by DINO PROMETHEUS
“I whack off until a song comes out”
From the same Massachusetts that brought you the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, we are welcoming MARIANNE TOILET & THE RUNS for this feature. Straight from the somewhat progressive Boston area, there is a sort of ripple effect I attribute to the executions that took place in Salem. It is possible that there is a movement happening in the New England area; and it’s also possible that this clan of artists I am about to introduce you to are the shark fin poking out of the macabre waters of Boston’s murky harbor.
Take for example, the anthem “My Christmas Wish.” The song starts with ballad-like guitar riff that transforms into a trashy, comedic hoe-down. Most importantly, it’s not about a Christmas list, but a cloudy tale of incest, or self identification. I would prefer to believe the latter. Marianne may be a deviant pervert, but TODD BADOLATO, her puppeteer is pretty decent folk. Come to find out, Todd just wanted to write a song about love in his own striking manner.
I’ve been watching Todd from a distance for a little while on social media, and he passes my internet standards for a decent human being. Trust me, I’ve done the work for you. I’ve never seen him or his band perform, but I don’t leave the mountains for that matter. Marianne looked as sexy as Satan in stilettos on one of the DIY musician sites, so I began following. The guy behind it all, Todd Badolato, is the kind of performer who possesses the credulity of many artistic merits. Much theater background gave birth to a band of turds and a toilet dressed like Divine, spewing runny shit water onto your sensory’s propensities. But it’s fine, that’s what they are trying to do. So give his psycho-comic-persona a once-over. (The band is pretty gnarly as well.)
The TB claims that Marianne Toilet & the Runs sound similar to pop doctors Wham! I don’t doubt that to be true to his ear. But truly the music is a vehicle for a visual performance theatre mixed with taboo comedy. Fans of The Dead Milkmen, Ween or 90’s retro should do just fine decoding their transcendence to sound. Where does MTR fit into today’s music onslaught? I prefer artists that don’t, so who really cares? Point is, they are for sure standing out amongst the banality.
Let us hear from demonic duo, Todd & Marianne.
DP: Todd, please explain just what the hell you think you’re doing.
TB: My material is an exploration in sexual humor (which in my opinion is the only true thing that connects all demographics of people in the world. Born from sex, live for sex, we are a sex.
DP: How does that go over, especially in drag?
TB: The fact that people are opposed to my music or my sense of humor is more of an insult to them than to me. It is a sign they fear their on truths, their own desires, and they are terrified to be open to their own wants and the wants of others.
Marianne Toilet and The Runs lives to make people laugh, to have fun, and to embrace the hilarity of human folly. We are pioneers picking up what Andrew Dice Clay, The Jerky Boys, 2 Live Crew, Richard Pryor, and many more have left to carry on.
Humans probably shouldn’t be allowed here.
DP: What’s your opinion on using sex-to-sell?
TB: In my opinion there is nothing at all wrong with having the ability to look one’s self in the mirror and find an uncontrollable urge to masturbate right then and there. Nobody
should be afraid to be who they are and to know how sexy they are for who they are.
DP: Now explain to me these “Runs.” Do they give you a rash?
TB: The Runs are everything to me. I don’t want this to be a one man show, I want a collective spectacle. Cami Traumatic (bassist) and Spinabifa,Travis, (lead guitarist) are integral to my work. We’re training our new drummer Jamie Dragin (nickname to follow) and I can tell she is going to also redefine Marianne Toilet and The Runs.
DP: Are you single?
TB: Well, many people have tried to exorcise me but every time they try they end up discovering my godliness. No one can resist the Toilet! I have my guitar. She’s always hot to play and desperate to get it on!
DP: Biggest influences, GO!
TB: The Who, Brian Eno, Ministry, The Tiger Lillies, Skafish, Jane’s Addiction, The Misfits, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, Emo Philips, Judy Tenuda, Andrew Dice Clay GWAR, The Wet Spots.
DP: Marianne, are you in there?
