By Noah Hubbell
By Kiernan Maletsky
By Tom Murphy
By Noah Hubbell
By Alex Distefano
By Darryl Smyers
By Jon Solomon
By Britt Chester
"In England there's a different view of drinking," she remarks. "In America, if you drink, people think you're an alcoholic and that you should go see a therapist. But in England, everybody drinks. You get your wages on Friday and you go to the pub and you drink until you fall over and vomit. That's the way of life in England--that's not glorifying it. And, I mean, these things happen, and we should be able to talk about them. It happens every day--even nice kids like to go out and get a bit pissed and then have sex and puke. That doesn't seem shocking to me."
Moreover, Rootes points out that many of her references to such behavior appear in negative contexts. Her chief example is "Cheap," in which she sings, "I gave him head/On his teenage bed/Didn't want to/But I never said." She notes, "That's about a loss of innocence when you're a young teenager. I lost my virginity when I was fifteen, and I remembered that afterward I felt really cheap and like crying. I guess I did it too young because of pressure from friends and stuff. I think that's pretty common--a lot of young girls and guys are forced into having sex really young, and that's a real shame.
"But I just put that into words because I felt that way. I don't want to be a role model or anything. My mom's always telling me, 'You're going to have girls following you all over and doing what you're doing.' And I'm like, 'Oh, God.' That's too frightening, because if it was true, I'd have to start being very responsible." She guffaws. "And I'm totally irresponsible. I try not to think of the big picture too much, because if you do, you either become a bit of a wanker or you just become completely paranoid and sit in a corner rocking and mumbling to yourself, 'Kiss your mother, kill your mother, kill your mother.'"
Although the performers aren't presently plagued by legions of adolescents dressed exactly like them, Rootes acknowledges that the act has already assembled an American fan base filled with "loads of young girlfriends" as well as "cool old people who, I guess, were around when punk was around the first time."
Some less pleasant folks have also joined the parade. "We've got a couple of, like, serial killers after us--I'm not saying where they are, but they're these stalker types who are pretty weird," Rootes comments. "And then there are others--you know, people in the audience who piss me off. Nothing happened the last time we came to Denver, because I was too drunk; I was very well-behaved, because I was trying to make sure that I didn't fall over. But for a couple of weeks before that, I was getting into a fight every night, usually with some old, obnoxious guy who was friends with the promoter or some old cunt who would stand in the audience and waggle his tongue at one of us. That's usually what will set me off. If someone throws a beer at me, I immediately get violent. And if they make some kind of sexual innuendo and show no respect, I do the same."
"The last fight I had, I think, was in Toronto--that's in Canada," she adds helpfully. "This asshole threw a glass at our drummer. So I said to him, 'I'm going to fucking punch you if you don't fuck off.' But then he tried to squirt beer at me, so I lost it. I leapt off the stage and started punching him and the security guards had to come and rip us apart."
More brawls like this one and the foursome may even win over those punks who view Fluffy with suspicion. But by the time true believers decide to jump on the band's wagon, Rootes says that they'll already have been left behind. "We're probably going to sound a lot different on our next album," she says about the followup to Black Eye, which she hopes will be in stores just after the first of the year. "We've kind of all gone back to our fifteen-year-old goth roots. Our favorite band right now is Monster Magnet, and we've been listening to a lot of Bauhaus, too. And we already look a lot different than we do on the album. We're getting a lot of Marilyn Manson fans these days."
No wonder they need new wigs.
ESPN X Games Xperience Concert, with Sister 7, Fluffer, Vallejo, 19 Wheels, Fluffy and Cellophane. 11 a.m. May 31-June 1, Boulder Reservoir, free, 1-800-489-8444, ext. 222; Fluffy. 10:30 p.m. Monday, June 2, Lion's Lair, 2022 E. Colfax, $5 (tickets day of show only), 320-9200.