Hi, Nick how are you doing?
I wart to thank you for agreeing to do this interview and,
as I understand, you've never done an interview before.
Is that correct?
That's right, yeah.
What's been happening with Rudimentary PENI since "Cacophony"
was released (in early 1989)?
Well, I've been a bit ill since then and we haven't managed
to get it together.
I see... I also heard that Grant and Jon sent Steve Albini
some tapes of them playing bass and drums for project. Do
you [know] the status of that project?
Um... It's still with Steve Albini at the moment, I think.
Whether or not he he's done anything with it I don't know.
So, it's pretty much "up in the air" still then?
NICK: Yeah, quite a while while ago now actually.
I've been in touch with John (Loder, the producer) for a
while and was wondering what caused you to start working
on a third album? Is there any motivation in particular?
NICK: Ah, yes... there's my illness, see... some
experiences that I've had to do.
CAKE: Anything in particular? Is there a theme?
NICK: Yes, I suffer these delusions and I thought
that I could proffit artistically from it you know?
I see... almost like the big poster from "Death Church"
or something like that?
In your mind, you mean?
CAKE: So, it's going to be based on delusions. Grant
was the motivating force behind the early Rudimentary PENI
material (two e.p.'s and "Death Church"). What caused you.
to take over as the lyricist for "Cacophony"?
Well, I thought that Grant felt that his lyrics weren't
relevant anymore or something. But I think they are. I think
people relate to his lyrics.
I think that's true because I really enjoy the early material,
as well. Your last album was really great... the way that
it was put together and produced. It's a pretty incredible
piece of work. I heard from John that it was all done in
CAKE: That's pretty amazing. You must have done a
lot of practicing to do it that well. Basically. the album
was based on H.P. Lovecraft as I understand it. Any couple
of novels in particular that it's based on?
It's just this sort of thing where, this kind of cult where
you get into H.P. Lovecraft and you buy as many books on
him as you can and I think I found out more about him than
I've known about anybody else before since I've read so
much about him. So, I felt that it would be a good idea
to put that to use.
I see. And the voices voices that you use on the album,
the different voices... how did you learn to do that? I
mean, that's really good mimicking you do there on "Cacophony"?
NICK: Yeah, I guess so.
I really I like the way that you poke fun at host shows
("An anarchist/ a gun/ an athlete, etc")
CAKE: That's just totally brilliant. If you ever
needed a job working as a voiceover in commercials, I'm
sure that they'd give it to you.
Yeah, I can't do that anymore. It's like Jon... he says
that he can't play to the first e.p. as fast as he could
, but I'll try and coax him to do it.
Well, you goys aren't that old, are you?
Oh! That's still young, though.
CAKE: Did you write any of the songs from 1980 to
Did I write 'em?
"Media Person' and "Hearse".
CAKE: Those are pretty great songs, You know the
stuff isn't on cassette and I always find myself making
tapes and blasting it out of my car's stereo. I like the
annoying look on people's faces when they're playing BON
JOVI and all of a sudden.... BLLAGGGGGG !
It's quite a change of pace. What caused you to form RUDIMETARY
PENI? What bands tickled your fancy? The SEX PISTOLS and
CLASH were mentioned before in interviews...
NICK: I'm not so much into the CLASH though I saw
the PISTOLS once and they are obviously the most recent
influence on me. A lot of old bands as well...
How about the GERMS?
The GERMS. They were an LA punk band.
NICK:: Oh, yeah! I've heard of them, but I haven't
heard their stuff... Ah, I have heard their stuff actually.
They were very good. yeah.
Are you aware of the live bootleg that came out in 1990?
The one that said "Proceeds will go to fighting animal abuse"?
It's a seven inch e.p. that I found in San Francisco. I
couldn't believe it and somebody obviously tried to make
money off the band. The cover looks exactly like your artwork?
NICK: Oh, yeah?
...but not as complex. Have you heard of that?
No, but I'd like to see that!
If I ever come across another copy, I'll send it to you.
I've also come across four live tapes from 1982.
NICK: Yeah, I think John told me about that.
What inspired your elaborate sketches in the two early E.P.'s
and in "Death Church"? It looks like it took you a year
to do that poster.
Yeah, I was trying to be as most origional as I could because
I saw this exhibition called THE OUTSOUTSIDERS which was
done by people from asylums and hospitals and prisons and
if anything is work that work is work, I think.
Yes, it is!
It's so much suffering encapsulated into it and also to
be as origional as l could.
Was Dali an influence in any of that?
CAKE: I said that because A lot of your work looks
very Daliesque espicially the religious imagery. Was it
because upbringing was quite religious and you were rebelling
NICK: No, not at all.
Oh. that's good I was...
CAKE: I was raised a Roman Catholic...
Yeah, Dali turned towards religious art during his final
I think, that his best quote is "The only difference between
a madman and myself is that I am not mad."
In comparison to a 1982 interview with Grant which appeared
in "Blast", a Scottish fanzine, you guys listened to - bands
like MINOR THREAT, GANG GREEN and PART ONE. What do you
listen to now? What type of music?
Um, I don't listen to music much anymore.
If you were listening to a particular type of music what
would it be?
NICK: Punk, I suppose. That's what I would listen
CAKE: How did your connection with SEPTIC DEATH and
PART ONE come about?
NICK: I used to write to Pushead for a long time
and PART ONE wanted me to do their back cover. Did the SEPTIC
DEATH album come out yet?
Well, I know of a single of them that you did the label
drawing for... [Actually at press time they had released
a CD compilation on Toy Factory Records. "Theme From Ozobozo"]
l'm planning on doing a chronological curtain(?) drawing
for the next album.
For the next PENl album?
CAKE: Great. When is that going to come out, you
Oh, I dont know. We haven't recorded it yet.
But it could come out early next year?
Yeah.. could be.
Do you think that Rudimentary PENI will ever play another
Maybe. Maybe. One or two maybe.
Would you ever want to come to the U.S.?
Could be... Yeah.
Back in 1984 Rudimentary Peni were supposed to play a show
until Grant was diagnosed with cancer.
I have a suggestion, if RUDIMENTARY PENi played with FUGAZI
or Bad Religion[???] then that would be quite a show.
CAKE: Any bands in England that you would tour with?
I don't think that we would tour. I think we would play
just one or two shows. Cabs: If you do play in the U.S.
make sure it's L.A. I have a friend who says he would pay
one hundred dollars to see RUDIMENTARY PENI.
NICK: Ha! Ha! Ha!
There's also a cult in San Diego called the O.C., PENI and
all they do is skate around and and listen listen to RUDIMENTARY
PENl so people do like your music here. In fact I seem to
see more PENI shirts here than say MUDHONEY ones.
Really? What are the shirts like? Are they good art?
Yeah, One of them is the cover of the first e.p. Are you
disillusioned with the world today and all its political
I try not to think about it.
How many shows did you play with PENI before "Death Church"?
What's the song "Cosmic Hearse about? I figured that it
would be about God or U.F.0.'s?
No, not really. It's just words put together.
CAKE: How about "Cacophony"? The lyrics seem to be
Well, I wanted to do Shakespearean things on it. They're
actually in H.P. Lovecraft. I put quotation marks on it,
but it didn't reach the lyric sheet...
Are there any photos of the band that exist?
Yeah. Pushead had some in his magazine.
How can people reach you?
There's a PO BOX on the back of "Cacophony".
Could you possibly send us some artwork for publication?