Gelf Magazine - Looking over the overlooked

Film

December 4, 2007

Perverted Twangin'

'Dirty Country' star Larry Pierce summons both Randy Travis and 2 Live Crew in his raunchy—and hilarious—odes to all sorts of sex.

Jake Rake

You wouldn't know it from talking to him, but Larry Pierce has one of the most depraved minds in the music business. For the past 15 years, he's been writing and performing a unique musical subgenre that pairs down-home country grooves with perhaps the filthiest lyrics ever recorded. While the songs' gratuitous profanity can be shocking, the real joke lies in the delivery, as Pierce presents paeans to ejaculate with an earnestness and innocence that give the listeners the impression of exactly who he is: a regular guy who enjoys giggling about dirty words.

Courtesy LarryPierce.com
"All I do now is write dirty country songs. What better gig could you get?"—Larry Pierce

Courtesy LarryPierce.com

What started as a pet project to entertain his friends and celebrate the inherent joy of vulgarity has snowballed into a national tour with new backing band called —itis and a cult fan base. Pierce's career is the subject of the new documentary Dirty Country, which tells the story of how a 57-year old former auto-parts factory worker ended up singing on The Howard Stern Show. The film also profiles other "dirty" musicians such as Blowfly and Doug Clark's Hot Nuts, and interviews subjects ranging from linguistics professors to record-store clerks as it examines America's relationship with obscenity. Gelf caught up with Pierce via telephone from his home in Middletown, Indiana, to talk about the film, the songwriting process, and his new album, Pussy Whipped. This interview has been edited for clarity.

Gelf Magazine: How did you get started with dirty music?

Larry Pierce: Well, it just kind of came about. I just performed for family and friends here in the house, just like anybody else doing a couple of silly little songs, and pretty soon more and more people started to come and I was the guy doing the dirty songs.

GM: Did the dirty songs come about as a joke?

LP: Yeah, it was just a joke, but more and more people kept coming by and saying "play that dirty stuff," and I did notice after I did it for a while that I was pretty good at it.

GM: Dirty Country relates that your tapes were produced by a record label based in Las Vegas and then sold at truck stops across the country. How did you initially get in touch with the record label?

LP: Actually, that wasn't entirely accurate. There were so many people coming here to the house listening to me play, and some friend of a friend, somebody I didn't even really know, sent it in to a truck-stop comedy place, and they called me. I didn't send it myself. Like I said, this was all just a joke.

GM: Do you still find the dirty songs funny, or have they become somewhat of a routine to you at this point?

LP: Oh, they're still funny to me, especially now that I get to perform them in front of other people and see people's reactions to them. Every time I get a new song idea and I sit down to record it—sometimes I have to stop because I crack up laughing while I'm doing it. It's still fun.

GM: Is dirty music your primary gig these days?

LP: Yeah. I'm involuntarily retired from the factory life, and all I do now is write dirty country songs. What better gig could you get?

Larry Pierce sings "Swallow My Cum"

GM: Are you making any money doing this?

LP: Yeah, I'm starting to see a little bit of money out of it. You know, all the other CDs up until this new one were all owned by the record label [Laughing Hyena Records]. They just paid me for them; they owned the copyright and they made all the money; they just paid me a certain amount and that was all I got. But the new one we produced ourselves and I get to make money of off it.

GM: Are you no longer under contract with the label?

LP: I was under contract with them up until two years ago. But I'm free now.

GM: Can you tell me a little about your relationship with —itis? How is that working out?

LP: Aw, it's working out great. The film guys found them while they were making the movie. I still travel with them occasionally and do the occasional live show. We have a ball.

GM: Do you prefer playing with the band or do you sometimes prefer playing solo?

LP: You know, it's hard to decide. Every time I play solo I think it's more fun, and then I get with the band and I think that's more fun. So I guess it's a toss-up; it's fun either way.

GM: Do you ever write songs, even accidentally, that aren't about ejaculating?

LP: I don't even try anymore. I used to try, but I don't even try anymore. This is my calling apparently, and I'm good at it, and I love doing it, so I don't even think about doing anything else.

GM: Can you tell me a little about your songwriting process? Do you start with some chords and then add the dirty words, or do songs generally begin as some filthiness you come up with and then put to music?

LP: (laughs) Well, it usually just starts with an idea for a song, I don't know, and the music and words just kind of come to me. You know, I've been asked that so many times and I don't even know how to answer it except that I just comes to me. As a rule though, it starts with the words.

GM: I have to say that for me, "Every Time I Shit" is the high point on the new album.

LP: Everybody's got their favorites.

GM: That song appears to reach a new pinnacle of filthiness.

LP: I think that "Worthless Cunt" is my favorite on the new album, and a lot of people say that "Swallow My Cum" is the best one, so it's all a matter of opinion.

GM: Who is the woman spreading her legs on the cover of the new album?

LP: She's a friend of a friend in Colorado, and she prefers to remain anonymous. It's a real photo though (laughs).

GM: Other than getting interview requests from online magazines and appearing on the Howard Stern show, has your life changed much since the premiere of Dirty Country?

LP: (laughs) Really, the only thing that's changed is that we get to travel more. We travel with the movie when they have a showing and we travel with the band occasionally. Before, we never really traveled at all, so that has been a change.

GM: How is your wife taking all of this?

LP: Oh, she loves it. I don't go anywhere without her. She goes everywhere I go and she likes to travel. She's into it.

GM: Do you find that there are any specific parts of the country that are any more or less receptive to your brand of dirty music?

LP: You know, it seems like everywhere I've been we've been received really well. So I can't pick any particular place that has been better or worse than anywhere else.

GM: No church groups or angry parents of young children have given you a hard time?

LP: I haven't had any problem with that, and that amazed me. I suspected that might happen or I might go someplace new and get tomatoes thrown at me or somebody might badmouth me, but it hasn't happened yet. (laughs)

GM: Why do you think that is? Do you think the subculture is just too small at this point?

LP: I really don't know. When I first started this, I was a little bit apprehensive about playing this dirty stuff in places I was unfamiliar with to unfamiliar people, and I stayed apprehensive about it until recently. I finally loosened up when I realized that there are more dirty people out there than I ever imagined, and they just love it. So I don't worry too much anymore about people taking offense to it because everyone seems to take it great.

GM: I think that part of why your music is so well-received is that you appear so earnest in your delivery. You don't appear to be trying to shock anyone like Marilyn Manson or Eminem. It seems that you really just enjoy singing these dirty songs and laughing at dirty words.

LP: Yeah, that's all it is. It's all just in good fun. It's certainly not meant to piss anybody off. It's all in good humor; if somebody's offended by the words, don't listen to it. These songs are just there to make people laugh and have fun with.

Jake Rake

Jake Rake, a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, lives in Brooklyn. He blogs at JakeRake.com.







Post a comment

Comment Rules

The following HTML is allowed in comments:
Bold: <b>Text</b>
Italic: <i>Text</i>
Link:
<a href="URL">Text</a>

Comments

- Film
- posted on Dec 04, 07
Omar Little

Very well written!


Article by Jake Rake

Jake Rake, a recent graduate of the University of Maryland, lives in Brooklyn. He blogs at JakeRake.com.

Learn more about this author






Newsletter

Hate to miss out? Enter your email for occasional Gelf news flashes.

Merch

Gelf t-shirt

The picture is on the front of the shirt, the words are on the back. You can be in between.