Interview: X-Cops Talk New EP “XCAB” and Living Above the Law

It’s been a long time since Richmond’s X-Cops released new music—28 years, to be specific—but the humorous crossover cops are back and ready to face an internal investigation on their new EP, XCAB. The five songs contained within have a decidedly rock ‘n’ roll feel to them and according to lead vocalist Sheriff “Tubb” Tucker, they’ve never had more fun rocking out and arresting rockers for violating noise ordinances.

To get the details behind the making of XCAB and the return of X-Cops, Decibel spoke to Tucker about playing with the band for the first time since their 2013 reunion, their uncanny similarities to GWAR and which presidential candidate would empower a band full of chaotic, violent cops.

XCAB is out on June 28 via Pit Records. This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

Minus a 2013 reunion, X-Cops was basically disbanded for more than 25 years. What made you guys wanna get back to it?
Well, you know, there was a lot of liberal presidents in there so we kinda had to go underground. We do a lot better with Republican establishment presidents because they let us get away with shit. Biden’s just kind of feeble so we can get away with stuff, but we know that Trump’s gonna win next year and so it’ll be just a free for all for us cops and X-Cops. 

We’re looking forward to all kinds of surplus weaponry and vehicles and free reign to do whatever we want, so under Fuhrer Trump, we’ll be able to do that. We figured it was time to come out and rock! 

And what’s the reception been for that so far?
It’s been great, it’s been great. We’ve been knockin’ heads and they’ve been enjoying any minute of it. 

Did it feel like getting old friends back together or was there a learning curve to get everything to groove again?
It’s just like riding a bike. It’s just like riding a stolen bike. 

A stolen bike. So it wasn’t difficult to get back into it despite the fact that you haven’t released new music from the band in over 25 years?
Oh no, no. It’s easy, it writes itself. We just look at the world around us and look at our own personal experiences and the songs write themselves. It’s a no brainer. Literally, it’s a no brainer. 

This EP, XCAB, is coming out at a time when the United States and the entire world are having conversations about police violence and systemic racism. Were those topics on your mind when you were writing this EP?
Oh no, there’s never anything on our minds. Oh, you know, to write you just look around, look at the ridiculousness of everything and it’s easy. You just look at the news and cherry pick some phrases and then you have an album! 

With what you say is an upcoming Trump presidency, you’re basically guaranteed more of those.
Well, we don’t care who’s president. It doesn’t really matter. It’s just that when you get Republican conservative presidents, then law enforcement gets lots of new toys and free reign to do whatever we want, which is good for us. If I was a normal citizen, I wouldn’t want any of that. Since I’m not, it’s great, since we get tanks and cannons and machine guns and we can kick your door in, and we can kick the wrong door in. You know, it doesn’t matter what we do because we get away with it. When good ol’ president Trump comes back, it’s going to be fun time! He’s going to let us do whatever we want. 

What was the writing process for this EP like? Are these song ideas you’ve been working on for a long time because the band started so long ago or are these newer ideas?
There’s a couple of songs that have been around. Zipper Pig sings a song he’s had in the can for a while and then we just threw around a couple ideas like the Waco Branch Davidian thing, that was a no brainer. That was easy, and we got a song about the school shootings that are rampant all over the country, so that was easy to write. You just look at the news. X-Sargent Al DePansia wrote a song glorifying the fact that we are, in fact, the pigs, so that’s fun. 

It’s a lot of fun. To be honest, it’s just silly, stupid fun just like GWAR.

[Interviewer confusion] Did you just say war?
GWAR. You’ve heard of GWAR, right? This band we’re touring with, GWAR. 

Yeah, it’s silly shit like that. It’s easy, it’s fun. 

And how do you guys respond to the allegations that members of X-Cops are in GWAR?
That’s lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies, lies. The more you call something a lie, the more true that it is a lie. That’s what we learned from President Trump. Yeah, no, no, no. Well, maybe a little. 

But we deny everything!

How do you guys go about choosing the songs you want to cover? I can see the connection for The Police here but you covered Deep Purple on your ’95 album.
There’s a lot of confiscated marijuana and sometimes it’s really good marijuana, and people just think they have a good idea when maybe it’s not a good idea. But we do it anyway.  

“Highway Star” became this sort of joke thing and we just ended up doing it. Lieutenant Scrapinetti had the idea of doing a Police cover and I said, “Of course, it’s a no brainer!” And then we did this song and I realized these guys aren’t really police. There’s a band called The Police and they’re not even American! Well, the drummer is American. 

I just went along with them. I was drinking a lot at the time—I’m drinking a lot all the time, but I was drinking a lot at the time—and I just said, “Yeah, it sounds like a good idea.” But what are you gonna do? 

Now that you guys are back together and you wrote these songs, is the band going to stick around this time or do you see yourselves going back underground?
We’re going to keep doing stuff. We’re trying to book some shows for this year but GWAR is so busy and we have a hard time keeping drummers because they end up getting shot at the end of the show. What we do is we usually try to enlist a prisoner behind the drum kit and we give them an opportunity. If you can learn to play drums at a touring professional level in 30 minutes, you got the gig and we’ll let you go. And, for some reason, they keep dying of acute lead poisoning at the end of the show so we have to get a new drummer almost every night. It’s crazy. 

It is crazy how that works.
Yeah, so that kind of makes it difficult to book in advance but we’ve got some stuff tentatively in January. We’re going to keep doing it and we’re going to put out an album hopefully next year. Maybe a little bit more touring with these, what are they called?, GWAR? We might do some more shows with them here and there, but we don’t want them riding on our coattails too much. 

For all practical purposes, knowing that Trump’s going to be president again—I mean, obviously—because he’s so great and so smart. He’s the smartest he keeps saying, so we figured once he’s president we’ll probably be the White House band. Might be his private security detail until perhaps he gets hit with a bullet or something, because I’m not jumping in front of a bullet for that motherfucker, I’ll tell you that much.