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Music: Pretty Shitty Gang Bang

Could the Bloodhound Gang be the most hated band of all-time? Could they care less?

By Cole Haddon · October 19th, 2005 · Music
  No respect: The Bloodhound Gang might not have critics on their side, but their legion of loyal fans more than makes up for it
Nela Koening

No respect: The Bloodhound Gang might not have critics on their side, but their legion of loyal fans more than makes up for it

"You been to Cincinnati? What a dive," says Evil Jared Hasselhoff, bassist for the Bloodhound Gang. Of the flood of 1997, he adds, "That wasn't a flood. They call that a douche."

This is how it begins and continues for the next 30 minutes. Everything that comes out of Hasselhoff's mouth is just as caustic and hilarious. He's one of those guys who's always on, always cracking a joke. Even as you begin to wonder if there's anything serious about him -- maybe this is all a big act? -- he launches into another piss-your-pants-laughing anecdote. Simple questions become like the first lines of knock-knock jokes, begging for their punch lines, like the one about what he thinks of his band's latest release, Hefty Fine.

"Enh, I think a lot of our fans are pissed off, 'cause after jerking them off for five years, we put out an album with nine songs on it," he answers. "What do (albums) cost today? Like $18? They're paying two bucks a song? I'd be pissed off. And it's not like they're going out and buying Appetite for Destruction and getting 12 great songs. They're getting this, like nine so-so songs. Nine tracks of essentially filler."

So just where has the least-respected crew in music been for the last five years? After scoring a giant hit with "The Bad Touch" from 2000's Hooray for Boobies, they disappeared from the scene with nary a whimper -- much to the chagrin of fans and the joy of critics. "We toured non-stop for maybe a year and a half," explains Hasselhoff of a regiment that saw them doubling as performing monkeys for Geffen Records.

"Once you've been locked on a bus together like that, every single thing about their personality becomes annoying. The moment we got to the airport after the last show, we didn't talk to each other (for) like another two years. Literally. Even once we got back together, it took maybe two years to record the album."

And now one of the most critically reviled musical acts of the last decade is back with an album Rolling Stone has called "only marginally more welcome than a Jerky Boys reunion."

"We're like five Weird Al Yankovics, and we're OK with that," admits Hasselhoff, unfazed and even apathetic. "I've never read a good review of us. They're always like, 'Terrible. Will somebody please send these retards back to Pennsylvania? Preferably in a box."

The real question is, do these goofballs even want a good review?

"No, screw that. The only bands that get good reviews are bands like Dave Matthews Band. If that's what good music (is), then I want to make completely lousy music ... which we pretty much do."

The title Hefty Fine is a double entendre just as absurd as the band's reputation, linking both a penchant for pissing off the wrong people and a love for the beastly. Its cover art, in fact, is of a grossly obese man in his birthday suit, crammed into a box as he stares alluringly back at you. It's downright creepy. "The last time we were out, we ended up getting sued so much we could barely tour. We almost couldn't play 'cause we couldn't find an insurance company that would put us out," says Hasselhoff. "I think we ended up paying like $1.5 million in fines after the last tour, so that was pretty hefty. Plus the singer is kind of into like fat chicks or fat dudes. Kind of like the whole chunky homosexual/bisexual thing, so he's into hefty and fine."

The worst part is, they weren't even guilty of all the pranks, gags and perverse debauchery they were being accused of by the media. Well, not yet, at least. Like the time an Idaho promoter asked the band to tone down their show, prompting the band to immediately cancel the concert.

"The worst thing we'd done by then was I offered some kid $20 if he could stand on his hands and piss his pants. And I'm reading the Boise newspaper and it's like, 'Bloodhound Gang comes out and shits on plate. Offers a guy $20 to eat it.' That never happened ... onstage." He quickly clarifies. "That time we paid the guy to eat a turd off a paper plate, it wasn't onstage. It was outside the club, to get tickets. Everybody can enjoy that. I bet it happens outside Kelly Clarkson's concerts all the time."

Then there's there the most recent fiasco, an appearance on Germany's Tonight Show equivalent, TV Total. Inspired by the fact that other recent guests had mooned the show's host, Hasselhoff stripped and paraded across stage, flaccid member flopping about before he landed back in his seat with the explanation, "Hey, it's cold in here."

"The day we left, we looked on the cover of the German equivalent of USA Today and it says, 'Penis Attack on Television," laughs Hasselhoff. "Like that was so shocking in Germany, apparently. This is from the country where their idea of pornography is some guy shitting on a girl's tits. I remember I bought a movie there at this rest stop, like not even a legitimate porno place. It was called Shit Lovers #23. It was 29 minutes and 56 seconds of a guy taking an enema and trying to take a shit and then three seconds of him taking a diarrhea shit on a chick's face. That is considered entertainment in Germany. I can't even believe they were that shocked that there was a naked dude on TV."

The coup de grce was when Hasselhoff returned later in the show with one testicle dangling out of his pants, his fingers squeezed tightly around his scrotum so the TV Total logo he had scrawled with perfect penmanship across the skin with a Sharpie was clearly visible. "Oh, I did it myself," he laughs. "Yeah, yeah, I got a lot of experience writing stuff on my nuts."

When it's suggested that this interview might just be too raunchy for readers, Hasselhoff doesn't miss a beat.

"Oh come on, they're from Cincinnati," he insists. "What do they care?"

BLOODHOUND GANG plays Bogart's on Thursday with Program the Dead.


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