From Madison, WI 200,000 some people in the town proper, about double that in the Metro area. You'd barely know that though given that farms still surround the city in almost every direction. It's hills, trees and marshes and then more hills in every direction. Madison maybe the most exciting place in Wisconsin, due to its size and relative lack of cultural decay that Milwaukee has, but it's still very boring to someone whose lived their whole life here. Like any typical midwest city you're forced to make up your own fun.
EB: In Lipstick Traces, Greil Marcus says that nightclubs are basically the places where the revolution is born or where it goes it die. What's your experience in all the many nightclubs you've been in?
I never noticed any revolutionary things in any nightclub. I can see that in some historical cases perhaps with the gay rights movement and it's nightclub association. Culturally things like disco and Lady Gaga I suppose stem from that. It's not revolutionary on a military or political level and it's not all that subversive. To me it's just the breaking of dams before mainstream culture accepts it in mass. I always saw nightclubs as places where people spend their money for a few hours of drinking and socializing as they have done for years before now and they will afterward.
EB: It's also proven that fascism is very much alive.
Yeah it never died, then again monarchy still exists. Though monarchy still makes for a good tourist ploy. Though in Italy and to a greater extent in Germany fascism is still used for tourism, though they'd never admit it. I mean the remnants of the fascist era in those countries are still marketable as tourists devices. Fascism is alive and well in American politics as well regardless of partisan lines. Liberals in the popular progressive sense are fascist and narrow minded in that they couch people with opposing views as backwards and religious gun toting hicks. Again that is as with any stereotype true but it's a skewed view. Conservatives view all liberals as pussys, fags, hippies and communists, that is again skewed. Neither side has very much regard for the depth of thought or range of disparity the other side might have on issues, they believe in stereotypes and getting everyone to believe in their group think. I link that to fascism with a little "f" in that it's closed minded and all about getting people to not think differently or create different ideas. There is so much focus on the opposition that it gets in the way of real progress. That said I'm not going to give a prescription for an alternative that detracts from the discussion.
EB: Supposing your band becomes incredibly popular. How would you face that?
I haven't a clue, lessen it happens. I doubt I'd change that much or that much for me would.
EB: What happens when some kid in Indiana buys the record opens up the lyric sheet, and can't begin to decipher what he sees?
Firstly I don't there will be a lyric sheet for the record when it's made. One it's too expensive to print and two because I don't really enjoy reading lyric sheets in records. I like to listen to the records and take in the lyrics as if they were part of the music. Lyrics are underrated and under appreciated in their importance to the actual music. Lyrics can stand as poetry on their own but they can also contribute to the atmosphere of the music and blend in like any riff, bass line or drum fill. In the event they do read the lyrics at some point and they are confused, that's fine it's your puzzle to figure out. Greg likes lyrics that tell stories. I like lyrics that paint pictures and let your own mind decide. They make you feel something and they inform you of something but they do not have to be absolutely what the author intended, their subjective.
EB: Do you think it's a drawback to the Master Plan - the fact that you can actually sing, write, and play? Whereas you haven't got a sort of Svengali-like person with the four completely misguided people?
No this band has two big egos guiding and driving it, Greg and myself. Our drummer has said he just hits things and he knows we could relieve him at anytime. Our bass player is always in and out. I mean Greg and I could make a record with the just one or both of us playing everything but it makes sense to have the others in for live stuff. Also at the end of the day we are just four friends who got together and like to play together it's just that two of us have huge musical egos and the others were kinda drafted. Really it's funny because I'm playing svengali with my friends, it's nice that they don't kiss ass but we all know we're in it for fun, girls, booze, money and art I suppose. A weird understanding in such a basic and boring setup like ours...all I can do is laugh.
EB: I meant to ask you about some of your favorite books.
Most early Burroughs... Kerouac, Dostoevsky, Hesse and the occasional Dr. Seuss to lighten the load. Books are endlessly important. I love a good read and try to do so as much as possible.
EB: Have you learned any lessons from other Madison bands?
Hardly...we're too insular to be bothered with what else goes on. We consider ourselves outside that and more often that not beyond that. Aside from the Anti-Prism. Granted alot of bands in this town can play tighter than us and some have far better songs. We're not even in terms of musical history that unique of band but we do have relentless ambition and determination. We also have no filter of what we think or say...That does make us somewhat unique to Madison bands, whose biggest concern is impressing their hipster friends by being goofy and talking of no hope in the music business. They forget there is always hope it's a long shot but there is always hope. Pop songs, passionate playing and endless self-promotion and ambition make alot of difference.
EB: I'm not sure what the method is in the lyric writing, but there is a sort of cut-and-paste quality to it.
Depends on whose writing. Greg writes what I call stereo instruction lyrics. He writes exactly what you see printed down, songs about boobs, emo Garbagemen and threesomes. All good laughs. I tend to write with very little thematic element to a lyric. They are style wise somewhat cut and paste, they are more barely conscious scribblings that kinda sound nice in my head and then I finish them and they are subsequently edited and redrafted though jamming on them over and over until I deem them worthy. I usually have a vague idea but I see my lyrics as more like a kaleidoscope of emotions and situations it has a basic kind of idea, you know you're seeing something, you're maybe not quite sure what it is because it shifts in mood and from being obvious to being cryptic but it sucks in you anyway and its pretty to look at.
EB: I'm just curious as to what are your musical interests outside the realm of white rock 'n' roll?
It's endless it's an absence of taste basically because it's all over the place. It could be classical, soul, hip hop, electronic, gregorian chanting whatever just catches my fancy. Same with my guitar playing, singing and my writing it's comes from different frequencies and places but its all channeled into the same area.