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120 Minutes with D'arcy and James
November 16, 1996, 11:00 pm

Source: 120 Minutes

120 Minutes
D'Arcy Wretzky and James Iha
Hosted by Matt Pinfield
November 17, 1996

Matt Pinfield here with D'Arcy and James of Smashing Pumpkins. Glad to have you here today. We are talking about the Scratchie Record label, the new record label that you have. And you've had it for about a year and a half, two years now. And how exactly do you form a label?

D'Arcy: About a year and a half, two years ago.

MP: So I was pretty correct then.

D'Arcy: Yeah

James: Right on the money.

MP: Now how is Kerry involved, your husband, who is in the band "Catherine" is on the label as well.

D'Arcy: He does a lot of the producing for some of the bands. James and I also try to involve our self. Not producing, Iím sorry, It's in the recording like the technical things, the engineering specifically.

James: Yeah, he worked on one of the bands Fulflej. Which is coming out or which is out right now.

MP: Yeah, nothing but good things, people are reacting now. Now, you were involved in this video and song "Four-Leaf Clover" which you do some vocals on. This is a really cool song. It's got this early 80s-70s feel to it.

D'Arcy and James: Yeah

MP: I really like it a lot, it's really cool. How did you start to get involved? Is it something Kerry said 'Hey lets do something together, I know Billy produced the first EP.

D'Arcy: Right.

MP: Was it just from just hanging out at home or...

D'Arcy: I was there and they have this song and they wanted to make it like a girl-boy kinda thing. So they asked me if I wanted to do it, and I said I would. It worked really well with Mark, the singers, vocals. Fortunately sometimes you can't tell when he's singing and when I'm singing. I'm on some of the songs off the records.

James: It's pretty risque

MP: It's a cool song and it's a cool video. We'll check it out right now. Right now we are going to play the first video off of Catherine's latest record. It's called "Hot Saki and Bedtime Stories" which features of course D'Arcy and this is the video for "Four Leaf Clover".

*Video of "Four Leaf Clover"*

I'm Matt Pinfield here with D'Arcy and James. We were just talking off camera about the name Scratchie Records. J

ames: It's sorta a tack-tile name very textural--Scratchie.

MP: You were thinking of cat claws before...

James: I was thinking of cat claws. What were you thinking of?

MP: I was thinking of when you put on a record and you hear scratches...

James: Oh, alright.

MP:...there's warmth to those nicks and pops on a record sometimes.

James: Two turntables and a microphone.

MP: Yeah.

D'Arcy: The name was mine. I'm very proud of it.

MP: It was your idea then. Is that were you got it from, or what were you thinking?

D'Arcy: I don't know, it just popped into my head and I just thought it could be anything you want it to be. But we couldn't spell it how we wanted to. Because someone else took that already.

MP: Yeah, so the actual label has a lot of different typed of music on it. Was that a conscious effort? Were you feeling a lot of labels get pigeon holed. A similar sound, a similar stupe, or a similar image, and you got things going on like jungle music and toaster rave stuff.

James: Me and D'Arcy brought a couple of the rock bands. D'Arcy found Fulflej from Richmond. And Fulflej used to...they did a tour with The Smashing Pumpkins. The Frogs of course are comrades of us. Jeremy Freedmen, the president of Scratchie, is D'Arcys brother-in-law, he's really into dance hall, reggae. He's found a singer Poncho Chrystal and he's...

D'Arcy: Mike Lad

James: Mike Lad, abstract New York hip-hop rock artist and that's coming out in March. And sounding like record mole hole right now. *laughs* It's all these elements that comes swirling together to produce Scratchie.

MP: Yeah, because they were on Mammoth for awhile.

D'Arcy: Yeah, definitely. We've been fans for along time. We just felt complex with them. They were getting off of there label and we just felt like, 'Why isn't this band doing so much more?' Because we all love there music for years now. They've been around for a very long time.

James: Tyson, the singer, i'm not sure if you've met him but he's a...real star. He's a character. I will duplicate his laugh right now. This might sound like an exaggeration, but it's not. hehehehehehehehehehehehehe.

D'Arcy: He can do it better, Iíve heard you do it better.

James: Well anyways...

D'Arcy: Get your voice warmed up.

James: Imagine that fronting a rock band.

D'Arcy: But not, not all of them.

James: In between songs. He doesn't actually sing anything like that.

MP: That's really actually cool that you signed him after being on Triple X, and Mammoth and all the things they've done in the past going back and forth, just trying to find the right audience. Just were people have checked them out. I don't think radios are giving them much of a shot either.

D'Arcy: It doesn't really seem like it. All the years they have been around I've never really seen much promotion for them. So how can people know about them. So we do what we can.

