Semigloss Magazine 1996

James Euringer AKA “Mindless Self Indulgence” is a tall lanky man who’s favorite pastimes/obsessions are devouring twisted comic books, chasing 10 year old girls, and writing music about them. From his first E.P. on Chip Records, produced by Benjamin Costman (Deep Forest), most would file MSI under the industrial family tree and easily associate him with none other than the “Man in Pain” Mr. Trent Reznor. But as we all know change is inevitable. By hearing some rough samples of his new work it was nice hear Euringer was “coming into his own” as some say, through experimentation and use of collage. Luckily before the release of his debut album I was able to catch up with him and shoot the shit.

Like all New Yorkers struggling to do something with their art, Euringer has done his share of odd jobs and begins to tell me about his latest experience within the world of Fashion and Film. As an extra, of course.

JE: For me it’s just like an easy hundred dollars to stand around and hang out.

SG: Free buffet?

JE: Yeah, fuck it! My actual physical work was like 5 minutes. I walked through a scene the shot and it was over. But afterwards I was on this big bus for the actors and extras, fucking thing was like an airplane, had videos and lights and all this other shit, it was really bugged. It’s fun, but the thing I like about it is that I feel like I do have something over everyone else because everyone is so damn stereotypical, like all the models are totally vapid, they have the worst damn taste, they’re all like absolute morons. And all the people that are running the place are so obviously like, “Hey babe, blah blah blah,” it was like a goddamn movie, it was so stereotypical I was embarrassed.

SG: Fabulous, darling, fabulous!

JE: This one black guy who’s like the head agent dude, got me the first job. It was cool, but then he hooks me up with this other photographer guy who wanted me to work for free. I would have done it if his work was good but it totally sucked. So even if I got a tear sheet I wouldn’t want it in my book. So that weekend I split for Long Island and he leaves me a message on my on Saturday night saying “Oh the shoots at 10 a.m. Sunday morning,” so I get home at 3 in the morning Sunday night. And I’m like oh well, so I call him on Monday to tell him I missed the shoot and he was like all quiet and shit, like a seventeen year old bullshit just because I fucked up a job.

SG: So that’s what you’ve been doing?

JE: Yeah, besides that, Benjamin is paying me to mail out my own shit. Yeah, the old EP should be available in record stores any day now.

SG: Are you looking for a distribution deal?

JE: I don’t know what Benjamin is looking for. His thing is called Squeaky Clean Sound Works. He and his partner, Christian, have a management company called Passion that manages Deep Forest and markets Underworld and Goldfinger. That’s where he gets most of his money and is basically his main job.

SG: So he started his label as a side project?

JE: He started a label called Knockout which was a dance label and that’s when I met him. And then we decided since I was doing a lot of stuff that was harder, Knockout sounds much more rap, like a dance thing, like yo, yo, yo, Knockout, word. So we made up a little label called Chip Records. Like a computer chip, get it? So anything I’m on says Chip, so it doesn’t look totally retarded like I’m on Doodyhead Records.

SG: Doodyhead Records? Hahaha. “Yo, my nigga’s on Doodyhead Records and shit, yo.”

JE: Which actually would be a good record label.

SG: So what’s the album like?

JE: It’s gonna be a short album. It’s only 12 songs and they’re all kind of short. The longest on is 4 minutes, the shortest is about 2. It makes just about half an hour. But the new shit I’m doing is like the future. And it’s completely different. It’s crazy shit. It’s like trying to fit as many styles as you possibly can into a 2 minute punk song. It goes from West Coast Rap, to Jungle, to Trip Hop, back to Industrial, a little Punk thing, Trip Hop, back to the West Coast Rap, out, next song.

SG: That sounds cool. Ah, I guess. If I’m schizophrenic maybe.

JE: Yeah, I like to fuck around with things. Especially kids toys that make sounds. I like running them through effects and tweaking them for about four or five hours til I get a really sick sound and then lay it down on tape. But as far as shipping a tape around to labels it’s no problem. They can just hear what it’s like, either they dig it, or they don’t. But as far as the live thing goes, a lot of it is a pain in the ass because I like to do unorthodox set ups and labels want drummers. They want a certain amount of people/instruments on stage.

SG: Yeah, but what about Beck, Beastie Boys, and other cats that are like mainly studio musicians?

JE: It’s okay to do it in certain venues. You can do it in rap, in dance music, but you can’t do it in rock. Yeah, I gotta get the drummer situation squarred away. But what I want is not necessarily a conventional drummer. I’ve got a couple leads but nothing is for sure yet. I’ve got an ad in the paper for a female drummer but haven’t found anyone yet. We’ve got the drummer Lenny Kravitz’ band, Cindi Blackman and the guy from Helmut in mind for hire.

SG: Well why don’t you just tell everyone that’s reading the zine right now exactly what you’re looking for.

JE: Well, I’m looking for a girl drummer who doesn’t mind a bunch of pedophiles, looks cool, doesn’t mind playing an unconventional set and not playing all the time but rather doing fills and accents, but add to the live proformance as well.

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