Juliette Lewis

Nardwuar: Who are you?

Juliette Lewis: You know, I've been asking myself that question for a long time. But I think technically my name is Juliette Lewis, and I'm in a band that I titled Juliette And The Licks. And he's one of the Licks.

And who are you?

Todd Morse: My name is Todd Morse, and technically I'm in the Licks.

Juliette Lewis, have you been corrupted by rock 'n' roll?

JL: You know, I don't think so. I may corrupt rock 'n' roll, but it does not corrupt me, if you know what I'm saying.

But years ago, wasn't Juliette singing PJ Harvey covers?

TM: Ah, I can't vouch for that. I was just born about three years ago.

You were singing PJ Harvey covers a few years ago.

JL: Yes, I did sing in, ah, this movie Strange Days which I'm so glad you saw 'cause not many people saw it. And I sang two PJ Harvey covers, yes.

I think you've been corrupted though, because you've gone from PJ Harvey, to Turbo...

TM: ...Negro.

You went from PJ Harvey to Turbonegro. You've been corrupted!

JL: Well, OK. Technically we never had the thrill to open for PJ Harvey but we did get to open for Tur-Turbonegro, we've been corrected. I couldn't — I didn't want to say. They said it's a colour of paint, out in, uh, Finland. Where are they from? Norway, we've been corrected off-camera. Anyway, they are a wild bunch. I opened for them. They have a very territorial audience, much like little lions, and I think we slayed them.

I think it's great though from PJ Harvey to Turbo...

[Both laughing] JL: What is your problem?

First of all, I love you and I love your name.

TM: They're gonna edit it and we're just gonna be saying "Negro" every five seconds.

JL: Yeah, yeah exactly. He's just gonna go what's the Licks' problem? They're stuck in the '40s.

Todd of the Licks though, you haven't always been in the Licks have you?

TM: Uh, I can't really remember past a couple of years ago. But no, I was actually in another band for a little while.

N: You were in the H2O.

TM: Oh god, you did your research, you did your homework didn't ya? Yes, I was in a band called H2O.

JL: Yeah, he was in an awesome punk band called H2O and you gotta do this [does NY 'gangsta pose' with hands]when you say it. Has Todd told you about the greatest moment ever in H2O's history?

JL: [laughs a lot] What's it gonna be Todd? No?

TM: When I played a show without screwing up?

No, it was a show you did in Japan, which is amazing. It even tops Turbo–

Juliette Lewis

JL: Stop it!

It even tops Turbonegro. What it was is, H2O, your band, played with MC Hammer and the Bad Brains! Isn't that true? You played with MC Hammer and the Bad Brains?

JL: Isn't he genius?

TM: How do you know all this stuff? [laughs] I actually have a picture on my refrigerator of me and MC Hammer having a beer together.

It's pretty weird.

JL: That's awesome.

And the Bad Brains in Japan, I mean, what the hell was going on there? That's amazing!

TM: I don't know what was going on. I just remember some really weird uncomfortable moments with HR of the Bad Brains in the hotel lobby where he was really scaring people.

J: Who was? Hammer was?

TM: No. HR from Bad Brains.

JL: Oh, OK.

How did Hammer and HR get on?

TM: I never saw them talking actually. I just know that we were all in the lobby after the show and HR turned to his band and said, "That's it, I'm leaving," and just started walking down the street with no idea about where he was going and everyone had to chase after him and let him know that he was in Japan and couldn't just walk back to DC. Juliette Lewis from Juliette Lewis And The...

JL: Well, it's Juliette And The Licks and I love this... yes hello.

Why are kneepads important in rock 'n' roll?

JL: You know, kneepads are very important when you do your floor work, as I like to call it. I may surprise people from time to time in our live show, with a little acrobatic routine that I do and the kneepads help my knees.

Todd, who else wears kneepads in rock 'n' roll, 'cause I mean you've been in a lot of bands before Juliette.

JL: I know, I know!

TM: Um, Turbonegro?

JL: [laughs] Who wears kneepads in rock 'n' roll?! Uh, I don't know, maybe David Lee Roth, Mick Jagger?

You haven't seen them wearing them most recently, though, have you?

JL: Not recently.

You're bringing back the kneepad, that's a great thing to bring back.

JL: I would like to. No actually, I want to be the only one wearing them.

Licks, please tell me, did you guys actually play a goth costume ball?

TM: Oh man, that is not even the weirdest thing we played. But yes, we did play a goth costume ball in Portland, Maine. Yes.

JL: Oh my god, that's where this little scuffle fight broke out in the front row and our entire band wanted to beat up these three kids.

