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MUSIC Super 8 Superstar:
Jinx Titanic of Super 8 Cum Shot
by Gregg Shapiro

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** Super 8 Cum Shot performs at 8:30 on the Addison Stage at Northalsted Market Days, Sat., Aug. 9.

Super 8 Cum Shot kicks the sophomore slump in its tight, hairless ass with its superior second album Super 8 Cum Shot Volume II (Big Dixie). Due to hit the streets in early October, just in time to make history during Gay and Lesbian History Month, Super 8 Cum Shot Volume II echoes Volume I in the way that it introduces each song with a snippet from a porno movie to great effect. It also improves on the original by expanding the sexual themes with raunchy humor ('Oh Daddy' which features a son asking his father about his sexual exploits while incarcerated and protecting one's assets in 'Check Your Nuts'), while also looking a wasted trick squarely in his blurry eyes and sending him packing ('Homo Go Home'). 'I Love A Boy' and 'I Wanna Make Love To You' are gay punk rock in its purest and queerest form, and 'Everybody Loves A Muscle Boi' is the ideal follow-up to Volume I's 'Hollywood Beach.'

Since making their concert debut at Nevin's Live in April of 2002, S8CS has also performed at the Whiskey-A-Go-Go in Los Angeles, the 2003 Toronto Pride festival, Cell Block, Jackhammer (where the bartenders were dancing on the bar to S8CS's music), Gunther Murphy's, and they will be the only band to make a repeat performance at Northalsted Market Days in Chicago this summer. If that isn't impressive enough, S8CS also received an Outmusic nomination for their debut disc Super 8 Cum Shot Volume I.

On Wednesday, Aug. 27, at Super 8 Cum Shot's last Cell Block show for the summer, they will be documenting the experience by recording Super 8 Cum Shot—Live at The Cell Block for broadcast over the web. If the recording is good overall, Super 8 Cum Shot will release it as a complete live show for digital distribution only. It's a 'parting shot,' if you will, for 'those folks who have come out to every local S8CS show and often hear songs that aren't on Vol. I or II,' according to Jinx Titanic.

Gregg Shapiro: Along with Scott Free, you are at the forefront of a new, queer live music scene in Chicago, featuring rock bands performing in gay bars (Cell Block, Jackhammer). What was the impetus for you to get involved with that?

Jinx Titanic: Probably years of frustration (laughs). Look at Halsted Street. There's really no alternative spot for music. I'm in a rock band and I'm gay and a large part of our audience is gay. I think it was born of the need to find a space to perform. It didn't happen at Cellblock or Jackhammer before we did a show there. We took our cues from the West Coast, where the San Francisco Eagle has been really supportive and, I think, has bands playing there every Thursday.

GS: Are you finding that you are getting that audience? Are there gay men out there who want to hear something other than house or disco or trance?

JT: Our audience has been astounding, really. ... It's growing.

GS: The band's first CD, Super 8 Cum Shot Vol. I was released last summer. The new CD, Super 8 Cum Shot Vol. II is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2003. What is the story behind the Vol. I and Vol. II titles of the discs?

JT: When the name Super 8 Cum Shot happened upon us, the first thing I thought of was the cum shots in super eight movies. But then (there are) those volumes of porn movies, that say, '100 cum shots,' and all the scenes are only a minute and a half or two minutes long, and you get a great cum shot. That's why we named it Vol. I—we are a no-bullshit band, our songs are to the point, it's quick, fast and loud. It hits you like a cum shot (laughs). The money shot.

GS: One of the most entertaining aspects of a Super 8 Cum Shot live show is the use of on-stage props, including beach balls for the song 'Hollywood Beach,' Twinkies for the new song 'Perfect,' and nuts for 'Check Your Nuts.' What was the inspiration for having things to throw at the audience?

JT: The audience assault. Probably protection—so the audience didn't go for us at the first few shows. It kind of became a thing. At the Valentine's party we tossed out valentines and valentine's candy. I don't know if it was expected by the audience or if it became expected amongst ourselves, like 'What are we going to toss at the audience this week?' We want to put on a show. It's very important to us that we don't just get up there and play our songs and expect everybody to just fall over because we're so wonderful. We want to give you a show, so we work very hard on the theatrical aspect.

GS: Have you considered corporate sponsorship? A nut company?

JT: I was just talking to Dax about this yesterday. We'd like to do a whole bunch of stuff and we're really open to it. One of the things that we would like to do is have our own lubricant and try to develop that. Kind of like the Japanese pop stars who are on lunchboxes and candy (wrappers). We think it would be a riot.