TB: I like to think of Marianne as a Diva Clown. Most of comedy tends to live in humiliation and mockery. Drag Queens though somehow have the power to be very funny and flattering. They demand sexual prowess and make everyone feel sexy.
DP: Wanna take a survey I made on my palm pilot?
TB: Of course!
First cd bought? Pat Boone “In A Metal Mood”
First cassette tape? 2 Live Crew “As Nasty As They Wanna Be”
First vinyl? E.T. narrated by Michael Jackson
First concert? Gloria Gaynor Live at the Apollo
Favorite John Waters movie? Titanic
Your pet’s name? Sweet Pussy!
DP: Where did your musical endeavors begin?
TB:When I was eight years old I accidentally knocked my cousin down the front brick stairs of my house. Somehow she managed to do a cartwheel on the stairs and landed on her feet! Still she screamed and cried once she landed. Sounded amazing! Got my first boner and wrote my first song, haven’t looked back since.
my mother annoys me about Marianne Toilet and begs me not to be so offensive
DP: Who is Todd?
TB: Todd is a……victim….working insanely hard….It’s fucked up….You’re raised to believe you’ll be nothing …… money just for a piece of paper.….paper means almost nothing, so you get stuck….. you need the money….. Todd is a wreck.
DP: So you have an identity crisis, or who are you really?
TB: Marianne. …….knows exactly who he/ she is. Marianne has a plan and a goal. Marianne Toilet has vision.
DP: Boston and Salem. How’s your dynamic there?
TB: Marianne Toilet was definitely shaped by Boston’s sensibilities (Bostonians have a great understanding of the difference between offense and intent. Most people outside of Boston don’t understand that so easily.) Marianne Toilet was actually created in Albuquerque, NM though! I was living with a drag queen named Chastity Belt-Off. I was doing stand-up regularly and I was asked to perform in an all female show called The Ladies of AnarKomedy. They asked me if I was willing to be in drag to do the gig and I said yes.
DP: What the fuck is wrong with this planet?
TB: Humans probably shouldn’t be allowed here.
DP: To all your sex addicted fans:
TB: All I’d say is play till you bleed, then keep playing. Who gives a shit if other people think it’s shitty.
DP: I hear you co-write songs with your actual penis?
TB: I whack off until a song comes out. Sometimes this can take a while.
DP: Any last words?
TB: Just like my dear friend Chastity Belt-Off once told me after a weird day in San Francisco “It was your first Asian prostitute, one of many. You’ll get used to it over time.” Got my first rim job that day!!
Okay, whoever that was, we’ve gotten through it alive and I think we are all terrified, and convinced to pay attention to Salem. Now, heres the scoop on the rest of these clowns: TRAVIS GIANATASSIO(Spinabifitravis) is the axeman. CAMI TRAUMATIC plays bass. JAMIE DRAGIN plays drums and just recently joined the band. They can all be found on Facebook, if you feel the need. I had a brief discussion with Travis and he had this to say:
“Spinabifitravis was conceived in the back of a paddy wagon in 1985, when both his mother and father were arrested for illicit activity at a Frank Zappa concert. Born during an unsuccessful abortion, his early years were spent locked in a dirt floor basement chamber. His only exposure to the outside world were two video tapes thrown down the basement garbage chute. They were a Fraggle Rock tape, and and Iron Maiden concert video. At the age of 25 during a home invasion, he had his sexual awakening at the hands of Marianne Toilet. Like an oversized ass-ripping turd, Spinabifitravis has provided the chunky, filthy, stool-shaking guitar leads to Marianne Toilet’s sex-filled musical fuckfest.”
So there you have the ramblings of the six-stringer, unaltered as per his request. I wanted to get an angle on the musical renderings of MT & Runs. We all know bassists think they are gods (I have the right to say that since I have been one) so who better to address the rhythm and the screws of this otherwise theatric comedy act than Cami Traumatic herself.
music is my boyfriend
DP: How long have you been playing music?
CT: I started writing songs when I was 5. I would sing onto cassette tapes. Then I started playing my sister’s keyboard till I got one of my own around college. I started buying all kinds of instruments. I had a lot of music in my head but didn’t know how to get it out. Then I started taking some piano lessons in school.
