Rikky Gage is basically the Big Lebowski of rock n’ roll. Wait, not the Big Lebowksi because that’s the bad guy. The Dude. Rikki is just like The Dude, except that instead of a bathrobe he wears a jean vest and instead of White Russians he drinks Jaeger bombs, and instead of bowling he makes really fucking awesome music (although he probably also bowls, I am not sure though). With his two bands, Rikky makes posi-core thrash rock about life, chicks, and weed (White Fang) and mellow slacker ballads about well, life, chicks, and weed (The Memories). Both bands are utterly beautiful in their complete lack of pretense, and Rikky writes lyrics (for example: “I don’t need Cupid to make me feel stupid”) that mirror truly universal human sentiments without the gift wrap of metaphor and over-complexity (or any complexity at all). And while I like an angsty song as much as the next thirteen year old cutter (okay, probably way more), every once in a while I just want to lay on my bed and listen to songs with titles like “Took Drugs (Went Insane)” and “If I Had A Van” and just fucking chill out. Because, yeah shit sucks, but not all the time, man.
I took some mushrooms and chased them with two tall boys then hunted Rikky down at day two of Burgerama. Here is the resulting piece of journalistic greatness:
Hi Rikky, how are you doing?
Rikky: I’m fucking chillin’!
What are you doing right here, right now?
R: I’m at Burgerama 2, at the Observatory in Santa Ana. I’m on my second night, I played with White Fang yesterday and The Memories today. I’m just fucking ripping through Jaeger bombs and drinking beer and smoking weed.
Is being in two bands like having two separate families? Like two wives and two sets of kids who don’t know about each other except the bands know about each other?
R: It’s a little bit like that. It’s like I’m just constantly cheating on my family with my other family.
R: Literally, yes. A lot of the time the way we write songs is we have the music, like the guitars and all that stuff, already written, and then I’ll be like, oh that’s a pretty little ditty, and I’ll write lyrics to it. Me and all the guys are classically trained; I played violin for seven years, and Kyle is jazz-trained, so we’re really instrumentally wise. Sometimes it takes me a year to write lyrics, sometimes it takes me a day. Like, “Go Down On You”, that was easy to write.
It’s usually easy to write about something you love. Do you love going down?
R: Yeah, for sure.
What’s your favorite part about going down on a girl?
R: The folding.
Do you have any tips for young bucks out there who want to be better at it?
R: Go soft. It’s a sensitive part of the female anatomy, and you don’t want to go super hard. Go really gentle, and increase as you go along. Feel her vibe, and let her lead the way; you just guide the voyage.
Do you have tips for girls giving blow jobs?
R: They’re all good. No complaints!
R: It’s pretty much the same process. To be honest, when we write songs, we write them and afterwards I choose what band they are for.
What do you love about working with Burger?
R: Their attentiveness. Shawn really loves the music, and he has a passion for it. It’s like when I was young and I read about DIY labels, garage rock and stuff, Burger embodies everything I ever wanted out of an independent label.
If you could go on tour with any band ever, who would you go on tour with?
R: AC/DC. I know we would get along. AC/DC or Happy Mondays. Any party boy band that know they’re rockers for life who fucking tear it up. Or the original Who. We’d get along, we’d all party. I like going on tour with other bands because you get the camaraderie thing going. I know if we were in that time period, we would have really gotten along with those guys.
If all of your different band mates were each a character from Friends, who would be who?
R: Okay, I would be Rachel, because I’m a little diva. And I’m beautiful, and I like to be the center of attention. Chris is Ross, because he’s a little neurotic, and like he’s a perv, but doesn’t really know how to identify with it too much. Jimmy is like a Joey, he’s really beautiful and naïve, and he likes to party but he’s really sweet. I feel like Kyle is like Chandler. He’s the best friend, he likes to hang with the bad boys but really he’s just a sweet guy. Izak is like Monica, he wants to be in the background but he wants everyone to know he’s there too. Aaron is like Phoebe, he’s the weird one. He surprises you sometimes with how retarded he actually is. He’s really dumb.
What is your favorite outfit to see a girl in?
What is your favorite outfit to see a dude in?
Who is your muse?
R: Oh wow. Um, Milla Jovovich in The Fifth Element.
If I let you give me stick and poke tattoo while I was blindfolded, and you could give me any tattoo you wanted, what would you give me?
R: A little winky face, like the emoticon.
If White Fang was an item of clothing, what would it be?
R: Wife beater.
If The Memories was an item of clothing, what would it be?
R: See-through thong.
Put us on to some bands everyone should hear.
R: Melted Toys, King Tuff, and Shannon and the Clams.
What’s up next for both White Fang and The Memories?
R: The Memories have a gatefold LP coming out on Burger in the next month or two, and another LP in the summertime. White Fang is going into the studio with Bobby Harlow from The Go, and recording a new album. King Tuff and Gap Dream will be there working on it with us as well. The Memories and Natural Child will be touring Europe together with Burger.
My girlfriend is going to think I’m super hot. All the other girls are going to think Kyle is super hot. Straight up, Kyle from White Fang and The Memories, AKA Big Red AKA Cinnamon Bear, has only ever had sex with one girl in his whole life.
Does he have a big dick?
R: I don’t know! But, he is beautiful. And he needs to have sex with as many girls as possible. I have his phone number, anyone can email me and I will give them his phone number. If you want to have sex with Kyle, I will hook it up.
You can find White Fang on Facebook, Twitter, and getting high on a couch in Portland, probably. You can find The Memories on Facebook, Twitter, and by using Google maps. Buy their shit at gnartapes.com, and catch them live March 31st in Portland with the very awesome Natural Child and the very radical Mean Jeans (flyer below).