Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images It just wouldn't have been a complete hippie…
- Posted on Apr 22nd 2011 12:15PM by Jenny Charlesworth
Vice Records | Christie Goodwin, Getty Images
"'Mad Dog' is about playing records backwards, like in the '80s, bands like Judas Priest used subliminal messages to tell people to kill their parents and stuff like that," Black Lips singer-guitarist Cole Alexander tells Spinner sarcastically. "So it's a song that pays tribute to that era."
(Spinner thought the messages urged the band's fans to kill themselves, but maybe Black Lips' tape player had evil urges of its own.)
Strangely, though, Black Lips chose brash, bling-loving pop star Ke$ha for their little physiological experiment with wax.
"It's not a sample; we just sang one of her songs backwards just to be funny," says Alexander. "Well, actually, we sang it forward but it was played backwards -- that's technology."
"What's 'Mad Dog' backwards?" asks lead guitarist Ian St. Pé, flashing a wide grin. "God Dam."
And so what was Ke$ha's reaction to getting the ol' 'Mad Dog' treatment?
"[Our producer] Mark Ronson called me 'cause he showed her the song and she liked it but she was a little weirded out about it," says Alexander.
Clearly not for long, as it seems Ke$ha is hoping Black Lips might tackle some more of her material -- this time, by her side in the studio.
"She wants us to do a punk rock song with her -- she likes punk rock," says Alexander. "So we're working that."
"Yeah, she's down," adds St. Pé.
"She's come to our shows," continues Alexander. "Actually, her ex-boyfriend's band, we used to play with all the time, Cheap Time. She used to hang out with normal people like us -- getting to the top, it's lonely but it's got a killer view."
But with Ke$ha currently making the rounds on her 'Get $leazy' tour and Black Lips about to embark on some serious travel plans of their own, the collab might have to wait.
"We're going to Japan then we go back to Europe and then to the Middle East -- Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq," says St. Pé. "We're shooting for September for the Middle East."
"We're not quitters, if we start something we finish it," says Alexander upon mention of the band returning to a part of the world that doesn't take too kindly to their wild antics (in 2009 Black Lips narrowly escaped prosecution in India after getting a bit too amorous onstage).
"Cole and I might not kiss this time," says St. Pé.
"We tried it and we didn't like it," quips Alexander.
Given their harrowing track record, you can't help but wonder how those closest to the group feel about them marching off into such volatile countries.
"How do soldiers' families feel like when they go off to war?" Alexander deadpans. "Fear's not an option."
"We're going for a diplomatic mission," he continues. "Our government can't seem to go make diplomatic ties with the Iraqi people, so we're going to go take it upon ourselves to do diplomacy through rock 'n' roll -- the universal language."