Category Archives: Interviews

Interview: Grade

This is the last of the four interviews conducted in 1998 and the only one where I actually sat down with the band. On this occasion, Shawn McGill (guitars), Greg Talyor (guitars), Matt Jones (bass) and Kevin Finlayson (drums) of the Burlington, Ontario band Grade were kind enough to sit outside on the sidewalk and answer my questions prior to their show in Ft Pierce, FL on May 19, 1998. The band had released their seven-song EP Separate the Magnets on Second Nature Recordings (which will be remastered and repressed on vinyl later this year) the year before and just wrapped up two weeks of dates along the East Coast the previous evening in Gainesville, FL with Hot Water Music. The band talked about touring with Hot Water Music, addressed rumors of signing with Revelation Records, the new album and meeting Scott Ian from Anthrax in New York City. The interview was originally recorded on 8mm film, and it took me a while to have it transferred into a digital format and finally transcribe it. I filmed the show that night in Ft Pierce and Grade and Hot Water Music’s shows the night before in Gainesville, FL. I’ve got one video up (see below) and hope to get the rest up soon.

Phil> First, could you give a little history of the band?
Matt > We started about four years ago now, with the same lineup we currently have but with a different drummer. We released a CD on Workshop Records. It was a split CD with Believe, a band from Burlington. Maybe a year or so after that, we recorded another LP, And Such is Progress, on Capsule Records. It sold really well but went out of print, and the guy that ran Capsule never repressed it. After that, we took a little time off, we recorded another 7″, but after that we broke up for a while. I think mostly because…
Greg > We didn’t break up!
Matt > Kind of…
Shawn > I didn’t know that either!
Kevin > Well, you guys kind of took a break. You weren’t doing anything.
Matt > Yeah, we took a break. We didn’t play any shows for about six months.
Greg > Because everyone was doing side-projects, that’s why. Everyone ended up doing side projects that ended up doing really well.

Grade live@ The Hardback, Gainesville FL 1998

Grade live
@ The Hardback, Gainesville FL 1998

Phil > Acrid?
Greg: Yeah, Acrid, Jersey, SeventyEightDays. More than half the band had different side projects that were doing well. So, that’s one of the reasons why we took a break.

Phil > Where do you see hardcore going as a genre, especially with bands like Earth Crisis and Sick of it All gaining popularity?
Matt > I think a lot of the hardcore bands these days are taking over from where the thrash metal bands from the 80s were. They all had their videos, and they were the big thing. They were doing arena tours, but now you’ve got Earth Crisis doing OzzFest. They’re as big as bands were in the 80s, I think, so they’ve just kind of picked up where those bands left off when hair-metal fell to the wayside. I think it’s pretty cool that they can make a living off of it and be successful by doing something that they’re really into. I think more and more bands are going to start doing that as well.

Phil > They take a lot for it from inside the scene, though.
Matt > Yeah, I guess they get a lot of shit.
Greg > But, I mean that’s from people who… they don’t know what it’s like. They don’t what the struggle has been like. Usually it’s from people that don’t even know anything about the people in the band at all. What their situations are, or anything like that. In my mind, none of those bands have really… they haven’t sold out. They haven’t changed their sound. They haven’t compromised their music. What they’re really doing is spreading a message to people that don’t know what’s been going on. They can say the same thing to the same people a million times, and it will make no difference. So, I think it’s pretty cool.

Phil > So, what was touring with Hot Water Music like for the last two weeks?
Greg > Amazing!
Matt > It was awesome.
Shawn > It was so much fun.
Matt > That was the best time we’ve had in a long time.
Shawn > Those guys are definitely one of my favorite bands, and have been for a long time. So, it was so cool to get to hang out with them and see them play every night.
Matt > Yeah, we just got to watch them every night and that was the best part of it. Just hanging out with them. They’re so fun.
Shawn > The shows were all really good. They bring in a huge crowd. They’ve toured with Avail. They’ve done so many tours that it really helped us out supporting them because so many more kids came to see the shows than if it were just us by ourselves.
Kevin > Yeah, we played about five or six sold-out shows up in New England, which is great. Sold-out shows on a Monday night are pretty rare.
Matt > We sold out three shows in a row or something like that. Four out of five shows were sold out. That was awesome.

