I could write paragraph after paragraph to intro this interview, but I really don’t think it’s necessary. If you’ve been reading DCXX over the past five and half years, you know how we feel about Judge and you know how we’ve wanted to interview Mike since day one.
So without further delay…here it is, Part I of what is sure to be a multi-part series with Mike Judge. Keep in mind, this is about six minutes of conversation of what was a six hour interview, so there is a lot to come and we still have more interview to do. Hopefully the readers enjoy this as much as we did doing it and of course, much thanks and appreciation to Mike for letting us pick his brain and for spilling it all out for us. A big thanks is also in order to Todd Schwartz for letting us hang in his office, get better Bossman! –Tim DCXX
You can’t tell now, but when I was a little kid you couldn’t even consider Montville to be a farm town. There was nothing here. This road right here we are looking at, which is the main road through Montville and Pine Brook, it was a dirt road when I was a little kid. My father’s family is from New York and they moved to west New York and after the war and all that shit my dad fell in love with pigeons. He just wanted to raise pigeons, so he got involved in New York City with a pigeon club and he was training pigeons. They’d drive out of the city to let them go, and they kept going further and further out of the city and he ended up here and loved this spot down the road and bought it. I was born here in 1966.
It was all just woods, there was nothing here. As a little kid there was nobody around to make friends with. I spent all my time in the woods making shit up, fucking around. My imagination was my best friend. My mom died when I was like 9 or 10 years old. I never had a woman in my life. I was raised by my dad and my brother who was 10 years older than me. I was always getting the shit kicked out of me. I didn’t grow up right. I was always alone. Because my brother was so much older, we didn’t have the same worries. When I was bummed because I had nobody to play with he was bummed because he had no job. So I didn’t have a brother to be a companion. My father worked all day and drank all night, which my brother also wound up doing. Basically I was on my own. In school, I was socially fucked up. I couldn’t communicate. I couldn’t deal with making friends and shit like that. I didn’t know how.
I’ve always had motorcycles. On the other side of town was a sand pit quarry, everybody rode motorcycles and dirtbikes there. I met Howard Horowitz there. Even though we didn’t become friends right away, he was the first person I would talk to socially. He was a year ahead of me in school. I remember one day when I was in 7th grade I was in the hallway getting yelled at by a teacher. And I hear this crazy weird sound from down the hallway. I’m thinking like, “what the fuck is that?” It was like “waaaah wah waaah!” – the sound of someone pretending to be on a motorcycle. Running around the corner comes Howard, all crazy, pretending he was on a motorcycle. He was wearing this goofy fuckin’ tie with all these buttons and his hair was all fucked up and he had a ripped up suit jacket and Chuck Taylors and shit. The teacher was yelling at me but I wasn’t even hearing what she’s saying because I’m thinking, “look at this fuckin’ guy.” I mean, here I am doing the best to not get singled out or have any attention drawn to me because I’m so shy. I’m shy to the point where I would die if the spotlight was shined on me. If a teacher would call on me in class I couldn’t even hear what they were saying because I would just freeze up knowing that were kids looking at me. So I’m trying to make it through the day just avoiding that type of attention and here this guy comes and he doesn’t give a fuck about anything. He’s making sounds while dressed like this? I was really fucking intrigued. I had no idea why he was dressed like that. I had no idea about punk. I was just like “wow I wish I had the balls to do something like that.”
I didn’t see Howard after that and then a couple years go by. It’s 1980, and I’m in my freshman year of high school. I had kinda heard about punk rock but I still didn’t know anything other than maybe the little bit that I saw on TV. All I had up until that point was my brother giving me his records since he was getting into disco because…that’s how he was gonna meet women or whatever I guess? So he had given me all these records. Alice Cooper, Creedance…I’d listen to them and I loved that I was hearing this music to pass the time, but I didn’t fall in love with it. Some of it I still listen to, like Bowie and shit…certain T-Rex records. Those stood out and still stand out. So I’d listen and play air guitar and just be in my room pretending I was a part of the music thinking, “everybody loves me, I’m in a band!”
So I get to high school and one of the first people I see is Howard. And he’s still all fucked up. He says to me, “you’re the guy from the dirt bike pits.” We start talking and I’m looking at this guy’s tie and I see these buttons. “Sex Pistols.” What the fuck is that? “The Clash.” I’m making mental notes. He had a Buzzcocks shirt on. What he fuck is a “Buzzcock?” I see all this shit and I’m just trying not to forget it all so that the first chance I get I can start writing it all down. What the fuck is this? I gotta figure it out. I gotta find out what all of this shit is…