This inquisition features bassist Jonathan Bagamery of Murder for Girls.
List the names of every band that you’ve ever played in ever.
Paris Green (which had at least 11 other names, 1987-1995, 1997, 1999), Wreckin’ Ball (rockabilly, two shows, 1991), Propeller (the band my brother and I had after Paris Green, 1995-1997; it had a second name that we no longer acknowledge.) Liverball (2009-2010, on hiatus; I am hoping that we do additional Liverball shows at some point.) Lullaby Engine (2011-2012; this was a band that I started with one of my former students and that eventually morphed, after nine different members, into Murder for Girls). And then Murder for Girls.
What was the artist, album, or song that inspired you to play/write music?
When I was very young, my mom had a couple tins of 45’s and the Beatles red and blue albums. The singles I remembered liking were “Devil with a Blue Dress” and “Hang On, Sloopy.” I liked the later Beatles material, so I would be five or six and listening to those records and imagining myself playing the songs onstage. But there was no conscious decision. I started learning guitar and writing my own music shortly after that. And as I have reported elsewhere, that music was initially pretty bad.
What is your favorite piece of merch that you own?
Tell us one thing about the Pittsburgh music scene that could be better and one thing about the scene that you love.
I actually don’t like to think about a “scene.” I just wish that I could go to more shows. And it’s interesting how I can look at show listings and not know any of the bands, with how many there are. Not that that’s something I love; it’s just interesting, the number and variety of bands.
What’s something about you/your band that you think people should know that maybe they don’t?
Well, I’m not sure. I guess that people ought to realize that we don’t have anything to do with murder. And that the song titles sometimes don’t have anything to do with the lyrical content of the songs; I often pick the names of directors, actresses, or female characters as placeholders, and sometimes the names stay, and sometimes they don’t.
If you had to pick only one of your songs for people to listen to, which one would it be?
“Jennifer Lynch” is probably my favorite of our songs.
Who would you cast in the movie of your band?
Well, we have already talked about this. I have pointed out that we sort of have a Witches of Eastwick thing going on, if we wanted to do that for Halloween or whatever. So Susan Sarandon would be Tammy, Michelle Pfeiffer would be Michelle, Cher would be Steph, and Jack Nicholson would be me.
I mean, they’re not witches. And I’m not, you know, Jack Nicholson.
How does your mom/family react to your music? Do they come to your shows?
What band or artist have you seen live the most number of times?
Paris Green repeatedly played with several bands in the 1990’s. So probably, back then, Bunjie Jambo or Liquid Brick. More recently, there are literally dozens of bands that I have seen two or three times. I know I have seen Sonic Youth three times. But I have never followed a band to the extent of seeing them 50 or 100 times, as some people do.
What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you at a show as a performer or spectator?
One time, I was playing at a stage that was used for local theater, and there were some props sitting around. While I was playing, I was struck over the head with a giant foam sandwich. The sandwich was about ten feet long. It had all the fixin’s.
And one time, I was trying to leave a Guided by Voices show, and I had my car keys in my hand and was headed toward the exit, and Robert Pollard coincidentally collapsed in front of me and landed directly at my feet.
Oh, and Mike Watt hugged me.
And you know, cops showing up, as cops tend to do.
Murder For Girls and Punksburgh would also like to thank Jon B Snow Music for the excellent photographs.