Interview with ST-37

Interview with Bobby Baker and Scott Telles from ST37.  Be on the lookout for a guy wearing Scott’s tennis shorts and chewing Scott’s tic tacs; he ain’t Scott.

What’s up:

BB – Smokin’ purp.

SLT – Oh, you know. The usual. Teaching the chirrens, playing the rock music. That’s what I do.

Where are you from:

BB – Born in Akron, OH. Raised in Boca Raton, FL

SLT- Born in Brooklyn NYC. Raised in Rochester NY and in Houston. Space City, yo.

Where are you now:

BB – Austin, TX

SLT – On the cosmic rim.

How long have you been at it:

BB – With ST 37, 4 years…Es correcto Mr. Telles?

SLT- Something like that…I’ve been at it waaaaaay too long. Since 1979 in music. Since 1987 with ST 37.

ST37 1987

Tell us about Vast Majority:

SLT – Well 16 and 17 years old. We were at Bellaire High School, bored out of our minds. Most of us had seen the Sex Pistols on the “Weekend” TV show in ’79. We decided we should start a band. We made a bunch of noise about it and talked it up to all our friends. Somehow we got added to the bill for the first Houston Rock Against Racism festival. When we saw our name on the poster we figured we should probably start practicing and write some songs…so we did. We were pretty horrible.

Tell us about ST 37:

BB – One of my favies. That’s why I weaseled my way into the band!

SLT: The greatest band ever to tread the face of the Earth!! We fearlessly combine Chrome, Hawkwind and noise improv! We have a new album out entitled High and Inside! Buy it from us…now!! Upcoming shows Feb. 6 at Trailer Space, Feb. 27th at Discovery Village, early March at Yeast By Sweet Beast, May 20 at the carousel Lounge…we stay busy. It keeps us off the streets.

Tell us about anything else you’ve been involved in:

BB – I have a band called Baby Robots. Been doin’ it for 10 plus years. I’m a major stock holder in the under achieving “band” called Rubble. Oh…I play with Joel’s other band too.

SLT – Bahrain is no more as Mel could not withstand our grueling once-weekly practice regimen. My Education continues to soldier on – I have now been the bass player for almost 4 years. Thanks Gawd I’m not “the new guy” anymore – that honor now goes to Chris Stelly, our drummer for the past two years. MyEd’s new album Sunrise is a version of our score for the Murnau film and is released April 27th on Strange Attractors Audio House. My solo thang the Moray Eeels has a few gigs for the first time in ages – just did one and I play again with Doug Ferguson Feb. 11 at the Moose Lodge.

What got you started:

BB – That god damn weed.

SLT – I started out as a singer. I figgered if Johnny Rotten could do it, so could I. Then I switched to bass and Vast Majority’s drummer Billy switched to guitar after we went up to Austin to go to college. We had a short lived band called the Critics. Our sole claim to fame was recording at Earth and Sky studios around the time that Scratch Acid recorded their first record there.

What else do you do:

BB – Work…watch the telly. Get down. Fuck around.

SLT – Read obsessively. Collect records. Hang out with my son. We’ve been watching a lot of movies – we saw the new Herzog the other day. Watch out for eagles in drag.

How do you keep it together:

BB – That god damn weed.

SLT – That god damn weed.

What are you reading:

SLT – I just finished two more books about the Arctic, which (as Tex knows) I am rather obsessed with: Ghosts of Cape Sabine by L. Gutteridge, and Dead Silence by O. Beattie. I’m now reading a book on the history of language called Mother Tongue, and next us is One Square Inch of Silence, a book about the difficulty of finding any areas left on this rock where you can actually not hear not hear any manmade sounds.

BB – The Tao of Wu

What comedy and/or comedians are you into:

BB – I prolly like Bill Hicks the best. I laugh at everything though.

SLT – I guess I’m more into things that aren’t really supposed to be funny. Have you seen “The Room”? What a meisterwerk. Tommy Wisseau is a genius.

