Jello Biafra of the Dead Kennedys and Alternative Tentacles Records on the demise of the band he signed, The Phantom Limbs:
||The Phantom LImbs are what punk and the New Wave were supposed to be
about in the first place- something new. The first time I saw them,
at Gilman Street, I was stunned- the weirdest band I'd ever seen at
the place and the Gilman punx actually liked them. By the end of the
night they were on our label.
They asked us to promote them as a goth band, but I sometimes wonder
if they spawned their own genre. The closest reference would be the
Screamers, due to the keyboard-driven mayhem and Hopeless's Tomata-
like ringmastery. But there is more of a classical, harpsichord-y/
Phantom of the Opera thing going here- like Gilbert & Sullivan gone
horribly terribly wrong. This is tied-to-the-railroad-tracks music at
its finest, like being trapped in a Barbary Coast bordello when the
San Francisco Earthquake hits.
They blew apart way too soon. So many great bands do these days.
Myspace mania or not, it is so much harder now for truly gifted and
demented troublemakers to put everything they have into creating and
spreading their art for a long enough period that enough people
actually notice. Rents are so much higher now, plus the curse of
student loans and the price of gasoline. File sharing and free music
are kool in theory, but I wish more people would stop and realize
that when a small and unique artist gets file shared instead of
supported they may never again be able to carve at the time and funds
to record another album, let alone go on tour. It also drives me
batshit when people go on about how, "the old skool bands were so
much better than now because they sounded so different from each
other and had more ideas." But when something genuinely new and
different that delivers the fresh energy we crave hits the scene,
these same people ignore it in favor of the latest empty copy of some
old school band. For crying out loud, wake up, people! Look what you
Sure, I know there were also personal problems that led the
Limbs to go their separate ways. But there will never be another.
I miss them more than any band in recent years.
- Jello Biafra (September 2008)