TM: That's not true!

JL: We're not a violent act.

TM: Not like Turbonegro.

JL: Yes, but this little scuffling, rambunctious, they were wicked and they were antagonizing the audience. What am I saying? I feel like a school teacher. Anyway, I jumped on one of 'em like a little banshee and it was very fun. I think they liked that.

What did they look like? What was it like at this goth costume ball?

JL: You know what, I was thinking the whole time like, "Goth, what does this mean? Who are we? Why are we here?"

I think it's cool! I like that.

JL: Yeah, it was more like Halloween party costumes. So what did we see?

TM: They looked a lot like our former bass player.


[everyone laughs]

Get 'em while he's down!

JL: He's so way up, he's awesome.

Excuse me though, that wasn't the weirdest thing you've played. What could be weirder?

TM: Man, we played in an island, Ibiza, in Spain.

That's that party island, right?

TM: Yeah, we played at 4 a.m. to halfnaked people on ecstasy. It was...

JL: Yeah, it was rock 'n' roll. They're trying to bring rock 'n' roll to the island to get out of their beats-per-minute brainwashing system, so they brought us in at 4 a.m. but the people, I think they really liked it.

Now, did they call you headliners or did they call you clean-up?

TM: Wow, we were the openers actually. That place was just getting started at 4 a.m.

JL: Just getting started at 4 a.m. Another weird show we played was on a boat, like a little mini-boat. Not a yacht, no P.Diddy in this equation. It was just a little mini-boat and the audience was just on the hotel balcony. It was some weird party in Amsterdam and they didn't let us finish the set because the time limit was up and the boat guy was like, "We gotta go! Get 'em off!" And then took our guitar tech hostage.

TM: And our gear.

JL: Anyway, it was very funny.

You got out OK, though.

Juliette Lewis

TM: We did and you're going to think about this later and find the hilarity in it. It's incredible.

Todd of Juliette And The Licks, how hardcore is Juliette?

TM: Ah man, you know, I thought being in a hardcore band I'd seen all the hardcore, but she's pretty friggin' hardcore.

'Cause I think you're pretty hardcore, Juliette. I mean you do the stage-diving, the crowd-surfing, but a lot of people do that don't they?

JL: Sure they do.

A lot of people do that. However, how many people crowd-surf in a [yells] bikini?!

JL: Da da da! [laughs] I love it.

You crowd surf in a bikini!

JL: Yes and you know what's magical about the whole thing? It never came off. No-one touched me inappropriately.

TM: [coughs] Sorry.

JL: There was nothing but love and joy and, you know, my favourite moment was in Budapest. I love this like, "We were in Budapest," playing this festival for 20,000 people. I hurled myself in the audience, while the band was just rockin' out and there was a lot of love and magic and I like it.

TM: Yeah, absolutely no-one accosted her I'm sure.

JL: I did lose a boot, but I didn't lose anything else. I just lost my shoe.

But is it selfish to crowd-surf when you have no shirt on, just a bikini, 'cause that means you're sweating a lot, right?

TM: [laughing a lot]

JL: Yes.

So does the audience like Juliette's sweat?

TM: I don't know. That's pretty hurtful to the people I think.

JL: I hope they do because they get showered up front and, I mean like, pshhhh [makes exploding noise and flails her hair around] slow mo. I wish we could just do that. That would've been funny.

But how about Juliette, when you jump in the audience and people catch you?

JL: Yes.

You slide off of them?

JL: No, I don't.

Because you're wet? I guess what I was wondering is, wouldn't it be politically correct before you jump in the audience to crowd surf to put on a t-shirt? Do you think about the crowd?

JL: Let me tell you, I'm not reptilian. I'm not slithery. I don't slide. I do acrobatics, it's a pure joyful think. I don't know what will go on tonight in this room, it all depends on the crowd and how I'm feeling and the magic of the moment and all that stuff.

I guess I was mentioning it because I play in a rock 'n' roll band and when I'm on stage I take my shirt off. But anytime I crowd-surf I always put a shirt on. Because when I jump in the audience people catch me. And at the end of the gig they're just covered in sweat and pubic hair.

JL: Well, hold on a second! There's no pubes being revealed here.

No, from my chest hair, my chest hair.

JL: Oh, you're talking about me?

Yes, I didn't mean yours, but I just meant that maybe, you know, your audience would get angry if you crowd-surfed without a shirt.

JL: Well, let me explain something to you. Most of the time I'm clothed. The time you're talking about, was 110 degrees on the Warped Tour. That's the bikini incident. But there's some other places where you crowd-surf as well where there's still some skin exposed.

