Early in the show, before The Ark made their appearance, Steve got on the subject of scales. It started out as musical scales. He wrote a song about it...
Scales by Steve Jones
Scales should be left to the fishes
Scales should be left to weighing cocaine
I tell ya scales are not good
When they’re coming out of your back
Bum lesions to scales and lesions and scales
Scaly lizardy looking scales on the backstreets
You can find them scaly little lizards
Going ba ba ba bum bum bum (does scales here)
Lizards lizards saying scales
Lizards and porcupines and mandingoes
And men from outer space
With scaly skin weighing Charlie
And putting it up their long lizardy little tongues
Oh I’m the man from Planet Mongo
And I’m looking for some scales
I also get scale when I do this
From the Union
It’s good scale
“Union scale or double scale”?
“We’ll I’m not in overtime and it’s not Saturday so I’m just gonna get
es lizard’s scales working overtime
In Universal Studios getting scale
Doing “ba ba ba ba ba ba ba” (sings scales)
Charlie and scales and Unions and all the
Ba ba ba ba ba ba ba ba (sings scales)
Steve: What else, scales, help me Shovel, there’s got to be one more. I’m referring to scales.
Mr. Shovel: Trucks.
Steve: Trucks. Trucks. Trucks….~~~ ~~~ ~~~
The Ark sang three songs live on The Box:. They performed two of their own songs, "One Of Us Is Gonna Die Young", "Rock City Wankers". The third was The Velvet Underground's "Rock And Roll" and they definitely did it justice. I just love that song.
(the presumption on my part is that most of the responses on behalf of the band come from the lead singer, Ola Salo. Others spoke but I don’t know their identities so I have to label their input as “The Ark”.)
Steve: …in the studio, we have The Ark.
The Ark: Hallo.
Steve: Hello, Arks.
The Ark: (they all chime in with hellos)
Steve: From Sweden. How are you?
Ola: Oh, we’re fine.
Steve: Are you from Stockholm?
Ola: No, we’re from the South of Sweden, in Malmo. (pronounced “Malma”, there’s an umlaut over the “o”)
Ola: But originally we’re from another town in Sweden called, (phonetic) Veh-CRAH.
Steve: That’s South, too?
Ola: Yeah, it’s pretty much South, too. It’s spelled in a really cool way. It’s V, a, with two dots, x, j and u with two dots. It looks like a black metal band name.
The Ark: Yeah. We should have changed our name to that, I think.
Steve: Is that where you’re originally from?
Steve: So is that, is that South, is that where it’s daylight all the time or is that North?
Ola: No, that’s North.
Steve: North is where it’s daylight all the time.
Ola: I guess it’s opposite if you go to the South of South America or something like that, or New Zealand. Then it would be like the (?) if you go to the South, I guess.
Steve: Right. Is it warmer there, where you are?
Ola: Yeah. It’s like Spring comes earlier, yeah. It’s nice. It smells very good there.
Steve: Is it, cos, I know in like, Stockholm and that, a lot of people kill themselves don’t they?
Ola: Yeah yeah. In Sweden, I think we’re number one in the international suicide rate.
Steve: That’s what I heard. Why is that, do you think?
The Ark: Too dark.
Ola: Yeah, I think it’s too…
The Ark: In the Wintertime it’s dark all the time.
Ola: Too little sunlight, maybe we have like…you know, if you don’t have…it’s easy to live in Sweden but you know, but when you don’t have a lot of difficulties to work with, you start creating your own difficulties within yourself, maybe that’s why. We have it too good maybe, in Sweden?
Steve: The tax, it’s a high tax, but it pays for everything, right?
Ola: Sort of, yeah.
Steve: Is that not true?
Ola: But it’s becoming more like America you know, now.
Steve: Is it?
Ola: Yeah. You know in the Seventies and Eighties it was like, very like social-democratic and the State was taking care of everyone and you know, it was very much DDR-style. That whole thing changed in the Nineties and now it’s becoming more and more like a class society. More like America.
Steve: Oh. Do you like it out here?
Ola: Here in America?
Ola: We love it, we love it.
Steve: You’ve been here before, though. When I run into you, was you playing? Remember when I run into you at that fashion show?
Ola: Yeah, we were playing a show, you know, the night after that at Spaceland in Silverlake.
The Ark: Actually, it’s our fifth time in, in The States.
