Butthole Surfers' Paul Leary is set to release Born Stupid, his first solo album in 30 years, on February 12 via Shimmy Disc/Joyful Noise (pre-order). He's just released a second track from it, "What Are You Gonna Do?" which is the kind of wigged-out genre-blender you'd expect from Leary, with elements of metal, industrial, psych-rock, and synthpop meeting at what sounds like the mouth of hell. "What are you gonna do when the sky burns and the ocean boils," Paul bellows. The video is equally trippy and premieres in this post. You can watch that below.

We chatted briefly will Paul via email about the new record, this new single and what else he's got in the hopper, including producing the debut album from Spray Allen (ft. Eric Wilson of Sublime, whose self-titled album was produced by Leary) and planning a new record with Cocky Bitches. Read that below.

What was the initial inspiration behind "What Are You Gonna Do?" How long ago was it written?

Paul Leary: The original inspiration behind “What Are You Gonna Do” was my new Eventide H9 guitar pedal. I recorded myself playing through several different presets, and that song was the first result. That was about three years ago. It took two more years to come up with the three or four lines of lyrics. 

The song is is 180, stylistically, from Born Stupid's title track which you released late last year and is kinda folky. What else can we expect on the album?

There is one other song in the style of “Born Stupid” on the album. “Mohawk Town” is a cover of a Vandals song that I have always loved. The album also has a beer hall sing-along called “Throw Away Freely." “The Adventures of Pee Pee the Sailor” is something I would describe as being like music from an old Disney movie. Think “Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier." There is a song resembling children’s carnival music called “Sugar is the Gateway Drug." Even more like children’s music is the song “Do You Like to Eat a Cow.” So the music is sort of all over the map. “What Are You Gonna Do” is the closest to rock music the album offers. Every time I started to record rock songs, I just felt silly and old.

Besides working on this album, how have you been spending your time during the pandemic?

I spent last summer producing an album for a new band called Spray Allen, which features my old friend Eric Wilson from Sublime. Google “Spray Allen” if you want to know the meaning, but remember: What has been read cannot be un-read. That album comes out this spring. I also made a couple of videos for my new album for the songs “Born Stupid” and “What Are You Gonna Do”, which are the first and only videos I have ever made. Besides that, I like to watch Judge Judy and cook meals in my newly remodeled kitchen. I’m a homebody, so the pandemic hasn’t really affected me a lot.

Any other musical irons in the fire?

I am hoping to record another album with my group Cocky Bitches. Also, I am collecting mental notes for my next solo album.