Since I’m not a famous rock star yet I’ve decided I’m not going to wait to do the big interviews. I’m going to interview myself. The photo shoot didn’t go so well though…
Me: Do you mind denied for SXSW entry every year?
Myself: Not at all. I actually look forward to it. I’m beginning to think that when I finally do get accepted I might not go. It would just spoil all this fun I’m having not going.
Me: How did the band get started?
Myself: It’s a funny story. Well, not that funny. It is, however, very long and very boring.
Me: What do you think about Houston venues?
Myself: For your basic “rock” venues I’d say we only have 5 or 6 worth much of anything and that’s the greater Houston area. It depends on what you’re looking for I suppose. I think the problem is more with the way Houston is set up and it’s lack of centrality than the venues themselves. We’re what, the 5th largest city in the U.S.? Every major city has some sort of music hub. A location where there is a decent collection of venues and cool shops. But must of those cities grew the natural way in which there were zoned areas for arts and entertainment. Houston was an oil and energy city. They didn’t have “nightlife” in mind when designing the architectural landscape. So when you have clubs scattered all over the city and you have to drive 10 miles between them, you get a feeling of disconnection. I think it carries over to the way we regard our own artistic output. I think Houston always feels like the little kid who lives around the block desperately trying to play with the big boys. And I think most of the other major cities view us that way as well. We have too much catch-up to do in just getting to where they’ve already been for years.
Me: What would you like to see happen for the Houston music scene?
Myself: I would like more originality. We need more bands and venues that aren’t spending their time and energy trying to be something else. I think we need to not be afraid to make our own artist statements. I’m not saying we don’t have any originality. We do. I would like Houston to be on the musical map. When I become president it will be the first think on my list.
Me: What’s it like balancing work, school, and the band?
Myself: Oh it’s hard. I work 40 hours a week, go to school 4 nights a week, and we try to practice at least once a week. And between all of that I have to find time to get work done around the house. Mow the lawn. Oh, and sleep. Argh! Stupid, stupid sleep.
Me: Do you want a record deal?
Myself: If you had asked me that 3 years ago I would have said yes, definitely. But it’s a totally different ball game now. We live in a DIY, a’la Carte world where you can have quality 10 times better than the Beatles ever had in the comfort of your own living room. Too bad there’s not the Beatles talent to back it up. Indie labels now are taking the place of what the bigs used to be. They have a smaller team and are a lot more personal. They usually believe in the bands and really put their support behind them. I would definitely sign to a good indie. Barsuk! Give me a call!!!
Me: If a tree fell in the forest, and there was no one there to hear it, would it make a sound?
Myself: No. Sound is defined upon the experience of the listening. It does, however, make sound waves. Gosh I’m a dork.
Me: What’s your favorite venue to play in Houston?
Myself: Rudyard’s British Pub, definitely. It has a great vibe and everybody is so nice. We usually get a decent crowd out there too. It says a lot that it’s one of my favorite places to play considering you play upstairs. Oh, the stairs!
Me: What was it like playing the Houston Press Music Awards showcase?
Myself: It was definitely one of the highlights of the band so far. The whole thing was professional from the ground up. The tickets were attractive, the venue was cool, the showcase was cool. We were just excited to see our name on the ballot! It was great seeing our name in line with a lot of other really great bands. We didn’t win the competition but it really didn’t matter. I know it sounds like a lame justification but just being on the ballot was prize enough. It was a huge exposure booster for us.
Me: What do you think of cover bands?
Myself: I think cover bands are a great way to make a buck for doing something you love. But that’s it. They serve a purpose, for sure, but don’t consider yourself on the same playing field. It’s not because original band is “better” than a cover band. You’d have to define what “better” means anyway. But writing and performing your own material is just in a totally different world. We were once auditioning drummers and we had a guy call that had been playing in cover bands for like 11 years. He was looking for something else and wanted to come jam with us. He was incredibly nice and we really hit it off. When we started talking about shows he asked how much we play and how much we make. When I told him he stammered. He said he was used to bringing in about 4K a month and had gotten used to that income. GO BACK TO YOUR COVER BAND!!!! Yes we’re making peanuts, but one day you’ll be covering our music. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Me: Do you watch TV?
Myself: TV is the devil. It is evil incarnate. It is a vacuum that sucks up your time and leaves you a mindless puddle of stupidity. It doesn’t mean every program is bad. I really can’t wait for TV a’la Carte. I want the History channel, PBS, A&E, VH1, and maybe a few others. Notice I didn’t include MTV. MTV doesn’t exist anymore. It used to exist. Now it’s a pale, empty shell that once held life. If you stare long enough into its eyes you can see traces of a life once lived. Now it just dribbles on its bib between bed times.
Me: What do you think of Myspace?
Myself: I think Myspace is a necessary evil. I think it’s an incredibly valuable tool for bands and people connecting or re-connecting. On a personal level I think that people get too obessed and stop connecting to other people in a personal way. They just live their lives virtually. On a music level I think it is absolutely the most rediculous and preposterious thing for venues, labels, or anyone to judge a band by their # of hits. I’ve seen it happen! First of all there are ways of faking the count. Secondly, some fool with no job hitting refresh on his browser ALL DAY, EVERY DAY does not mean his band is worth the bandwidth they’re being played on.
Me: What do you think of “Battle of the Bands”?
Myself: I think 99% of all so-called “contests” are crap. I think it’s a huge (and brilliant) scam to make money. Between one’s that we’ve entered and one’s that bands we’re friends with have entered I’ve seen all different types. You always wind up selling tickets to every person you’ve ever known (and their friends) and flyer every place you’ve ever been in hopes of gaining the big “prize”. Let me tell you, the prize is usually a bag of straw. You’ve just waisted your time and money and annoyed all your friends and loved ones. One of the stupidest was a contest our friend’s band entered. It went to several levels, as they usually do, and at the last level, the cream of the crop, the winner was decided by a noise meter. That might have been fine except people brought those small hand held horns! And they weren’t disqualified!!! You could be the worst band since Creed but as long as you have horns, you win. The logic is astounding. I could go on with many more stories but that would fill a book. They can be a beneficial experience for the exposure. You reach a lot of people that way. But word of advise, don’t enter a contest that you have to pay money out of your pocket and don’t bill every one of these events to your friends and family as the “most important show of your life”. After 5 of those people stop coming. Not that I know anything about that….
Me: Is it hard being so darn attractive?
Myself: Aw thanks (blushes), yeah but it has its moments. It’s nice getting into clubs for free and people buying my drinks. I just wish they would stop staring at my chest and respect me for the man that I am. I’m not a piece of meat! I have feelings! By the way, you’re pretty attractive yourself. What are you doing after this????