TM: I'm starting to go with you here. That's really selfish how you sweat all over the people.

Thank you.

TM: I'm getting a little angry actually.

JL: I love it.

And we have a quote here from Toronto's ChartAttack.

JL: Uh-oh.

"On the street two girls gushed, 'I grabbed a part of Juliette's tush and her leg.' 'I held her thigh and the small of her back...'

TM: Turbonegro.

"I can't believe we were this close to Juliette Lewis." Those were some kids, so you were grabbed in Toronto!

JL: Oh my god, do you know what? I think that's all out of love. I don't know why you're making it something subversive.

TM: Let me just put it this way, even if they don't get their hands on her, they're going to leave with a piece of Juliette Lewis, if you know what I'm saying.

Well, has Juliette or has the band ever considered doing a nude show?

TM: [laughs]

JL: Um, you know what? I know where you're going with this and I want it stopped right now. [laughs]

TM: Listen, the nude show is on the bus any given night, let me tell ya.

Ba-boom! No, where I'm going with this is actually, who designs your clothes? Is it the dude from Depeche Mode? The dude from Depeche Mode designs your clothes, doesn't he?

JL: No, you know what? It all starts with my little window of imagination right here. Can we animate that? And this tailor on...

Doesn't he work with Depeche Mode? Isn't a designer who designs stuff for Depeche Mode designing stuff for you, Juliette Lewis?

JL: No, but I like the sound of that, 'cause if I had Depeche Mode's designer, wouldn't that be cool?

And you were going to pose topless for him? This is something I read.

JL: Pose topless for?

Depeche Mode's clothing designer.

JL: No, no, no, we got this all mixed up, J Lindeberg.

It sounded good, though.

TM: Yeah, but your time-frame is a little off.

JL: This is like, J Lindeberg is this Swedish tailor guy and I did an ad for him and then Dave Ga-


JL: Thank you.

TM: So you were first actually?

JL: Yeah, yeah. He's now going to do a campaign.It was pretty cool.

TM: And by the way, did you know Depeche Mode's record charted really high, their brand new record?

JL: Exactly, I love Depeche Mode. Excuse me, don't give Depeche Mode props because I think your record has done very well. Did you know that?

JL: You are speaking my language sir!

Juliette Lewis from the Licks and Todd from the Licks, do you know what your record is doing right now in Finland?

JL: What do you mean? What it's doing?

You are #2 on Amazon.com Finland!

JL & TM: Nooooooo!

JL: I love this guy, high five!

TM: That's amazing...

How the hell did that happen? Did you guys play in Finland? How did you get big in Finland?

JL: I love that it's Finland because that was our first European show. We were playing Finland and half the audience is singing our songs and that was the first time that happened on our European tour, so there's something brewing over there in Finland with the Licks.

Number two on Amazon.com!

TM: We're super, super hot in Finland. It's just off the chain.

Todd, what sort of gifts get thrown on stage or given to Juliette or given to the band? What sort of gifts have you guys accumulated in your van on this tour, or your bus? Sorry, I mean van...

TM: I believe Juliette got a bullet once, didn't you?

JL: Yeah, that sounds really sinister, but again...

TM: Not in the skull or the abdomen.

JL: Yeah, yeah, yeah. A girl gave me a very pointy bullet [sirens heard outside] and cue the sirens...

TM: Yeah, perfect.

JL: And then I put it in my luggage and got stopped at customs in Switzerland... Korea! TM: Korea! Sounds good. Switzerland, Korea, you know.

JL: OK, whatever.

TM: One of those Scandinavian places.

JL: And you're asking yourself, they went to Korea? Yes we did... [laughs] I'm boring myself!

No, you're not boring me though. I think it's great you keep fans' gifts, because one time again, when I was in a rock 'n' roll band, and I still am, we were given a quiche and we kept it and we eventually ate it. Have you been given any food?

JL: Oh my god! Sorry, remember that cake we got in the shape of a penis? Can I say penis?

TM: Or cock?

JL: It was amazing and it was a doughnut, cream-filled, naturally. Uh, where was that?

TM: Uh, that was...

JL: That was in our dressing room.

TM: We got the cake penis, the penis cake, at... at... Portland.

JL: Portland, Oregon, everybody! [clapping]

Did you eat it?

JL: You know what, it got stolen and defaced and we all wanted to eat it.

TM: Don't lie. We found our guitar player with it in his bunk.

Juliette And The Licks, and Todd of the Licks, tonight you guys have some heavy competition. Do you know who you're up against? Who's playing in Vancouver, British Columbia?

