Interviewed by John Papageorge
If you don't know the members of the musical troupe the Residents, you're not alone. Not even longtime fans of the musical group -- recognized for its theatrical stage shows and quirky musical output -- know the faces behind the signature eyeball headpieces. It's a mystery that has fueled the group's long-lasting mystique.
And while the Residents, per se, never do interviews, the troupe occasionally communicates via Homer Flynn, who heads the group's appropriately titled front office, the Cryptic Corporation.
Next year will mark the 25th anniversary of the Residents arrival in California: a handful of loners from the South, they loaded up their truck, moved to San Mateo and, after goofing around with synthesizers and tape recorders, formed the band. In 1982, the Museum of Modern Art in New York recognized the group as inventors of the music-video form. Videos such as "Third Reich N' Roll" and "The Residents' One Minute Movies" were added to the institution's permanent collection. The group parlayed their visual sensibilities into CD-ROMs, resulting in their most commercial success.
Flynn believes the Residents' creepy carnival CD-ROM projects "Freak Show" and "Bad Day at the Midway" would translate to the Web as a sort of twisted episodic Disneyland.
"People return to Disneyland to check out the new rides," Flynn says. "They check out some of the old things, but they mainly want to see the new rides. I think the Internet is a forum that will work really well for the Residents."
What's the secret to creating art and making money on the Web? "Creating content that can be serialized or done in segments is what the Web really has to offer that you can't do with CD-ROM," Flynn insists. "On a recent trip to Europe, the Residents began thinking about an ongoing project that would feature a different ghost story a week ... the Residents are definitely watching the Web to see what happens."
Check out the audio interview and see a TWISTED slideshow!!
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