She’s pouty. She’s pushy. She’s a vegetarian Yugoslav. She’s Laura B., the brains behind--and singer in front of--They Eat Their Own. And she’s coming Friday night to the Anaconda Theater in Isla Vista, so she answered a few questions on the phone the other day.

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Some background: She was born in the old country and was raised in New York City. (The B. conceals a hard-to-spell, hard-to-say Yugoslav surname.) She now lives in Burbank, laments the smog and the Hollywood rock scene, and dreams of air time on KROQ.

They Eat Their Own also plays their own--Laura B. writes all the band’s tunes, and they don’t do any cover songs. The group’s first record garnered critical acclaim, which is another way of saying they didn’t make any money. A second album is imminent, and Friday night’s crowd is likely to hear a lot of it.

In their lyrics, preachy and pointed criticism is directed at the usual suspects--good lovin’ gone bad, callous carnivores and the cancer-causing all-American diet of guns, money and all the stuff liberals love to hate. Then again, if no one tells you how to act, how you gonna be? Anyway, the music is hard-edged rock, like X except with a female singer who can sing and won’t scare your cat and blow out the windows.


The conversation:

So what’s new with They Eat Their Own, I mean, since you got rich off your last album?

Yeah right, we are soooooooo rich. . . .We haven’t seen any money off that album. The album did fairly well considering it was an alternative album, which is another way of saying not so hot. . . .Right now we’re in pre-production for our second album. All the songs are ready to go and we’re rehearsing intensely. We have about 25 new songs and we’ll choose 10 or 12 for the next album. We hope to be in the studio in February for a possible late spring release.

Where did you get the band’s name?


It just came about one day, just popped into my head, and it’s about how mankind is consuming itself.

So do you stay depressed by watching a lot of news?

Actually, I’m a CNN junkie. I really like Wolf Blitzer--I think he’s cute and should change his name to Fox Blitzer. I’m just a depressing news junkie.

How did the band get started?


I was always a writer, and when I moved to L.A. I began to wonder what I was going to do with all this stuff. Then I thought, “Hey, I’m in Hollywood, why not start a band?”

What’s the difference between New York and Los Angeles?

I was just in New York and it’s pretty bad back there--the homeless situation is worse and the crime situation is worse, but the trains run on time and there’s no graffiti on the trains anymore. L.A. is just so big and sprawling and impersonal. The more I live in L.A., the more I appreciate New York. I recently moved to Burbank--I’m looking for some stability. I’ll probably stay there at least six months.

What’s the Hollywood scene like?


I don’t like it very much. I’m kind of intimidated by the black leather spandex crowd. The whole place is very hair-band, very glam-oriented.

Describe They Eat Their Own.

For lack of a better category, I’d say it’s an alternative band with a punky edge.

What’s the best and worst thing about your job?


The worst part is the best part, which is being the leader of the band. I have to keep five people happy, including myself. It’s hard to be a democratic leader and still coordinate everything. I’m perceived sometimes as a dictator, which is probably because I want things my way.

What’s the most misunderstood thing about your band?

That we’re all cannibals. Actually, there are only two vegetarians in our band, no matter how hard I try. Also, we’re perceived as a hard-core political band that’s lecturing and humorless. A lot of my lyrics are serious, but, at the same time, they’re lighthearted, too.

What was your strangest gig?


Cleveland. It wasn’t so much strange as depressing. On our last tour, we played sold-out shows everywhere. One night we played to 600 screaming fans. Then the next night in Cleveland we played to six people. And they were screaming all right--screaming for us to get off the stage so they could hear some local band.

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* WHERE AND WHEN

They Eat Their Own and Richard X. Heyman at the Anaconda Theater, 935 Embarcadero del Norte, Isla Vista, 685-3112, Friday, 8 p.m., $5.