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The Whips

Talk It Out - The Whips - 9:30 Club - Washington, D.C. - April 25, 2004

The_WhipsJodi:  I’m Talking It Out at the 9:30 Club with The Whips, a fantastic Washington D.C. eclectic, rock-punk band.  How would you describe yourselves?

Matt:  We like to describe ourselves as Hot Rock.
Jodi:  Hot Rock, right on!  Tell me, what’s the D.C. Hot Rock music scene like right now?

Matt:  Well, actually the D.C. scene is really cool right now.  There’s a lot of really good bands.  There’s us, The WhipsThee Snuff Project, Wooly Mammoth, People Chasing PeopleThe Frequency.  There’s a lot of really good rock bands and they’re very eclectic.  A lot of really good rock bands in D.C. right now, almost as good as it was in the early 90’s.

Jodi:  Where do you get the music from?

Matt:  From the heart…and the soul…I mean, where else?

Jodi:  Well, it certainly moves you.  Your moves are very swanky cool.

Matt:  Oh, well thank you very much.  Thank you.

Jodi:  You’ve got to see The Whips! The Whips are….my favorite new word is FAST.   Sometimes I start my own words, not that I started the word fast by any stretch, but I wanted to say, you guys are really fast!  Like, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants fast.

Matt:  We’re definitely fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants.  That’s a very good phrase to describe us.  Fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants.

Trip:  I just want to say, like, your favorite LP, that one part that you really, really love in the song, that’s like all of our songs are built on those really amazing parts.  When you’re going crazy in your home and in your stereo, and you’re rockin out to your favorite albums, we’re trying to capsulize that energy with all of our hot rock songs.

Arika:  All of us are in our 30s, and we’ve all been in lots of bands before, and done lots of touring.  We all genuinely really love each other and play together extremely well.  That’s why it works so well.  We’re not trying to do anything except rock.  All of take it back to our teens, like sitting in our bedrooms listening to Van Halen and Led Zepplin, and….

Matt:  And the Bad Brains!

Arika:  And the Bad Brains, all through our lives.  All the great songs that we’ve listened to, we’re not at a point in our lives where we want to play that joy that we have.

Trip:  You know how they call cigarettes a nicotine delivery system.  We are a rock delivery system!

Jodi:  This is going to be a strange question, and I’ve never asked anyone this question before, but aside from yourselves, when you look in the mirror, who do you remind yourselves of?

Matt:  Oh, that’s a hard one to answer.
Jodi:  When you look at your soul, who do you feel like?  Who’s coming out?

Matt:  All I can say is that the guy who made me want to be a vocalist was Pete Stahl from Scream.

Jodi: I have Janis Joplin so within me, not that I can sing like her, but at some moments I find myself just raging like Janis Joplin.

Arika:  Oh my God.

Jodi:  Janis?

Arika:  Oh my God!  It’s a really interesting a good question.  I really don’t know.  I think I’d just be me.

Jodi:  That’s good.

Trip:  I would be Pete Townsend channeled through an 80’s I-hate-Reagan-punk-rock-attitude.

Jodi: I have a friend who reminds me of Marilyn Monroe but with jet black hair.  Same red lips, but she came back as a jet black pop sultry rock singer.  Like if Marilyn could have her way in this world, she’d be in the rock scene.  I felt like I saw Abraham Lincoln as this tall half-black lawyer, as if that is what he came back as…you know?  So The Whips were a political party back in the day, correct?

Matt:  Yes, in the early days of the American political system.  Whips were a very big party.
Jodi:  What did they stand for?

Matt:  I believe it was Alexander Hamilton’s party.

Trip:  They were part of the original pro soccer league, they became the Washington Whips.

Arika:  It wasn’t the criteria by how we picked our name at all.

Jodi:  How did you pick it?

Arika:  We always had these names floating in our heads, like you do when you’re in a band.  Everything is like, “This would be a good name for a band.”  I guess I was watching a PBS news thing getting really angry and I was thinking about the significance of the Majority Whips and the Minority Whips in the House.  The Majority Whips?  That sounds kind of weird.  Minority Whips, even worse.  How about The Whips?

Jodi:  For my friends in LA who probably don’t know what that is…because we in LA forget life goes on outside of LA, can you explain what these Whips in the House do?

Arika:  The entity that can make things go one way or another.

Matt:  The Majority Whip works for the majority party and the Minority Whip works for the minority party in Congress and they try and whip the troops together to vote so a certain bill goes one way or another.
Jodi:  So they’re, like, on the sidelines in the cheering section?

Trip:  They’re the behind-the-scenes managers.

Arika:  In the way that it was originally orchestrated, they were standing right on the border and can make things go one way or another.  And that’s why they were called Whips.

Jodi:  Are you the pro-choice Whips, since you’re at the Planned Parenthood event?

Arika:  I think we can all categorically say that we’re pro-choice.  I’m definitely extremely committed to a woman’s right to choose.  It terrifies me that the possibility could disappear.

Jodi:  We need to Whip George Bush’s ass in to shape!

Arika:  Alright.

Matt:  That’s the damn truth!

Arika: Done and done!

Matt:  We have crazy fundamentalist people who don’t even believe in reason running our government right now.  They don’t even believe in evolution.   Our government doesn’t believe in evolution right now.  So we need to do something about that!
(we all laugh)

Jodi:  So, what do we have to do about it?  Whip the vote?

Matt:  Yes!

We can still do that by signing online petitions to the President and to our Representatives and Senators to make our voices known.  Even though the status quo remains in effect, we can still declare what we have to say and work everyday to protect the freedoms that we know are American in value and spirit.  Freedom of Choice is still a priority, even though most people don’t like to talk about it in public.  Talk It Out – Speak your Mind, Let them Hear You!  Whip It Real Good!