Phil > I had hear that you guys might be putting out stuff on Revelation now, is that true?
Greg > It’s a possibility.
Matt > Yeah, it’s possible. We are kind of in negotiations. We have been talking with Revelation and Some Records from New York City, which is run by Walter from Quicksand, Matt from Judge and Sammy from Youth of Today. We haven’t really decided yet. We’re still thinking about it, weighing our options.
Kevin > We haven’t really talked seriously about it yet, but we’ve got a publicist now and we’ve just signed with Sesac to get royalties from radio stations.
Greg > You guys are going to have to talk louder!
Kevin > You’re going to have to sit closer!
Greg > Can you hear them?

Phil > I can, but I don’t know if the camera can.
Greg > You’re going to have to talk louder…

Phil > If not, I’ll have to crank it up on the TV. So, how is the touring going, experience-wise? You’ve toured before, but does anything stand out on this one?
Greg > It’s the biggest one! It’s the biggest and longest tour we’ve done. It’s been the most people. It’s been the best tour so far. I’m sure that was largely one part Hot Water Music and one part our new record on Second Nature. But it’s been good.
Kevin > There have definitely been some highlights. New York City was a really big highlight. We got there, we went to the club, Samiam was shooting their video, which was really cool, and just getting to hang out with those guys afterward. Scotty from Anthrax came to the show, and that was just kind of cool.
Shawn > And his ex-girlfriend tried to pick up Caleb, the merch-guy for Hot Water Music…
Greg > And then we got smashed at a bar.
Matt > Some of us did.
Kevin > No, we all got smashed. It was was back-pocket edge that night.

Grade live@ The Hardback, Gainesville FL 1998

Grade live
@ The Hardback, Gainesville FL 1998

Phil > How has Grade affected you guys over the last four or five years? Has it become a huge part of your lives, or do you still keep it…
Matt > It’s become a bigger part all the time now. It was never taken too seriously, just a hobby where we’d just play shows on weekends occasionally and record every once in a while, but now… I just quit my job to go on tour. We want to tour as much as possible. These guys are thinking about taking some time off school so we can concentrate on writing a new record and touring a lot more. We’re going to try and do a new album in the fall, record a new album in the fall, which will hopefully be out in the winter or early spring, and then next year just tour as much as we can. We just want to travel. We’ve never been… we’d like to make it out to California. A tour out there. Europe maybe, Japan, Australia, Hawaii, wherever we can go. We want to play.

Phil > I’m not sure who write the lyrics, but is there any one thing you’d like to get across in the lyrics, or is it a multitude of things?
Greg > I’d say for the majority of the band, we try and construct songs in a way that they just explode and we hope that other people get – obviously not the same reaction – but something similar. Or their own emotion out of it. Some energy. Have a good time.
Kevin > A lot of what we’re trying to say, we actually write with the music and Kyle puts the lyrics with that. But, there are four of us writing the music, and we say a lot, right in that. Trying to make it really emotional and powerful. All the songs are like anthems.

Separate the Magnets
(Second Nature, 1997)

Phil > This record, I would say, is more upbeat that And Such is Progress
Shawn > yeah!

Phil > Is it just progression. I listened to the Grade/Believe split for the first time and last night, and it was like… wow!
Matt > Yeah, we’ve changed a lot. But there was a big gap with the new record. Almost two years. And I guess the way we wrote songs has just completely changed. Now they have way more energy, are way more upbeat and faster, more powerful, more rockin’ or poppy or whatever you want to call it. In general they’re catchier. People get more into it.
Greg > It’s just a progression, because I didn’t listen to the And Such is Progress LP for a long time and I went back and I listened to it, and it was just like “holy shit, this stuff is really slow”. I still like it, it’s just a little slow. Even when we play those older songs, we speed them up a bit now. It’s more energy, I think.

