Before they leave for tour, Segall and his guitarist Charlie Mootheart have some work to do. The two are finally satisfied with a handful of recordings they've been collaborating on for several months under the sort of name you'd swear was taken decades ago: Fuzz. But before they leave for tour, the duo want to sit down together and mix them at Mootheart's home, a peeling white Victorian in the Mission that he shares with six other roommates. Segall calls it Casa Blanca, his "home away from home." We walk through the front door without knocking, down a dark hallway whose floor is lined with skate decks, past darker bedrooms crammed with loft beds.
In an open basement space below us, snarling surf guitar is coming up through the floorboards as Filth Mongers, a band comprised of Mootheart's roommates, are practicing downstairs. The dining-room walls are pasted with Bud of the Month posters ("Strawberry Kush," "Cherry Pie") as well as dozens of hand-screened show flyers for Culture Kids, a resident hardcore band in which Mootheart plays guitar and whose stoned frontman, Justin, currently looks to be disappearing completely into the couch. Bonham, a handsome sheepdog of some kind, barks at motorcycles passing in the street, but leaves the house cat alone.
Segall has brought along one of his eight-tracks, a boat-like, late-'90s cassette-to-CD console he's linking up to Mootheart's newly purchased eight-track. They sit across from one another, listening back, twiddling knobs, unfurling their tongues, and hoisting their fists in triumph each time a drum fill or a riff is to their liking.
Roland, a longtime friend and former drummer in Segall’s high-school band Epsilons, wanders in and nods silently to everyone as he takes a seat. Neither he nor Segall can remember the last time they saw one another. One floor below, Filth Mongers have slowed their tempo and Segall removes his headphones for a minute. "Filth Mongers," he says admiringly. "So sleazy."
After an hour, mixing is complete, so we wait for the first CD to finish burning. "I don't really like touring," says Segall. "I've just done it too much. I've been on tour for three years straight, basically. It's not my favorite thing; recording is. It's so fun. You can get weird."
While we wait, he enthusiastically plays us some MP3s on his phone: a lost Blue Cheer side project he swears Mootheart will flip for and a solo record from Mountain’s Leslie West; Segall sings "Mississippi Queen" in falsetto while resting his hand over an imaginary steering wheel in front of him, grinning as he pretends to suck on a joint. "How come no one sings like this anymore," he asks. By now all of Filth Mongers have congregated in front of the television, fresh beers in hand. Segall announces to the house that they are all invited to a Fuzz listening party in the basement, a space you have to enter through the backyard, where the skeleton of a half-finished half-pipe sits dormant against the fence.
But downstairs, it's only Epsilons in attendance: Mootheart, Segall and Roland. Either to fight off a chill or to get in uniform, Mootheart slips into his Hawkwind jean jacket before we get started. It's dank down here. The concrete floors are blanketed in dirt and dead cigarettes, old couches and drums stacked like wedding cakes line each wall. Mootheart hands out some cans of Coors, the CD is loaded, and the trio arrange themselves in a row before the massive stereo system atop a plywood riser, headbanging and genuflecting as an inordinately evil stream of sludge begins flying from the speakers. Segall, who sang and played drums, begins walloping the air, looking over at Roland and Mootheart every few seconds.
"Fuck, dude," he shouts. "This rules."
"Yeah, man," Mootheart shouts back, "it sounds fuckin' perfect loud. So cool."
"So cool, man." Segall says, still shouting. "So psyched. This fuckin' rules."