Phantom Planet

By Johnny Knoxville
Photos by Jeff Bender
{Not that I have them scanned in yet. -ed.}




"If we doen't get in, I'm gonna shoot somebody with my dick," exclaims a less-than enthusiastic Jacques Brautbar, guitarist for Phantom Planet. Jacques, along with myself, the band's manager, Dan "The General" Field, and three of his fellow band mates, Alex Greenwald, Darren Robinson and Sam Farrar (*drummer Jason Schwartzman was unavailable due to parole violations) are all crammed onto cold, metal benches just outside the Bob Barker studio on the CBS Televison Network lot in Hollywood, California. We have been sitting on these benches since 7 a.m., and are surrounded by a dishearteningly accurate cross section of Middle America: fatass, bleach-blond slatterns in sequined sweatshirts, mullet-head men wearing polo shirts (collars flipped up) pulled over portly bellies and tucked into their OP running shorts and equally overweight black couples in brightly colored Tommy Hilfiger sweat shirts. All of whom are waiting along with us for a shot to be an audience member on America's longest running game show, The Price Is Right. Songs are being sung and feet are being stomped among the creepy, eerily electic crowd. Dan Field just sits with his head in his hands.

The name tags that the audience members wear for the show are already affixed to our shirts. Each time you pass someone on the way to the can, some overzealous pig-f*cker from Podunk, Iowa, shouts out your name and implores you to "Come on do-o-own!" We have been waiting three hours with two and a half more to go, and even then, we have no guarantee of getting on, much less getting picked. Oh yeah, did I mention Jacques now has the shits? Goddammit, it wan't supposed to be like this; the boys from Phantom Planet were supposed to be getting enemas right now, not hemorrhoids from these cold, hard benches...

When my good friend Dan Field asked me this time last year to do an article on a band he was managing called Phantom Planet, I readily agreed. They're all cool guys and they like to play that rock music, I surmised, and besides, there is always a ton of underage girls at the show. Most of all, The General has always done right by me, so I wanted to pay him back by doing a really good article. So I decided to take them for a round of enemas. A decently funny idea and one the band was interested in doing, only the release date of their album was pushed back, so, incidentally, was the article. In the ensuing months two of my fellow staffers at Big Brother, Chris Pontius and Dave Carnie, both performed enema-related articles. So when the band's album-release date and accompanying article was reset, the enema idea was a little done. With that in mind, I asked The General if any of the boys would like to recieve an on-camera handjob from a dirty, little massage parlor I knew of in West L.A. Although Dan and the boys could respect a good handjob, the on-camera factor proved to be a little too weird; that and the fact that their parents would be reading this article forced them to decline.

"How about a tough-man competition?" I asked Dan.
My question was met by silence.
"Well, would they ride a bull?" "Alex might, but let's do something that gets them all involved," Dan replies. Well, I was now fresh out of ideas until my close friend and advisor, Beautiful Jason, recommended I take them to The Price Is Right, saying, "One of the guys will get picked for sure."

Well, Beautiful Jason, you dick, we got on, but we didn't get picked. As everyone knows, only servicemen ans horrendously fat, black women get chosen to "Come on do-o-own!" I had actually thought of that beforehand, and even bounced the idea off Dan to have the boys come dressed as Marines or in blackface, but Dan decided against it.

Immediately following the taping, we trudged next door to Farmer's Marker to get some food in our bellies and to rest Jacques' fatigued colon. I was more than a little embarrassed things worked out the way they did, but Dan did his best to cheer me up. "Well, that sure was a great idea you had for an article, dick face," I believe were my kind friend's words as I attempted to sink my teeth into a grilled chicken sandwich. I ate the rest of my meal under the table, after which we went back to Dan's to do the interview.

So have you guys heard any good jokes lately?

Jacques: Yes, I heard one. Why do girls wear makeup and perfume? Because, they're ugly and smell bad.

Jason: Have you heard the one about the Polish lesbian? She likes guys.

Who's the youngest in the band who's the oldest?

Alex: Jason is the youngest person in the band at age 17. Sam, the bassist, is 19 and he's the oldest.

Do all of you guys have hair on it?

Alex: Yeah. Especially Jason, 'cause he's got Italian blood in him.

Jason: Just on the very base though.

When did you first get hair on it?

Alex: I'd say around 12 years of age for me.

Jacques: Somewhere around my bar mitzvah years. I was just turning 13.

At what age did you guys form Phantom Planet?

Alex: Most of us were around 15.

Jason: I was 11.

Sam: I was 16.

Alex: Average age was about 14.5.

Have any of you guys ever had normal jobs?

Alex: I was an actor once. Is that normal?

Jason: Three summers ago I worked at a cat shelter and had to clean the cat litter. I had to pick up the shit with my bare hands. The messed-up thing was that they were all quarantined cats, so they were all sick, and they would scratch me all the time. I would start noticing all these things going wrong with me, like my eyes would start not working. It was messed up.

Is anyone in the band still a virgin?

Jason: I am. I'm waitin'. Well, I'm scared. I don't want to lose it because I know when it's gone, I know it will never happen again.

That overrides the feeling to get laid?

Jason: Kinda, I don't know, but me and my girlfriend are kind of talking about it. {This is an old article, and yes, Mr. Schwartzman has since lost it. -ed.}

Have you ever had a handjob?

Jason: Yeah, of course.

From someone other than yourself?

Jason: Yes, yes sir, I had a great one in Texas.

Have any of you other guys ever screwed a Mexican girl?

Sam: I got a good story about one. When I was around 14, the girl I was seeing was starting to get interested in me, playing with her pussy, but she told me that if I ever wanted to finger her, that one, she had to tell her dad, and two, I had to go wash my hands before I could do it.

Who has the hottest mom?

Darren: Dan's.

Alex: Yeah man, Dan's mom. Wow.

Jacques: He doesn't like it when we say that. He's not in the band though.

Jason: I think my mom is pretty hot. Sam's mom is attractive as well.

Hey fellas, I've been told I have a really dark-colored shaft. [Johnny unzips his fly and pulls out "Seņor Tango"] Would you say that's true?

Jacques: You've got an ape of a dick.

ALex: It's black, it's a dark color, yep, it's dark.

Jason: It's got a little mole there too.

Dan Field: That's the dirtiest dick I ever saw.

I'll take that as a compliment [zipping up]. Where do you guys see Phantom Planet five years from now?

AAlex: Making our third or fourth album, touring in a big van, I mean, a bus.

Jason: Selling out the Universal Amitheatre--or selling our bodies on Hollywood Blvd. if it doesn't work out.

What's more important to you: money or integrity?

Alex: A good balance is always important, but if I had to choose between the two, it would be integrity.

Jason: Integrity, I'd rather be respected by a few people. I mean, I have people in my head who I think are cool, and I'd rather be respected by those people than liked by the dumb ones.

Any final things you would like to wrap it up with?

Alex: Buy our album, you'll like it; it's good. And you can dance to it.

Jason: I'm sorry I missed the enema, I'm sorry I missed the undercover handjob.

You were almost entered into a tough-man competition too.

Jason: I would have got my ass kicked.

*Jason Schwartzman was not available due to parole violations as I was previously informed. Mr. Schwartzman has no known record and was simply vacationing up north at the time. A seperate interview was set up with Jason and it's combined here with the rest of the band's interview to save space and avoid confusion.