Phil > Just one thing, could you guys play the last song from your new album…
Matt > The Tie That Binds, yeah, sure no problem!

Grade playing The Tie That Binds in Ft. Pierce, FL that night:

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Interview: Fugazi

Fugazi introduced me to independent music. They still continue to inspire me (despite their 10 year hiatus). I remember the thrill when I learned that Guy Picciotto (guitars, vocals) agreed to respond to my questions. This exchange occurred over e-mail in May 1998, just a month after their release of End Hits, their fifth full-length album.

Phil > You have been together for about 10 years now, right? So, do you find it easier or more difficult to reinvent yourselves in your music, as far as new ideas or writing styles?
Guy > I think when a band starts out, there is usually a bit of a golden period when the combination of individuals is really fresh and untested; so, you kind of explode out of the gate with a bunch of ideas sparked from the newness of the interaction. After a while, you kind of get accustomed to certain tendencies from each other. So, you may have to work a bit harder to undercut your own expectations. With our group, I think it’s never been super easy to write new songs, mainly because all four of us contribute to the writing, so each piece kind of has to run a gauntlet with each member taking whacks at the thing. A great majority of songs don’t survive the hazing. But, we do really work hard at pushing ourselves to a different space each time. We kind of like trying to mutate the signature.

Phil > I read an interview with Ian once where he said that you basically “handcraft the songs”. How exactly do you come up with new song ideas?
Guy > We basically get into writing modes where we sequester ourselves in whatever basement we’re practicing in (we’ve moved from Ian’s to my parent’s to Brendan’s, and now most recently we are in Joe’s) and play like four or five hours a day, four days a week. Basically, each of us will throw pieces at each other, and we’ll work through them, combining, rearranging, discarding, resurrecting, etc. The same as all bands. Occasionally, someone will have a song completely written and arranged, and it will survive intact without that much editing. But more typically, all songs get fully imprinted by all the members. I think a lot of people probably don’t realize how much of the actual bass and guitar parts are written by Brendan, for example. Everyone can write for everyone else. That is for the music. Lyrics, on the other hand, are more of a private affair with whoever sings the song being responsible for those lyrics.

Phil > Are there any bands out there now, from DC or not, that interest you?
Guy > Yeah, right now in DC there are a ton of bands, old and new, that I think are pretty killer. For example, there is Quix*o*tic, who just played out on the road with us for five days, who I think are amazing. They should have a record out soon. Also, The Cranium and CromTech are astonishing ground breakers. I could go on and on with The Make-Up, Lungfish, The Stigmatics, Deep Lust, etc. etc. As for out of towners, I would recommend Blonde Redhead from New York City. I just worked on a record with them, which will be out in September on Touch & Go. It’s totally epic.

Phil > How do you see the DC scene now as compared to your days with the Rites of Spring, back in the early- to mid-1980s?
Guy > It would be pretty hard for me to compare them, because in the Rites of Spring, I was a completely maniacal 19 years old and everything hit my consciousness in an extreme and raw fashion. Now at 32, with a lot of time under my belt as it were, my perspective is all elongated and stretchy. I mean, in some ways, I think not much has changed – groups still form, they still provide wild inspiration, they still break up cataclysmically. All those processes remain. The underground network and music community is still really strong. But there is a difference that really has to do with historical forces and the weird mass media communications assault of the 1990s. I mean, in the early 1980s, the ambitions were really localized to a degree. There was never any sense of an overground or industry interest, so shit happened in kind of an idyllic, do-it-yourself netherworld. There was a real sense of rival culture underneath the rest of the world’s radar. Though I think there still is and always will be strong underground activity, in a real way, things got disrupted by the glaring focus and lacerating influence of corporate attentions. I don’t want to cry too long and hard over the wrecking of the playhouse because there is more pressing work to be done, but looking back, it’s hard to ignore the differences.

