Intermission Inquisition: interview with Chris Ballew

By Christian Nelson
February 8, 2007

Hi! Welcome to Intermission Inquisition, 10-or- so not-so-incisive questions, custom-made to maximize our content vs. effort ratio. Each week, we'll skim the surface matter of a member of the local arts and entertainment community, cultivating the finest headcheese possible. Who better to kick out the jams of Intermission Inquisition's Inaugural Edition than Chris Ballew, super-hyper front man for The Presidents of the United States of America?

If you were to enlist one ex-President as a fourth band member, who would it be, and what instrument would he play?

Zachary Taylor. And he would play the cowbell. Like a God.

Presidents' guitbassist Dave Dederer attended graduate school at the UW, studying urban planning. Does he have a plan for improving traffic in Seattle?

Yes ... he rides his bike.

What's the difference between a guitbass and a basitar and were any fish harmed in the making of either?

The guitbass has three strings and the basitar has two strings. Three fish were wounded during the process. One, a trout named Freddy, will recover but may lose most of his motor skills on his right side. Too bad, because he was a promising artist before "the accident."

If you were to drop out of public view for another couple of years, where would your undisclosed location of choice be?

Trick question. I can't tell you that. It's "undisclosed." Silly Rabbit, Tricks are for kids.

Your 2000 album Freaked Out and Small could've been pimped out and huge. Are there any plans to re-release it?

We already did. With bonus tracks. Guess we did a piss poor job of promoting that one.

Whoops! Um...I'll hire a fact checker and have him or her fired ASAP. Moving on!

Since your last term in the spotlight, Agents Mulder and Scully have both retired. Which television crime fighter would you choose to lead your current security detail, 24's counter-terrorism agent Jack Bauer or Monk, the obsessive-compulsive detective?

Monk, for sure. I think we would relate to each other. I used to be like that guy.

With regards to your songwriting process, which comes first, the cartoons or the drugs?

Cartoons. Drugs are a distraction. The real world is freaky enough.

Who would you be more inclined to cover, Nirvana or Weird Al Yankovic? Which song?

Nerd-vana. Territorial pissings. But done as a '50s Doo Wop style. Nirva-na-na.

Now that POTUS has firmly established its fame, when can we expect y'all to get naked?

In about 20 minutes when I take a shower before bedtime.

Hmm ... I don't seem tohave a 10th question, so feel free to plug one of your numerous side projects and/or the upcoming triple shot of concerts at the Showbox, Feb. 16, 17 and 18.

Plug. Plug. The feelings hijackers ... me and a sideways rapper jumping about to some ill beatz

Oh, wait! I do have a tenth question! Who are some of your favorite up and/or coming local bands?

No-fi Sould Rebellion, The Trucks, Rock n'Roll Soldiers and Awesome.

Speaking of which, all four bands have upcoming shows at The Showbox, Friday through Sunday, February 16, 17 and 18. And, oddly enough, they will all be performing with The Presidents of the United States of America. So get a baby-sitter for all the little chickies and hop on downtown to celebrate Presidents' Day the right way. Like a feather-pluckin' rock n' roll god.

— Christian Nelson


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