Drunk Tanks, Enlarged Prostates, and Homosexual Necrophilia
An Interview with Greer McGettrick of the Mallard (After Her First Night in Jail)
Greer McGettrick is the Mallard, and whether she's playing alone or with her backing band—currently Dylan Tidyman-Jones ("Boy Dylan") on drums/keys/vocals and Dylan Edrich ("Girl Dylan") on bass/guitar—the vibe is woozy, hallucinogenic garage rock that sounds like it was recorded from the basement through the heat vent in the upstairs kitchen. In other words, they're your new favorite band to listen to while getting drunk. The Stranger spoke with McGettrick the day after she had a minor mix-up with the San Francisco Police Department. Here's what she said on no sleep for about 36 hours.
You're in LA right now. Where was the last show you played before that?
I'm on tour with Wymond Miles, who's the guitar player for the Fresh & Onlys, and we're on a West Coast tour. We played San Francisco last night, and I got arrested and spent the night in jail [laughs].
What!? Tell us all about that.
Yeah, so I've never been arrested before, never spent the night in jail, so it was a good experience for me. My friend and I decided to overturn about 70 trash cans down the street and got caught, and just spent the night in the drunk tank. They don't let you sleep, so we just talked for four hours.
They don't let you sleep?
No, because if you're passed out, they have to make sure you're alive, so if you fall asleep, they just tap on the glass until you wake up. It's really annoying.
Who else was in there?
My friend Hether from Wax Idols. I'm sure she wouldn't mind you knowing that... So it was fun [laughs]. But I wouldn't do it again, not on purpose at least.
Aside from Thee Oh Sees and Sic Alps, what are some of the bands that people should know about from down there?
There's this band called the Burnt Ones that I really like, Wax Idols from Oakland, Terry Malts, a new band called Cool Ghouls who are pretty orthodox garage-rock, and they just started playing, and they're really young but already really good. I'm totally blanking on a lot of them now, probably because I didn't sleep!
Why did you name the band the Mallard?
I think it just came up in conversation; there's no real story behind it. But I should fake one, because I just found out that mallards are the only animals that engage in homosexual necrophilia. I don't know if it's true, but I heard that, and that's more interesting than "We just thought of it."
I'll only use it if it's true.*
Yeah, it's probably good to check the facts.
There are two people named Dylan in the band. Do you ever get confused?
Yeah, if I have my back turned and I say, "Hey, Dylan" or "Hey, Dylan, what are you doing tomorrow, do you want to go see a show?" they'll both answer, but really that's about it.
Who needs more bathroom breaks on tour?
Maybe he has an enlarged prostate.
Maybe he does. But he definitely can't sit for very long, and you do a lot of that on tour.
Do you remember the first time you picked up a guitar?
I do. My dad was a musician, and he had a bass and guitar in the house. I think I was listening to some bad punk band like Rancid and, at 14, I was like, "I want to do that." So I just started figuring out all the albums I had on bass and guitar, mostly bass. I remember the first time I could finally play the "Maxwell Murder" bass solo—not very well—but I could play it, and it felt like I had just reached another level in a video game.
We all had our Rancid phase.
Yeah, I think you should; everyone should have a Rancid phase, or at least Operation Ivy.
You've been to Seattle before, right?
Yes, we were just there with Wymond's band on Cinco de Mayo, so people were just crazy.
Oh, shit. Yes, where was the show?
It was at Barboza, that new place below Neumos. We were the first band to ever play there, and the cover of your paper said: "Is Barboza cursed?" And sure enough, our pedals just went out for no reason, and it was just kind of eerie down there. I asked the sound guy, "So is there really a curse?" And he said, "Yeah, there's some totally bad vibes back here."
*Fact not checked. Answer used anyway.