There's nothing better than musing on Seattle music history with this kind-hearted, richly talented producer and musician. Best known for his role in the Fastbacks and Young Fresh Fellows, Kurt is a key facilitator in The World of Dr. Illteams, Thurs-Fri Dec 20-21 at the Crocodile.
What are your current musical collaborations beyond the Fastbacks and Young Fresh Fellows? What the hell is all this "Illteams" business? "I've kinda shacked up with some other groups: on bass with Once For Kicks, and on guitar and keys with Pure Joy. 'The World Of Dr. Illteams' is really a cavalcade of rock, assembling the Fastbacks and Young Fresh Fellows with all the various and sundry groups that contain and utilize their assorted memberage. It should be quite an affair. And because we're in the holiday spirit, we're giving away a CD with new songs by all the bands."
Scott McCaughey said you would "tell all" about the Dr. Illteam stuff. And I'm supposed to ask you about Sweet... "We were turned away from a hotel one time, and there were lots of high-school girls running around and a sign out front reading 'WELCOME DR. ILLTEAMS.' I always really looked up to that man, whoever he is--how did he get all the cheerleaders? So I thought we might pay tribute to this guy; he's obviously got something going on that we don't! As far as Sweet, I introduced a song the other night as being "a sweet song"--it was all hopeful and charming. I guess some folks misunderstood, and thought it was by the group Sweet. So now I'm to tell you about Sweet?! Well, they had a run of maybe five years of mighty great tunes. Maybe it's time to pay tribute to those bad boys of rock! You think people would like?"
Nikki Sixx would--they were apparently a big inspiration for Mötley Crüe... "Yes--in fact I've traced the lineage: You can start with Deep Purple, both the original lineup ('68-'69), and the 'Mark II' lineup ('69-'73), and have the blueprint for the self-produced era of Sweet. Then take a look at that first Mötley Crüe record, the good one. You can hear the Sweet style loud and clear, especially in the excellent drumming of Tommy Lee--he obviously spent some time woodshedding with Mick Tucker on the headphones! And if that's not a ghost image of Ian Paice lurking in the corners! (Bassist) Steve Priest is well represented in Nikki Sixx...."
You have one of the most distinctive voices around these parts. Being that it's of a higher register than that of the average alpha male, I'm wondering if it's been that way all your life? Did it crack when you were growing up? "Alpha male? I'll have to look that one up--I've never known that much about astrology. Voice? No story. Someone hypothesized that I must've been hit in the throat by a football as a child--not likely!"