A Connection Is Made: A Chat with Elastica

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Justine Frischmann, the front woman of Elastica, stopped by the Nerve offices to talk about the band’s much-awaited sophomore release, The Menace, which Rolling Stone called “thirty-nine minutes of trashy guitar, fun-house noise and eat-this attitude.” The obligatory sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll topics followed.

nerve: Why so much time between albums?

justine_of_elastica: I didn’t feel like it. I needed some time off, but I’m back now.

nerve: Have your fans stayed pretty loyal, or did they get impatient?

justine_of_elastica: The real fans stuck around and the drivel-heads have gone chasing the next new band, which is good.

stutterinsteve: How would you describe a fan of Elastica? Are there any common traits between the Brit, Yank and all other fans of the band?

justine_of_elastica: The Elastica fans at the moment are cool. Five years separates the wheat from the chaff.

deceptacon: Are you already recording new stuff?

justine_of_elastica: I’ve decided we’re only going to write songs so that us lot have got something to play. I’m not going to hype our new stuff because I don’t need the pressure.

razor94: Hey Justine, what do you listen to?

justine_of_elastica: I’m listening to Peaches, ESG, Le Tigre, Aretha, Primal Scream and Superfurryanimals.

nerve: Jarvis Cocker once said, “I sleep with lots of women. Where do you think I get the ideas for all the songs from?” Where do you get your ideas from?

justine_of_elastica: All music is communication, not competition.

nerve: What’s your favorite album to have sex to?

justine_of_elastica: The Peaches album, but it used to be the Missy album.

razor94: The Chicago Sun-Times dissed Peaches.

justine_of_elastica: What do journalists know, razor. We know what we think.

aced: Do you feel that most American journalists are hostile to you?

justine_of_elastica: No. American journalists are a lot less hostile than English ones.

doodooscoop: How have the sales for this new album been, Justine? And the critics, how’ve they received it?

justine_of_elastica: I don’t know and I don’t care. We’re having fun again. With commercial success comes misery. The critics in America have been cool.

aced: But come on, don’t you want success?

justine_of_elastica: Success can’t be measured in terms of sales and charts.

skag: Would it bother you if your fans downloaded your songs from Napster?

justine_of_elastica: Napster’s cool. Let’s cut out the record company, but let’s not put bands completely out of business.

nerve: I heard you guys were back on the dole, is that true?

justine_of_elastica: We were all back on the dole and then we met Atlantic Records. But being on the dole is good. It makes you hungry again.

nerve: I heard Mew runs around the stage a lot — is that all choreographed or does it just come naturally?

justine_of_elastica: Do you think that if we were choreographed, we would choose to do it like that? No, we’re organic. We’re animal.

andycherry: How did Mew get so sexy?

justine_of_elastica: She hung out with me.

generator: What’s going on with former band member Donna Matthews now?

elasticajustine: Donna’s really good. She’s getting her own band together. We go to N.A. together.

skag: What do you think of Britney Spears dominating the pop charts?

justine_of_elastica: I don’t think anything about Britney.

stepchild: Are you sick of all the stupid Blur questions?

justine_of_elastica: Who?

aced: Do you think boys who are in bands are sexier just because they’re in bands?

justine_of_elastica: Fancying boys in bands is an occupational hazard. I just like creative people who are into music.

nerve: Have y’all ever smashed your equipment on stage? Why do rock stars do that?

justine_of_elastica: We don’t smash our equipment because we can’t afford new stuff.

nerve: Have you ever serenaded someone?

justine_of_elastica: I serenade people at every gig. I’m serenading everyone. Hello.

dr_rob: Is it true that at your first show in NYC, the only person dancing was Iggy Pop?

justine_of_elastica: Yeah, that’s true.

dr_rob: Well, Iggy has impeccable taste.

razor94: No, Iggy has questionable taste. Wasn’t he in The Crow?

storstygg: Did you see High Fidelity?

justine_of_elastica: Iggy rules. John Cusack is sexy.

storstygg: Did you read the book? I want some Brit rocker’s opinion on the movie compared to the book!

