STEVE: This is kind of like a guitar nerd thing, but one of the ways I thought you followed 'Walk Like An Egyptian' was by playing the Wizard [amplifier].
KIM: Oh the Wizard! That thing is solid!
STEVE: Are you still using the Wizard? What's you're secret weapon?
RONNIE: We're about to go all Wizard. They're starting to make bass amps now. We fully endorse Wizard.
STEVE: The whole thing was your guitar sound. Everyone was talking about your guitar sound. Even non-guitar players.
KIM: That's totally why I have to get a Wizard, because I was playing all sorts of things that are supposedly great like Marshalls, and BassMan, and HiWatts, and they all break down. I just blow through those like their made out of papertowels or something. So, now I'm all into new amps. New amps that don't break down. I'm corrosive to gear.
RONNIE: I heard your brother [Jeff McDonald] named us in Kerrang! Magazine the record he'd most want to play on - our first album [THE MUFFS/Reprise].
KIM: Trust me. I wish he did.
RONNIE: and then it says, 'The Muffs are an obscure U.S. rock act.'
STEVE: (laughing) Oh no!
RONNIE: That's my favorite part though. That's the best part.
STEVE: Wow! Well, I'm a fan as well.
KIM: We're all fans of each others bands aren't we? You guys are the best.
STEVE: So, is that what you say, when you're doing a German interview - (faking a German accent) Tell me Kim, what about the L.A. scene?
KIM: (laughing) We're outsiders! We don't know anything about no scene.
STEVE: Well, have you ever felt a part of a scene in Los Angeles?
KIM: I suppose the dress up Cavern Club scene. I use to hang out with those guys. I don't remember feeling like I fit into any scene. I didn't fit into my high school scene, and I didn't -well maybe college I fit in a little.
STEVE: Were you a cheerleader in college?
KIM: Oh god! No! Could you imagine?!
STEVE: The first time I ever saw you Kim was at Fender's Ballroom.
KIM: That was the first show I ever did with the Pandoras. That was the first show I ever played in my entire life.
STEVE: Wow! You were very cool! You were playing that Peter Tork style Gretsch bass, and you had kind of a sixties Sandy Shaw haircut, and some Wilma Flintstone kind of dress.
KIM: Oh yeah! I probably even had a bone in my hair, I swear! I remember that. I was nervous. I threw up right before the show.
STEVE: Now, did you guys fire your producer or did you just produce this new record yourself.
KIM: What happened was we were thinking that we wanted to maybe use another producer. We wanted to improve on the sound we got before.
RONNIE: I thought Nick Lowe would be good.
STEVE: Really you guys thought about Nick Lowe? I remember Jeff suggested Nick Lowe to the Pandoras.
KIM: Well, we were talking and we were thinking I wonder if Rob [Cavallo] is thinking he's gonna be doing it again? Which is okay, but we were thinking maybe not, but he brought it up before we did that we should go with somebody else too. And we couldn't think of anybody that we like the record sound of, and I didn't want to fight with anybody this time. I didn't want to have to justify everything. So, I spent probably two hours on the phone with Roy, and maybe an hour on the phone with Ronnie convincing them it was the right them to do. They didn't trust me! They just figured I was an idiot.
RONNIE: Well, it's scary. We're responsible.
STEVE: So, Rob Cavallo must have been a huge security blanket for you guys?
RONNIE: Oh yeah.
KIM: Ronnie and Roy both wanted him to be there for the basic tracks, and I said No, No, No, if we're doing it ourselves we gotta do it ourselves. So, he came in one day, like the first day when we got the sound set, and he said 'Sounds great to me' and he left! It was really cool! It was cool!
RONNIE: He was supposed to be the executive producer, that's how we got the go ahead to do it.
KIM: Executive produce! What does that mean? Nothing.
STEVE: I think it means they have a pager, and they're at The Rainbow.
KIM: (laughing) Exactly! So, anyway, we just plugged along. We got two really good engineers. One we used for basic tracks and mixing, and the other we used for guitar overdubs, and then I did vocals at HOME!
ANNA: Now, that's great.
KIM: I don't know if I'm going to do that again. It was so hard to do, and I did a lot of things wrong, like I would have the microphone right on my mouth, cause 'No one's gonna stop me!' and I really liked the way it sounded. Then when we were mixing [the engineer] said, 'Did you have your mouth right on the mike?' and I said, 'WHY? WHY?' He said, you're getting this thing called proximity effect. It's just too close, and it's all muddy. Of course, through the headphones it sounded great. What do I know. It was so hard. When I was in here doing all the refixes, I mean, this is an apartment and I was like (singing) 'Honeymooooooon' FUCK! 'Honeymooooooooooon' FUCK THAT! I swear I sang 'Honeymoon' like 500 times, oh it was so hard. I thought I was gonna die. I would wake up in the morning not wanting to wake up. I'd be like, I don't want to get up. I'm gonna watch cartoons today.
RONNIE: We couldn't play that song live during that time, too.
KIM: I was so freaked out. I got so paranoid.
ANNA: That's a problem with producing yourself. I've always had that problem until I worked with a producer.
KIM: So, you're able to separate yourself from it?
KIM: (laughing) That's why maybe we won't produce ourselves next time. We proved to ourselves we could do it, so maybe next time we won't.
ANNA: Do you feel like you caught the right mood?
KIM: I was worried about that. I was worried I was gonna be too lax and too sluggish, but most of the time I thought it was actually good. The one thing I didn't like was doing it digital. I think digital is just a little cheesy.
STEVE: But that's how you were able to do it at home. With a digital 8-track.
KIM: (pulling back a sheet to reveal her digital home recording setup) Volia!
KIM: This is the setup.
STEVE: Maybe we should explain to the reader that what you did was record the album in a real studio, but for the vocal part you mixed it down to a digital 8 track.
KIM: And I had two of these 8 track machines. One for play back, and one I was singing on.
STEVE: So, you had a professional studio style microphone.
KIM: (pointing to her microphone above the 8-track) It was this. Howard Stern does all his interviews on this.
STEVE: What is it?
KIM: A Shure SM-7
STEVE: So, if you're looking for that Kim Shattuck 'Happy Birthday To Me' sound, it's the Shure SM-7.
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