Frank Oz on Death Metal

Cookie Monsters of Death Metal:
Mr. Oz agrees that making Cookie Monster sounds is an arduous occupation. "I never trained for it and I blew my pipes out," he told me. "It's completely unnatural, an explosion of force that comes from the belly through the throat. I would do a day of it and my normal voice would be a half an octave lower." (During our conversation, Mr. Oz demonstrated the Cookie Monster voice. The sudden force was startling and the volume so loud, I had to pull the phone from my ear.)

14 Responses:

  1. kraquehaus says:

    They have a cartoon image depicting what can be nothing other than the amazing band Cookie Mongoloid, but there is sadly no mentin of them in the article.

    How can they blatantly exclude such an essential representation of the discussion!?

  2. fengi says:

    It was strange reading an interview with Frank Oz about Death Metal vocals but that it was done for the Wall Street Journal is mind twisting.

    On the other hand, I once read a front page WSJ story about toad licking which featured a classic WSJ drawing of the poison toad and several quotes from Mojo Nixon. So perhaps this is standard practice.

    • redleaf8 says:

      Now that you mention it, you're right, the WSJ does run a lot of weird stories, at least for being the WSJ, and sometimes for being any publication. I remember when I had a subscription for a short time thinking the same thing. I wish I could remember some examples at the moment. Maybe they can do it because their subscriber base is largely fixed? I don't know.

      • jwjr says:

        Column four on the front page is dedicated to off-beat human interest stories, and has been for decades. Sometimes the story is odd for the WSJ, and sometimes it's odd, period.

        Generally WSJism is excellent, apart from the editorial page, which is seems at this point to a parody of a mockery of a joke.

        • redleaf8 says:

          Wow. That makes sense. I should start to pay attention to the details.

          What's even worse about is they gave the editorial page their own TV show. It used to be on CNBC, then on PBS, now it's on Fox News.

          They should give a TV show to column four on the front page.

  3. kap_ says:

    I've listened to music before where I've gone, "hey, it's Cookie Monster", but nothing ever really stuck with me.. or so I thought. I happened to be listening to one of my Fear Factory cds while reading the article. Somehow I never made that connection. Cue forhead smacking.

  4. bifrosty2k says:

    As an afficionado of this type of music, this is a pretty interesting article. They are missing the boat on a couple things, but its hard to get a good sense of the history if you're not really well aquainted with the genere.

  5. ammutbite says:

    I used to have a 7" record way back in the day called "Cookie Disco/ Cooperation song" which as a snotty young punk on dope found a new popularity at the house played at 33 instead of the intended 45. The cooperation song (basically pitch shifted an octave by the slower revolutions) began to sound like an unwholesome orgy as the monsters try to build a pyramid to get at the cookies on the "cookie tree", and Cookie Disco was suddenly being performed by Satan. The particularly evil moment came when as the music ended you heard a voice of a horrible super bassy Pan-thing say "ummm-yum-yum-mmmm ...Delicious!..." Scary for real....cross my heart.

    • xenogram says:

      You don't have a audio file of that I expect. Damn shame.

    • 33mhz says:

      Slightly related is a John Oswald piece that involves fucking with the pitch of a Dolly Parton record:

      Pretender (based on 'The Great Pretender' written by Buck Ram) features the opportunity for a dramatic gender change, suggesting a hypothesis concerning the singer, Ms.Parton, perhaps worthy of headlines in the National Enquirer. The first inklings of this story came from fans of Ms.Parton's earlier hit single 'Jolene'. As many consumers have inadvertently discovered, especially since the reemergence of 12' 45rpm records of which this present disc is a peculiar subset, it is not uncommon to find oneself playing 45rpm sides at the LP standard speed of 331/3. In this transposed tempo 'Jolene' reveals the singer to be a handsome tenor. Additional layers of homosexual longing , convoluted menages a trois and double identities are revealed in a vortex of androgyny as one switches, verse to verse, between the two standard playback speeds.

      Pretender takes a leisurely tour of the intermediate areas of Ms. Parton's masculinity. This decelerando reveals, complete with suggestive lyrics, an unaltered transition between the 'Dolly Parton' the public usually hears and the normally hidden voice, pitched a fourth lower. To many ears this supposed trick effect reveals the mellifluous male voice to be the more natural sounding of the two. Astute star gazers have perceived the physical transformation, via plastic surgery, hair transplants and such, that make many of today's media figures into narrow/bosomy, blemish-free caricatures and super-real ideals. Is it possible that Ms. Parton's remarkable voice is actually the Alvinized* result of some unsung virile ghost lieder crooning these songs at elegiac tempos which are then gender polarized to fit the tits? Speed and sex are again revealed as components intrinsic to the business of music. *chipmunked

      • ammutbite says:

        I can thoroughly vouch for the fun of experiencing standards of pop music as new compositions. Here's a favorite. Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk" as an angry dirge.