The Mentors interview

Originally published in ‘zine issue #34, 2005

These self-proclaimed “rape rock” players have a new album called Over the Top after a long absence. For those unfamiliar, The Mentors and the singer El Duce (Eldon Hoke) have been delighting and infuriating audiences with their classic metal riffs and absurdly tongue-in-cheek sexist (just the tip of the iceburg) lyrics since they formed in 1977 in Seattle. D.U. alum R. Mason conducted an email interview with bassist Dr. Heathen Scum, far from a rock superstar, who still works a day job (“Rock don’t pay much money, man. But it’s fun.”), back in 2000 and it’s past time to dust it off for an airing in this fine publication.

D.U.: Was it a conscious decision to write “offensive” lyrics to get notoritety?

Dr. Scum: No, that is a natural thing the band came up with. It wasn’t really planned out. We were just being ourselves and having fun doing it.

Did you or any of the band ever feel reluctant about using any particular lyrics or dealing with certain subject matter, for example “Sleep Bandits” which basically seemed to be about rape?

Yeah, well, to a point some of it went a little over the top, but that’s art. Just because you sing about it don’t mean you do it or want other people to do it. Listen to “Midnight Rambler” by the Rolling Stones.

There’d been controversy regarding El Duce’s statements in the documentary Kurt & Courtney, the claim that Courtney Love offered him money to kill Kurt Cobain.

It’s a riot, but anybody that knew Duce would know he is the worst possible choice to be a hitman for various reasons. Basically he was too drunk to shoot straight.

There was talk that El Duce was involved with the Aryan Right. Was there any truth to this?

He would seig heil up a storm if they gave him some free beer and shit. That’s about it. He would agree with anybody on anything as long as there was booze for him.

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