Saturday, February 24 , 2018, 9:08 am | Fair 41º


Jeff Moehlis: The Murder Junkies Are Coming to Muddy Waters

Best-known as GG Allin's final backing band, punk rockers will perform old and new material

Merle Allin is the bass player for the Murder Junkies, a punk rock band best known as the last group to back Merle's younger brother, GG Allin, who died of a heroin overdose in 1993.

With GG, they recorded the album Brutality and Bloodshed for All and toured whenever GG wasn't in prison. A snapshot of the chaos brought on by GG Allin & the Murder Junkies is captured in the acclaimed documentary Hated, which you might want to read a bit about before watching as it's not for the lighthearted.

In the post-GG era, the Murder Junkies have continued their punk rock mayhem with 1995's Feed My Sleaze, 2011's Road Killer and 2013's A Killing Tradition.

The Murder Junkies will be performing Thursday at Muddy Waters Cafe in Santa Barbara. Click here to purchase tickets.

Click here for the full, uncensored interview with Merle Allin, including much more on GG.

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Jeff Moehlis: How's it working out to be back together with [guitarist] Bill Weber?

Merle Allin: Well, that's a good question [laughs]. I guess we'll find out tonight.

JM: Is this your first show?

MA: This is our first show tonight, so I guess we'll see what happens [laughs]. We've been playing with our other guitar player now for like five years, so we had a pretty good thing going with him. Weber's our original guitar player, so it should turn out OK. Hopefully. We shall see. It's punk rock, you know? Some nights you're good, some nights you suck. As long as you show up, most people are happy because you're playing.

JM: Dino's still in the band, right?

MA: Absolutely. The Naked Drummer, Dino Sex, has been playing with me now since 1991. And he gets crazier every day.

JM: That's good to hear.

MA: That's just the way it is, you know?

JM: David Crosby is playing in Santa Barbara the same night as you guys are. ... If someone's on the fence, should they go see Crosby or should they see the Murder Junkies? Why should they see you guys?

MA: I'd go see David Crosby if I didn't have to stay and play, you know? [laughs] I'm just kidding. I mean, David Crosby ... God.

You know what, you might never see the Murder Junkies again. I'm telling you, this might be our final West Coast tour. I'm almost banking on it. So if you want to use that as some kind of leverage to get people to come to our show, you might want to throw that in there. I'm serious. Unless we get on a tour with a bigger band, and do a tour with someone that's coming out here, we probably won't play the West Coast again.

JM: I've learned that you guys played with GG in Santa Barbara at a place called the Anaconda Theatre back in 1991. Do you remember that at all?

MA: Of course I do. I remember the show probably lasting five or 10 minutes. I think the reason the show ended was because the equipment. ... They only had one microphone, I believe. There wasn't two or three different microphones for GG to break. One microphone gets broken on his face or whatever, or against somebody's head or whatever. Then there would always be another one. But I believe that night there was only one microphone.  It's actually on videotape [click here, but be warned that this contains nudity, harsh language and violence]. I think the soundcheck was longer than the actual show [laughs].

JM: You never really knew what was going to happen, right?

MA: Especially back in the GG days. You didn't know if you were gonna make it past soundcheck. I mean, GG's soundchecks were more exciting than most band's regular sets, especially back in those days.

JM: How do you balance the band's history with GG with wanting to do your own thing and establish a unique identity?

MA: Well, you know, it's taken us a long time. Of course we realize that we'll never be able to get out of the shadow of GG. And we're proud of the whole GG thing and everything. But over the last three years, we've recorded two brand-new albums, a single, and we're going to record another full-length album this year. So now we play mostly our own songs. I mean, we still play GG songs, too, but now people are coming to our shows and actually singing our songs. And people are buying our records.

JM: Do you think that the Hated documentary accurately and fairly portrayed what GG was like?

MA: Hated was basically just a time period documentary of what was really going on at that time. GG basically lived the songs that he wrote, and what he sang about were songs that he was living.

We all liked it. I mean, he liked it, for what it was. It wasn't really a whole story about his whole life. It was basically just what was happening at that time.

You know, I met [Hated director, who went on to write and direct the Hangover movies and more] Todd Phillips. He was working at Jim's Video store at St. Mark's in the Village when I met him. He asked me, "You're GG's brother, you're in his band. Can we get him to do a documentary?" And we were like, sure. ...

JM: Do you ever call him up and say, "Hey, do you need an extra for one of your movies?"

MA: No, I never call him up. But I do email him from time to time, or he'll make a comment, "I'm keeping up with what you guys are doing" ... . It would've been nice if he could've thrown one of our f***ing songs in a soundtrack.

JM: One of the Hangover movies, or something. Make you guys some money.

MA: Exactly! It's not like the kinds of movies he's making aren't fit for one of our songs to be in, but he never has. I don't know, what are you gonna do?

JM: Can you tell me a bit more about the next album?

MA: We actually have most of the arrangements for the songs down on a tape, so everybody's going to start working on their part. We're going to do a spring-summer May-June tour of the East Coast, the Midwest and the South, and then we're going to end the tour recording the new album. So hopefully we can have that out by the end of this year. That's the plan.

— Jeff Moehlis is a Noozhawk contributing writer and a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his web site, The opinions expressed are his own.

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