My dog Zeus always sits in the same room as me when I write. He is my barometer to gauge the intensity of music. Although my Michigan Shepherd didn't run out of the room like his ass was on fire like he did when I wrote about "Kill Switch…Klick," he did become highly agitated and restless when I put on the She Might Have a Gun CD, Live Drugs. In fact, I haven't seen him this distraught since I fed him leftover Sloppy Joes last summer.
Rising out of the debris like bum in Tenny Park on a Sunday afternoon, She Might Have a Gun is the end product of too many Madison bands [Magic Seven, Horizon 90, Last Crack, Autumn's Dance, One Day War, Breath of Life, The Lotus Band, Krash Holiday]. Curiously, much like Green River/Mother Love Bone/Pearl Jam a decade before them.
Formed in the summer of 98, by Trinity James Mellon and Jamison Downing after they both found themselves without a band. Scraping together other musicians to fill the hole, She Might Have a Gun was born. Dispensing with all regards to the current trends, She Might Have a Gun blazes it's own way, distributing its sonic barrage with tribal abandonment. She Might Have a Gun's music bites you in the ass like a beer soaked squirrel in your sleeping bag. The band consists of Jamison Downing and Noah Rickun on guitars, Trinity Mellon on vocals, Chin on bass, Hooch on congas and poetry and the multi-talented and infamous Buddo on drums. I spoke with the band while they were trying to decide what limo company to hire for their next show.
On Live Performances:
Jamison: I think the time in between the songs are longer than the songs. When we play a show, we never know what to expect. We spend way too long in between songs coming up with stuff on the spot. You never know what Trinity is going to do up there. Every show we've played, he's mooned the crowd at least once. Sometimes, he's not even on stage. I've had my guitar short out because Trinity spilt beer all over it. At the end of our set on New Years Eve, we had an additional fifteen or twenty up on stage with us dancing and grooving. There have been a couple of shows that I don't ever remember.
Noah: It's a chance for me to show another side of my personality that I don't normally get to show. I kind of feel that I'm playing a roll and that it's not really me onstage. I'm living out my childhood fantasies.
Chin: We're not really expecting anything. We just go out there and play and have fun.
Buddo: It's absolutely kaos. It's like any minute it could all break apart and be a train wreck onstage.
Jamison: The songs are structured but there are segments in a couple of songs that are open-ended, we might extend a song or go wild with the intro.
Trinity: Lyrically our songs are about growing up in Madison and the surrounding areas. The crazy
phases that we all go through. Madison isn't Chicago or a big city and there's really not much to do except go to your local bar and get into trouble.
First there was light, then there was music:
Jamison: It started almost as a joke between Trinity and me. We've been in bands for almost ten years now and we were both in down time, so we thought let's do something crazy and over the top together. It'll probably never pan out, but let's give it a shot. That first night we just hit it off. We came up with two or three songs right off the bat. A few months later we started playing out. For a while we tried to only perform on a band member's birthday, but there weren't any birthdays coming up for a while, so we dropped that idea.
Hooch: We started off as a side thing and we didn't have any idea what we were going to do or how we were going to do it.
Trinity: The five or six of us have all been in bands and tried to go the serious route. You know write the song that's going to change the world? I think we all got fed up with that. We're just going back to the basics and having fun again.
Noah: It was like getting a girl drunk and taking her home with you. Trinity and Jamison got me wasted and then told me about the idea for the band. I committed when I was totally drunk.
Buddo: The guys offered me the position and I had a drum set handy. That's entertainment!
Hooch: This music is so balls out! It's so fun to play. I've played in and out of bands since I was fifteen and this is by far, the best energy and vibe that I ever had with any other band. Our music is on ten the whole time.
Trinity: I want to entertain like in the vein of David Lee Roth, Paul Stanley and Elvis Presley. Just go up there and take you [the audience] for a ride. I don't want to take myself too seriously. A debut live CD?
Buddo: We had a friend who interned at Smart Studio and he had a whole free day of recording time. We went in there to do three songs. We get in there, I'm playing on Butch's [Butch Vig] drum set, and that was great. They have really great equipment. We got everything down by one in the morning. It's all on a master tape. The next couple of days, our friend fuckin' gets canned from Smart and they erased the tape on us. We lost everything. That would have been our official demo. But as it happens we played this live show at Regent Street Retreat and they were burning CDs. If we wouldn't of bought it off them, they just would of erased it or bootlegged it, who knows.
Chin: I didn't know that we were going to record it.
Trinity: Peter Frampton did a live album and it was his biggest hit. I'm really into live music so I'm glad we did a live CD.