How long have you been together --- do you all come from San Francisco originally?
AMANDA: 2 years. I'm a Bay Area native originally from Palo Alto. I've lived 10 years in San Francisco and played 1.5 years with Thee Merry Widows.
ANDREA: I'm from Oakland across the Bay from SF.
NISHONE: I'm from San Pedro, CA. Miss Eva is from Wisconsin and Nikki is from New Jersey.
Why did you choose the name Thee Merry Widows?
Because we thought Fannie was a stupid name.
How would you describe your music? What do you think defines music as psychobilly style?
NISHONE: Our music is a combination of punk, psychobilly, goth and garage. Our style comes from our punk edge and upright bass.
Your songs use a lot of horror music imagery. What is your favourite horror movie or monster and why?
AMANDA: My favourite horror movies feature human psychopaths such as Psycho, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Martin. Human monsters scare me more than beings spawned purely from the imagination because they are the ones who are more likely to get you in real life. My favourite non-human monster is probably the Werewolf. I also love the evil car Christine. Is a possessed car considered a monster?
ANDREA: I like Poltergeist because religious people scare me.
NISHONE: My favourite horror movies are The Blob and Attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
CD COVER PHOTO BY DALE RIO
FROM L TO R: MISTRESS MANDY, NISHONE, ANDREA,
MISS EVA VON SLUT AND NIKKI NIGHTBREED
What has been your most memorable gig so far?
AMANDA: I loved playing the Zombie Party. We all dressed up like zombies, everyone at the party was dressed like a zombie. There was a good cat fight on stage between Miss Eva and Nikki, and there were plenty of jello shots to go around. It was kinda surreal. The closest thing to being part of Night of the Living Dead that I'll probably ever experience.
ANDREA: I'd have to say the East Bay Rats party at the Stork Club in Oakland. Somehow having a half-naked chick make out with Eva on stage and get her butthole rimmed by Smiley has permanently found a place in my memory. That and our first ever Command Centre party.
NISHONE: My most memorable gig was playing with the Phenomenauts and The Teenage Harlets in Petaluma at the Phoenix Theatre.
You have lots of tattoos --- what is your favourite tattoo and why?
MISS EVA: My favourite tattoo at the moment is the Japanese fan that Kalil from Mom's Body Shop has started on my left thigh.
NISHONE: My favourite is the school teacher that looks like a 1940s pin-up.
Nikki, was the upright bass difficult to learn and what attracted you to it?
NIKKI: Hell yeah! I thought because I could build bridges and work on cars it would be easy but it kicks my ass just the same.
Miss Eva, you also work as a burlesque performer. What is it you liked about burlesque (either performing it or the general aesthetic)? Do you have any favourite burlesque perfomers (either past or present)?
MISS EVA: I love burlesque as it is a combination of sexuality and glamour that I find irrestible. I love being glamorous and wearing beautiful costumes and jewellery. What woman wouldn't?
Some of my favourite current performers are: Bella Beretta, Mimi LeMeaux, Kitten DeVille, Anna Bells, Kitten on the Keys, Dirty Martini, the World Famous BOB, Erochia Bamboo to name a few.
Some of the legends of the business that I love are Satan's Angel (my mentor!), Tempest Storm, Lili St. Cyr, Isis Starr, Dixie Evans (who is still running the Exotic World Museum in Helendale, California) and Zorita.
Miss Eva, I noticed on your personal web site that you said you were a big fan of Jayne Mansfield's (I am as well) and I was wondering what you like about her. If you ever wrote a song about her, what do you think you would call it?
MISS EVA: I adore Jayne Mansfield, along with Mae West she is probably one of my biggest inspirations. She was so very sexual and so aware of what her sexuality did to others. I don't think there is any current actress who has the staggering sex appeal of Jayne Mansfield!
I don't know if I would ever write a song about her but maybe we could cover "The Girl Can't Help It" (the title and song from one of her movies).
Miss Eva, why did you decide to join the reformed Insaints to replace their late lead singer, Marian Anderson?
MISS EVA: I could hardly turn down the chance as I was a HUGE Insaints fan when I was in my late teens and early 20s. So when Daniel (guitarist and founding member of the Insaints) asked if I would do so I could hardly say no. Marian was an amazing woman and any opportunity to introduce people to her music is an honour for me.
What are your future plans for Thee Merry Widows --- will you be releasing an album soon and will you be touring the UK/Europe again soon?
AMANDA: We will release an album this summer and do a little East Coast tour. I'm sure we'll make it to Europe sometime after that.
THIS INTERVIEW WAS DONE BY E-MAIL IN MAY 2005. ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN OCTOBER 2005.
NOTE: Since this interview, Jenna Ferocious has joined the band on upright bass.