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Porn fan Jeff Clayton part of Christian band the Savior Machine

Dirty Dogma Records "still in its infantile stages"

— Buck Narrows is a musician with a cockeyed sense of calling. Armed with a guitar, a wah-wah pedal, and a brain a bit below his belt buckle, Narrows has set out to create a get-down soundtrack for the new millennium, or as he puts it, "bomb-ass songs for the future of porn."

Jason Hartley is a staff attorney at a San Diego law firm whose clients include Toyota and Carnival Cruise Lines. A trim and tidy 27-year-old with a closely cropped beard and short, thinning red hair, Hartley is also the drummer for Saviour Machine, a Christian band that headlined a number of U.S. religious rock festivals in the 1990s and even enjoyed some crossover success in Europe.

Hartley is not the sort of person you'd expect to find helping Narrows secure his X-rated legacy. Yet no one's working harder than Hartley to promote the Colton-born guitarist, who delivers a barrage of explicit and frankly un-Christian sentiments on his latest CD, beginning with the first song, "Girl with a Penis," where his emasculation anxiety peaks with the cry, "I hope she doesn't come on me."

Hartley is the founder of Dirty Dogma Records (www.dirtydogma.com), the young San Diego label -- Hartley says it's "still in its infantile stages" -- that markets Narrows. Narrows isn't the only artist on the fledgling label, which also features Richard Basement, a former member of the Shirleys, but he is definitely Dirty Dogma's most interesting act. His music blends elements of Isaac Hayes, Jane's Addiction, and the Beastie Boys in songs with titles like "Stoner in a Moshpit," "Black Sex," "Jizzum Man," and "Miss Jamison" (an ode, Hartley explains helpfully, to "the legendary porn star Jenna Jamison.")

The cover of Narrows's latest 12-song offering on Dirty Dogma, an album called The Wide Side of Narrows, features a curvaceous cartoon woman, clad in leopard-print bikini, nylons and six-inch pumps, clinging to a rocket that is hurtling through outer space. She's wearing one of those 1950s Buck Rogers fishbowl space helmets and an oxygen tank that resembles an old Hoover vacuum cleaner -- and she's grinning as if she's just spent the afternoon with Dirk Diggler.

The Wide Side of Narrows is one of those albums that you know is going to get somebody in trouble. That somebody should be Hartley, since he's the only person associated with the still-undistributed record who has a proper office job. (Narrows works in a car wash.) But the San Diego attorney doesn't seem worried about what his firm or its corporate clients will make of his after-work enthusiasm.

Besides, Hartley has already dreamed up a lawyerly defense. "Hey," he says, "I don't play on the record. I just produce it."

Hartley and Narrows, the budding record mogul and the raunchy performer, actually go way back. Like Hartley, Narrows -- known as Jeff Clayton in real life -- is a member of Saviour Machine. In fact, Narrows was one of the founding members of the scripture-quoting Christian group, which after ten years together plans to record just one more album and then disband.

Some members of the group want to move on to other projects. Hartley and Narrows want to move on to other lives. Call them Porn Again Christians: two guys with a wild sense of irony.

They just better hope that Jesus gets the joke.

"It's a cartoon of Bettie Page," Hartley says of the cover art on Narrows's latest CD when we meet. Hartley has just cut out of work at his downtown firm, where one of his specialties is defending cruise lines from the many slip-and-fall lawsuits filed each year by elderly passengers who never quite get their sea legs. ("Hey," Hartley says, "ships rock in the water.")

When I admit that I have no idea who Bettie Page was, Hartley gives me an expert-sounding idiot's guide to 1950s pin-up. Page, it turns out, was something of a cheesecake legend who had a long and productive collaborative relationship -- until she disappeared for 35 years beginning in 1957 -- with an equally famous photographer named Bunny Yeager, who, I admit to Hartley, I also didn't know.

There's a risk that critics -- both inside and outside the Christian community -- will detect more than a whiff of hypocrisy in all this. But Hartley says promoting Narrows is strictly business. Faith just does not figure into it.

"I am a Christian," Hartley says. "I believe in Jesus Christ ... But I don't think it needs to permeate every aspect of my life. It's just a personal thing for me.

"I came across a project from a friend of mine who's making really great music, and I found it entertaining. I think it's something that will sell, so I'll sell it. Some people find that hypocritical. [But] I'm not such a hard-core Christian conservative that I need to judge everybody. That's sort of the thing that turns me off the church."

Besides, Hartley insists, Narrows is pure parody. Or therapy. Or something.