Phil > Was there anything in particular that was different between doing End Hits and any of your previous records?
Guy > Really, the main difference was how long it took us to record and complete it. Generally, in the past, we would do our records in quick bursts from between four days and two weeks, but rarely longer. Last year, though, everything was really scrambled. We had a bunch of tours to make up due to cancellations and postponements brought about by Ian’s having a lung collapse on our tour in Australia and the subsequent six month recuperation period. At the same time, our drummer, Brendan, was getting married and having a kid, so there were a lot of breaks in the recording process. We started in March and didn’t finish until December, with tours and stuff taking us away at every juncture. Still, it probably worked in our favor. The record has an interesting feel as a result. We really got a chance to fine tune it and make it just like we wanted.

Phil > What life experiences have you learned through making music with Fugazi and your entire experience since being with the band? Has it taught you to look at life differently?
Guy > Well, for the last 11 years, it basically has been my life. There is not a single thing in my experience that has not been affected by what it means to be in this group.

Phil > Your lyrics, where do they stem from and what do you want kids to get most out of your music?
Guy > I am kind of a reluctant lyricist. A lot of people have notebooks jammed with scribblings, fragments, etc. But I am completely not like that. To get me to write anything down is orthodontic teeth pulling. So, when I get an idea for a song together, I am pretty thankful and just try to massage it into shape. It’s funny: we get two criticisms about our lyrics. Either that they are too obtuse to be understood or that they are too specific and dogmatic. The criticisms are completely contradictory and self-canceling, so I don’t know what to think. I just write them and if people get something out of it, I’ve succeeded. If they don’t, I’ve failed. I can deal with it either way.

Phil > Literature, do you take interest in it, or even art, do they influence you in any manner and how?
Guy > Yeah, I read tons. I love movies. The museums in DC are all free. It’s all grist for the mill.

Phil > What is the whole tour experience for you like? Obviously ups and downs, but how does it influence you?
Guy > I am a big fan of the touring experience. In the time we’ve been in Fugazi, we’ve gotten to play all 50 states in the US, 19 countries in Europe, Australia, Brazil, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore, New Zealand, Chile and Argentina. These are all places I probably would never had the chance to visit otherwise, and the impact of the travel has been major. It’s weird, because physically the toll is pretty intense. You really have to learn how to detonate on stage night after night and always respect the music the and moment, even if say your stomach is distended with a giardic infection or your voice is strained to a straw sized radius or you broke your nose on the mic stand base, or whatever. It’s really quite a learning experience. Hope this works for you. All the best, Guy/Fugazi

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Interview: The Bird of Ill Omen

The Bird of Ill Omen were a South Florida hardcore band from the late 1990s and one of my favorites to see live. The opening song Sharpshooter from their first CD/LP Self, Dare You Still Breathe? (Eulogy Recordings 1998) remains a favorite hardcore song of mine. They eventually broke up in 1999. You can read an autobiographical postmortem of the band written by guitarist Peter Bartsocas here some years afterward. This was an interview I did with the band via e-mail in April/May 1998. Despite their threat at the end of the exchange about how I’d better publish it and how they had to miss episodes of The Rockford Files because of it… I never did.

Phil > How long have you been together?
The Bird > We’ve been together since August 1996.

Phil > Was Damien Moyal originally in the band, like the rumors say?
The Bird > Yes, Damien was in the band. In the beginning, when we were just jamming out. We figured we’d give him a call at the time, see that he’d been kicked out of Morning Again, and we thought it would work out OK. I guess now that I think about it, the band didn’t really start doing anything until Damien quit. So, March of 1997 is when we started getting serious. However, there are some lyrics that are used on the CD.

Phil > How much of the original band is still around?
The Bird > Since the recording, we’ve just replaced our drummer after our summer tour in 1997, and we just found out that Shane (our singer) is getting married, so he’s moving back home to Ohio.

