Days of milk and canned salmon.

Talking with the Circle Jerks' Zander Sloss

-Ed Slack

Talking with Zander is like talking with an old friend. He's unpretentious, witty, and has a penchant for old convertibles and name dropping. Sitting on an old beat up sofa, I talked with Zander about what's up with the seminal band- the Circle Jerks. Zander has played bass with them since '83. Those early days had their charm.......

"I was on the set of Repo Man (the movie) when I heard the Circle Jerks were looking for a bass player. When I showed up they asked me why I wanted to be in the band. I said 'cause I weigh 120 pounds and have been surviving on the occasional burrito, and I need a fucking job.' In those days I lived in this shithole of an apartment that had no bathroom, refrigerator, air conditioning, or anything. I got the job, but things haven't changed much."

A question burned in my mind, why the fuck are the Circle Jerks getting back together again, and doing a tour, and putting out a CD? Cashing in on the current 'punk' craze? I took a long draw off my lukewarm tea and asked pretty much how I'd thought it.

"Yea, kinda. The new 'punk' is a diluted version of the real thing...and that's us...but the popularity is good because it gives us the opportunity to expose kids to the real deal. Most of them don't really decide what they like on they're own, they look at they're friends to see what's 'cool.' We're not trying to exploit the scene, we want to put some purity and intensity into it."

Our conversation winds and sways and meanders from topic to topic. Z is fun to talk to 'cause he doesn't get into that 'this is an information dissemination interaction only' weirdness. He'll chat about most anything, and he will not try to control stuff like the head buzzard at a lizard flattening.

"Hollywood (Z lives in LA) is full of hypocritical hipsters and apathetics. No on gives a shit. I give a shit so I moved to a worse section of town to get shelter from all that bullshit. We (the Circle Jerks) still aren't satisfied with the way the world's going. There is still a lot to be angry about. As long as there's someone out there that's unhappy and needs to get out of their heads for awhile, we'll play our hearts out for them. We want people to be happy, and we do what we can."

Zander is not a sedentary guy. In addition to the Jerks he acts, does soundtracks, and is involved in other musical projects. Movies include Repo Man (he played Kevin the nerd), Straight to Hell, Highway Patrolman, Walker, and Tapeheads. He did soundtrack work for Tank Girl with the Magnificent Bastards, and played and toured with Joe Strummer in the late 80's.

Z's automotive relationships have included a '68 Lincoln convertible (which was towed because of too many parking tickets) and a '69 Galaxy 500.

Quote of the day, "we're on a major but we haven't sold out." Zander's the bomb.

  • Go back to Circle Jerks