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Pharmacy, No Kittens

Singer Kathleen "Kitten" Johnson with Pharmacy
Singer Kathleen "Kitten" Johnson with Pharmacy

“We were originally called Kitten’s Pharmacy, back in the ’90s,” says singer Kathleen “Kit” Johnson of Pharmacy.

“We opened for bands like Bow Wow Wow at Brick by Brick and Third Eye Blind at Canes, but by 1998 the band wasn’t getting along and we all went our separate ways.”

The group reunited a few years later, but the constantly shifting lineup resulted in shortening their name. “Nowadays we sound like a cross between the Beatles and Alice in Chains,” says Johnson. The current roster includes guitarist Jonny Vee (from local punkers Social Spit), drummer Jayden Fullerton, and new bassist Ramon “Ramones” Silva (who did not take part in this interview).

“When I lived in San Francisco,” says Vee, “I was part of the death-metal scene with a band called Vile Under Vile. After I got to San Diego, I saw [Pharmacy] at the Chico Club last year and ended up sitting in with them. That went well enough to get me into the band full-time.” He describes their music as “Solid rock, sex rock, pot rock, heroin rock, and revenge rock. No emo or pretentious rock allowed.”

Pharmacy’s Drugs Not Included, recorded in Johnson’s garage, was released last month. They appear Friday, September 16, at the Go Lounge in La Mesa.

WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

Johnson:

1) Stone Temple Pilots, Thank You. “One of my all-time faves.”

2) The Beatles, Love. “Every song on it brings back great memories.”

Vee:

1) Black Flag, Live at the North Park Lions Club: “This is a bootleg of a show I attended [in 1981] and was sitting right up front for, recorded by Rainbow Sound, who did all the sound for those old North Park punk shows.”

2) Jane’s Addiction, Kettle Whistle. “I love everything about this album, right down to the design of the CD label.”

3) G.F.I., Crime and Disaster. “Great punk record, engineered and mixed in El Cajon at David Nestor’s recording studio in the mid-’90s.”

Fullerton:

1) Megadeth, Rust in Peace. “Reminds me of my youth.”

2) Slayer, South of Heaven. “They were a big influence when I started playing drums.”

3) System of a Down, Mezmerize. “Because, musically, it’s all over the place.”

MOST EMBARRASSING CD IN YOUR COLLECTION?

Johnson: “Saturday Night Fever: Original Movie Soundtrack. Hey, it was the sounds of the ’70s.”

BEST AND WORST BAND NAMES?

Johnson: “Best, Garbage. Worst, Grand Funk Railroad.”

Vee: “Best, Sir Lord Baltimore. Worst, the Fuckin’ Flyin’ A-Heads.”

Fullerton: “Best, Alice in Chains. Worst, Cherry People.”

FAVORITE TOOL OF THE TRADE?

Fullerton: “A two-track Avid Pro Tools Mbox and a 16-channel mixing board.”

WHAT SONG BEST DESCRIBES YOUR LIFE?

Johnson: “‘In My Life,’ by the Beatles. Their songs are always with me.”

Vee: “‘Thick as a Brick,’ by Jethro Tull. When I was on LSD, I thought that song was all about me.”

ANY FEARS OR PHOBIAS?

Vee: “I’m afraid of crossing the 805 bridge spanning Mission Valley, because I had a premonition about it collapsing with me on it.”

THREE THINGS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Johnson:

1) “I work in real estate.”

2) “As a kid I was a hockey goalie.”

3) “I was once bit by a rabid dog and had to get the shots in my stomach.”

Vee:

1) “My other band [Social Spit] has been together 30 years.”

2) “Some of my songs have been stolen.”

3) “Even though I play punk music, I love Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.”

Fullerton:

1) “I keep secrets.”

2) “This is only my second band.”

3) “I’m annoying.” ■

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Singer Kathleen "Kitten" Johnson with Pharmacy
Singer Kathleen "Kitten" Johnson with Pharmacy

“We were originally called Kitten’s Pharmacy, back in the ’90s,” says singer Kathleen “Kit” Johnson of Pharmacy.

“We opened for bands like Bow Wow Wow at Brick by Brick and Third Eye Blind at Canes, but by 1998 the band wasn’t getting along and we all went our separate ways.”

The group reunited a few years later, but the constantly shifting lineup resulted in shortening their name. “Nowadays we sound like a cross between the Beatles and Alice in Chains,” says Johnson. The current roster includes guitarist Jonny Vee (from local punkers Social Spit), drummer Jayden Fullerton, and new bassist Ramon “Ramones” Silva (who did not take part in this interview).

“When I lived in San Francisco,” says Vee, “I was part of the death-metal scene with a band called Vile Under Vile. After I got to San Diego, I saw [Pharmacy] at the Chico Club last year and ended up sitting in with them. That went well enough to get me into the band full-time.” He describes their music as “Solid rock, sex rock, pot rock, heroin rock, and revenge rock. No emo or pretentious rock allowed.”

