from Urban Guerilla Zine #11
1442A Walnut St.
Berkeley, CA 94709
Q&A Subject: Nicki Sicki
UGZ: Ok, letís start in the present and work our way backwards. You have something like three records coming out this year? Could you tell us about those and maybe some of the other things going on in your life right now?
Nicki Sicki: Actually counting a bootleg itíll be 4. Since weíre starting at the present, the first is a HUMUNGUS record with Cheetah Chrome on guitar called "I Hate Mother Fucking Cops." Itíll be coming out on Beer City soon I hope. I havenít heard back from them since they got the songs but Iíve heard they want to cut off 4 DEAD BOYS songs we did. If thatís so, Iíve got 4 songs that need to go on some comps somewhere. Also Beer Cityís gonna re-release the VERBAL ABUSE LP/CD. Blitz did it without permission and didnít pay us so fuck them. Last but not least, Subterranean is putting out both Sick Pleasure releases on 1 CD. They said by the end of the year. Thereís a 7" out right now called "Destroy The Human Race", but itís a bootleg and I donít even know what songs are on it. Now if I could just get out of prison.
UGZ: How did you and your band HUMUNGUS get involved with Cheetah Chrome (DEAD BOYS)?
Nicki Sicki: Originally, Cheetah flew down to play 1 song, "Ainít It Fun", that we were covering. I ran into him in New York when we played the new music seminar. I had known him from the LEGIONARE'S DISEASE days. All the songs were already written then. He ended up playing on the whole album, although we turned him down a bit on the fast stuff. Actually, one song "Freedom Does Not Exist", was originally gonna be a DEAD BOYS song called "Some Kinda Animal", but I put my own lyrics to it. The DEAD BOYS have always been a legend to me, so it was cool as fuck to do songs with Cheetah.
UGZ: What was the band you did right before joining HUMUNGUS?
Nicki Sicki: I assume you mean DIRTBAG. We were up in Virginia and I swear I loved that band, but it fell apart in a drunken mess. I really wish we had at least got in the studio. It was like bluesy crust, if you can picture that.
UGZ: Was HUMUNGUS originally a Virginia band? Is there a connection between you and BUZZOV-EN? I noticed that they thanked you and HUMUNGUS on one of their records.
Nicki Sicki: HUMUNGUS is a Texas band. I didnít know Kirk thanked us, but heís been my bro from way back. DIRTBAG was the only harsh band in our area, and he had a band called SEWER PUPPETS in North Carolina, so we always did our shows together. When both bands broke up, Ashley our old drummer, got together with Kirk to form BUZZOV-EN, and my cousin Michael was their roadie. When BUZZOV-EN came through Houston, Kirk stayed at my house and I got him too high on speed. I was making some tapes, and he freaked out and thought I was gonna have him killed. My cousin asked him why he thought that when I was giving him free drugs and making him some tapes, and he said, "Did you listen to the lyrics on the tapes?" We left him alone in the living room to calm down and he called 911 and said someone was gonna kill him. I had about a pun of speed at the house, so we all had to split for the night cause the cops kept coming by. He ended up at a friendís helping him move and he was carrying a table up the stairs with 3 other guys when he realized they were all my friends and they might be trying to trap him, so he pushed them and the table down the stairs and ran off into the night. That was the last time I got him that high.
UGZ: What did you do after quitting VERBAL ABUSE?
Nicki Sicki: When I quit VERBAL ABUSE I went to Houston to start a band with Andy Shuman, who believe it or not ended up in VERBAL ABUSE. We called it AFTERBIRTH, and played a bit in San Francisco. We had a demo but only a few copies got out.
UGZ: How did VERBAL ABUSE first get together? Why did you leave the Texas scene for San Francisco?
Nicki Sicki: When I started VERBAL ABUSE, no one was really playing fast in Texas. This was right before the Dischord thing started. We came out to play and decided to stay.
UGZ: Were you a part of the vat scene?
