12/5/92 - Hammer of the Gods

Found in the February 26, 1993 issue of MacWeekly. Written by Chuck (Charlie Amter).


Before Walt Mink’s sold out show at the 7th Street Entry last December, I had the thrill of sitting down with John, Joey, Candice, Ben for a rousing conversation/discourse on the status of the band and other terribly interesting and pertinent subjects. Now in L.A maxin' and relaxin' whilst recording their followup to Miss Happiness, Walt Mink can’t wait to get back to Minnesota to play Springfest. It will be a new and exciting experience for all. What follows is a partial excerpt of an “interview” that you will enjoy reading. In the meantime, Walt Mink has a track on the Husker Du Zen Arcade tribute album (I think they do “Somewhere”) - the debut of the new Synapse label that should be out soonish. Eat up.

How was the tour? Best clubs… most enjoyable cities?

John - It was great… best clubs? That’s a good question… There were some that were really cool in a really lo-key way like we played this place in Virginia Beach called the Jewish Mother, and we played for like, 30 people. It was a really good place and they had really good food. And then we played some huge shows, like we played the Riviera in Chicago opening up for Soul Asylum. That was cool… the Astoria in London was good.

Who did you play with in England?

John - We played with the The Lemonheads and Mudhoney. Lemonheads for five shows and Mudhoney for three shows.

What happened to the Shorten Knife shows?

John - Shonen Knife shows fell through. I don’t know what happened to that.

Maybe they heard bad things about your backstage demeanor and didn’t want to be associated with those “Walt Mink people."

John - Yeah. Exactly. They’re like (John affects highpitched Japanese schoolgirl voice) “Oh no… not them!”

So how do you guys feel about Macalester using Walt Mink as a selling point?

John - Are they using us as a selling point? like. How?

Your press pictures from the U.S.A Today and Rolling Stone adorn the bulletin board very near the admissions office. I’ve also heard that admissions people are “well aware” of you guys.

Joey - Oh that’s so good… but no one knows who we are outside the midwest.

John - That’s so weird!

Elizabeth(Joey’s babe) - I wonder if they’re going to start using you guys to sell the music department to prospective.

John - Oh my God.. Oh my God.

Joey - Dude, I never graduated from Macalester and I HATE the Music department.

They are the worst people. They are totally two-sided and they suck.

John - The irony in that is, if in fact they were to use us as a selling point for the music department, is that they never supported band-type music. We never had a place to practice. Me and Joey, like, totally went to Carleton (not Carleton college but Carleton Macy Ed.) to try and get that practice space going.

Joey - Actually we were just joking about that you know now that this whole Nirvana thing has broke wide open.. they could have the (prestigious alum) Bob Mould room. You know, that would be the practice room on campus with like recording equipment etc…

It sucks because the reality of the matter is that Macalester doesn’t support bands around campus at all.

John - Not at all! Plus the Springfest committee gets like, no money - they get no money for good bands, they have to start from scratch and throw parties you know? And at a lot of the parties they can’t even have alcohol which is totally ridiculous.

Joey - How are students supposed to raise funds, and book bands at the same time? I mean, that’s ridiculous. At any other comparable college with a budget for that kind of stuff, they get really big, legitimate bands.

What do you guys have in the way of new material? Is the E.P still coming out?

Joey - Well… we bagged the E.P idea and we’ll be recording during late January/early Feb. and, you know, probably be releasing another record soon. And then we’ll do some touring this Summer.

Is this going to be your last record for Caroline?

Joey - Well… I don’t know. Yeah, well see. Its been up and down with them.

Any wild tour stories from England that you wish to share with your faithful?

John - There are so many.

Joey - We have oodles… English hippies don’t like us.

John - Or they don’t like me at least.

How about the English press? Did they hype you beyond belief?

Joey - They loved us and then they hated us.

They also said you attended the University of Minnesota.

John - Yeah… that was freally funny. They also said that two of my biggest influences were Ride and Suicide - two bands that I haven’t even heard!

Joey - God… we haven’t broken out those old stories yet.

John - the Maggot story?

Joey - It’s as if it were five years ago. Ben?

Ben Cooley (Walt Mink tour manager and media assassin) - Can I tell the maggot story?

John - Yeah. It’s a story that pretty much needs to be heard.

Ben - Well, it sort of is my story… we were driving through Nottingham, as in Robin Hood, and we were touring with Mudhoney - getting along really well with them, drinking a lot etc… Anyway we were driving around after soundcheck to go out for dinner and to make a long story short, we came across…

John - …a live bait vending machine. We’ve never seen anything like it before and the name of the vending machine is Mag-it. So we pull over and buy the maggots.

Ben - But there was a choice: red maggots, gold maggots, multi-colored maggots. So we buy a canful of red maggots in sawdust.

John - Living, squirming live maggots - thousands of them.

Ben - Anyway, we got back to the hotel, we started drinking someone pulled out the maggots… we were having maggot races on the barcounter…

John - This is in the hotel bar…

Ben - And then somehow the maggots made their way to the men’s room - at this point, everyone was really drunk.

Joey - And then, like, Steve from Mudhoney got really into it and started pouring maggots everywhere in the men’s room; in the urinals, crawling up the walls etc…

Ben - And the next day there was some sort of business convention going on and people started noticing maggots crawling around on the floor of the lobby.

John - So it ended up the next morning with Mudhoney’s tour manager and our tour manager screaming it out in the lobby over who was responsible for this 100 quid bill.

Elizabeth - 100 squid?

John - No, quid, like English Pounds.

So who paid?

Joey - Mudhoney paid. And we just got out of there.

John - So fucking fast!


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