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With the release of their third album, Happy Birthday to Me, singer/songwriter Kim Shattuck has proven once and for all that she is simply one of the best songwriters to come out of the L.A. scene in the past few years. There seems to be no end to the stream of catchy pop numbers that flood the ever growing Muffs repertoire . Just what is her secret? Where do they come from? Musicians are often asked who inspires their songwriting or who their influences were growing up, but I never really had to ask Shattuck because I always had a hunch that I could hear it in her music. Sure she listens to The Beatles, The Kinks, who doesn't? What I was hearing was something a little more familiar, and when I walked into her apartment for the first time I was certain I had guess right. Television. I didn't think anyone loved television more than me, until I met Kim. Her apartment is a memorial to television and popular culture past and present. Flinstone dolls, Scooby Doo vans, and kids lunch boxes line the shelves. By the VCR, a tape of nothing but commercials from the 50s and 60s. Who better to match her and bassist Ronnie Barnett up with than pop culture fans themselves, Steve McDonald of Redd Kross and his girlfriend Anna Waronker of that dog both long time pals of The Muffs and two of their biggest fans. This pop summit of sorts came together in Los Feliz gathered around Kim's coffee table where the latest issue of Spin Magazine has caught Kim's eye...

KIM: (pointing to Gwen Stefani on the cover of Spin) This is a good makeup job.

STEVE: Are you like old school No Doubt "in crowd" cause you're from Orange County?

KIM: No, I never even heard of them ever.

[Band Photo] RONNIE: We're like new school No Doubt crowd. We opened for them. We played Universal Ampitheater with them.

STEVE: How was that?

KIM: (laughing) No one knew who we were. It was embarrassing.

RONNIE: [Gwen] was the one who kind of took us under her wing though.

KIM: Yeah, she's very nice. She was very nice to us. I don't know. They're alright - good make up though!

ANNA: (noticing Kim's sewing machine on the floor) Do you sew?

KIM: (laughing) I repair.

ANNA: Are you good at it?

KIM: Yeah, I've always had to alter my clothes cause I'm shaped really weird. But I don't make up stuff very good.

RONNIE: So, she'll repair stuff for you guys.

ANNA: Oh really!

KIM: (seeing Steve's t-shirt) Hey Rae's!!! I love that place.

RONNIE: I was there last week. Took the wife there.

[Band Photo] KIM: Didn't you go there and couldn't stay and got diarrhea, and had to shit in Winchell's parking lot?!

RONNIE: Yeah, well...

STEVE: You shit in the parking lot?

KIM: Behind the dumpster!

RONNIE: It wasn't even like this was ten years ago or something. This was two months ago.

STEVE: (laughing) and what did you wipe with?

RONNIE: A Red Hot Chili Peppers wool hat.

KIM: (laughing) That's the best thing about it!

RONNIE: It was under my seat because this merch' company sent us all this stuff. Whatever. I don't blame it on Rae's though. This was Poptopia. I was in the Alligator Lounge and everything, and Lisa, my wife, was there. I went outside cause my stomach was hurting, and I thought I could over come, but I went back in and said, "We have to go NOW!" I thought I could make it home.

STEVE: But there's a relatively clean bathroom at the Alligator.

KIM: He's totally phobic about any public bathroom. (laughing) I'm more phobic about shitting behind Winchell's Donuts, but I think he was desperate.

RONNIE: (laughing) I think the interview has taken a turn.

STEVE: Speaking of Poptopia, I was thinking, your show was SO good at the Troubadour, it gave every rock band I know a complex.

ANNA: Totally.

...maybe we won't produce ourselves next time. We proved to ourselves we could do it, so maybe next time we won't.

-Kim Shattuck

KIM: No! So, everyone hates us now?

STEVE: Everyone was inspired, but Anna had a rock complex, my brother was like totally freaked out!

RONNIE: Really?

KIM: (laughing) That's why he didn't talk to me that night. I felt so bad.

ANNA: We didn't talk about it for days, and then we kind of brought it up slowly.

KIM: But [that dog] that night, I know you guys were having some tuning problems, but I thought you guys rocked.

ANNA: Thank you.

KIM: When you weren't worried about your tuning, I was jealous because you guys have these great harmonies-

RONNIE: We had to keep up with everyone else.

KIM: It was a good bill that night and we were scared people would leave.

RONNIE: Yeah, after Susanna [Hoffs] we thought the place was gonna clear out.

KIM: Once they hear 'Walk Like An Egyptian' they gotta leave.

STEVE: How do you follow 'Walk Like An Egyptian?

KIM: You can't.

ANNA: You did!

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