Oneida with Lullabye Arkestra at the Horseshoe (370 Queen West), Friday (August 20). $8. 416-598-4753. Rating: NNNNN
Oneida's latest release, Secret Wars, perfects a herky-jerky but classily shimmering psych-rock mix-up, with keyboard touches (courtesy of the golden fingers of Fat Bobby) that make Add N to (X) sound like Add B to Ullshit. The band's secret? They gave up fast food.
"We were eating shit for a long time, like every band does when they're on tour," says Bobby during a New York City happy-hour drinking session. "But I discovered that over the course of a tour I was able to eat only one fast food meal without having a really hard time. Then I got hepatitis from eating fries at Coney Island.
"We decided we didn't need to go through that again. Now if there's no other option but fast food, we just move on. There's so much good food right off the highways, but it isn't commonly known or advertised. You just have to be on it, and you can eat well."
They have to eat well because, as drummer Kid Millions puts it, "You need good food to correctly play music. Look at the olden composers - they ate fantastically."
We're talking the day after Oneida jammed in their rehearsal space with the Constantines, who were in NYC for the July 17 Siren Music Festival. I ask them to paint me a picture in words of the psychedelic experience.
"Can the word picture reflect the insane chemical haze I was in at the time?" asks Bobby. "It was long. It sort of greyed out night and day for us."
"Let's just say that Bobby and I produced the session," adds Millions, "and those boys were the clay we moulded into beautiful, beautiful forms. We'll probably just release it on whatever label will pay the most money for such a rare collaboration, and we're gonna call it Licks Aplenty."
The band loves doing interviews. You can tell by the shine in their eyes. The reason is apparent: they love to lie to the press. But why? Bobby explains.
"Well, it's about pointless shit. The other day I told some whoppers. Someone asked me, 'What's your day job?' I just made shit up on the spot, and they printed it.
"My point isn't that the journalism is bad; my point is that it doesn't matter. Nobody gives a shit about rock bands. It's filler."
"Telling the truth actually makes me feel worse," adds Millions. "It makes me feel like I've been corrupted. Nobody cares if you quit your day job or if you're a cobbler or do computer networking. I did just quit my day job, because it sucked and I didn't like it. The quitting was unrelated to rock and roll. Yes, I'm a cobbler. No, wait, I'm a tinker. I make toys. It's not that I hated my job, it's that I hate kids."