We’ve missed Jeanne Fury’s byline in Decibel over the last few years, but she has been pretty busy with an arguably more important task: Coaxing the world’s finest fart stories out of NYC punks The Lunachicks. Fallopian Rhapsody: The Story of the Lunachicks (Hachette Books) charts the rise and fall and rise of the band through the main voices of Theo Kogan, Sydney “Squid” Silver and Gina Volpe, along with commentary from the rest of the band members past and present. Fallopian Rhapsody is, at turns, thoughtful and ribald, with copious amounts of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, but also revealing insight into the band’s incredible evolution as feminists and LGBTQ+ allies.
One of the best parts about Fallopian Rhapsody is that it doesn’t dwell in hagiography. As you page through the book, you’ll encounter numerous examples of the band being utterly disinterested in celebrity or hero worship. One recurring theme, though, is food. According to Jeanne, she and the band ate so much hummus during the writing process that they considered thanking “The Chickpea Farmers of America” in the book’s acknowledgments. Lunachicks vocalist – and former Decibel Reader of the Month – Theo Kogan took a break from prepping for the band’s upcoming reunion shows for a quick round of “All Snacks Considered.” Oh, and “sugar farts”? We trumpet that concept.
Congrats on Fallopian Rhapsody. One of the most striking things about the book is that it’s almost as much of a memoir about food as it is about being touring musicians. How did your early experiences with food shape the sound and style of the Lunachicks?
Thank you! WE LOVE THESE QUESTIONS!!! We started the band in high school, and what do high schoolers do after school? Snack! Back then in the ’80s, there were new snacks and sweet drinks coming out all the time, and there were so many memorable commercials for them on TV—lots more jingles in commercials than there are today (that we know of). Snapple launched when we were in high school, and we even had a song called “Snap Attack” about the beverage. Snacking was and still is one of our favorite pastimes… aside from rocking together, obviously. As New Yorkers, we are very lucky to have grown up with so much amazing culture and food around us. The ability to get all different kinds of foods in different neighborhoods all over the city—it’s an everlasting carnival of food! It affected us on every level.
There’s a part in the book where Theo describes eating a Little Debbie snack cake in the practice space. The band also paid tribute to them on an early non-album track. So… when was the last time any of you actually ate a Little Debbie snack cake? Was the magic still present?
It’s been many years since any of us ate a Little Debbie. Theo might have been the last one to eat one—maybe once in the past 20 years? Maybe.
Given your collective love of candy and snacks, was there a point where you figure out how to hack your tour rider to get a spread that you were actually interested in?
We didn’t even know what a rider was when we started. Once we realized we could put stuff on our rider, we were actually afraid to chock it too full of sweets because we knew would eat it all. So, we kept the riders pretty healthy and would instead spend our per diems on candy.
One of the most sublime parts of world travel is finding a convenience store and checking out the local offerings. What are some of the stranger snacks and candy types you encountered on your travels? Is there anything that was too repulsive to finish?
Definitely. There have been times that Squid bought things like a package of Hostess Snowballs just so she could squish them up and throw them out. The extremely salty licorice we got in Sweden was too disgusting to eat. We spat that out immediately. Some stranger things were peanut butter–flavored corn puffs that they had back then in Germany. There were yummy, spicy curry-flavored potato chips and mini Indian papadum chips in England. They also had really delish chocolate treats with cornflakes in them. The snacks in Japan were exciting: Little chocolate mushroom candies; Hello Kitty and cute animal characters were on everything sweet; candy sushi; pink strawberry chocolate candies… One of the surprises back then in Japan was the vending machines that sold cans of hot coffee. And there were energy drinks in Australia that helped us with the insane jet lag. There was one brand simply called V. It was like a Red Bull on Red Bull. Made us get the sweats at night.
Assuming you don’t have the same metabolisms you had as teenagers, how have your snacking habits changed as you have aged? Is snacking something you share with your spouses and children?
Metabolism, meshamabolism. We still snack together as much as possible, and we snacked our way through the entire writing process of this book—Jeanne made us spreads to put spreads to shame! (She is one of us to the core.) We all definitely, consistently snack with our spouses and kids. A lot less candy is eaten now. We upgraded to things like dark chocolate and fancy-shmancy specialty items ‘cuz we’re so classy.
The Lunachicks have performances scheduled for Webster Hall in NYC on November 26 and 27. Woo! Can you spill the proverbial beans about the limited edition Lunachicks custom candy you’ll have at the event?
We have actually been talking about this for real, but we don’t want to promise anything. It would be chocolate poop emojis, exploding pimple candy, candy boogers and sugar farts.
Perfect snack experience, desert island style: What is it, where are you, and who are you eating it with?
We are together, Jeanne included, in Australia near the beach, with our kids and spouses eating a variety of veggie spreads, hummus, baba ganoush, veggies, crackers and chips, breads for the starchy, cheeses for the cheesy, hot sauces for the saucy, olives, pickles, hot peppers, and some desserts like classy (see above) dark chocolate, strawberry rhubarb pie, vegan ice creams and, of course, DONUTS. Duh.
Fallopian Rhapsody: The Story of The Lunachicks is available now in paperback, ebook and audiobook formats and can be ordered wherever books are sold.