MP: That's good. We'll be talking more with D'Arcy and James when we come back. When we come back we will talk with a band who is on there Scratchie Label.

*commercials*

MP: Welcome back to 120 minutes. I'm Matt Pinfiled, and this is of course D'Arcy and James of The Smashing Pumpkins. We are also joined with Adam Schlesinger, and Chris Collingwood of "Fountains of Wayne". Good to have you guys here.

Adam & Chris: Glad to be here.

MP: Adam, years ago you played keyboards in "Red House".

Adam: Yeah it's when we first met, I think, way back when.

MP: of course Ivy as well. This Fountains of Wayneís record is an excellent record. It's really cool and people are really reacting to it. Are you surprised to the reaction that people are really...

Adam: I think we are. The whole record came together really quickly. Chris and I used to play together in a band. We stop playing for a couple of years, do to various other things we were doing. We wrote the songs fast, and recorded them fast. We were just pleasantly surprised that everyone liked it as much as we did.

MP: The band was called "The Wallflowers" wasn't it?

Adam: I think we had just about ever band name in history. Yes, we did have a band called a band called "The Wallflowers" for awhile, obviously we had to change that name.

MP: Did you actually sell that name to Jacob Dylan?

Chris: We did.

MP: That's the greatest story.

Chris: It paid the legal fees though.

MP: It did pay the legal fees though, that's a good thing.

Chris: That's about the only thing it did.

MP: Now Fountains of Wayne, is that in reference to Wayne, New Jersey. Like something in the town itself.

Adam: Yeah I grew up in Montclair, New Jersey. And Fountains of Wayne is a store in Wayne and It's right next to the DMV where you go and get your drivers licensed renewed. So everybody in New Jersey knows this place. So we have since gone in and made friends with the people of the place.

D'Arcy: Have them to sign the contract., so they won't be sued Adam: Like, they'll be singing background vocals on our next record, so everything is cool.

MP: I bet there psyched though.

Chris: The owner of the place was worried that we were going to be like gangster rappers.

D'Arcy: Don't they sell like lawn ornaments there or something?

Chris: Yeah

Adam: Christmas tress decorations.

James: Bird baths

Chris: Largest out door statuary you will find anywhere.

MP: Right now we are going to play the first video of "Fountains of Wayne" self titled debut album here on 120 minutes. Lets check it out again, its called "Radiation Vibe"

*video of "Radiation Vibe"*

MP:I'm Matt Pinfeild here with D'Arcy and James of The Smashing Pumpkins. And Chris and Adam of Fountains of Wayne. Now your from the label Adam as well, right? What are your responsibilities for the Scratchie label or do you like want D'Arcy or James to describe those.

Adam: We sorta split up as much as we can handle. Obviously the three of us imparticular are pretty much tied up most of the time. But we've all helped getting the records together. I was in the studio with Fulflej for awhile. When Chainsaw Kittens or Fulflej some to New York they all are lined on my floor. We've all kind of split up everything as much as we can. We don't really have these set roles. Mostly we just make Jeremy do everything...no.

MP: It's one of these things you don't have to have this big title.

D'Arcy: I want the big title

James: I was to be Zar.

MP: You want to be national label promotion coordinator, vice president.

D'Arcy: Princess of Adore

MP: Princess of Adore, that's good. We'll start using that sometimes actually. After the break we are going to play another video with Adams other band "Ivy" so stay with us.

*commercials*

MP:I'm Matt Pinfeild here with D'Arcy and James of The Smashing Pumpkins. And Chris and Adam of Fountains of Wayne. Now "Ivy" us your other band as well. Of course you had other out before this.

Chris: and an album.

Adam: Yeah, Ivy, it's sorta got going in about '93 and was kinda the reason me and Chris stopped playing music together, because Ivy kept me really busy for along time. We've been working on a new Ivy record this summer. Which will probably be out in the spring.

MP: We are going to see a clip from "I Hate December" in a couple of minutes. D'Arcy and James were you fans of Ivy as well?

D'Arcy: No.

James: We hated them. No, really we like Ivy. Actually this song is going to be put out on Scratchie.

D'Arcy: This is my favorite Ivy song.

Adam: This is actually a remix of a song that was on our first EP. We've sorta did a groovy remix of it which we put out on Scratchie. Sorta anti-Christian single or something.

MP: Kind of like that Fear single years ago.

Adam: It always gets compared to that.

MP: So your back together now and things are going really well.

Chris: We're just about suing each other...

Adam: We don't speak to each other. That's why Iím facing this side. No, it's been really good and we've had a lot of fun with this. And we write really well together.

MP: We are going to play an Ivy video right now, it's called "I Hate December".

Credit: Matt Pinfield