Phil > What do you do outside of the band?
The Bird > Well, Andrew (aka “Bones”, “Andy Slims”) usually hangs around his house doing something involving music, filming, listening to Tori Amos and reading. I’m usually at Andrew’s house eating all his food and I like to read. Tom (aka “The Bruiser”) works some of the time and does his other band Dead Men’s Theory with Andrew and The Springfields, our other nonsense. On occasion, we try to finish our short film entitled “TQ at the DQ”. Jose (aka lil’ Jorge) spends most of his time since winter, touring the country. He hangs out in Toronto and flies to Spain and Italy, and just all around is having the time of his life. He has relatives over in Europe, so he’s just kind of traveling the continent.

Phil > Without starting any trouble, do you get along well?
The Bird > No comment. Just kidding. We get along real good.

Phil > What was making the CD like? Did it turn out how you expected?
The Bird > Doing the CD was a fun experience. Being in the studio with everyone had its memorable moments. I guess for what it is, we’re happy. But it’s been a while, and we have more focus on where Bird of Ill Omen songs are headed. The layout basically came out how we wanted. We definitely wanted each song to capture a certain feeling, and I think that all six songs are really different from each other. We wanted each song to have it’s own page, so you can sort of build your own story to it, related to it in your own way. If you’re not used to lengthy songs, then it could drag, but it’s something you’ve got to be in the right mood for to listen to, I guess.

Phil > What was the craziest experience at a show?
The Bird > We’ve had our share of crazy shows. Well, on the summer tour in 1997, at the Indianapolis Fest (sloppy fucking show, but fun), I ended up breaking my ax (hahaha) and my toe. I had to use crutches for the rest of the tour. That sucked! Tom (he plays the bass guitar) at a show in Toronto, he dropped his pick in the middle of the song and when he went to pick it up, his hang nail snagged the carpet and it was a blood fest after that. It was pouring to say the least. Another cool show was on Hollow’s Eve of 1997, when we all dressed up in nun outfits. We ended our set with Die, Die My Darling (The Misfits), when the infamous Bubba C., oxblood colored suit, Fu Manchu ‘stache and all, came running out from the back of the guitar cabinets with a gallon of fake blood and drenched everyone. It was the same recipe that KISS uses, so that’s pretty cool.

Phil > What was the worst venue you played at?
The Bird > Probably our second show at Cheers. It was a Food Not Bombs benefit show, and we sounded real shitty. Maybe there are some others, but I’ve probably blocked them out of my head.

Phil > Do you think the South Florida scene gets a bad rap for being overly violent?
Tom > I think certain groups used to get slack, but everyone basically knows each other now. Most of the groups that consider South Florida violent are usually the kids from outside looking in and don’t have a clue of what’s going on!

Phil > Where do your lyrics come from? Personal experiences? They don’t seem as political as some other hardcore bands, yet still get your point across (see the song Sharpshooter).
The Bird > We can mostly thank Baby Jesus for these complex, cold-hearted beings–we’ll call them women, and relationships, because without them, we wouldn’t have much to cry about. We try not to be political, but if there is a topic on our mind, then we’ll write about it. We can write about things that everyone else writes about, but we like to have a twist to it and hit the subject from a different angle and not be so mundane.

Phil > Who is your favorite band to play with? Both times I’ve seen you play, it’s been with Shai Hulud.
The Bird > I don’t think we have a favorite band to play with. We would play with anyone. It doesn’t matter, as long as there are plenty of underage and unsuspecting boys/girls to sexually humiliate at the show.

Phil > Do any of you indulge in art?
Peter > I like to do performance art, like dressing up in leotard and dancing to Yanni, and I’m taking some ballet classes on the side, but still working on the split.
Tom > Now that you mentioned it, when I was in the slammer, I really began to indulge in the autobiographies of Gary Horowitz. I love that man!
Andrew > Well, I’m a big fan of independent, foreign, and art films. An excellent movie I just was was ‘Leather Jacket Love Story’ and ‘Happy Together’.
Jose > Art’s for fags!
Shane > I deal in foreign cars. That’s my art. I prefer European cars over girls. I mean, how many times has an Alpha Romeo broken your heart, unless some other dude is driving one and doggin’ out the clutch.