JL: We heard.

TM: Henry Rollins. We heard Henry Rollins, right?

How are you going to do against Henry Rollins? Is he going to take any of your fans?

TM: I'll take this one. We have guitars, he doesn't. That's all I got to say.


TM: And drums! Ba-boom!

JL: And you know what? I might have bigger muscles. Not sure, but I would want to do a muscle off. I just invented what that is, with Henry Rollins.

Have you done any gigs with him or have you done any movies with him or are you good friends with Hank? Could Hank be dropping by after?

JL: Oh my god, is his nickname Hank? I bet he doesn't like that and he might beat you up.

No, he calls himself Hank.

JL: He does? I wanna call him Hank. You know who else is Hank, the singer of Turbo-

JL & TM: Negro!

A running theme. Now Juliette Lewis, I interviewed a few years ago a man named Elijah-

JL: Wood?

TM: Woody?

Elijah Wood. And I asked him about the punkers in Hollywood. Who are the punkest people in Hollywood and he said David-

TM: Lee Roth? [laughs]

David Cross. David Cross was one of the punkiest in Hollywood. Who are the other punks in Hollywood? I mean, Elijah Wood is a punk, he's going to be playing Iggy Pop apparently.

JL: Right.

Is David Cross a punk? He's a punk isn't he?

JL: I think what we more need to say is "nonconformist," that's the proper term. But do you need to ask who's a punk in Hollywood?

Uh, ah... Juliette!

TM: Lewis.

JL: [laughs] Yeah.

Juliette Lewis is a punk in Hollywood. But I mean just to add to my list. Because David Cross said, and I asked him about it, I said, "Hey David Cross, I talked to Elijah Wood..." David Cross said there's a secret treehouse where the punks in Hollywood all meet. David Cross, Elijah Wood and I was wondering, can we add Juliette Lewis or is there anybody else we can add to the treehouse?

JL: Oh yeah, OK.

TM: Ryan Seacrest.


JL: You stumped him. Look, he's hurt. There was a tear.

I don't know what to do? American Top 40?

JL: We don't know what to do.

I was thinking perhaps Justin Timberlake, because it is rumoured he's going to be playing Johnny Rotten in the Johnny Rotten story.

JL: Shut up! I'm leaving. Johnny Rotten wants him to play him!

JL: Stop it.

Johnny Rotten wants him to play him.

TM: We'll have to have a talk to Steve Jones about this, see what he thinks about it.

JL: I know, I'm sure he'll have something to say.

Are you going to be doing a movie with Dave Cross' good friend Bob Oken---

JL: Odenkirk! I so wish this movie would get made. It's called The Fuck Up. Can I say The Fuck Up?

Juliette Lewis

TM: Fuck Up.

JL: Anyway, it's from a brilliant book and they don't have their financing and this is the frustrating thing about the movie business. It's a brilliant story, blah, blah, blah. I would be in it. It's not made yet, maybe later.

Did you follow Mr. Show at all?

JL: I love Mr. Show.

Did you see the skit that involved you, IDS, Imminent Death Syndrome.

JL: No! What does that mean, that sounds awful?

I'm not exactly sure, but Bob and David came up with that and now you're doing a movie with Bob. That's so great.

JL: But why did it involve me?

I think you were one of the celebrities mentioned in it or something like that.

JL: Oh great.

You can go check that out if you want.

JL: Great.

TM: You've got a little David Cross thing going on yourself here and you seem a little obsessed as well. Is there something we don't know about?

Well, David Cross is a great fan of Vancouver, British Columbia and he recently appeared in a video by a local band called The New Pornographers and everybody loves the Crosser.

JL: The New Pornographers, they're a local band?

Yes, they're from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

JL: That's so exciting. I want to check them out as well.

Juliette Lewis and Todd from the Licks, you guys have a song called American...

TM: Boy! "American Boy." Now speaking of all-American boys. Oliver Stone. A few years ago, I did an interview with him, and afterwards my friends got mad at me because I didn't ask him about pissing in a cup.

JL: He pissed in a cup?

What do you know about Oliver Stone pissing in a cup, Juliette Lewis, because you worked with him? I heard he's so intense he won't leave the set and he will only piss in a cup.

JL: Oh no, that sounds like a great little story, but I believe he just uses a bathroom like everyone else.

TM: I do that!

JL: Todd however...

TM: I do that.

JL: Not to mention some other things.

