Sled Island 2016 was a blast in so many ways. We saw some amazing shows, took some pretty fucking sick pictures of said shows, and as an added bonus I was lucky enough to be able to catch John Famiglietti, the bass player from HEALTH and introduce him to our particular brand of fuckery.
Robin Goodfellow: So, tell me who you are and what you do.
John Famiglietti: I’m John Famiglietti and I’m the “bass player” in the band HEALTH, but I like to put quotation marks around that kind of stuff.
RG: Where did the name HEALTH come from?
JF: We were trying to name the band and we wanted a one word name, like Television or Medicine and we were actually going to call the band Medicine, but it turns out it was already taken, so we went with HEALTH.
RG: So what do you guys do to stay in good health?
JF: I go to the rock climbing gym, that’s about it. I don’t live a particularly too healthy lifestyle, but if you get a dog, I have a dog and when you have a dog you have to walk it a lot.
RG: What kind of dog do you have?
JF: It’s a rat terrier mix.
RG: Oh, cute.
JF: No, he’s not cute actually, he’s a very ugly dog. He’s a great dog though, I love him.
RG: So for all your album covers who does the design?
JF: I do, I do all the art.
RG: So for those of my readers who have not seen HEALTH live, what can we expect from your live show?
JF: It’s good. You should go see it, obviously. It’s hard to translate through words of a youtube, especially since now we have a lot more production. It’s good. Loud. Go see it.
RG: Do you guys prefer larger events like Coachella or smaller events like this?
JF: It’s always with the vibe, you know? Playing to a lot of people is rad, and with certain festivals when you play to a lot of people it’s really cool but it’s all about context. Festivals where we are really small fry can be awesome too though, and festivals like this it’s really awesome where there’s really dedicated music fans. Really savvy audiences are excellent. Also, the size of people doesn’t matter. We can play to 100 people who are crazy and it’s awesome. It doesn’t matter.
RG: Awesome. So tell me about your twitter account?
JF: Jake and I do the tweets.
RG: They’re pretty funny.
JF: Yeah, I think so.
RG: I’ve seen it called X-rated, or even R-rated..
JF: Yeah, it’s a little too hot for TV you know? We try to be relatively safe, because people get really offended easily..
RG: People get offended over everything.
JF: Yeah, I know. We try to monitor it, like if we put something up and it gets zero retweets then maybe we will pull it, but we aren’t worried about it. We don’t censor ourselves too much. Like, come on, if you wanna say something funny, just say it.
RG: Well you guys do have a song on the upcoming Adult Swim soundtrack, so..
JF: Yeah, that’s coming soon.
RG: So how does being involved with comedy like the Adult Swim stuff or the video game world through the Max Payne 3 soundtrack overlap with your music and message?
JF: Well we live in LA, so we have a lot of friends who are comedians, and obviously we aren’t comedians.
RG: I dunno, some of your tweets are pretty funny.
JF: Yeah, well, it’s a huge jump. We like comedy. Who doesn’t like comedy? Who doesn’t like to laugh?
RG: So I read a review online that said “HEALTH’s Death Magic sounds like a Nihilist meme gained sentience and wrote a catchy noise rock hit”, do you feel that’s accurate?
JF: Sure, yeah fine. That’s fine with me. Yeah, if someone has a flattering thing to say, then yeah. I mean, if someone says something I can’t really say they’re wrong. That’s not up to me. Say if you hang out with someone and they say, “Man, you’re an asshole when you’re drunk,” and you say, “No, I’m not..”.. Well, that’s not up to you dude.
RG: Louis CK has a bit like that.
JF: I am totally quoting him.
RG: So, the last kind of part of our interviews is we do what’s called the lightning round, so it’s just word association, I will give you two options and you have to pick one, but don’t think too much about it.
RG: Puppies or kitties?
JF: Puppies. I hate fucking cats. Well I don’t hate them, but dogs are so much better.
RG: Digital or analog?