"The guy who does this music is the most upstanding kind of guy," Hartley says. "He respects his wife. He has two little kids, a boy and a girl. It's just amazing that he turns this stuff out. It's just a testament to the adage that a lot of straight-looking, young white males are really perverts. I think the truth is every young guy has got some kind of perverted tendencies. If you're really honest with yourself."

Is that really an adage? Well, Hartley and Narrows think it is.

"I'm kind of a crude, disgusting person when I want to be, and I allow it to come out with Buck Narrows," Clayton says. "I'm a huge porn fan. I love porn, and Jenna Jamison makes great movies. I own every movie she's made. For ten years, my life was Saviour Machine. Now I want to have some fun."

(Narrows isn't all sexual swagger. One of the better cuts on Wide Side of Narrows is "White Boy," a song dedicated to the gang-banging vatos and their rucas that Clayton grew up with in the Inland Empire. And "215" commemorates the San Bernardino strip bar that Clayton frequented with his ex-wife. "The only way we could get turned on by each other is if we went to this club called 215 and watched naked women dance," he says.)

In a country where the word "Christian" is often modified by the word "fundamentalist," Hartley's refusal to reconcile his actions with some dogma, dirty or otherwise, is unusual.

But life's a funny thing. That's something Hartley learned with Saviour Machine. Since 1993, when he graduated from UCSD's Warren College, Hartley has been the drummer for the band, which doesn't rate a mention in The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll or The Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock, but has a sizable following in Europe, especially Germany and Belgium. The group's videos have been featured on WEWA, a sort of German VH-1, as well as the European MTV, and Hartley and his Saviour Machine pals toured Europe nine times over the past few years, taking advantage of Hartley's summer breaks from his law studies at Tulane. "In Europe we play all big places," Hartley says, "nothing smaller than the [Los Angeles] Palladium..."

But the success had a twist: Most of the band's European fans had no clue that Saviour Machine was a Christian band. Why would they? In Germany, Saviour Machine was distributed by Massacre Records, a label best known for bands like Atrocity, Whiplash, and PainFlow. "[Massacre] could even be considered the exact opposite of a Christian label," Hartley laughs. "They've got some really, like, satanic acts on there.

"When I first went over there I was surprised because we'd just done a U.S. tour and almost everybody who came to see us in the U.S. was Christian. It was marketed through Christian record stores and things like that," Hartley says. "But in Germany, it was a completely secular crowd. They just dug the music. The girls would come up to us after the show and be, like, 'Sign my body. Touch my body.'

"The people who find the lyrics valuable to them spiritually, more power to them. But I was surprised to find out there weren't that many."

But even before the Buck Narrows project drove a wedge between the band members, Hartley had tired of performing and was looking to get into the business side of the entertainment business. Touring, he says, was anything but a holiday, even if there were young women waiting after each European show who needed to brush up on the Ten Commandments.

"Let me tell you, [touring] is the furthest thing from a vacation," Hartley says.

"A vacation is when you have your own itinerary, you can do whatever the hell you want to do at your leisure. When I'm over there, I'm a slave. You get in there, and you rent a bus with sleeping arrangements because you really don't make money if you have to pay for a hotel room in every city. So you have this big tour bus and you load all the gear. You drive to the venue. The first day's fine because you're starting out at a normal hour. You get to the venue early afternoon, you set up all of your gear. It takes a few hours. Then you do the sound check. That takes another three or four hours because you have to sound check along with the other bands you're playing with. Then you go back to your bus and have dinner, which is usually provided by the venue. On a good night, it's lukewarm spaghetti. On a bad night, it's a piece of salami on toast. The only good thing is you get all the beer you can drink, and it's always good. German beer. You just can't beat it.

"Then you do your show. Then you have to de-set. So then you get on the road at three or four in the morning. Then you drive all friggin' day and sleep while the sun's up to get to the next venue, which often wouldn't be the logical place, which is the next city, it would be 500 miles away or something. You drive all day and night. There's no time to stop. You don't see any of the countryside because you're sleeping during the day. When you do wake up during the day and you're on the bus for the last two hours of the trip, all you can see is the friggin' freeway.

"The only thing that's glamorous is I come away with some money, and I can brag about it to friends who think it sounds glamorous. But this is the truth of the matter as any band that's done it will tell you. It's no vacation."

With the road and the groupies behind him and Saviour Machine (almost) a memory, Hartley is concentrating his energies on Dirty Dogma and its artists, including Narrows, Basement, Strychnine Kiss, and Acid Flowers.

"My next step is to get the records for sale in local record stores," Hartley says. "I've already talked to Tower Records about being recognized as a legitimate distributor. You have to have several different artists on your label, and then they'll start carrying you. So I'm talking with them. In the meantime, I'm soliciting deals with record companies to try to get it out and maybe even possibly have them buy an artist out or something."

