Mondo Vanilli Interview. by Carla Sinclair and Mark Frauenfelder.
Where was your first performance? Scrappi: It was at Toontown in San Francisco. We had a scissors lift that brought us 20 feet up in the air, a torture bed that spun around, actually a burn ward bed, we had video projections and jars of chocolate sauce. We hit people with fire extinguishers, scared them a little bit, the peace authorities came to straighten things out, and we had the Doctor out there.
Doctor? Scrappi: He's our anti-Vanilli guru who tells us we're wasting our time. He tells me that I'm working way too hard because I'm trying to flesh the whole thing out which is a complete waste of time, obviously. RU: We also played at the RU Sirius for President campaign.
How did that go? RU: I don't think I won.
RU: The Mondo Vanilli performance will have a segment where a small, elite group of people are invited into one of the bathrooms, and it will become a performance venue. We'll show it through a video hook-up. It'll be like the other performance Simone did called the Smoking Fudge Pack. They did an enema in a bathroom and it was on video. Simone: We went into the audience and captured a cowboy, kidnapped him, tied him up and put him in the bathroom. We had a video camera and ten video screens in the theater.
What is the Mondo Vanilli philosophy? RU: The goal is pure concept. When you try to actually achieve what you imagine then it ruins the whole thing. Scrappi: It's a little different from pure nihilism. RU: It's a very objective philosophy, actually. Scrappi: It's Mondo Vanihilism. RU: We'd like to have franchised Mondo Vanilli bands in every city across this great land. Any kind of band. They would just pay us dues and they would be Mondo Vanilli. There would be hundreds of Mondo Vanilli shows going on at once. Our preferences are for Holiday Inn-style bands, but it could by anything else-- Scrappi: As long as they pay!
Do you actually have a fucking robot? RU: That's supposed to be a secret. When is the next issue of bOING-bOING coming out? In May (wrong!--ed.) RU: It'll be ready by then. (wrong!-ed.) bb: Who's building it for you guys? Scrappi: Can't say that. It's a secret. Is it Mark Pauline? RU: No, Mark's very expensive.
RU: The only way you can obtain dadaist spontaneity in a high-tech surveillance society is by becoming a dadaist multinational corporation. The idea is this: basically people on the street can be totally random. And the more you climb up the social ladder the less random you can be and the more inhibited you become. But once you climb to the top of the ladder you can reverse that and become random again. I mean random from the perspective of Warner Brothers or Sony, and just put out all sorts of random shit that doesn't necessarily make any sense. That can only be done from that kind of position. Being random on the street is not as satisfying without access to the tools and the media. It's much more fun being random to twenty million people. I mean Michael Jackson couldn't even get away with kicking in car windows in his fucking video! Bang! It's over. There's got to be a way past that. Our culture is so much more ready for people to step over these boundaries now.
bb: Have you seen "Buzz" on MTV? RU: Yeah, I was on it actually. They had a sequence up at Mondo.
What will your performances be like? RU: Our performances will be like an est session. It's going to be a very difficult psychological program. People are going to come, hopefully, all dressed in their leather outfits and sunglasses expecting another cool industrial music show just like every other one. And then immediately instead of darkness, the lights will be bright, and there will be these geeks who'll be wearing some sort of Third Reich-ish things with peace signs and wheels on them leading them to their folding chairs. For quite a while we'll just talk and show pictures... Scrappi: We'll laser-point at the vast array of Mondo Vanilli products and services. Without getting too far into this, because we have to keep it fairly secret or else no one's going to want to come--wait, maybe we shouldn't even be saying any of this. RU: Actually, it's going to be a REAL COOL industrial show! It'll have that tough rhythm all the way through just like all the other industrial bands. Simone: We're going to be Charlie's Angels!
Are you going go have cosmetic surgery performed on you at one of your shows? RU: Oh, yeah, I said I was during our first show, so it's already a lie. Eventually I'll do it, but I wonder if plastic surgeons can do that without losing their license? There;s this one guy who I interviewed for Mondo, a plastic surgeon, so I sent him a letter asking him to do this and he doesn't talk to me anymore. pp26-7