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The Venture Bros.' Doc Hammer and Jackson Publick Talk Favorite Music

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Fri, Oct 16, 2009 at 1:23 PM

click to enlarge SHANNON COTTRELL
  • Shannon Cottrell
Sunday night at midnight, The Venture Bros. returns to Adult Swim for another season of mad scientist and supervillain misadventures. While we have heard bits and pieces about what to expect for the upcoming episodes at Comic Con, when LA Weekly caught up with show architects Jackson Publick and Doc Hammer by phone yesterday, the subject of the day was music. This seemed more than appropriate when chatting with two guys who developed a universe where a hapless villain reminisces about Danceteria, and Klaus Nomi appears as a henchman who can wreak havoc with his voice.

What's the first album you bought?

DH: Remember buying? I was given a lot of records because I have an older sister and she had these punk rock boyfriends that wanted to kiss up to her, so they would talk to me. So, I remember getting a Gen X and Adam and the Ants records. That was the time that I discovered music like that. I was the conduit to possible sex with my sister, so that was that the first time I heard music made by grown ups that cared. Before that, all I knew were songs from the radio.

JP: The first I bought were records. I don't know which was first, but I feel like it was the same day. It was The Muppet Show soundtrack and Queen's first album, because it was the only one my brother didn't have.

I can see the similarity between the two.

DH: There's an epic quality to The Muppets and an epic quality to Queen.

JP: My first cassette was Synchronicity and my first CD was U2 War and King Crimson Discipline. [Laughs.] They're all ten years apart.

DH: I do remember buying what people consider to be the world's greatest album as a kid but, I didn't buy it because it was cool, I bought it because it had goats on the front and I thought it was pretty, which was Pet Sounds. So, I accidentally got the album that everybody wishes they got first. I got it because it had animals on it. When you're a kid, the Beach Boys really works, but I had no idea I was buying a classic.

click to enlarge SHANNON COTTRELL
  • Shannon Cottrell
Do you still listen to it?

DH: I own it on CD and I put it on and it's a lot more strange now. I find it to be really dark and depressing now.

What do you listen to when you're writing?

DH: I listen only to garbage and stuff I listened to when I was younger. I discovered that Appetite for Destruction, although Jackson will argue with this, is amazing because it reminds you of being young. You know every word, yet you don't give a rat's ass. You don't stop to think about the record. I also like the first Danzig album, which Jackson will absolutely argue with me, because it's just tough and rock. You keep writing to it. Your head will maybe pound a little bit, you will throw horns occasionally. Sometimes you will giggle at how silly it is and how perfectly adequate it is. It's a very strong album. The production is amazing. But, yeah, I listen to crap that I don't listen to that much anymore when I write.

JP: I just hit shuffle now, so I listen to everything now. I used to throw on soundtracks and orchestral stuff would be the only thing I could write to, maybe Dead Can Dance or Cocteau Twins or something. Mostly it was movies scores that would kind of inspire me. Now I just listen to whatever is in iTunes randomly, which may explain why I can't write as well this year.

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