Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images It just wouldn't have been a complete hippie…
- Posted on Jun 8th 2011 4:00PM by Joe Tacopino
"Yeah, we all got very violently ill," Black Lips singer Cole Alexander tells Spinner. "I'm not exactly sure where it came from but [Mark] got really sick."
The band was recording a track for 'Arabia Mountain' called 'Raw Meat.' In the spirit of the song, the group ate some liver sashimi and shared it with Ronson. The meat was a bit too raw for consumption, leading to Ronson's hospitalization.
"He got like a 104 temperature and it was still rising," Alexander says. "I was like, 'If it gets to 105, your brain will start melting.'"
Black Lips went back in the studio without Ronson to work on 'Raw Meat,' but it wasn't without their own complications from the liver sashimi.
"We were like getting sick and we were like s---ing and puking. And it kinda f--- up the session a little bit," Alexander says. "It just stunk like a dead body. There was like two days where I was singing and vomiting and trying to sing. It was kind of horrible."
Bodily fluids are something the band has become accustomed to in a live setting. The group has been known for making out with each other during concerts and puking onstage (Alexander claims the puking is due to really bad acid reflux). But some of these chaotic stage antics may be homage to gutter punk legend GG Allin.
"He's one of my heroes," Alexander says about the late shock rocker. "He is a huge influence on me. He embodied rock 'n' roll to the fullest and lived it."
In an age where complacent indie rock is the norm, some fans and critics are shocked by the Black Lips frantic live show. But the band thinks that it's just good taste.
"Yeah, it's a primal energy. A lot of people have lost touch with that," Alexander says. "When rock 'n' roll first came out it unleashed people's primal instincts and they used to riot and burn pianos and tear the clubs up. We're not even trying to top GG. We're like GG-light."
Even being "GG-light" can get you into trouble, especially in a place like India, where the culture is a bit more conservative. The band apparently went over the line during a tour of the country in 2009, when Alexanderand guitarist Ian Saint Pé kissed onstage.
"When me and Ian did our thing and kissed in India, I don't think that'd ever been done on a stage in a musical show ever," Alexander says. "That was a cultural shock for the people in India. You're not allowed to kiss a girl in public, much less a guy. Richard Gere had to run out of the country because he kissed a Bollywood actress."
The Richard Gere incident occurred in New Delhi when the actor kissed Shilpa Shetty at an AIDS awareness rally. In response, protestors burned Gere in effigy and shouted "death to Shilpa Shetty."
"He had to flee the country for indecency," Alexander says about Gere. "You could only imagine two males, because they hate homosexuality there."
Shortly after the incident a "mysterious man" tried to steal their passports and the band took off to Berlin. They credit the whole experience as eye-opening for both them and fans in India.
As for their new album, the Black Lips were glad Ronson could squeeze them into his busy schedule. They credit him with creating a more refined sound to showcase their raw punk aesthetic.
"We called up Mark just to do a couple songs. But then it went well and it kept going. We ended up doing more of our album with him," Alexander says.
"It was kind of a mutual thing. We were kind of more underground for him, he was a little more accessible for us, so it was actually a good mix. We served each other well."
'Arabia Mountain' is out now on Vice Records.