Interview from Brutarian Magazine: Issue #23, June 1997
Jacqueline met Vinnie back in 1992; they've been inseparable ever since. The creator of such underground alternative classics like "Flinch " and "Thrust and Disgust " welcomed the mighty Mistress into his band and his life. With memorable lyrics like, "Well, you can suck my Italian dick like a sausage/Lick my balls like pasta vasool/My little muffin, you need some butt stuffin'/So spread your ass so I can push in your stool " (from "The Godfather of Smut "), SPIT has the gumption to draw parallels between "To Kill a Mockingbird " and the Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas trial ("Anita Long Dong ") and poke fun at his native State with merely a word ("Delawhere ").
They're two of the nicest, brightest people you'd ever want to meet. (But don't tell anyone.) Enter the real-life dungeon of Jacqueline and Vinnie SPIT...if you dare.
An Interview by Ariel Hart
Brutarian: When did you start playing?
Vinnie: Music or S/M?
Vinnie: I picked up the guitar at age six, then quit. Started playing the piano at nine. Quit. At 12, I tried guitar again, and stuck with it.
Brutarian: Is it true that you play 30 instruments?
Vinnie: At least 30. I was in my high school orchestra and in a jazz ensemble. In college, I was in the symphony orchestra.
Brutarian: What's your musical background, Jacqueline?
Jacqueline: I studied piano as a little girl. Didn't like it one bit.
Brutarian: Ah, so you were forced.
Jacqueline: Back then, you could force me to do something I didn't want to do. Not anymore.
Brutarian: But you didn't have a musical background, per se.
Jacqueline: Not at all.
Brutarian: You're a natural at drumming, though.
Jacqueline: I really appreciate that. I've only been playing for a few years. It was Vinnie's idea that I become a more integral part of SPIT in addition to singing background vocals.
Vinnie: She's a natural performer. One thing has always amazed me about Jacqueline--the way she can just turn it on the minute someone yells 'Action.' That's her professionalism kicking in.
Brutarian: I can't get over how nice you guys are, how loving and respectful you are with each other. But put on a SPIT CD and...well, you sound like people who'd throw a beating in an alley.
Vinnie: I might beat you up in an alley. (Laughter) But seriously, for me, music is a form of release. It's a good way to get out aggressions and anxieties. Some guys go to the gym and work out. I play and write music. This way, my evil alter ego gets a work-out.
Jacqueline: People have made the same comment to me...that I'm so polite.
Brutarian: But it's true. When I first met you, I didn't know what to expect. I thought you'd be all mean and nasty, smacking strangers on the street and whatnot. That couldn't be further from the truth.
Vinnie: Oh, yeah? You should see her in a bondage session.
Brutarian: I have. It's unnerving...Isn't it wild that you both come from such similar backgrounds? The two of you are products of very straight, conventional families.
Jacqueline: Right. And we both have degrees in education.
Brutarian: Jacqueline, I know you taught high school in Boston and grade school in St. Croix, but I didn't know Vinnie was also a teacher.
Vinnie: I started working in a summer camp for handicapped kids. I did that for seven summers. First, I volunteered, then I was junior counselor, senior counselor, then camp director.
Brutarian: That's impressive.
Vinnie: In college, I majored in special education. I was a special ed teacher for five years. I liked it a lot. I worked music into the lesson plan whenever I could. I find that handicapped kids really respond well to it.
Brutarian: Speaking of which, I heard you and Jacqueline had a unique way of celebrating Christmas this past year.
Vinnie: You did? We decided that instead of exchanging presents, we'd take the money we would have spent on each other and buy a couple of guitars for some handicapped, wheelchair-bound kids at the Baher Center here in Woodland Hills, California. Fender Stratocasters with sunbursts, really beautiful pieces of equipment. We also got the kids amps, straps and picks. I gave them 10 lessons just to get them started. They were so thrilled. It was a great experience for me, too.
Jacqueline: This Christmas, we're thinking of doing the same thing, but with drums. This time, I'd give the lessons. I'm looking forward to it.
Brutarian: That is so cool...This might sound like a corny, "Miss America" question, but what do you hope people get from your music?
Vinnie: Number One, that they're entertained. If they laugh, great. If they question authority, great. If it helps them get out aggressions, great. I don't pretend to create music with a message. There's no ulterior motive. What you see is what you get.
Brutarian: How did you decide on the name SPIT?
Vinnie: Originally, I named the band after my worst habit. Today, I've modified my answer to be "because no girl can ever swallow my load." Take your pick.
Brutarian: What can people expect at a SPIT concert?
Vinnie: Just about anything. It's like a hard-core burlesque show. Besides crazed sexually-explicit lyrics and kick-ass music, there's poetry, elaborate costumes, short stories and wild skits.
Jacqueline: I always find the audience participation astounding. They willingly volunteer for live, onstage spankings. People actually come out of the audience, climb on-stage, pull down their pants and get spanked. We sometimes do a segment called "Show Us Your Ass ," which is a quiz show spoof. We ask people to answer silly questions. If they get them right, they win a free T-shirt. If they get them wrong, they get spanked.
Brutarian: Sounds like Gallagher meets Frank Zappa, only filthier.
Vinnie: I don't think people really know what to expect at a SPIT performance. Some might be shocked at first, but I don't think anyone ever comes away having a terrible time.
Brutarian: How could they?
