boss hog

The Devil Is In The Detail

The loss of innocence, and finding a new sense of self and purpose, a path through everyday chaos.

Cristina Martinez of Boss Hog

Hi Cristina and thanks for taking the time out to speak with us at Musicology.

17 years between releases and back with a bang! Brood X is a scorching album and bolts out of the gate with the opening track Billy. To stamp your authority in making a triumphant return, is there a great deal thought that goes into selecting the first track on the LP?

Good Lord, yes. Sequencing is a crucial step in storytelling. We still hold dear the experience of sitting and listening to an entire album from beginning to end, so we put days of testing into the process. Not only the order of the songs but the segues between songs need to be considered. The devil is in the details as they say.

Although a long time between drinks for Boss Hog, you were by no means idle, having played various shows, and fellow band members having their respective projects. Does this diversification and intermittent performing actually bring a renewed sense of vigour when approaching a new Boss Hog record?

Absolutely. We all have busy lives from which we need to carve out time for Boss Hog. I wouldn’t call it a sacrifice exactly, but it can be logistically challenging. So when we are working on the band we are excited to have the time together and doing our best to make the most of it.

What lines of continuity does the new LP share with its predecessor Whiteout and what new direction does it take Boss Hog into?

Both Whiteout and Brood X were written with a keyboard player, which changes the dynamics considerably. Making room for another instrument requires more disciplined arrangements.

New York giveth and New York taketh away. In Ground Control you say “where did my city go?” In your eyes what is New York 2017?

It’s expensive to live here which drives out artists and and lower & middle class families. New York City has a large and rapid turn-over rate. We have lost so many small local “mom & pop” stores to have them replaced by national chains. It’s the same as a strip mall in Anywhere, USA.

That said… it’s New York! You can still find old ladies in fur coats in the middle of summer wearing too much rouge and drug addled homeless people shitting on the street. #blessed.

Coming back to the album and Rodeo Chica is a great call and response track with yourself and Jon exchanging lyrical blows. Does your creative process together go well beyond business hours whereby ideas arise and are fleshed out outside of the band confines because you are a 24/7 partnership?

What happens at practice stays at practice…otherwise we would not still be married. But yes, we do find--and therefore share--inspiration from all facets of our lives.

After the pulsating, gritty guitar of Black Eyes, and blistering funk, rock explosion of Elevator, the album tails off with 17, as if panting from the exhaustion of the preceding tracks but it is a wonderfully sombre song. Is it an introspective take on your earlier years?

Our son Charles just went off to college, so I was thinking about that point in life when you you take the wheel for the very first time, yes. The loss of innocence, and finding a new sense of self and purpose, a path through everyday chaos.

It’s no secret that you are a big fan of The Butthole Surfers and SWANS. Having spoken to Norman Westberg about SWANS he stated that he felt that is was only in the last five years that the band was truly accepted and understood. Do you feel that there is a latency in the musical community and general population of grasping what a band is honestly achieving and does this add weight to the return of Boss Hog with Brood X?

Indeed, there is a long history of bold music and radical art being misunderstood.

Brood X has been well received thus far and that’s certainly satisfying. But I try not to let that sway me. I have to be prepared to do what I do no matter how it is received. I have the crippling tendency of only remembering the bad, so keeping my distance is vital.

Having meet so many amazing individuals over the years and having shared the stage with so many great performers, can you recall any instances that really resonated with you and altered the way you approached your craft?

I saw Bjork perform at the Tibetan Freedom Concert in 1996. She was this tiny thing prancing and stomping around barefoot on stage. It was so unabashedly joyous. I still smile thinking about it. I hope to lose myself like that every time I’m on stage.

What does the rest of 2017 have install for Boss Hog?

Champagne wishes and caviar dreams.