Jeff Richardson finds God in his belly-button
the interviews, part one
The following is an interview conducted in the wee hours of the morning
long ago. Jeff Richardson was feeling particularly special. I might describe
it as something between nostalgic and sophomoric. Anyway, for the answers
to all those Heliquestions you've always, but were afraid to ask. Here
GW: How does it feel to be online?
JR: It's pretty exciting. Thanks for your help. I
don't know much about making Web pages.
GW: How's the record coming?
JR: Not too bad. The recording's finished. We've decided
on doing a cover and getting 1000 CDs made. That is, as soon as we can
pay for them.
GW: What's that? How are you going to pay for them?
JR: With money we've made from shows, mostly. Cooper,
our bassist, makes a lot of money selling Mary Kay door to door. He
might pitch in a little extra. He's going for the pink car, you know.
Other than that, we sell plasma every chance we get.
GW: Doesn't that hurt?
JR: A little, but I haven't collapsed any veins yet.
GW: Speaking of veins, it seems that you are able to mine a wealth
of ideas in order to come so many good songs. How do you & Billy
JR: Mostly separately. His songs are usually 4-tracked
with drums and bass which forms the general idea for the song. The ideas
I come up with are usually just me on the acoustic. I guess you could
say I'm a hippie that way. Then I spout some lyrics and run an electric
direct to the 4-track. Billy then comes up with an idea to augment my
incomplete songs. When Cooper has a song idea he'll collaborate with
either Billy or me. It depends on which one of us he's least sick of.
Chris usually just fires out a drum part, and that's it pretty much.
Well, except sometimes I hear this voice coming out of my God-hole that
sings me to sleep. In the morning I try to write down what I remember
GW: Um, "God-hole"?
JR: Yeah, some people call it the third eye. I call
it the belly button. You know, it's the place on your body where Jesus
can jump in.
GW: I take it then that the band is rather spiritual? Would you
call it Christian rock?
JR: I wouldn't take it that far. We aren't Christian
per se, but we aren't Satanists either. It's just that sometimes I get
the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart.
JR: Down in my heart.
GW: Is that what makes you want to play, or do you have more
JR: I've always been amazed the energy generated
by bands like the Who and the Kinks. Very raw, yet well-sung and played.
Old concert footage of them always blows me away. Once, I saw the Replacements
when I was in junior high. I loved especially Bobby Stinson. You know,
he's probably the guitarist I try to rip off the most. I even like the
70s punk stuff, but don't get me wrong. I'm not talking about the highbrow
CBGBs first wave. I love the second wave. You know, the hacks.
GW: Are you the only force behind the Helinewsletter?
JR: Yeah. That's about right.
GW: Now that you guys are done with the first record, what's
JR: Lots of live shows hopefully. We may start recording
again soon. I've been getting the funny feeling in my stomach again,
if you know what I mean.
GW: Not really.
JR: Anyway, we have to take chances and come up with
new ideas. That seems to be the only way we can survive. It's sort of
an "Eye of the Tiger" meets Bob Pollard thing.
GW: Thanks, Jeff. Always a pleasure.
JR: Thank you, Gabe.