CKY’s Jess Margera on Their Future, His Love for Clutch and Not Being Invited to Play Bonnaroo
“We have a bunch of song ideas in the bag, but we’re still trying to figure out if it’s even worth releasing an entire album,” says Jess Margera. The CKY drummer is on the phone with Noisecreep when a discussion about the band’s future and the way they’re perceived by the general public opens up. “It seems like the album format has gone the way of the dinosaur in the past few years. It seems like every other week I read an interview with one of my favorite artists where they say that their next album will be their last. It’s sad that we’ve come to that point in music. So yeah, we’re not sure what the hell we’re going to do about our new music,” Margera explains.
CKY’s latest album is 2011’s ‘B-Sides & Rarities,’ a collection of previously unreleased and out-of-print recordings recorded at various points since the band’s formation in 1998. “The whole reason I got into playing music was the live aspect. I think it’s more important to be a great live band than to sell records. I’m just at the point where recording albums seems like an expensive way to make a flyer letting people know that you’re still a band. These days, when I walk into a recording studio, I think to myself, “Why am I here?” I know, it’s crazy,” laughs the drummer.
If you’ve heard any of CKY’s previous records, you already know how wildly eclectic their songwriting can be. “Our influences range from gnarliest death metal bands to My Bloody Valentine. We don’t sound like any other band. I think the fact that our sound changes from album to album might be too much for some people. My father loves CKY and he says he listens to us in between his Elvis Presley records [laughs]. But I gave him our last album [2009’s ‘Carver City’] and he’s just like, “I don’t know what the hell is going on! It sounds like two records are playing at the same time.” That says it all,” laughs Margera.
Watch ‘Afterworld’ From CKY
The Pa. group has had their material released on both indie and major labels, but they’ve yet to break through on the scale their music deserves. Noisecreep asked Margera if he’s frustrated by CKY’s lack of commercial success so far. “You need patience to truly get our more recent albums and I don’t think people have the attention span for that. But some of my personal favorite albums were like that for me. When I first heard Clutch‘s ‘Blast Tyrant,’ it didn’t really hit me. After 5-6 listens in, it all made sense. It’s become one of my all-time favorite rock albums.
“CKY has suffered commercially because we don’t really fit into any specific scene and we get left out of a lot of things because of that. In America all of the big festivals are either indie rock bands or hippie-ish bands. We never get invited to play festivals here in the States. We do in Europe since they’re more open-minded over there. Bands like Primus and Flaming Lips don’t sound like anyone else either, but they somehow get invited to festivals like Bonnaroo and all that stuff. I’m getting sick of everyone casting us aside because we’re not so easily classifiable.”