Alberto E. Rodriguez, Getty Images Exene Cervenka is ready. She arrives at…
- Posted on Jun 3rd 2011 4:00PM by Chris Epting
Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images
Spinner caught up with founding members John Doe and Exene Cervenka about the tour, the band today and the origins of X.
Going back to the beginning, what were you listening to when X was born? Were you influenced at all by what was happening in London in the late 1970s?
John Doe: For me, it was East Coast stuff. Mostly the Velvet Underground, MC5, Modern Lovers. Lou Reed had a huge impact on me. I liked the stuff with really simple melodies, some humor -- stuff that sounded real and not calculated.
Exene Cervenka: For me, it was thrift-store 45s that influenced me the most. I'd spend a quarter and take a chance that the record was going to be great. The Ventures, Billie Holiday, Laura Nyro -- a total mixed bag. But that's how I first got exposed to jazz, Americana, soul -- everything.
Exene, when X formed, it wasn't like there was a lack of other women in bands, right?
Cervenka: There were so many. The Go-Go's, Kira Roessler from Black Flag, Martha
Davis from the Motels and many more. That made it really cool for me. I was in good company. We all kind of had our style, but we were part of the same movement. For me, I arrived in Los Angeles not even knowing what a bagel was. But John taught me a lot, the scene taught me a lot. It was amazing. As for what I learned to do on stage, I discovered early I could just stand there or become a sort of weird cheerleader that moves in reaction to the music. Guess which I chose?
Once the band caught on, your life hit the fast lane.
Cervenka: It all came fast and hard. New friends, all sorts of craziness. But as a band we all helped each other navigate through the madness.
John, can you describe your relationship today with Exene?
Doe: I cannot put it into 25 words or less. We're partners in a way few people get to experience. We share nostalgia, love, respect. She knows me really well. When we sing together, it just happens. I can sense where she is going to go and it's beautiful.
Exene, does the same go for you with John?
Cervenka: We have so much history and so many feelings, and so many musical connections, what can I say? We remain connected and that's why it's so important to still play together.
What can fans expect at these Boardwalk shows?
Doe: Lots of screwing around [laughs]. And lots of classic X. We're one of the few bands touring with all original members, so our fans get to experience the real band, the one they first got turned on to.
Cervenka: For me, it will be a blast. I show up, see old friends and fans, walk out, do what I love with John and the guys. Every gig is sort of like going home for me.
Are there bands today that you admire?
Doe: Wilco and Radiohead are two bands I really appreciate because of how they approach their work. They always amaze , how they grow, how break new ground. I love those bands.
Cervenka: I've found this group from Oklahoma called Skating Polly. It's these two teenage sisters. They're amazing.
Exene, how are you coping with your multiple sclerosis?
Cervenka: Medically, I'm a bit of a confused subject right now. Lots of stuff they're still looking at, but I'm feeling good and I want people to know, nothing is going to stop me from doing what I do. When you see the shows this summer, you'll see. I'm OK. They'll figure it all with my health. I'll take care of the other stuff.
Download X Songs | Buy X Albums