A Clunk Back and Forth with JD Pinkus (Butthole Surfers)

Hello JD….welcome to the clunk universe.

Please describe what surrounds you right now so we can get a picture in our mind’s eye.

 Some Shorty Jack Russells , a Pinkus Pinner, and some Appalachian Mountains, Spivey Mountain to be more precise. Between Meth Mountain and Pillbilly Hill …

What music did you grow up listening to? What was your first live music experience? My older sis playing piano and Eddie Arnold 8-Tracks. My first big live show was probably Pat Travers with Johnny VanZant opening. I believe it was Johnny VanZant’s first show. It was at the Fox Theater in Atlanta.

‘Woke Up Dead’ is the first taster of the forthcoming album. We love it at Clunk HQ. Great title for a song. What’s it all about?

Thanks! Actually it’s the second taste, Gittin’ It was the first taste… This is your first taste of Fungus Shui and I’m grateful you’re tasting what I’m steppin’ in!

A lotta folks say they wake up with the blues… Never really cared about all of that. I’m more interested in trying to relate to what happens when one wakes up dead. We all do that someday.

Could you tell us a little about the new album. What inspired you to go about it? What’s it called? Will it be readily available in the UK? Will it be on vinyl? I want one!

I was asked by my dear friend and banjo sensei, Danny Barnes, to record my banjo songs for him to release on his small cassette label, Minner Bucket Cassettes. I enjoyed it a lot and ended up pressing ‘Keep On The Grass’ to Vinyl and CD on my own label, Heavy Feather Records.It was very intimate and recorded live in the Studio.It felt to me like i created something that was more me than i ever recorded before and when i died the folks close to me would be able to have me play em a song anytime they wanted after i was gone. Like with a shot of Bourbon before they go to work.

I decided I wanted to do another one to follow it up and was ‘lucky’ enough to have timed it during a Pandemic. It’s called Fungus Shui. This one might be more me because I didn’t have the luxury of bouncing any ideas off of anyone. It was written, recorded, performed and mixed by me and myself. We all showed up at the studio at the same time and were always in the same mental condition.. It will be for Download and Vinyl on Shimmy-Disc and on CD as well on my own Heavy Feather Records. I sure do hope they make it available in the UK. I hope to support it there whenI can.

You’ve been a member of a few bands over the years. Do you enjoy the solo work more?

I love doin’ the solo work. Like i said before, we all show up at the same time and are in the same headspace.

 That being said, there is something beautiful about communicating thru instruments, words, and melodies between other like minded individuals that are not just me. It’s just hard to find people willing to make a commitment to a project like a band. I cn’t expect others to have the drive and make the leap of playing music for a living. Kids, Spouses, Jobs, Houses,…. thats some tough competition for a band.

Memory test! Can you remember the title of the first song that you wrote, at what age and what was it about?My Pops used to take me to the Horse Races when we was growing up. I wrote a song about a Horse i bet on that won. The Horse and the Song was both called, ‘Little Point’, if my memory serves right.

If we were to come to your neck of the woods for a weekend where would you take us? You are the Entertainments Committee!

I’d feed y’all some Mushrooms and we’d go find some Black Bears to camp out and play with off the Appalachian Trail. Then we’d go to #9 Falls on the French Broad River and sit in the water falls all day with some cold beverages and tastee smoke. Then I’d make y’all listen to me play banjo on our deck… then we’d dispose of y’alls’ bodies…

Any bands/artists that you recommend we check out?

Pure Luck, Honky, Daddy Longhead, Melvins, Butthole Surfers,… oh and Danny Barnes and my friends Whiskey Dick. The only Whiskey Dick welcome in any household.

Any chance of getting over to the UK to play?

 Man, I would really love that! Can you make that happen? I’ll trade ya some Belly Button Lint….

Thanks for taking the time for Clunk, JD. Don’t forget to come and perform in Carlisle, dinner at Clunk HQ!

I am an Opportunivore, Thanks!!!

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