Phil > Do you see a problem with the larger hardcore bands, like Earth Crisis, Sick of it All or Snapcase? Do you think they further the goals of the scene or only commercialize it?
The Bird > I don’t have any problem with it. I think they do a little of both. I’m sure if almost any band were in their shoes, they’d do the same. It’s not like they changed their style or beliefs to be on majors. Who cares.

Phil > Do you usually do interviews?
The Bird > We’ve done like three interviews, and we enjoy them.

Phil > What is your favorite place to do shows?
The Bird > My favorite place for shows was Cheers; to play or see bands. Ask anyone in South Florida about Cheers. They did a lot for the scene down here.

Phil > Who do you see as the South Florida band with the most promise out there now?
The Bird > With the most promise, probably Shai Hulud, Bretheren, Ed Matus’ Struggle, Morning Again, A New Found Glory, and of course, Dead Men’s Theory and The Springfields. Actually, all the bands suck down here, including us. Just kidding.

Phil > Your feelings on Ska?
Tom > I think traditional Ska, like Derrick Morgan, Desmond Dekker and guys like that rule, but this goofball MTV pseudo-ska, like No Doubt, can suck it.
Peter > I like Operation Ivy and that’s about it.

Phil > Is there anything new coming out? Tours? Releases?
The Bird > As far as releases go, we’re going into the studio mid-October to record a four song 7″ and six song CD on Eulogy Recordings. Touring in August with New Day Rising and Europe in February. The vinyl version of Self, Dare You Still Breathe? should be out in July if we get the new layout done on time. That’s about it.

Phil > What do you think you do best?
Peter > I’m good at writing poetry and being an asshole. Seriously, ask anyone, but I’m on the quest for the perfect tan.
Jose > I work three jobs to support my family, preppy! I have no time for hobbies, but my maximum bench press is 270 lbs.
Shane > Repairing fuel injection on foreign sports cars and Saved By The Bell trivia. What was the name of the dance by Screech and Lisa at The Max?
Tom > Tantric sex and he’s won several belching contests.
Andrew > I’m good at Grecko-Roman wrestling and baking vegan goodies.

Phil > Closing comments?
The Bird > This interview better come out because we all wasted valuable time on this. We even missed The Rockford Files for it. Foreign cars are far superior to girls. Gliders are coming strong. Air hockey on the rise! Watch The Simpsons, weiners.

Watch a reunion show last September in Miami, FL at the Reel & Restless Festival:
Bird of Ill Omen Live @ Reel & Restless Festival 16.09.12 Churchills, Miami FL. video by SouthFloridaHardcore
 

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Interview: Jimmy Eat World

In May 1998, I sent Jim Adkins (guitar, vocals) of Jimmy Eat World some questions via e-mail, and he was kind enough to reply to each and every single one of them. I had just seen them in Orlando, FL and Gainesville, FL on tour with The Promise Ring and would see them again later that year at the Vero Beach Women’s Center in Vero Beach, FL with Jejune and Ed Matus’ Struggle. This interview was conducted while they were recording their next album, Clarity (Capitol Records, 1999). Two years later, they would release Bleed American (Capitol Records, 2001) and found themselves in heavy rotation on the airwaves.

Jimmy Eat World @ Brody’s
Orlando, FL 25.03.98 (photo by me)

Phil > What was touring with The Promise Ring like?
Jim > Made a lot of new friends. Played for packed or near packed clubs every night. The best tour we have ever done. The Promise Ring are genuine, no shit guys. To some degree, I believe their success is due to who they are as people. Wish we would have gone to the west coast.

Phil > What is the Arizona scene like?
Jim > Not a lot of places to play in Arizona. There aren’t many people doing shows. Out of them, there are maybe four you can trust. But there are some really good bands bands who deserve attention. The few who are doing something truly care.

Phil > Why the move to Capitol Records?
Jim > We made the decision to work with Capitol because it would give us the chance to do everything we wanted to with the band. We could record anywhere we wanted, we could record with almost anyone we wanted, and we could tour the country. No one else was giving us those options.

