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INT: Andras Jones

07.01.2000by: The Arrow

The Arrow interviews Andras Jones

Andras Jones has been kicking it in the music biz for a while now with his band The Previous. He's also an actor. He appeared in the cult classic "Sorority Babe In The Slime Ball Bowl A Rama" and he even chilled with Drew Barrymore in "Far From Home". But us gore hounds know him as the kung fu dude with the funky doo in Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master. Andras took a few minutes out of his life and gave them to The Arrow…here's what happened…

1- What's your favorite horror movie?

Bob Roberts.

2- You play in band called The Previous. For those who don't know, how long has the band been around? I know this might be hard but...what kind of music do you guys play? What's next for The Previous?

I started the band in 1989 in LA. At the time, we were called Mr. Jones and The Previous and played a sort of blues/pop hybrid music. We spent the first half of the nineties putting out our own CDs and touring the country. By this time, our music was all over the place stylistically, sort of like an Elvis Costello compilation CD, without the English accent. In 1997, the band dispersed (girlfriends, day jobs, and the usual life pressures taking their toll) and I continued touring on my own, and recording with the band when the opportunity presented itself.

3- In 1999, you took a break from The Previous and released "Religious" your first solo album. What prompted you to go solo? How different is your solo effort from the jive you let out with The Previous?

There isn't really that much difference between my solo stuff and The Previous. Just the name really, and the fact that when people come see me live, I'm usually alone and so, often get mistaken for a folk singer.

4- I heard around the campfire that you're kicking it in a punk rock opera called "The Transfused". What is it about? What do you play? When can we see it?

That must have been a pretty hip campfire you were at. "The Transfused" is a punk rock opera written by Nomy Lamm and The Need. It takes place 100 years after the decline of the US empire and concerns the rebellion of the slave class (The Transfused) against the evil corporation and their goons, the Sliders. I play one of the Sliders who is engaged in a B&D relationship with his dominatrix commander. The music is really excellent and will be coming out in August on Yo-Yo Records, out of Olympia. The actual play is going to be performed from July 6th through 17th in Olympia at The Capitol Theater, and there is talk of possibly taking the show on the road next year.

5- To horror fans you're known as Rick, the Kung Fu dude that gets it on with Freddy Krueger in "Nightmare On Elm Street 4: The Dream Master". How did the audition take place for that part? Did you have to karate chop? Got any funny set stories you can share?

That was a long time ago but let's see what I remember... The audition process went on and on and on. I have a vivid memory of a long hallway crowded with actors learning their lines. Tuesday was already cast as Kristen and I think she was the one who bent Renny's arm to hire me. This didn't turn out the way that I think he would have liked because he had the hots for Tuesday, and she and I ended up together, creating a little bit of tension on the set. As far as the karate went, they sent me to a karate instructor to learn some moves but when it came time to shoot it, I was told to make my punches and kicks as big as can be for the camera, which is the exact opposite of what karate is all about, so my fighting style in the film was more John Wayne than Bruce Lee.

6- You've also played in the cult classic "Sorority Babe In The SlimeBall Bowl A Rama"? That must have been a hoot! Was it hard to keep a straight face once the camera was rolling?

That, and to keep from just staring at my co-stars. I was 18 years old and the women, like Michelle Bauer and, especially, Robin Stille, just had me in a constant state of horny exasperation. Hal Havins was a lot of fun to work
with. Very smart and funny guy. Any idea what he's up to these days? Oh yeah, and working with Buck Flower, that was a true honor.

7- In "Far From Home" you wind up trying to rape Drew Barrymore's character. Was it difficult to do such an intense scene? How did you go about it?

I have always felt like I didn't really deliver in that scene the way I should have. Everyone on the set was very concerned about Drew, and several people came up to me before shooting to tell me to take it easy on her. It was, as I was told, her first screen kiss. This may all have been true, but I think it made for a very tepid rape scene which, in retrospect, works fine at making my character less evil, which may work for the film. Mostly what I remember is that in one of the many takes our pre-rape kisses took on a touch of reality, something that rarely happens with film kisses, and that moment will stick with me forever.

8- Your next movie is called "The Attic Expedition" with Buffy's Seth Green. What is the movie about? How was it working with Jeffrey Combs and Alice Cooper? And does Seth smoke as much weed as people thinks he does?

It is practically impossible to describe "The Attic Expeditions" in any concise way. That's what I like about it. It's sort of a psychedelic horror film. The rest of the cast was all awesome. I was super excited to work with Jeffrey Combs, who I have admired since I saw him in "Re-Animator". He has always struck me as an example of someone who elevates whatever crap he is in to a higher level and, though I'm sure he would rather not be working in crap, he is an inspiration to any actor who has to toil in the crap trenches.

Alice Cooper was cool. His handlers even let him sign autographs for the crew. I had him record a station ID for my radio station in Olympia. Now, about Seth, he may smoke a lot of pot by other people's standards but not on that set. Jeremy (the director), Rogan (the writer), and myself all had redder eyes than Mr. Green. Which is not to say that Seth isn't fun. He is one of the funnest people to work with ever. Very smart about his craft, and also hilariously funny. He's a brilliant mimic, and I can't wait to watch what he does with his celebrity status. He made me my own personalized star wars action figure as a gift (one of the coolest things I own).

9- I hear you also have a radio show called "Radio 8 Ball". Man, you're all over the place! How's that going? Play any Brittany Spears?

Nope, no Brittany yet. The radio show is actually a divining tool, like the tarot or the i-ching. People call in with questions ("should I break up with my girlfriend", "will I ever get along with my parents", etc.) and I pick CDs at random, put them in the CD player, and press shuffle function. The song that is randomly chosen is the answer. The music runs the gamut stylistically but I usually try to pick material that is lyrically driven for the show. The show is best when I have a guest on with me. Some of the best have been Seth, Rickie Lee Jones, John Wesley Harding, Kinnie Starr, Veda Hille, and the activist, Rick Springer.

I am about to launch a radio 8 ball web site (www.radio8ball.com) which will take the format into the cyber realm. People will be able to log on to the site, ask a question, and then receive a free mp3 as their answer. I'll probably also be broadcasting so people can hear the music that's in the 8-ball pool. I'm pretty excited about it. The music will be a mix of my stuff, smart indie pop from my contemporaries, and cool bootleg stuff scavenged from years of record shopping. The site should be up in August.

10- Being a musician first, what launched you into acting? Any new projects in the works music/movie wise?

Well, I don't really think of myself as being a musician first although, if I had to choose one job to identify with it probably would be as a musician, or as a writer. Acting is a lot of fun and I like the fact that as an actor I am not responsible for the end product. I'm more like a session cat, and my job is to just come in and play and give the director as many different riffs as possible to choose from. Recently one of my activist friends was giving me shit for the unenlightened nature of the "films I make" but I don't make films. I just act in them. If I made films, they would be about what my CDs are about.

And what are my CDs about? Fashion politics. Cultural cowardice. The hypocrisy of most closed social systems, and this country's gradual slouch toward corporate fascism. I'd like to think that I write songs (and would make movies) to amuse people like Lenny Bruce, Orson Welles or Abbie Hoffman. I'll be spending the fall promoting the release of my latest CD called "A Curmudgeon For All Seasons", which is a collection of anti-holiday songs. If Christmas bugs you like it bugs me, then me and Jim Carrey (The Grinch) are going to be doing our best to brighten your millenial winter. People can check out the Curmudgeon at www.greatbigisland.com.

Thanks a bundle, Andras. Come back any damn time you want and if you crazy dudes and dudettes want to know more about the man, check out his site at: www.andrasjones.com



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