Deep in Waters, L7 is far from square

October 14, 1994|By J.D. Considine | J.D. Considine,Sun Pop Music Critic

You may not think it to look at them, but the members of L7 have been building quite a career in the movies.

First, there was the band's cameo in John Waters' film "Serial Mom," in which L7 appeared (at Hammerjacks, no less) as "Camel Lips."

"I never thought I was a big enough freak to ever be in a John Waters movie," says guitarist Donita Sparks, over the phone from a tour stop in Providence, R.I. "Of course, I certainly don't mean 'freak' in a negative way. I was hoping I would be a big enough freak, but I was afraid I was far too conventional."

Conventional? L7 seems too smart and subversive to fit that adjective. After all, a conventional hard rock band -- say, somebody like Nelson -- would hardly have a warped enough sense of humor to call their new album "Hungry for Stink," the way L7 did. Right?

Uh, wrong. "Nelson would be great in a John Waters movie," says Sparks. "Are you kidding? Identical cheese-metal twins? They should be the stars of John Waters' next movie!"

Speaking of "Hungry for Stink," where exactly did the title come from?

"We saw it in a classified ad, and it cracked us up," she says. "So we liked that. You can conjure up whatever images you like."

Oh-kay. But back to the movies: L7's latest claim to fame is having a song on the "Natural Born Killers" soundtrack. Unfortunately, even though theirs is one of the catchiest songs heard in the film, the fact that its title is unprintable (and unannounceable on air) has kind of limited L7's chances at capitalizing on the exposure.

Needless to say, that's a bit of a drag for the band. "We've been at this for a while, and it would be nice if we started seeing some coin out of this venture," admits Sparks.

Getting played on the radio "has nothing to do with our songwriting," she points out. "I think we've always been kind of catchy songwriters, even from our first album. Even Joan Jett said to me, 'If "Pretend We're Dead" isn't a huge hit, there's something seriously wrong.' I see her point, but it didn't become the 'Where's the Beef' of the '90s."

Hungry to hear?

To hear selections from L7's "Hungry for Stink," call Sundial, The Sun's telephone information service at (410) 783-1800. In Anne Arundel County, call 268-7736; in Harford County, 836-5028; in Carroll County, 848-0338. Using a touch-tone phone, punch in the four-digit code 6218 after you hear the greeting.

L7

When: Saturday, Oct. 15, doors open at 7 p.m.

Where: Hammerjacks

Tickets: $15

PD Call: (410) 481-7328 for tickets, (410) 659-7625 for information

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