Vinnie: SPIT is politically and sociologically conscious. No one is safe. Everyone takes a hit; fundamentalists, the government, cops ("Squeal Like a Piggie "), white trash. I think the best songs are honest songs. What SPIT sings about is the real thing. S/M is a lifestyle for me and Jacqueline, not window-dressing. We have a dungeon and a recording studio in our house.
Brutarian: How many people can say that?
Vinnie: I'm definitely not a poser. Maybe that's why the songs come across so strong.
Brutarian: For example, "A Dick Like Mine " is so vivid and gritty that you can almost smell the stale beer and dried piss as some schmuck tries to pick up a girl in a bar.
Vinnie: Those lyrics took months to get right. I tried to include every cheesy pick-up line in creation--and make they rhyme. It was tough, but I did it.
Brutarian: Besides playing around with a standard, "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Sting ," includes all that absurd stuff our parents told us when they spanked us like, 'You're not too old to be taken over my knee...'
Vinnie: For that song, I collected close to 100 actual sound bytes from old TV shows and movies. I narrowed it down to the best ones and used them.
Brutarian: I thought it was hysterical. Let's talk about your latest CD.
Vinnie: "Crude Rude Dude " is my 11th release. It's put out by Hot Productions and is a compilation of cuts from six previous CDs.
Brutarian: Is this your first record deal?
Vinnie: No. I've had four or five. My first two records were self-produced. That was over 10 years ago. They both did well. I moved most of the units on my own. The music industry was much more open back then. There weren't many DIY (Do It Yourself) projects on the market. I spent every penny I had (and some I didn't) on recording new music. After my second CD, I was signed on to NTS and also licensed out some foreign rights.
Brutarian: What other labels did you record on?
Vinnie: "You Would If You Loved Me " was on Vinyl Communications. After that, I figured I could self-produce again. I didn't need money from the record companies. I just needed their distribution base.
Brutarian: Are you happy with where your musical career is now?
Vinnie: I'm very satisfied on this level. Each new CD does better than the one before it. I mean, I know I'll never be a "Smashing Pumpkins," but I'm not sure I want to be. I make enough money on other projects, so I can do music for the fun. I love the creativity, the freedom, doing live shows. But as far as record companies go, the bigger the label, the less control you have.
Brutarian: Sounds like you aren't pleased with "Crude Rude Dude ."
Vinnie: Musically, I am. But they made a lot of other changes. They changed the artwork drastically. They chopped the inner notes from a 20 page booklet to a three page fold-out with the lyrics in teeny-tiny type. Plus, they didn't use a picture of me on the disk itself, which has become something of a trademark.
Brutarian: I thought the liners in "The Godfather of Smut " had a much more personal feel. When I looked at the new one, I thought, 'What happened?' I loved the cover photo, though.
Jacqueline: Vinnie in bed with a blow-up doll when her blow-up husband walks in on them?
Brutarian: How do you think up these things?
Vinnie: I guess I'm just a crude, rude, dude.
Brutarian: What's in SPIT's future?
Vinnie: I'm being wooed by record companies like CBS and IRS. They constantly tell me that if I literally clean up my act, they'll do something with me. But that's not what I'm about. That's not what the music's about. I'm not out to satisfy the masses.
Brutarian: What's your fan base like?
Vinnie: Very mixed. Mostly educated. Not many kids. And anyway, they can't get into the "Over 21" clubs. For the most part, my music doesn't appeal to young people who like predictable music.
Jacqueline: It always strikes me how loyal SPIT fans are. They come to every show, travel great distances to be there. They buy everything, posters, T-shirts...Tell them about that movie, Vinnie.
Vinnie: You know that film "Father's Day " with Robin Williams and Billy Crystal? There's a scene where they go looking for their son at a concert. Check it out, there's a girl in the audience wearing a SPIT T-shirt.
Brutarian: Cool...Where have you played recently?
Vinnie: The last concert we did was in San Diego. It was broadcast live on the Internet.
Brutarian: Word is, there's a big cross-country tour brewing.
Jacqueline: We should be on the road before Christmas.
Vinnie: This time around, I'd like to open for a bigger band instead of being the headline act. We'll see what happens.
Brutarian: You better come visit me when you're in New York.
Vinnie: And you better come to a concert.
Brutarian: I can't wait...Before we wind this up, please tell everyone how you two met. I love that story.
Jacqueline: It's very romantic, really. A magazine had an article about SPIT and a review of my book on facing pages. That's how we first noticed each other. I found something intriguing in Vinnie. I liked what he stood for. To my surprise, he ordered a copy of my book, then wrote me a letter. He knew everything about me right from the start, even my deep, dark secrets. A lot of people write to me, but Vinnie seemed different than all the others. We corresponded back and forth for a while. He sent me a CD and a T-shirt, both of which I loved. When SPIT came to Los Angeles to do a concert, I made sure I went. Vinnie and I hit it off immediately. The next thing I knew, he was moving from Delaware to LA to be with me.
Vinnie: A couple of years later, we got married in Las Vegas during a porn video convention. Ron Jeremy was our best man.
Brutarian: I remember. It ended up being written about in all those adult magazines.
Jacqueline: It was cool. Since there was noting going on that night in the adult convention, we invited anyone who wanted to come. The reception turned into a freak show. It was awesome.
Brutarian: And the rest is history.
Vinnie: Sort of.