Q101 Morning Show Interview With James Iha July 25, 1996

DJ1 - James how's it going today?

James - Oh you know, cold chillin. How you doing?

DJ #2 - Yeah, cold chillin for us too.

DJ #1 - Now, you are co- owner of Chicago-based Scratchie Records label, right?

James - That is correct.

DJ #1 - Now this big thing is going on down at the Double Door tomorrow night already, and you're the master of ceremonies, aren't ya?

James - Umm, apparently.

DJ #2 - Does that mean a tux?

James - If necessary, yes. Yeah, and a top hat.

DJ #1 - Now this is part of the Scratchie showcase, the indie label?

James - Yes, right.

DJ #1 - What band are gonna be playing?

James - Well, lets check our sheet. At 9 o'clock Fulflej is playing, at 10 is Phoenix Thunderstone, then its the Chainsaw Kittens, and headlining the extravaganza is the Frogs.

DJ #1 - Now when did you hook up with this label? I didn't even know you were a part of this. How long have you been Co-owner?

James - Well the president, Jeremy, he's D'Arcy brother-in-law, and uh, we got into it I guess a year and a half ago. He just had an idea of like, and eclectic mix of rock bands, also like hip- hop and dancehall reggae, and whatever else we liked. So it's not just an alternative rock label, it also has some other things.

DJ #1 - Well, that's pretty cool. You're like on two sides of the music industry then.

James - Yeah, I mean, it's pretty neat just to be involved with like a lot of new exciting music that probably doesn't get heard so much.

DJ #2 - James when you do an undertake like this, is it more for personal reasons to kind of be on the ground floor when a band like this breaks. It can't be financial right?

James - It's somewhat vanity.

DJ #2 - Yeah?

James - A couple of bands we've been friends with for awhile like the Frogs and the Chainsaw Kittens we've both done tours with. And um, they've never really got their dues, so me and D'Arcy wanted to sign them just because of the kind of people they are, and obviously the music.

DJ #1 - Now this is all happening tomorrow night, Friday night at the Double Door. Tickets are 7 bucks and you can pick em up at the door. And James is kind enough to give us 4 pairs that we're gonna give away a little bit later on today.

DJ #2 - Right.

James - Groovy.

DJ #1 - Now James, you've been doing some modeling. Is it Anna Sui? I've been seeing you walking down the runways looking pretty cool with your streaked hair. You're a man of many hats.

James - I am sort of a Renassaince man of the '90s, if you will.

DJ #1 - Now how did you get hooked up with this? Do you wear some of Anna Sui's fashions?

James - Well, I was in New York, and I don't know, I was thrown into a taxi, and the next thing you knew I was parading...

DJ #2 - Runway modeling.

DJ #2 - Isn't it always that way? We've heard that story so many times.

James - Yes, it's kind of like Dynasty or Dallas or any other favorite 70's show.

DJ #1 - But James, please don't tell me when you're walking down the runway that you're thinking of that "I'm too sexy for...". Please don't tell me you're doing that.

James - I think of like Eagles' songs so in my heart I'm still the same.

DJ #1 - So I am diggin the new album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. You are just kickin ass.

James - Well, it's pretty old actually now, but..

DJ #1 - That's true. It is getting pretty old, but it's selling like hotcakes.

James - Haven't you been bombarded enough, working at an alternative rock station?

DJ #2 - No, it sounds different to us because we keep playing it at different speeds.

James - Ohhh.

DJ #2 - It always sounds new.

DJ #1 - Truly alternative.

DJ #2 - Yeah.

DJ #1 - Now did I read somewhere that this is probably one of the top selling double CDs of all time?

James - Umm right up there with Pink Floyd "The Wall".

DJ #2 - You've got to be proud of that then.

James - Yeah, what can I say when it's right up there with "The Wall"? I've gotta be you know on Cloud 9.

DJ #2 - What was it like being a part of Homerpalooza?

James - Homerpalooza? It was actually really fun. They asked a couple of bands, this was about 6 months ago. You know, we just read the script and it was really funny and we went in there where they overdub all the voices and stuff and we actually cut it live.

DJ #1 - You did?

James - Well, not live like actually watching the cartoon, but they set up four microphones and everyone reads through the script. And there's like a stand - in Homer and it's like "I want my fur coat." And then the Homer guy will go, (doing an impression of Homer) "I want my fur coat.", or whatever it was.

DJ #1 - That was a really good Homer, James.

