For one of my classes this semester I was tasked with finding a subculture (loosely defined) in the Greater Los Angeles Area and entering into and returning from that community with some sort of interview-based presentation. I picked an eclectically-themed, cross-genre band with a quirky fanbase that has been around for 20+ years, but who largely remains an underground treasure: The Radioactive Chicken Heads. Every band member wears a paper mâché variation of a chicken or carrot head and has his or her own backstory. And their live shows are energetic and feature not only music, but staged fights with their foes. Highly recommended.
To make a long story short, a friend who I know through my long-standing Aquabats fandom has been involved with the Chicken Heads for a year or two, helping them with a TV pilot and with playing on stage. He connected me with their frontman, pseudonym Carrot Topp, who was kind enough to grant me an interview with a large chunk of the band (whose personnel fluctuates in number from show-to-show), both in character and as themselves.
I met them last month before they played a show at Long Beach’s Aquarium of the Pacific during the triannual Night Dive art exhibit and concert that the aquarium sets up inside after hours. The band members are really kind, funny people and they were so chatty that evening that I rarely needed to intervene in the conversation. We talked about both their extraterrestrial and Peruvian fanbases, an awkward experience with a man who had a carrot fetish, catching on fire at a skatepark, and much more! The following is a transcript of the interview, along with some photos I took of the concert.