If you were to mix the arena-style hard rock riffage of AC/DC with the drumming of Rush's Neil Peart, throw in some Man Is the Bastard-style crusty sludge and a teaspoon of Black Sabbath, and garnish it with a cup of minced Thin Lizzy, the music would sound like Big Business, a band that literally became half of the Melvins on its journey to the top.
Big Business's founding members — drummer Coady Willis and bass player Jared Warren — are living examples of rapper Rick Ross's positive affirmation that "success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out."
Coady and Jared have been in one legendary indie-rock monster band after another: KARP (Kill All Redneck Pricks), Tight Bros From Way Back When, Broadcast Oblivion, and Murder City Devils. Currently, they're simultaneously part of Big Business and the Melvins.
In the following interview, Jared provides sage-like answers to a bunch of absurd questions. The result is similar to the music that he helps create — powerful, concise, humorous, and humble.
New Times: Do you have any feelings toward the city of Miami?
Jared Warren: I love its booty bass.
You must have a grueling schedule. It seems like you are constantly touring and/or recording with Big Business and/or the Melvins. How do you enjoy time off? And have you ever wanted to be followed around with cameras for a Big Business reality show?
I spend most of my off-time hanging out with my girlfriend, trying to grow herbs and vegetables, and cooking fine foods. I spend a lot of time getting fat. It would be a pretty lame reality show, unless of course you enjoy watching dudes laugh at their own farts for hours on end.
Years ago, I had the great fortune of staying in a house with you in San Francisco for a few days. At the time, you were in a new band called Tight Bros From Way Back When. At one point, if I remember correctly, Dale Crover played drums for that band. Did you use the law of attraction to become a member of the Melvins?
Dale only played three shows with us, and only because our drummer at the time bailed and took a bus home from Indio, California, in the middle of a tour. I had been friends with Dale's wife for many years — and by extension, friends with Dale. We rolled up to their house that morning at 5 or so, crashed on their floor. And then in the morning, over coffee, Dale offered to play drums for our shows in the L.A. area. We practiced for an afternoon, and he did an amazing job! I can't deny that my friendship with the Crover family played a part in being asked to play in the Melvins, but it was nothing I ever expected.
Do you remember when we watched Decline of Western Civilization, Part II: The Metal Years? You seemed to especially enjoy that poolside interview with Chris Holmes (RIP) of WASP, where he is chugging vodka and talking about how he would have his security guards throw women out of his hotel room. Is that still a movie you would recommend to people?
I wouldn't recommend that movie to everyone. But I would encourage would-be rock 'n' roll bands to watch it, if for no other reason than to point out that they may be uncomfortably close to repeating the same mistakes.
In that movie, Holmes said, "One year of touring takes away four years of your life." Do you find any truth in that statement?
I imagine that if you spend that year of touring blowing coke up your own ass, contracting various forms of VD, and pouring vodka on your breakfast cereal, then you would, in fact, be taking at least four years off your life. We're not so lucky. It would be pretty hard to get in that much trouble eating hummus backstage. Maybe if it was bad hummus?
Speaking of WASP, my friend William's band, Thrash or Die, opened for WASP recently in South Florida. He told me that the band no longer plays old songs like "Fuck Like a Beast" because Blackie Lawless is a born-again Christian. How do you feel about that sort of thing? And would you be willing to share your own personal belief system and secrets to success with us?
I've always been skeptical of really extreme, mouthy types. They almost always end up eating their own words. For example, how many straightedge folks do you know who are still straightedge? Or didn't end up becoming a raging drunk/junkie? I only know one. Talking the talk is really easy; even walking it can be done without much effort for a short time. But long-term talking and walking are rare. My secrets to success are "if it smells good, eat it," "shit happens," and "keep on truckin'." There's not much else you can do.
I was watching ESPN recently, and there was this commercial for TGI Friday's, and I could have sworn that Tight Bros music was playing in the background. I Googled it, and it seems that it actually was your former band in that commercial! Do you like eating at those types of restaurants? And what do you think of the ad?
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I never set foot in those restaurants if I can help it, mostly because I can't stand how glossy all the food looks. Everything looks like a fucking dessert. I have great respect for food and enjoy flavor, so I stay away from any joint that implies that I'm supposed to be having a "rockin' time!" while eating deep-fried garbage. That said, I guess I can't deny that the Tight Bros wrote awesome songs to eat hot wings to.
I've only seen the commercial once and can't really remember it. Probably because I was too busy lighting Cuban cigars with $100 bills.
Going from Karp to Tight Bros to Big Business and then merging with the Melvins into a massive supergroup — do you feel as if you are fulfilling your life's definitive purpose on Earth?
According to the State of California, my definitive purpose on Earth is to pay child support for these 13 rotten kids. I hate my kids.