Interview: The Giraffes

posted February 20, 2006

by Corinne

The GiraffesHow are you?

Andrew Totolos: Horny and hungry.

Damien Paris: Charred and challenged.

Aaron Lazar: Vindictively retarded.

John Rosenthal: I am feeling violated.

Why don’t you introduce yourselves?

Totolos: I am Andrew. I play drums. I am Greek and I still think little boys are a good idea. I also worship many gods. Including the god of douche baggery.

Paris: Guitarist. I am a pro front toucher.

Lazar: Aaron Lazar. I am the singer and the guy with the dumb mustache. I hate you.

Rosenthal: I play bass and I got a ‘D’ in life skills.

So where did the name “The Giraffes” come from?

After being gang raped in jail, Damien woke up in the shower with finger bruises around his neck that looked like giraffe spots. So when someone needed a moist hole they would say “go get the giraffe.” Did I mention that giraffes do not make sound that came from the sock stuffed in Damien’s mouth?

The Giraffes’ self-titled album has this really full, aggressive hard rock sound that is not really what is “hot” at the moment. Do you think that gives you an edge and sets you apart from the musical pack? How would you describe your sound?

Rosenthal: We would rather be playing free jazz. Playing hard rock gives me time to work on my meth lab. I would describe the sound as Grenada 1983.

Paris: It keeps us broke because the public is dumb. The sound is like a blender whizzing up a sperm smoothie.

Lazar: This week: yes. The week after that: no. The week after that: yes. The week after that: no. The sound is like Tina Turner raping Niagara Falls.

Totolos: I think of it as us at the edge of unemployment and I think it does set us apart and only the cool kids can come and play with us. The music sounds like my balls slapping against the face of a record exec.

I read that the band started out as a surf instrumental band. While some of that sound is still there, it is not really prominent. Was making the switch to the current sound a natural progression?

Yes, si, ne, da, yavolt. Suck it.

You played at South by Southwest last year and you are set to play there again this year. What was that experience like?

Rosenthal: It was like James Brolin fisting Barbra Streisand.

Paris: Putting boiled peanuts in my ass and teaching 3rd graders how to huff glue.

Lazar: Like a strip-o-gram at a kindergarten.

Totolos: A palsy hand job.

I happened to catch The Giraffes in Philadelphia in June with Local H. There was one woman, in particular, going absolutely crazy during the show and I believe I heard it mentioned she was the guitar player’s mother. Does the band have a lot of support from your families?

Paris: We don’t call them families we call them sponsors and po officers

Rosenthal: I murdered my foster family.

Totolos: Do you know where my family is?

Lazar: I call my right hand dad and my left hand mom

On stage, you guys are all very animated and physical. Is it important to you to put on a show and entertain the fans or are you performing for yourselves?

Both, depending on the voices in our heads.

After your upcoming tour dates, will the band get back to writing and recording? When can we expect a follow-up to “The Giraffes?”

The writing never stops. Expect it soon. Remember Waco?

Name an underrated band you think deserves more attention.

The Giraffes. Leonard Nimoy.

What have you been listening to recently?

Leonard Nimoy. Manson’s jam tapes. And Wesley Willis.

If you could have written any song, what song do you wish you had written and why?

Rosenthal: Yankee Doodle because I yank my doodle.

Paris: The ABCs because touching is teaching.

Lazar: Let the Eagles Soar by John Ashcroft because that guy ignores everything.

Totolos: Fit throwing hell ride. Because I am on one right now.