Two key points about the Residents: nobody knows who they are after 40-plus years (though they’ve taken to calling the three people on stage “Randy, Chuck, and Bob”), and they always employ masks, costumes, and multimedia to fascinating ends. They conquer the Belly Up on May 8. Spokesman Homer Flynn took some email questions.
What are the Residents’ memories of playing San Diego — good, bad, twisted?
...by the Residents
“At the beginning of the Talking Light tour, from what I remember Randy had a throat problem immediately after the show, then lost his voice completely — and Randy without his voice is like a hairless Donald Trump. Then, after two voiceless days and a soul-searching sojourn in Van Horn, Texas, Randy’s voice miraculously reappeared just before their next show in Austin.
“I think this will be the third time at the Belly Up. Solana Beach seems like a typical beach town — like Santa Cruz, which is definitely not San Francisco. But a couple of their tours ended there, and the places where Residents’ tours often end are special because that’s where the pressure and stress of touring comes off and they start to relax.”
How many band members can we expect to see onstage and with what visuals?
“The primary visual will be video projections on a large weather balloon. The characters in the projections are delivering short monologues based on the theme of the show — birth, rebirth, reincarnation, and near-death experiences.”
How has the band’s conceptual thinking changed over the years?
“I guess the primary difference at this point is that the group doesn’t project itself as far into the future as it once did, which is a pretty normal byproduct of aging. But the Residents remain ambitious with a new album and a puppet show based on their 1988 album, God in 3 Persons, in the works.”
Do the Residents ever get sick and tired of people trying to out them? Will they unmask, so to speak, on their own tombstones?
“The Residents would rather be talked about than ignored and forgotten, so they’re fine with people saying whatever. At this point, it’s all been said, although I don’t think anyone is yet to claim that the Residents are Vladimir Putin, Melissa McCarthy, Pat Boone, and Chico Rodriguez. If that group was playing at the Belly Up, I’d be there for sure.”