Nicki Sicki: The vats were one reason we stayed. We paid $100 for our first monthís rent and thatís it. After we got to SF almost all the decent Texas bands moved to the vats. DICKS, MDC, DRI, Me, Mark Dagger, and Harley from the CRO-MAGS, and Spike (the female), shared a huge room upstairs. The band had a vat to practice in. It was great, everyone was there. The soup kitchen was down the street, so you could basically live for free.
UGZ: Why did you decide to quit VERBAL ABUSE after one tour? Was anyone left from the original line-up?
Nicki Sicki: Well, the original line-up, back in Texas, wasnít the same one I brought to San Francisco. They wouldnít relocate, so I found some guys that would. I already had all of those songs written. I quit after the tour because Joie was going for the metal/glam thing and I didnít want to.
UGZ: What were your thoughts when the rest of VA got another singer and continued to play as VERBAL ABUSE?
Nicki Sicki: I really consider the VERBAL ABUSE that kept playing as another band. It had no original members. They sounded nothing like the first LP. It pissed me off at first, but after I heard how they sounded I could only laugh. Fuck Scotty. He did some of my lyrics like "Worth A Try" and put his name to Ďem. Itís weird, Iíve got mixed feelings cause Dave, Andy, and Joie were my bros. I donít know why they let Scotty do that.
UGZ: How did you meet Dave Chavez? Do have any good Chavez stories to share?
Nicki Sicki: Dave Chavez, I love that guy. Every time Iíve been in the same city as him we end up together. I met him through Mike Fox. Mike asked me to sing for him and Dave, which became SICK PLEASURE. We got the name from a jacket I had with a picture of a syringe on the back with the name above it. Then there was VERBAL ABUSE. Bret joined the army and Dave was just a natural choice. A few years back I was on the run from the law and came back to SF, and Dave asked me to sing for him. Theyíd kicked Rat out of HOT ROD SHOPPING CART. We called it THE CART. We did some songs from HRSC, but every song got new lyrics. I just couldnít do the old ones. As for stories about Dave, since heís sober now, I wonít drag out all the drunk Dave stories, but when we were on tour, I farted once so bad he quit the band and got out of the van in Wisconsin with his bass and started walking home (to Oakland). We finally got him back in the van and I promised to yell Ďwarningí before I farted for the rest of the tour.
UGZ: Are you still going to do the SICK PLEASURE reunion eventually?
Nicki Sicki: About 2 years ago we did a spur of the moment SICK PLEASURE reunion show with Trip on guitar. We did a couple of songs that we had from THE CART too. Me and Dave will be doing something when I get out, probably with Trip if he still wants to. I was thinking of calling it SICK since itís not quite SICK PLEASURE, but weíll probably do a lot of the songs. Whatever happens, Iím coming back to the Bay Area, and I know Iíll play with Dave.
UGZ: Why did you quit SICK PLEASURE? Did you have any idea that it would be considered a legendary band all these years later? Are there any memories from that time that really stand out?
Nicki Sicki: Flattery will get you everywhere (Ha-Ha). Really though, Iíve never done a band with anything more than the idea of having fun, and with it stops being fun I move on. I quit SICK PLEASURE cause I was about 16 or 17, and my girlfriend had a kid. We shot speed every day and nobody worked. I was scared Iíd kill the kid or something. I had no idea what to do, so I moved to my momís in Virginia, for help. When we broke up she took the kid and I hit the road again and started VERBAL ABUSE. My best memory from SICK PLEASURE was playing with TSOL at the Cuckooís Nest.
UGZ: What was your opinion of CODE OF HONORís music? Did you know Jonathan Christ?
Nicki Sicki: Me, Mike, Fox, Jonathan Christ, my girlfriend Sheri, and my kid all lived together when I quit SICK PLEASURE. I thought SOCIETY DOG was excellent, but I thought Jonathanís lyrics sucked in CODE OF HONOR. The music was cool, but I knew Jonathan too well to take the lyrics seriously. Iím not saying my lyrics are good or bad, but I do write what I know, and live what I write. You donít write lyrics like "Iíve Got Herpes" to impress people.