James - It was actually really neat. They really work out the script ahead of time so when you read it you just read through it like a play then they just cut it out and stick it in the TV show.

DJ #2 - When I first heard that they were going to do that on The Simpsons with the different bands I thought, oh this is great, who wouldn't want to do this? But then didn't some of the bands pull out because they didn't like the order that the bands were presented in? I thought I read that somewhere.

James - No, really?

DJ #2 - Yeah.

James - I don't know, I didn't hear about that.

DJ #2 - No in- fighting between the cartoon characters. Good.

James - Not that I'm aware of.

DJ #1 - I think that's got to be cool though, to be put in cartoon form.

James - Yeah.

DJ #2 - I'm sure I don't remember what Homer said about you guys. Didn't he say, "thanks for making kids feel terrible about themselves" or something?

James - It was something about um "Thank you for creating this bleak music so they know they have no future." Thanks Homer!

DJ #1 - Homer?

DJ #2 - That's funny.

DJ #1 - That is pretty wild. Now James, you obviously are from the suburbs right? You grew up here?

James - That is correct.

DJ #1 - We've had people that have been calling in, I won't say the name or anything, but evidently some people that have gone to high school with you said that you had a high school reunion coming up?

James - Ummm....

DJ #1 - Are you going?

James - Well um...

DJ #1 - You're busy.

DJ #2 - Oh, you've gotta go!

James - Yeah, um, I think I probably should go.

DJ #2 - You know why you gotta go? Because everyone who goes to their high school reunion wants to be the person who succeeded, you know, and you'd be the guy!

James - Right.

DJ #1 - And plus, everyone is bragging about you going, "Hey I went to school with James Iha."

DJ #2 - Yeah, oh you gotta go!

James - Well, it sounds kind of frightening, but um, yeah I guess it would be since everyone...but I'd rather just watch the proceedings, I guess it would be sort of fun.

DJ #2 - Wear a disguise!

DJ #1 - (Laughs) (sarcastically) Wear a disguise!

DJ #2 - But isn't there people you went to high school with that you think, "Oh I'd really like to see how they ended up." It'd be a blast!

James - But I had a really unspectacular high school social life, so...

DJ #2 - But you've rebounded perfectly.

DJ #1 - Tell us about the band in high school. Was the band called the Feds?

James - Umm

DJ #1 - See I'm getting fed all this information from our great listening audience.

DJ #2 - What's the Feds?

James - It's um, the first band I was ever in, and we were, I don't know, slightly punk rock, pretty eclectic.

DJ #2 - Where did you guys play?

DJ #1 - Who's basement? Who's garage?

James - We played um at our junior high school and we played a town assembly once..

DJ #2 - And how did your double CD sell?

James - At the time, not as well.

DJ #2 - (laughs) No.

DJ #1 - We have James Iha on the line with us and we also need to invite everybody listening to come out to the Double Door tomorrow night, Friday night, starting at about 9'ish James?

James - That is correct. 9 o'clock is the first band, Fulflej.

DJ #1 - It's a Scratchie Records showcase and I was having fun earlier just saying 'Cold rockin the woowoo'. What is that all about?

James - Well

DJ #1 - Isn't it fun to say?

James - It's kind of the sub title that we came up with. That Jeremy came up with.

DJ #1 - Cold rockin the woo woo.

DJ #2 - We thought it was a smudge in the ink or something, and we didn't want to say it at first. But, it's really that.

James - That is correct.

DJ #1 - Well tickets are 7 bucks, you can get them at the door and there's gonna be bands a plenty all night long.

James - All sorts of good bands.

DJ #1 - James, thanks for giving us 4 pairs of tickets to give away, we'll just give those away..

James - Ok.

DJ #1 - To the 10, 11, 12, and 13 callers right now. And before we let you go, we gotta just kind of ask you something..

James - Something about, the big alternative rock band that I'm in?

DJ #1 - Yeah, maybe Smashing Pumpkins related stuff..

James - Yeah well, obviously we've been going through some pretty hard and strange times lately, and I'd just wanted to thank everyone for their support. They people around us have all been great, we're also gonna find a new drummer and we're gonna tour the rest of '96 as soon as we get one. So thanks.

DJ #2 - James we wish you great luck, and please come up sometime we'd love to see ya.

James - OK

DJ #1 - Yeah, we'd love to have you in the studio. Best of luck, we're big fans.

James - OK, thank you.

DJ #1 - And good luck tomorrow night at the Double Door.

James - OK, thanks.

DJ #1 - Thank you.