dr. lava speaks: the rolling stone interview, part 2

Cont’d. from page 33

RS: Moving on from Bono—

DL: I already have. I wish the rest of the world would, too, but no—U2 is like, like . . . the Band That Wouldn’t Die.

RS: I’d think that would be the Stones.

DL: Yes, yes, touché. But moving on . . .

RS: Moving on: you name Bowie as your rock star inspiration. What is it about him specifically that fires the supervillain mind?

DL: Consider the alter egos he created. Ziggy Stardust. Aladdin Sane. The Thin White Duke. Those are all perfect supervillain identities! Believe me—before I became Dr. Lava, I was going to be the Thin White Duke.

The unattainable inspiration: Bowie.

RS: What happened?

DL: Come on—look at me. I might be able to pull off the last two, but “thin?”

RS: You do have more of a . . .

DL: Go on . . . say it.

RS: A Frank Black physique going.

Musical genius and non-supervillain Frank Black.

DL: Well, at least he’s a musical genius. I thought you were going to call me a bald Jerry Garcia.

RS: Perish the thought. So Bowie is the most common rock star inspiration among the supervillain clique—

DL: Please. I wouldn’t call us a “clique.” It’s not like we go hang out at the mall together and make fun of the ugly kids.

RS: Is that what happened to you in your teenage years?

DL: Let’s just leave it that I wasn’t part of any “clique” in high school. Though I didn’t spend much time at the mall, either.

RS: Where
did you spend your time?

DL: I’m a supervillain. A mad scientist. Where do you think guys like me spend our free time as teenagers? In the chem labs. Making compounds . . . melting things . . .

RS: And that’s where your name first enters the public discourse. You were caught trying to make napalm in the chemistry lab after school.

DL: I was still a juvenile when that happened. Those records are sealed.

RS: But you did brag about that while ransoming U.N. Headquarters.

DL: Oh, yes. I didn’t realize the cameras were still rolling. But it wasn’t really that big of a deal. So the janitor came in just as I was about to begin testing. So I got busted. This was the ’80s, before all the school shootings and whatnot. My older brother used to bring a bowie knife to school and get his jollies throwing it at people . . . and juuuuust missing. He’d laugh and say, “William Tell!” And he never made the news.

RS: But napalm?

DL: Trust me—those were different times. “Boys will be boys.” I did my community service.

RS: Delivering meals to disabled Vietnam vets.

DL: Who, you might like to know, didn’t see any problem with what I was doing.

RS: But why try to make napalm at school? Why not in the privacy of your own home? In the basement, or the garage?

DL: Look—you need to understand this. The world needs to. I’m a supervillain. A supervillain. Not a terrorist hunkered down in some cave or cellar. I’m nothing without the public eye on me. It’s the theater, the spectacle—the danger of getting caught. Get it? And besides, if I’d done it at home my brother would have caught wind and taken the project away from me. We would have been frying squirrels in the back yard. I had my sights set . . . higher.

RS: On what?

DL: The high school gym. The physical fitness tests were coming up. And I wasn’t going to be humiliated at the pull-up bar one more time.

Cont’d. on page 69.

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