Steve: Is it?
The Ark: Yeah.
Steve: As The Ark?
The Ark: Yeah. The first time was like, one year ago, so we go here pretty often, actually.
Steve: You like the birds better here?
Ola: Yeah, of course there’s other kinds of birds here. (the group laughs in the b.g.) But that’s also because the birds move, you know.
Steve: They fly.
Ola: They fly to Africa…
Steve: I remember the first time I went to Sweden, with the Sex Pistols and I couldn’t believe how good-looking and how willing the birds were there.
Ola: We did a…English tour, you know, some months ago…
Steve: I’m sorry.
Ola: …so we understand what you mean.
Steve: Yeah. (general laughter) Exactly.
Ola: So, yeah, the birds here are really beautiful, there’s lots of them, in different colors. The bitches are also very interesting because they run around, yeah – the female dogs…
Steve: Ze birds and ze bees.
Ola: There’s very many beautiful female dogs…isn’t that what you call bitches?
Steve: Bitches are the female. The four-legged ones, yeah. You know, sometimes we call birds bitches, right? Mr. Shovel does all the time. He’s always calling…
Ola: But then you’ve gotta be, yeah…very confused people.
Steve: It’s okay.
Ola: I’ve heard about bird-dogs.
Steve: There’s a song called, “Bird-dog”, isn’t there? (sings a bit to the tune of “Mockingbird”). Oh, “Mockingbird”.
Ola: Sounds like a smash, to me.
Steve: I just wrote it. I just wrote it.
The Ark: Yeah!
Ola: Shall we…put music to it?
Steve: Put some harp to it, yeah.
Ola: Yeah? Let’s do “Bird-dog”.
(Harmonica and guitar in b.g.)
Steve: Two, three, four…(sings)
Birds and flies
and the birds and the bees
and the bitches and the birds
and the four-legged dogs
With the ugly birds from England
with the fat ankles
sweaty spotty asses
And then we come to Sweden
and the birds are a lot better looking
and they’re (?) to get it on
I love it all
Ola: Ah, it’s a smash.
Steve: That’s a smash.~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Steve: Have you always been into glam?
Ola: Yeah, I think since our teens, sort of. I think we found these records and stuff, you know, our parent’s record collections or parent’s friends’ record collections. I think it was really appealing…to me, it was really appealing because I think it was like, fun music. It was also like, rocking and it was also sexy and a little like, sexually ambiguous. A mystique about it.
Steve: And the outfits.
Ola: Yeah, of course, the outfits.
The Ark: My parents didn’t have any glam records. (laughter)
Ola: No, not mine either, really.
Steve: Well, you’re playing tonight at the Troubadour and I hear you guys are pretty good.
Steve: Word is, on the street…
Ola: Words on the street. Yeah…we’re doing our best. We’re doing our best to put on a show and to make (a) good, live show. Yeah, we’re very good, actually. I think we’re one of the best live bands there is, right now…
Steve: I think you are, I think so.
Ola: …in the world. Today. In the history of Man.
Steve: I believe so. I’m with you there. We’re going to give away three pairs of your tickets for tonight. Is it sold out tonight?
Ola: No, I don’t know…no not…
Steve: Just say, just say “yes”.
Ola: No, no. Almost so people can buy the last…
Steve: There’s three tickets left…and we’re gonna give ‘em away now.
Ola: Maybe four or five.
The Ark: If you’re lucky you can find one at the door.
Ola: Yeah, if you’re lucky.
Steve: What, what about if you’re a hot animal?
Ola: If you’re a hot animal? (laughing)
Ola: Any hot animals is welcome, you know.
Steve: Well, it is The Ark, innit? (laughter from group) You know what I mean? As long as you’re in twos, you can come on. Long as there’s two of ya. Ain’t that what it was on the ark? In pairs, they had to be in pairs?
Ola: Yeah, both male and female.
Steve: Two legs, two arms, two uh…you know what I mean. You know where I’m going. Should we just give ‘em away or do you want to do a little whistle first.
Ola: Ah, just give ‘em away.
Steve: Just give ‘em away? You don’t want a couple of bars of what you’re going to do?
Ola: What we’re going to do hasn’t got really a melody, so I think it’s hard. But…we can do a question like…something, maybe something about Sweden?
