By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
“I think Walt Disney music up until around the ‘60s is really beautiful,” says Eshbach. “Mary Poppins was beautiful music. It’s all Gilbert and Sullivan--esque. Disney stuck with a late-19th-century theater form up until the late 1960s, 80 years later! And then all of a sudden, boom! Overnight they said, Enough of this! And now it‘s all crap, washed-out MOR. Nobody I care to talk to has a favorite Disney song that came after the ’60s. Everybody loves ‘Chim Chim Cheree’ or . . .”
“. . . ‘When You Wish Upon a Star,’ the most magical song,” says Geller.
“‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ is really the best thing that Disney did, as far as music goes,” says Eshbach. “With Disney it‘s a work of art . . .”
“. . . with an emphasis on craftsmanship,” says Geller.
“It’s internally consistent, and we all know that ‘Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,’” says Eshbach wryly, “but I think that quote came from a very little mind . . .”
The Two Johns
The emphasis on craftsmanship and precision -- “Every time we hand in demos to anybody, they say they‘re the most complicated demos they’ve ever heard,” says Eshbach -- means that when the Sugarplastic perform the occasional live show, inevitably something is lost. And for Eshbach, nothing is gained.
“Our live set is so much different from what we record,” says Eshbach. “The recorded stuff has all sorts of parts and everything, and the live songs are pretty stripped-down in three pieces. I really don‘t like it. I’ve never understood the live-performance thing. Theater and music are the only two forms of art where you‘re required to do it live. I love hearing the songs in rehearsal, when nobody’s watching, but actually getting up there and having to perform it just boggles my mind. It‘s pointless.”
“It’s like in fourth grade, on my show-and-tell day, I brought two records,” says Eshbach. “One was the soundtrack to Camelot, and the other one was some bagpipe music. And I put them on, and the class was completely quiet. It was maybe 15 or 20 years later that I realized that they must have been laughing at me!
”I guess I‘d feel a lot better if we were just a band covering Sugarplastic songs. I’d like to have somebody who looks like me learn all my parts and go up onstage and play the songs. Then I could be in the audience and hear what we sound like.“
Chuckles all around. The Sugarplastic got the last laugh.