JF: That’s a hard one. Digital. Digital has more advantages. Wait. Digital. Digital is way better. Digital all the way.
RG: Walking Dead or Game of Thrones?
JF: Game of Thrones, but I haven’t watched the last two seasons because I’m waiting for the books like an asshole and I keep having it spoiled for me, so I should just watch it.
RG: Nu-metal or metalcore?
JF: Metalcore is definitely way better than nu-metal. But I’m not the biggest fan of either. There’s something in metalcore that’s way better. Nu-metal sucks.
RG: Horror films or documentaries?
JF: Overall, I love horror films but there’s very few good ones, so documentary. There’s way more good documentaries.
RG: Noise rock or art rock?
JF: Noise rock. Pretty close though, but noise rock is more aggro. I’m still an arty asshole.
RG: Interpretive dance or spoken word?
JF: *groaning* …….Spoken word?
RG: Daffodils or daisies?
RG: Vaping or cigarettes?
JF: *groaning* I guess, if you could have a real vape, then vaping. But those pen things.. the digital weed.. you know what, cigarettes are gross, fuck cigarettes.
RG: Beer or whiskey?
JF: Uh.. beer is more versatile so I guess beer.
RG: Playstation or Xbox?
JF: Playstation! Fuck Xbox.
RG: Red wine or white wine?
JF: Red wine. It’s better for you.. More of those.. uh…
RG: Tits or ass?
JF: You know it’s a lot cooler to be into ass, but I grew up in the nineties and tits were a really big deal. But, I’ve gotta say, I don’t subscribe to this binary.. I’m not like sold on either one, but truly I’m more of a vag man which isn’t fair because not everyone has a vagina.. It’s more of a team player thing. So, I think tits, but truthfully, you should see the girls I date, they don’t really have big tits or anything like that. I’m not on the scale! I’m into the whole thing. Okay. Fine. Tits. Just write tits.
RG: Milk chocolate or dark chocolate?
JF: Milk chocolate. I know that’s uncool to say. I’m not really into chocolate.
RG: Chemical drugs or marijuana?
JF: That’s really rough, I mean, marijuana is way more your friend. It’s gonna do a lot more for you. If you have to do it for the rest of your life, I’m gonna say marijuana, because it will be your friend creatively, unlike the other drugs.
RG: George Carlin or Louis CK?
JF: Ah, that’s really rough. I really love Louis CK, obviously because I quoted him earlier. Uh. George Carlin though. Fuck! That’s really hard. Uh. George Carlin. Say George Carlin.
RG: Britney Spears or Nicki Minaj?
JF: Uh. Nicki Minaj. She has hits I like. She can rap. I remember when she came out, I was like she’s a good ass rapper. She’s awesome. Britney Spears, her voice is just awful, I never liked her.
RG: Sooo.. for our last question, since our blog is called Drunk in a Graveyard..
JF: Oh I’ve been there before.
RG: ….hahaha.. We focus on horror movies, comedy and getting wasted, our final question is.. What is your favourite horror movie and the intoxicant of choice to go with it?
JF: Okay. Favourite horror film. Okay. Okay. Dawn of the Dead. I know it’s not the most scary movie. The original..
RG: I was just thinking, please don’t be talking about the remake. I watched it recently and it’s awful.
JF: No, the original. I like the Shining too, though. Okay. Dawn of Dead. I’m gonna say that. It’s one of my favourite films ever made, and I remember watching it when I was 14 on a lot of acid and it was really fucking crazy and I would definitely recommend it. It was cool.
I would like to sincerely thank Alexander who set this interview up for Drunk in a Graveyard, John for talking to me, and HEALTH for putting on one fuck of an amazing show that put a lot of extreme metal bands to shame.
If you’d be so inclined, click on through this shiny hyperlink and you can see my full show report and photographs from the HEALTH set at Sled Island 2016.
Thanks very much to Sled Island for having us present as media.