GS: There's also Beyonce hawking Pepsi.

JT: Absolutely. It's part of the business.

GS: Another interesting aspect of the live shows is the stage uniforms/costumes worn by the members of Super 8 Cum Shot.

JT: We match down to our jockstraps (laughs). The inspiration for that are the pop bands of the '60s. It adds to the visual impact and it makes it a lot easier for us when we do shows. We have several uniforms and it's just fun. It gets the band idea across. I saw an article in the British music magazine Q where they asked the readers to guess the bands after they removed the faces of the front man from the photo. You could barely guess any of them because the focus is so much on the front person. I think that each of our characters is strong enough to come through—that's Dax (Malkovich), that's Posey ('T-Mint' Parker), that's Machine Gun (Garofalo). It also establishes us as a band, and not 'front person with band behind them.' We're a unit.

GS: There is also an audience participation aspect to the Super 8 Cum Shot shows. For example, if you get naked on-stage, you get a t-shirt. What was the inspiration for that?

JT: Part of the idea behind our shows is that we want it to be a party. We want it to be a good time. We have kind of an unwritten rule—no introspection and no ballads. We want to be audience accessible and we like to party. We want to make the shows a party, and doing what we can to make it the best party you're at.

GS: In keeping with the 'fun' theme, there is a strong sense of humor in a lot of the songs. How important is that?

JT: The humor comes out of our personalities and it funnels itself nicely into the songs. I don't think you'd want to be with us in the truck when we're touring (laughs). Sometimes I even wish I could step out of it. We don't want to be a mean band. There are things that we are angry about and I think we approach them with as much force as if we were ranting angrily. Everyone in the band has such a keen sense of humor. There are things in the community, if you isolated them from our songs, it might look like we are being mean or biting. But no one is spared, not even ourselves.

GS: The song 'Hollywood Beach,' seems like it might be the one song from which you might get some flack. Have you?

JT: (Laughs) No! It's amazing that Hollywood Beach has kind of become this hit. Posey and I wrote it coming back from rehearsal one day. I was talking to him about Hollywood Beach because I used to stop there all the time on the way home from the gym. I'd be in my bathing suit, lying out, and what always amazed me was the way that everybody wades up to their knees. It reminded me of flamingos and water birds in these really bright suits. It seemed to be more about the suits and the wading in the water than what you might expect from a beach environment. I think the song works because everybody gets it. Even if you're part of it—when I'm at Hollywood beach, I'm part of it. But when you step back and look at the picture, it's kind of funny. I love that we have a gay beach. That's wonderful.

GS: Super 8 Cum Shot is also a band with a theme song. Which came first, the band or the theme song?

JT: The band name and the song came almost on the same day. It was kind of a tip of the hat, not only to bands that had their own song, like The Monkees, but also to the dance songs (of the era). 'Super 8 Cum Shot' is a dance song and it gives instructions on how to do the dance.

GS: The song 'I Can't Get Enough Of You,' from Vol. II, opens with the lines 'Babe, you make me wanna cum/ cuz you smell like dinner/ and I will never, ever get enough of you,' which quotes other Super 8 Cum Shot songs.

JT: It's pretty confident, isn't it? (laughs) The Beatles did that. It also keeps the Volume thing going. Volume II will be out in October, but from the writing aspect we are very deep into Volume III. We are trying to do the writing as it comes. We don't want to stop. As long as the flow is there, we'll keep moving.

GS: 'There's A Porn Star Shining Down On Me,' which is also on Volume II, perpetuates the image that you are creating with the band, and also highlights the fact that you have been joined on-stage during your shows by porn star Brad McGuire.

JT: We've had a couple. We had an Australian porn star named Sebastian perform with us at one of our Nevin's shows.

GS: What has the audience reaction been like?

JT: Some people are really into the fact that there is a porn star there, because they are the people who know them from magazines and porn. Some people think it's really funny that there is a porn star on-stage. Some people don't know who it is, but there's a man up there in a Speedo. With all apologies to Sebastian, we broke Evanston code at the Nevin's show, and fully exposed him. But nobody seemed to complain.

GS: In addition to having a devoted and growing gay male following, I have noticed that Super 8 Cum Shot has both lesbian and straight male fans. What does that mean to you?

JT: We certainly celebrate diversity in all its forms (laughs). We work very hard to make good rock music and good rock music transcends all the crap. We're very happy that our audience is growing and that it's diversified.

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