Before there was Kim and Thurston, there was Poison Ivy Rorschach and Lux Interior, one of the most charming, happiest, long-standing (together thirty-seven years) collaborative couples in music. They gave a recently rediscovered interview to Dutch public radio station VPRO around 1990 during The Cramps’ Stay Sick tour.
In the hour long interview, Poison Ivy and Lux talk about the gyrations involved in dealing with major and independent labels, overseas distribution deals, their invention of the word “psychobilly,” the ‘80s war on drugs, voodoo, religion, war, sex, B movies, and how they “Crampified” original classics such as “Bop Pills.” Their encyclopedic knowledge of rockabilly and B movies, which they rattle off effortlessly, is incredible. Lux outlines the history of American B movies for the interviewer:
Lux: The thing that’s so great, I think, about B movies is that when you watch a movie like that, they were made so quickly and usually by fairly amateur filmmakers that what you’re seeing is much more of the reality of the time and place where they were made than a motion pictures studio like MGM or Paramount or something like that. You’re actually seeing people who can’t act very well, so you see them as people, and they usually take place in somebody’s real house and on real streets and things, while all the other movies were being made on sets. There’s a slice of reality you don’t get in regular movies with those. I don’t know what it is. Once you’ve developed a taste for that, you can’t go back somehow.
Poison Ivy: A lot of sexploitation [movies], just even titles, influence our songs. The dialogue from a lot of those movies is in our songs. “Hot Pearl Snatch” is the name of a movie, “All Women Are Bad” is the name of a movie. They’re powerful titles to us enough that we felt like writing songs about them. Also they’re in lines of our songs.
Lux: “Bikini Girls With Machine Guns” could be a B movie. The line in that, “This stuff’ll kill ya,” that’s a title of a Herschell Gordon Lewis movie about moonshine. Our songs are just loaded with B movie titles and lines out of B movies. In “What’s Inside a Girl” I say “In the bottom of the bottomless body pit,” like that, and that’s out of a movie called—
Poison Ivy: “The Love Butcher.” That was actually a line of dialogue out of that movie. It’s hard for us not to use these lines because we’re just kind of submerged in these movies. We think that way. They don’t sound like dialogue to us.
Below, Lux Interior and Poison Ivy interviewed in Amsterdam, 1990:
Thanks to Kogar!