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— Buck Narrows is a musician with a cockeyed sense of calling. Armed with a guitar, a wah-wah pedal, and a brain a bit below his belt buckle, Narrows has set out to create a get-down soundtrack for the new millennium, or as he puts it, "bomb-ass songs for the future of porn."

Jason Hartley is a staff attorney at a San Diego law firm whose clients include Toyota and Carnival Cruise Lines. A trim and tidy 27-year-old with a closely cropped beard and short, thinning red hair, Hartley is also the drummer for Saviour Machine, a Christian band that headlined a number of U.S. religious rock festivals in the 1990s and even enjoyed some crossover success in Europe.

Hartley is not the sort of person you'd expect to find helping Narrows secure his X-rated legacy. Yet no one's working harder than Hartley to promote the Colton-born guitarist, who delivers a barrage of explicit and frankly un-Christian sentiments on his latest CD, beginning with the first song, "Girl with a Penis," where his emasculation anxiety peaks with the cry, "I hope she doesn't come on me."

Hartley is the founder of Dirty Dogma Records (www.dirtydogma.com), the young San Diego label -- Hartley says it's "still in its infantile stages" -- that markets Narrows. Narrows isn't the only artist on the fledgling label, which also features Richard Basement, a former member of the Shirleys, but he is definitely Dirty Dogma's most interesting act. His music blends elements of Isaac Hayes, Jane's Addiction, and the Beastie Boys in songs with titles like "Stoner in a Moshpit," "Black Sex," "Jizzum Man," and "Miss Jamison" (an ode, Hartley explains helpfully, to "the legendary porn star Jenna Jamison.")

The cover of Narrows's latest 12-song offering on Dirty Dogma, an album called The Wide Side of Narrows, features a curvaceous cartoon woman, clad in leopard-print bikini, nylons and six-inch pumps, clinging to a rocket that is hurtling through outer space. She's wearing one of those 1950s Buck Rogers fishbowl space helmets and an oxygen tank that resembles an old Hoover vacuum cleaner -- and she's grinning as if she's just spent the afternoon with Dirk Diggler.

The Wide Side of Narrows is one of those albums that you know is going to get somebody in trouble. That somebody should be Hartley, since he's the only person associated with the still-undistributed record who has a proper office job. (Narrows works in a car wash.) But the San Diego attorney doesn't seem worried about what his firm or its corporate clients will make of his after-work enthusiasm.

Besides, Hartley has already dreamed up a lawyerly defense. "Hey," he says, "I don't play on the record. I just produce it."

Hartley and Narrows, the budding record mogul and the raunchy performer, actually go way back. Like Hartley, Narrows -- known as Jeff Clayton in real life -- is a member of Saviour Machine. In fact, Narrows was one of the founding members of the scripture-quoting Christian group, which after ten years together plans to record just one more album and then disband.

Some members of the group want to move on to other projects. Hartley and Narrows want to move on to other lives. Call them Porn Again Christians: two guys with a wild sense of irony.

They just better hope that Jesus gets the joke.

"It's a cartoon of Bettie Page," Hartley says of the cover art on Narrows's latest CD when we meet. Hartley has just cut out of work at his downtown firm, where one of his specialties is defending cruise lines from the many slip-and-fall lawsuits filed each year by elderly passengers who never quite get their sea legs. ("Hey," Hartley says, "ships rock in the water.")

When I admit that I have no idea who Bettie Page was, Hartley gives me an expert-sounding idiot's guide to 1950s pin-up. Page, it turns out, was something of a cheesecake legend who had a long and productive collaborative relationship -- until she disappeared for 35 years beginning in 1957 -- with an equally famous photographer named Bunny Yeager, who, I admit to Hartley, I also didn't know.

There's a risk that critics -- both inside and outside the Christian community -- will detect more than a whiff of hypocrisy in all this. But Hartley says promoting Narrows is strictly business. Faith just does not figure into it.

"I am a Christian," Hartley says. "I believe in Jesus Christ ... But I don't think it needs to permeate every aspect of my life. It's just a personal thing for me.

"I came across a project from a friend of mine who's making really great music, and I found it entertaining. I think it's something that will sell, so I'll sell it. Some people find that hypocritical. [But] I'm not such a hard-core Christian conservative that I need to judge everybody. That's sort of the thing that turns me off the church."

Besides, Hartley insists, Narrows is pure parody. Or therapy. Or something.

"The guy who does this music is the most upstanding kind of guy," Hartley says. "He respects his wife. He has two little kids, a boy and a girl. It's just amazing that he turns this stuff out. It's just a testament to the adage that a lot of straight-looking, young white males are really perverts. I think the truth is every young guy has got some kind of perverted tendencies. If you're really honest with yourself."

