stage and then not know why I’m like winded through the first two songs and it would always end by like the third song but uh, I just realized that I went from doing nothing to jumping right on, like you know you wouldn’t run a race without doing some sort of stretch before so it’s more like just get that out of the way with the jumping jacks and it seems to be the perfect amount to, to jump off with.
CA: Hell yeah well obviously you have a very high energy show so. Now, personal question, because you have a very large persona as an Artist, what do you think is the biggest difference between the Artist Mickey Avalon and you as a human being?
MA: At the core it’s the same but on stage it’s like full energy, I’m not singing slow songs so whereas in real life I’m more subdued I guess, more calm, more shy.
CA: I defenently understand and can certainly relate to that. Now, drug question, vap, joint or blunt, what is your go to way to get stoned?
MA: I haven’t really been smoking too much weed lately uh, but if when I do I just like to roll joints. I liked the bong for a while and like uh, mixing it with tobacco in the bong and you get like uh, they’re called like Mollies in Australia, from like mulch, and you kind of just get like a head rush. But uh, now I’ve just been doing 5 MEO-DMT (Ed note: this is some heavy shit.)
CA: Hell yeah!!!
MA: From the frog so I’ve been doing that a little bit. My buddy Dirt Nasty, he turned me on to that and it’s been… insane.
CA: I’ve done quite a bit of Ayahuasca so I can only imagine. Now, you’re from LA, what is the best place to get a late night snack?
MA: Probably Cantors
CA: And where is that?
MA: It’s on Fairfax, it’s 24 hours, it’s been there forever, like we actually just went down the street and it’s one of the hippest streets now but when I was a kid was just like an orthodox Jewish street and that restaurant has been there, like everyones been there, every musician’s been there, cause it’s 24 hours, so you can go after a show, you can go after you’ve been in the studio and it’s just it’s exactly the same as it was forever, like, the whole streets changed but that’s the same.
CA: Hell yeah, definitely a spot.
MA: It’s like a deli, a deli but it has everything.
CA: I’m definitely going to have to hit it up when I’m in LA. Well listen, I know I’ve taken up quite a bit of your time, I super appreciate this, like I told your manager it’s my birthday.
MA: Oh yeah happy birthday !
CA: Much appreciated, and on a personal note you know I gotta say this man, I got turned on to your stuff about a year ago and I was going through a really really rough patch and your level of hedonism and debauchery kinda sparked enough to kinda of help me pull my head out of my ass as a writer and allow me to get back into my old ways.
MA: Awesome! I’m glad I could help
CA: Your shits crazy and I definitely, I mean what I said, I used to play your music to Christian kids out in Montana (ED note, I was in Wyoming over the summer but I was also high as fuck by this point) when I was working in the Tetons this summer. I’ve turned a lot of people on to your stuff and I appreciate everything you’ve done for the Artistic community. I think you’re one hell of a guy and thanks for taking the time to give me your time and hopefully one day I’ll catch you in person. The only other thing that I’m going to ask you is do you have a quick recipe that you can throw to my readers? Just something off the top of your head, it doesn’t have to be anything major.
MA: (Talking to his woman) Uhhh baby how do you make your uhh how do that ~~~ I need a quick recipe.
“Minnie” Avalon: Oh for eggs?
MA: For anything.
MA: Do I cook anything?
Minnie: You make Smoothies
MA: Oh I make Smoothies!!!
Minnie: That’s the only thing you make.
MA: Okay okay I know how to do it. I get a real Coconut, like uh, then you have to… and then a hammer and a screwdriver and then you have to make two holes in it because if you do one it, for whatever reason, gravity doesn’t let it come out of the hole. You have to do a hole, one hole on each side. And then you pour that into the blender, and then I put Chia Seeds, and then I put this green powder and then I put this protein powder. And then I put, from the freezer, four pieces of peaches, four pieces of mango, six strawberries, four pineapples.
MA: Slices, not the whole thing obviously, and then a bunch of blueberries, and then depending on how much coconut was in the coconut, like the liquid because sometimes they’ll be like 800 or 500 so sometimes you have to put water at the end just to make it so it will pour out, but yeah that’s it. So yeah, I do that everyday so that’s my, my fiance cooks and she’s good at it so I just do the smoothies.
CA: Let me tell you, you are as awesome as I imagined you possibly thought you could be so once again brother, thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart, you made it an awesome birthday. I’ll send your manager a link to the interview.
MA: Same to you and have a good rest of your birthday and if you’re ever in town for one of the shows or anything just hit her up.
CA: Oh absolutely, I’m going to send a copy of the link to the interview so you guys can share on social media if you guys are down for that.
MA: Yup yup.
CA: I’ll also send you a copy of a couple of books I’ve written just for your own amusement.
MA: Yeah I’d love that man, thank you.
CA: Like I said, you kind of helped pull me out of a rut and dude shit, dude who the fuck did the guitar riff on “Take me home” man? The end southern guitar Southern rock guitar riff on the end of that shit has been blowing my mind for fucking months now.
MA: It’s Beardo..
MA: Beardo, he’s one of our buddies.
MA Look him up he’s super funny, well, he’s super really good actually but he’s in a band now, he’s in Julian Casablancas band, he’s in The Voids now, but he did like, I don’t want to say a joke but he did like his own thing called Beardo B E A R D O.
CA: I’ve actually heard of him.
MA: You’d think he’s totally stupid but he like this genius guitar player savant as you obviously know.
CA: I’m not going to continue to take up anymore of your time so thank you and I hope you and your girl have a wonderful rest of your day.
MA: No problem and have a great rest of your birthday.