Your prescription is ready. Adarsha Benjamin

Guitarist Scottie Yoder, drummer Brendhan Bowers, and piano man Stefan Rubicz are the sort of fellows you'd call to get a party started. Or maybe to have their crowd-surfing, fun-time band play (and maybe destroy) your basement at a house party. Suddenly, with the release of EP Dig Your Grave, they're writing dreamy garage songs about death and disenchantment. The Stranger sat down with them to find out what the hell is going on.

Who decided on the Pharmacy as a name?

Scottie Yoder: Bree McKenna [of Tacocat].

Brendhan Bowers: We've been a band since 2001. It was just Scottie and I jamming at my house on Vashon Island. Actually, in the guesthouse—more of a run-down cabin. We originally called ourselves Space Death.

Do little old ladies ever come to your shows and try to pick up their prescriptions?

SY: Yes, Bree McKenna.

BB: In Iowa, an older lady came to our show and told us she was gonna take a cab back to her apartment and bring us back "her pills." I think she did, and I think I ate one of them. It was terrifying. She looked like a skinny version of [drag queen] Divine.

Stefan Rubicz: What about that creepy mom in Switzerland who kept trying to get us drunk on that weird licorice liqueur?

Percocet or Vicodin?

BB: Um, watching people smoke Fentanyl in an attic?

SR: Percocet!

SY: Flintstones chewables.

Dig Your Grave was recorded after you moved back to Seattle?

SR: Yes, we recorded most of it at Soundhouse, Jack Endino's studio in Ballard. At one point, we needed a different bass drum and Jack took us down into his crazy basement and lent us his dad's awesome old Ludwig.

SY: And I got to use the guitar amp used on [Nirvana's] Bleach! The song "Lazy Bones" was recorded in military barracks on Governors Island in New York City during an Implied Violence [a Seattle experimental theater group] performance. There was raw meat and rotting skin all over the room we recorded in. "Burn All Your Bridges" was recorded in our house in New Orleans right before we moved back to Seattle.

BB: I'd like to add that we recorded some of the percussion on this record at a Methodist church where Stefan and I found a giant nug of weed on the pastor's podium. No joke. Sent from the heavens.

Tell me more about upcoming album Stoned & Alone.

BB: The Dig EP has two recordings from Stoned & Alone. "Stoned and alone" originally came from a Tea Shades song (which was me and Oliver Vonderahe) and was about being sad all the time and getting stoned to deal with it. It's also related to the fact that I took a hiatus from the band and "normal" life by moving to an isolated weed farm for seven months and was really, really stoned all the time. I guess I was kinda like that before [the farm], too. I was living in our van parked outside the Spruce House.

Does the weather and sunshine, or lack thereof, affect the music or the lyrics you write? Dig sounds a lot darker than Weekend...

SY: It's a harsh realm in Seattle for sure...

BB: Weekend is actually a really dark record, too. Basically, we moved there [New Orleans] because Scottie fell in love with a girl, and when we got there, she was already hanging out with another dude. He rode his bike around the city every day writing sad songs in his head. I wanted to go down there because I had just had my heart broken after seeing my girl holding hands with one of my friends. The overall feel of that record was very depressing and frustrating, but using this emotion, I think we made a really honest record.

How did New Orleans affect the band?

SR: We partied hard in New Orleans. It was great recording there, because we did it all at our house and could do whatever we wanted—take a break and go drink 40s, eat fried chicken on the bayou after we'd been recording too long. There was no rush like when you're booking time at a studio. It was sunny and tropical and everyone was always hanging outside on their porches, super-friendly and wanting to talk—that was great to be around. There are a million bands in New Orleans, but most are gross cover bands that play in clubs on Bourbon Street—lots of crusty jug bands, too. I guess there were also amazing bands, too, like the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and all the marching bands in the streets. There are some great venues for touring bands, too, like Quintron's Spellcaster Lodge and Saturn Bar.

SY: The bars and clubs there are super-chill and fun to play. Every other week, we played at this bar called the Saint that the bass player from White Zombie opened. This creepy perv named "Popper John" was always lurking around. Twice we got to play at Ernie K-Doe's Mother-in-Law Lounge. They play his music all night long and there's a rad statue of him on a throne. There were also like 10 trays of fried chicken for people eat... I think I gained 30 pounds when I lived there.

What would the epitaph on the Pharmacy's grave read?

BB: "It's over."

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SY: "They probably owe you money."

SR: "Doot, Dootle-Doot-Doot... Doot-Doot!"

If I could hand you $20,000 to record the next Pharmacy album, where would you go to do it?

SR: It'd be awesome to go to Mexico and buy a burro and a cabana, then record on a four-track and $3 cassette tapes. Then we could spend the rest on tequila and tacos.

SY: Mexico, or we could lowball Jeff Lynne...

BB: I've been really into Ethiopian music from the '70s lately—what about there? I'd like there to be monkeys and some exotic animals.

Where is the worst place you've ever played a show?

SR: Sometimes the worst show can happen in a cool city. Once we played a show in New Orleans with Wildildlife and TV Coahran at this house that had raw sewage flooding the front yard, and we had to load in our stuff on some rickety gangplanks over all the stink. That was actually a pretty cool show, though; I think Scottie threw his guitar out of the second-story window when we were finished playing. There was also this time when we played in Eugene—a really gross, crusty house that smelled like dog shit, moldy '70s shag carpet, and dreadlocks—and then they took all of the money from the door to buy beer for themselves. That was a shitty vibe.

BB: Oh boy, so many bad shows. Probably Las Vegas. Some shitty bar boasting the "loosest slots in town," or maybe it actually said "sluts." It was a strip bar, and we played with a bunch of screamo bands. One drummer was missing his arms—just had stumps. We also played Denver once in a snowstorm, and the only people there were about a dozen photographers. I ended up kicking the drums out of frustration and had a broken foot for almost a year. There was the time the van was stolen with all the equipment. The best show we ever played was in a bathroom stall in Oakland two years ago. There were weird-looking Oakland babes hanging around, and someone broke open a glow stick and sprayed it all over the walls and then turned off the lights. The booker was in there, too—naked except for a shirt and socks, doing the helicopter with his flaccid penis.

Who would win in a fight: Timothy Leary or William S. Burroughs?

BB: Acid or heroin? Hmm... acid.

SR: Definitely Burroughs. Didn't he shoot a few people?

SY: Didn't he shoot his wife in the face? That probably means that he'd do worse in a fight.

If you were forced to become either a Juggalo band or professional gigolos, which would you choose? And what would you change your name to?

SY: I think the Pharmacy is perfect for a Juggalo band... though I'm not sure how we'd go about misspelling it...

BB: I'm a big fan of Juggalo culture. I don't believe whoring yourself would be a very respectable life. You know, what if we changed the name of the band to Black Face and dressed up like minstrel clowns who rap about equality? I think that would be best.

"Burn Your Bridges," on Dig Your Grave, is a beautiful song. But not a party-rocker. Are the Pharmacy mellowing out?

SY: Maybe I didn't eat my Flintstones chewables that day?

BB: We do mellow out from time to time. Honestly, when we record, I get pumped up and end up playing it way too fast. Most of our songs are meant to be much slower, but I usually crumble under the pressure of "studio time" and get nervous. A live show—kinda the same thing. I spend most of my time thinking about how Stefan is gonna eventually crowd-surf over my drum kit, then over Scottie, and then into the crowd. This makes me nervous and I play the songs twice as fast as they should be. I guess I should be eating more Percocet before we play. recommended