What are you listening to, lately:

SLT – Manuel Gottsching/Ash Ra Tempel “Inventions for Electric Guitar” and “The Private Tapes”, as well as a lot of Magma. Klaus Nomi. Le Flange du Mal. Oingo Boingo’s “Nothing to Fear”. Peter Hammill’s “Thin Air”.

BB – Nick Lowe “Jesus of Cool

What art, if any, you seen worth talking about:

SLT – I went to Marfa in November, mainly because I’m a Dan Flavin freak. I loved the whole experience, really – the light, the brushed aluminum cubes, the abandoned Soviet schoolhouse like something from Chernobyl…great town too. Like a miniature Austin with more grit and mountains.

BB – I love Pollack.

Worked any fucked-up jobs? Do tell:

BB – Sold pot and acid briefly. That was pretty fucked up. It didn’t last long. I’m much better at using…

SLT – I worked at the state mental hospital for five years. I hadda get outta there – I started to feel like I was gonna end up on the other side of the glass…while I was there many Texas psych luminaries came through…Roky Erickson, Daniel Johnston, Michael Knust…One of the Vietnamese doctors they had there wrote on Roky’s chart “Patient has delusions of being a rock star” and on Daniel’s “Patient has delusions that he was on MTV”…

Played any fucked-up shows:

SLT- Most of the shows lately have been pretty good! The most fucked up show I can recall playing reasonably lately was at the Lemp in St. Louis. First of all, St. Louis is a fucked-up town. Majorly. The whole neighborhood around the place smelled like sour, fermenting oatmeal due to its proximity to the Budweiser plant. My Education were supposed to play Sunrise, our movie score. Secondly, we’d been told there was a projector and a screen – we got a TV set. We got out the DVD and started to play to the massive audience of three that was there. The DVD, which had worked perfectly two nights before in Chicago, quit about 2 minutes into the film and the screen went dead. We started again. This time it got about four minutes in before dying. We finally gave up and went into the backyard and drank beer the rest of the night. They said they’d feed us dinner, but we saw the guys that run the place walking around eating pasta primavera and they never offered us any! Douchecunts. Then they told us “You should check your DVD before you go on the road!” Oh, you mean the one that WORKED PERFECTLY to a PACKED HOUSE in Chicago TWO NIGHTS ago?? Couldn’t have had anything to do with your shitty $30 Wal-Mart DVD player, could it?

BB – Lots! I let Don Walsh use my amp once. What was I thinking…

With whom, if anyone, do you roll:

BB – I’m confused. I have rolled. I have rocked… I roll with a Louisiana Po Cat named Angela.

SLT – Laura Ashley Hall – That’s just how I roll.

Where are you headed:

BB – Somewhere to eat. This nigga is starving!

SLT – I’m going to Europe! Yay! My Education goes to Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands June 5-22. Wahoo! ‘Bout time.

Where is the rest of it headed:

BB – Hopefully to the liquor store.

SLT – I second that emotion!

What can you do about it:

SLT – Not a lot. Not much…I guess you could say I’m a fatalist at heart.

BB – I guess I could go to the liquor store myself.

Are there any people you’d like to mention who’ve helped you work it out:

SLT _ I’d like to thank my mom for never coming and seeing me play (seriously, she did me a great service).

BB – Scott, Lisa and Joel. True pals.

People to look for:

BB – The Gary, cool Austin band. Also, go to He’s amazing.

SLT – Look out for How I Quit Crack. Tina’s gonna be a star!

People to look out for, because they are bad news:

SLT- That bastard who stole my tennis rackets, sunglasses and tic tacs outta my van. Look out for this dude. He’s out there on the courts, lookin smoov, wif really fresh bref.

BB – Rusted Shut.

Anything you have in the works, on the ready, or on the horizon:

SLT – ST 37’s split 7″ w/ Linus Pauling Quartet is imminent. ST 37 High and Inside coming April 2009. The prerelease tour edition is sold out.

My Education new cd/lp Sunrise (extracts from the film score) on Strange Attractors due 4/27/10.

Anything else you want to pass on:

BB – Don’t be scurred and jam your shit!

SLT – Better get yr lean on.

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