Former X singer Exene Cervenka is disturbed by the contradictory reviews she has been reading about “Life Could Be a Dream,” her new band Auntie Christ’s debut Lookout Records album (released May 27).
“A lot are saying it sounds like X,” she said recently, “and others say it’s a terrible imitation of X. No one ever mentions the wonderful playing of D.J. (Bonebrake) and Matt (Freeman). They’re always looking for flaws, and there’s too much focus on me.”
Cervenka teamed with Bonebrake, X’s longtime drummer, and Freeman, bassist for Rancid, after X disbanded last year. She sought a band that could extend some of X’s elements with a back-to-roots punk intensity and a high lyrical standard that she has set for herself.
“I wanted to express what I wanted to say,” Cervenka said. “I wanted it to be chaotic, not polished. That’s a problem I have with a lot of today’s music, that it’s so formatted and unimaginative. I wanted that spontaneous creativity where you find the source and just let it flow.”
It flows hard and uncompromising on socio-political tracks such as “Bad Trip,” “The Future Is a War,” “The Virus” and “The Nothing Generation,” the latter of which urges people to think for themselves.
“It’s for everyone with a Nike logo on their chest,” she said. “Every time I see one of those, I’m like, ‘Wake up!’ It’s just another corporation in a relentless pursuit of everyone’s last dime. With that commercial mentality, it’s a spiritual battle; it destroys the planet and everyone’s will.”
Cervenka practices what she preaches, having raised her 9-year-old son to respect the world and its inhabitants.
“He’s a vegetarian, non-violent, and he’s concerned about the way culture and people are being treated,” she said. “Some people may think that’s heavy stuff for a kid, but it’s called raising your child right, to respect life and the world.
“Lots of people think the same way I think and have done more to change things, but the majority of people don’t care about the next generation. If you don’t do the right thing now, it’s a problem you will have to confront in the future.”
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