Interview with Jimmy Eat World (part one)
s/t (Wooden Blue Records, 1994)

Phil > What ever happened to Wooden Blue Records, your first label?
Jim > The Wooden Blue label was run by my roommate and friend. They put out a few CDs and handful of 7″s. After the IRS threatened to put my roommate in jail unless he paid business registration fees, the label ended. They started a new label called Oak Family Shuttle Records but that project is dead now, as well.

Phil > While doing ‘Static Prevails’, what was the feedback from Capitol?
Jim > The feedback was misleading. I thought it was being accepted well and would have a chance to be worked. It didn’t. We were a very young band with no national fan base. We didn’t sell many records out the gate, so we got buried quickly. For our standards, we did great. For major label standards, we haven’t done anything.

Phil > You cite Christie Front Drive as an influence, and I read that they were actually a fan of yours. What was that like, seeing as how they are no longer?
Jim > We are friends with all the Christie Front Drive guys. It was great to play shows with them.

 

Phil > How does your new record differ from Static Prevails, and your your first full length on Wooden Blue?
Jim > This record is much more organized. This time it is just the band and Mark Trombino. He is producing/engineering. Usually when we record, we do everything separately: drum and bass with scratch guitars, then guitars, then vocals and then whatever makes noise left in the studio. This time we recorded the drums and then are finishing every song as we go. Static Prevails was recorded over six months in two big chunks. The first album was done very quickly. But then we played a lot faster.

Phil > You have definitely progressed since the first LP (though the song Patches is a favorite of mine). Do you cite anything as the cause of that?
Jim > Some people say with music, you find the formula that works and then stick to that. I don’t agree. You should never feel inhibited to play something different. At any time you can say ‘fuck this’, throw out everything and go in a different direction.

Phil > Do you still live in Arizona or have you made the move somewhere else?
Jim > Three of us live in Tempe, one in Mesa. I would like to move away soon. As soon as the band is done, I am gone. 

Phil > On Static Prevails you really mixed up the tempos, from upbeat to quite mellow (e.g., Episode IV). What is the mood of the new album going to be like?
Jim > Different. There are a few straight up rock songs. Most of it will be mid-tempo with lots of texture.

Phil > Where do your lyrics stem from? Personal experiences?Jejune_JEW_EdMatus_flier

Jim > From personal experience, from observations, plagerisims, from Spanish poetry books, etc.

Phil > What is one thing you want people to get out of listening to your music?
Jim > We aren’t about getting any one message across. I just hope people will find something in the songs they can apply to how they happen to be feeling. A reaction, any reaction.

Phil > Is the band with the same lineup now as when recording the material for the Wooden Blue album?
Jim > For the first year, Mitch Porter played bass. Rick Burch joined us after his band Carrier broke up. Me, Zach and Tom have always in the band.

Phil > Is your bass player really from Mineral, like you said at the Orlando show?

Jim > Every night of The Promise Ring tour, there were people who came up to me and said our bass player looked just like Chris Simpson, Matt Damon, Mark Messier or Matt Cameron. After the fourth show, I started introducing Rick as whoever that person told me he looked like. Chris was not in Florida that day, to my knowledge.

Phil > Are any of you married or has Jimmy Eat World taken up your personal lives?
Jim > None of us are married. Rock takes up a large portion of our time, but it is not our lives.

Phil > What is your main music equipment when you record and when you play shows? Does it differ?
Jim > Recording, we use all kinds of amps and guitars. For live, me and Tom have one guitar tuned to open E (E,B,E,G#,B,E) and one for drop-D and standard tunings.

Phil > When is the new record due out and what will it be called?
Jim > Hopefully the records will be out late fall 1998. Realistically, early spring 1999. The only suggestion for a title has been This is Clarity.

Phi > Do you find it more enjoyable to be on a major label or an indie label?
Jim > Only about eight months of our 3 3/4 years have been on an indie. The pros and cons to being on a major is another conversation entirely. Good or bad, it is definitely entertaining.

Phil > Any last things you’d like to mention?
Jim > Thank you for driving so much to see us play. Take care, Jim.

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Filed under Interviews, Jimmy Eat World