DP: I thought I saw you performing in all black with some seemingly metal act. Was this you?
CT: Yes, that was me in the picture you saw. Only metal bands wanted me but I am into all kindsa music.
DP: So you’ve played in your share of bands?
CT: Yeah I’ve been in my fair share of bands, mostly as lead singer. I dabbled in bass a year ago but had severe wrist issues which made me think I’d never play it again. Then in college I found bands on craigslist. I knew a lot of musicians but the general thing I heard was “girl singers are pointless.” I got into one band as the keyboardist and just kinda bullshit my way through it til i figured it out. When I met Todd a few years ago… I decided quickly I was gonna be in his band. So far, he knew I had played keys and sang…but I picked up my bass and convinced him that was what I was gonna do.
DP: So is music your life? or a hobby?
CT: Absolutely. Music is definitely my life. I’m lost without it. My world revolves around it. I used to have a shirt that said “music is my boyfriend”
DP: I would wear that now just to be ironic. How would you describe the sound of MT & the Runs?
CT: Honestly I’m never thinking of a genre when I write. Writing is just whatever feels right, and if it sounds like a different genre than the previous song, oh well. We just sounds like fun. We sound like a bunch of people trying to laugh at our own issues while we embrace them at the same time. We sound like a herd of muskrats being tumbled around in a drier with flutes stuck in their butts. Idk man haha.
DP: So you do the female backup vocals as well?
CT: Yes, If u hear a girl in any song that’s me.
DP: Have you guys released anything on media? or all digital?
CT: Well we give out CDs at shows.
DP: Ok so you have a cd with the same songs that are online?
DP: More songs?
CT: No. Same ones. We only had one day to record and have everything mixed.
DP: So are you guys/gals here to stir up some shit?
CT: Definitely! Haha. Did you say “shit” because we are the runs? Haha
DP: Maybe your defining a new sound, or rock era coming from Boston and MA culture?
CT: We do a song where I rap about having ADHD and OCD and such and I really do (suffer from those conditions).
DP: Where can I hear that song?
CT: Unfortunately only live right now. Until we have more money to record in the studio again. It’s our Theme Song, we start every show with it. It introduces us all
DP: So you really suffer from this disorder? ADHD, or OCD?
CT: Yes, Both, Horribly. I also have a tic disorder which is like tourette’s but waaaaaaaay more manageable so it’s kind of not… Same medicine though haha
DP: Yes medicine you said the magic word whats your favorite “medicine?”
CT: I don’t know. I wouldn’t take tylenol for a head ache half the time growing up. I have one of the worst cases of ADHD and OCD to the point where most people don’t graduate high school with them. I graduated high school, college and started my own business for a few years. I was reluctant to take any medicine till life got nearly unmanageable and I realized I needed some assistance. Other than the prescribed needed medicine I’m not into anything else. I’m sort of straight edge you could say as far and drugs and alcohol, I don’t do any of it. So did u even see the stickers i sent?
DP: Yeah monkeys, I have this thing with monkeys.
CT: Oh yeah? Like… A “thing”?
DP: It’s too complex to get into here, this is about you. No not like that, nothing illegal.
CT: Well whatever. You have to do what makes you happy. Look at the people who wake up every morning and go on a hunt for the lochness monster. If that’s what makes you feel alive and gets you out of bed in the morning then who cares. Do that shit!
So there you have the final exposition of my feline curiosity. Although it didn’t kill me, there is enough ego in this band to power a small suburb; watch out wind turbines! Marianne Toilet & the Runs is a good mixture of the performing arts. That is the reason I chose them as the subject for my first feature for Dependent Press. Have MT & R fully matured musically and comedically? I would hope not. I look forward to future offerings from this motley crew. Let’s just hope they don’t have to endure the scrutiny of their predecessors in old-town Massachusetts. Whether they like it or not, they seem to be living their art because of those who died in the witch trials of Salem. So carry on you filthy neo-witches. The pressure is on.
DP – DP