UGZ: Ok, here goes three questions in one. What are the five best shows youíve ever attended? What are your five favorite punk records? What are your top five video games of all time?
Nicki Sicki: How the fuck do you know about my video game addiction? This was the hardest question of the interview. I made lists and crossed out names for 2 days, but here it goes. The top 5 shows: First has to be CRO-MAGS at CBGBís. They opened for us (VERBAL ABUSE) and honestly were the best band Iíve ever seen. Second was BEYOND POSSESION at Punkstock, a 2 day festival in Houston. It started raining, so they played in this tiny house. You couldnít fit 1 more person inside, and twice as many more were packed around the windows. They had so much power they backed everyone up so that all the windows smashed out. It felt like the house was in an earthquake. Third was when we (VERBAL ABUSE) opened for MINOR THREAT at the On Broadway. I always thought their records were good, but the live show blew me away. Ian owned that crowd. People dove from the second floor balcony non-stop. Fourth was LEGIONARES DISEASE before I joined them. They were the first punk band I ever saw, and it was violent crazy shit. I was only 14 and this was í77 or í78. I ended up joining them on bass, but Jerry, the singer, is still one of my biggest influences. Last but not least, BLACK FLAG with Dez singing at the Mab. I couldnít believe the got Henry. He ruined the band. Ok, my 5 favorite records (I included LPs, hope you donít mind): Number one has to be the DICKS Ė "Kill From The Heart". I still yell the words everytime I play it. Second would be MDCís first LP. They never quite found the magic of the first LP. Third Iíll say NEGATIVE APPROACH, either record. The song "Nothing" is one both so take your pick. Fourth would be Cro-Mags Ė "Age Of Quarrel". After listening to that you just want to break shit. Iím gonna go to six cause there are 2 that are newer, and it was all I listened to before I got locked up. I rotated between DYSTOPIAís LP (the one with all the samples) and BLOOD FOR BLOODís 7" "Enemy". Now for games. This is hard, Iíve got 170 games for the playstation alone, and Iíve got 7 systems, but here it goes: First off, RESIDENT EVIL, I still, to this day, havenít found a game that hooked me like that one. Next would be DOOM. Sure a lot of games did that style better later, but it was the first and still fun today. TONY HAWK has got to be the best game ever. TONY HAWK 2 came out after I was locked up, but I hear itís even better. DRIVER was the first driving game to get me hooked. Driving on a track seems stupid to me, but knocking off bands and selling dope, thatís my kind of game. Last would be SOUL CALIBUR. I almost said TEKKEN 3 but SOUL CALIBUR beat it for sure.
UGZ: Out of all the scenes that youíve experienced, which one held the most excitement for you?
Nicki Sicki: The Bay Area. No place else comes close. I just canít seem to get off parole in Texas before I get in trouble again.
UGZ: Will you ever sport the half shaved head, half spiked hair look again?
Nicki Sicki: Thatís pretty funny cause I actually thought Iíd do something like that when I came back to the Bay Area?
UGZ: Do you have any last words or something you want to talk about that we didnít cover in this interview?
Nicki Sicki: Last words, Iíd like to thank everyone that helped out with my legal expenses this time. Friends and bands raised 13 thousand for my lawyer, cause they tried to give me 25 to life for fucking speed. I ended up with a 5, and my out date is 5/5/02. I donít even know everyone that helped, but Damon (DRUNKEN THUNDER) and Leslie in Houston, and Kate and Trip in Oakland were responsible for everything. Some of the bands that did benefits for me are HUMUNGUS, DRUNK HORSE, DRUNKEN THUNDER, THE DRUNKS, TEXAS MILITIAMEN, RUSTED SHOT, VATOS LOCOS in Houston. In the Bay Area: DING DANG, VERBAL ABUSE, STRYCHNINE, DYSTOPIA, NOOTHGRUSH, SCRATCH HABIT, and Iím sure others that I donít know about. I owe my freedom (in 12 months) to you people. Thanks. Anyone that wants to write, Iíll return all letters. See ya in 12 months.
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