Like the rodents they are named after, The White Mice are an elusive target. Here are the known facts; the band is from Providence, R.I. They released the wonderfully twisted Ganjahovadose via 20 Buck Spin last year. They’ve recorded a slew of splits and EPs with titles like Mouse of Mendes and Do They Know It’s Christmice? Their symbol is a rodent’s face scrawled on a pentagram. The music? Bass, distortion pedal and drums with liberal electronic effects and samples where applicable. They’ve been categorized as industrial, noise, art rock and noisegrind. Perhaps a better description would be unclassifiable.
The list of unknowns is more extensive. Just who the hell is behind those smelly outfits? Do the members of the band really worship an entity named Cheesus? Are they are art school graduates or accountants? Do they harbor sociopathic leanings or are they guided by nothing more than the desire to laugh? Is their music some kind of diabolical plot to use sound to lobotomize the population?
The mice were willing to answer if anyone has ever checked into a mental hospital after a show. “Just checked into emergency rooms and crack houses,” says bassist and vocalist MOUSEeatTONGUE.
Attached below are excerpts from a recent chat with MOUSEeatTONGUE. Parts of it are unexpurgated and written in Mice-speak. Parts of it ramble like the Unabomber manifesto. All of it is eminently hilarious. Truth? Fiction? Fantasy? We report, you decide.
Set your Victor snap traps, place out your edible poison pellets, do the death rattle on a glue pad and briefly enter the twisted world of Providence’s squeakiest and most deranged metal export.
Can you tell me a little bit more about how the band got started and when you began playing together? What was your goal — or did you have no goals.
A convergence of influences. Bob O’Death from Dropdead was planning a big ol’ Halloween show, and a mess of locals stopped in for Tuesday night jam sessions at our space, known as Redrum. We tossed off a few improv dirges a few days before, as a three-piece, although many combinations of musicians farted with the spirit on a regular basis.
Bob invited us to play the Halloween bash, and the name and initial concept was born from a family home plumbing disaster earlier in the day. The plumber had a video camera snake, and as we watched on the tiny screen, looking for the root that had broken the pipe, Mom began naming the denizens of the sewer kingdom like it was an episode of The Degradey Bunch.
The name and the costumes and the first line up and live performance all happened within a few days, and everything led to another show, and another. We opened a Pandora’s Box. The drummer exploded. Our goals at first focused on cheese, mousetraps and mazes. Then we took a turn for the worse. There’s a master plan, a complex universe of ideas both good and bad, we’re trying to get a bit more of that riotous atmosphere going at this funeral for the damned.
When reviewers look for something to compare your music to it seems the only thing they can bring up is Lightning Bolt. Are you getting tired of the same comparisons?
A lot of knowledge is only skin deep, and it shows, if the point of reference only goes so far back and is full of holes like cheese, bad pun intended. You would hope a reviewer has deep interest and knowledge in all styles of music, within reason, as well as a host of good journalistic habits, but hey, cut and paste is fucking hard work, y’know.
There are far worse bands to be compared with, occasionally confused with. Without a doubt they are an influence, world champions, inspirational and unique. We can never use octave or whammy pedals, and we have scrapped a few songs when we realized we had crossed the line. We grew out of a side of Providence that welcomed and explored art and music. Guilt by assholeciation.
Bass and drums and a distortion pedal… could be anyone.
People can’t seem to decide if you are industrial, metal, noise rock or experimental. How do you classify your music?
Diehearearrock is what we extend to call it. Grate music to Commit Sin to, others might attempt name us butt there is only one true name, of which can only be produced by the screaming flatulence of 666 demons breaking winds of 666 different tones and can only be heard by the whoreshippers of Cheesus Miced the lard and slaviour.
You’ve had a number of lineups and players during the years – does the current lineup still include PHLEgMMY KILLMICESTER on drums and Ol’ DuRTY MOUSE TURD on electronics?
Next tour, the clone up is Phallussturd Scrawleak beatin’ and braking, Mouseeattongue bassinating and squeeking, and Spurt Scrobrain tweaking and twitching. Unfortunately, Phleghmmy went on to form Scrotorhead. They are on tour now with Blew Boysturd Cult and Mastadont. Old Durty Ratsturd cheesed the cracker, and died biliously from a fart attack in the studio during Ganjahovadose. We dedicate the album to his Ol durty Rotting Corpse.
When you practice do you practice in costumes or in your human identity?
How long did it take you to design the booklet for Ganjahovadose — I’ve heard it was literally months of effort. Did it take longer to work on the booklet than it did to record the album?
Do you consider the White Mice a form of performance art that uses a number of different avenues — almost a multimedia presentation — and creates a whole experience for listeners?
The totallititty of the Cheesus, is it Shittstainedbull or Cuntstaintanipple? Mostly it’s just cheese. We recognize the potential of the audience to understand or appreciate but don’t really expect them to crap their minds around our twatever we doo.
You’ve said in interviews that the most influential person/deity in your life is Cheesus. For the uninformed listener who is Cheesus?
Cheesus MiceT, the utmoist high lard, the son of mouse, the alphart and the scromega, he is resin, brie has come again. The embodiment of all that is hole, and unbecoming, lettuce whorseshwhip him on our needs. Can I get a Snail Hate’n?
Have you ever seen the movie Willard and you feel that the human population will eventually be overrun by rodents and cockroaches?
We live off the human wasted.
What’s the most preferable way for a mouse to die — poisoning, glue trap or traditional snap trap?
If broadcast over the national airwaves could the music of the White Mice incite a riot or cause mass panic/chaos?
And mass turbaiton, mass ticulalations, mass tectomies, mass tumors mass ivehearing loss, mass sewercide, mass acrings, mass aging, mass uses, mass cots, mass turdofpuppets, mass o kissts, mass stiffs, mass corpone, mass culinizing, mass carades, mass terminds,mass terpees, mass turdstroke, mass tigophorann, mass rattardation, mass titus, mass toidectomy, mass dulablastoma, mass holes, mass terblasterownbartertown, mass dulablastomassholes, and mass iveheadaches.