Pharmacy’s Drugs Not Included, recorded in Johnson’s garage, was released last month. They appear Friday, September 16, at the Go Lounge in La Mesa.

WHAT’S IN YOUR MUSIC PLAYER?

Johnson:

1) Stone Temple Pilots, Thank You. “One of my all-time faves.”

2) The Beatles, Love. “Every song on it brings back great memories.”

Vee:

1) Black Flag, Live at the North Park Lions Club: “This is a bootleg of a show I attended [in 1981] and was sitting right up front for, recorded by Rainbow Sound, who did all the sound for those old North Park punk shows.”

2) Jane’s Addiction, Kettle Whistle. “I love everything about this album, right down to the design of the CD label.”

3) G.F.I., Crime and Disaster. “Great punk record, engineered and mixed in El Cajon at David Nestor’s recording studio in the mid-’90s.”

Fullerton:

1) Megadeth, Rust in Peace. “Reminds me of my youth.”

2) Slayer, South of Heaven. “They were a big influence when I started playing drums.”

3) System of a Down, Mezmerize. “Because, musically, it’s all over the place.”

MOST EMBARRASSING CD IN YOUR COLLECTION?

Johnson: “Saturday Night Fever: Original Movie Soundtrack. Hey, it was the sounds of the ’70s.”

BEST AND WORST BAND NAMES?

Johnson: “Best, Garbage. Worst, Grand Funk Railroad.”

Vee: “Best, Sir Lord Baltimore. Worst, the Fuckin’ Flyin’ A-Heads.”

Fullerton: “Best, Alice in Chains. Worst, Cherry People.”

FAVORITE TOOL OF THE TRADE?

Fullerton: “A two-track Avid Pro Tools Mbox and a 16-channel mixing board.”

WHAT SONG BEST DESCRIBES YOUR LIFE?

Johnson: “‘In My Life,’ by the Beatles. Their songs are always with me.”

Vee: “‘Thick as a Brick,’ by Jethro Tull. When I was on LSD, I thought that song was all about me.”

ANY FEARS OR PHOBIAS?

Vee: “I’m afraid of crossing the 805 bridge spanning Mission Valley, because I had a premonition about it collapsing with me on it.”

THREE THINGS WE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU?

Johnson:

1) “I work in real estate.”

2) “As a kid I was a hockey goalie.”

3) “I was once bit by a rabid dog and had to get the shots in my stomach.”

Vee:

1) “My other band [Social Spit] has been together 30 years.”

2) “Some of my songs have been stolen.”

3) “Even though I play punk music, I love Genesis’ The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway.”

Fullerton:

1) “I keep secrets.”

2) “This is only my second band.”

3) “I’m annoying.” ■

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Outtakes: EVER BEEN A CRIME VICTIM? Johnson: “I was once attacked and clocked in the head with a ten inch metal rod and ended up with stitches and staples in my head.” Fullerton: “Yes, but I got revenge, so I can’t tell you about it.”

FAVORITE CONCERT? Johnson: “Madonna at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas. Why? It’s Madonna! Wow, what a performer.” Vee: “Kiss, at the McNichols ‘Big Mac’ Arena in Denver, Colorado! It had God of Thunder sung from 300 feet up in the air, fire billowing from the stage, and who doesn’t love Gene’s big ten-inch? I mean his tongue.” Fullerton: “Megadeth was badass. By living my life, and singing about it, Dave Mustaine saved my life.”

MOST VISITED WEBSITES? Johnson: “Facebook, MySpace, and eBay. The usual destinations for musicians.” Fullerton: “Yahoo, Facebook, and MySpace. No particular reason, I just like looking at them.”

WHAT REMAINS ON YOUR BUCKET LIST? Johnson:
1. “See the Chargers win a Superbowl, It could happen.” 2. “See the Padres win the World Series. Probably won’t happen.” 3. “Travel to Russia. Then I’ll be a happy girl.”

WHAT WOULD YOUR GRADE SCHOOL TEACHER SAY ABOUT YOU? Johnson: “That I always paid attention, did my homework, and turned in my work on time.” Vee: “He was a dirty little boy.” Fullerton: “Not a lot.”

IF YOU COULD HAVE A FREE MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION? Johnson: “Vogue. What can I say, I’m a chick.”

LAST TIME YOU GOT YELLED AT? Johnson: “When I lost my boyfriend’s Xbox cord. He was pissed, but we eventually found it.” Vee: “My friend Christel from North Carolina yelled at me for posting political crap on her online ‘80s forum. I deserved it.” Fullerton: “Today, by you, for giving short, vague answers.”

Sept. 14, 2011

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