How is your venue, the Spellcaster Lodge? I understand it was flooded during Hurricane Katrina (whoa, "underwater dance club") but has since reopened. How's it held up this year?

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Hurricane? What hurricane? Yes, the Spellcaster is fine. Actually, it's better than ever, because now it's blue with plastic petal paper on the walls, and it has AC. But really we are so sick of talking about hurricanes and the state of New Orleans. It's like that has suddenly become our personal mascot—death and tragedy. Fuck Katrina, we are alive and well and driving to Seattle. I appreciate your concern, though. You should look into how badly the Houma Indians are getting screwed after Ike and Gustav; it's like they didn't even exist, although they were here long, long before Gumbo Ya Ya Boudin Cajun Zydeco Jazz Strip Clubs. Like a thousand years before.

Your songs tend toward the fantastic (witches in clubs, etc.), but did you ever feel the urge to write some blatantly political song at that time or make some kind of "George Bush doesn't care about puppeteers" statement?

Oh, but I do think George Bush is into puppeteers. Don't you? Really, really, really into them. All those idiots have screwed us over a thousand times. I am not into reality, and I am not going to spout politics onstage as though I actually know what I am talking about. I don't. All I can say is let's fucking take back what we earned and create a world in which politics does not exist. "Witch in the Club" is not some bullshit sci-fi fantasy, by the way, it's the truth. Just open your eyes.

I've never been to New Orleans, but I hear a lot of what you might imagine the place to be in your music—swamps, black magic, revelry, marching band cadences. Has the city shaped you and your music, or do you think you were just always meant to end up there?

It was my destiny. I am not kidding. I had my stars done or tarot or whatever by some woman who was evidently very highly regarded in that world, and she actually told me that I would be dead if it were not for this place.

You're not just an entertainer; you're also an inventor. For the uninitiated, could you briefly explain the Drum Buddy or some of your other inventions? Is a Drum Buddy part of your current tour setup? Are you working on any devices right now?

Oh, the Drum Buddy is always with me! The new version is made from sinker cypress—very rare wood that was submerged in the swamps for 300–800 years. I only made 10, because that is all the wood I could get ahold of. It really is beautiful, this wood—it has a glowing-green quality. I sold one to Nels Cline from Wilco and one to Laurie Anderson in NYC. I actually got to jam with Lou Reed and her when I delivered that one! Anyway, the Drum Buddy is kind of like a cross between an old-school analog synth, like a Moog or an ARP or something, and a DJ turntable. And it spins around and lights up. I think you need to print a picture.

How did you get started inventing? Did you haunt a lot of RadioShacks as a kid?

Yes. Ah, RadioShack. Everybody complains about it, but it is the only nationwide hobby shop for electronics. And when it goes away (god forbid), I will cry a thousand tears. My father is an electrical engineer, so we had a full-on laboratory in our basement. I learned pretty much everything from him. No college, just books and hands-on.

Last time you came through Seattle, you warmed up the crowd with a little puppet show, the themes of which escape me right now (something vaguely apocalyptic?). Do you have something similar planned for this tour? Any surprises?

Please ask Miss Pussycat about this—she is totally in charge of the puppet-show element. We work as hard on these as anything and have just released season one of Trixie and the Tree Trunks on DVD. This is a 10-episode, all-puppet miniseries with some human cameos by King Louie, Quintron & Miss Pussycat, and Guitar Lightning. The puppet show for this tour is called "The Legend of the Haunted Art Gallery."

Did you know there's a California company called Quintron? [] They're employee-owned, which is kind of DIY, and they appear to invent stuff for the government. Any relation? Do you think the Department of Defense might want to contract you for some Drum Buddies someday?

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I believe they are actually a medical-device manufacturer; we are aware of one another. Check "Quintron" on eBay, and you will get half my stuff and half weird heart-monitoring machines. I actually got the name Quintron from a defense-industry company that my father started years ago. He gave me this nickname when I was a teenager. It means "five particles" in Latin—two arms, two legs, and one giant mind. recommended

Quintron & Miss Pussycat play Fri Oct 17, Chop Suey, 9 pm, $10 adv/$12 DOS, 21+. With Golden Triangle, TacocaT.