Music News

Neck Breakers

Aaron Lazar talks fast and fervently. His language is a swagger. He doesn't mince words; he uses them like a butcher knife. As the trash-talking frontman of the Giraffes, his don't-give-a-fuck-who-we-offend attitude is the jet propulsion behind the Brooklyn-based band's heavy guitar licks and lyrical candor. Sure, it's kind of mean -- lines like "I have really been enjoying your pathetic little stabs at staying young" don't make for cute pillow talk -- but fuck it, dude. The Giraffes play rock and roll like assholes, and it's absolutely gorgeous.

Westword: You're playing here on 6-6-06. Do you have any big plans for the show?

Aaron Lazar: Of course! We're going to try to sacrifice each other on stage. We're going to die simultaneously. [laughs] Actually, we don't really have any plans. Denver is crazy enough that we don't really need to do anything but show up and something will happen.

On your website, it says something about how the New York rock scene needs a serious ass-kicking. Do you really believe that?

Fuck, yeah. The thing that's sad is that all of the worst aspects of the New York scene are what people call the best, and it's spread all over the world like a fucking cancer. It's like the Danny DeVito of the twins, and that's what people recognize. It's the most superficial and the most trendy shit that represents New York. And the more interesting stuff, I think, by and large, is completely underrepresented.

How do the Giraffes fit in there?

I don't think about that, actually. I really don't give a fuck. I think that's one of the crappy traits of the New York scene sound. Everyone is thinking too much about what everyone else is doing. It was cool back in the '60s or '70s -- you know, when people were responding to each other, like with the Skynyrd and Neil Young thing. But when you get shit like She Wants Revenge sounding exactly like Interpol, it's just shit -- Band A mixed with Band B sounding like Band C, and it's Band X. It's too easy, and I'm not interested in it.

Tell me about your heart problems.

I got a little machine in my chest. It was January '05, and I had two massive heart attacks and woke up a couple days later in a hospital. And they put a defibrillator in my chest that shocks me if my heart rate goes up too much. I've gotten shocked on stage before, and it totally sucks. But it's just a fact of life for me.

Aren't you particularly young to be having a heart attack?

I'm 29. People were completely fucking baffled at first. There's no history of it in my family.

At least you're not dead.

At least I'm not dead. Only 3 percent of the people who get the kind of heart attacks I did will live to talk about it. And I had two of them! So I'm pretty fucking lucky. I'm just living now, and I'm not going to waste my time bullshitting around.

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Tuyet Nguyen