Jello Biafra Talks Albums with Billy Gould and The Melvins

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine - Audacity of Hope

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine – Audacity of Hope

Jello Biafra (The Dead Kennedys) recently spoke with punknews.org about his discography including his projects with The Melvins and Billy Gould.

Jello Biafra and Billy Gould

Billy Gould has had many projects beyond playing bass for Faith No More.  One of those projects was playing as part of Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine on bass alongside Ralph Spight on Guitars, Jon Weiss on Drums, and Kimo Ball on Guitars. Gould played Bass on two albums with Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine. The first was a full-length album, The Audacity of Hope, and the second was an EP, Enhanced Methods of Questioning.

Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine – Enhanced Methods of Questioning EP

Biafra recently sat down with Punknews.org and talked through each of the albums he’s worked on, including Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine’s The Audacity of Hope.  

Here’s what Jello Biafra had to say about The Audacity of Hope:

Near the time of the Biafra 5-0 shows, the Melvins had already gotten Cody and Jarred and really wanted to go off and work their own thing, and boy did that turn out well. When Buzz said to me, very excitedly, “I think we’re just beginning to tap in to what we can do with this lineup,” I thought “okay, that’s probably the end of the Jelvins.” Dale was saying, “you know, you really need to get your own band again.”

Then, around that time, I saw Iggy and the Stooges at the Warfield and thought, “Oh shit! I turn 50 in about six months, I better do something! So, after all these years, I had a deadline and finally the band happened. So I booked Biafra 5-0 for my 50th and got GSM going. We didn’t have a name yet, so we called ourselves the Axis. We had Kimo ball and we were a double guitar lineup.

Billy Gould had to go back to Faith No More who were just reforming and said “Look, I can’t do this anymore unless we record now.” We recorded and we had enough stuff and some experimental improv stuff to put in that we got Audacity of Hype and Advanced Methods of Questioning.

Jello Biafra and the Melvins

Prior to working with Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine, he worked with The Melvins on Never Breathe What You Can’t See and Sieg Howdy! 

Jello Biafra with The Melvins - Never Breathe What you Can't See

Jello Biafra with The Melvins – Never Breathe What you Can’t See

Here’s what Jello Biafra had to say about Never Breathe What You Can’t See and Sieg Howdy!:

After all these years, the Melvins were coming on like gangbusters at Slims. After all these years of not quite digging the Melvins , suddenly, they are completely blowing me away. Then, they start to play, of all things, “Halo of Flies.” “There’s no way they’re going to play… they’re playing ‘Halo of Flies!’” So I said, “okay, now is the time to really start liking the Melvins.”

Either that time or the next time, by that time, the ugly trial with the other ex-members of the Dead Kennedys had gone down. And Buzz and Dale came to me saying that they were very, very angry with how that had gone down and how I had been treated, plus he launch of the fake Dead Kennedy, often with my picture in the ad.

They said to me, how about we go on tour and we’ll play those songs, but we’ll play them right. I said, “Well, if we’re gonna do that, why don’t we just play new songs?” So, that project was launched.

Ironically, Buzz was bringing in punkier riffs for me and I was bringing in some slower, stoner-rock stuff to play to the Melvins. I thought “Islamic bomb” might not need two drummers if Dale does it. So, I thought, “this is my chance.” I brought in that song and am so glad that I did. That was in part, inspired by Sandy Nelson and the Persuaders.

Jello Biafra with The Melvins - Sieg Howdy!

Jello Biafra with The Melvins – Sieg Howdy!

Buzz told me later that the opening riff to “Caped Crusader” was just him noodleing around and apparently I said, “Stop! Stop! Stop! That reminds me of Monster Magnet!” Then I got typical comment back from Buzz about Monster Magnet. But, I was like, “No! No! No! I actually like Monster Magnet!” I like them a lot, actually. He didn’t tell me until later that the riff was his standard noodle around riff in sound check and he had never turned it into a song. They also astonished me in that they had no plans to record “Halo of Flies.” They already knew it, so they just recorded it and put me on, singing instead.

You can read the full interview here.

Watch Jello Biafra “Play Nazi Trumps Fuck Off” with Dead Cross

And as a final bonus here’s a clip of Jello Biafra performing with Dead Cross on their 2017 North American tour.

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