Interview: Johnny Murder of the Pink Mistake and the Dutch Treats (6-21-05)
In February of 2004, I had the good fortune to wander into the now-dearly-departed Tank on 42nd Street here in NYC and catch one of the most bizarre and entertaining acts I've ever seen. Two guys in pink ape outfits sat behind a couple of rinky-dink synthesizers and sang...no, spoke in mad-scientist voices about insane lab assistants, the coming Super Plague, and how generally under-evolved the audience was. It was completely impossible for me to resist watching. And try as I might, I could find out jack squatnoddy about them online. The link was lost.
Over a year later, at a performance by a friend of a friend at Galapagos Art Space in Brooklyn, who do I see but a heavily-eyelinered figure on stage opening the show, announcing himself as the Dutch Treats. The friend what brung us mentioned that this guy was in another band called the Pink Mistake. Voila, the magic returned to my life, and now I present to you Johnny Murder, the only man capable of creating such alarming madness. And wouldn't you know it? He's from Texas...
tms: Give us your best synopsis of what exactly the Pink Mistake is.
JM: Well, you see, in Belgium, the scientific community is way more advanced and is constantly trying to create a genetically advanced creature that will be the next step in human evolution. The first attempt at this noble, yet controversial, experiment was not as succesful as they had originally hoped. While definitely genetically superior, the 2 resulting creatures were hideous to behold. But along with this "deformity" came several perks: such as the ability to crank out the hottest ass-shakin' new wave dance music this side of Dead or Alive.
tms: And the Dutch Treats?
JM: If you took Wings, Blue Oyster Cult, Journey, Salt N Pepa, and David Cassidy and compressed them all into the form of one man and a guitar that he doesn't really know how to play that well...that's pretty much it. But the songs are damn catchy.
tms: I hear tell that you, like me, are from the Dallas/Fort Worth area. When and how long were you there?
JM: I was born in Shreveport, Louisiana and moved to Dallas when I was 2. I lived there untill I was "run out of town" at age 29. A few years back. Dave Wallin (the other half of Pink Mistake) is also from Big D. In fact, most of the awesome musicians in this stinkin' town are from Texas...hmmm, interesting.
tms: Have you been part of any groups that our D/FW readers might remember?
JM: I was in about 50 bands in Texas: The Dooms U.K., The Meat Helmets, The Cock-Outs, Alan Parson's Projectile, Punchcraft and a whole bunch of others that I forgot, sorry.
tms: When will the Pink Mistake rise up and replace Britney on the pop charts?
JM: When bacon becomes the standard national currency...
tms: One of my favorite Pink Mistake tunes is Welcome To Spain, which warns listeners of some unspeakable hidden evil on the Iberian peninsula. Whence stems your loathing of Spain?
JM: We have no special hatred of Spain. It is merely a warning, a public service announcement if you will. We visited Spain one weekend to do some "research" and let's just say that I still have trouble sitting on hard chairs.
tms: Any other countries you hate?
JM: Hmmmm...let's see. Just Chad, Luxembourg, and America (North and South).
tms: The Pink Mistake's musical style seems rooted in early '80s quirky synth-pop, of the Devo/Wall of Voodoo variety. What artists or songs have had the strongest influence on the band's sound?
JM: Queen, Beyonce, Morris Day and the Time, Nugent, Frampton, Winger, Van Hagar, Kool Moe Dee, .38 Special, and Vanity 6.
tms: Is New York going downhill, as every third person on a barstool in this town says?
JM: Downhill from where?!? I see no way for it to go but up. It's hard to go downhill from the bottom of a shit-filled well...Just kidding, I love this dirty fucking town.
tms: When/where can we expect recorded output from either the Pink Mistake or the Dutch Treats?
JM: I have several Dutch Treats recordings that I sell at shows or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Pink Mistake is working on a recording right now but it is hard to find a genetically advanced recording engineer these days. But keep a look out at www.pinkmistake.com
tms: Any last words?
JM: Three words: "EVOLVE, HUMAN!!"