PHOTO BY BRENT SPRUTE
On December 1st, 1999 Jello Biafra, Krist Novoselic, Kim Thayil and
drummer Gina Mainwal performed a one-off protest concert against the
World Trade Organization, and all that it stands for, at The Showbox
in Seattle. History, insurrection and tear gas was in the air, as
hundreds of fans and weary protestors defied the Seattle police
curfew to show up and rock the house.
Tension was everywhere. No one knew if the show would even happen
'til the band walked out on stage. Biafra had been out
rabble-rousing to gatherings big and small. Krist spent days filming
as much of the ruckus as he could. Kim and Gina just wanted to reach
the venue without being gassed and arrested. Somehow amongst it all,
time was found for three rehearsals.
The plot began when Biafra and Krist were brainstorming with protest
organizers for music talent to add to the events. Big names were
proven "unavailable", so Krist drafted Biafra and the all-star
pseudo-supergroup was hatched.
The NO W.T.O COMBO was recorded live on multi-track and mixed by
Krist Novoselic and legendary grunge wizard Jack Endino; capturing
the energy and 'you-are-there' ambiance of a night like no other.
Artwork includes lots of W.T.O. info, photos, and a personal journal
and reflections by Krist Novoselic. Biafra ties together many ideas
from his spoken word albums and adds a few new ones on the opening
track. The NO W.T.O. COMBO performs two new Biafra songs and two
more that may be familiar. "Live From The Battle In Seattle" is just
over 40 minutes in length. Roughly 15 minutes of spoken word and 25
minutes of music.
There was talk of taking the show on the road, but due to them not all living in the
same city, and due to Jello's current schedule (lawsuit crap and spoken word engagements),
a tour has proven elusive. As far as future recordings are concerned, that is also up in the air.