Fossil Fuel

Fossil is a buzz band, which basically means that critics adore themand commercial radio has yet to take the leap. After an acoustic gigon WMMR in Philadelphia, lead singer & songwriter Bob O'Gureck pullsinto a gas station, picks us the phone and spill his guts about analbum he's rightfully very proud of. O'Gureck's lyrics are sooutstanding that they deserve to be published in a book of verse.Musically, the blend of harmonies and guitar parts result in pop rockprecision. The Jersey based quartet released their debut LP inJanuary and a U.S. tour with English alterna-queen Kirsty MacColl isunderway. One of the problems associated with being a buzz band is that youhave to keep working your ass off at the same time everyone istelling you how great you are. Fossil will definitely happen on thelarge scale, eventually. CBGB's owner Hilly Kristal sees a throng ofbands come and go each week, yet this is the only band he believes into the point that he has signed on as manager. Still, O'Gureck is somewhat irritated and uneasy about Fossil's levelof success thus far... BH: The first thing on my mind is the awesome "Snow Day" single theband sent out around Christmas last year. I can't believe it wasn't ahit! It was such a happy song for the season. Were you disappointed? Bob: I thought it was a hit, actually. Certainly it should've been aregional hit cause to my mind there's nothing like it. It'sa topic that anyone who lives in the north can identify with. Warnersdropped the ball on it quite frankly. BH: Maybe the fact that it hardly snowed here this year had somethingto do with it. Bob: Yeah, that hurt. (Laughs) I'm hoping for a re-release next year.BH: Another song question...did the song about your love forJosephine Baker come from "The Josephine Baker Story" or a love forold movies?Bob: I've been a fan of hers. I'm a cinema buff and in college a sawa lot of French films and saw a lot of her films. Basicallyit just came together as something interesting to do and it was kindof emotionally fueled by the fact that my girlfriend's! best friendlooks a lot like Josephine Baker. She's a little Cuban girl who couldreally use a spanking! (Laughs) It had that unrequited emotional fuelthere and I interpreted it into something more creative than...I wantto screw my girlfriend's best friend.BH: Does your girlfriend know this?Bob: She's my ex actually, but if the story gets out I guess shecould hear about it. BH: Getting back to films, since you're an amateur film maker, wouldyou give up music if you could be a professional film maker? Bob: I can't even think that far ahead. I don't think so because I'mbetter at doing this. I had a lot to do with the making of the "Moon"video. I shot-sheeted the whole thing along with the directors andpretty much, the whole thing is mine. I find! that getting to do popvideo and showing my own films on tour will be satisfying enough. BH: When you were growing up, what were you into first?Bob: I was into music my whole life. Movies came because I startedhanging out with a guy from the School of Visual Arts. He wasa super eight film maker and we started doing stuff together. It justhappened. I always watched a lot of movies, but I n! ever thought youcould actually make your own movies or make them for money. I guess Ijust had a knack for it from watching so many movies. BH: Have you ever been in front of a camera, as an extra foranything? Bob: No, but I'd love to. It's one of my lifetime dreams to besomebody who gets killed in a B-movie. I want to be the guy who'scovered with alien slime or the guy with the thing that bursts out ofhis stomach. That's my role! BH: So you're using film in the live show?Bob: We used to all the time when we played locally, but now thatwe're on tour we can't really afford to have a projectionist andwhat not. Plus, since we're an opening act it's not in the rider. BH: Were you a Kirsty MacColl fan? How did this tour come about? Bob: Honestly, Warners need us to be doing something so they can talkto people regionally and get stuff stimulated for us. We were justlooking for a tour and for one that was somewhat appropriate. I wasnot a fan before, but I'm kind of one now. I like her music. I'm notreally a fan of watching her perform cause there's not a hell of alot going on. But the music is very good & she's a great songwriter.I'm a lot happier with it than I thought I was gonna be. BH: Is the show being well received?Bob: Well, she hasn't toured here in 10 years so we're at about 50%capacity so far. BH: I think lyrics are a strong point with Fossil, although I admit Ididn't appreciate them fully until I read them. Were you anEnglish major?Bob: Yes I was, thanks for noticing. I studied for three years. Iwanted to become an English professor. I already had an associatedegree in music and I decided I was going to go full-on English. Igot myself into Rutgers, worked really hard, got in! to the honors program and really bustedmy ass. I substitute taught. I applied for a lot of teaching jobs. Iapplied for years but I couldn't get a job because with affirmativeaction and what not, it's really hard to get a job as a white maleteaching the humanities right now because the market is glutted withthem. If I had come from Yale or Harvard I would've been much betteroff.BH: Did you write these songs as poems and then put music behindthem? Bob: I very much believe that the lyrics and melody have to be thesame element. The original poetry by the Greeks was all sung and theyconsidered them the same element. That's what music was, music wassung poetry. BH: It would seem to me that it would take you a long time to writethese songs. Bob: Some do, some don't. The best ones are written in under fiveminutes. "Josephine Baker" was written in five minutes. All ofthe ones I'm really proud of were written in five minutes or less. BH: I heard that you have more songs ready to go for the next album. Bob: Oh yeah, we've got a lot of stuff. I write all the time and Ihope to keep writing so we can put out the strongest stuff thatwe have. I never want to be in a situation where I have to writethree songs to finish an album. When I hear a record I ! can usuallypick out those I try to write all the time. It's reallywhat I enjoy doing most, although I'm enjoying touring a lot morethan I thought I would. We're doing a lot of boot licking right nowto pick up another tour after this one.! I'm hoping that Warners canget us over to England. I'm surprised they haven't done much withthat, because when we were initially signed, Seymour (Stein, SirePresident) planned to get us over there first and build a storyaround us. I think we would fare much better over there. They're alot more open minded and I think we fit more into their groove, butwe're doing what we can.BH: What did Hilly Kristal give Fossil that it didn't have before? Bob: He's helped us focus and work harder. I think we're a muchbetter live band because of him. He's very critical and he's heard alot of music. In many ways he's saved our lives because when we firstmet him we were pretty messed up. The fact that! he believed in whatwe were doing helped me personally clean up my act and think a littlemore toward the future. We can also play at CBGBs whenever we wantand we just recorded a bunch of live stuff there for some CD promos.Hilly really got us everything. Now it's up to Warners to do stuff.BH: Fossil is the only band he manages, correct?Bob: Yeah, he did The Dead Boys back in the day, but he hasn't doneanything since. BH: Do you plan to tour off of this album the rest of the year? Bob: I think we have to. We have to get our name out and establishthe act so we don't just slip through the cracks. I don't wantto waste this record. If I had my druthers I'd release an album everyyear on the same date...tour and release a record much like theBeatles did. It just takes so long for stuff to get done. You have togo about things at their pace. I'd rather tour up to December and berecording again in March, but it doesn't seem to work that way. Itseems they did things a lot faster back in the day, but I guess they didn't have any acts. How many acts didCapitol have back then, five maybe? BH: Well, good luck getting to Europe. Have you ever been therewithout the band? Bob: When I got out of college I went over with my girlfriend and wewent to Italy and France. BH: I was in Paris two years ago. I couldn't believe how dirty itwas. Bob: The people there are just so fucking obnoxious. I was afraid togo out cause I thought something would happen and I'd be leftbleeding on the street. No one would hold out a hand to you there.Venice was cool. That was my favorite place. BH: One thing about visiting Europe, after you've been there you'llnever visit an American historic site and think that it's really old.Bob: We went to Rome and Rome was just sick. Rome is like...thiscolumn was here in 200 B.C. Not a concept over here...B.C.

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