A baby goose (known as a gosling) hatches from its egg and imprints upon the first moving thing it sees. This instinctual drive to bond with a mother is one of the strongest forces in nature. When Seattle punk band Childbirth hatched their song "Will You Be My Mom?" the first thing it saw was the B-52's playing "Monster Mash" with the Sex Pistols' Steve Jones on guitar. Childbirth's Julia Shapiro sings tautly: "Don't be annoyed. But can you fill this void? Can you do French braids? Don't be afraid. I need a mom." Her guitar tone cuts glass with a diamond. Bassist/vocalist Bree McKenna and drummer Stacy Peck are bound together like conjoined goslings giving Childbirth its muscle juice. Though the three members are busy with other bands—Chastity Belt, Tacocat, and Pony Time, respectively—they were able to meet me in the egg section at a QFC for an interview.
What's the latest Childbirth news?
Julia: We can say that we're recording a new record, right?
Bree: It will be out by fall. I also have a new chakra tuner.
Stacy: I have a new stuffed animal named Kwackers. It's a baseball with arms and legs.
J: Nothing is going on with me. I check my Instagram sometimes.
What's the new Childbirth like?
J: Some of the new songs are called "Tech Bro," "Since When R U Gay," "Baby Bump," and "Nasty Grrrls."
S: The new songs are much more mature.
How will Childbirth be celebrating Mother's Day?
J: I will probably take Stacy out for Mother's Day brunch at Linda's, where Bree will be working. It's probably not the best place to take your mom, but Stacy is a cool mom. She gets it.
S: I'm just looking forward to catching up with whatever Julia's up to, and even if I don't understand it, I still plan on being supportive.
I was thinking you all might go to the sensory-deprivation tanks and do ayahuasca. Or go to the dog track and do ayahuasca? You know, like racing greyhounds. Maybe Childbirth just like old-fashioned hoofprints, though.
J: Wait, what?
Do you have any birth stories? Like, have you ever seen a horse being born? Real birth or metaphorical birth.
B: I was a teenage horse girl. I worked at some stables, and I've actually helped deliver baby horses before. Horse births are much more clean than human births. They come out in a membrane.
S: I have never delivered a baby horse.
J: I have never delivered a baby horse, either. I have cleaned a horse's shaft.
Please watch this video of a baby cow being born and describe it in one word. I can't believe the mom continues to graze at the beginning. Oh, what's that? A baby coming out of me? Well, I got some time, I'll keep grazing.
Is the person you wrote "I Only Fucked You as a Joke" about upset about the song?
J: We didn't write it about any one particular person, but it definitely upsets a lot of people.
S: Everyone thinks it's about them.
I wanted to ask about "Marination Station," your song about astronaut Lisa Nowak, who drove 18 hours to confront the woman her lover dumped her for. I remember the headline: "Diaper-Wearing Astronaut Jailed in Love Triangle Plot." Did Nowak really shit in the diaper? Or was that your take?
B: We took creative liberties as songwriters, imagining there might be shit in that diaper.
S: Actually, the song is about that restaurant above this QFC.
She controlled the robotic arm of the space shuttle. She had service medals. She was married with three kids. Then she put a diaper on and drove from Houston to Orlando. I guess astronauts have affairs, too.
J: And I think they do wear diapers in space. That's why she had the diapers in the first place. Space diapers.
What's the longest you've ever held your pee?
B: Probably a tour situation.
S: I don't know an exact time. I constantly have nightmares about peeing.
J: I was on an airplane, and the person next to me was sleeping. When I finally went pee, I actually had to go twice. When I woke up this morning, I peed for five minutes. I've had a lot of long pees.
In Nowak's car, after her arrest, they found plastic gloves, cash, a floppy disk with 15 images of a woman undressing, drawings of bondage scenes, and 69 orange pills. Of those items, which is your favorite?
J: Floppy disk.
B: Orange pills.
S: The rubber gloves, I guess.
What were the 69 orange pills?
J: Why 69 of them, though? Maybe it was a sex pill?
S: Maybe it was Tic Tacs. The orange ones are the best.
B: We have decided, as a band, they were Tic Tacs.
J: And there were 69 of them because she was kinky.
Her lawyer said she suffered from major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, insomnia, and brief psychotic disorder. He also said she had Asperger's syndrome. What's your diagnosis?
J: Hard to say. As a female guitarist, I don't really try to pretend like I know everything. Can you still go into space with all those problems? That's crazy. I thought if your eyes were bad, you're out.
If you all were to speak to Lisa Nowak, what would you say to her?
J: You're a disgrace to all women in space.
S: I'd like to know what her road-trip music was. I want to know if she made herself a sweet playlist before she left, and what it was called.
What would you say to Lisa Nowak's children?
S: I wouldn't want to bring her kids into it.
B: I try not to talk to children. They make me nervous.
How do you think Lisa Nowak is spending this Mother's Day?
J: Not in space, am I right?
B: Be careful, she's gonna read this!
S: I don't know her personally.
J: Yeah, I don't know how she spends her time.
B: On a beach, rocking out to the new Sleater-Kinney album, reading Kim Gordon's new book.