Sep 11, 2012

A Smashin' Transistors "classic interview" with People's Temple





     What to do when you're two sets of brothers living in a two traffic light town located in the middle of Michigan to stave off boredom? Well, in some cases they would most likely torture small animals, shoot at road signs, knock some girl from their church their made to go to up and develop a meth habit. In the People's Temple case though-they went a completely different route by digging in to their parents record collection then digging deeper and forming a rock-n-roll band.
    One part the Byrds Fifth Dimension, one part Spacemen 3's The Perfect Prescription and lots of other parts consisting of the Rolling Stones, The 13th Floor Elevators and even some 80's UK raincoat rock to name a just a few the band, after recording a handful of 7inch EP's on several different labels, released their debut album Sons Of Stone on the Hozac label this spring. Guitar player/singer Alex gives Smashin' Transistors a little bit of the lowdown. (

-Interview with by Dale (Editors note: This interview originally appeared at the old Smashin' Transistors site in early 2011)

Favorite ever member of the Rolling Stones?

Alex : Keith Richards

Yeah, that's always a given it seems. What about Mick Taylor though?

A: Mick was cool. That's about it. He never really did anything to put himself in the spot light. He's truly second underrated Rolling Stone following Brian Jones.

Name your moment with the Stones, and this coming from a huge Stones fan, where you thought "Man, this is some superlame shit".

A: Honestly I really haven't had a moment like that with the Stones. They are the greatest rock & roll group ever.

C'mon! Not even Dirty Work or Mick Jagger's solo albums?

A: Well, some of the solo Mick Jagger stuff is gay.

Are there any track you skip over on Exile On Mainstreet?
  
A: No that is one of my favorites along with Aftermath.

Not even "I Just Want To See His Face" ?

A: Well, yes. I have at least once.

What's it like being in a band of siblings? Are there a lot of fighting like brothers?

A: It has its positives and negatives, yes lots of fistfights, screaming, arguing and so on, BUT there is a psychic dynamic that we have when we play.

What's the biggest blowup you've guys have had while playing in front of a group of people?

A: On time early on. It was like are 3rd or 4th show and we were playing terrible. I think we stopped midset and knocked a bunch of shit over and started yelling at each other. After a few minutes we continued and finished the rest of are set. Then we knocked a bunch of ceiling tiles out on are last song too.

If Lou Reed and Wayne Kramer got in a fist fight who do you think would win?

A: Ha !! Thats easy Detroit always wins in brawls so Wayne Kramer.

Lou's till got some hair though. Wayne had cool hair one time though. How important is cool hair for rock-n-rolling?

A: Lou's hair is defiantly cooler. Its cool if you have nice hair. If not that sucks.

Listening to what band makes you feel like you're on drugs even though you are not?

A: Spaceman 3

When I say cheese what do you think of?

A: Richard

What song do you thing Richard Cheese would do the People's Temple justice?

A: Jim Jones

Is it safe to assume that you guys chose the band name of the teachings of the Reverend Jim Jones then? Or is it in tribute to Jay Reatard's old digs in Memphis?

A: Its a throwback for Brian Jonestown Massacre, so I guess more Jim Jones.

Speaking of the Brian Jonestown Massacre what kind of notes did you take from the movie DIG?

A:We took a lot of things. Their guitars and amps were the main thing.

What other rock docs have you found inspirational?

A:The Stones doc. about the Altamont Speedway gig .

Growing up in a county where the largest population is the town of Owosso with 15,000 or so did you ever think going there was a trip to "the big city"?

A: No, Lansing was always the big city. But funny you ask that-we actually played are first show in a battle of the bands in Owosso and it sucked!

What sucked about it?

A: Owosso is a shithole of a town and filled with hard-corers and Screamo wannabees. We played with like 6 other hardcore/screamo fags and they all hated us.

It's like that over in my part of the state too. How did you guys end up playing the type of music you do?

A: My parents grew up in the 70's so he listened to the Stones, Kinks, and others. I just dug deeper into the 60's cause that's what interested me and the sound appealed to me more so then new music when I was growing up.

Speaking of your area-Shiwasee county and all that-what's your take on Durand, Michigan? Does everyone there quote Rush Limbaugh on a regular basis or does it just seem like that?

A: HA ! Durand is even shittier than Owosso. I had a girlfriend once who had relatives that lived in Durand and they were all a bunch of weirdo conservatives.

Living out in the sticks where was the place you went to party that the "cops don't know about" even though most likely the cops partied there decades before?

A: Never had a spot like that. Were not that far in the sticks, man. Lansing is like 15-20 min. away and i always had friends who lived in Lansing and on campus. I work at a restaurant in East Lansing, so I started partying with MSU students when I was like 17. It was awesome ! Just imagine the scene from Animal House when they throw the toga party and that what you get in Lansing, especially when you party on campus!

Did you ever try to lift cassingles from the mall "record store" when you were young?

A: Nope. I think cassingles were a bit before my time. I did get caught shoplifting in the mall once though?

What went down?

A: It was during my adolescent juvenile skater days and I was Lifting a shirt or something at this Sporting good store and the manager turned the corner, not just a employee but the manager of the whole store, and basically scared the shit out of me and my friends and let us go.

What topping should NEVER go on pizza.

A: Anchovies

What's the most messed up thing that has happened to you involving fire?

A: Man ...I almost burnt my house down. I have lit myself on fire before. I have almost burnt my car to the ground the list goes on!

What effects pedals would the People's Temple endorse?

A: Any Wah pedal, the Ibenaz Tube Screamer or any of the Boss pedals.

What type of cash would they have to dole out to you to get your endorsement?

A: We would take any money, man.

Now that you have released one of the most bad ass album of 2011-Which one of you is now to most likely do a solo album of Yoko Ono covers and what special guest musicians would they want to play on it.

A: It would be George and he would sing and play all the instruments himself.

Who in the band is most likely to pull a Brian Wilson?

A: William

Who do you have on your wish list for a producer of one of your future records?

A: Anton Newcombe

When it comes to playing rock-n-roll which ranks higher in it's fringe benefits-The chicks or the free party favors?

A: As of right now I wish I could say the chicks, but party favors for sure!

Find out more about People's Temple here.

People's Temple will be playing the Roche Bar in Port Huron on September 29th. Go here for more info.

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