Spatula: "I think that was the swan song, and we landed like an albatross."
courtesy Spatula Spatula circa 2005 (L-R: Summer Snover, Evan Brown, Paul Cousineau, King Lexie and Jesse Roadkill).
Spatula (due this Friday, February 10, at the Climax Lounge) was a band you often heard about between 2004 and 2005, if you did not actually see it. The band was musical, but more to the point, it was always a ridiculous spectacle with simple but effective props, elaborate homemade costumes, fake gore, live births, simulated environments and general, fun-loving mayhem. Everyone who saw Spatula left with a strong and fond impression, and maybe a little something on them for their trouble. After close to two years together, the band came to an end after an infamous show, outlined below, playing atop a bus during First Friday on Tennyson Street and Santa Fe Drive.
Tom Murphy Spatula in 2012
Spatula consisted of King Lexie and Jesse Roadkill, who both sang and played guitar; Summer Snover, who played bass and sang, too; Paul Cousineau, who provided electronic accompaniment; and drummer Evan Brown. Lexie and Roadkill went on to musical and artistic projects beyond Denver, including a life-sized mousetrap, and Snover and Cousineau collaborated in the short-lived Trembler and still perform in Fancy and the "porno-techno comedy band" Provert.
All five members of Spatula have found themselves in Denver again for an extended, if temporary, span of time and decided to grace us with a reunion show. Go expecting free prizes and, the band wants pointed out, expensive prizes, as well as the infamous live birth. Remember to bring your own spatula or else! We visited with the five rapscallions at the home of Cousineau to discuss Spatula's colorful and somewhat sordid past.
Westword: When did you start Spatula, and was it a band or more a performance-art type of thing?
Summer Snover: Our very first show was kind of performance art at a party. Bacchanalia in summer of 2004.
Jesse Roadkill: The actual group itself started on accident. Wasn't it like a post-party jam? Right before we dispersed, someone, maybe you [points to Evan Brown], was like, "All right, when's band practice?" And it went from there.
SS: Good old six in the morning, sleep deprivation.
King Lexie: Whiskey floats.
SS: So, yeah, it's music and performance. It's a "spacticle."
Paul Cousineau: It was an electronic show band and then it got less electronic.
JR: Bacchanalia definitely solidified the performing concept that came with it. I think that's when we first learned to creatively fuck with people's minds.
So was Bacchanalia an event or a place?
SS: A massive underground party at Evan's place.
KL: You know the type. Different themes and costumes.
Evan Brown: We roasted a goat that night.
PC: In a back yard in downtown Denver. It put a whole aesthetic over the whole scene to put a roasting goat in the back yard.
JR: It was one of our first animal-processing lessons. And we got in a pretty burly tongue fight. Getting slapped with a sheep tongue hurts.
KL: There was a baklava fight in the shower, also.
JR: No, the baklava fight just prompted the group shower.
SS:Okay, stop, reel it back.
How did you all meet?
EB: Linoleum, I think. We met on Larimer Street. The place that's now...what is it called? It used to be called Orange Cat, and before that it was Linoleum, aka the Labyrinth of Dishevelment.
SS: Paul lived there.
EB The time Spatula formed there, it was quite disheveled there.
PC: We had met Lexie right before that, too, and you said, "I met this girl, and she should be in our band." It worked out great.
SS: The heavens parted and we were brought together!
Why did you pick Spatula as the moniker for your new project?
KL: It was given by our friend Nicole. She's a poet.
SS: We were going to go with "Slotted Turner" because that's the true name of this implement.
PC: People would come up to us and say, "You know, that's not a spatula, it's a slotted turner."
KL: Then we would stab them with it.
SS: No, we would spank them with it, normally. We weren't going with the "Stabula."
No Stabula? Count Stabula?
EB: We were talking, and it was one of those "Oh, that would be a great band name." You know how ten times a week someone will say "That's a great band name"? It was one of those moments. The imagery works really well. It fits, and it's just weird enough.
KL: It's useful. And we turn people over. It's really become a metaphor.
EB: There's a lot of spatula slapping that goes on.
KL: That came later. Not much later. Like five minutes. Third practice.