Is that really an adage? Well, Hartley and Narrows think it is.

"I'm kind of a crude, disgusting person when I want to be, and I allow it to come out with Buck Narrows," Clayton says. "I'm a huge porn fan. I love porn, and Jenna Jamison makes great movies. I own every movie she's made. For ten years, my life was Saviour Machine. Now I want to have some fun."

(Narrows isn't all sexual swagger. One of the better cuts on Wide Side of Narrows is "White Boy," a song dedicated to the gang-banging vatos and their rucas that Clayton grew up with in the Inland Empire. And "215" commemorates the San Bernardino strip bar that Clayton frequented with his ex-wife. "The only way we could get turned on by each other is if we went to this club called 215 and watched naked women dance," he says.)

In a country where the word "Christian" is often modified by the word "fundamentalist," Hartley's refusal to reconcile his actions with some dogma, dirty or otherwise, is unusual.

But life's a funny thing. That's something Hartley learned with Saviour Machine. Since 1993, when he graduated from UCSD's Warren College, Hartley has been the drummer for the band, which doesn't rate a mention in The New Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll or The Trouser Press Guide to '90s Rock, but has a sizable following in Europe, especially Germany and Belgium. The group's videos have been featured on WEWA, a sort of German VH-1, as well as the European MTV, and Hartley and his Saviour Machine pals toured Europe nine times over the past few years, taking advantage of Hartley's summer breaks from his law studies at Tulane. "In Europe we play all big places," Hartley says, "nothing smaller than the [Los Angeles] Palladium..."

But the success had a twist: Most of the band's European fans had no clue that Saviour Machine was a Christian band. Why would they? In Germany, Saviour Machine was distributed by Massacre Records, a label best known for bands like Atrocity, Whiplash, and PainFlow. "[Massacre] could even be considered the exact opposite of a Christian label," Hartley laughs. "They've got some really, like, satanic acts on there.

"When I first went over there I was surprised because we'd just done a U.S. tour and almost everybody who came to see us in the U.S. was Christian. It was marketed through Christian record stores and things like that," Hartley says. "But in Germany, it was a completely secular crowd. They just dug the music. The girls would come up to us after the show and be, like, 'Sign my body. Touch my body.'

"The people who find the lyrics valuable to them spiritually, more power to them. But I was surprised to find out there weren't that many."

But even before the Buck Narrows project drove a wedge between the band members, Hartley had tired of performing and was looking to get into the business side of the entertainment business. Touring, he says, was anything but a holiday, even if there were young women waiting after each European show who needed to brush up on the Ten Commandments.

"Let me tell you, [touring] is the furthest thing from a vacation," Hartley says.

"A vacation is when you have your own itinerary, you can do whatever the hell you want to do at your leisure. When I'm over there, I'm a slave. You get in there, and you rent a bus with sleeping arrangements because you really don't make money if you have to pay for a hotel room in every city. So you have this big tour bus and you load all the gear. You drive to the venue. The first day's fine because you're starting out at a normal hour. You get to the venue early afternoon, you set up all of your gear. It takes a few hours. Then you do the sound check. That takes another three or four hours because you have to sound check along with the other bands you're playing with. Then you go back to your bus and have dinner, which is usually provided by the venue. On a good night, it's lukewarm spaghetti. On a bad night, it's a piece of salami on toast. The only good thing is you get all the beer you can drink, and it's always good. German beer. You just can't beat it.

"Then you do your show. Then you have to de-set. So then you get on the road at three or four in the morning. Then you drive all friggin' day and sleep while the sun's up to get to the next venue, which often wouldn't be the logical place, which is the next city, it would be 500 miles away or something. You drive all day and night. There's no time to stop. You don't see any of the countryside because you're sleeping during the day. When you do wake up during the day and you're on the bus for the last two hours of the trip, all you can see is the friggin' freeway.

"The only thing that's glamorous is I come away with some money, and I can brag about it to friends who think it sounds glamorous. But this is the truth of the matter as any band that's done it will tell you. It's no vacation."

With the road and the groupies behind him and Saviour Machine (almost) a memory, Hartley is concentrating his energies on Dirty Dogma and its artists, including Narrows, Basement, Strychnine Kiss, and Acid Flowers.

"My next step is to get the records for sale in local record stores," Hartley says. "I've already talked to Tower Records about being recognized as a legitimate distributor. You have to have several different artists on your label, and then they'll start carrying you. So I'm talking with them. In the meantime, I'm soliciting deals with record companies to try to get it out and maybe even possibly have them buy an artist out or something."

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