If the music industry were a videogame, L.A.-based website Buddyhead would be its Donkey Kong. As the site’s founders, professional troublemakers Travis Keller and Aaron North have been rolling barrels at the feet of mainstream rock since 1998 (most famously, they love to publish celebrities’ phone numbers). They also started a label, releasing the recent Gimme Skelter compilation (featuring the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Mudhoney) as well as CDs by up-and-comers like Your Enemies Friends. Surprisingly, all it took to tame the bratty provocateurs was buckets o’ booze for Keller, who doubled up to cover teetotaler pal North (also a guitarist for punk band the Icarus Line). You’ll never guess which diva they secretly dig.
ROUND 1: Pretty in Punk
TRAVIS, margarita and a Corona Today Aaron bought a Crosby, Stills & Nash record, and I bought one by the 13th Floor Elevators, who were, like, the first ’60s psychedelic band. And we love Simon and Garfunkel.
AARON, Coca-Cola on the rocks It’s like, Black Flag are here [holding his hand at forehead level] and Simon and Garfunkel are up here [raising it higher].
ROUND 2: Fighting the Power… Mostly
TRAVIS, Corona and a shot of Patron tequila During the Internet boom, a lot of people were, like, ”We’ll give you a million bucks if you sell us your [website].” But we stuck to our guns. It happened again when we started our label, and it’s still happening.
AARON, Coca-Cola You definitely have to suffer for your art. Comfort doesn’t encourage creativity. It’s an age-old story: You’ve got to have some angst, but you’re going to lose that with money.
ROUND 3: Aliens Anonymous
TRAVIS, Corona and a shot of Patron Tell the story.
AARON, Coca-Cola After I was abducted by aliens, I stopped doing drugs and drinking. I’m totally serious. I was by myself, drinking and mushroom tripping, and either I was really f—ed up on mushrooms and imagined I was abducted by aliens, or I really was. I lost two days of my life.
ROUND 4: An Axl to Grind
AARON, Coca-Cola We were heckling Guns N’ Roses in Japan. You know how people at rock shows there are very polite? They clap, and then it’s totally quiet. So between songs we’d be like, ”Slash! Slash! Slash!” And it reverberated through the whole stadium. Finally, Axl goes, ”F— you, man!” and points to us, then points to his f—ing bodyguards. And they come down and they f— with us.
TRAVIS, shot of Patron and a Corona It’s not like the last two albums were so great, but [Appetite for Destruction] was one of the best ever.
ROUND 5: And One Guy Isn’t Even Drinking!
TRAVIS, Corona and, uh, a Corona [Pretty drunk] Christina Aguilera didn’t get fat! She gained weight, but she looked f—ing good.
AARON, Coca-Cola [Sober, but rather caffeinated] I’m still into her, though. For a bulls— mainstream act, she’s not bad. But she still looks like a dips—.