TM: My biggest pet peeve is when there isn't a bathroom in the dressing room, so I've been known to pee in a bottle or two. Yeah, me and Ollie. So you've maybe heard something about this? Like, what basically I'm coming to is he was so intent on his work, he would not leave the set. They had to bring a cup to him and he pissed in a cup and then the cup was poured in a toilet. Have you met people like that, that are so intense, aside from yourself?

JL: I hate to tell you this, but I've never heard this story and they had porta-potties on the set. [laughs]

No, this is good.

JL: I'm sorry!

No, it's good because people were angry at me, "You didn't ask him! You didn't ask him about pissing in a cup!"

TM: He has been known to crap in his director chair, though.

Todd, what can you tell me about Juliette Lewis' family? Namely father and brother.

TM: [laughs] Well, they accepted me as one of their own and I've been sworn to secrecy. Because your dad [directed to Juliette] was in one of my favourite movies of all time!

JL: What was it?


JL: Bronco Billy?

No, Tango & Cash.

JL: Was he in that?

TM: [laughs]

He was in that.

JL: I didn't even know that.

Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell.

JL: Yes, I know this. And your brother is going to be in a movie with, believe it or not, Kato Kaelin and Seymour Butts!

JL: No, no, his friend does this weird comedy cable access show. They've know each other since he was 13.

N: But I think that's great. Like, I mean, those are just amazing things - Kato Kaelin, Sylvester Stallone. I just love it, the things involved with the Lewis family.

JL: Oh please.

TM: You have a memory like a hard drive. I don't know where you're getting this stuff. It's amazing.

How do you guys know Danko Jones?

TM: We met him in Belgium.

JL: Belgium.

'Cause he's Canadian.

JL: No, we know this. Canadian and beautiful to look at right. Can I invite my band in to celebrate?


JL: Ba-boom! Can I celebrate our Amazon #2 victory in Finland?

Sure why don't you welcome them over.

JL: Licks come in here! [clapping] We're #2 in Finland on Amazon!

TM: That means some sucker's #3 in Finland!

You guys are #2 on Amazon.com. I wish we had a little plaque for you guys or something like that.

JL: A little sign. See, we really deviated with this interview. Maybe people changed the channel and came back, so now we're back. Hey, maybe they were never watching!


JL: Oh! Turbonegro. I was wondering, Juliette, was you did the movie Hysterical Blindness and didn't the director make everybody do yoga?

JL: Oh my good look at that! He's genius! Who would know this? You must have secret spies planted across the nation. Yes she did, people did yoga early in the morning. Isn't that great?

So is there a bit of Hysterical-isms on stage every night? A bit of movie influence in the Licks?

JL: I don't know. For us it's about the rock band, the guitar riff, the rhythm and just cuttin' loose, cutting loose. Why do I turn into the '50s?

I like the word "cuttin' loose."

TM: Isn't that a wine cooler? Cuttin' loose reminds me of that tune "Bustin' Loose." Do you guys remember that?

JL: Hey, c'mon down, we're cuttin' loose here with the Licks!

Winding up here, Licks. Just lastly, when you're up there on stage and you're playing, do you watch people doing stuff? What is the reaction to the Licks?

TM: Just joy, utter joy and people singing the lyrics is always nice.

How about when you guys were on the talk show circuit, like didn't Regis dance to you guys?

TM: He did. Wow, you really know everything. What has the reaction been from most talk show hosts?

JL: We haven't played a lot of talk shows, but I'll tell you, the crowd...

Like Regis dancing, that's pretty cool.

JL: That was funny and cute, but our crowds tend to do very many things, usually they get wild or elated, that's what we like... aggressive. Some stand still and I try to shake them up.

Have you ever grabbed anybody from leaving? Like you saw somebody leaving and you just grabbed them and said, "No, you cannot leave."

JL: No. And your name is–

JL: Juliette.


JL: Is.

A question arises, Juliette Lewis. Lastly here, have you ever met Emmanuel?

JL: Lewis? Have you?

JL: No.

No connections at all to Emanuel Lewis and Juliette Lewis?

JL: You know what, he may be a distant cousin. Just guessing. Ah, thank you very much for alluding to that. Well, thank you very much Juliette And The Licks. Anything else you wanna say to the people out there?

JL: I do. [sings] You know the Licks are alive, they'll come to rule your heart so open up your damn mind! [Juliette walks way] TM: Yeah, you heard her!

All right, well thanks very much Juliette Lewis from Juliette Lewis and the...

JL: Oh my god, you stole my exit! It was supposed to be so theatrical.

We just have to finish off. And thank you Juliette Lewis from Juliette Lewis And The Licks and doot doola doot doo…

JL: Doo doot.

Juliette Lewis pictures by David Leyes.