Ola: “What country…” (laughter) “What country is next to Norway?”
Steve: No, “What, in the Seventies, was the biggest export in Sweden”
Ola: Porn and suicide?
Steve: No, it was…I know what it was. That’s the question. “What was the biggest export in Sweden in the middle Seventies or early Seventies?”
Ola: Didn’t I just say that?
Steve: No. 877-900-1031. If you don’t know what it is, it doesn’t matter, call up anyway. We’ll give ‘em to you. And we’ll be right back, with The Ark…
~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Steve: Very nice of you guys to come by.
The Ark: Really glad to be here.
Steve: Did you have a good time?
The Ark: Yeah. It was fun. Very fun.
Ola: I like the relaxed feeling here at this radio station. It’s not what I thought American radio stations would be like.
Steve: Well, it’s not. This is a little gem in the desert, mate. It’s not all like this.
Ola: The light in the tunnel?
Steve: Yes. The oasis in the desert. Is that the right one? Yes. The Swedish meatball in the masses of hamburgers.
Ola: In the mash of…
Steve: …the thing. Um, you’re playing tonight at the Troubadour, ten bucks to get in. And you’ve got some other band who you don’t know, opening for you.
Ola: I guess, I think they’re really good.
Steve: I heard they were good. Word on the street is very good. They’re almost as good as you guys.
Ola: Yeah, almost. I think they’re sort of the second-best band around.
Steve: The runners-up. The runners-up to you guys. You’re the gold, they’re like, the silver.
Ola: Yeah, they’re like the disciples, we’re…
Steve: You’re the masters.
Ola: …tonight we’re going to learn them some new tricks and pretty soon they’re going to take over.
Steve: They’re going to copy all your stuff.
Ola: And they’re going to take our crown.
Steve: Do you wear outfits?
Ola: Yeah, absolutely, yeah yeah.
Steve: Like flamboyant outfits?
Ola: Yeah, pretty…
Steve: Word on the street is you wear flamboyant outfits.
Ola: Yeah, word on the street. It’s true, it’s true. I think I’m going to wear my wings tonight. I actually got them through the Customs, so yeah…I’m going to look like a bird. I wear makeup also, when even makes me more look like a bird.
Steve: I like your album cover.
Ola: Maybe I will wear my new leopard leotard, as well.
Ola: Yeah, I’m not sure. I haven’t worn it yet so I don’t really know what it looks like.
Steve: Well, that’s a decider for me. Like, if you’re going to wear the leopard skin, I’ll come. If you’re not, I probably won’t.
Ola: Okay, I will wear it then.
Steve: You will? Okay, I’m there. I want to smell it after you’ve worn it.
Steve: I want to smell it after you’ve worn it.
Ola: Yeah yeah yeah. Okay. You can do that.
Steve: You promise?
The Ark: It’s going to taste like salt and vinegar. (laughter)
Ola: I am famous for my stage clothes…actually smell exactly like salt and vinegar
Steve: You specialize in salt and vinegar flavor.
Steve: I can’t wait. I haven’t had a…
Ola: I think there’s a dash of curry in there as well.
Steve: (laughing) Excellent.
Ola: I can have my own crisps. Salt, vinegar and curry.
Steve: Swedish salt and vinegar crisps.
Ola: Apple cider vinegar, sea salt…
Steve: That’s for the healthy people. Sea salt. You’ve got to be…health conscious nowadays.
Ola: Yeah, especially when you eat crisps.
Steve: Yeah, so Swedish salt and vinegar with sea salt. It sounds very healthy.
Ola: From the Swedish archpelagio…
Steve: From the South part of Sweden.
Ola: Southeast archepelagio, not the Stockholm archepelagio.
Steve: And we’ll make a fortune, selling your sweat and crisps.
Ola: Just give me the crisps and I keep them in my armpit for a while and then we just package them.
Steve: Yes. We’ll have you on like, a treadmill so you’re constantly sweating (laughter) in a factory. So you’re going to do a cover song, to wrap it up?
Ola: Yeah, it’s two o’clock already. Do we have time?
Steve: Yes, yes. We can do it.
Ola: Yeah, we’re going to do a Velvet Underground song, “Rock and Roll”.
Steve: Thanks for coming by.
]~~~ ~~~ ~~~
You can visit The Ark's webpage at http://www.thearkworld.com/