Photo by Jeanne RiceSave Ferris' cheeky front woman Monique Powell is a girl's girl, if by that, you mean someone who not only likes to talk about bodily functions but also about boys and makeup. On this day, she wasn't as much of a bitch as I'd hoped, though, because I really wanted someone with whom to bitch about other people, and sadly, she seemed in pretty good spirits. It's probably owing to the string of sold-out and almost-sold-out shows the ska/pop/lounge/ swing band's been playing in far-flung locales like Spain and, um, Berkeley. They've got upcoming shows in Mexico City and Guadalajara (and Anaheim on Saturday), and they're getting ready to record new songs for an album to be released in spring on an as-yet-undetermined label.
DRIED FRUITSo where are you?
I'm at my parents' house, and I'm doing laundry. My mom made me salmon on a bed of stuffing with cabbage and mushrooms and potatoes! I haven't eaten in three weeks.
Three weeks! Why?
I forget to eat.
I've been busy! I'll have a bite or two of whatever's there on tour, but I haven't had a real meal in three weeks. There's just not enough time in the day. I like fruits and dried fruits.
The problem with dried fruits—and I think we'd all agree—is that they get things moving too much.
I wish that was my problem!
Hmm . . . Are you saying what I think you're saying?
I don't know what to say about that.
How come every time you and I do an interview, we start talking about bodily functions?
Because it's all I talk about.
No wonder we get along so well! Sounds like a lot of us didn't get through the Freudian anal stage. It's okay. My dog Lou's in the same stage, too. He still eats his poop!
Great!TOURING, ETC.So do you still hate touring?
Now I love it. We tour in a healthier manner now, so it's a lot easier to handle.
A couple of weeks on, a couple of weeks off—instead of two years straight without a break. The shows are going very smoothly. It's amazing: kids have already memorized the words to the new songs.
How have they heard them?
Just from hearing them live.
What do the new songs sound like?
Really punky and poppy. Some of them are more reminiscent of the first album—the red album—and have a bit of a younger feel, more light on the lyrical side, and some we just rock out.
When you tour, do you bring a bunch of outfits or do you wear the same thing every night?
I bring a few different versions of the same outfit. I wear the same thing, and when it gets kind of rank, I switch to the next outfit.
LABELSSo what happened with Epic?
It's the same story you hear all the time. There were a lot of changes in staff, and all of a sudden, we didn't know anybody there. We're used to doing all the work ourselves, and we signed to a label because we needed someone to take over a certain area of expertise so we could just be musicians, but it didn't happen that way. We had to be on their asses. They're making 85 percent off every album, and you still have to kick them in the ass! All the people we signed with were awesome, and they weren't there anymore, so it was a mutual act of separation. Fortunately, we got lucky, and when we wanted to leave, they let us go.
Was it an emotional thing?
I was sad for, like, a day, and then I got over it.
FRUIT REVISITEDSo if you were a fruit, what would you be?
Didn't you ask me that before?
No, I asked if you were a soap in someone's shower, whose would you be in.
If I was a fruit, I'd be a seedless watermelon because they're very easy to digest and they taste really good.
If you were a fruit in anyone's shower, whose would you be in?
I'd be a bathtub full of peeled bananas for the Strokes. I just opened the new Rolling Stone, and there's a picture of the Strokes, and they're so cute! They're so tragically adorable!
BOYSWho's at the top of your cute-boy list right now?
I saw BRMC [Black Rebel Motorcycle Club] in San Francisco on Friday, and Peter is definitely at the top of my list. He's dreamy, and they write great songs, and that's very attractive. The Strokes are pretty cute.
And they have such a buzz.
They're cute, but their album? I don't know. I don't know if I like their album as much as I like the BRMC album. Who else is cute right now?
I love Jimmy Fallon.
Yeah, I love him, too; he's pretty dreamy. So's John Cusack. Same kind of look. See, I like them tall and really skinny with shaggy haircuts.
Like MTV VJ Jesse Camp?
Actually, I saw him when he wasn't acting stupid, and I looked at him because I was like, “That guy's totally my type!” and then I realized it was him, and I ran. The guys in my band say I like gay heroin addicts.
What is it about the gay heroin addicts?
I never dated a guy who was actually a gay heroin addict, but they just look like that. I get sucked into it. Maybe it's because I like my boys to not eat too much so I never have to cook.
Do you cook?
Rarely. I like to cook, but I never do.
I've started cooking more after Sept. 11. I think it's some weird response.
I think a lot of women responded by doing needless shopping. We were in England, and I didn't eat or sleep that entire week. I was sad about not being home when it happened.
Are you scared?
Does flying freak you out?
No, because whatever's going to happen is going to happen, and if it means having to compromise my life or lifestyle out of fear, what kind of life am I leading? We should all live life to the fullest regardless of our fears, which is not to say that we should be stupid. I drove over the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco, but I drove real fast.
OBSESSIONSAre you still obsessed with clowns and chickens?
Yes, of course. We stayed at Circus Circus in Las Vegas when we played a couple of weeks ago, and I didn't sleep.
Because you were scared?
I think it was the fear and excitement all at once.
Have you ever found yourself physically attracted to a clown?
Maybe the clown Adam Sandler played in Shakes the Clown.
What about a chicken?
I saw these white exotic fluffy chickens at some zoo in Hamburg. They were pretty hot.
What about Foghorn Leghorn?
Nah, too buff.
So even when it comes to poultry you like the gay heroin look! ORANGE COUNTYDo you miss Orange County at all?
Only the shopping. It's a lot less hassle than in LA.
Because in LA, traffic's always a problem, and then once you get there, everything you want is already gone. Oh, my God, the singer of the Strokes is so hot I can't stop looking at this picture of him!