Q&A: Keith Morris!?
Updated: Dec 1, 2020
I might as well stop this whole webzine thing now because I’ll probably never again get someone as important to the history of punk, hardcore, or music in general, than the legendary frontman of Black Flag, Circle Jerks, and OFF! -- Keith Morris!
That’s right, THE fucking Keith Morris.
I’m so stoked that he was nice enough to do this Q&A that I won’t ramble on, but I will say that sometimes I struggle with how to execute these interviews, not knowing the best approach to these things; what’s too goofy, what’s not. In short: I’m no Fresh Air with Terry Gross. That being said, Keith Morris knocks this thing out of the park. It’s basically everything I had ever imagined doing with this project. Thanks again, Keith! Buy his book, My Damage, on Amazon, and check OFF! for tour dates!
What is your go-to meal? If you have one. Or maybe a go-to restaurant?
I enjoy anything from pizza to turkey burgers to Thai food to Middle Eastern food to good ole' oatmeal with sliced strawberries, sliced banana, and blueberries. My go-to restaurants here in my neighborhood and all within walking distance are Carousel (Armenian food), Fatburger (self-explanatory), Puran's (all natural AND I'm not a vegetarian or vegan as I'm an omnivore) and Macho's Tacos (also should be self-explanatory) for their delicious veggie burrito.
Of the guys in OFF!, whose eating habits concern you the most?
Steven McDonald has the worst diet. He has the eating habits that run along those of his 8 yr. old son, Alfie. I want to say his favorite meal might be peanut butter and jelly with a chocolate milkshake or pancakes with whipped cream and chocolate syrup..........oh yeah!
Growing up, were there any eating rituals the kids/teens would partake in? I’m from Cincinnati, OH, so basically everyone would get drunk and either go to Skyline Chili or get a crave case from White Castle — then proceed to shit their pants later that night. Anything like that going on when you were growing up?
Well, in Hermosa Beach, we had Taco Bill's for a "Taco Burrito" that was his specialty and great for attempting to rally back from a hangover. It was everything you'd expect from the name, including spicy ground beef, lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, guacamole, and sour cream wrapped in a giant flour tortilla. Washed this down with a grape or pineapple Crush, and you were pretty much ready to take on the world. As for any sort of "Late Night Group Meal," this would usually equate to Denny's, Astro's (typical American fare), or Oki-Dog (who had a burrito that consisted of two frankfurters covered in chili and cheddar cheese with pastrami wrapped in a flour tortilla and could cause hallucinations and technicolor nightmares). There were a few other late-night eateries, but my memory fails me.
What is your current diet like? Are you vegetarian or vegan? If so, any tips on how a fat guy like me can successfully make the switch?
I'm a Diabetic, so I try to stay as close to the "Diabetic Diet" as possible. It's extremely difficult to adhere to this while going out on tour. Sometimes your only choice becomes Subway, Del Taco, Jimmy John's, In-N-Out, and other fast food joints, and the idea is to try and make as many healthy choices as possible. The switch you want to make is cutting your Carbohydrate intake in half! Going to eat a banana? Eat half. Going to eat a sandwich or burger? Eat half or lose the bun. Pizza? If you normally eat 3 or 4 slices, you cut your consumption down to 2 slices. Eat a lot of leafy greens and other green vegetables. The proper way to measure meat, starch, and carbs is by looking at the food in front of you and then cupping your palm. You then proceed to eat the amount of each food on your plate to fit in your palm. One way to measure meat is by keeping it to a pack of cards or a box of cigarettes.
How would you compare your on-tour diet from your Black Flag/Circle Jerks days to your on-tour diet now?
I never toured with Black Flag, with the exception of 2 or 3 trips to San Francisco. With the Circle Jerks, it was for a minimum of 3 to 4 months at a time, and there was no "Per Diem," which is what you're allotted to spend on food each day. It was a scramble to be able to eat unless the promoter provided a deli platter. We've had some doozies! I remember playing a club that had a secret club attached to it or what would've been known as a "Speak Easy." They actually served up a platter of white bread, bologna, Craft, individually packaged cheese slices, sliced carrots, and celery (this was the healthy portion). I believe there might have been some mustard and mayonnaise. Now we get a daily per diem that covers both breakfast and lunch, and then the promoter either has a restaurant on-site or pays us a "Meal Buy-Out."
These are some fucked up, uncertain and depressing times we live in; any comfort foods you’d recommend? I ate a whole box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch Churros over the weekend, and I have few regrets.
I'll occasionally eat a bag of chips or a handful of chocolate chip cookies or maybe even a Hershey bar, but that's about it..........
Anything you’re working on now that you’d like to plug ... I only have like 3 readers, so I’m not sure how much this exposure will help.
OFF! has written 25 songs for the soundtrack to our movie we're filming later this year or the beginning of next year. Making a movie is a royal fuhkin' headache! Our problem is that our rhythm section, who are also going to be in the movie, plays in 3 other bands in which 2 are incredibly busy. We only ask that the Melvins and Redd Kross allow us 2 weeks to record the album and 3 weeks to shoot the movie. It's like pulling wisdom teeth and asking for blood, sperm, and urine samples along with twisting arms and legs! OUCH!!! I'm also getting prepped for hosting a Vans shoes documentary that's not been scheduled yet, AND I have a chapter in John Doe of X, who has a new book coming out in June. "More Fun In The New World" with Chip Kinman (Dils), Peter Case (Plimsouls), Annette Zilinskas (Bangles), Terry Graham (Bags, Gun Club), Louie Perez (Los Lobos), Dave Alvin (Blasters, Flesh Eaters) and more.