Inside The Mr. T Experience, Part 2

Cover art from latest MTX album.

ATN Philadelphia correspondent Chris Nelson met with the

leader of The Mr. T Experience, some guy who calls himself Dr. Frank, last Sat.

(Feb. 17). From what Nelson tells us, Frank is the only original member of MTX.

He plays guitar, sings and writes the songs. Today we offer the conclusion of

Nelson's interview, which took place before and after the group's Philadelphia

performance with headliners, the Queers. As we pick up in mid-interview, Joe

Queer himself has just arrived. Interrupting myself and Dr. Frank, he says,

"This guy is the best fuckin' songwriter in the fuckin' world today, and you

can take that to the fuckin' bank, pal."

Dr. Frank replies that, "Joe

Queer is my biggest fan. You could do worse than that."

Addicted To

Noise: Have you heard the Saturday Morning Cartoons album with the

Ramones doing "Spider Man?" You guys did it five years before, and you're

always called Ramones-esque. You predated 'em by five years, here, it had to

feel pretty good.

Dr. Frank: Well yeah, plus their version wasn't

all that great. I think they could've done a little better.

But these kind

of things happen all the time. One of my songs was recorded for a movie, that,

I don't know if the movie's ever gonna come out. But the movie has a band in it

playing "Now We Are 21," and the actual recording of it was made by a band

including a couple of Ramones. I mean the ultimate irony of like, you know, a

fifth generation Ramones rip-off band being covered by the actual Ramones

themselves, I mean, that's weird. I won't say it feels good, but it's absurd

enough that it's exciting.

ATN: How is the band's relationship with

Lookout Records today?

Dr. Frank: There was a lengthy period when

practically everyone in the world thought it [the Mr. T Experience] was a

pointless, worthless, useless thing. There were some dark days for awhile. The

two previous records, Our Bodies, Ourselves and Milk Milk

Lemonade, aren't perfect, and there were aspects of Our Bodies,

Ourselves that alienated people.

The line I always use to describe our

relationship with the label is that Lookout loves us like a mother loves here

retarded child. No matter how many things we break, how many times we spill

stuff, or screw up, they always let us make another record. And I don't think

David Geffen would let us do that.

ATN: Have you ever been

approached by Geffen or other major labels?

Dr. Frank: Not in any

serious way. Sometimes someone will give you a card and say, "I really like

your band." For a band like mine to get a contract, we would have to do a lot

of politicking. And sometimes it's all we can do to get to the shows. The Mr. T

Experience is not going to be a household name. I'm just hoping to be on the

sidelines.... It's always been that way. You don't need to be big, you just

need to keep going.

That's the secret to success: you just have to keep

lowering your expectations. I'm the master of

that.