Swank's Guide to the Hate Life, Volume 3



See also: Volume 1 and Volume 2. To find out how to live the Hate Life properly, email cream[at]nashvillescene[dot]com with "Ask Swank" in the subject line.

Dearest Swank,

My band is called The New Elvis. Is that a bad name? One venue has even said they won't book us unless we change our name. Should we change it or just stick with it?

B. Danley

If you’re calling yourselves "The New Elvis," you better be hot, naked, buttery, dripping soul up there on the stage. You better be dudes who every dude wants to bang and every girl wants to bang behind their dude's back that you’re already banging.

And if you’re that good, then forget that venue and the promoter who “won’t” book you … go straight to Aloha Hawaii Live From the Satellite of Love.

You know what? You guys should just call yourselves Elvis Presley, Kings of Fuck.

A while back I thought I'd be a good scene supporter, so I let a touring band crash at my house. Boring story short, I know (beyond any shadow of a goddamned doubt) that one of them stole from me. And while I can't for sure say which one it is, I have an overwhelmingly good idea. I've long since given up the idea of diplomacy, so I guess my question is: How do I most effectively mount a smear campaign?

Hatefully Yours,

First: ASSHOLES. Whoever they are. There isn’t a band good enough in the world where stealing from people who put you up is OK. Like, if even Iggy Pop crashed on my floor at some point and the next day he stole my titty-shaped salt and pepper shakers, I’d be all like, “Go screw, Iggy Pop. Yeah, Lust for Life is a monster jam and all but I got a lust for my boob salt and now it’s GONE. Dick."

Do they still make that Soldier of Fortune magazine? I’d find one of those "mercenaries" who advertises in the back and send him around to the band's house with a photographer to kick the thieving rat’s ass. Post the pics on the band's Facebook. Also, a flyering campaign around their hometown. Is the band Wavvvvves? For the sake of argument, let’s just say it is … So the flyers can say something like “Wavvves Can’t Party and Has Herpes,” and get a street team to put them up all over their hometown.

Now, having said all that, I have to say that just talking shit about people can be a much stronger tool against larcenist pieces of chump change than you may have realized, and it requires very little to no effort at all. I’d start with “So this shitty band that has herpes and steals from people ... ”

Yo Swank,

How can I get my hands on a "Hate Life" sweater.

John, Chester UK.

John, the only way to get one is to have a badass girlfriend with some boss knitting steaze and a whole lot of time on her hands. It helps if she’s trying to support you through another unsuccessful attempt at a booze vacation. Lots of sitting around … Knetflix and Knitting are the two key Ks to sobriety.

Sorry, what was the question?

Dear Swank,

I'm having a problem with one of my friends. We've been best friends now for 16 years (since we were six!), but for the past two years, we've been drifting apart. The problem is, he won't quit smoking pot. Now, I don't mean a joint a day or something. I mean he is high ALL THE TIME. We're neighbors and I hear the bong and his bong and then him coughing around 8 am and it doesn't stop until about midnight. Because of it, he's stopped playing drums for me and my roommate, he's become an idiot, he smells like shit, and he's turned off the hot chicks who wanted to get with him. And when I told him my friend Mallory was no longer interested in him because he doesn't do anything and he's high all the time, he just said,"Weed is part of who I am." I want him to stop being a boring piece of shit, but what do I do?

Frustrated in Fort Collins

I don’t know man, your friend sounds kind of awesome. Is it Wes from Natural Child?

I know a thing or two about friendship. I go through a lot of them. But my oldest friend, Jimmy Danger, I’ve had since I was 6 years old. I’d do anything for Jimmy. Except keep him from doing something he enjoys. If you really loved your next-door-neighbor bong buddy, you’d support him instead of trying to tear him down and make him play drums and date sexy ladies and stuff. I’m just kidding. Drums and bitches is the best!

But for real, I know plenty of active potheads who do stuff and shower and everything. The problem is probably less his active pursuit of the couch-based party life and more his cruddy attitude towards the Mechanisms of Life. Shit’s grinding him DOWN. Take him outside and show him how to punch a rainbow or something. That’s the kinda thing buddies do together. The more you know …

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