justine_of_elastica: Gonzalez is the sexiest, but he’s got a girlfriend. The problem with High Fidelity is it’s too like my life. People bore me with their favorite b-sides by The Doors, etc.

stepchild: Do you like NYC better than London?

stutterinsteve: What’s your favorite thing about coming to the States?

justine_of_elastica: NYC is more full-on than London. It’s good if you’ve got energy, but if you’re tired and you need to chill, London is better.

nerve: Yeah, what do you like about an American audience?

justine_of_elastica: American people are more upfront than English people and have a different sense of humor. I like it; it’s cool.

aced: Do you think Americans are loud?

justine_of_elastica: Loud is good.

dr_rob: What sort of stereotypes do you see in us Americans?

justine_of_elastica: Stereotypes are bullshit. Everyone’s got their own story.

nagin: Did you manage to catch any VH1: Behind the Music episodes since you’ve been here?

justine_of_elastica: I saw a No Doubt documentary on VH1. I didn’t like them before I saw it, but now I think they’re cool. They’ve been through a lot of shit, too.

storstygg: BTM rules. You need to see those, especially the Go-Gos.

dr_rob: Who knew the Go-Gos had a heroin problem? Go figure.

storstygg: Me neither. But the Go-Gos started out punk and got industry-ized. They actually toured with Madness.

justine_of_elastica: It’s hard not to get industry-ized. The only thing you can do is go away — for five years.

dotsandloops: I think musicians have to keep their minds on the music, and disregard the industry.

justine_of_elastica: Easier said than done.

storstygg: Which is your favorite Beatle?

justine_of_elastica: It used to be John, but now it’s Paul; I forgive him for “Ob La Di, Ob La Da.”

stutterinsteve: Are there any bands that you like to play with onstage?

justine_of_elastica: I got onstage with Peaches at their gig in Toronto. It was the most fun I’ve ever had in my life. It was like an orgy on stage.

deceptacon: Do you think it’s good for bands to have a political message?

justine_of_elastica: You’ve got to lead by example, not by lecturing.

doodooscoop: Like Bono!

razor94: I think an Elastica/Robbie Williams show would be cool . . . maybe not.

justine_of_elastica: Robbie Williams can suck my dick.

gloria_d: You’ve got more dick than him any day.

justine_of_elastica: I’d like to meet Li’l Kim.

razor94: Li’l Kim might shoot you.

justine_of_elastica: It’s a risk I’m willing to take.

storstygg: I’d like to do what Diana Ross did to Li’l Kim.

justine_of_elastica: What did Diana Ross do?

storstygg: She reached over and copped a feel at the MTV Music Awards podium. Now, that was classic.

justine_of_elastica: All singers are exhibitionists. In fact, most musicians are exhibitionists.

dotsandloops: I think most musicians make music for music’s sake, not to be an exibitionist.

justine_of_elastica: It’s a shame because Li’l Kim has to play the game by boys’ rules. Maybe bands like Elastica, Le Tigre, Peaches, etc., are lucky enough to be able to make up their own rules.

dr_rob: Do you think hip-hop is having more of an effect on music in England?

justine_of_elastica: I think there’s a lot that us white indy girls in England can learn from those Afro-American ladies. They’re telling it like it is.

deceptacon: Li’l Kim is just one kind of artist and I think she’s got her own rules. You have to understand the hip-hop climate at the time of her debut to understand her. She was more relevant.

justine_of_elastica: I’m not dissing Li’l Kim, I think she’s brilliant. I think that the hip-hop world is a pretty hardcore, misogynistic place to be.

stepchild: So why do you think Li’l Kim feels the need to be naked all the time?

justine_of_elastica: Because she can.

nerve: Would you ever pose nude to satisfy any exhibitionistic tendencies?

razor94: I’d be first in line to buy the magazine.

justine_of_elastica: No, I get it out of my system just by getting on stage.

doodooscoop: I think you should appease your musician’s urge by posing for Nerve.

razor94: You should play a show naked, maybe with a strategically placed tube sock. Wait, that won’t work.

justine_of_elastica: Let’s all get naked right now.

nerve: You don’t know what you’re starting in a place like this, Justine.

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