Was It All Just a Dream?

The day the Residents answered the door

The Residents bubbled up from a swamp in Louisiana, moved to the Bay Area in the late ‘60s, and set out to be a non-band. The Residents didn’t come together via a mutual love of jamming on guitars and drums and pumping fists and flinging tresses. No, the Residents were and are an ideas band, avant garde, okay, but with a sonic difference channeled through a perfervid love for pop culture garbage. So over 30 or more albums, films, DVDs, podcasts and, soon, iPads, they have parodied, deconstructed and severely warped such icons as the Beatles, Elvis, Hitler and god; they’ve done epic paeans to Eskimos and moles, too, in works loaded with dissonant electronic elegies to normalness, arcane spoken-word patches and a cast of sympathetic dweebs, dorks, scum and saints. And for lo these 40 years now, they have explored this elation and revulsion with popular culture while cloaked in utter anonymity.

Hardy Fox, the Residents’ longtime spokesman, gives us some insight into the “band”’s Talking Light tour and new album Lonely Teenager:

BLUEFAT: Who and what are the Residents at this point in time?

HARDY FOX: Next year is the 40th anniversary for the group. And the way they’ve survived all this long is they’re constantly evolving. They never really set out as a traditional band, and they’ve never tried to record hit music. As a result, they’ve never had any real commitment to be a certain way or stay a certain way or play certain music in certain styles.